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Old 10-19-2012, 01:08 PM   #4
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Default Re: Superman's power level

Originally Posted by elgaz View Post
I'd be interested in hearing people's thoughts on what Superman's power level should be in this new film.

As we all know, his power levels have differed vastly over the years, in all types of media. Silver-age Superman in some comics could move a planet, yet some other versions of Superman (Superman Returns for example) had him straining to control the weight of an aeroplane. There's a vast difference there.

But of course, that's just referencing raw strength. What about his other abilities?

  • How fast can he fly? In some versions he can surpass light speed, in others it's more like the speed of sound.
  • How powerful is his heat vision and super breath?
  • Can he survive in space? In some versions he can, in others he needed a suit for deep space travel.
  • How resistant is his body to injury? I've seen him survive a nuclear explosion unscathed in one comic, only for him to be stunned by a rocket from a helicopter in another.
Personally, I'd like to see a very powerful Superman. Whilst I'm all for 'humanising' him and not making him so powerful we can't relate ............. he is Superman after all; we expect him to be like a God, so why not take it to an extreme. He is the most iconic superhero of all, and widely revered as the most powerful. He can barely feel rounds of bullets pinging off his chest, so should a rocket be that much more damaging?

We also have a director in Zack Snyder who has a great flair for visual extravagance, and IMO that goes hand in hand with showcasing amazing powers.
The reason to not take it to extremes is to win over people to whom "He is Superman" doesn't mean anything, or doesn't mean anything good. That's a lot of people. So keeping it 'in the pocket' as far as his power levels allows you to tell a story that people who don't already like Superman can enjoy. ie Snyder's stories about invincible characters don't go over well, no matter how much visual flair he gives to Sucker Punch and Watchmen.

To answer your points:
*He should be able to fly and multi-mach, keeping pace with the fastest jets, but not so fast that his speed can't be visualized on a screen but has to be reported in dialogue or narration or whatever.

*His heat vision should be a super laser, pretty much able to cut through anything. His cold breath should be similar, having a liquid nitrogen like effect.

*He should be able to survive in space, but still need to breathe, so it's like swimming, basically. He can hold his breath for several minutes at a time.

*He should be vulnerable enough that the American Military machine could conceivably take him down, either with a Nuke, or waves of tactical strikes with high powered missiles and/or experimental tech.

The funny thing is, all the live action incarnations have gotten it right. Only the cartoons put him too low and the old comics put him too high. But if you feel like "He is Superman after all" can make a billion dollars, can get people excited, by all means, make him a god.

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