On Superman

The Mirror of Gilgamesh

The Foe Superman Fears the Most and the Ally He Can't Do Without

By John G. Hemry

You’re Superman. Think about that. Think about being the biggest dog among all the superhero big dogs. Maybe not quite the strongest, but incredibly strong. Almost impossible to hurt or kill, and possessing assorted extra powers that you can roll out like a super Swiss Army knife when the need arises. Need heat vision? Got it. Need to see through things? Got it. Need to fly? Got it.

Maybe you’re not unbeatable. There are a few vulnerabilities; take that pain-in-the-neck Kryptonite, for instance. And supervillains keep coming up with new ways to knock you down.

But you always get up again. You always win. You never lose.

Most importantly, though, you wake up every morning knowing you can do anything you want to do.

What are you afraid of? More to the point, who are you afraid of? Not just worried about. Not just some supervillain you can rout again like you’ve done a dozen times already. Who scares you? Who can really endanger you and everything you care about? Is there anybody like that?

And, if you’re that super in every sense of the word, who do you need? Do you need anybody? Friends are nice. Allies are nice. But do you really need any of them? Superman doesn’t have a sidekick, after all.

It’s true that Superman isn’t impossible to kill and isn’t impossible to defeat, but he’s as close as anyone mortal comes to either of those things. We average people may spend our lives worrying about accidents or blows of fate, but  …

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