When Superman first appeared in Action Comics #1 in 1938, he stood for truth, justice, and the American Way. From that early era to the present, he has become an indelible symbol of freedom for people all over the world, not just those that reside in the good ol’ US of A. From his blue uniform, to the red cape and “S” on his chest, he’s one of the most recognizable DC characters and one of the most beloved superheroes of all time.
Krypton’s last surviving son has made a name for himself protecting the fictitious city of Metropolis, harnessing the energy from Earth’s yellow sun to fight the forces of darkness wherever they appear. Being around for decades means there’s times when his character or story arc doesn’t make any sense, and just because he’s Superman, doesn’t mean he hasn’t been the butt of a few memes. Below you’ll find 10 Superman logic memes that even the Big Blue Boy Scout could laugh at.
10 Between a green rock and a hard place
Superman is one of the most powerful superheroes in the DC Universe. He was created to be a symbol of enduring strength, completely infallible (unlike humankind), and indestructible. He would be used as a template for superheroes of the era, with even the brooding Batman beginning as a Superman clone.
But following all-powerful superheroes gets boring if there’s no sense of risk or high stakes, and even superheroes have their Achilles heel. Kyptonite was introduced to be Superman’s, a green rock (a piece from the destroyed planet of Krypton) that interferes with his ability to absorb energy from Earth’s yellow sun. Apparently the only thing that can stop him is radiation poisoning.
9 To see or not to see
There are two sorts of superheroes: those that have to disguise their true identity (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman), and those that don’t (Iron Man, Spider-Man, etc). If a superhero has to disguise their true identity, they tend to pick a disguise or a superhero outfit that requires some modification so that regular citizens and supervillains can’t connect them with their superhero form (Batman using a vocal modifier and a mask, for instance).
Superman doesn’t wear a mask, and the only physical modification he makes to his alter-ego Clark Kent a pair of reading glasses. While the glasses have been identified as Kryptonian tech that augments his hypnosis powers to influence those around him, his sheer size, the shape of his face, and his voice should still give him away.
8 Injustice logic
The popular game Injustice: Gods Among Us posited an alternate universe where Superman had become a tyrant after the Joker manipulated him into destroying Metropolis and killing Lois Lane. An alternate Batman with the Justice League from another universe led a resistance to stop his dictatorship from spreading to the rest of the world.
Given how Superman grew up (with a loving family and a positive opinion of humanity), it was ironic that Batman would be the one to lead a Resistance against him, considering Batman grew up orphaned, with an increasingly jaded opinion of humankind. The role reversal made for dynamic gameplay and exciting storylines.
7 What’s in a mask?
Over the years, Superman has had a lot of inconsistencies in his character. It happens when a character has been around for decades, with new writers altering their archetype to fit with changing times. Sometimes it affects Superman’s abilities, with audiences wanting to see him as more fallible, or even more relatable, than other audiences in different eras.
One of the most baffling examples of this is in the Justice League animated series, when he inexplicably wears a breathing mask underwater (and Green Lantern doesn’t) even though he can hold his breathe indefinitely. There have been examples of him wearing a seemingly arbitrary helmet in space, but that was to communicate with Green Lantern since sound can’t travel there.
6 It’s getting hot in here
Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice was based off of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns storyline, where Batman and Superman participate in a fight to the death. Batman suits up in Kryptonite armor to destroy a Superman he felt would one day go rogue and inflict his cosmic powers on an unsuspecting female population.
There are several instances during the fight where Superman inexplicably fails to use his powers to overtake Batman. This is because Kryptonite is making him too weak, but there are moments where he could have used super speed to get far enough away from it to use heat vision from a distance. But Miller decided that a) Batman must win at all costs, and b) that wouldn’t destroy it, but instead only melt it and create more radiation.
5 More powerful than a locomotive
Superman can do everything from rescue a kitten from a tree to alter the fabric of space and time. There’s a reason why he’s said to be “more powerful than a locomotive”, “faster than a speeding bullet”, and able to “jump tall buildings in a single bound”. The energy he acquires from Earth’s sun also gives him unimaginable strength, which he’s used to perform miraculous feats like stopping a speeding train from hitting a kid.
In this split second decision, it’s odd to consider that Superman would risk destroying the train, and possibly harming its passengers or crew, rather than simply scooping the child up at the last moment and, using super speed, get him to safety well before the train hit him.
4 Kissing counts
When Superman encountered the only other survivor of Krypton’s destruction, he was appropriately happy. He assumed the role of mentor/big brother to Kara Zor-El, who turned out to be the daughter of his father’s brother. While Kara “technically” died in Crisis On Infinite Earths and a new “Supergirl” (Linda Danvers) took her place, the duo’s familial relationship has remained in tact.
However, certain writers have altered their relationship over time to be somewhat suggestive. In fact, when Kara was revealed to be Linda in disguise, that didn’t stop Superman from falling for her. He knew she wasn’t his real cousin, but he let her think he was oblivious, making his advances all the more inappropriate.
3 If I could turn back time
While Superman (1978) is arguably one of the most beloved superhero film of all time, it did present some logical fallacies that undermine Superman’s intellect. Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman) has gotten a hold of nuclear missiles from the United States military, aiming one at the San Andreas Fault. When he launches it, he sends massive earthquakes all over California.
Superman isn’t able to prevent it, and so can only deal with the fallout. Or can he? When Lois’s car gets caught in a crevice from the aftershocks and she’s buried alive, he reverses the Earth’s rotation and turns back time long enough to prevent her from dying. Yet he couldn’t go back a little earlier to prevent the missile launch?
2 A little help here?
Superman spends the majority of his time protecting Metropolis, as well as turning his attention to world-ending concerns. It’s generally thought that this is where his focus should be directed, considering that he’s one of the only beings capable of addressing catastrophic events of that magnitude.
An aspect of helping to “save the world” that doesn’t get addressed as much is Superman’s rare assistance in research and development. He has the ability to survive in space as well as in the deepest parts of the ocean, unassisted by multi-million dollar pieces of apparatus, and could be sharing rare insights with humanity but chooses not to.
1 Instant besties
When Batman debuted in 1939, he was modeled very much after the already popular Superman. His origin story didn’t yet include being orphaned as a young boy, or seeing his parents killed in front of him. He was all smiles and positivism, and it would be decades before he became the dark vigilante we’ve grown accustomed to.
In Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, Superman and Batman are very much enemies, ready to duke it out all over Gotham City. Right when Batman has the upper hand on Superman with a Kryptonite spear, it’s revealed that he and Superman’s mother share the same first name (Martha), which means they immediately stop punching each other and become allies.
NEXT: 10 DC TV Logic Memes That Are Too Hilarious For Words