Tag Archives: war

Superman 1.64: Human History, and How to Not Interfere With It, part 2

I was talking yesterday about human history, and so far I’m only up to World War II, so I’m afraid there’s quite a bit left.

In Superman: The Movie, Jor-El tells Superman that he must not interfere with human history, which may have seemed like a good idea in the abstract but is pretty hard to achieve, especially for a guy who can fly and blow things up with his eyes. That kind of thing tends to make a noticeable dent in the arc of history, one way or another.

Superman first encountered this problem just a few years after he was created, when everybody expected him to go and fight on the front lines of World War II, which — given the inherently unstoppable nature of his character — would have led to a limited set of story options.

As we saw in the excerpts from WW2-era Superman comics yesterday, the common American understanding of the war was that there were three or four bad people in the world — Hitler, Mussolini, Hirohito and maybe Stalin — and if we could apprehend those individuals and bring them to an international tribunal for justice, the war would be over and everything would be fine. It was basically a battle with a handful of powerful supervillains, and that kind of thing is right up Superman’s street; he could just leap over to Europe and head east, collecting dictators as he went along.

So let’s say that Superman gets his hands on Hitler, and serves him a hot slice of comeuppance. Then what?

Continue reading Superman 1.64: Human History, and How to Not Interfere With It, part 2

Superman 1.63: Human History, and How to Not Interfere With It

Now, I thought Superman said that flying was the safest way to travel, but here we are six minutes later, and Air Force One is approaching Metropolis International one engine short. And it was the best one, too; this is the one where if you lose it, everybody just gives up and doesn’t want to fly in an airplane anymore.

Continue reading Superman 1.63: Human History, and How to Not Interfere With It