Yesterday, we debuted Written by a Bot with a listicle naming five ways “The Great One” Brian Bendis made Superman cool again. But our bot had more to say on the subject, so we allowed it to create this follow-up.
In the dog eat dog world of comic book “journalism,” it’s important one keep an eye on what one’s competitors are doing lest one lose the vital edge required to survive in the comics click economy. Salacious rumors, edgy hot takes, and articles about fried chicken sandwiches simply aren’t enough to keep up in today’s comic book journalism, as we’ve noticed some of our competitors appear to be using bots to write listicles. Bleeding Cool is never one to be outdone, so we’ve purchased our own bot, Listiclon 5000, to provide us with an endless supply of clickbait articles without the pesky need for human labor.
This article is…
Five things you didn’t know about Superman are worth knowing about before you head on down to your local comic shop this weekend to check out the recent release of Man of Steel.
Superman is a scientist by trade.
Superman is a scientist by trade. Because the character has been around for 75 years, it’s important to understand the background behind the world’s greatest superhero. Where did he get his powers? When did he get them? How did he become Superman in the first place? From 1960 through the 1980s, Comics legend Alan Moore and legendary artist Dave Gibbons explored these mysteries, told in their seminal series from the ’80s and early ’90s, Watchmen.
Superman was almost replaced by Vibranium.
During that time, Superman became more like a superhero, with his exploits becoming more spectacular. He grew weaker and colder. He suffered the loss of his old powers, and his place in the world was taken by the Vibranium – a substance, first discovered by a Martian scientist named Eros, which allows for super-human strength and durability. Superman’s only humanity disappeared, replaced by an iron-clad will to fight for justice.
Mxysteroids were not the only, or even the primary cause of Superman’s weakening. The technological innovations and other features of the Silver Age began to take a toll on him as well. The daily jetpack, mobile fortress of Zod, Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth – and many more – no longer worked on him.
His youthful indestructibility was no longer his greatest weapon, and the allure of perfection of the Silver Age could only do so much to compensate for the loss of the world’s most powerful man. Unfortunately, Clark didn’t have the luxury of time to suffer as the tradeoffs with his inherent power began to slow down his healing process and the more youthful aspects of his mind began to fade away.
In 1938, Superman was still heralded as the unstoppable icon of the future, but with much of humanity realizing that after suffering the tragic deaths of millions of innocents in World War I, the world was more concerned with the simple question of personal security, the relevance of which was drastically diminished. That same year, Clark Kent was steadily drawing his powers back down as well.
Superman was the first pregnant superhero.
Superman has always been one of the world’s greatest role models, a role model for heroics that literally grows and improves with each new incarnation. In 1938, two years after he first appeared in Action Comics #1, the hero would make his first appearance in an issue of Superman #1. He’d already made his way through a handful of notable comic-book stories, which included the aforementioned “Justice League of America” and his arrival in the pre-New 52 DC Universe.
He’d also helped birth the Superboy, Superman’s cousin, in 1940, a story that would take the Silver Age off the rails when the publisher wanted a debut blockbuster, just like New 52.
Other comic writers were inspired to bring back older stories.
“What we are getting is a renaissance in stuff that hasn’t been done,” Andy Lanning said. “I think that even the people who haven’t done ’50s and ’60s characters, like Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman, they’re starting to get it.”
This means it’s no longer just a thought experiment for talented writers. It’s a material worth exploring.
Only Superman is immune to Kryptonite.
More importantly, though, Superman’s superpower is related to Kryptonite. Of all the known villains of Krypton, only a handful of them were immune to Kryptonite.
What’s so special about Kryptonite?
The cause and cure of Kryptonite poisoning is unknown. It’s possible that it’s all from Krypton’s high levels of radiation. However, the reason why it took so long for Superman to get an immune system to work would probably have to do with his high speed. Moving so fast makes it very hard for a person to get a Kryptonite or other invisible effect (e.g. an anti-corrosive exfoliating compound, a jolt to the stomach).
Superman isn’t a bald ewe.
His hair goes on. We know this for sure because we first learned this fact in 1992’s Superman III, but it wasn’t widely known back then.
At the film’s opening credits, a character in a headscarf with the caption, “This man is a bald ewe. Thank God he’s an ewe,” comes in to tell us about a message passed from a storyteller who lived on Krypton to an anonymous denizen of Earth. In case that’s not a clear enough clue, the character says, “The ewe does not need a wig.”
Speaking of which: a bald ewe can breathe underwater. But that’s hardly something worth buying a lifeboat for.
One of the most important parts of our economy, if you don’t want to devalue the currency, is the animals. If you start taxing us, if you start taxing the animals, then you start making decisions about what you want to do with the environment.
Did you know any of our bot’s facts before reading this article? Let us know in the comments.
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