It should be pretty obvious even from no further evidence other than this blog that I am a huge geek. Even so, there are certain comic-based characters that I am just not on board with, and the worst offender is Superman. Let me explain why.
1. The fact that Superman is a dick. No, seriously. Even Chris Simms over at the fantastic Invincible Super Blog, who is a shameless fan of Superman, has several examples of Superman being kind of a dick. Yes, even in stories that are designed to showcase the Man of Steel as a hero, he comes across as a massive wanker. Way to go, DC.
2. There's no conflict. I mean come on, people, Superman has the powers of a god. A fucking god, and I'm not even kidding. Now, in all honesty, when you're watching the Spider-Man movies or reading a Batman comic, you know deep down that the superhero isn't really going to die. But they're not invincible characters; hell, Batman doesn't even have any superpowers, he gets injured and has nothing but his own fabulous wealth and modern medicine to heal him. There is a chance, played with by the better comic writers, that the hero could die, or at least lose. To fall back on the geeky example I know best, I'm going to go with Buffy on this one.
Buffy loses. More than once. By the by, if you're not of an incredibly geeky persuasion then look away now. First series, she was beaten by Darla and would've been killed if Angel hadn't saved her by staking Darla (BtVS, season 1, ep 7, "Angel"). Also, she was actually killed by the Master, by drowning, and had to be resuscitated by Xander (season 1, ep 12, "Prophecy Girl"). In the second series, the first time Buffy fights Spike, she loses - and it's only the timely intervention of her mother that saves her (season 2, ep 3, "School Hard"). Series 3 sees Buffy die again, permenantly - true, it's in an alternate reality, but it still shows her fallibility (season 3, ep 9, "The Wish"). The first episode of the fourth series sees Buffy completely lacking in confidence and getting her ass handed to her by Sunday (season 4, ep 1, "The Freshman") and until she combines her strength with her friends Willow, Giles and Xander in their final confrontation with Adam, Buffy doesn't stand a chance against that season's Big Bad. Buffy also isn't much of a match for Glory, the hell god of series five - and although Glory is ultimately defeated, it isn't Buffy who actually kills her and it takes Buffy's death to stop her plans totally (season 5, ep 22, "The Gift"). Yep, even in a series where the superhero's name features in the title, Joss Whedon is prepared to kill off his lead. He brings her back, but still. Series six sees Buffy lose to Willow (long story - season 6, ep 21, "Two To Go") and in seven she gets a kicking from the Uber-Vamp (season 7, ep 10, "Bring On The Night"). Anyhoo, my long, rambling point is this: there's no real way Superman is going to lose, there's no chance he's going to die, there's no suspense. He can do ANYTHING, up to and including turning back time according to the the first film. So there's no tension.
3. Why the hell are we supposed to sympathise with him again? He was technically adopted, sure, and I'm certain that can lead to emotional issues, but at the end of the day Supes was raised by two loving parents in a picture-perfect town, was supported and guided on the path of goody-goody two-shoes glory, had an idyllic childhood, frequently has two or more ladies chasing after him - those usually being Lois Lane and Lana Lang - he's got a job, a sycophantically loyal best friend and yet he's still pretty much a total dick. He also spends a great deal of time whinging about his childhood in the single most homoerotic comic ever and it's kind of hard to understand what the hell Clark thinks he has to be so upset about.
4. There's a really finite number of stories you can tell about Superman. Sure, you get the whole Silver Age Madness thing going on where you can, say, end up with Lois and Lana becoming insect queens, but when you break it down a Superman story can only go in a few, very limited, directions. Now I'm going to borrow quite heavily from a hateful aquaintence of mine here, but he has a very valid point. Superman has the aforementioned god-like powers, so in order to engineer a story you can only go in one of four directions: have kryptonite feature heavily (lucky so much of it managed to land here on Earth, huh?); have a villain that's also from Krypton/the Phantom Zone (again, hell of a lot of them manage to get to this planet. Funny, that); have Superman lose his powers, temporarily, which usually involves Kryptonite; have Supes fight some kind of version of himself. You can mix up the details a little, but essentially it's same old, same old.
5. He's meant to be the last son of Krypton. I mean hell, it's his subtitle: Kal-El, Last Son of Krypton. And yet more and more relatives and enemies from Krypton keep appearing, including his cousin Kara (Supergirl) and his freaking dog. Turn that frown upside down, Clark, you're not alone.
6. He's too ... good. This is pretty much a personal taste thing, but I've always been one to root for the villains. All I wanted from cartoons as a kid was once, just once, for Road-Runner to get caught and eaten, on screen, by Wil E. Coyote and I'm now a big fan of Dexter, so that should clue you in to my preferences. At least with Batman you get edgy, and Peter Parker had that whole Venom period, and Buffy started shagging Spike (and who can blame her?) - but with Superman you just get random red kryptonite moments and general dickery. All in all there's no edge. He's a goody-goody. And I'm not a big fan of that.
.........And that's not even counting Superman IV.