Wouldn’t it be great if there was a guy like Superman in real life – the sort of guy who makes it his life’s mission to protect the weak in society? Well, maybe not. Because Superman is the strongest and smartest superhero there is, that means in addition to saving the world from time-to-time he can pick on anyone he wants without fear of them doing much of anything to him.
Just think: if you thought the bully who mistreated you at school was bad enough, imagine if he had superpowers. Though it’s not as common as it was in earlier eras, Superman has a long history of being depicted as mean, cruel, and a flat-out jerk to even his closest friends in his comics. Most of these instances happened on the covers of his comic books and these covers were meant to be shocking in order to entice people to buy the issue.
Usually there was a logical explanation why Superman was being such a jerk within the story, or the cover was just exaggerating the situation in the comic. However, this wasn’t always the case. Even when you read the context, Superman is sometimes just being a jerk because he thinks it’s hilarious to mistreat his closest friends. Most of the time he’s the only one laughing. Here are ten examples of when Superman was being a huge jerk despite being one of the world’s most popular superheroes.
10. When He Mistreats His “Pal” Jimmy Olsen
If you pick a random cover from Jimmy Olsen’s 163 issue comics series, which ran from 1954-1974, chances are your pick will feature Superman doing something awful to Jimmy on the cover, and it goes beyond mates pranking each other for a few laughs. Superman has seemingly done everything he could in order to hurt Jimmy both emotionally and physically.
If he’s not trying to kill him, he’s forcing Jimmy to marry a gorilla, burning his gifts with his heat vision, making him gain a massive amount of weight so he can make fun of him for being fat, or just telling him he’s annoying twerp. Superman might be a cruel jerk, but based on all this evidence Jimmy has to be a sadist as well. There’s no other explanation why Jimmy would go through such awful treatment in order to stay “pals” with Superman.
Jimmy has to have an ocean of psychological problems from dealing with Superman, especially since he’s willing to suffer indignity after indignity just to stay friends with Superman. We know Superman’s a jerk, so the real question is: why do these people stay friends with him?