Is superman really a Mary Sue?

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I know many gamers are comic fans so I figured why not bring this up on a game forum? So, what are everyone's thoughts on this?

Is Superman a Mary Sue? Personally I am a fan of this character ever since Linkara completely sold me on the character, but still, does he really have any character flaws? Does he have any physical flaws? If no, why doesn't it seem to matter?

IIRC, he was originally conceived as such, yes.

However, he has been written by lots of different authors with their own take on him, so there's no one answer to the question. Mostly, I find he is done in a boring fashion, but that's just me/the authors I've read.

(Also, Mary Sue...that's a term that's getting over-used, to mean anyone unusually competent, though moreso with female characters)

thaluikhain:

(Also, Mary Sue...that's a term that's getting over-used, to mean anyone unusually competent, though moreso with female characters)

image

It seems like every time a female character is cool, competent and confident, she's called a Mary Sue.

Now, Superman? Nope. He's got hurdels even he can't overcome, and morally speaking, yeah, he's morally flawless, but that's kind of the point. He's a messianic figure.

Course it's overused, but that kinda makes it fun. I'm a writer and my own female characters have been called Mary Sues.

Course one of my female characters spends most of her time as a male character and forced Satan himself to bow on his face in front of her. I'm gonna guess I won't find too many people calling the Lord/Mistress of chaos a Mary Sue.

thaluikhain:
IIRC, he was originally conceived as such, yes.

I don't know that I'd agree with that. Way back in his origins, he wasn't nearly as super as he is now (no flying, only really good at jumping, for example), but in the middle stretch of the Golden Age, artists were practically climbing over each other to give him some new gimmicky superpower (like super-ventriloquism, or super-face-mushing, or super-whatever-the-hell-this-is). Then the simple act of story progression took its toll on a character that had endured for decades- every menace had to be bigger and more menacing than the last- until Superman basically became a colorful deus ex machina whose only weakness was the inability to be in more than one place at a time.

Queen Michael:

It seems like every time a female character is cool, competent and confident, she's called a Mary Sue.

Actually, every time a female character exists there's going to be smartass to call her "Mary Sue".

But the thing is, "Mary Sue" allegedly means a character without flaws (or at least without relevant flaws), yes? I mean, Jesus was one of the earliest Mary Sues and all.

Vegosiux:

Queen Michael:

It seems like every time a female character is cool, competent and confident, she's called a Mary Sue.

Actually, every time a female character exists there's going to be smartass to call her "Mary Sue".

But the thing is, "Mary Sue" allegedly means a character without flaws (or at least without relevant flaws), yes? I mean, Jesus was one of the earliest Mary Sues and all.

Hm... I'm not sure. I'd say that in my mind, a character isn't really a Mary Sue unless she fullfills these requirements:

1. The creator regards her as having no relevant flaws.

2. She's created to be a wishfullfillment fantasy for the creator, and not the readers.

3. Her competence doesn't make any sense. (Say,mastering swordfighting in five minutes just because she's so frickin' awesome.)

Torkuda:
I know many gamers are comic fans so I figured why not bring this up on a game forum? So, what are everyone's thoughts on this?

Is Superman a Mary Sue? Personally I am a fan of this character ever since Linkara completely sold me on the character, but still, does he really have any character flaws? Does he have any physical flaws? If no, why doesn't it seem to matter?

He's the most powerful being on the planet.

Now we've all felt it, just living and being a part of human the condition. The frustration of our day to day lives. How many of us daydream of robbing a bank, or what we could do if we decided to take over the world?

Well Superman? He could actually do that shit. He could take over the planet just as easy as he saves it.

That's Superman's burden. That's his struggle. He has to constantly hold back.

Well let me throw my own character Jessica through that, who's been called a Mary Sue more than once.

1. The creator regards her as having no relevant flaws.
Compulsive, naive, has serious abandonment issues

2. She's created to be a wishfullfillment fantasy for the creator, and not the readers.
I don't think Jessica's life is a wish fulfillment for anyone. She'd be great to have around because she developed a great sense of humor as a coping mechanism afterwards, but the whole, being kept in isolation for several decades, would kinda suck I think. Also, she's a girl, I'm a guy, I don't want to be a girl.

3. Her competence doesn't make any sense. (Say,mastering swordfighting in five minutes just because she's so frickin' awesome.)
Actually Jessica has a hard time in most fights and is easily over powered, despite having significant powers of her own. Most of the series she stars in, is about her and her friend Kyle, fighting for what they believe in, while often and ultimately having to face their own very real limitations.

Superman:

1. The creator regards her as having no relevant flaws.
He has none.

2. She's created to be a wishfullfillment fantasy for the creator, and not the readers.
Well I guess superman passes that. Maybe that's what makes him so popular, he is everyone's fantasy, and technically speaking, we all fantasize about having no flaws.

3. Her competence doesn't make any sense. (Say,mastering swordfighting in five minutes just because she's so frickin' awesome.)
Superman has endless knowledge, powers and training. After a while... well just watch Superman and Goku's episode on DeathBattle, you'll see what I mean.

Yeah he probably is a Mary Sue. But he was also designed to be that way. DC loves their perfect and aspirational God Characters. Personally i find superman a boring character, there isn't much room for upwards self-improvement, for superman he already is the best/perfect, he can only go down.

And while he has crashed in some incarnations. The most recent being Injustice, which boils down too, Joker kills girlfriend and city(i think). Joker is criminal, therefore superman must rule the world? Dafuq. So he turns into a global Judge Dredd (I think he kills others in that arc/game?)? Instead of superman kills criminals and hunts down and destroys nukes/bio/chem weapons which cause the destruction which would be more believable. (it's probably my Marvel bias since DC comics tend to irk me for some reason).

My point is perfect characters sux heh.

Torkuda:
I know many gamers are comic fans so I figured why not bring this up on a game forum? So, what are everyone's thoughts on this?

Is Superman a Mary Sue? Personally I am a fan of this character ever since Linkara completely sold me on the character, but still, does he really have any character flaws? Does he have any physical flaws? If no, why doesn't it seem to matter?

Of course he is a Mary Sue! He managed to turn back time by reversing the spin of the Earth because his love interest died. If this is not an act of some ridiculous Marysueing, I don't know what is. It doesn't appear to matter because he's a man-Mary Sue, obviously. But it does matter: in the last Superman movie the Superman himself is bland and unremarkable despite all the angst and brooding, so he turns into foil for General Zod. It's almost the same with Thor and Loki.

derprimus:
Of course he is a Mary Sue! He managed to turn back time by reversing the spin of the Earth because his love interest died. If this is not an act of some ridiculous Marysueing, I don't know what is. It doesn't appear to matter because he's a man-Mary Sue, obviously.

Apparently some people interpret that scene as him orbiting faster than the speed of light, and thus traveling back in time.

(Personally, I'd not call it Mary Sue-ing otherwise, that bit is too absurd to be conveniently labelled)

Funny this topic should be brought up here only a day or so after I watched a video on this very subject.

Just as a heads up, it's a brony video, so the usual "don't watch if you can't stand ponies/brony OC's" caveat applies. However, the middle part of the video that discusses Superman is quite good regardless. I've taken the liberty of only selecting the relevant part of the video (the last part kind of falls apart anyway because he starts talking about some Harry Potter fanfic character that I've never heard of):


Personally, I think it all depends on how Superman is depicted by the writer. My favorite incarnation of Superman is in the DC Animated Universe a la Superman: TAS and the Justice League/Justice League Unlimited cartoons where they scaled his powers back. He's still incredibly powerful, but not to the ridiculous degree that the comics have made him out to be. I like my superheroes to be at least somewhat plausible, and I just can't do that if the superhero in question is capable of flying faster than the speed of light and punching reality apart.

As for his character, he represents an ideal for the audience to be inspired by. However, just because he's an ideal doesn't necessarily mean he's THE ideal. You can present a compelling argument that Superman's strict moral compass and naivety have bit him in the ass on several occasions.

It's for these reasons that I don't consider Superman to be a "Mary Sue" (or "Marty Stu" if you prefer).

thaluikhain:
Apparently some people interpret that scene as him orbiting faster than the speed of light, and thus traveling back in time.

(Personally, I'd not call it Mary Sue-ing otherwise, that bit is too absurd to be conveniently labelled)

But he made a several spins in the "right" direction (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjgsnWtBQm0&feature=player_detailpage#t=102) after he supposedly traveled back in time/reversed time, so it'll make more sense if he reversed the time on Earth and "restarted" it. Or it won't make sense. He's just a superalien/godlike creature who wants to be a humble farmer, and his only flaw is that he sometimes wears underwear over his legging.

Not really, Superman is powerful, but his various incarnations run the power and ability gamut so widely you would have to ask, "which Superman?". Are we talking about old action comics superman who was powerful, but couldn't even fly, and wasn't anywhere near city destroying levels? Are we talking about golden age Superman, whose powers consisted of pretty much anything you could stick the word super in front of, where we got things like super ventriloquism and super knitting powers (yes those were real super powers that he calls out by name)? Are we talking about the Silver age Superman, a god among mortals, but still regularly got his ass handed to him by mid to high level magic users? Or are we talking about modern Superman, whose lost a lot of his power, and in the new 52 books, gets taken out by a Wonder woman B team villain like cheetah (again this actually happened in the new Justice league books)?

Actually, you know what? Scratch all of that, because Mary Sue is a stupid overused term that people like to tack on to any powerful character they don't like. The term is basically meaningless at this point, people throw it around as a criticism without actually explaining why they think the character is bad, just "he/she's a Mary sue" and we are supposed to just accept that as scathing condemnation.

With Superman it's a meaningless label, he's written so differently by so many authors, that it's impossible to apply a vague simplistic label to him like that. Even in the context of the DC universe, Superman regularly gets smacked down or defeated by a whole bevy of cosmic powers and magic users. Calling him a Mary Sue tells us nothing, there are plenty of things wrong with various Superman series that have nothing to do with how powerful the guy is.

There's a reason that the term Mary Sue got started in fanfiction. It was to originally refer to a wish fulfillment character that sidelined the story away from the canon characters, and warped the established canon to make the author's own original character look more special. If we start extrapolating that out to canon and professional works, then the term loses a lot of its meaning and just becomes a synonym for whatever someone doesn't like about a character. People will call Mary Sue because a character dared to fall in love with the protagonist, or just because they are powerful to some extent, even if they regularly fight villains and challenges just as powerful.

Leave the word Mary Sue in fanfiction where it belongs, there are plenty of critiques you can make about Superman without dragging up a stupid term that has no official definition. It just poisons the arguement and changes it from. "is this a good/entertaining character?" to "Is this character a Mary Sue? What is a Mary Sue?" basically once the word Mary Sue gets used, the entire conversation derails, because everybody is using their own definition of what exactly a Mary Sue is.

Look at Superman and his abilities. Now look at the people he fights all the time. Not only are they just as extreme they have beaten him a multitude of times. Some are humans who just happen to know his weakness, others are galactic threats with the ability to murder anyone on Earth. So I say no, because even with all his powers he is in fact not the strongest person around. Hell, he actually stated how he is afraid to fight the Martian Manhunter who has his exact same powerset, plus shape-shifting and mental powers. A sue would never mention that.

The problem with American Superheroes is that they are so many people writing them you get a lot of different interpretations.

Some people write Superman Mary Sueish, some give him actual depth, some don't even write him as a character but some kind of prop that solves the problems the writer can't think of solving properly.

I personally think Batman gets written more like a Mary-Sue, but I'm more familiar with Batman-comics (and read them for the villains and the supporting cast), so that might be my bias.

The Rogue Wolf:
Way back in his origins, he wasn't nearly as super as he is now (no flying, only really good at jumping, for example), but in the middle stretch of the Golden Age, artists were practically climbing over each other to give him some new gimmicky superpower (like super-ventriloquism, or super-face-mushing, or super-whatever-the-hell-this-is). .

That story is actually a brilliant deconstruction of his character and how he feels defined by his powers, and when he loses it he can't cope.

He feels he has no identity, so he fears a mindless doll of him he shoots from his fingers can take his place.

http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2013/02/17/i-love-ya-but-youre-strange-that-time-superman-gained-the-ability-to-shoot-mini-supermen-out-of-his-hands/

EternallyBored:

There's a reason that the term Mary Sue got started in fanfiction. It was to originally refer to a wish fulfillment character that sidelined the story away from the canon characters, and warped the established canon to make the author's own original character look more special. If we start extrapolating that out to canon and professional works, then the term loses a lot of its meaning and just becomes a synonym for whatever someone doesn't like about a character. People will call Mary Sue because a character dared to fall in love with the protagonist, or just because they are powerful to some extent, even if they regularly fight villains and challenges just as powerful.

Leave the word Mary Sue in fanfiction where it belongs, there are plenty of critiques you can make about Superman without dragging up a stupid term that has no official definition. It just poisons the arguement and changes it from. "is this a good/entertaining character?" to "Is this character a Mary Sue? What is a Mary Sue?" basically once the word Mary Sue gets used, the entire conversation derails, because everybody is using their own definition of what exactly a Mary Sue is.

I have to agree with you, since Superman isn't a fanfiction 'original' character, the term Mary Sue cannot be used to describe him.

Even then, Superman himself has gone through so many different writers and redesigns that qualifying him as being anything is really hard unless you are using the broadest of generalisations. He has been so powerful he has destroyed galaxies with a single sneeze, and so weak a regular boxer managed to floor him in a single punch
To try and define these characters that have been changing for 50+ years is pretty much impossible.

Torkuda:
I know many gamers are comic fans so I figured why not bring this up on a game forum? So, what are everyone's thoughts on this?

Is Superman a Mary Sue? Personally I am a fan of this character ever since Linkara completely sold me on the character, but still, does he really have any character flaws? Does he have any physical flaws? If no, why doesn't it seem to matter?

That's... not exactly what a "Mary Sue" is. A Mary Sue is an author-insert character, designed to represent themselves as better than they are in real life. To my knowledge, the creator of Superman shares no characteristics at all with the character (not even his immigrant origins), so he is, by definition, not a Mary Sue. Of course, strictly by that definition, pretty much any heroic or "better-than-average-in-any-way" character could be a Mary Sue.

Superman was created to tell the story of an American immigrant and show some challenges someone like that might face, regardless and in spite of how otherwise perfect he/she is. He illustrates the folly of racism and nationalism, characterizing himself as a literal "illegal alien", as well as the then social stigma of adopted children. He simultaneously shows that, even among a race of "gods", there is room to improve, and that someone with a good, stable upbringing has no limits, regardless of his/her origins. In doing so, Superman becomes the ultimate "ultimate", the highest possible ideal. Naturally, a character created to be perfect in every way, when adopted by new authors, may become an author-insert if the author identifies personally enough with the character. (Why not? they do it for Batman all the time, and look at how flawed he is.)

Not really no

First of all, he is not a fan fiction insert, so if he did apply, it would be under the label "canon sue". Not nearly as catchy, I know, but still.

Secondly, both Mary Sues and Canon Sues are mainly characterized by an unreasonable level of competence at everything they put their hand to, and being the center of the spotlight for everything they're involved in. Superman may seem to fit this at first, but him being extremely competent at what he does makes sense within the lore of the fiction he is in. Thanks to what he is, the term omnipotence is not all that inappropriate. He is also not always in the spotlight. Now, the lore giving him these abilities happens to be utter bunk, but that is a different gripe.

Just watch this shit. It specifically uses superman as an example.

Basically, a character is only a mary sue if the world around them doesn't challenge them in any way. Superman's idealism is constantly being challenged by, well, reality.

Doesn't mean we can't call him overpowered as hell though.

Superman isn't a Mary Sue, but he is (originally) an idealization. He was something for young, jewish boys to aspire to. Be as good you can, and show America how much we have to offer, and help to bring us to a better tomorrow!

That's why it's always bugged me when they jam Christ imagery into the films (It was almost painful in Man of Steel). He's not meant to be Jesus; he's meant to be Moses.

I'd say he is, yes, and I say that as a Superman fan.

He's been put to very interesting use, though, and that's much more important. He's been used to tell some very interesting stories, and ones that are nothing to do with his Mary Sueishness.

Mcoffey:
Superman isn't a Mary Sue, but he is (originally) an idealization. He was something for young, jewish boys to aspire to. Be as good you can, and show America how much we have to offer, and help to bring us to a better tomorrow!

That's why it's always bugged me when they jam Christ imagery into the films (It was almost painful in Man of Steel). He's not meant to be Jesus; he's meant to be Moses.

If you're joking on that, it's kinda flat. If your serious... I kinda want to know more.

Torkuda:
If you're joking on that, it's kinda flat. If your serious... I kinda want to know more.

Mcoffey:
Superman isn't a Mary Sue, but he is (originally) an idealization. He was something for young, jewish boys to aspire to. Be as good you can, and show America how much we have to offer, and help to bring us to a better tomorrow!

That's why it's always bugged me when they jam Christ imagery into the films (It was almost painful in Man of Steel). He's not meant to be Jesus; he's meant to be Moses.

If you're joking on that, it's kind of a flat joke. If you're serious, I have to admit I want to know more.

As it just so happens, I found an article that covers the subject quite well!

http://www.newsday.com/opinion/oped/tye-is-superman-jewish-1.6407831

You can also see the Moses bits a little in the original Superman film as well as Man of Steel. Both Jor-Els refer to him as someone who will show humanity the way, and lead them, reflecting how Moses lead the people to the Promised Land.

Now, admittedly, the 1978 one is somewhat more Jesusy than Man of Steel's, but both refer to him as someone who is more of an example of something greater, rather than someone to be sacrificed for the good of the world.

Great article. I never thought about all that.

It does cause me to wonder about the truly under represented minorities in comics. You know, like, Arabs, Albinos, Jews or even how many super hero creators dare to let their gods among men have the horror of mismatched arrangements of or an over powering number of freckles?

It's an over-used term. It seems like any female character who can at least wipe her own ass is being called a Mary-Sue.

Is she a genius at biochemistry even though she studied it for +8 years? If so, Mary Sue.

Is he a superhero whose powers are mind control, telepathy and psychokinesis? If so, Marty Sue.

I'd ignore any calls of a "Mary-Sue" until people actually learn what it means.

thaluikhain:
(Also, Mary Sue...that's a term that's getting over-used, to mean anyone unusually competent, though moreso with female characters)

dylanmc12:
It's an over-used term. It seems like any female character who can at least wipe her own ass is being called a Mary-Sue.

Is she a genius at biochemistry even though she studied it for +8 years? If so, Mary Sue.

Is he a superhero whose powers are mind control, telepathy and psychokinesis? If so, Marty Sue.

I'd ignore any calls of a "Mary-Sue" until people actually learn what it means.

It's not about competence, it's about flawlessness and author's wish-fulfilment. It's also about poor writing.

A Mary Sue isn't just a "perfect character", or "a character without flaws" but a specific form of bad writing that is common in fanfiction and other unprofessional writing, where a writer lets her own shallow wish fulfillments show through the protagonist as a barely disguised self-insert.

The source name for the trope came from a Star Trek parody-fanfiction, which demonstrated how ridiculously boring most fanfic characterizations are, with the exeggareted example of a pretty Starfleet officer with a pretty name like Mary Sue being added to the cast, and demonstrating how she is more logical than Spock, holds her liquor better than Scotty, is better in bed than Kirk, and who can fight off a dozen Klingons with bare hands, and figure out instantly where any episode's plot will go without any clue.

In contrast, Superman's role in his stories is EXPLICITLY to represent incorruptible heroic virtue. That's his purpose in the plot, and the conflict comes from other sources instead of Superman being flawed. He is not a story-breaking case of bad writing, or a writer wish-fulfillment, but an in-universe paragorn and an audience wish-fulfillment.

Well the term 'Mary Sue' is pretty nebulous, but as most people take/understand the term, sure he could be considered one. Batman as well.
But consider this: A lot of characters from both modern and classic stories could be considered 'Mary Sues' and no-one considers the stories to be bad or ruined because of it.
For example:
Bilbo Baggins!
Tolkien not an extreme enough example? Try Shakespeare. Hamlet, Portia, the Duke from Measure for Measure they could all be considered 'Mary Sues',(I'm sure there would be many more examples if we bothered to look) and I don't think you're gonna find too many people claiming that Hamlet Prince of Denmark is trashy writing.
So I think that the real question is "Does the inclusion of a character who could be considered a Mary Sue ruin or spoil a work of fiction for you?"

Queen Michael:

Vegosiux:

Queen Michael:

It seems like every time a female character is cool, competent and confident, she's called a Mary Sue.

Actually, every time a female character exists there's going to be smartass to call her "Mary Sue".

But the thing is, "Mary Sue" allegedly means a character without flaws (or at least without relevant flaws), yes? I mean, Jesus was one of the earliest Mary Sues and all.

Hm... I'm not sure. I'd say that in my mind, a character isn't really a Mary Sue unless she fullfills these requirements:

1. The creator regards her as having no relevant flaws.

2. She's created to be a wishfullfillment fantasy for the creator, and not the readers.

3. Her competence doesn't make any sense. (Say,mastering swordfighting in five minutes just because she's so frickin' awesome.)

I'd add

4. Loved by absolutely everyone of the main characters. If there's anyone who doesn't like her, it's because they're vile, hateful bitches......usually someone the author doesn't like.

Actually, isn't that basically god and jesus?

I'm not convinced that superman counts as a Mary Sue, though he does have two of the main qualities. I can't stand superman as a character and I hate the characters that infest his universe. I'm bored to tears by his implausability and invicibility, I find the implausabile lengths that have to be created for anything at all to be a threat to superman, thus increasing to ludicrous degrees his alreday implausible strengths to beat that ludicrous threat. Superman has to be the first real sufferer of powercreep.
I can't stand Clark Kent. Whearas most superheroes have things to contend with, real life issues that are forced upon them by circumstance, superman creates all of his through the portayal of Clark Kent. He could easily solve most of them by not playing such a prat.
Finally I hate everyone around him. these are people who spend all day with Clark, spend their lives following and drooling over superman and yet not one ofthem can work out who he is. Because he wears glasses. I mean come on. Really?

So i'd love to say 'yes, superman is the ultimate Mary Sue'. It would give me great pleasure.

Unfortunately I just don't think it's true. I just think he was made as an inpsiration. Someone to be put on a pedestal. Someone who is just good and proper to the very end. The ultimate boy scout. The american dream.

A total bore.

I don't think he is. He has such a long history by so many different creators that it's practically impossible to determine. He might have started out as such, but nowadays it's completely pointless to think about it.

If the character truly was intended to be a Mary Sue, he's become the Mary Sue to end them all: practically omnipotent, the symbol of hope, love, beauty and everything that's good in the world.

Mcoffey:

Torkuda:
If you're joking on that, it's kinda flat. If your serious... I kinda want to know more.

Mcoffey:
Superman isn't a Mary Sue, but he is (originally) an idealization. He was something for young, jewish boys to aspire to. Be as good you can, and show America how much we have to offer, and help to bring us to a better tomorrow!

That's why it's always bugged me when they jam Christ imagery into the films (It was almost painful in Man of Steel). He's not meant to be Jesus; he's meant to be Moses.

If you're joking on that, it's kind of a flat joke. If you're serious, I have to admit I want to know more.

As it just so happens, I found an article that covers the subject quite well!

http://www.newsday.com/opinion/oped/tye-is-superman-jewish-1.6407831

You can also see the Moses bits a little in the original Superman film as well as Man of Steel. Both Jor-Els refer to him as someone who will show humanity the way, and lead them, reflecting how Moses lead the people to the Promised Land.

Now, admittedly, the 1978 one is somewhat more Jesusy than Man of Steel's, but both refer to him as someone who is more of an example of something greater, rather than someone to be sacrificed for the good of the world.

There isn't much of a difference. Jesus is a model for Christians (leading them to the spiritual and potentially political promised land) while Moses sacrificed himself through 40 years of wandering in the desert (which Jesus also did for far less time).

What makes Superman not very accurate as either a Jesus or Moses metaphor is that he's virtually immortal and he has ridiculous power. He's similar to any powerful god throughout history, let's say Zeus, except with the morals of Jesus.

It's the mortality of Jesus and Moses that gave their sacrifice meaning. Since Superman is a fictional character and not a real one, he *can't* die because that would reduce the profits of corporations, so there's no real ability for him to greatly sacrifice himself, only the small day-to-day sacrifices of the manner in which he spends his time.

briankoontz:

Mcoffey:

Torkuda:
If you're joking on that, it's kinda flat. If your serious... I kinda want to know more.

If you're joking on that, it's kind of a flat joke. If you're serious, I have to admit I want to know more.

As it just so happens, I found an article that covers the subject quite well!

http://www.newsday.com/opinion/oped/tye-is-superman-jewish-1.6407831

You can also see the Moses bits a little in the original Superman film as well as Man of Steel. Both Jor-Els refer to him as someone who will show humanity the way, and lead them, reflecting how Moses lead the people to the Promised Land.

Now, admittedly, the 1978 one is somewhat more Jesusy than Man of Steel's, but both refer to him as someone who is more of an example of something greater, rather than someone to be sacrificed for the good of the world.

There isn't much of a difference. Jesus is a model for Christians (leading them to the spiritual and potentially political promised land) while Moses sacrificed himself through 40 years of wandering in the desert (which Jesus also did for far less time).

What makes Superman not very accurate as either a Jesus or Moses metaphor is that he's virtually immortal and he has ridiculous power. He's similar to any powerful god throughout history, let's say Zeus, except with the morals of Jesus.

It's the mortality of Jesus and Moses that gave their sacrifice meaning. Since Superman is a fictional character and not a real one, he *can't* die because that would reduce the profits of corporations, so there's no real ability for him to greatly sacrifice himself, only the small day-to-day sacrifices of the manner in which he spends his time.

His power was a reflection of Samson, another Hebrew figure. The fact that Superman has one weakness, kryptonite, matches Samson as well where his one weakness was having his hair cut off.

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