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.
Do you know what I would do if I was given the power of flight? Fly places. Awesome places, probably. Carry banners behind me saying cool stuff. Expect to be comped at hotels overseas because I could fly, and people get comped for being good at basketball or acting, so that strikes me as pretty fair.
Do you know what Superman does?
Works at a newspaper.
You would think that would go along with his do-gooder tendencies, but it doesn’t seem to, not really. Superman is never off uncovering terrible corruption in the upper echelons of government He is not particularly good at his job given that he only writes about himself. Superman is gifted with power of flight and essentially uses it to become a lifestyle blogger.
God is his gift ever wasted on him.
The problem with superman is the same problem that exists whenever you watch reruns of Bewitched, which is to say that you want to grab both of the protagonists by the shoulders and shake them back and forth and shout,” stop being so dumb, damn you, stop being so dumb.” Although Samantha still ends up doing cool stuff every episode, so, you know, she seems like a better romantic partner. Superman is someone who could at any second take you off on cool flying jaunts to, I don’t know, the deli (I hate walking) but continually does not do so.
If you have awesome gifts, those are things you should be bringing to your relationships, is what I’m saying.
Though, of course, that hinges upon you know Superman’s identity at all, which you probably don’t. So, in all likelihood, you’re just going to be left dating some guy ho is bad at his job, continually lies to you, and keeps disappearing into a phone booth to try on outrageous outfits. At the very least, I believe each and every one of us can find someone who will try on outrageous outfits in the privacy of their own homes.
Fuck dating Superman. Date people who use their own cool skills to make your lives together more awesome, because you are definitely going to get kidnapped, so you should at least have some fun beforehand. At the very least, date someone who is not always changing their clothes in public, right out in the open.
However, if given the opportunity, definitely date Henry Cavill. He just seems like a pretty cool guy.
And you can still always do your make-up based around Superman.