Superman's Decision Not to Fight in WWII is His Greatest Failure

Superman famously never fought in World War II, and this failure to fight would soon come to be known as the greatest mistake he ever made.

Warning: contains spoilers for Justice League Infinity #5!

DC’s Superman was perhaps just as patriotic as Marvel’s own Captain America – so why did the character not fight in World War 2? The Man of Steel may not have been created in response to a war – Action Comics #1 debuted in 1938, a full year before Hitler invaded Poland – but the character was firmly on the side of the Americans, selling war bonds and boosting morale in the way that only a comic book superhero could. But in Justice League Infinity #5, a variant of Superman actually decides to fight in World War II – and unlike many alternate history scenarios, actually changes the world for the better.

During the Golden Age of Comics, almost every American-based superhero took an active role in World War II. Many would travel overseas to the European or Pacific front, such as Captain America, Fighting American, and others. Superman (along with Batman) notably stayed on the home front, fighting against corrupt politicians, organized crime, and other domestic injustices. He would occasionally come across enemy spies, but he never officially joined the United States military in any capacity – at least not in the prime, canonical DC universe.

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