There's only so much effort any gm wants to spend in trying to make battles interesting and to make up for poor villain design. How many times can you trick or setup Superman so that the pl 13 he's fighting seems tougher then he is? When your 50% chance to win is constantly 75% due to pl differences all the gm's 'interference' just becomes obvious. Yeah, some players want to win and they don't care how. But many players like to feel some sense of threat and challenge when fighting a foe. The majority of villains in the dc books aren't a challenge to their primary hero threat.
Well, I mean, the truth is that you are looking at things with a non-super hero setting mindset.
I'm going to reach over to my shelf right now and grab a comic book.
The winner was...
Superman 224 November 2006
In this issue we have 2 examples.
Luthor is flying in his leer jet when an OMAC slams into it. He's forced to take down a lone OMAC without the use of his battle armor.
Superman is attacked by Blackrock. He's forced to contend with a villain that is, pound for pound, way more powerful than him.
Now here is why these are fairly good examples. In both stories the protagonist couldn't "duck it out" with the villain. Luthor was denied his armor, Superman was simply outpowered, in each case each protagonist had to figure a different way to win than simply relying on their damage bonus.
Luthor had to take his Omac down by using a normal gun and causing a cave in to squash it.
Superman had to push Blackrock into a room he located that was lined with lead to cut off Blackrock's power source.
These are actually fairly rare cases where the villain is stronger than the hero.
Here is another example, an issue of Batman.
In the issue the Riddler has kidnapped a DA. He's trapped him in a labyrinth. Batman bursts in and EASILY dispatches the Riddler, but he still has to solve the riddle of the labyrinth in order to rescue the DA.
In this case we have an example of a villain who, physically, is no match for the hero at all. The threat isn't to the hero, but to the DA.
This is how you write for a super hero story even if it is a Tabletop RPG.
Seriously people stop thinking of it like a video game. This is not an MMORPG not every character has to be able to deal the same damage in order to be considered valuable. Not everyone has to be the same toughness in order to be considered viable.
Seriously, the games have to be insanely boring if that is how you are playing it.
"I want to make a guy with "Unstoppable optic blasts!" aside from that he's going to be a normal guy."
"Really? Cool! I plan on making an Alien who is really tough and virtually invulnerable!"
Well good luck because at the end of the day the guy with "Unstoppable optic blasts" can't hit any harder than the Alien, and the "Invulnerable" Alien is more or less just as tough and durable as the "normal guy" is.
If a player makes an "invulnerable" type, then he's doing it because he wants to be invulnerable. This is not just flavor text. M&M really, really, wasn't designed (especially judging from the official DC books and such) for every character to hit every cap. Some characters are heavily damage shifted, some characters are heavily accuracy shifted, some characters simply aren't
Characters are supposed to be played differently. Batman shouldn't go in and try to stand up fight. If he tries that then he should lose.
I presented a perfect example of Batman competing, contributing, and helping out in a highly mechanically viable manner against an enemy way higher PL than he is. It can be done. Simple as that.
One can lift a rock with pure power, but a pure heart can move mountains.