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Author Topic: The Supermobile: what was it?  (Read 5127 times)
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JulianPerez
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« on: August 15, 2005, 01:00:03 PM »

I asked this question back when I was representing Superman as a character for the CHAMPIONS/HERO SYSTEM game: what's the deal with the Supermobile? What exactly could it do? What ultimately became of it?

I only have vague, vague memories of the existence of the Supermobile; I know it was made of Supermanium, that it had these robot arms it could use to dispose of Kryptonite, that it duplicated his powers, and that Superman used it once to fight Amazo when Earth's sun had turned red or something.

Incidentally, about Supermanium: who wants to bet that the humble Superman originally named it something like Loislanium or Jorelium or Larium, but something or another happened and it entered into common usage as Supermanium?

Related question: what else was on the Superman periodic table? There was all the variations on Kryptonite, for example, but there was also Cancelite, invented by Supergirl, which was used to remove the superpowers of Durlans, and Amnesium, which does exactly what it sounds like it does.

Earth-S had three other metals as I recall: Marvelium, the hardest metal in the universe (hmmmm! Possibly the Earth-S equivalent of Supermanium or Wonder Woman's Femmium?), Sivanium, which was a different substance, and Suspendium, which was what Sivana used to trap the Marvel Family for decades.
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« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2005, 03:15:36 PM »

IIRC, Supermanium was discovered by members of his fan club who wanted to name the newly discovered indestructible substance after Superman.  Kal had nothing to do with its discovery though he did anonymously help the club out with his powers as the normal Earth machinery they were using to mine and extract the stuff would be disintegrated if it tried unassisted by the indestructible, super-strong Man of Steel.

WW's Pre Crisis super-material in the books was Amazonium.  Femnium was from the TV show.  I'm almost certain Amazonium alloy was different from Supermanium given the theme back then of outright male bashing in the WW books (started by creator, William Charles Marston), so making it identical to Supermanium would violate that theme.  Also, Amazonium was capable of being enchanted as per the bracelets while Supermanium didn't seem to have any particular mystical properties.

Since you mentioned Marvelium, DC also had another indestructible material called inertron the 30th century LSH tales.  Since LSH stories do reference both the existence of Supermanium (once used as a pedestal for a Metropolis building in the 30th century) and inertron, I'm led to believe inertron was tougher.  But the evidence is scanty and it could go either way or they could be even.  But they definitely were different substances.
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ShinDangaioh
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« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2005, 01:29:31 AM »

The Supermobile sees a lot more use in the Superfriends cartoon.

It allowed Superman to fly in red sun systems(and into a red sun), was shielded against kryptonite, also had a powerful nuclear reactor that could be modified for different uses(created a phantom zone projector, the cadmium rods could be pulled out by the hands to supress nuclear reactions at a distance)

After the Byrne reboot, it was lost.  The current Superman needs the Supermobile to keep him on par with Green Lantern.
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« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2005, 03:02:32 AM »

Here are some cool pics of the different versions of it:



It was made to sell toys more than anything else.
It was rarely used in the actual comics.
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« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2005, 03:42:35 AM »

But it sure helped Superman out against Amazo when he lost his powers!
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« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2005, 04:09:58 PM »

Originally, Superman seemed to focus and direct his own powers through the Supermobile as it protected him inside from red sun radiation, kryptonite, etc.

Later, it seemed to have its own power source and powers much like his Superman-robots had.  The chief difference was the Supermobile had no AI or sentience to direct it instead depending on its driver.

I had my own Supermobile Corgi toy back then.  I enjoyed it immensely.

But it would make more sense to me if he used powered armour resembling the one he used to gather the supernova radiation for reenlarging Kandor.

I agree that the 'mobile was just a stunt to sell toys.
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2005, 07:55:36 PM »

Thanks for the help everybody! Stunt to sell toys or not, that was one neat looking vehicle - I especially love the added touch of the stretchy robot waldo gloves.

I wonder, though, where Superman orders the S-Decals that he puts on his things. Is there a factory in New Jersey somewhere that does nothing but make Super-Decals for Superman?
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« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2005, 03:51:42 AM »

If Superman wasn't capable of manufacturing them at the speed of light himself, I would invision a vast subterranean factory of Superman robots or Phantom Zone criminals stamping them out, under the watchful eye of Krypto.
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