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  1. #1
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    Default Should Superman have a set number of powers?

    It seems like some people miss the days when writers would just give Superman new powers whenever they felt like it, like they did in the Silver Age, but is that really a good thing for the character?

    Superman pulling new powers out of his butt kind of ruins any sort of dramatic tension regarding stories you put Superman in, there is no danger to Superman or possibility that he could fail to save an innocent person, if he can just get a new power that instantly solves the problem at hand.

    I think its better for Superman to have a set number of powers, because it forces the writers and the character to be more creative, its hard to respect Superman's intelligence if he just gets a new power to deal with a problem, rather using one of his established powers in a clever new way to defeat a problem.

    So should Superman have an set number of powers and if so what should they be? Or should the writers just give Superman new powers whenever they want?

  2. #2
    Astonishing Member Assam's Avatar
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    The only power that matters is the power to shoot rainbows out his fingers that create miniature duplicates out of himself. Everything else is optional.
    World's Biggest Cassandra Cain Fan

  3. #3
    Mighty Member Francisco's Avatar
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    Superman doesn't need new powers every few months just these: Superhuman strength, flight, near invulnerability, regeneration, superhuman speed (ftl), superhuman stamina, immunity to aging and disease, immunity to poisons and toxins, superhuman reflexes, x-ray vision, heat vision, cold breath, superhuman senses (hearing, sight, smell), micro vision, telescopic vision, able to survive in the vacuum of space, under the sea and in the harshest environments. Due to his solar symbiosis he doesn't need to eat but he likes it anyway. He also doesn't need to sleep but he does it for psychological reasons. And the most important ability of all: Superhuman intelligence, (eidetic memory, superfast mental processing of information, inquiring curiosity)acute control over his physiology, that's the reason he doesn't destroy a city just by sneezing.

    His only weakness should be Kryptonite, but he should still be able to fight through it. Only extremely powerful magic should be able to affect him. Red sun radiation shouldn't do anything to him. Under a red sun he should still be a lot stronger than any human or humanoid in the galaxy.
    "Dice que soy un atrevido y solo le robe un beso."

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Francisco View Post
    Superman doesn't need new powers every few months just these: Superhuman strength, flight, near invulnerability, regeneration, superhuman speed (ftl), superhuman stamina, immunity to aging and disease, immunity to poisons and toxins, superhuman reflexes, x-ray vision, heat vision, cold breath, superhuman senses (hearing, sight, smell), micro vision, telescopic vision, able to survive in the vacuum of space, under the sea and in the harshest environments. Due to his solar symbiosis he doesn't need to eat but he likes it anyway. He also doesn't need to sleep but he does it for psychological reasons. And the most important ability of all: Superhuman intelligence, (eidetic memory, superfast mental processing of information, inquiring curiosity)acute control over his physiology, that's the reason he doesn't destroy a city just by sneezing.

    His only weakness should be Kryptonite, but he should still be able to fight through it. Only extremely powerful magic should be able to affect him. Red sun radiation shouldn't do anything to him. Under a red sun he should still be a lot stronger than any human or humanoid in the galaxy.
    I think someone as powerful or more powerful should be able to kill him, guys like Brainiac, Zod, Mongul, Doomsday, Darkseid. etc should be able to kill with their natural strength or other abilities.

    Also does Superman have any defense against telepathy? There is a potential weakness you can use. Could Grodd's mental powers affect Superman?
    Last edited by The Overlord; 05-07-2017 at 06:11 PM.

  5. #5
    Notorious M.O.S. Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Seven big powers is quite enough. Just tweak the levels and have them used in different ways.

    Although, I think ventriloquism and face molding are really great ideas.

  6. #6
    Mighty Member Francisco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Overlord View Post
    I think someone as powerful or more powerful should be able to kill him, guys like Brainiac, Zod, Mongul, Doomsday, Darkseid. etc should be able to kill with their natural strength or other abilities.

    Also does Superman have any defense against telepathy? There is a potential weakness you can use. Could Grodd's mental powers affect Superman?
    Of course if Superman were to get in a fist fight with Darkseid, he might end up dead. Kryptonite is just an easier way to kill him than beating him up to death.
    Superintelligence should take care of that telepathy thingy. His brain power should protect him from most telepathic assaults. Telepathic resistance is also a skill he can acquire with training anyway.
    "Dice que soy un atrevido y solo le robe un beso."

  7. #7
    Mighty Member Francisco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    Seven big powers is quite enough. Just tweak the levels and have them used in different ways.

    Although, I think ventriloquism and face molding are really great ideas.
    Those are skills he can learn. Just like humans learn to do ventriloquism and gesticulation. Just that his would be you know.. Super
    "Dice que soy un atrevido y solo le robe un beso."

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Francisco View Post
    Of course if Superman were to get in a fist fight with Darkseid, he might end up dead. Kryptonite is just an easier way to kill him than beating him up to death.
    Superintelligence should take care of that telepathy thingy. His brain power should protect him from most telepathic assaults. Telepathic resistance is also a skill he can acquire with training anyway.
    I disagree, super intelligence would not protect one from telepathic assaults. Its like assuming a body builder is immune to physical harm.

    I think Superman should be resistant, but not immune to telepathic assaults. Having Poison Ivy able to mind control Superman is stupid, but Superman being immune to insanely powerful telepaths is just having "awesome" moments at the cost of compelling story telling.

    One of the best Superman stories ever "For the Man Who Has Everything" worked because Superman was not immune to telepathic attack, if the Black Mercy had no affect on him, there would be no story.

    A hero needs to face adversity to be compelling, Superman is not exception, things should never be too easy for him. Seeing Superman struggle against, but ultimately defeat a telepathic attack is far more satisfying then the attack having no affect. Its the difference between an earned victory and one that is just given to you.
    Last edited by The Overlord; 05-07-2017 at 06:31 PM.

  9. #9
    Mighty Member Francisco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Overlord View Post
    I disagree, super intelligence would not protect one from telepathic assaults. Its like assuming a body builder is immune to physical harm.

    I think Superman should be resistant, but not immune to telepathic assaults. Having Poison Ivy able to mind control Superman is stupid, but Superman being immune to insanely powerful telepath is just having "awesome" moments at the cost of compelling story telling.

    One of the best Superman stories ever "For the Man Who Has Everything" worked because Superman was not immune to telepathic attack, if the Black Mercy had no affect on him, there would be no story.

    A hero needs to face adversity to be compelling, Superman is not exception, things should never be too easy for him. Seeing Superman struggle against, but ultimately defeat a telepathic attack is far more satisfying then the attack having no affect. Its the difference between an earned victory and one that is just given to you.
    I said most telepathic attacks not all telepathic attacks. I also said telepathic resistance is a skill he can acquire with training.
    "Dice que soy un atrevido y solo le robe un beso."

  10. #10
    Incredible Member Adekis's Avatar
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    I don't think this is a particularly controversial or pressing issue among the Superman fanbase. Did a new power show up in the last week or so without me noticing?

    For a very long time now, Superman's powers have been flight, enhanced senses, looking through solid objects, freeze breath, emitting heat from his eyes, and super-human durability, strength and speed. Add to that the powers of Kryptonian brain-processing/eidetic memory and you've basically got a traditional power-set. Of course, the debate over whether Superman should have a greater information processing rate than Earth people smashes around in the fandom ever so often, so it's less universal. Anyway, how strong each of these powers are depends, but Superman rarely gets new powers in addition to those seven or eight.

    I mean there's the less-than-popular Super-Flare and his now long-gone power to time travel at will (but not change the past), as well as temporary powers like turning into two lightning Supermen or shooting a tiny Superman from a rainbow on his hand, but for the most part I think his "main" powers are set in stone. He rarely pulls a new one out of his ass these days.
    "You know the deal, Metropolis. Treat people right or expect a visit from me."

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Francisco View Post
    I said most telepathic attacks not all telepathic attacks. I also said telepathic resistance is a skill he can acquire with training.
    Fair enough, I think low level street level mind controllers should pose no threat, but high level telepaths should always pose a challenge.

  12. #12
    Notorious M.O.S. Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Francisco View Post
    Those are skills he can learn. Just like humans learn to do ventriloquism and gesticulation. Just that his would be you know.. Super
    It would require a whole new power in both cases, though. At least as they had been depicted. Super ventriloquism could communicate in space. And check this out:


    The crazy thing is, Hulk is 55 this year. And all he's done is get by on the one power. And yet, Superman is even stronger than the Hulk!

    Quote Originally Posted by Adekis View Post
    his now long-gone power to time travel at will
    This was a by-product of super speed. I don't really mind either way, but I was always more interested in Superman being able to fly at absurd speeds while only being able to process and physically react at "very fast" speeds.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    It would require a whole new power in both cases, though. At least as they had been depicted. Super ventriloquism could communicate in space. And check this out:


    The crazy thing is, Hulk is 55 this year. And all he's done is get by on the one power. And yet, Superman is even stronger than the Hulk!



    This was a by-product of super speed. I don't really mind either way, but I was always more interested in Superman being able to fly at absurd speeds while only being able to process and physically react at "very fast" speeds.
    I don't like Superman time travelling at will, because in the movies they used it as a get out of jail free card, Superman could just reset time if things didn't go his way. Its such a game breaker, it gets made fun of:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPB4-EW2Fck

  14. #14
    Mighty Member Francisco's Avatar
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    Time travel is the sort of power that should create more problems that it solves. That's the only way I see it being interesting enough to add to Supes arsenal. Superman would fly so fast that he will travel back in time. He won't do it to fix anything it was just an accident and now he must figure a way to return to his original timeline without messing up the past thus changing up the future.
    "Dice que soy un atrevido y solo le robe un beso."

  15. #15

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    I remember watching the old George Reeves Superman TV show when I was a kid. In order to deal with a crisis, Superman concentrated really hard and divided himself into two Supermen, so they could handle two problems in different places.

    I said, out loud, "Superman can't do that!"

    My father, who happened to be in the room, said casually, "he's Superman. He can do anything."

    A difference in attitude that persisted as the years went on...
    Doctor Bifrost

    "If Roy G. Bivolo had seen some B&W pencil sketches, his whole life would have turned out differently." http://doctorbifrost.blogspot.com/

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