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  1. #1
    Astonishing Member JackDaw's Avatar
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    Default Should Superman be outright best at anything?

    Whenever we have threads about DC’s most intelligent..we effectively see answers dominated by Lex, Mr Teriffic, Bruce, assorted scientists, some other members of Bat family. If Superman gets a mention it’s usually along lines of “if he was written correctly then he would be near top of list”, rather than anybody confidently claiming that he’s consistently written as among DC’s top intellects.

    And it’s been widely accepted for a long time now that Flash is now portrayed as much faster, rather than a bit faster.

    Fighting skills? Practically everybody in Bat family supposedly has more fighting skill and know how than our guy..the inference being if he was depowered practically all the Bat clan would take him out.

    Outright strength? He must be near top..but for me this is a fairly limited power, and loads of others are effectively shown in same ball park, either via super strength or devices like GL rings.

    Where he ought to be unrivalled...given his super senses, reporter experience, etc...is reading human body language and predicting people’s actions. But strangely, he’s often (nearly always?) shown as blindly trusting others, and not particularly good at reading character and motives.

    Have I missed something? Is he really peerless at anything?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackDaw View Post
    Where he ought to be unrivalled...given his super senses, reporter experience, etc...is reading human body language and predicting people’s actions.
    Like with two of the other categories you mentioned, at least one bat's definitely got him beat.

    Quote Originally Posted by JackDaw View Post
    Have I missed something? Is he really peerless at anything?
    For me, Superman shouldn't be known as the best hero because of any specific attribute, but because he's just the guy that always saves the day and knows what the right choice is. There's that old idea of 'Marvel heroes you can relate to, DC heroes you can look up to.' I call complete BS on that idea, but Superman IS the one hero I think who it isn't important that anyone be able to relate to him at all. His role, what he's 'best' at, is being the icon of heroism that everyone can aspire to.

  3. #3
    Notorious M.O.S. Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    people get so hung up on how much he can bench or whether or not he an outrun the Flash, and they miss the idea of his other powers entirely. As a complete package, he is the best, bar none, and always has been. He has like a dozen powers and countless resources, and the highest level of experience in using those things. For some I guess it's not enough, but I fail to see how individual stats hold up.

    He's never been smarter than Lex, faster than Flash, etc. so I don't get starting now.

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    Ever since post Crisis, there was a trend to shit on Superman in order to forward other characters. He lost any sense of wonder when everybody started depowering him, explaining how his powers work when nobody asked them to, every character was screaming "I'm as powerful as Superman", "I'm as strong as Superman!".

    He should be, as it was the intention of his creators, the undisputed strongest person on Earth by a long shot.

    He was a faster than light speedster before Flash was even a thought in the creator's mind.

    He was created explicitly as the guy who could tank nuclear bombs with a smile, when everybody else was scared of them.

    He should be the superhero.

    In order to answer your question, I think he should be the strongest and a close match to Flash who is, eventually, faster than him.

  5. #5
    Incredible Member The Learner's Avatar
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    He has no peers as far as the number weaknesses is concerned. Does it count?

    One of the very very few things I liked from the new52 was that Superman was much stronger than almost everyone. I would like it to stay that way. He should be the strongest, fastest (not counting the Flashes and their villains like Zoom, Thawne), the most durable and the one with the highest striking power. He is all of this now, hopefully it won't be changed. As for what he should be peerless at, I'd say strength.

  6. #6
    Incredible Member Ra-El's Avatar
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    Yeah, like when they have to analise a crime scene, we have Barry using his forensic skill, Batman being a detective and Cyborg using his technology, but somehow the guy that can see a virus mutating in the air, the whole light spectrum and spot a atom is nowhere near.

    And when was the last time we saw Superman defeating one of the villains in Justice League? Usually is someone else who does the real work while Superman is somewhere in the background. That's why sometimes I think Superman would be best if his role on the JL was more limited.

  7. #7
    Incredible Member The Learner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    people get so hung up on how much he can bench or whether or not he an outrun the Flash, and they miss the idea of his othet powers entirely. As a complete package, he is the best, bar none, and always has been. He has like a dozen powers and countless resources, and the highest level of experience in using those things. For some I guess it's not enough, but I fail to see how individual stats hold up.

    He's never been smarter than Lex, faster than Flash, etc. so I don't get starting now.
    Wasn't Silver Age Superman faster than Flash? Dude flew so fast he was going to destroy the universe, the Spectre himself had to come and stop him iirc.

  8. #8
    Astonishing Member Powerboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Learner View Post
    Wasn't Silver Age Superman faster than Flash? Dude flew so fast he was going to destroy the universe, the Spectre himself had to come and stop him iirc.
    Who was faster between Superman and the Flash was always ambiguous and one of the fun aspects of the Silver Age.

    I think he should be the best at the things he can do, the powers he has. Physically strongest and most durable to be sure. I think the Flash and other Speed Force users should be a little faster or just keep it ambiguous. He should be a smart reporter and skilled enough in a fight that he's as good as the best real life martial artist but no way he's beating Batman in a fight without his powers or Wonder Woman (also without her powers). In Batman's case, that's because Batman is superhuman by real world standards so Superman without his powers versus Batman is a real life person versus someone with super powers.
    Superman was a beacon to the world.

  9. #9
    Astonishing Member JackDaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Powerboy View Post
    Who was faster between Superman and the Flash was always ambiguous and one of the fun aspects of the Silver Age.
    Yes..that’s how I read Silver Age continuity. It was not clear who was fastest. There was certainly no credible case for arguing Flash could run many times faster than Superman. They were on a par for speed.

    Strangely it didn’t seem to harm Barry one iota...one reason I am always sceptical about claims that if Flash is not obviously much faster that it “damages” Flash.

    Again in Silver Age Superman routinely built devices..particularly robots that represented cutting edge science at the time.

    I actually would’t particularly want to see a “best or near best at everything” approach in modern age...but I would like to see some patently obvious reason/s why other heroes in same fictional universe hold him in especial esteem.

  10. #10
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    Something I liked about pre-Crisis Superman is how well-travelled he was. He had the ability, under his own power, to travel anywhere in space and time. This meant he knew beings from all over the universe, his legend was celebrated throughout the cosmos and down through the centuries. He was the most famous super-hero of them all.
    sorry🍁

  11. #11
    Astonishing Member Powerboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackDaw View Post
    Yes..that’s how I read Silver Age continuity. It was not clear who was fastest. There was certainly no credible case for arguing Flash could run many times faster than Superman. They were on a par for speed.

    Strangely it didn’t seem to harm Barry one iota...one reason I am always sceptical about claims that if Flash is not obviously much faster that it “damages” Flash.

    Again in Silver Age Superman routinely built devices..particularly robots that represented cutting edge science at the time.

    I actually would’t particularly want to see a “best or near best at everything” approach in modern age...but I would like to see some patently obvious reason/s why other heroes in same fictional universe hold him in especial esteem.
    Oh yeah. Superboy robots. Superman robots. With his super memory, he had learned everything there was to know about every aspect of human science and technology and Kryptonian science and technology. He spoke every human language and so on. He was a master of Kryptonian martial arts. When he lost his powers, the only reason he lost any fight against a normal human was because he was so used to holding back even against other super beings that he instinctively did it even without his powers.

    I agree with you that I don't want to see things get that extreme today. There's always the old stories and I don't think that approach would sell today when adults are the vast majority of readers. But I too would like to see reasons he's the one everybody else looks up to and I mean outside of power levels. Most of the heroes have equivalent codes of conduct. When he's lost his status of being the first ever or even the first in recent times, why is he the guy above them all?
    Superman was a beacon to the world.

  12. #12
    Astonishing Member JackDaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    Something I liked about pre-Crisis Superman is how well-travelled he was. He had the ability, under his own power, to travel anywhere in space and time. This meant he knew beings from all over the universe, his legend was celebrated throughout the cosmos and down through the centuries. He was the most famous super-hero of them all.
    Yes, agree whole-heartedly.

    One (forlorn) hope I had when multi-verse returned was that Superman would be only “regular” hero with senses, robustness, speed, etc to allow him to routinely travel and have adventures across different Earths. (The idea being the unique experience it would give him would make it completely natural for others to look to him him for guidance in some situations.)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackDaw View Post
    Yes..that’s how I read Silver Age continuity. It was not clear who was fastest. There was certainly no credible case for arguing Flash could run many times faster than Superman. They were on a par for speed.

    Strangely it didn’t seem to harm Barry one iota...one reason I am always sceptical about claims that if Flash is not obviously much faster that it “damages” Flash.
    That's because, during that period, being at Superman's level at anything was seen as awesome and raising the stock of the character.

    It's why Mongul was seen as so threatening, for example. He was a character who could, and would, give Superman a run for his money, and sometimes even win.

    It made him above the other heroes, as seen in For the Man who Has Everything, for example.

    Now it's mundane, ,the reverse. It lowers Flash's stock if he is as fast as Superman, the faster he is than him, the better, since a lot of heroes are called 'as strong' or 'as powerful' as Superman. See Captain Marvel, Martian Manhunter and more.

  14. #14
    Astonishing Member Powerboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    Something I liked about pre-Crisis Superman is how well-travelled he was. He had the ability, under his own power, to travel anywhere in space and time. This meant he knew beings from all over the universe, his legend was celebrated throughout the cosmos and down through the centuries. He was the most famous super-hero of them all.
    Very true. He blazed a trail across the universe and was arguably the greatest hero not just on earth but across galaxies. He'd show up to prevent galactic wars and to rescue a puppy. And, frankly, there's something unapologetic and embracing of the concept about a writer who has no qualms or hesitations about showing him doing things like the latter. Heck, even in B v S, there was a reference to his having done something like that although they didn't quite go as far as to show it.
    Superman was a beacon to the world.

  15. #15
    Astonishing Member Powerboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GodofBoredom View Post
    That's because, during that period, being at Superman's level at anything was seen as awesome and raising the stock of the character.

    It's why Mongul was seen as so threatening, for example. He was a character who could, and would, give Superman a run for his money, and sometimes even win.

    It made him above the other heroes, as seen in For the Man who Has Everything, for example.

    Now it's mundane, ,the reverse. It lowers Flash's stock if he is as fast as Superman, the faster he is than him, the better, since a lot of heroes are called 'as strong' or 'as powerful' as Superman. See Captain Marvel, Martian Manhunter and more.
    True but, just as the trend gradually moved so that Superman is no longer thought of as the most powerful by comic readers over the course of a generation, it can be moved so that he is thought of that way again though it might take a generation.

    Interestingly enough, I have the feeling that to most movie goers, this change is lost on them and they never stopped thinking of him as the guy who can do absolutely anything within his power set. No weight he can't lift, etc.
    Superman was a beacon to the world.

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