Superman may be the strongest DC character capable of ruling the entire universe. but he has had his own share of embarrassing moments when he depended on the mercy of others. This list picks out instances from DC comics when the Man of Steel came close to kicking the bucket. Fortunately, he had the help and Mercy of other characters.
WARNING: Contains spoilers from the following- Injustice Gods Among us Vol. 2, Justice League Unlimited animated series, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Vol 1 #4, Superman Annual #11, Justice League 3000 Volume 1 Yesterday Lives and Superman: Red Son.
Alfred Brutally Takes Down Superman By Surprise
In Injustice Gods Among us Vol. 2, Batman is left paralyzed with a broken back after going up against Superman in the bat cave. Surprisingly, the Dark Knight’s butler Alfred Pennyworth comes to the rescue after ingesting a pill that enhances his strength to match the Man of Steel.
The drug gives him the ability to beat the crap out of Man of Steel, leaving the so-called superhero with a bludgeoned nose, knocked out on the floor. If Pennyworth’s conscience was as dark as Superman, the story would have ended with Vol. 2 as newspapers headlines state that the Man of Steel got his rear handed to him by Bruce Wayne’s butler.
Vandal Savage Helps Superman Return Back To His Timeline
An episode titled Hereafter from Justice League Unlimited animated series transported Superman way into the future where mankind and the rest of league seize to exist. As expected, Vandal Savage’s immortality allows him to live on even in the future but alone. Thankfully, the mastermind villain had 30,000 years of time to realize and regret his past mistakes.
Savage eventually goes on and builds a time machine to help Superman return back to his timeline and stop the annihilation of mankind even before it takes place. If Savage thought otherwise, the Man of Steel would have eventually grown old or died fighting giant cockroaches in the future.
Batman Beats Superman To Pulp
In Frank Miller’s Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Vol 1 #4, Superman attempts to bring in Batman and face justice by the American government. Gotham’s vigilante decides not to go down without a fight and wears his Mech Batsuit to battle him in the Crime Alley.
There were moments during the battle when the Dark Knight seemed to be capable of defeating the Man of Steel singlehandedly. But even he knew he would eventually be worn out and broken.
Fortunately, Green Arrow also aids in the nick of time during the fight. Oliver Queen surprises the man in the cape by shooting a synthetic kryptonite Arrow. The dosage was just enough to turn the tide of battle.
The Dark Knight manages to deliver startling blows to bring down Superman to his knees. Rather than put an end to his life, the Gotham superhero gives him a message to remember in his “most private moments” and dies of a heart attack [that’s what it looks like].
If Batman had increased the dosage of Kryptonite he could have killed the Man of Steel. Instead, he decided to show mercy and reminded him to stay out of his way.
Robin Saves Superman From Mongul
In Alan Moore’s Superman Annual #11- For the Man Who Has Everything, Superman goes up against a villain named Mongul in the fortress of solitude. In a battle of life and death, Superman initially has the advantage but gets distracted for a moment allowing Mongul to counter. As he is about to defeat the bruised-up fallen Superman, Robin acts quickly to use a plant called the “Black Mercy” to trap Mongul’s consciousness in a dream world.
Wonder Woman and Batman were also present during the fight but none were capable of bringing down Mongul. If it wasn’t for Robin’s quick thinking, Mongul would have defeated Superman and taken over Earth.
This story was also adapted as an episode in Justice League Unlimited animated series. However, Robin is not in the picture but instead, Batman takes charge and throws the “Black Mercy”
Green Lantern Saves Superman From Falling Down To His Death
In Justice League 3000 Volume 1 Yesterday Lives, Superman and the rest of the league members are resurrected from the dead to fight another battle in the far future. Unfortunately, the genetic re-engineering leaves them with just fragments of their past memories along with missing powers.
The Man of Steel is left without his ability to fly in the comics. In one instance from Justice League 3000 Volume 1 Yesterday Lives, the Man of Steel is ignorant and fails to accept the fact that he cannot fly anymore.
In one instance, the members of Justice League league are being transported by Green Lantern in mid-air at the stratosphere. Superman decides to fly on his own and breaks out of Lantern’s green light only find out he is on his way to a gruesome fall of death.
If it wasn’t for Hal, Superman would have probably been roasted when he hit the atmosphere.
Superman Saved By Wonder Woman Thanks To The Sacrificial Of Her Lasso
In Mark Millar’s Superman: Red Son, Lex Luthor, Batman and KGB head Pyotr (also the man responsible for the death of Bruce Wayne’s parents) capture Wonder Woman and use her as bait to corner the Man of Steel.
Superman falls into their trap as Batman uses a ray that imitates his native sun, zapping away his powers. But before he could put an end to the Man of Steel’s reign- Wonder Woman escapes and rescues him but in the process sacrifices her Lasso and seriously injuries herself.
If Wonder Woman hadn’t valiantly stepped in, risking her life to save the man she was in love with(yeah, its the man in the cape), KGB’s Pyotr, Batman and Lex Luthor would have successfully put an end to Superman.
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