Life on Earth-616: I’m No Superman… Oh Wait, Yes I Am!

Life on Earth-616 is a relatively new series for the Word Salad blog by Derek Berry, inspired by Roy Seeger’s poetry. In these blogs, Derek considers life as a superhero. Earth-616 is a reference to the version of Earth that exists in the Marvel Universe. Though Superman is not part of the Marvel canon nor is he as obscure as the comic book characters Roy writes about, here is a little perspective on his life.

Being superman may seem easy, but it’s not. I’m sure Superman has plenty of his own problems just like a normal human though of course he’s anything but “a normal human.”

For one thing, he’s basically invincible. He can also toss automobiles around like paper airplanes. Bullets ricochet off of his chest. This man is faster than a speeding train. Not just a normal train, but a speeding train. Sure, he’s also an alien whose real parents and entire species died, but how boring would that life be? To live on a world where everyone was insanely powerful and everyone could X-ray through everyone else’s clothes. Worse privacy issues than Facebook. Sure, he’s got a sob story, but really it just placed him in a world where he is the most powerful thing ever.

He is even faster than The Flash, which is sad, considering that The Flash’s only super power is to be the fastest at everything, yet even Superman excels at that.

Let’s be real. Superman has a pretty easy time on Earth, despite the onslaught of attempted evil takeovers by villains. Those are just his weekend workouts between week days writing for the Daily Planet. I suppose the only tragic thing about his life is his low-paying job as a journalist, not that he needs to even eat real human food to survive. There’s only one thing to kill him. One: kryptonite.

What? Lex Luthor has a master plan to FINALLY defeat Superman? Does it have anything to do with kryptonite? BINGO! So if Superman just destroys all of that single mineral, he would be invincible, right? That’s not even close to fair. He can survive in space, and to top it off, he doesn’t ever get recognized. Clark Kent doesn’t even bother to wear a mask, just glasses. Know why?

Superman is awesome. Everyone thinks so.

Sure, he’s the most cliche superhero ever to live with far too many powers to take seriously, but if he were a real superhero, how great would that be? He’s nigh unstoppable. So what if people recognize him? He may lose his personal life but gains fame, riches, and the eternal love of Lois Lane. Pretty great trade in for a cape, spandex, and red underwear.

So, perhaps that is Superman’s one flaw: perfection. He must live up to this amazing image of a man who cannot make mistakes, who cannot defeated, and who cannot succumb to evil. He is everything good about America and humanity. What man could possibly live up to those standards? Perhaps it is not so easy being Superman. Who else would have such integrity, to be unstoppable, have the ability to turn back time by flying around the world really fast, and be incredibly be handsome yet not want to take over the world?

Besides, because he wears his costume under his normal clothes, that cape must get pretty bunched up.

What do you think about Superman? Can we as a society even learn anything from his character or will he serve merely as “the perfect superhero?” Perhaps we will get our answer when Man of Steel is released in 2013, a fresh take on the Superman origin which will hopefully not commit the same boring atrocities as the rest of Superman film adaptations.

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About Derek Berry

Derek Berry is a novelist and spoken word poet. Derek is the author of Heathens and Liars of Lickskillet County (PRA Publishing, 2016). He co-founded and organizes The Unspoken Word, a literary non-profit based out of Charleston, SC, which provides an intendent home for the poetic arts through regular readings, workshops, and community fundraisers. He is on the Executive Board of the Charleston Poetry Festival, the inaugural production of which will be Fall 2017. His work has appeared in The Southern Tablet, Cattywampus, Charleston Currents, Illuminations, RiverSedge, and other journals.He has performed in venues across the United States and Germany. He has worked as a photographer’s assistant, busboy, and bookseller. He currently works at a curation facility for Cold War History.

Posted on April 9, 2012, in books, Characters, Random, Video Games, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. sanclementejedi

    My favorite Superman story is the Frank Miller The Dark Knight series from 1986. Superman is pretty much an unwilling tool for the govt. at that point and is killed by Batman and the Green Arrow…… or was he…..

    Anyhow enjoyed checking out your blog, came over her via a reccomendation from Rae @ cuttingedgecreativity

    • Hey, thanks! Yes, I’ve heard of “The Dark Knight” series, but I’ve just got into graphic novels. I used to read comics way back in the day as a kid but did not keep up too well with all the story lines. Now, I appreciate them a lot more, so I will check out this series. Thanks!

      • sanclementejedi

        You should check it out if you get the chance, its pretty dark,
        check out our film blog at 3guys1movie.com if you get a chance

  2. Obviously the writer of this article doesn’t like the character of Superman.

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