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Author Topic: "Heat from his X-Ray Eyes?" - how X-Ray became Hea  (Read 10031 times)
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Great Rao
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« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2005, 07:54:19 PM »

Quote from: "llozymandias"
The idea that Superman's heat vision would be ineffective against lead never made sense to me.

You need to look very closely at how this power is described.  It isn't described as "heat vision" - ie, it isn't Superman shooting heat-beams out of his eyes.

It is described as "the heat of his X-ray vision."  In other words, the X-rays that shoot out of his eyes can somehow generate heat.  So if the X-rays can't penetrate to a certain location (ie, past lead) then they can't generate heat there, because they can't get there to heat anything up.

Perhaps in addition to generating X-rays, Superman can also generate microwaves, and the two functions are closely inter-related.

S!
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« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2005, 08:12:36 PM »

I'm with Ilozymandias on this. Neither heat nor X-ray radiation are preferentially blocked by lead.  Lead is just a cheap material with a relatively high density used to radiation shielding.  Either form of EM energy should be able to both see through lead and vapourize it to plasma or even subatomic particles if he goes supernova level.

The fact that X-ray vision in all Superman's incarnations is preferentially blocked by lead but he could see through gold, uranium, osmium, etc. suggests that it's a weakness particular to the power itself rather than the energy being used.

The fact that this lead limitation is shared with the Daxamites and that said Daxamites have the additional generic vulnerability to lead implies a Kryptonian/Daxamite relationship not even counting the stated connection the TOLSH #325.
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Captain Kal

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« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2005, 09:15:32 PM »

I liked how Maggin described it in Miracle Monday: Superman has an active mode along with the passive mode of vision that Earth people have.  IOW, not only can he passively see incoming radiation but he can actively project radiation too.  This is usually in the form of X-rays or heat beams.  But in that novel, he was able to project what his microscopic vision saw and created an eerie visible glowing effect.

IMHO, he should be able to project any energy that he can passively perceive with his eyes.

Extrapolating from Miracle Monday, I see no reason why he couldn't project actual images or even 3-D illusions with his vision.

He came close in his second race with Barry/Flash when he burned a text message for help to Barry.  It seemed he burned the image in one shot instead of carving out each letter individually.

Post Crisis, in the MOS cancelled series, on at least two occasions he's projected blinding flashes of light as a corollary of his heat vision.  He blinded the JLA snooping on him in the Watchtower, and he blinded some alien thug in OWAW.
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Captain Kal

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llozymandias
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« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2005, 10:00:26 PM »

There is also the fact that Kal can see through his own skin (& other organs, tissues, etc.), when "ordinary" x-rays can't penetrate his body.  While his powers are active.  Re: x-ray & heat visions originally being seen as the same power.  For the first several years of his career Kal-L was still discovering all of his powers.  When he first used his heat vision it was in tandem with his x-ray vision.  Over time he learned that they are separate powers.  It always seemed like he had to deliberately activate his vision powers (as well as his hearing & voice powers).  I imagine that it was a strong desire to see through something that activated his x-ray vision the first time.  Then at one point while using x-ray vision, he has a strong desire to burn or melt something he sees.  That activates his heat vision for the first time.


       Btw my user name is LLozymandias.  The ll is from Lex Luthor.  the ozymandias is from the Watchmen character.  however Ilozymandias does look like a cool user name too, might use it somewhere.
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« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2005, 10:26:05 PM »

Quote from: "Great Rao"
Perhaps in addition to generating X-rays, Superman can also generate microwaves, and the two functions are closely inter-related.


This is actually an interesting explanation for how the Martian Manhunter's "Martian-Vision" works, posited by Mark Waid in his YEAR ONE miniseries: the Martian Manhunter describes his eye beams as being "microwave" beams; he was, in that miniseries, able to "bake" clayface and cause a road to become sticky by exciting the molecules inside of it with his eyebeams.

This is logical, considering it doesn't make sense that the Martian Manhunter, whose weakness is flame, would have the ability to project flame-causing heat beams (does Superman have Kryptonite Vision? NO!)

Though it may be an artistic choice made on a color that looks cool, note that in Morrison's JLA, when the White Martians and the Martian Manhunter use their "Martian-Vision," it is a deep purple that is almost like blacklight. Could it be that they were trying to imply that Martian-Vision is actually based on projection of the ultraviolet? This would also be an interesting power.
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« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2005, 11:56:04 PM »

I just remembered relevant somethings about X-ray vision and Kryptonian super-vision in general.

IIRC, some effects of red kryptonite including being able to see through lead with X-ray vision.  I believe Supergirl once experienced this.  Red K effects are essentially temporary mutations so the potential to see through lead is always there but somehow inhibited under normal circumstances.

Pre Crisis Bizarro #1 had some of his powers 'reversed' by a strange cosmic storm.  In this case, Bizarro's X-ray vision could see through only lead and nothing else.  If the logic of the previous posts on this thread aren't convincing enough, the fact that the same altered power allowed seeing through lead is telling about how the limitation is in the power itself and not a property of lead actually blocking it.  In this case, the inhibition factor is reversed.

The facts that reversed Bizarro super-vision includes telescopic vision that sees out the back of his head, cold vision, and microscopic vision that shrinks things smaller are also telling about the nature of super-vision.  In a rare display of self-control, I'm awaiting the permission of the moderator or administrator to continue this line of thought on this thread, or be asked to make a new one about generic super-vision.
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llozymandias
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« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2005, 12:44:21 AM »

Great post Captain Kal.  Of course Bizarro #1's powers seemed to have reverted back to "normal" after the story you mention.  Since Bizarro wants to be opposite Kal, it would make sense that he would want his powers to also be opposite to Kal's.  Maybe that strange cosmic storm enabled Bizarro to temporarily "reverse" at least some of his powers.  Could that cosmic storm be related to (if not the same thing as) the cosmic cloud that gave Johnny Kirk/Superman jr. kryptonian/daxamite level & type powers?


       One piece of redk gave Kal immunity to red sun rays.  The aftermath of one of Kal's experiments changed his kryptonite vulnerability to vunerabilities (one at a time) to gold & several other things.  I don't recall the other things right now.  I do remember though that none of those things were radioactive.  That does seem to indicate that his vulnerabilities are more like allergies.  it's not the object/energy/whatever in question that is hurting/killing Kal, but it's Kal's body's reaction to that object/energy/whatever.  Now there is a thought.
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« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2005, 03:15:49 AM »

All of this falls into the category of the writers expanding a character's powers by either reading new uses into the power or by simply forgetting that the new use was connected with the original power.
Hence, the "heat" of Superman's X-Ray vision becomes heat vision.  And as for J'onn J'onzz, his powers were likewise expanded as time went on.  An early J'onzz story had him using his martian breath to propell himself through the air, simulating "flying".  Later on he simply flew.  Originally he could only assume the form of John Jones or his martian form.  J'onzz himself seemed surprised that he could make himself look like someone else when he finally tried it (how could this be?).  J'onzz got more and more powerful just as Superman did.  How could bullets bounce off of him but he couldn't fly through space?  Very little of it made sense.
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