• Mon, Jun 17 - 11:00 am ET

Superman Would Be The Worst Boyfriend

henry cavill

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.

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  • Sean

    Superman has nearly limitless power. With absolute power comes absolute responsibility.

    (Yes, fellow hardcore nerds, I’m crossing universes with that quote. I don’t care.)

  • Allison Ruork

    Couldn’t agree more. Superman is never interesting, even in the comics. The only exception is when he’s going crazy and becoming dictator of the Earth because his morals are better than everybody’s. Even then, especially then, not a good boyfriend.

  • Lisa H.

    I dated a guy who is bent on helping every single person who asked him, and he knows a shit-ton of people who need help. He works helping the disabled and also lives in bohemian/punk commune. He’s a doll, a beatific Jesus-esque doll (and maybe I still love him; I probably do). I can tell you that being the hero’s girlfriend (or one of the girls the hero is dating) is not fun. You are always low on the priority list. Then he’s always in jams, like paying a $500 ticket because he lent his car to some dude he barely knows.

  • Luth

    Perhaps you haven’t seen or read enough Superman. He often flies Lois Lane off to cool places, brings her exotic gifts and uses his powers to do all the housework in a matter of seconds.

    As Clark Kent he is also a very good reporter. He does investigate corruption and crime at all levels. But obviously, because he is also Superman, he often gets involved and thus becomes part of the story. Not to mention the fact that the main reason he is a reporter is so that he can do those kinds of investigations, in order to be a better Superman.

    It’s also worth noting that Superman has several exploitable weaknesses, not just Kryptonite. In fact, in this recent movie it demonstrates one of them and doesn’t features Kryptonite, at all.

    Whether or not Superman would be a bad boyfriend, is one thing, but the reasons given in the article don’t actually reflect the reality of how he is depicted in his various media.

  • Damola Afonja O

    I absolutely agree with Luth. He does so many cool stuff with his powers. Wch of the other superheroes listed can shag in the air?( I hope i am not out of place here, but the article presents Sups as completely boring. Shagging in d air can be…. well, only Lois wud know, cos she experienced it, and likes it. saw that in an episode)