Just about everyone you’ll ever meet wanted to be Superman at some point in their childhood. It’s partially what being a kid is all about.
All the same, just about everyone in their adulthood wants Aquaman to die.
Unfortunately, there are quite a few drawbacks that would come with actually being the Man of Steel in real life. And no, we’re not talking about having to appear in Man of Steel when we say that. Even within the context of all the Superman comic books, films, and cartoons, actually being Superman would probably suck for the following reasons.
Among them, having to share a cover with this guy.
5. Everyone you’re working with has a diagnosable mental problem
Superman turned 75 this year, which was more than enough time to establish that he boasts perhaps the single lamest disguise in comic book history.
Imagine how big an idiot Lois must feel like right now.
However, even lamer than the whole business suit and eyeglasses disguise is the official explanation why nobody at the Daily Planet recognizes Clark Kent as Superman. According to Superman #330, the Man of Steel shoots hypno-rays at everyone he meets through his glasses. That’s DC Comics for you.
At least it’s obvious why nobody recognizes Power Girl’s face.
Fortunately, a medical examiner at Slate was able to determine a scientific explanation why nobody recognizes Superman at the Daily Planet that involves at few hypno-rays as possible. According to their report, just about everybody Superman knows and works with suffers from prosopagnosia, “a brain disorder that severely limits a person’s ability to recognize and remember faces.” While not particularly socially debilitating, it is a bit awkward to know Clark Kent works at a newspaper where not a single person would recognize their own face if you showed it to them. How this hasn’t interfered with their reporting is nothing short of remarkable.
It was originally supposed to be Fidel Castro in this picture.
In short, we don’t know what’s worse: Having to hypnotize everyone you know, or working at a farm for people with diagnosable facial amnesia. Either way, it sure makes an otherwise tedious job even more awkward for mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent.
Nevermind the awkwardness of routinely getting undressed at the workplace.
4. Your greatest adversary is an insect
There’s a reason why Lex Luthor has endured for so long as one of the greatest villains in history, and it has everything to do with what he’s able to do without a single super-power.
Such as rock male-patterned baldness like a pro.
Think about it: Superman can fly, is invincible, possesses superhuman strength, X-Ray vision, can shoot lasers from his eyes, survive in the vacuum of space, and rewind time. The idea that this guy has any sort of rival, never mind a human one, is nothing short of breath-taking and a credit to our species. It also puts Lex in a position where he just might have more claim to the title of superman than his out-of-town adversary.
Superman is as much a human as this guy was American.
Besides, considering how powerful Superman is, having Lex Luthor as an arch-nemesis must be like if the primary antagonist in your life was a smart-ass kindergartener.
We can’t decide if that would have made a better or worse movie than Kindergarten Cop.
3. You live in a world where everything is super-brittle
Granted it would be nice to occasionally have super-powers, it’s probably a good thing that smacking our monitor doesn’t result in it being accidentally launched into orbit.
All he did was slam the door on his way out.
Yes, Superman appears to have adjusted pretty well to the world around him, but it doesn’t change the fact that he still lives on a planet as brittle as rice paper compared to his strength. High-fives and butt-slaps could end up sending someone you know to the hospital. Hugs? Good luck with that. Holding your girlfriend too hard could end up squeezing her out both ends of her body like a burrito. By the way, on that subject…
2. Say goodbye to living a normal sex-life
Yes, we’re going there, but for good reason: If you had super-powers, wouldn’t you still want to have sex?
Please leave your thoughts in the comments section.
The definitive thesis on the subject of how much it must suck to be Superman in the sack is Larry Niven’s 1971 essay “Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex.” In there, he makes it explicitly clear that Superman’s semen “would emerge with the muzzle velocity of a machine gun bullet.” Also, please note that that refers to ejaculations of any kind, not simply intercourse. This could turn something like masturbation in a potentially fatal affair.
At least that explains the Fortress of Solitude.
But we know what you’re thinking: Surely Superman has enough superhuman strength to prevent his load from making whatever sex-scene he’s in end like something out of Bonnie and Clyde. We’d agree if it wasn’t for the fact that ejaculating is an entirely involuntary function, which brings us to perhaps the single shittiest consequence of being Superman in real life.
1. Fatal bodily functions
What could possible be worse than having to fly to Antarctica to rub one off? How about accidentally destroying the solar system by sneezing, because Superman totally did that one time.
What the hell is that “P” doing in there?
Virtually every single involuntary bodily function on the menu could have potentially fatal results at the hands, legs, and ass of a Superman. Does your leg kick when you sleep? Better make sure you don’t sleep next to a wall, otherwise that’ll be the last anyone sees of your neighbors. Pissing could potentially burn a whole through the planet. Oh, and farting?
Let’s just say that we’d rather get killed by the blast than the smell.
At least that explains what powered his rocket.
Follow Jacopo della Quercia on Twitter!