October 17, 2014

Jor-El's lucky Superman guess

This cartoons raises a good point. Jor-El sent the rocket to Earth and assumed the super-baby would grow up to be a wise and benevolent hero. I.e., that the maxim "absolute power corrupts absolutely" wouldn't apply in this case.

In other words, he gambled the fate of an entire world on his understanding of an alien race's psychology. He wasn't an anthropologist and he studied us only through a telescope, but that was enough info for him.

This seems like history's luckiest guess to me. Jor-El's arrogant assumptions could've gone wrong in so many ways. The cartoons suggests a likely outcome.

The equivalent would be if I watched a documentary on a primitive South Seas tribe, then sent them Christianity or television or credit cards to "help" them. My intent was good, so what could possibly go wrong?

At least Abin Sur could claim his ring probed Hal Jordan's mind and determined he was noble and selfless. Although the whole Parallax storyline calls that into question. But Jor-El didn't have any such mind-reading or future-predicting powers.

For more on Superman, see Racist Superhero Comics in Cracked and Superior Powers Don't Change Society.

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