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Author Topic: "High" Power Level vs. "Low" Power Level  (Read 48855 times)
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Captain Kal
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« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2005, 04:14:11 PM »

One thing Byrne did get right was the psionic aspect and the implied telekinesis aspects to super-strength and flight, for instance.

Flight certainly implies by its very existence a telekinetic aspect.

The lack of adhering to physical laws when using his strength, such as objects not crumbling under the stress of their own weights, plus the variability of his power levels (one issue being staggered by a gorilla only to take a supernova without effect a couple of issues later), do imply psionics do have something to do with how his powers manifest.

Not everything Byrne did was wrong.  He just tends to spew out more garbage than gems -- and no one has the editorial guts to tell the guy "NO!".
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Captain Kal

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JulianPerez
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« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2005, 07:16:44 PM »

Quote from: "Captain Kal"
One thing Byrne did get right was the psionic aspect and the implied telekinesis aspects to super-strength and flight, for instance.

Flight certainly implies by its very existence a telekinetic aspect.

The lack of adhering to physical laws when using his strength, such as objects not crumbling under the stress of their own weights, plus the variability of his power levels (one issue being staggered by a gorilla only to take a supernova without effect a couple of issues later), do imply psionics do have something to do with how his powers manifest.

Not everything Byrne did was wrong.  He just tends to spew out more garbage than gems -- and no one has the editorial guts to tell the guy "NO!".


It's very telling that the one thing Byrne supposedly didn't do wrong, he actually stole the idea blatantly from Alan Moore's MIRACLEMAN, where all of the powers the Miracleman Family's miraclebodies were from their mind;s flight as a reflexive self-levitation, invulnerability as a result of a type of biological force field, etc.

I don't know. I miss Superman's invulnerable super-stretchy cape.  Cheesy

One might argue that Superman as a character is based on plagiarism to some extent. I disagree. Superman is not *exactly* like the characters that inspired him: Hercules, Doc Savage, Popeye, Flash Gordon. Yes, Doc Savage had a "Fortress of Solitude" in the arctic first, but Superman's had enough distinctive elements in his (the Interstellar Zoo, Kandor, that giant key) and it served a different role than Doc's, as a retreat and reminder of dead Krypton, unlike Doc's, which was for solitude, meditation and scientific research. Yes, the Marvel Family came before the Superman Family, but while the concept of a superhero family was born with the Marvels, the Superman Family is distinctive enough to stand on its own: there were no equivalents to the Lieutenant Marvels (Fat Marvel, Tall Marvel, and the politically incorrect Hillbilly Marvel), no Uncle Marvel, and Krypto is not quite the same as Hoppy the Marvel Bunny.

All this makes the ruthless, outright conceptual lifting by Byrne of the MIRACLEMAN physics anomalous in Superman's history; the serial numbers aren't even filed off.

And while you are correct, Captain Kal, that some of the feats Superman is capable of (objects not shattering under their own weight when he lifts them, for instance) do violate the laws of physics and require a search for alternative solutions, it doesn't mean the MIRACLEMAN explanation should be the only one. Mark Wolverton in THE SCIENCE OF SUPERMAN offered a counter-explanation: Superman's powers are based on a superconductive at room temperature nervous system (which is also the explanation for his superspeed as well) that can manipulate gravity; this is both the explanation for his flight, and his superstrength, as he decreases the gravity of objects he hoists. My summary is a poor one; my advice is to read the book yourself.
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Captain Kal
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« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2005, 08:04:52 PM »

Thanks, Julian, but I have my own copy of Wolverton's book and I've enjoyed it immensely.  I even have another copy on backorder so I could have a reading copy and a pristine one in my collection.

And you're right.  Mark does suggest a neural interface directed grav-manipulation power for those feats.  But they still translate functionally into pretty much the same results.  Either via psionic or grav means, he still can manipulate other matter at will.  Ergo, he should be capable of telekinesis or a suitable facsimile of same.

BTW, if you've read Birthright, you might have noticed Waid tipping his hat to Wolverton when he has Luthor extrapolate about Superman's anti-gravity neural interface (or something like that) in his holo-simulation of dissecting the Kryptonian.
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Captain Kal

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Captain Kal
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« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2005, 09:18:53 PM »

I'm almost certain Byrne had priority on the psionic aspect.  He mentioned his POV on Superman's powers many years before while he was still at Marvel.  He even did a trial run of the idea in FF #'s 249 - 250 ("Man and Superman") with Marvel's Gladiator.  While Moore might have done better justice to the psionic aspect, I do believe Byrne was the originator. (I may dislike Byrne's writing intensely, but I do try to be fair and objective.)

But Byrne ripped-off the aura from the Pre Crisis Ultra Boy.  Jo Nah generated an aura when using his super-speed or invulnerability that protected his costume from the relevant power's effects.
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Captain Kal

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lonewolf23k
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« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2005, 09:32:41 PM »

I have to admit, I do like the "Telekinetic" option, because it suggests the notion that Superman's Strength and Invulnerability are a matter of Willpower..

...So that there's really no effective limit to his strength: if he needs to life a mountain, he just pushes his willpower and strength until he can.  And if he's blasted by a world-shattering energy cannon, he just needs to find the willpower to endure that blast...

But I do think that such powers should be limited to magnifying human abilities to Extraordinary levels: If he needs to lift something, then he must lift it the old fashionned way, instead of just doing a "Mind-over-Matter" routine.  If he wants to locate something, he needs to look for it with superhuman senses, rather then use ESP.
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Captain Kal
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« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2005, 09:42:09 PM »

A bit off-topic but since JulianPerez brought up Byrne's ripping stuff off ...

Byrne ripped-off Lexcorp from Maggin.  Elliot had priority with both his Superman novels and his "The Ghost of Superman Future" story for Lexcorp.  Byrne got paid some kind of creator credit for Lexcorp for the Lois & Clark TV show amongst other things.  When Maggin noticed this gaffe and complained, then publisher Levitz agreed Maggin was right then said he'd fix it.  Nothing ever came of it, Maggin was never paid for it, and Byrne never gave back his money for it.
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Captain Kal

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lonewolf23k
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« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2005, 10:22:05 PM »

Quote from: "Captain Kal"
A bit off-topic but since JulianPerez brought up Byrne's ripping stuff off ...

Byrne ripped-off Lexcorp from Maggin.  Elliot had priority with both his Superman novels and his "The Ghost of Superman Future" story for Lexcorp.  Byrne got paid some kind of creator credit for Lexcorp for the Lois & Clark TV show amongst other things.  When Maggin noticed this gaffe and complained, then publisher Levitz agreed Maggin was right then said he'd fix it.  Nothing ever came of it, Maggin was never paid for it, and Byrne never gave back his money for it.


Once again, proof that Byrne is a Jerk.
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2005, 11:08:56 PM »

All this "psionic" junk and telekenesis is just as improbable in a biological being as an iceberg Superman is carrying holding together is improbable in the world of physics...

No gain, in my mind, swap one whopper for another...
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