But in the end though, Superman may lament the passing of his friends, he may carry the burden of loneliness, etc, but in the end we KNOW he will do the right thing. We KNOW he wont kill the villain, we KNOW he will save the girl.
Is that a character we can relate to?
DC has been very protective of how much you can change a character like Superman or Batman and I think that has been their downfall in a way. The moment the Joker confronted Batman in "The Dark Knight" and told him that no matter what he did Batman wouldn't kill him, Batman was no longer an effective character. Sure we all KNOW that, but you never, NEVER spell it out in a story.
Don't we all want Batman or Superman to go off the rails once just to bring them down to our level?
"Too Soon from the Cave, Too Far from the Stars"