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Author Topic: A few random Superman Speculations  (Read 25139 times)
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2005, 06:55:52 AM »

Quote from: "llozymandias"
Superman not sweating is something that was mentioned in the comics numerous times prior to 1986. It was not said that he couldn't sweat, just that almost all the time he didn't sweat. Emotional stress/worry would probably make him sweat on rare occasions. In the second Superman/Spiderman crossover, Dr. Doom's device was a nuclear fusion reacter. It was almost an artificial red-sun. Supes was sweating because the reacter was weakening his invulnerability.


AHHH, okay, I see - periods of extreme worry cause the stress instinct to kick in, creating sweat. But he doesn't normally sweat (what's a drop in degree here or there when you're on THE SUN?). That's consistent with what we've seen, so I guess we're both right.

Quote from: "llozymandias"
The times Superman left fingerprints were mostly when he was Superboy. As i said when he does leave prints it's because of his super-strength. It's when he presses on an object a little too much. Kind of like you or me pressing our hands on wet cement.


This makes sense. Superboy, inexperienced in using his powers, probably would do this. Although conceivably he might have something in the Clark Kent identity to make sure Clark Kent and Superboy have different fingerprints, like for instance, press-on transparent plastic "fake" fingerprints over the fingers, sort of like in that James Bond movie.

Quote from: "llozymandias"
In the silver-broze-age Superman learned kryptonian science & technology by studying (reverse engineering) any kryptonian artifacts that he found. Like Kru-El's cache of forbidden weapons.


There was one wonderful comic (with Curt Swan art, no less), SUPERBOY: THE COMIC BOOK, made as a more or less adaptation of the television series. It is also, to my knowledge, the only occasion that Curt Swan drew the movie's "Crystal Krypton." One of the plots is that Luthor and Superboy team up to enter the Phantom Zone; Superboy to regain his powers, and Luthor to rob the long extinct technological secrets of Krypton.

Perhaps Luthor's superiority in technology compared to contemporary science (we've got to be YEARS away from a Weather Sattelite Doomsday Device) might be due to some early contact with Kryptonian science; Mark Waid's BIRTHRIGHT explored that idea well.

Quote from: "llozymandias"
Come to think about it maybe this is one reason why Superman almost never used his super-hypnosis power. And why he seemed to downplay the full potential of that power. The Zoners have all of Superman's powers whenever they escape from the zone. Whenever he used he powers he was potentially training any & all phantom zone prisoners in how to use those powers.


Interesting. I'm very surprised Faora doesn't use Super-Hypnotism that often - it fills her need to dominate others totally (especially men). If she hasn't used it (and I don't have all of her appearances, but I haven't seen her use Super-Hypnotism) then it's a pretty good guess that she doesn't know how to use it, because if she did, she most certainly would use it.
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« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2005, 07:30:32 AM »

Many of these questions are answered and addressed in a single story from the Sliver Age:

Superman No. 139 August 1960, "The Untold Story of Red Kryptonite!"

This tale is also reprinted in

Superman Annual No. 8 Winter 1964
Superman From the Thirties to the Seventies
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Uncle Mxy
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« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2005, 10:29:26 AM »

Any sufficiently advanced x-ray vision is indistinguishable from spider-sense.
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2005, 09:09:52 PM »

Quote from: "Uncle Mxy"
Any sufficiently advanced x-ray vision is indistinguishable from spider-sense.


Ha ha ha ha ha.  Cheesy

Good piece of speculative work, RedSun - some of the stuff was particularly well thought out. Like for example, the idea that Spider-Man's biological webbing is something that expands to become many times larger on contact with air so that it requires very little volume to store; if Spider-Man used his own body weight to create webbing, it would quickly cause him to lose weight very nastily.

Doctor Doom used a similar device as this: molecules that expanded on contact with air, so that with a tiny device on his armor he could chuck giant boulders at enemies. Doctor Doom fought Spider-Man in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #6; the first use of his atom-chucking device was in a Roy Thomas/Wally Wood MARVEL SUPER-HEROES issue, later reused in SUPER-VILLAIN TEAM-UP, which was considerably after this encounter. Perhaps Doctor Doom learned how to build this device by studying the molecular structure of Spider-Man's webs?

The idea that Spider-Man might use his webs also as a type of hook structure to keep his muscles together at a cellular level is an intriguing one that accounts for his superstrength and superspeed. One hole that someone might find in it, though, is that it implies a certain degree of toughness on Spider-Man's part, possibly a limited invulnerability, which Spider-Man does not possess. This may not necessarily be true.

Kevlar, as I understand it, is a woven material meant to deflect bullets and is the makeup of bulletproof vests. Kevlar can deflect bullets against a wearer. However, Kevlar, as it is woven, can be torn by knife attacks. Furthermore, as I understand it, Kevlar is very much a single use item; it can stop a bullet, but it would not be wise to continue wearing Kevlar after that point, as the fibers are torn and weak. The similarities to Spider-Man's web-filamented muscles suggest themselves.

The idea of Spider-Man's spider-sense being a type of electromagnetic reception through the entire epidermis is the most interesting idea in the paper. It accounts for the varying, often nebulous uses that Spider-Sense has been put to.

In other words, a basic X-Ray Vision and radar that is received through the skin.
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"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)
DoctorZero
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« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2005, 02:57:52 AM »

I know the fingerprint thing was covered in a number of stories.  Oddly enough, it wasn't just things he touched.  As mentioned, it mainly had to do with things he gripped with his super strength.  Clark obviously left a lot of fingerprints.  Comparing them to Superman would be a thing Lois would want to do, but I think in the various stories covered he outsmarted her.
There were a lot of powers which were rarely mentioned, like his hypnosis or his infra-red vision.  I think his intelligence was a combination of heredity (being Jor-El's son) and that his brain was also enhanced like his other physical abilities.  
I do remember that John Byrne mentioned how Superman made a conscious effort to blur his features whenever he knew a camera was on him, kind of like Jay Garrick did as the original Flash.  Now I would think this would be a tipoff to the fact that he was someone else in real life, but in the Byrne era no one was supposed to think he had another life.  Bryne then screwed this up himself when he had Superman tell Lois that he was raised as a "brother" to Clark by the Kents.
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2005, 08:51:02 AM »

Quote from: "DoctorZero"
I do remember that John Byrne mentioned how Superman made a conscious effort to blur his features whenever he knew a camera was on him, kind of like Jay Garrick did as the original Flash.  Now I would think this would be a tipoff to the fact that he was someone else in real life, but in the Byrne era no one was supposed to think he had another life.  Bryne then screwed this up himself when he had Superman tell Lois that he was raised as a "brother" to Clark by the Kents.


Like all of Byrne's concepts (Namor being "crazy" instead of an honorable man with a legitimate grievance, the Scarlet Witch being the center of the Marvel Universe, Galactus being a "force of nature" instead of a character with a personality, the Metal Men not "really" being made of the metal that THEY'RE NAMED AFTER AND HAVE ALL THE PROPERTIES OF - my God, too many to possibly list), this is one that I just never, ever bought.

It makes sense that the Jay Garrick Flash's face is too blurry to recognize; he's a hyperactive guy whose main gimmick is superspeed and moves at superspeed all of the time, so it's perfectly in character that his face would be a little blurry. Nobody could ever question that.

But Superman?

Someone ought to put a panel in a comic somewhere where somebody like Jimmy Olsen goes up to him.

"Superman, all of us in the Planet have just been wondering all this time...how come your face is so...blurry? I mean, nobody has ever wanted to say anything, but man, caffeine is not your friend."

Why is Superman's face not drawn blurry or at least unclear? Why is it supposedly nobody knows Superman has a secret identity, but his face is blurred all the time so the possibility is open? Why is it people don't wonder if Superman is having an epileptic seizure? Why is it nobody in the history of ever has ever commented on this fact? When Superman is drained by the Parasite or Kryptonite, does his face blur more slowly the more power he loses or something?

And finally, the greatest evidence I can possibly think of for Superman's face not being blurry is that when he met Spider-Man in company crossovers, Spidey didn't nickname Supes " 'Ol Blurface."  Cheesy
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"Wait, folks...in a startling new development, Black Goliath has ripped Stilt-Man's leg off, and appears to be beating him with it!"
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Uncle Mxy
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« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2005, 05:06:34 PM »

Quote
, but in the Byrne era no one was supposed to think he had another life.  Bryne then screwed this up himself when he had Superman tell Lois that he was raised as a "brother" to Clark by the Kents.

It got screwed up way before that, with Lex Luthor rejecting the notion that Superman was Clark Kent in Superman #2.  

Quote
Like all of Byrne's concepts (Namor being "crazy" instead of an honorable man with a legitimate grievance,

Hey, that's one I rather liked.  Given the wildly inconsistent ways Namor had been depicted, across many magazines, dating back to 1939, it wasn't a bad fix.  I don't think that everything that Byrne did was horrible, which on this board is probably heretical.
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2005, 07:52:39 PM »

Quote from: "Uncle Mxy"
I don't think that everything that Byrne did was horrible, which on this board is probably heretical.


I don't like to use terms like "all" or "never." Most of the time because they don't apply. Even writers that I despise have written and done at least one thing I like that was worth reading: Ron Marz wrote a wonderful Superman Elseworlds where Superman was raised by the Guardians and became a Green Lantern; the idea was not the most original in the world but the joyfulness of the execution was. Among other things, it featured Hal Jordan battling Sinestro, with Jordan creating a green gorilla and Sinestro creating a yellow octopus with a brain in a jar to wrestle each other. Mark Waid's JLA: YEAR ONE was a very worthy, detail-rich miniseries. Frank Miller's DAREDEVIL was absolutely wonderful the first few years until the Hand showed up. And best of all, Jim Owlsley, the infamous weasel that wrote the abysmal, destructive EMERALD DAWN, to my great surprise and delight, is one and the same man with "Christopher Priest," who wrote BLACK PANTHER, the greatest comic of the 1990s besides Kurt Busiek's AVENGERS and Gaiman's SANDMAN.

Every terrible writer I slam has done at least one story that was worthwhile.

There are three exceptions to this rule.

Two of them are Chuck Austen and Warren Ellis (and at least Warren can be funny sometimes).

The other is John Byrne.

Quote from: "Uncle Mxy"
Hey, that's one I rather liked.  Given the wildly inconsistent ways Namor had been depicted, across many magazines, dating back to 1939, it wasn't a bad fix.


It was a terrible fix, for the reason that Namor is made an interesting, complicated villain because he isn't in the wrong. His motivations are complicated, based on honor and pride, and a legitimate, undismissable complaint with humanity: our exploitation of the seas to dump garbage, pollution, and as a place to hold our wars. Namor was conflicted, he was brash and proud. He is truly one of the five greatest villains in comic book history.

Byrne's retcon that Namor had just been "crazy" all along with a blood disease removes the one thing that makes Namor effective: sympathy. Namor is a villain because of his heroic qualities, ironically. If Namor was not responsible for his actions, the thing that makes him a compelling foe, that his point of view is not an invalid one, is eliminated.

Yes, Namor has been characterized inconstantly by bad writers (though it should be noted that those that wrote him the longest: Stan Lee, Thomas, and Steve Englehart in SUPER-VILLAIN TEAM-UP, gave him a fairly consistent characterization). But this abysmal Byrne concept is destructive to the character because it makes his grudges and pride, the very things that DEFINE Namor - to be something alien to who he is.

There are ways to incorporate bad characterization into a character by looking at all the pieces and seeing what works. Look for instance, at Kurt Busiek's examination of the actions of Wonder Man in his AVENGERS run; he placed Simon's out of character selfishness and ego into a context that made his actions make sense.
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"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)
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