I don't really see the point of not
yanking Superman's cape. I mean, this plenipotent being is clearly unstable by human standards: no amount of placation would assuredly keep him from turning the heroes into frogs, and no amount of spitting at him would assuredly make him worse than he already is.
It's like saying that Picard did badly by flunking the 20 questions thing in "All Good Things...". There's no advantage to following the rules of Q, and our heroes would know that much in this early episode already.