Top 5: DC Characters Who Could Have Helped Your Dying Husband Instead of Superman


The following events take place before Superman #600.

Doctor: “I’m sorry, your husband has a brain tumor, and it’s inoperable.”
Wife: “Ok, hold on while I call the Daily Planet.”
Operator: “Daily Planet, how may I direct your call?”
W: “I need to speak to Superman, please.”
O: “ … I’m sorry, Superman doesn’t actually work for us.”
W: “Well do you know where he is?”
O: “Um, he hasn’t been on the planet for like a year, he’s in space saving the galaxy or something.”
W: “But what will I do about my husband’s brain tumor?”
O: “Excuse me?”
W: “Never mind.”
D: “You know you’re still in my office?”
W: “Oh yes, sorry Doctor, it looks like we’ve done all we can.”
D: “Actually there are still several treatment opti—“
W: “No, Doctor. Only Superman can save him now with his x-ray and heat vision…”
D: “We have an x-ray machine downstairs but that’s not even how we find tum—“
W: “Goodbye, Doctor!”

— Several Months Pass —

The slap hear round the world, a woman hits Superman in the face for failing to save her husband with his heat vision that can somehow penetrate a skull without damaging it. Instead of moping around America for a year, perhaps Superman could have suggested some other folks in the DCU this woman could have consulted instead of waiting for the farm boy with a journalism degree to perform a risky neural procedure on her dying hubby.


5. Dr. Fate

While he may not actually be a doctor his is one of the most powerful mages in the DCU. If there’s not a healing spell in his repertoire powerful enough to kill a tumor than this guy just ain’t doing his job.


4. Captain Atom

If you need a person who can simultaneously project X-rays and a gamma ray burst with the precision and steady hand of a pilot then why not try Captain Atom? Not even Superman has gamma-breath.


3. Ray Palmer

We know from Identity Crisis that Ray’s powers work well enough for him to fit inside a brain and walk around. He also holds a PhD in physics, and while that may not be a medical degree, it’s a fact: the physics folks are pretty freaking smart! Give him a few days to read over the procedure (or just let him invent a new one on the spot) and you’ll be right as rain in no time.


2. Doctor Mid-Nite

If you’re need is for someone with X-ray vision to make a medicial diagnosis why would you go straight to Superman over Dr. Midnight? Superman might be A-List but at least Pieter Cross has a clinic with an operating room where you could make an appointment while you’re waiting for the 100 Minute War to end.


1. Lex Luthor

If you’ve failed to get in touch with Kal-El and are starting to get miffed, why not commiserate with his nemesis Lex? He’s smart enough to come up with some sort of ultra-chemo and blast that tumor to Earth-22 (Kingdom Come). We’ve seen him do similar things before just to spite a Kryptonian and he’d jump at the chance to one up Supes, just to show him what’s what!


  1. Yeah, I wouldn’t go anywhere Luthor. He may do the job, but you’ll owe him one, and you aren’t going to like whatever it is he wants from you when he gets around to cashing in on it.

  2. I’m sure that is EXACTLY how that doctor’s visit went down.

  3. Dr. Mid-Nite looks pretty badass in that picture

  4. Brilliant.

  5. "blast that tumor to Earth-22 " Quote of the day!

    Why go to a superhero? Superman should send them to Dr. Hamilton over at Star Labs. I hear he is pretty good.

  6. Or visit the 30th Century and ask to meet with Tumor-Eater Lad.

  7. Lol!

  8. SUPERMAN: "Actually I left Power Girl in charge of any X-ray/Heat Vision surgery emergencies while I was gone. Did you try calling her?"

  9. How bout Firestorm. Wouldn’t he be able to turn that tumor into rose petals or something.

  10. @Art1318 – And having a foreign object like a rose petal lodged within the gyri and sulci of your brain is any better? It’s still a tumor, it just smells better.

  11. Superman should have slapped her right back.

  12. Anyone know the artists on the Doctor Mid-Nite or Ray Palmer pictures?  So purdy

  13. While all this is 100% correct, you cannot argue with a crazy person.  Well, you can, but that just makes you crazy.

    ‘Oh Superman, why did you put the fate of two entire worlds above my husband??’  ‘Ma’am, it is entirely possible that your narcissistic tendencies have overcome your common sense.’  SLAP!!!

  14. @finbarbat I’m sorry I obviously didn’t explain myself. What I meant was , wouldn’t Firestorm be abel to get rid of the tumor, or at the very least be able turn it to something less leathal.

  15. Lets see Dr Fate a dr of Psychology not medicine and still new to the magic biz not a good choice

    Captain Atom not known for his fine control and would most likely blow your head of

    The Atom  a good choice

    Dr Midnight X-Ray vision yes, Heat Vision  no

    Lex Luthor evil

  16. Lex Luthor would probably turn him into some kind of deathbot.

    Either way, that woman deserves a slap herself.

  17. Dr. Mid-Nite is the doctor to the superhero community.  He can handle kryptonite poisoning and super-pets gone crazy.  And the Atom wouldn’t need to know what to do – he could just be Mid-Nite’s eyes and hands on the inside.  Good surgical combo right there.

    And any D&D player can tell you not to go to a wizard for medical issues.  You need a cleric (Zauriel’d be the closest approximation).

  18. Dude. In the Uk you get it free on the nhs!

  19. @Slockhart  Pretty sure the Atom is by Karl Kerschl.

  20. Is Captain Atom even active right now? I thought he’d been gone since he inexplicably turned into the Monarch and got blown up?

  21. @Bornin1142: Yes he is. He’s currently running around in JUSTICE LEAGUE: GENERATION LOST.

  22. I LOVE that Luthor is number one on this list.  Perfect.

  23. I don’t trust any of these’s guys:

    Dr. Fate is dead, so he’s no good.

    Captain Atom doesn’t have any medical training.

    Unless your head is on fire and you have a black lantern counterpart, Palmer won’t help you.

    Dr. Midnite is blind and those goggles could break at any time.

    Luthor would just turn you into Superman’s next big enemy.

  24. When precision is what you need, Green Arrow is your best choice! Always at people’s service.

  25. @TheNextChampion I question the legitimacy of your concerns:

    There’s always a new Dr. Fate, and besides that, when has death stopped anybody in the DCU

    Captain Atom could act as a tool, providing precision chemotherapy at the direction of someone with medical training

    That’s a very pessimistic attitude to take towards Dr. Palmer

    That Dr. Midnite obviously has spare goggles is beside the point.  While the goggles enable him to see the visible spectrum, he can still see infrared without them

    Luthor might turn your husband into an enemy of Superman – although it is worth pointing out that he could cure him simply to make the alien to look inferior – but even if he was turned into a Super-nemesis, he would be an alive Super-nemesis.

    Perhaps, though, we’re just going back and forth, questioning the integrity/trustworthiness of these characters.  It’s really a non-issue.  The fact is, when your alternative is to let your husband die, you don’t need to trust the person attempting to do something about it.  It’s a situation where doing something is always going to be better than doing nothing.

  26. Did Dr. Fate start taking steroids? 

  27. Really the part that bugged me the most was the "You could have used your heat vision to destroy the tumor without harming the surrounding tissue" part. He’s not Magic! Its a straight line. That’s it.

  28. umm Zatanna anyone?

    " romut eb enog"

  29. Man, that chick’s got a lot of slapping to do. I want to read THAT book.

  30. That’s the road trip walking book, I want to read. You follow her, as she walks across the nation, slapping superheroes who didn’t even know her husband had a problem. Until finally, one of them loses their shit, and slaps her back, snapping her neck. End of story.

  31. @conor/josh That sounds like a good idea for Mark Waid to do in Irredemable.

  32. @Josh-I think that’s the premise for the next Marvel/DC crossover. The final hero she encounters is one Hank Pym, and we all know how he loves slapping women.

  33. How did she not break her hand when she slapped him? I know Superman can control his strength, but can he control how invulnerable he is? Whatever fits the contrived and tired story, I suppose.

  34. BAHAHAHAHA. That’s really all I have to say about this.

  35. Superman: Well, yes, I suppose I COULD have heat-visioned the hell out of that tumor. Of course, your husband’s head would have also exploded. Are you familiar with my work at all, madam? I can’t go selectively intangible. I can’t go intangible at all, actually. You’ll want Kitty Pr- er, Martian Manhunter for that. Or possibly one of the Flashes in a pinch, although depending on which one you get there’s still a 50/50 chance your husband’s head could explode. But, if you’ll excuse me, I have to keep doing the stuff I’ve consistently been able to do for the last 70 years, none of which includes surgery. Good day.

  36. I LOL’d at the article, and at all you comments. @Andrew – I thought that too, her hand would be really injured! @drake – I wanna see a slap fight between her and Hank, that would be epic.

  37. Love the article.

     If you think about it though, in a universe with all the technological advances of the DCU, there should be a cure for cancer readily available. 

  38. Cancer killed Cap. Marvel…They can’t have a cure…It’d be in poor taste…Same reason they never had the golden age guys win WW2…

  39. At ANY point in time that I couldn’t contact superman YOU KNOW I’d contact Luthor. He’s just the right person who’d OBSESS over solving your problem.

  40. @lisangelo, Hahaha!  Green Arrow is a great idea.

    I could see this like the Samurai skits of Saturday Night Live (Samurai Detective, Samurai Delicatessen, et cetera).

    This week, Green Arrow – Brain Surgeon!  

    Heck, that guy’s got an arrow for anything and everything!

    Actually, as I recall he and Ray Palmer did this very trick on Darkseid in the whole Final Crisis story.