Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Spectacular Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    186

    Default Clark in training to be Superman...

    Has Clark in canon ever had a period where he was trying to figure out how to be a hero? I kind of find it surprising that

    a). He never had a specific moment that gave him a reason to be Superman other than Pa Kent telling him that he needed to be a hero. You mean he just shrugged his shoulders and said ok? No period of soul searching or even resistance to the idea?

    b) a period of training: You mean to tell me that Clark never had a training period where he was trying to figure out how the hero thing works? Supergirl had her mistake moments and growing pains. Bruce had his training period as did the Robins. He just puts on the cape and knows what to do automatically. Yeah right...


    I love Superman, but no wonder some people think he's less complex than Batman.

  2. #2

    Default

    A) be not afraid of greatness. Some achieve greatness, some has it thrust upon them and some are born great. He doesn't need to. Clark has an inherent goodness to him. Combined with the upbringing he got from the kind hearted Kents. Ofcourse he decided to be a hero.
    B) he did. As superboy. In the future, he trained to be good hero with the legion.

  3. #3
    Mighty Member adkal's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    1,515

    Default

    There have been numerous stories over the years that have dealt with elements of this. For example:

    - Secret Years: (iirc) we see Clark had been practicing with his heat vision to vaporise bullets; he pulled his punch but still broke someone's jaw (there's a thought bubble where he comments on how he has to be more careful)
    - Odyssey: he spends time in a mountain monastery (where Bruce spent some time, too)
    - flashback story: he learned to control his heartbeat, to the point where he could appear dead (used the technique to fake out a criminal who demanded Superman come to him with Kryptonite and expose himself to it)

    A lot of his training was self-taught and usually based on human teachings/methods/techniques extrapolated to the nth degree. A lot of trial and error and making sure people weren't going to be hurt as he learned (he would train in a disused quarry, for example).

    He made mistakes (pre-CoIE they would turn up in Superboy stories or as flashbacks) but he was usually shown as thinking several moves ahead, at the very least, and quick to adapt.

    His strength and speed have often been shown to be the abilities he has been most tuned into because of the casual harm they can cause (there have been instances of people commenting on Clark's 'limp' handshake (but there have also been instances where they have been surprised by how firm his handshake is, too, so it does depend on who is at the receiving end).

    Once he had equipment available (Fortress) that would allow him to test his abilities a lot more, we saw that he did train (there are a 'day in the life' stories showing him wrestling/tug-of-warring with robots, for example).

    The difference between Superman and almost every other (adult) powered character is that he (usually) grew up with his abilities and fine-tuned them whereas most of the (adult) powered characters, including Supergirl, grow up 'normal' and are suddenly 10x, 20x, 1000x etc stronger/faster. Their abilities are, in essence, super-drugs in their system that they then need to adjust to or risk ripping a doorknob off etc, since the world around them is 'fragile' compared to before.

  4. #4
    Fantastic Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Posts
    472

    Default

    Would you be satisfied by the fact that he took training from Mongul to face imperiex?

  5. #5
    Astonishing Member superduperman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Metropolis USA
    Posts
    3,825

    Default

    Well, there's a pre-Crisis story where Superboy is learning to control his flight power before he starts his career. Apparently as super-baby he would crash into things a lot and since he had to keep his powers secret, he didn't get to use them much growing up so he had trouble controlling it at high speeds. Pa took him out to a field and tied a rope around his waist and some balloons to him and taught him to maneuver like a plane. As far as the others go, they don't go into much detail other than he just taught himself to control them. I would think something like heat vision or strength would be harder to control but whatev's.
    Now listen to me, Clark! This great strength of yours--you've got to hide it from people or they'll be scared of you!

  6. #6
    Standing Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    12,234

    Default

    There was a robot "Super-Teacher from Krypton," in ADVENTURE COMICS 240 (September 1957) and reprinted in DC SUPER STARS 12 (February 1977), which had a follow-up story, "Don't Call Me Superboy," where the robot teacher returned. The robot was sent by Jor-El to train Superboy and test his abilities.

    I think--if Jor-El really did die on Krypton and if he isn't a megalomaniacal super-villain--that this kind of concept could be adapted for the modern Superman. It would just be that a program on board the rocketship has the power to create a teacher for the young Kal-El.

    So much is possible with that rocket and its computer programs--you really don't need people and things that survive from Krypton and happen to get to Earth years later. It all came with Kal-El in his hyper-advanced rocketship.
    celebrating 50 years of 4 beatles crossing a zebra

  7. #7
    Astonishing Member Vordan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    2,841

    Default

    In contrast to Batman and Spidey, no there is no “lightning strike” moment where Supes realizes he needs to be a hero. Superman is the product of a bunch of life lessons Clark learns over the course of his becoming an adult, not one traumatic moment unless you count Krypton’s death. He does indeed have many doubts, in every continuity. Post Crisis Supes was scared after everyone swarmed him when he saved the shuttle, or when the military and Lex Luthor attacked him. New 52 Supes considered quitting after he was outed as an alien. But ultimately the moral teachings the Kents instill in him aren’t something he can ignore and he returns to being Supes.

    In most continuities he spends a period of time between college and arriving in Metropolis traveling the world trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life. Per Jurgens I believe this is Reborn canon. Sometimes his childhood adventures with the LoSH teach him combat basics and how to control his powers. Otherwise he practices on his own and that isolated him and makes him a loner.

  8. #8
    BANNED
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    1,818

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CTTT View Post
    Has Clark in canon ever had a period where he was trying to figure out how to be a hero? I kind of find it surprising that

    a). He never had a specific moment that gave him a reason to be Superman other than Pa Kent telling him that he needed to be a hero. You mean he just shrugged his shoulders and said ok? No period of soul searching or even resistance to the idea?.
    To me a defining quality of Superman is that he didn't need to be pushed into the role. There are times he might wish he wasn't so altruistic, but at his core he can't stand by and see injustice or suffering and not step in.

    Quote Originally Posted by CTTT View Post
    b) a period of training: You mean to tell me that Clark never had a training period where he was trying to figure out how the hero thing works? Supergirl had her mistake moments and growing pains. Bruce had his training period as did the Robins. He just puts on the cape and knows what to do automatically. Yeah right..
    The problem is that we almost never see a training period, because after the origin story we always skip ahead to the established hero period.

    Byrne, was told to skip the training period in 1986. His original idea had been to have Superman learn on the job.
    Almost every retelling since then in comics has been a flashback (Birthright, Secret Origin) where the story ends with the first public adventure. Smallville is the only "origin" that showed Clark learning and that is because it covered a multi-year period rather than a quick origin.


    Quote Originally Posted by CTTT View Post
    I love Superman, but no wonder some people think he's less complex than Batman.
    He is less complex in some ways. Depends on if you feel that being a hero for selfish reasons (I personally suffered a loss is more complex than being a hero for altruistic ones (because it's the right thing to do).

  9. #9
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    12,685

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CTTT View Post
    a). He never had a specific moment that gave him a reason to be Superman other than Pa Kent telling him that he needed to be a hero. You mean he just shrugged his shoulders and said ok? No period of soul searching or even resistance to the idea?
    Unlike others, Clark doesn't need a specific reason to do good. He does it because someone has to. But I do think the Legion play a part here. I think they gave Clark the scope and big picture mentality that lead him to deciding to use his powers as opposed to becoming a scientist or politician or businessman. Lots of people can be those things, only Clark can be Superman. So he's just a guy who wants to do his part, and finds a way where he can do the most good and serve a function no one else does.

    Not everyone has to be bitten by trauma to recognize the right choice.

    b) a period of training: You mean to tell me that Clark never had a training period where he was trying to figure out how the hero thing works? Supergirl had her mistake moments and growing pains. Bruce had his training period as did the Robins. He just puts on the cape and knows what to do automatically. Yeah right...
    He trains his entire life. Every day is a 24 hour training session. But he does do actual training with the Legion, the League, etc.

    I love Superman, but no wonder some people think he's less complex than Batman.
    Of course they do. Superman is subtle and nuanced, Batman is just a big swath of character traits and archetype flaws. One runs deep, the other runs loud. You actually have to take a minute to appreciate how complex Superman is because it's not thrown in your face. He's probably the most complex character at DC other than Wonder Woman.

    It's like with Stan Lee's characters (who I love and I love Stan, I'm not being mean here, just making an observation). They're not complex, he would just take a fairly standard character archetype and then throw a big, obvious flaw on them. "Okay, Tony Stark is basically Batman....but we'll make him a drunk!" That's not complex, it just gives the impression of complexity until you actually start to disassemble it.

    EDIT: I realized this sounded like I was really down on Batman and throwing some shade at him. I'm not. Not at all. He's a fun character (when written right). I don't believe he's got the subtleties of character that Clark does, but that's not a bad thing, it's just different.
    Last edited by Ascended; 09-23-2019 at 05:15 PM.
    Higher, Faster, Further....More.

    Truth, Justice, and a Better Tomorrow!

    Bridge Four!

  10. #10
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    7,207

    Default

    Training? No, he's the goldang Superman.

    This is a weird reference but like the rest of the world I was impressed with Conor McGregor at his most dominant, largely because he came from no where. It's almost unheard of in sports to achieve the highest level in an area that doesn't produce other champions and have you work alongside them. Clark hovering in the toolshed and wrestling bulls is that to me. It's sort of an inspiration to me because it minimizes the importance of where we come from and who we know.

    Quote Originally Posted by adkal View Post

    - Secret Years: (iirc) we see Clark had been practicing with his heat vision to vaporise bullets; he pulled his punch but still broke someone's jaw (there's a thought bubble where he comments on how he has to be more careful)
    Part of that at least was actually World of Metropolis. Secret Years concerns the story of Superboy becoming a man, so really you can say that he starts out pretty much as the hero he will be regarding powers.
    Welcome or welcome back! Please check out the updated
    CBR Community STANDARDS & RULES

  11. #11
    Obsessed & Compelled Bored at 3:00AM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    4,604

    Default

    If memory serves, pre-Superman Clark travelling the world training with the retired members of the JSA to master his powers was part of the Morrison/Waid/Millar/Peyer Superman Now! pitch that DC Editorial rejected for...reasons.

  12. #12
    Mighty Member adkal's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    1,515

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    Part of that at least was actually World of Metropolis. Secret Years concerns the story of Superboy becoming a man, so really you can say that he starts out pretty much as the hero he will be regarding powers.
    Had a feeling I might have gotten the titles mixed up


    It does show how he went from accidentally breaking someone's jaw (while pulling his punch) to being able to flick someone unconscious without cracking their skull. Skillful precision

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •