Matt Yglesias wonders why Superman is wasting his time by saving peoples lives instead of submitting to being used as a giant solar power cell, or something:
What we’re talking about, essentially, is the world’s greatest solar power cell. The earth’s yellow sun gives his eyes the ability to boil water, and his arms and legs can exert enormous amounts of force. In other words, he could be rigging up a plan to generate enormous quantities of pollution-free electricity!
Of course, there’s always the chance that Superman doesn’t really want to serve as the world’s power-generating slave:
And if Superman DOESN’T want to act as a giant battery, we should probably use government force to require it. http://t.co/uVpicQu7aS
— Sonny Bunch (@SonnyBunch) June 17, 2013
@SonnyBunch Maybe Cass Sunstein will try to give Superman a “nudge.” I’d love to see that go down.
— Adam White (@adamjwhitedc) June 17, 2013
What’s interesting about Yglesias’ suggestion is that the DC Universe’s villains have literally already pulled that trick before, albeit with the Flash. In Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Strikes Again, the Flash’s wife has been kidnapped and, in order to ensure her safety, he is forced to run on a giant treadmill in order to provide America with clean, free power. That’s a heck of a nudge.
Matt Yglesias and Lex Luthor*: great minds, and all that.
Anyway, it’s an idea for the sequel. Lex Luthor, businessman and demagogue (played by a Richard Branson lookalike, maybe), demands Superman to submit to the people and become an unending source of green energy. Perhaps he could sell it as Supes’ penance for the destruction wreaked on Metropolis by Zod in Man of Steel. Should he even consider refusing—What, Superman thinks he has a say in this bargain? Doesn’t he understand little things like the common good?—well, maybe Lois Lane has an “accident” during a tour of a LexCorp plant. After all, neither Lex nor the government could really force Superman to do their will without applying some kind of pressure. It’s for the greater good, you know. Think of the environment! Think of the people!
I wonder: Who would liberals cheer for in that scenario?
*I’m pretty sure it was Lex who imprisoned Flash. Might have been Brainiac. I have no desire to track down my old copies of the series to confirm either way. Deal with it.
Crossposted at the Washington Free Beacon’s Editor’s Blog.