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Old 07-20-2011, 11:58 AM   #301
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Default Re: Superman's power level

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No. Superman didn't fly in Action Comics #1.
I see. So they're literally taking it back to the basics.

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Old 07-20-2011, 12:17 PM   #302
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True, I'd like to see this handled realistically also.

Superman may be able to hit the speed of light, but he can't fly past a city or a crowd of people closely at much more than a few hundred miles per hour without serious air disturbance. Think what would happen if a fighter jet flew past your window at maximum velocity.

How can he fight an enemy in a city environment when their punches send them through buildings or harming civilians?

How can he realistically cut out all the background noise from his superhearing when he lives and works in a busy city? (Though for that one, the best explanation I heard likened it to being at a noisy party but focusing on just one conversation near you).

How does he actually limit himself on a daily basis so that he doesn't crush a mug into dust when he has a coffee, etc?
Exactly. And now that you mentioned it, superhearing would be very interesting to see how Superman learns how to use that power. Powers that Clark uses everyday such as supervision, xray vision, etc ,must have been burdensome when he didnt know how to use them.

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Old 07-20-2011, 12:33 PM   #303
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Default Re: Superman's power level

I think this reboot is doing something similar to Earth 2 Superman. Starting him out at his 1938 levels and then increasing his powers to late golden age levels as he gets older (which is about as powerful as modern Superman pre-reboot, if not moreso).

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Old 08-01-2011, 06:35 PM   #304
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I think it should be comprehensible. If you can benchmark it against something real, then there's no reason for him not to have it. He flies as fast as a jet fighter. He can pick up a nuclear submarine. He can see to the next city. It's when you can't gauge how fast he is by anything that it begins to lose meaning.

Also, you have to make sure the story can support the powerset you're giving him. If he's as quick as he is fast, then how can he possibly be hit by anything? How can he even be outsmarted in conversation if his brain is going that fast? (You can explain it well in a forum post, but not in a good movie narrative). You can't make him so powerful that he has to forget his powers, or be distracted in some non-climactic event in order for your story to work. That's a bad story. fridge logic abounds, or worse, the critic's feeling that Superman is too powerful to be interesting is highlighted and supported.

Seeing as how his main problems will be Kryptonians, who will be his equals, and military who will almost assuredly be equipped with Kryptonite so that they matter, there's no reason to limit his power level. When it comes to sequels, you'll have Luthor, who will put him in a moral quandry and be positioned to not be physically attacked, but you'll also have some kryptonian monsters like Doomsday, Brainiac and Bizarro to fight along the way. If you're not going to Byrne him, then terrestrial physical threats, even Metallo, (who is always a single long distance javelin throw from defeat) don't pose a realistic threat, and thus, make for a bad story.

As long as you can bench it by something real, it won't be a cartoon and it will still be workable. If you make him 'as fast as light' and all the foolishness that requires thought bubbles and caption boxes in the comics, then the audience will just be watching a cartoon, since it has nothing to do (ie no benchmarks) with reality.

Long story short, he can only be as fast and strong as you can show the audience. You don't need to Byrne him, but you certainly can't make him as fast and strong as he is after 60 years of comics.


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Old 12-06-2011, 06:24 AM   #305
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Default Re: Superman's power level

So, any more thoughts on power levels given any recent pics and news from filming?

I'm very curious to know just how powerful Snyder wants his Superman to be. Is he going to be similar to Singer's version in 2006 for example - capable of travelling at close to the speed of light, of handling something like an aeroplane without serious effort, and of lifting something the size of new Krypton whilst being exposed to Kryptonite .......................... or less/more powerful than that?

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Old 12-06-2011, 10:54 AM   #306
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Default Re: Superman's power level

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So, any more thoughts on power levels given any recent pics and news from filming?

I'm very curious to know just how powerful Snyder wants his Superman to be. Is he going to be similar to Singer's version in 2006 for example - capable of travelling at close to the speed of light, of handling something like an aeroplane without serious effort, and of lifting something the size of new Krypton whilst being exposed to Kryptonite .......................... or less/more powerful than that?
I'm a fan of Golden Age power levels or how Grant Morrison is currently depicting them with flight added in of course. I think that level allows for the most versatility in story telling on film. It reduces the reliance on CGI and makes practical effects more well... practical and credible. No matter what Kurosawa says, I find peak Silver Age power levels unbelieveable. If Superman is nigh omnipotent and omniscient, it makes credible villains very difficult. I mean if Superman moves as the speed of light and is an alien intelligence without compare, there is no way Lex Luthor can outsmart him or even break out from prison. I mean Superman can be on the scene before Luthor can break out of prison. Also, more limited powers make sense given the original explanations for Superman's powers.

I'm not suggesting that we get the Byrne Superman. I'm not asking for that characterization or storytelling at all. I just want something similar to the current run on Action Comics. I just think seeing Superman struggling to stop a high-speed train is more engaging.

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Old 12-07-2011, 08:39 AM   #307
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His power level should be EPIC. Like nothing we've seen on screen before.

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Old 12-07-2011, 10:48 AM   #308
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I'd like to see his powers grow over the series.

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Old 12-07-2011, 11:27 AM   #309
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I'd like to see his powers grow over the series.
Ditto

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Old 12-07-2011, 11:50 AM   #310
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Default Re: Superman's power level

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I'd like to see his powers grow over the series.
I agree with this

People can say what they want about Thor not having that many strength feats in his film, but that would only make it that much better if he bursts out with some awesome feats in THOR 2 and THOR 3.

Same goes with Cap and his abscence aerobatics in CA:TFA, you don't have to show everything they can do in the first film just save some things for the sequels.

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Old 12-12-2011, 01:52 PM   #311
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Default Re: Superman's power level

Does anyone else marvel at how ludicrous moving at near light speed is?

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Old 12-12-2011, 04:52 PM   #312
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Default Re: Superman's power level

Superman can not fly or run at the speed of light. The speed of light is 671 million miles an hour...

A concord jet can travel at 1,600 miles an hour so I would say putting Superman at like 5,000 miles an hour or a figure a bit faster than that for flying would be satisfactory.

Super speed I would say around the same figure as flight.

Strength around the same strength levels as shown in Superman Returns.

Heat Vision will be the most trickiest to pull off realistically. You would have to explain how it works in my opinion to make it credible

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Old 12-12-2011, 04:56 PM   #313
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Heat Vision will be the most trickiest to pull off realistically. You would have to explain how it works in my opinion to make it credible
I really don't think so, but...

You can just say that the light energy that is processed by Superman's cells is released as Infared light from his eyes. Simples.

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Old 12-12-2011, 10:56 PM   #314
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Default Re: Superman's power level

It is so cool to see how heat vision is interpreted in every adaption of Superman along with Xray vision.
Also someone mentioned that in SR, Superman could handle a plane with ease, but I remember him struggling with it as opposed to Christopher Reeves Superman that caught a falling helicopter with one hand.


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Old 12-13-2011, 04:31 AM   #315
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The best explanation I've heard for Superman's heat vision actually stems from his X-ray vision. Superman has the unique ability to emit X-Rays (as well as absorb, like most humanoids) from his eyes, and thus that's how he can 'see through' things. But as X-rays are a form of radiation, when he turns the intensity up a lot and focuses them more.......................................... they become heat vision, like a laser. All of these 'vision' powers are made convenient by the massive reserves of solar radiation his body can store.

It will be interesting to see how Snyder makes it look on screen. The Donner Superman films, as we all know, had Superman's heat vision looking like red lasers - which was probably fairly acceptable bearing in mind it was the late 70s, and stuff like Star Wars was making it big. Lasers were cool

In early Smallville episodes, heat vision was shown as shimmering air. This was done in Superman Returns also, though it seemed to be toned back a bit and more subtle. Then in later episodes (presumably as Clark's powers grew and he got older) they became more like beams of fire. I guess the intensity of the heat vision should affect how it looks - a mild beam would realistically look like shimmering/heated air, full force would look like a huge red beam, almost like Cyclop's beam in X-men.

In both Smallville and SR versions, the effect was a pulsating effect, rather than a smooth, constant laser-like beam. I preferred this effect as it looks a bit more organic and less machine-like.

Early -


Later -


Superman Returns -


The strongest depiction in Smallville was when he used his heat vision to completely vaporise a huge flood which was about to hit a man and his young son who were out in the wild. In that scene, the camera angle was from directly in front of his face and the heat vision just made it look like he was engulfed in flames



No matter what effect they use, I'll just be happy to see Superman let loose with the heat vision on Zod in MOS





With regards to his speed, I've no problem with Superman moving at crazy speeds. Whether it's close to the speed of light or halfway there, who cares. They did it in SR (remember the news reports about his activities around the globe, when they alluded to him moving at those speeds?). If the guy has to be capable of stopping multiple speeding bullets, outrun explosions and whatever else Snyder decides to throw at him, why not make him insanely fast? After all, if we can accept a humanoid can move at 5000mph, why not make it 50,000mph or 500,000mph ............... it's not that much more of a stretch of the imagination.

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Originally Posted by Szetsilya View Post
It is so cool to see how heat vision is interpreted in every adaption of Superman along with Xray vision.
Also someone mentioned that in SR, Superman could handle a plane with ease, but I remember him struggling with it as opposed to Christopher Reeves Superman that caught a falling helicopter with one hand.
What I meant was, he handled the weight of the plane with ease. His problem (in struggling with it) was getting a grip on the large plane structure itself without it breaking apart. When he finally made his way to the front of the plane as it was about to impale itself nose-first in a baseball pitch, and he finally got a grip on the fuselage structure itself, he was able to lower the plane without too much effort. This was something that SR actually did right, it's about time they had Superman handling large objects 'realistically' without them breaking apart under their own weight.


Last edited by elgaz; 12-13-2011 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 12-13-2011, 11:11 AM   #316
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Default Re: Superman's power level

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With regards to his speed, I've no problem with Superman moving at crazy speeds. Whether it's close to the speed of light or halfway there, who cares. They did it in SR (remember the news reports about his activities around the glove, when they alluded to him moving at those speeds?). If the guy has to be capable of stopping multiple speeding bullets, outrun explosions and whatever else Snyder decides to throw at him, why not make him insanely fast? After all, if we can accept a humanoid can move at 5000mph, why not make it 50,000mph or 500,000mph ............... it's not that much more of a stretch of the imagination.
We all know comics fans don't have a problem with ridiculous comics physics, and don't consider anything much of a stretch - most folk do. It's off putting when something that's supposed to be very concrete is arbitrarily high. He can get anywhere in virtually no time moving at 5,000 miles per hour. You make it higher, you're wasting detail and thusly, making a lesser story.

5,000 miles per hour *is* insanely fast. It's fast enough to do any act conceivable, from catching bullets, to dodging invidual words of a conversation so that you don't hear them. When you decide being fast enough to take someone apart reassemble them elsewhere and do surgery to stitch them back together so they don't even know what happened, much less die -- and then decide that's not fast enough, there's something wrong there, imho.

The worst thing about arbitrary speed is what it does to the tension. If someone can catch bullets with effort, when you distract or occupy them, it makes sense that they can get hit with something. But if someone catches bullets effortlessly, like we catch balloons or something, then all terrestrial characters become meaningless. We get to the point where it doesn't make sense for even Kryptonite to be a threat, because even a drunk half dead superman has enough strength and speed to flick his wrist and knock Metallo, much less a simple kryptonite weapon, into the sun.


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Superman can not fly or run at the speed of light. The speed of light is 671 million miles an hour...

A concord jet can travel at 1,600 miles an hour so I would say putting Superman at like 5,000 miles an hour or a figure a bit faster than that for flying would be satisfactory.

Super speed I would say around the same figure as flight.

Strength around the same strength levels as shown in Superman Returns.

Heat Vision will be the most trickiest to pull off realistically. You would have to explain how it works in my opinion to make it credible
Agreed, I think one of the easiest and coolest ways to explain it would be some sort of eye ability exhibited by kryptonians naturally. If its shown that Kryptonians have some basic eye ability even under a red sun, then it becomes a no brainer that under a yellow sun it could turn into heat vision or X-Ray vision. Perhaps this eye ability could come into play with Jor-El's fight with Zod?

Failing that, and trying to cram exposition in, which I doubt they will do or will work, some electromagnetic spectrum mumbo-jumbo would do the job. Still, it'd be much better to have a scene the parallel Batman Begins Fox in the R&D Lab scene, where someone explains Superman's powers as though they are natural and make perfect sense. Perhaps the eye stuff were evolved abilities to cope with Krypton's whatever...

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Old 12-13-2011, 07:21 PM   #317
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:58 PM   #318
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His power level should be EPIC. Like nothing we've seen on screen before.

Epic stregth is cool, but all power levels, NO!


I'm not sure I want to see Sups freeze an entire lake in 3 seconds with his breath, then pick up the entire frozen lake and transport it again. That was a little too over the top for me.


I also don't want nothing retarded like Sups pealing off his shield and tossing at people, who in the world thought of that one? O'yea, and NO teleportation/body double's, where did he get this power?


If they are going to make-up a power for Sups this time around, do it right a make sure it makes sense.




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Old 12-13-2011, 09:26 PM   #319
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I'd like to see his powers grow over the series.

^^^Right here!


I don't even want Sups himself to know he has powers, I want to see his reaction to each and every power he discovers through-out the film. I want to see him get scared *****less the second he starts to float off the ground, then drops like a brick because he does not yet know how to control his flight.


Reguarding MOS, I feel he will be an outcast for a good while before he discovers what he was meant to do. I feel nations will view him as a threat at first due to his powers. Atleast from the set pics, etc, this is what I'm hoping for.

I want a more realistic reaction from Country's and Governments this time around, how would everyone really react to an Alien being from another planet with powers that can destroy everyone and anything? How long before everyone can trust this Alien? This is the origin story I want to see.



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Old 12-13-2011, 11:54 PM   #320
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His power should be virtually unlimited. Only tamed by his will.

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Old 12-13-2011, 11:56 PM   #321
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I'd like Silver/Bronze Age near infinite powers but would settle with his powers growing to reflect the history of the comics. No Byrne-type garbage where he is a normal human and his powers develop slowly, however. Even as a baby Superman is supposed to be powerful, like Hercules.

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Old 12-14-2011, 12:04 AM   #322
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Default Re: Superman's power level

If the character is too powerful he becomes invincible and boring. The original Superman could be hurt by an artillery shell. I prefer that over him being able to survive an atomic bomb.

I like the idea of flying being something he learns later in life.

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Old 12-14-2011, 12:16 AM   #323
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I'd like Silver/Bronze Age near infinite powers but would settle with his powers growing to reflect the history of the comics. No Byrne-type garbage where he is a normal human and his powers develop slowly, however. Even as a baby Superman is supposed to be powerful, like Hercules.

I 100% agree with this, but...

What I do want to see is him discovering his powers over time, not necessarily developing them over time. Sups always had/has his powers, but I want to see him figuring out how to use them.

Just as a baby needs to learn how to walk, etc. Kinda like a Michael Jordan growing up, Jordan always had the talent to be the best at Basketball, but he had to work to discover the talent that he had to become as good as he became.



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Old 12-14-2011, 12:17 AM   #324
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If the character is too powerful he becomes invincible and boring. The original Superman could be hurt by an artillery shell. I prefer that over him being able to survive an atomic bomb.

I like the idea of flying being something he learns later in life.
I'm so tired of hearing this ridiculous misconception. Good story telling, acting and visuals make a movie interesting or boring, not whether a character is invincible.

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Old 12-14-2011, 12:24 AM   #325
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Default Re: Superman's power level

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I'd like Silver/Bronze Age near infinite powers but would settle with his powers growing to reflect the history of the comics. No Byrne-type garbage where he is a normal human and his powers develop slowly, however. Even as a baby Superman is supposed to be powerful, like Hercules.
What about Golden Age/current Action Comics level powers (but including flight) combined with a proper pre-Crisis characterization?

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