Super-WTF? Five Lamest Superman Powers

Superman reaches no. 700 of his self-titled series this week, and this issue begins the epic, blockbuster story line that sends Superman ... walking across the country

You might think super-cross-country-strolling is the lamest power the Man of Steel has ever exhibited, but you'd be wrong. Superman has a long, illustrious history of showcasing some weak skills, slapping a "super" in front of it, and trying to pass it off as a spectacular power that only a visitor from another planet could possess. 

Thanks to years of reading comic books, I have a mental record of the stupidest powers I've ever seen Superman use. Here's my list of his five lamest.

1. Super-hypnotism
Super-WTF? Five Lamest Superman Powers
Curt Swan and Frank Chiaramonte/DC Comics

2. Super-ventriloquism 
Super-WTF? Five Lamest Superman Powers
Curt Swan and George Klein/DC Comics

You'd think a power like super-ventriloquism would be such a bizarre ability that writers would only think of using it once, maybe twice. And if you think that, that's why you never wrote a Superman comic in the Silver Age, because super-ventriloquism was that era's heat vision. Need to distract Lois Lane to keep your secret identity? Super-ventriloquism. Need to communicate with your dog, Krypto (like in these panels from Superman #165)? Use super-ventriloquism. Want to upstage Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy? You got it, super-ventriloquism. Like super-hypnotism, super-ventriloquism was a power that even as a kid I couldn't buy. Largely because I spent hours practicing non-super-ventriloquism, and I couldn't throw my voice across the room, let alone call my dog.

3. Super-amnesia kiss
Super-WTF? Five Lamest Superman Powers
Warner Bros.

4. Shooting a midget Superman from his palms
Super-WTF? Five Lamest Superman Powers
Wayne Boring and Stan Kaye/DC Comics

Super-WTF? Five Lamest Superman Powers
Doug Mahnke/DC Comics

Super-WTF? Five Lamest Superman Powers

Granted, this is a fan-created piece of art, so I don't know if Superman got Batman pregnant or if Batman artificially inseminated himself. Given the loving look Superman has, I'm guessing he figured out a way to use his heat vision to surgically carve out a womb inside Batman and super-charge his testicles with yellow sun radiation so that they would produce super-sperm that could interact with Batman's sperm in order to create the very first totally male-conceived human-Kryptonian hybrid. So why is that on the lame-powers list? Well, I would hope that Superman and Batman would be more socially conscious and consider becoming adoptive parents.

Other comics to check out this week

  • Air #22 This unusual series will be ending with #24, but it's still worth checking out. If you like this series by G. Willow Wilson and M.K. Perker, check out the collected editions, and be thankful Vertigo took a chance on it.
  • Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #3 Hey, Grant Morrison pops up again, and this time he's sending Bruce Wayne through time in order to get him to the present. If you like your Batman urban and gritty, this might not be your cup of tea. But if you want to see Bruce Wayne dress up as a bat pirate, pick this up.
  • Garth Ennis' Battlefields: Motherland (1 of 3) #7 Although he's widely know for his work on Preacher, Ennis really shines when he's writing war stories. This issue begins the sequel to his acclaimed The Night Witches, which looked at female Soviet fighter pilots in World War II.

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