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Author Topic: Why would the Silver Age Superman be careful of his space-routes?  (Read 15908 times)
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DBN
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« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2007, 01:43:59 PM »

Wouldn't he still have some of his powers? I thought that only the sensory powers were attributed to the yellow sun and the rest were attributed to gravity?

Because there is the example of him fighting Kil-Lor on one of Krypton's moons and both had powers. As well as a Bronze Age tale of Vandal Savage (IIRC) using the old red flashlight gag and it only cut out a portion of his powers.
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Permanus
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« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2007, 02:52:38 PM »

Wouldn't he still have some of his powers? I thought that only the sensory powers were attributed to the yellow sun and the rest were attributed to gravity?

Because there is the example of him fighting Kil-Lor on one of Krypton's moons and both had powers. As well as a Bronze Age tale of Vandal Savage (IIRC) using the old red flashlight gag and it only cut out a portion of his powers.

Yeah, but most stories show him losing his powers completely under a red sun, so I suppose that's canonical. By the Bronze Age, the gravity thing had pretty much been done away with, if memory serves, and even before that, Superman was usually powerless under a red sun: http://superman.nu/tales3/showdown/
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Johnny Nevada
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« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2007, 04:31:09 PM »

I remember glancing at that New Adventures of Superboy story in a quarter bin about 20 years ago.  I think they were running a series called "First Times" or something like that.  No doubt lots of good ideas along those lines that have never been explored.  But I don't know which is the neater thing about that "comes out of warp under a red sun" story: Is it that, against astronomically long odds, he came out just close enough to a planet to glide(?) there, or that the story taught us that a human could fall out of planetary orbit and land safely on said planet using only the braking action of a cape?  NASA obviously must be trying to do this stuff the hard way.   

Yeah, think it was called "Strange Adventures for the first time", a series of backup stories showing Superboy's first experiences at certain things---stories included IIRC were: why Superboy put a secret cape pouch in his costume; the origin of his signal-lamp (in a tale with yet another JFK appearance); and the "Superboy meets JFK" story (which also served to explain why he can't be in two places at once when travelling to another time-era when he's alive).

Re: that entering the planet's atmosphere bit: my guess is he had enough of his invulnerability left to pull the stunt off, with the invulnerability vanishing entirely by the time he 's re-entered the atmosphere/splashed down.
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Criadoman
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« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2007, 12:44:07 AM »

Yeah, but most stories show him losing his powers completely under a red sun, so I suppose that's canonical. By the Bronze Age, the gravity thing had pretty much been done away with, if memory serves, and even before that, Superman was usually powerless under a red sun: http://superman.nu/tales3/showdown/

The last reference to gravity at least appearing to be the source of his flight abilities (depends on your interpretation - he's loosing his ability to pull away from a black hole due to the gravity of it approximating Krypton's) that I know of in the Bronze Age, is the Bronze Age revamp issue (Action 544 or so?) of Luthor and Brainiac (Battlesuit Luthor, Skeletor Brainiac). 
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alschroeder
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« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2007, 07:06:25 PM »

Forget all that... is that THE Al Schroeder whose letters I read in the lettercols back when DC was good?
Yes. First letter every published had to do with Power Girl's first appearance, BTW...and I met my wife because she spotted my letters in Superman lettercolumns.---Al
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Al Schroeder III, former letterhack (met his wife through Julie Schwartz' lettercolumns) of MINDMISTRESS http://mindmistress.comicgenesis.com---think the superhero genre is mined out? Think there are no new superhero ideas?

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alschroeder
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« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2007, 07:25:29 PM »

And about the gravity thing---I think there was a growing realization that if Krypton's gravity was THAT huge, it would be highly unlikely that Krypton's atmosphere would be breathable by humans. Nevertheless, Jim Shooter put the Legion's Superboy on a huge high-grav plate that eliminated his super-strength.

Larry Niven speculated that Krypton was really a black dwarf star, hence the extremely high gravity. But Jimmy and others have survived on Krypton before remembering to don anti-gravity belts or shoes, for a few minutes anyway, and if the gravity was THAT strong, he would have been turned into paste almost immediately.
 
Here's MY rationalization.  I think Krypton is definitely a "superterrestrial" world, with anywhere from three to ten times the gravity of Earth.  So a Kryptonian on Earth would definitely be stronger than an earthling. However, that would give him strength and leaping ability in say, Spider-Man's range. But the yellow rays in turn act as an amplifier, upping their strength to Silver Age ridiculous levels. So....

If the gravity matches Krypton, no extra chemical is produced. But if a Kryptonian is in a low-gravity (to them) enviorment, their body produces an extra chemical, perhaps to compensate for inner ear balance, loss of bone mass, and other bad side effects we see in humans in low-gravity enviorments.  That chemical---like a lot of Kryptonian biology---reacts oddly to yellow sun radiation. (I've always speculated that it is the neutrinoes that react differently, since the "ultra solar rays" seem to go right through the Earth---Superman isn't powerless during the night.  Research is needed to see if there is anything different about the neutrinoes produced by red stars as opposed to yellow stars.) It acts then to "amplify" the muscles and give Superman his amazing strength-levels.
 
So if Superman is put under regular Krypton gravity, his strength fades, because that chemical is no longer produced, so the yellow sunlight can't amplify it.
---Al
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Al Schroeder III, former letterhack (met his wife through Julie Schwartz' lettercolumns) of MINDMISTRESS http://mindmistress.comicgenesis.com---think the superhero genre is mined out? Think there are no new superhero ideas?

Think again.
dca5347
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« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2007, 06:09:18 AM »

It was always my understanding that Superman recieved his powers from Ultrasolar Radiation such as that delivered by orange to blue suns. So that in outer space the constant presense of ultrasolar radiation would mean that he would never lose his powers until he landed on a red sun planet whose atmosphere filtered out ultrasolar radiation. It workes even better if the red sun planet has high gravity.  Grin
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Uncle Mxy
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« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2007, 01:56:37 PM »

Check out the folks currently doing research into "how life could work under a red dwarf":

http://astronomy.villanova.edu/livingwithareddwarf/index.htm

Basically, they start with the premise of "how close do you have to be so that you actually have liquid water", not solid or gaseous water, on the theory that water is needed for life (and would certainly be needed for life as Superman knows it).  Then, then analyse what the solar radiation would be like for planets within that area.  They don't have everything on their web site...  it's brand new research.

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