Warning! Spoilers for Batman/Superman #11 ahead!Despite how good Superman is at protecting the planet, he’s actually worse at protecting his own family and the children under his care than Batman is. While Batman rightly receives criticism for the deaths of Robins Jason Todd and Damian Wayne, Superman does not receive the same scrutiny for the harm that befalls his young allies.
Readers get to see the tragic circumstances of Superman’s latest lost kid in Batman/Superman #11 by Mark Waid and Dan Mora. Recently Superman has all but adopted a new sidekick named Boy Thunder, who comes from a different dimension. Boy Thunder has the ability of energy projection and is incredibly strong, but he’s also untrained and deeply traumatized from his past. Much like Superman, Boy Thunder was sent away from a dying planet by his parents, whom he feels great guilt for not being able to save. Unfortunately, Boy Thunder accidentally lets slip to the villain The Key that he is from another dimension, which sets off a chain reaction of events resulting in Boy Thunder being pulled into another dimension as Superman helplessly looks on. With this traumatic loss, Boy Thunder has really become Superman’s own Red Hood. However, he is not the only young sidekick Superman has lost.
Superman Has Lost Three Children
Superman has had just as many adopted and biological children as Batman has throughout the ages. The first main universe kid Clark ever had was Lor-Zod, also known as Chris Kent, whom Clark formally adopted. The second child was Jon Kent, his only biological child; his third and fourth are Osul-Ra and Otho-Ra, and the latest is Boy Thunder. While Superman never directly calls Boy Thunder his child, he all but says it throughout the comic, implying that he sees the young man as a son. He takes Boy Thunder under his wing and should be responsible for watching out for him. And while Batman’s crusade on crime led to the deaths of Jason Todd and Damian, Superman has a worse track record of keeping the kids under his care safe.
When Batman lost Jason Todd to the Joker, almost every single superhero in DC Comics called him out on it. Bruce was criticized for endangering children by putting them in the line of fire, with even members of his own Bat-Family, such as Alfred and Barbara Gordon calling Batman out. Alfred even specifically stated in Gotham Knights #44 by Scott Beatty and Roger Robinson that if Batman brought another child into this war, Alfred would quit on the spot. But it seems that being Superboy is every bit as cursed as being Robin, if not more so. The two Robins whom Batman lost eventually came back to life, but Superman has lost three of his children. Chris Kent was pulled back into the Phantom Zone, which Superman could not prevent; Jon Kent was allowed to go into space, where he ended up being tortured by Ultraman all due to Superman’s poor parenting; and now Boy Thunder has been pulled into another dimension while Superman is completely unable to save him. Despite this trend going back decades, both in universe and out, no one has ever called Superman out on this as much as they have Batman.
Superman is one of the most powerful beings on the planet, it’s his job to protect every single person that he can, and yet despite this, Superman seems completely unable to protect his own children from the dangers of the world.
More: Superman is Completely Right About the Bat-Family’s Biggest FlawBatman/Superman World’s Finest #11 is on sale now from DC Comics!