Originally Posted by Fan
It's part of why I do understand some people's dislike for things like Superman, only this is Magic Immune, Kryptonite Immune, Sword of Superman Possessing, White Lantern Ring Augmented, Sun Dipped Superman V.S. Aquaman in a desert world, under a blue sun.
Rather, it's kryptonite-immune Superman trying to persuade Lex Luthor, Dr. Doom, the Joker, and other baddies to give up their criminal ways for good, without allowing himself to compromising his morals (too much). There is no question in anyone's mind that Superman can reduce Luthor and the rest to a fine red mist in hundreds of ways and he's immune to anything those guys can throw at him, but that doesn't actually solve any problems, it's just the minimum force necessary to get the Joker to stop trying to kill him with a kryptonite-filled exploding jack-in-the-box so that the talking can actually happen. (If Superman has some sort of mind-controlling hypnotic voice thing he picked up somewhere that I'm not aware of, let's say that Supes considers using that and other "make enemies friendly" plot devices to be immoral.)
Superman stories generally suck when they try to take an explicitly nigh-invincible pull-powers-out-of-thin-air superhero and threaten him with the physical, because we already know he'll save the day. It's only when writers say "Okay, kryptonite bullets are stupid, and dei ex machina are boring, let's try to get inside Superman's head" that Superman stories turn out well. Same thing here--we don't expect
the Culture to be challenged militarily by the 'Nids or have their agents face permanent death, because they won't, we expect them to be challenged by metaphysics, which is what's currently being worked out.