Superman’s Greatest Failures in Comic Book History


Superman is arguably the pioneer of the whole superhero franchise. From the time he was first printed into existence in 1938 to date, he is well-loved and adored by fans around the world. Though he is almost a century old now, he never went out of style.

He was able to amass such a strong fandom mainly through his indomitable will and strength. Fans love his character and the way he handled the issues. But it doesn’t mean that he has never failed. There have been times when he failed gloriously.

Here we have curated a list of five instances when Superman blundered big time.

With the Dark Knight

In Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, we saw Superman fail both as a superhero who was supposed to save the world and a father who was supposed to care for his daughter unconditionally. Don’t worry, he does get back on track. Yet, not all mistakes can be erased.


Though this has one of the best storylines of all time, we can’t ignore the fact that Superman’s character was way off than the original. He did lose a lot of his battles in this part and there is no denying that.


We can not talk about Superman’s failures without talking about this. It is understandable that he was furious when he lost both Lois Lane and their unborn child to Joker. But it is no reason for him to become a ruthless dictator and do unspeakable things. 

Mr. Mxyzptlk

In the 1986 comic book, Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow, Clark made some morally wrong mistakes and failed to save some of his closest friends. Though he immediately stripped his powers off when he killed the villain out of vengeance, his act still left many of the fans questioning his character.

Jonathan Kent

Though the death of a Superhero’s loved one is considered necessary for their course of action, it is still painful and it remains their greatest failure as well. This is the same case with Superman. Though he has failed to save many, his biggest failure is not being able to be there when his father died of a heart attack.


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