I’m not one of those women who arbitrarily believe that superheroes make bad boyfriends. I am the opposite of those women. I am entirely open to the idea of dating a superhero. Tony Stark, for instance, seems like great boyfriend material as indicated by the fact that every Iron Man movie appears to be a charming domestic drama with additional explosions.
I’d probably date Batman because I’m easily won over b y anyone with a cool car (though the equivalent in new York may be being easily won over by anyone who regularly hails taxis). I could pretty easily withstand all the being kidnapped and death threats in exchange for “cool cars” and “Robert Downey Jr., apparently.” But you know who would suck as a boyfriend? Superman.
Maybe because he just sucks as a person.
Look, I don’t think the new movie is terrible, and I want to make it clear that I am separating Superman from Henry Cavill, who is a very handsome man who took his shirt off a lot in The Tudors and should be commended for that. But Superman can’t help but be the most boring of superheroes. That is because he is is not like you and I.
And not in a Hemingway retort way in that “he has more money.” That is only true of Batman.
Superman doesn’t just suffer by virtue of the fact that his only vulnerability is kryptonite. He suffers by virtue of the fact that he has superpowers and does absolutely nothing fun with them because he’s a morally superior alien.
Look, the fact that he is morally superior to everyone is problematic in itself. Dating super-do gooders always seems tough, partly because sometimes it’s fun to talk about jerks, partly for practical reasons. For instance, I believe Cory Booker would be incapable of making dinner and not donating it to a homeless shelter, and that always stymies the fictional relationship he and I have in my head.
But Superman is worse because he does not even use his cool powers to do anything that’s fun. He’s the opposite of Iron Man in that he seems to have accepted all of the responsibilities that come with a superpower and none of the awesomeness. Even Spiderman, another superhero who sucks, gets to at least kiss people while hanging upside down.