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  1. #61
    My Face Is Up Here Powerboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deku View Post
    The Speed Force is an extra-dimensional energy and it is used to explain why the Flash can do what he does. The Flash going faster than light is ridiculous, but it is normal for what characters can do in the DC universe.
    The Speed Force is okay but it fails as an explanation for how super fast characters can ignore the real consequences of such speed by, as you said, the very fact that all these other characters like Superman and Wonder Woman use crazy levels of speed and they are not tapping into the Speed Force.
    Power with Girl is better.

  2. #62
    Extraordinary Member Lightning Rider's Avatar
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  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Powerboy View Post
    The Speed Force is okay but it fails as an explanation for how super fast characters can ignore the real consequences of such speed by, as you said, the very fact that all these other characters like Superman and Wonder Woman use crazy levels of speed and they are not tapping into the Speed Force.
    The idea is that Flash and the other speedsters use the Speed Force but characters not connected to it have other pseudo-scientific protections like bio-auras and magical origins. So Superman's near light speed powers are governed by different physics than Wonder Woman's and neither of them match the physics applied to Barry and Wally. It makes some sense as Barry's Speed Force doesn't allow him protection from the heat of a fire, but Superman's invulnerability applies equally to friction heat and fiery heat.Both characters aren't burned by the air friction but not necessarily for the same reasons. Same with other Speed Force traits (vibrating through solid matter, stealing/lending speed ... Superman doesn't seem to have these powers despite them being part of the Flash's bog of tricks. It keeps us from having generic powers that everyone gets as a bonus when they have similar powers (or power effects).

    Mind you I'm not a fan of the whole Speed Force concept and preferred it when Barry simply was super-fast with a friction resistant ara and everything else was covered by those two points. I still get a migraine when I think of Morrison giving Wally an infinite mass punch when the whole point of the Speed Force seemed to be to negate that aspect of Flashes moving at light-speed. Either Flashes at that speed are supermassive with all the drawbacks associated or they are normal mass and thus unable to hit with that type of power- not both. Definitely a case of a little knowledge being a bad thing.

  4. #64
    Astonishing Member HsssH's Avatar
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    I think biggest problem is DC not having a rule on how Superman's power levels should be treated. By that I don't mean that they should set up some dictionary explaining what Superman can and can't do and why, but that they should either have "Superman can do whatever needs to be done" or "Superman needs to be realistic" policy. In theory I can see both paths as valid, but you have to stick to one of them and that is a problem with DC movies. Superman went from trying to be realistic to being not-realistic so it is completely understandable why fans that were okay with MoS were annoyed by what happened later. But while both paths can be valid it is definitely true that little knowledge is problematic thing and this makes, in my opinion, "realistic" path very difficult to pull off with character like Superman.

    And I think that part of the problem is Metropolis (and some his villains and supporting characters) which is billed as modern city based on scientific advancement. So when you have Superman surrounded by such environment most writers naturally feel the need to give scientific explanations to Superman's powers. By comparison only thing that Gotham really gives Batman is that it is shitty city with lots of criminals in it that Batman can beat up.

  5. #65
    Fantastic Member jimmy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stephens2177 View Post
    Maybe Superman needs to get a "magic" source for his powers like flash and GL have.

    Maybe superman can be imbued with 5th dimension energy,not enough to be god,but enough to effect everything in almost impossible ways
    I wish something like this would happen, just to take weakness of magic out of the Superman equation. However, In Morrison's "All STAR Superman" story isn't Superman of the 67century or Superman of the 5th Dimension who has reality altering powers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Clark View Post
    The idea is that Flash and the other speedsters use the Speed Force but characters not connected to it have other pseudo-scientific protections like bio-auras and magical origins. So Superman's near light speed powers are governed by different physics than Wonder Woman's and neither of them match the physics applied to Barry and Wally. It makes some sense as Barry's Speed Force doesn't allow him protection from the heat of a fire, but Superman's invulnerability applies equally to friction heat and fiery heat.Both characters aren't burned by the air friction but not necessarily for the same reasons. Same with other Speed Force traits (vibrating through solid matter, stealing/lending speed ... Superman doesn't seem to have these powers despite them being part of the Flash's bog of tricks. It keeps us from having generic powers that everyone gets as a bonus when they have similar powers (or power effects).

    Mind you I'm not a fan of the whole Speed Force concept and preferred it when Barry simply was super-fast with a friction resistant ara and everything else was covered by those two points. I still get a migraine when I think of Morrison giving Wally an infinite mass punch when the whole point of the Speed Force seemed to be to negate that aspect of Flashes moving at light-speed. Either Flashes at that speed are supermassive with all the drawbacks associated or they are normal mass and thus unable to hit with that type of power- not both. Definitely a case of a little knowledge being a bad thing.
    Superman has vibrated thru wall before - I can't remember off hand the issue although.

    Different physics you bet -

    This is why Superman makes more scientific sense than either; Wonder Woman or Flash as Superman's natural invulnerability allows him to easily stand up to the stress of speed especially approaching light. Barry, Wally, Zoom, Diana whose skin can be pierced by "normal means" and anything weighting in at "infinite-mass" levels, would drop directly to the center of the earth (or whatever planet they are on) and cause other global catastrophic consequences however, writers give them a mulligan - as they are air breathing humans.

  6. #66
    Fantastic Member TruthAndJustice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deku View Post
    If Superman was as powerful as he was circa 1987, he would still make a lot of Superheroes redundant, this is where the suspension of disbelief comes in. Not really, Barry and Wally are both faster than Superman.
    I alway thought that it should've been made very clear that both Barry and Wally are faster than Clark. Before the '86 reboot, it wasn't, really.

    Sure I can suspend my disbelief -- the Atom breaks the square-cube law? Sure, no problem -- but there's gotta be a limit!

    Supeheroes generally become overpowered -- the Hulk's strength is "limitless" if he's angry enough but back in the day he could lift "only" 20 tons or whatever -- but with Superman it happened first. Leaping one-eighth of a mile in 1938, traveling forward and backward through time on his own power in 1946...!!

  7. #67
    Unstoppable Member KC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TruthAndJustice View Post
    I alway thought that it should've been made very clear that both Barry and Wally are faster than Clark. Before the '86 reboot, it wasn't, really.

    Sure I can suspend my disbelief -- the Atom breaks the square-cube law? Sure, no problem -- but there's gotta be a limit!

    Supeheroes generally become overpowered -- the Hulk's strength is "limitless" if he's angry enough but back in the day he could lift "only" 20 tons or whatever -- but with Superman it happened first. Leaping one-eighth of a mile in 1938, traveling forward and backward through time on his own power in 1946...!!
    Before that, it wasn't. Currently, both Barry and Wally are faster than Superman.

    Other heroes exist in the DC universe and they need to have their own fights, so Superman can't come in and solve all their problems. If your suspension of disbelief stops this from being viable, then the whole DC universe falls apart

  8. #68
    Unstoppable Member KC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Powerboy View Post
    The Speed Force is okay but it fails as an explanation for how super fast characters can ignore the real consequences of such speed by, as you said, the very fact that all these other characters like Superman and Wonder Woman use crazy levels of speed and they are not tapping into the Speed Force.
    The Speed Force is a handwavy explanation for why the speedsters can do what they do, it isn't perfect, but it is the reason.

  9. #69
    Astonishing Member DochaDocha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deku View Post
    The Speed Force is a handwavy explanation for why the speedsters can do what they do, it isn't perfect, but it is the reason.
    Yeah, I'm fine with the Speed Force even if it doesn't always make sense. It's certainly better than no explanation whatsoever.

  10. #70
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    Well, let's say I'm Captain Marvel and using the speed of Mercury I can travel at the speed of light. So it takes me 4.4 years to get to Alpha Centauri. But if I go to the Rock of Eternity, from there I can go directly to Alpha Centauri and the travelling time is a total of two minutes. Have I gone faster than light?

    To me, when the Flashes use the Speed Force at higher speeds, it's like taking a short cut from Shazam's Rock of Eternity or through Blue Devil's House of Weirdness. They haven't really travelled that distance--they've used a trick to cut through normal space to get to their destinations.

    Since the DC Universe is full of these short cuts, there's nothing stopping Superman from using one. Maybe he doesn't have the right genes to access the Speed Force, but he should be able to use a Boom Tube or the 5th Dimension or the Phantom Zone, to cut through normal space and get to his destination just as quick as the Flash.

    For shorter hops, just use the JLA's teleporter to beam from one place on Earth to another. It might not be faster than light, but it saves on shoe leather.

    Unless the journey is more important than the destination, it shouldn't really matter what Superman passes through on the way.
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  11. #71
    Astonishing Member JackDaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DochaDocha View Post
    Yeah, I'm fine with the Speed Force even if it doesn't always make sense. It's certainly better than no explanation whatsoever.
    But there was always an explanation of sorts before the speed force...e.g. a bizarre accident with chemicals and an aura that avoided friction for Barry.

    I actually think in long term it (the speed force) is profoundly poor.

    There is absolutely nothing scientific about it. Both in the sense that it breaks practically all scientific principles in our world..but it also makes no scientific sense in own fictional world. (In that if it was a source of energy amenable to scientific principles, super scientists such as Lex would be able to manipulate it more successfully than Barry or Wally. Science doesn’t play favourites..that’s magic.)

  12. #72
    Astonishing Member DochaDocha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackDaw View Post
    But there was always an explanation of sorts before the speed force...e.g. a bizarre accident with chemicals and an aura that avoided friction for Barry.

    I actually think in long term it (the speed force) is profoundly poor.

    There is absolutely nothing scientific about it. Both in the sense that it breaks practically all scientific principles in our world..but it also makes no scientific sense in own fictional world. (In that if it was a source of energy amenable to scientific principles, super scientists such as Lex would be able to manipulate it more successfully than Barry or Wally. Science doesn’t play favourites..that’s magic.)
    Heh, this vaguely reminds me of watching the DVD extras for the first Raimi Spider-man. Someone on the commentary track said something about how they made the spider genetically-engineered instead of radioactive because obviously a bite from a radioactive spider isn't going to magically give someone spider powers. The irony of that comment was not lost on me, but I'm not sure they noticed it themselves...

    I think the issue here is that many comic book superheroes have some sort of physics-breaking abilities. You have to decide if you want to ignore physics altogether, or should write an in-universe rule that allows you to hand-wave physics away. I'm in favor of the latter. I think there's a medium with doing whatever fantastic stuff you want without just throwing out physics altogether and saying anything goes. In Flash's case, I like Speed Force. I understand it's not a perfect solution, but it solves just enough, and I like the anti-friction principles in place. It also conveniently makes it easy to distinguish his speed and Superman's. For me, it just works.

  13. #73
    Astonishing Member DochaDocha's Avatar
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    So I briefly touched on the idea that more physics means more challenge for Superman, but I don't think that's the only benefit. I think applying more physics, while perhaps may close some doors for some stories, can open others and help give casual observers more appreciation for Superman. Stuff like the JL cartoon ("world of cardboard") and the MoS movie went into some detail about how Superman had to learn to adjust to his powers, but I don't think they really went far enough to sell the idea to audiences that Superman had to practice using his skills to precision. The general complaint is that everything for him just comes too easily, and therefore he's just some privileged jerk.

    Since DC tends to treat Superman's powers like the flu (as in he can have it or not, or it can be transferred to another person, etc.), I've kind of longed for a story in which someone who suddenly inherited Kryptonian powers found out how hard it was to adjust, that something simple like moving or lifting objects requires a lot of adjustments. A guy suddenly given Superman's powers who tried to mimic Superman's heroics would end up being like a walking, fiery typhoon. I also like to imagine a story where someone who learned standard martial arts who all of the sudden gained Superman's powers wouldn't be the automatic killing machine that most people say. The argument usually goes Superman has no formal fighting skills, so someone with Superman's powers and fighting skills would beat Supes. I would counter by saying most martial arts are based on "human physics." Someone like Zod or Faora learned to fight without the gift of flight, so they punch a certain way, kick a certain way, grapple a certain way, etc. Even if those two all of the sudden gained powers, they wouldn't necessarily win a long, drawn-out fight against Superman because Superman would note that their instincts would have them fight in a way that doesn't fully leverage (pun sort of intended) Kryptonian powers.

    Anyway, in short, applying physics is something I see as a way to keep Superman super while also creating opportunities for people to appreciate Superman, or at least not just write him off as a guy who doesn't have to apply any knowledge to how to use his powers the right way.

  14. #74
    Extraordinary Member Lightning Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DochaDocha View Post
    So I briefly touched on the idea that more physics means more challenge for Superman, but I don't think that's the only benefit. I think applying more physics, while perhaps may close some doors for some stories, can open others and help give casual observers more appreciation for Superman. Stuff like the JL cartoon ("world of cardboard") and the MoS movie went into some detail about how Superman had to learn to adjust to his powers, but I don't think they really went far enough to sell the idea to audiences that Superman had to practice using his skills to precision. The general complaint is that everything for him just comes too easily, and therefore he's just some privileged jerk.

    Since DC tends to treat Superman's powers like the flu (as in he can have it or not, or it can be transferred to another person, etc.), I've kind of longed for a story in which someone who suddenly inherited Kryptonian powers found out how hard it was to adjust, that something simple like moving or lifting objects requires a lot of adjustments. A guy suddenly given Superman's powers who tried to mimic Superman's heroics would end up being like a walking, fiery typhoon. I also like to imagine a story where someone who learned standard martial arts who all of the sudden gained Superman's powers wouldn't be the automatic killing machine that most people say. The argument usually goes Superman has no formal fighting skills, so someone with Superman's powers and fighting skills would beat Supes. I would counter by saying most martial arts are based on "human physics." Someone like Zod or Faora learned to fight without the gift of flight, so they punch a certain way, kick a certain way, grapple a certain way, etc. Even if those two all of the sudden gained powers, they wouldn't necessarily win a long, drawn-out fight against Superman because Superman would note that their instincts would have them fight in a way that doesn't fully leverage (pun sort of intended) Kryptonian powers.

    Anyway, in short, applying physics is something I see as a way to keep Superman super while also creating opportunities for people to appreciate Superman, or at least not just write him off as a guy who doesn't have to apply any knowledge to how to use his powers the right way.
    Great post. I think it's definitely worth exploring those challenges and I agree with your philosophy about allowing fans to appreciate him.

  15. #75
    Fantastic Member jimmy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deku View Post
    Before that, it wasn't. Currently, both Barry and Wally are faster than Superman.

    Other heroes exist in the DC universe and they need to have their own fights, so Superman can't come in and solve all their problems. If your suspension of disbelief stops this from being viable, then the whole DC universe falls apart
    Yes, but those (heroes) exist in the DC, as well as, the Marvel Universes because of Superman the progenitor. No suspension of disbelief of any kind, it simply a matter of sheer numbers - as there are more problems for more heroes to handle - universe intact!

    In dealing with certain problems; Flash is a specialist in speed and more adept on how to use it both; offensively and defensively manner. Superman, on the other hand, is a generalist with more options at his disposal and should be able to handle any problem by taking a different, if not, multiple routes to deal with the same or, any problem - for that matter.

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