I love evil versions of superheroes, whether they be alternate universe characters (Squadron Supreme, The Injustice Gang) or arch-enemies (Sinestro, Reverse Flash). But when they are about the actual heroes going bad, that’s a totally different type of story, especially when that hero is Superman.
Superman is the first superhero, and he’s come to represent the genre in its purest form. Not only does he possess the most power, but he also serves as a paragon of hope and goodness.
So its more than a ripping yarn when Superman goes bad. It’s a horror story, making real a frightening truth running below all superhero stories: they are power fantasies, and power can corrupt.
To tie in with the movie Brightburn, I wrote for Bloody Disgusting about eight DC comics stories featuring the actual Kal-El of Krypton going bad. Although each of these stories are certainly superhero stories, I also argue there’s an inherent horror to them.
You can check the whole thing here, but tell me below about your favorite “Good guy gone bad” stories. What do you find so compelling about them?