10 Worst Things Superman Has Ever Done

Those times when comics' greatest hero wasn't all that great.

The Adventures of Superman Annual #3 Maxima
DC Comics

Since making his bow in 1938's Action Comics #1, Superman has forever been positioned as the bright, shining light of comics.

Across over 70 years, the Last Son of Krypton has become a bona fide pop culture icon and is famed for always finding a way to do the right thing in his quests to save the day. While other heroes like to menacingly brood or take an aggressive approach with their methods, Superman has so often been the moral compass as the granny-hugging, baby-kissing good guy. Oh, and he also had an utterly marvellous mullet for a spell in the '90s after returning to action following his purported 'death'.

Still, not even Superman is completely flawless, and the Big Blue Boy Scout has carried out his fair share of boneheaded, illogical, tasteless or outright evil actions over the decades. Here, that's precisely what the spotlight is on, as we take a look at the more questionable decisions of Kal-El's time in the sun.

With that in mind, then, here are ten of the most underhand, brutal or outright villainous things that Superman has done in his extensive history.

10. Paralysing A Football Player - Superman, Gridiron Hero

The Adventures of Superman Annual #3 Maxima
DC Comics

Imagine that you're a young football hopeful looking to make yourself stand out in order to make a better future for you and your family. With the biggest game of your burgeoning career on the horizon, things suddenly take a term for the disturbing when you are purposely paralysed and replaced by a doppelganger.

For Tommy Burke, that's the precise situation he found himself in way back in 1938's Action Comics #4.

A story somewhat questionably titled Superman, Gridiron Hero, this tale had Tommy left paralysed after the Boy Scout infected him with a unique substance. Why would the ever-heroic Last Son of Krypton do such a thing? Well, that was so that he could alter his appearance to look like Tommy and then take his place in the football team.

There was a paper-thin plot in here about a corrupt coach that Superman was trying to bring down, but the bigger take-home point of Gridiron Hero is that Big Blue purposely paralysed an innocent young fella.

If there was some semblance of a silver lining for Tommy Burke, it's that the bunch of touchdowns scored by the disguised Superman during this time led to Burke's ex-girlfriend getting back with him. Although in hindsight, she does sound awfully fickle the more you think about it...

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Contributor

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