Neil Gaiman and Adam Rogers try to explain the appeal of Superman
Of course, baby Clark has a special destiny. He’s literally empowered to be our salvation, endowed with all the basics – flight, strength, invulnerability – plus the wildcard powers of super hearing, heat vision, x-ray vision, and supercold breath. He used to be even more incredible; before a radical overhaul in the mid-’80s, he could move planets and run faster than the speed of light. His cape was infinitely elastic and never tore. He had super-hypnotism. In the 1978 movie, he turned back time. He’s not a superhero; he’s a demigod.
What’s important, though, is how Superman uses these powers. Compared to most A-list comic characters, he has almost no memorable villains. Think of Batman, locked in eternal combat with nocturnal freaks like the Joker – or Spider-Man, battling megalomaniacal weirdos like Dr. Octopus. For Superman, there’s pretty much only bitter, bald Lex Luthor, forever being reinvented by writers and artists in an effort to make him a worthy foe. Superman’s true enemies are disasters like earthquakes and hurricanes, jet planes tumbling from the sky, enormous meteors that would crush cities. Superman stands between humanity and a capricious universe.
There's also an interview
with Bryan Singer about the making of the new movie.
, who retorts:
That Superman is actually an interesting character- that's the myth! As Neilalien sees it: An unbeatable god never in any danger, with a nonsensical mishmash of super-everything-powers, whose main problem is that he's supposedly an alone alien immigrant outsider on a planet where he looks like the people there and fits in perfectly. Quel dommage!
He's just jealous.)