12 Times Superman Went Completely Insane And Brutally Killed People

Bird, plane, Superman, Clark Kent, the Man of Steel, Kal-El, whatever people choose to call him Superman has always been known as a boy scout - hell, some even call him the Big Blue Boy Scout. His character believes in doing the right thing and stands for all things righteous. Maybe that's why so many comic and movie fans dislike him? But Superman has a darker side that not every fan knows about.

In the Golden Age of comics, Superman killed his enemies with little regard. He meant business and many bad guys fell to the Caped Crusader. Comic writers were following an unwritten code by the Silver Age, and Superman quickly became the hero we all know today.

After the mid-80s, comics had opened up to more creativity again, which meant Superman would have a few dark moments in the modern era, too. He’s done things that readers referencing his good guy attitude would’ve never thought him capable of. Here are some of Superman’s bloodiest, most brutal, most insane moments where he completely lost his mind.

  • Superman Rams His Fist Through the Joker

    Superman Rams His Fist Through the Joker
    Photo: DC Comics

    In the Injustice: Gods Among Us story, the Joker fools Superman into killing his wife, Lois Lane, and his unborn child. In this comic, Superman turns downright evil (wouldn't you if someone killed your wife and child?) He decides to stop trying to save the world and instead attempts to rule it. Somewhere along the way, Superman gets his revenge when he puts his fist right through the Joker. Batman's face in the background says it all. 

  • He Murders Darkseid's Son

    He Murders Darkseid's Son
    Photo: DC Comics

    In this DC-Elseworlds adaption, Superman: The Dark Side, Superman’s journey from Krypton doesn’t end on Earth. Instead, infant Superman’s ship lands on a different planet, Apokolips. Fans of DC may recognize this as the home of DC mega-villain, Darkseid. In this storyline, Darkseid raises Superman as his own son, and, under Darkseid's command, Superman murders Darkseid's first born son and becomes heir to his throne. All arguments against nature vs. nurture aside, Superman definitely went a different direction in this comic series. Insane is an understatement.

  • He Strangles Salaak

    He Strangles Salaak
    Photo: DC Comics

    Superman goes pretty crazy in Injustice: Gods Among Us. He decides to reign Earth as a God and punches a hole in the Joker after the Joker tricks him into destroying Metropolis, and Lois Lane along with it. That's just the beginning. In the series, the Green Lantern Corps opposes Superman's god-like regime on Earth and recruits other heroes from a different dimension to help take down their former ally.

    The skirmish turns from an encounter with Superman, Sinestro, and the Lanterns and evolves into an all-out DC Universe war. Hal Jordan joins the Yellow Lantern, war rages on and Superman loses it completely. On one page, Superman chokes Salaak, nearly to death. Ganthet intervenes, saving Salaak's life and blasts Superman back down to Earth. 

  • He Zaps Doctor Light's Head

    He Zaps Doctor Light's Head
    Photo: DC Comics

    In the Justice League: Trinity War comic book, the Justice League come into conflict with another version of themselves - that's right a JLA v JLA showdown. Amanda Waller assembled the team as a failsafe in case the original Justice League ever went rogue. 

    Pandora tracks down Superman and gets him to open “Pandora’s Box.” The box corrupts Superman with its power of the seven deadly sins and a lot of trouble follows. The now-crazy Superman intercepts Shazam on a mission and a skirmish ensues. Amanda Waller calls up the JLA to put down this rogue Justice League once and for all, and in the fight Superman uses his heat vision to blast JLA-recruit Doctor Light. Superman has lost it so thoroughly that even he believes he has no control of his actions and turns himself into ARGUS for safe keeping. 

  • He Shatters Batman's Spine

    He Shatters Batman's Spine
    Photo: DC Comics

    Superman really does a lot of evil things in the Injustice: Gods of War stories. In this instance, he takes out his favorite frienemy, Batman. And he doesn't pull any punches, either. In one fight in particular, Superman gains the advantage on Batman and uses it to shatter the Caped Crusader's spine, a la Bane. Not the Dark Knight! Say it ain't so, Superman. 

  • He Blows Up a Munitions Factory

    He Blows Up a Munitions Factory
    Photo: DC Comics

    In Superman #2, Superman blows up a munitions factory during broad daylight. People were probably working in the factory, as we can clearly see the sun shining brightly in the background. What was Superman's motivation? A combination of patriotism (it was an enemy munitions factory) and a desire to explore the limits of his powers. Golden Age Superman was kind of a jerk.