superman.nufacebook    
  •   forum   •   THIS WEEK'S CHAPTER: "RETRIEVAL!" •   fortress   •  
Superman Through the Ages! Forum
News: Superman Through the Ages! now located at theAges.superman.nu
 
*
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
November 18, 2019, 02:13:16 PM


Login with username, password and session length


Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: "High" Power Level vs. "Low" Power Level  (Read 23355 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
JulianPerez
Council of Wisdom
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1168



« on: August 15, 2005, 05:08:23 AM »

In another thread, the case is brought up as to whether Superman's stories are richer and better off if he has (comparatively) "high level" powers or (comparatively) "low level" powers. Superman has alternated between the two through his career; he began it "low-level," and then went to "high power," in the forties and fifties and sixties, becoming "low-level" again in the seventies under O'Neil. In other media, Superman is "high-level" in the Christopher Reeve movies, but "low-level" in the animated series and Justice League.

My question is this: how do you prefer your Superman: "low level" power or "high level" powered? Under which end of the spectrum is Superman more "Supermanish?"

My personal view:

Superman is better off "higher" powered.

If Superman is higher powered, it means that Superman is more unique as a character, because his plots will not resemble those of other superheroes: they will not be centered on the straightforward opposition a villain or monster or robot can provide, but would be centered on things like dilemmas and choices.

Higher power levels are more awe-inspiring and easily capture the sense of wonder; they're just plain "cool" because they are by their nature, fantastic. They force you to think about how unlike the real world things are. Read the "Average Day" story where Superman is playing baseball with his supporting cast, and the "bases" are between Macchu Picchu, Mt. Everest, and "home plate" is the Daily Planet building. Superman hoisting an ocean liner above his head is an astonishing sight.

Superman having higher level powers also make certain types of stories possible. For instance, if Superman was unable to go fast enough to break the time barrier and travel back through time, you have just shut the door on time travel stories. Ditto for space travel and space opera type stories, which suddenly are made impossible (or at least harder to explain) than if he can just fly faster than light.

More powers make Superman unique, if his powers cover breadth of ability instead of just depth of ability. The instinct of writers recently have been to *remove* Superpowers (I don't think Superman has used Super-Shouts, Super-Scent or Super-Ventriloquism in decades, for example). This is unfortunate, because characters that fly and are superstrong and tough are a dime a dozen; Superman isn't just "another one" of these characters; he is the starting point, the inspiration for the whole concept. Any power he has, from Super-Hypnotism to Super-Shouting, improves him by making him that much more unique than his imitators.

This brings up a related question: if you could give Superman any NEW superpowers, what would they be?

I'd love to see someone GIVE Superman some more Super-Powers, perhaps: how about the ability to move objects from a distance the way the Phantom Zone criminals did in SUPERMAN II? How about "Spectrum Vision," that allows his eyes to act as miniature spectrascopes that identify any element or the composition of any kind of matter by looking at it? It's arguable with his extended vision powers that he has this power already.
Logged

"Wait, folks...in a startling new development, Black Goliath has ripped Stilt-Man's leg off, and appears to be beating him with it!"
       - Reporter, Champions #15 (1978)
MatterEaterLad
Council of Wisdom
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1389


Silver Age Surfer


WWW
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2005, 02:01:35 PM »

I actually think that S:TAS worked fine, because Superman's inherent goodness and lack of self doubt are intact...if a writer subtly de-powers him so that he has to shrug off missiles as he continues his mission, its OK with me...change his history to a birthing matrix or make him mentally question his motivation, and I lose interest...
Logged
Captain Kal
Superman Squad
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 716



« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2005, 02:37:07 PM »

While I personally also prefer time travel capability, I do see what DC was aiming for with the drastically restricted time travel of the Post Crisis DCU.  They were trying to avoid the rampant continuity gaffes that unrestricted time travel was prone to produce esp. with lack of editorial control and writers of sometimes less-than-stellar talents.

OTOH, given how Post Crisis continuity ended up being a mess anyway, I don't see how this editorial fiat bought them their objectives anyway.

I say, give him back FTL and time travel power again.
Logged

Captain Kal

"When you lose, don't lose the lesson."
-- The Dalai Lama
RedSunOfKrypton
Last Son of Krypton
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 303



« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2005, 09:54:08 PM »

TAS Superman seemed a little like a jerk to me and a bit self riteous, especially in JLA-U. He wasn't exactly the pinnacle of morality he's supposed to be. He was egotistical also.
Logged

"...and as the fledgeling Man of Steel looks for the first time over the skyline of this city, this, Metropolis, he utters the syllables with which history is made and legends are forged: This, looks like a job...for Superman."
Gangbuster
Superman Squad
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 587



« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2005, 09:59:44 PM »

It depends which powers.

I prefer that my Superman be fast enough to travel through space, invulnerable enough to not be killed by something stupid, and have a really good sense of super-hearing.

But as for the strength, I don't really care. Moving planets is out.
Logged

"Trying to capture my wife, eh? That makes me SUPER-MAD!"

-"Superman", 1960

lonewolf23k
Superman Emergency Squad
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 58


« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2005, 11:25:45 PM »

While I do agree that Superman should be portrayed with a High Power Level, I do think that giving him extra powers just for the sake of giving him new powers is kinda silly.  

It's that kind of thinking which gave us "The Cellophane S-Symbol" from Superman II and "Rebuild-the-Great-Wall-of-China" Vision in Superman IV...    Great Rao that was silly..

No, I'd rather see any new Superman powers being derived from his existing super-powers, or logical extrapolations from them..  I can see Super-Spectrum Vision, Super-Sonic Screaming or a Super-Analysis power allowing him to predict an enemy's actions...  But telekinesis?  I don't think so.

...Heck, I'm having doubts about Super-Hypnosis..  Unless we make it an advanced, super-scientific Kryptonian version using sub-sonic subliminal voice messages or something similar..

In terms of raw power levels, though, I've got only one thing to say...

...I'm sick and tired of seeing "rumbles" message board people say DBZ's Goku could kick Superman's butt.  ...Darnit, the Man of Steel should be able to beat an uppity Sayjin...
Logged
Kuuga
Last Son of Krypton
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 336



« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2005, 12:54:10 PM »

Quote from: "RedSunOfKrypton"
TAS Superman seemed a little like a jerk to me and a bit self riteous, especially in JLA-U. He wasn't exactly the pinnacle of morality he's supposed to be. He was egotistical also.


STAS Superman and JLU Superman are (though unintentionally) seperate characters.  The Justice League animated series has been screwing up Supermans character since day one and is basically a disgrace to STAS because of it.  If they could stop worshipping Batman for 2 little seconds they might be able to get it right. Bruce Timm as much as I love his work has obviously forgotten the show that he worked on.

In STAS he wasn't a jerk at all and the power levels he had worked fine because they would actually show him get back up and take care of business. He could have just the slightest bit of attitude without coming off as a jerk the way he has been since season 2 of JL (wheras in season 1 they just made him totally ineffective on every level from personality to powers.)
Logged

CHO-HENSHIN! KAMEN RAIDA, KUUGA!
MatterEaterLad
Council of Wisdom
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1389


Silver Age Surfer


WWW
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2005, 02:15:39 PM »

That's kind of the way that I saw S:TAS as well, though there were some hints in Batman: Beyond that the Justice League was going to feature more of a modern "Superman gone rogue, government tool" kind of character...
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

CURRENT FORUM

Archives: OLD FORUM  -  DCMB  -  KAL-L
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines

Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS! Dilber MC Theme by HarzeM
Entrance ·  Origin ·  K-Metal ·  The Living Legend ·  About the Comics ·  Novels ·  Encyclopaedia ·  The Screen ·  Costumes ·  Read Comics Online ·  Trophy Room ·  Creators ·  ES!M ·  Fans ·  Multimedia ·  Community ·  Supply Depot ·  Gift Shop ·  Guest Book ·  Contact & Credits ·  Links ·  Coming Attractions ·  Free E-mail ·  Forum

Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster
The LIVING LEGENDS of SUPERMAN! Adventures of Superman Volume 1!
Return to SUPERMAN THROUGH THE AGES!
The Complete Supply Depot for all your Superman needs!