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Author Topic: "Heat from his X-Ray Eyes?" - how X-Ray became Hea  (Read 9890 times)
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JulianPerez
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« on: October 31, 2005, 07:17:13 PM »

They were pretty iffy back in the day where Heat-Vision began and X-Ray Vision began, and I had a few thoughts on this.

Superman was using X-Ray Vision since the beginning; one of the early Fleischer cartoons, "Superman and the Mechanical Monsters," had Superman utilize this superpower.

(On a related note, the Fleischer studios were located here in Miami, Florida, and at least twice in my life here in this city I had the pleasure of finding some neat older people that worked at Fleischer studios.)

Heat-Vision, on the other hand, is much more recent. On many occasions, he used "superfriction" instead, rubbing his hands together fast enough to create fires or melt iron bars.

The earliest occasion that we have of Heat-Vision involve Superman using "the heat of his X-Ray eyes." In other words, Heat Vision is supposed to be a side-effect of his X-Ray Vision. Even when Heat-Vision was stated as an entirely seperate power, it still had the limitations of X-Ray Vision in play. For instance, on one occasion, he could not disable a Kryptonite missile from a distance because the circuits were protected by lead. Many times, Superman has been able to use his heat-vision against targets protected by solid objects in its path, an effect that would not work if Superman's heat-vision were pure lances of red heat that were fired from his eyes.

Obviously, the heat from Superman's X-Ray eyes would differ in nature from just pure infrared death-rays. For instance, being X-Rays, they probably would cause radiation poisoning with extended experience and possible steriliy in addition to heat.
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Uncle Mxy
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« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2005, 08:09:32 PM »

http://www.llnl.gov/str/Dunn.html
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RedSunOfKrypton
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« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2005, 10:07:15 PM »

That's a cool article Mxy, though it doesn't cover the heating things up on the other side of barriers without heating up said barriers.

A hypothetical example of this is him heating up a wooden beam on the other side of a brick wall. Now if he could tune his vision into the EM frequencies in which the brick wall was transparent and the wood was opaque, and then projected his "heatvision" along those wavelengths, his heatvision would go through the brick without effecting it, but it would burn the wood. Any sufficient amount of EM radiation striking an object it's opaque to would cause heat.
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alschroeder
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« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2005, 02:22:15 PM »

I always thought of heat vision and the "freeze-breath" as safety valves for Superman. He must have immense power within him to do even Siegel's feats, much less the Silver AGe Superman at his height. The heat vision would be to release energy when it's building to too high a pitch---the freeze-breath would be to leech heat from his surroundings when he needs a little extra. X-Ray vision is an interesting variation---the sun doesn't produce enough x-rays that go through the atmosphere to make anything out more than dimly, so Superman's body must also produce x-rays. The pupils become a "window" through which the x-rays can escape. To Superman, it must look like he's producing a searchlight to which to see things with.  Also beer in mind---as "X, the Man with X-Ray Eyes" mentioned---he sees things in much more detail than any x-ray machine. X-rays are just shadows of objects that impede x-rays, a silhouette, a shadow-picture. Superman sees the real deal.

---Al
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Captain Kal
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« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2005, 02:31:22 PM »

Part of that 'real deal' vision is his own advanced visual processing in his super-brain translating those X-ray images for him.  Part of it is artistic license that lets us 'see' in our terms what he really sees in those other parts of the spectrum.
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Captain Kal

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« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2005, 02:41:48 PM »

FYI, on at least one occasion, he's used both Heat and X-ray vision in combination.  He combined both visions once to reaarange the graphite marks on TV cue cards to make it read what he wanted it to so he could make a hasty exit off-camera to switch to Superman.

While early stories did give his Heat vision the lead limitation, later Bronze Age stories did away with that dumb limitation.  IIRC, he even had troubles hearing through lead at one point when they got overly zealous about lead, but that was rightfully tossed out later, too.
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Captain Kal

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llozymandias
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« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2005, 06:46:34 PM »

Jerry Siegel was one of the from around 1958/59 to around 1964/65.  So a lot of Superman's silver-age feats were "Siegel's feats".  And of course ideas were shared between the writers.  Wether they knew it or not.


     The idea that Superman's heat vision would be ineffective against lead never made sense to me.  His heat vision was able to make certain stars  (stars whose mass is at least 3 or so times that of our sun) go Super-Nova.  The heat involved should be in the millions of degrees.  The melting point of lead is nothing compared to that.
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« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2005, 07:20:57 PM »

In the Ben Pares LSH story, when the various Legionnaires were projecting their various energies in an attempt to destroy the Miracle Machine, Superboy called upon his X-ray vision not his Heat vision.  That makes sense considering X-rays are more powerful than infrared rays.

It was a Jim Shooter story with Mike Grell as the artist.  The big event of the story was Ultra Boy holding open the jaws of a space beast so the Legion cruiser didn't get crushed.
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Captain Kal

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