Here is my take
They were all created for children but were deliberately evolved to target different age groups. I know I may upset many people, for Superman is our first love, but personally, I don’t find him interesting at all (I used to when I was a little child).
To understand why I don’t like Superman at all, let’s talk about other superheroes. Yes, it is absolutely necessary, otherwise I won’t be able to make my point.
What does Spider-Man offer? Well, the guy has emotions. He is the quintessential teenage guy fighting his own demons. He is full of teenage angst and confusion. He has weaknesses. He has a girlfriend, who he longs to impress. He is neither an adult nor a child. His responses to situations seem believable. In short, spider-man is a three-dimensional character all teenagers and adults(who feel nostalgic about their adolescent days) can relate to.
Let’s talk about Batman. Bruce went through a traumatic event during his childhood (the murder of his parents). For so long he struggled to let go of it. It was a constant battle every day. The mental agony he went through turned him into a dark, multilayered character, who is brutal yet abides by a personal code. Batman has depth. Batman means struggle. Batman means unimaginable solitude. Batman means dedication. Batman means courage. Batman means sacrifice. Batman means a guy who will never let his subjects down, despite him having no superpowers. He is a man of means and influence. He is a man of his words. Not only he is a genius detective, but he also has connections and contacts with the shady people in the underworld. His adversaries are not cardboard-like characters with superpowers. It is all complicated. It is all twisted. Batman stories hit us hard and force us to think. His comics and his movies are therefore softcore lessons on philosophy and ethics.
Now comes the Iron Man. This guy is full of himself. Yet, he always saves the day. He is a self-made superhero, who used his keen mind, out of the box thinking, and incredible scientific temperament to become what he is now. Not only he is cool. He is one of the characters the millennials look up to. He thinks three steps ahead and makes the impossible possible. We all know we can never have Spider-Mans, Supermans in this world. But creating an Iron Man is possible. Very much possible. If not now, then in the distant future. This is why people adore him. Especially the geeks with scientific temperament. Plus he is a billionaire like Bruce Wayne. In this 21st century world where money means everything, who doesn’t admire billionaires or CEOs? And what’s cooler? Everyone knows who Iron Man is? He doesn’t hide behind a mask. Whatever he does, he does it openly.
So summing up. I like Batman because he has depth. I like spider-Man because he is full of emotions. I like Iron Man because he is super cool. But what does Superman has to offer to grown-ups? In my view (and it may again upset many people), he is a cardboard character who still hasn’t grown up enough to have an older audience. For so long the guy had no weaknesses. Children loved this God who could fly and fire laser beams. But then the makers of this character realised the guy has to have a weakness, an Achilles heel so that older people too could relate to him. So they introduced Kryptonite, the only thing that can kill him. But even after the introduction of Kryptonite (which is rarely used), they couldn’t add depth to this character. The guy is all brawn and no brains (sorry for being so harsh). He is the ultimate manifestation of unimaginable power. This is why as soon as the people grow up, their craze for Superman decreases.
No, I don’t hate Superman. No one can hate Superman. Superman will always be our first love, our first imaginary saviour. But the character failed to evolve with time. Not to mention the ludicrous attempt of its creators to make all of us believe that simple eyeglasses are enough for him to lead a double life. Like, seriously? People can recognise us even if we put on Snapchat filters. And they want us to believe that specks would do the job? Well, maybe they are right. But are they? A guy who can fly, shoot laser beams, see through steel walls, all because our solar system has a yellow sun? It may make sense to children. But not to those who are 16 and over. Yes, we will always love Superman. But is he an interesting fellow? I say no! Not anymore.