Spider-Man knows that with great power comes great responsibility, but as one of the strongest superheroes, Superman takes this rule to the next level
Warning: SPOILERS for Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #9Uncle Ben’s idea that “With great power there must also come great responsibility” has been attached to Spider-Man since the character’s first appearance. Though the hero sometimes falters, the adage has always been a defining motto Peter Parker adheres to. One hero, however, wields even more power than Spider-Man, and arguably uses it more responsibly: Superman.
Superman put his own spin on Uncle Ben’s motto in Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #9. The issue sees Superman continue to train a new sidekick, Boy Thunder. Boy Thunder, also known as David Sikela, came to Prime Earth in a spacecraft after the destruction of his parallel world, giving him an origin story similar to Superman’s own. Since Sikela began exhibiting his own powers, the World’s Finest duo started to teach the young boy how to be a hero himself. Robin also introduced Boy Thunder to the Teen Titans, allowing him to learn with heroes his own age on top of shadowing some of DC’s greatest in Batman and Superman.
While Superman usually keeps a cool head, Mark Waid and Dan Mora’s Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #9 shows that David is having a harder time adjusting to his powers. In the issue, Boy Thunder joins the Teen Titans Robin, Wonder Girl, Aqualad, Speedy, and Kid Flash as they take on a ship full of pirates. When one of the pirates shoots at Aqualad, Boy Thunder loses his cool, nearly killing the offending pirate before Superman steps in. Superman takes his sidekick away from the Titans and sums up his entire philosophy in a single quote: “We do not punch down. Ever.“
Superman Has His Own Version of Spider-Man’s Catchphrase
This quote reflects Superman’s character while also bearing resemblance to the aforementioned iconic Spider-Man motto. To a superhero with such immense powers like Superman, anyone but the strongest of foes would be considerably weaker by comparison. As such, it’s a rarity that he has to use an overwhelming amount of force when dealing with a common criminal. His actions are merely preventative of further damage. He may have great enough power to end any fight in an instant, but his upbringing taught him to know the immense level of responsibility that must come with this. Only when fighting Superman’s strongest foes could a true use of his powers not be considered “punching down” in some respect.
Spider-Man is one of the greatest superheroes of all time, but even he has been caught slipping up many times when trying to use his powers responsibly. In many ways, it’s this struggle that makes Peter Parker such an endearing hero. Superman, in contrast, rarely falters in the same way; he simply doesn’t have room for error. Spider-Man may know the dangers of punching down, but Superman knows that, as the hero with the greatest power, it is he who has the greatest responsibility.
Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #9 is available from DC Comics now.