The hypothesis that there is an inextricable link between comic book superheroes and suffering would, to anyone with a cursory knowledge of superhero characters found in DC, Marvel, Image, Wildstorm and other houses, and their histories, ostensibly seem valid. This validity depends on which character one is applying said hypothesis to; the psychological and physical suffering of a Batman being more acceptable as such than that of a Plastic Man, for example. However, using DC Comics character Superman as a case study, this paper explores the inextricable link between Otherness, power, and suffering within the remit of the character's mythos. In order to do so, this paper refers to psychoanalytic concepts elaborated by Sigmund Freud in his text Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1922) as a way of demonstrating that despite the character's conventional appraisal as a positivist humanistic symbol of pure altruism, an insuperable, unimpeachable symbol of selflessness and good morality, there is in fact a fundamental link between Superman's 'tridentity' of selves (Clark Kent/Kal-El/Superman), the character's own suffering, and human suffering on a terrestrial scale, as represented within the numerous realities of the DC Comics Multiverse.
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