The Superman Family Message Board >> View Thread

Author
Daveym 

Moderator

Location: Lancashire
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008



Questions regarding how Superman's powers work and what role Krypton's gravity has on him rumble on eternally, writers still like to remind us that Krypton's high gravity plays a part in what he can do but never actually explain what it is that the gravity differential does for him...
But check out one of the earliest Superman Origins and actually, it all makes a neat sort of sense:








Now that's how it should be. \(pirate\)



Posted with Mozilla 11.0 on Windows 7
liheibao


Member Since: Thu May 07, 2009
Posts: 3,518


Nice. There's another sequence where Superman is explaining how their powers work to Supergirl. It's a Silver Age issue that I've been trying to find again with no luck, but it explains that it's the solar rays, which penetrate through the Earth, not sunlight that power them.

Gil Kane actually reversed the concept during his run where he introduced the new Brainiac. Under Kane, Superman retained his super-senses under a red sun. I was surprised and intrigued when I read that, but I never saw it used that way again.




R. I. P. Kato: A good friend to one who has so few
Posted with Google Chrome 34.0.1847.131 on Windows 7
Sethno


Location: in front of computer or tablet
Member Since: Fri Mar 09, 2012
Posts: 3,386



We discussed this recently, so I'm going to sound like a broken record, but there were plenty of Silver Age stories that saw Superman lose ALL his powers under a red sun, even on ancient Earth. (Yep, they used to claim that in Earth's infancy, its sun was red.)

If the loss of yellow solar energy deprived him of all his powers, that threw the whole "gravity/mass" concept out the window.

If he was actually made of "more sturdy stuff" than a human (due to Krypton having had higher gravity), much of his durability, speed, and strength should have remained.

It didn't.

Silver Age claims were that his powers came from both. Silver Age red sun stories said his powers were solar only.

I like the solar-only theory. Not only does it allow him to lose his powers completely, it also means when he was growing up, he wasn't super-heavy, and still won't be when he loses his solar powers.

It's really the only thing that makes sense, especially now with the idea that his powers weren't very pronounced when he was younger. (No breaking beds or chairs...or Jonathan's and Martha's backs...as a child, please.)



Posted with Google Chrome 34.0.1847.114 on Linux
Would be Watcher


Location: Canada
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008



...Flight is a "muscular power" but not "invulnerability". Hum...

Still, like others have said, if gravity ever played any role in his powers, few writer, if any, were keen enough to portray it coherently. 

For one, Superman should have weighted a lot more while on earth since he was taking the same space as an adult earthling but comprise of much denser material. Also, the ray of any star should never had any impact on his "muscular powers". At least never to make him merely human. At the very worst he would still have be made of much denser material. Even on Krypton... and any human setting foot on Krypton would be flatten like a pancake. 




Posted with Google Chrome 34.0.1847.131 on Windows NT 4.0
Daveym 

Moderator

Location: Lancashire
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008




    Quote:

    ...Flight is a "muscular power" but not "invulnerability". Hum...
    Still, like others have said, if gravity ever played any role in his powers, few writer, if any, were keen enough to portray it coherently. 
    For one, Superman should have weighted a lot more while on earth since he was taking the same space as an adult earthling but comprise of much denser material. Also, the ray of any star should never had any impact on his "muscular powers". At least never to make him merely human. At the very worst he would still have be made of much denser material. Even on Krypton... and any human setting foot on Krypton would be flatten like a pancake. 


I think you might be reading too deeply into it, nobody has ever claimed the gravity explanation has been well defined, as clearly it hasn't. But what the page does show is that the original explanation (now forgotten) actually makes a good deal of sense in explaining what the gravity differential specifically does for him.
I have no time for shallow nitpicks like "Then Clark should weigh three tons on earth!", not when we are talking comicbook science and the fact that we have an alien here who gets godlike power all because of the colour of the Sun. I was only posting the page as it is an interesting very early description and to me makes sense of what the rough cause & effect of his abilities actually are. If you are prepared to accept that the effects of sunlight can enable a man to fly and shove planets then a gravity differential should be equally as plausible a rationale to embrace...






Posted with Mozilla 11.0 on Windows 7
JesusFan


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008


I actually would rather seem him as being physical as strong/fast/durable as say Spiderman naturally, and the exposure to Sun allows him to have his super senses and have all his natural powers magnified thousands of times over!


Posted with Mozilla Firefox 12.0 on Linux
JesusFan


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008


That explanation still most sense to me, as it was always stated/implied both factors were in play, and that he should be always somewhat super, regardless if Sun or not!

And could state that he can mentally control his body desenty factor, so that he weighs normal weight on earth!


Posted with Mozilla Firefox 12.0 on Linux
Would be Watcher


Location: Canada
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008




    Quote:


      Quote:

      ...Flight is a "muscular power" but not "invulnerability". Hum...
      Still, like others have said, if gravity ever played any role in his powers, few writer, if any, were keen enough to portray it coherently. 
      For one, Superman should have weighted a lot more while on earth since he was taking the same space as an adult earthling but comprise of much denser material. Also, the ray of any star should never had any impact on his "muscular powers". At least never to make him merely human. At the very worst he would still have be made of much denser material. Even on Krypton... and any human setting foot on Krypton would be flatten like a pancake. 



    Quote:
    I think you might be reading too deeply into it, nobody has ever claimed the gravity explanation has been well defined, as clearly it hasn't. But what the page does show is that the original explanation (now forgotten) actually makes a good deal of sense in explaining what the gravity differential specifically does for him.
    I have no time for shallow nitpicks like "Then Clark should weigh three tons on earth!", not when we are talking comicbook science and the fact that we have an alien here who gets godlike power all because of the colour of the Sun. I was only posting the page as it is an interesting very early description and to me makes sense of what the rough cause & effect of his abilities actually are. If you are prepared to accept that the effects of sunlight can enable a man to fly and shove planets then a gravity differential should be equally as plausible a rationale to embrace...



    Quote:
I have no problem accepting whatever they will want to use to explain how the powers manifest. However, they should avoid explaining it in ways that makes the explanations subject to our knowledge on the matter. If they try that route, they have to expect the knowledge of the audience getting in the way. Saying you are stronger because of lesser gravity and denser tissues comes with some strings were as the color of a star, that we can't use to explain what he does, doesn't.

BTW, sorry if I offended you. It was not my intent.





Posted with Google Chrome 34.0.1847.131 on Windows NT 4.0
JesusFan


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008


He should be able to control his body desity factor, and thus allow him to weigh what he should for his height!



Posted with Mozilla Firefox 28.0 on Windows 7
Knight


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008




    Quote:

    Questions regarding how Superman's powers work and what role Krypton's gravity has on him rumble on eternally, writers still like to remind us that Krypton's high gravity plays a part in what he can do but never actually explain what it is that the gravity differential does for him...
    But check out one of the earliest Superman Origins and actually, it all makes a neat sort of sense:



    Quote:




    Quote:
    Now that's how it should be. \(pirate\)


...every writer, without a single exception, forgets about Krypton's higher gravity, placing Superman's strength down to a normal human. x\(

I mean, think about it. Even without powers, Superman should still have some measure of Super Strength. But he never does when he loses his powers. \:\(





It's interesting that a hero/villain performs one amazing feat, or use a power they haven't used for 20+ years, and that automatically propels them to a high status despite scans and evidence to the contrary. I don't know what is worse, selective feat picking that has only been done once or twice 20, or more, years ago or ignoring evidence from scans or the lack thereof. We need to stop putting our favorite heroes/villains on pedestals and start putting them where they really belong. But it's evident that people never will because they would rather accuse others of cherry picking feats, when they don't, and being 'morally superior' when they aren't. I guess being honest and as fair as possible only opens one up to being the target of childish accusations and fault finding by those who insist on acting petty and childish. What happened to a good debate between two civil, mature, adults?
Posted with Mozilla 11.0 on Windows 7
Daveym 

Moderator

Location: Lancashire
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008



I agree, yes. I feel this is a struggle with the character evolution over the decades being played out as originally the gravity explanation was part and parcel of his origin and used to explain his ability to leap tall buildings, but of course as the years go by he goes from leaping to flying through time, and "lighter gravity" just isn't going to explain that sort of thing.
That is still lingers as a rationale for his powers has more to do with tradition that sense, it is one of the heirlooms of the characters concepts that has been around so long that writers and editors today are no longer sure of what it actually means anymore. But linger it does.



Posted with Mozilla 11.0 on Windows 7
JesusFan


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008


There has ALWAYS been a frustration on how DC has officially seen both his powers and his weaknesses, as some have him keeling over at sight of a rabbit pulled out of a hat, others have him getting weaker exposed to magic, and some see no magic wealness at all!

Some have him right away stripped of powers exposed to red sun, others that he can function for several hours, few day under it...

Some have Green K has making him weak and sick, bit still able to foght thru out, others that a Green K ring knocks him on his hanny and almost kills him off...

Still think that he should be always somewhat super, maybe exposure to red Sun has him ONLY using his natural power levels, and magic and green K can bother him, but not fatal to him?

Side question...

Do death of superman by DD never happened?

So there never were those other 4 superman running around?




Posted with Mozilla Firefox 28.0 on Windows 7
liheibao


Member Since: Thu May 07, 2009
Posts: 3,518


Death of Superman still occurred, but Reign of the Superman did not. It makes Superman's death incomplete and his return rather sketchy, but that's perfect for N52.




R. I. P. Kato: A good friend to one who has so few
Posted with Google Chrome 34.0.1847.131 on Windows NT 4.0
JesusFan


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008


So he was killed off DD as a teenager, and yet he has never met DD until present time then?

Or maybe his death was last event before the reboot, and so he died as the new earth kal, and was resurrected as teen kal in the NU 52?




Posted with Mozilla Firefox 28.0 on Windows 7
liheibao


Member Since: Thu May 07, 2009
Posts: 3,518


If he met DD as a teenager, he'd be dead. The real death. There's just no way that Superman could have withstood Doomsday with GA level powers.

The real trouble comes from N52's loose continuity. There's just not enough time for Superman to have met Doomsday, fought and beat him, then join the JL and all that. Your theories are actually pretty clever, but new Earth Kal had all ready fought and defeated Doomsday four times at least. There's little likelihood that Doomsday posed the same mortal threat as he did when he first appeared.




R. I. P. Kato: A good friend to one who has so few
Posted with Google Chrome 34.0.1847.131 on Windows NT 4.0
Sethno


Location: in front of computer or tablet
Member Since: Fri Mar 09, 2012
Posts: 3,386



Can't have your cake and eat it too.

If his flight/anti-gravity comes from solar, and as a child those powers were only beginning, then a child with a dense molecular structure would have been very, very heavy and the Kents wouldn't have been able to lift him, and he'd have broken floors, chairs, beds, desks at school, etc. ("Birthright" said Krypton was 30 times as massive as Earth. Multiply a normal child's weight 30 times.)

I like the idea of him still being an analog to Kal-L if he loses his solar powers, but it creates too many problems, and also it wipes out the chance at stories where he does lose all his powers. (I mean, you can't keep putting him under red suns on Krypton-sized worlds just to do such stories.)



Posted with Google Chrome 34.0.1847.114 on Linux
RAB


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 1,247


While I'm not one who absolutely needs to have Superman's powers come from gravitational differences, I will say that if it has to be implemented, this is probably the best way to do it. Have most of his physical attributes come from gravity, the rest of his powers be mental enhancements from solar energy.

Thanks for the find, Daveyem!




Ryan Brandt
---
Writer of Ideas
Creator of Stuff

Check out out my Deviantart page!
Posted with Google Chrome 34.0.1847.131 on Windows Vista
JesusFan


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008


Actually, could have it established that his mind can control body density to a degree, so would be subconsciously altering it to remain like a normal weight due to damping his density factors, that is where the yellow sun energies kick in!


Posted with Mozilla Firefox 28.0 on Windows 7
Gernot 

Manager

Location: St. Louis, MO
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 12,418


The sun, a magnifying glass, and an anthill are ALL I need to while away a beatiful summer's day! ;\)

I became ten years old again just TYPING the previous sentence! \:\)



Posted with Mozilla Firefox 29.0 on Windows Vista
swmcbf


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,035


I don't know about you but these days I am the one likely to burst into flame in sunlight. \:\-\)


Posted with Google Chrome 34.0.1847.131 on Windows 7
Gernot 

Manager

Location: St. Louis, MO
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 12,418


Oh, like cows that can't pass gas? ;\)



Posted with Mozilla Firefox 29.0 on Windows Vista
JS


Member Since: Thu Oct 29, 2009


Altering his density would make him bigger or smaller. However, he could use his flight powers to reduce his weight.



Posted with Mozilla Firefox 29.0 on Windows 7

Alvaro's Comicboards powered by On Topic™ © 2003-2022 Powermad Software