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  1. #16
    Mighty Member Robanker's Avatar
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    A lot's been said much better than I can muster past Midnight, but I'll chime in with my two cents.

    With respect to Clark's alien biology, one thing gets passed around that has always bothered me: he can't feel bullets.

    This makes no sense in a world where he can feel someone's hand in his, or pretty much any physical contact. I understand that it stands to reason that if he can't feel a bullet connect with his eyeball then he wouldn't feel Lois kissing him, but it's also tragically cold for a Superman concept so I don't care for it. Instead, I imagine they and pretty much a ton of blunt force trauma feels like a light graze to him. He can feel the bullets make contact, the brief burst of heat from when they stop dead in their tracks and it registers as much pain as gently holding an infant's hand. He feels it, but it doesn't hurt. I don't want to live in a world where a tearful Martha Kent embraced her son after he returned from the grave and he felt absolutely no physical sensation from her hugging him with everything she had. That's too depressing.

    I'd also prefer if he actually does need to eat, sleep and so on. I imagine the sun can actually keep him going but not at top performance. Think of someone being fed through a tube as opposed to eating a properly balanced and prepared meal. Prolonged absence from food or rest would have him start to significantly slow down, albeit after a lengthy time. He may die from starvation if he didn't eat a damn thing for, I don't know, a month? I imagine actually being in the sun pretty much negates his needs, so perhaps it's the intensity of the radiation that should affect how it influences his biology.

    Again, I'm siding a bit more into fantasy than reality here to make him a bit more approachable to a new fan. Clark really should always have one foot in the fantastic and one in the familiar. He's a bridge to something greater, but that bridge needs to feel like something you can actually cross as opposed to admire from afar. This is part of J'onn's problem. He's just a touch too alien for a lot of readers to connect with despite his exceptionally human soul.

    Have I enraged everyone yet? Here's the one I know nobody would care for. I like a Superman with an average lifespan! I think for his story to really inspire the universe, it'd have to be under the same time crunch as anyone else. Probably not hard to imagine the guy who lived for 15,000 years is the greatest legend ever. He'd win by default. If Jon truly is the Superman of tomorrow, the Great Disaster happens in the 25th century and so on, Clark's gotta be out of the picture. I don't mind a Superman who lives a great deal longer, but I prefer him to be a man who for all his great powers has to face the final curtain as anyone else. It certainly makes those moments he stops to help someone with car trouble more meaningful-- those seconds are as precious to him as they are to you and yet he-- possibly the busiest, most important man on the planet-- will always offer his time to help anyone in need.

    As for him having sex... I mean, he's had to have broken wind at some point in his life and not leveled a building. He probably sneezes and doesn't take out an entire city block. He has every other possible muscle controlled to function as any of us do, so I imagine he can slow down. Honestly I don't care much how or why, it's really peeking too far behind the curtain, but one can infer that it's possible for him to control that when he does so in every other facet of his life.

    Balance is key with Clark to make him interesting; go too far into the alien nature of his character and he really can come across as the overly perfect wish fulfillment cypher for children he's often criticized as. Stray too far from it and, well, he's the same as any other meta. Even though it's all different under the hood, he looks exactly like us and Kryptonian DNA is close enough to humans to produce healthy offspring. He shouldn't be that different in function even if his bone density, organs and so on are likely really bizarre.
    Last edited by Robanker; 10-10-2019 at 01:28 AM.

  2. #17
    Swiss army nerd
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    I've always had a few headcanon beliefs about Clark's physiology. Though I should stress that at the end of the day, I don't really care. He can fly, he's strong, he's tough, I don't need the physics behind it. But it can be a fun thought experiment and sometimes you find yourself thinking about these things.

    My theory is that Kryptonian bodies are super efficient - yes, they use the bathroom, but not remotely as often as humans, because their bodies make better use of all materials. There is waste product, but very little. Also, their eyesight, hearing etc are all that little bit better than humans. Not enough to qualify them as superhuman, but if the best human eyesight is 20/20, they have 22/22. They're just more evolved/perfected humans.

    Then you add yellow solar radiation.

    This supercharges the Kryptonian system, so their efficiencies multiply a billionfold. This is why one breath can oxygenate their systems for weeks when empowered. No more bathroom.

    I have no explanation for the toughness or strength, of course! But I figure that if Clark's tissues are so strong, that's why he can take such deep breaths - it'd be almost impossible to rupture his lungs by inhaling, so he can keep breathing in and breathing in and his lungs will never be painfully full, because he won't feel the pain or be damaged. Of course, this means that there's a tremendous volume of air in the tiny space of his lungs. Air, pressurised, heats up. But Kryptonian bodies are hyper efficient, so what do they do? They extract the heat and funnel it into heat vision. (this isn't the only source of heat for HV, just a top up, if you will.) And when that heat is extracted, that leaves Clark with frozen air he can exhale for freeze breath.

    I just see the empowered Kryptonian body as a perfect efficient system, every overflow in one area powers another.

    But also he can fly and is strong and stuff.

  3. #18
    Extraordinary Member Lightning Rider's Avatar
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    Love the respones so far. So on a related note, how would Clark's body react when depowered? I imagine that for the first couple of times, he gets very sick, but it passes quickly. The foreign environment would shock his body a bit, but since he's advanced even without the yellow sun radiation, he'd heal and adapt much more quickly.

  4. #19
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lightning Rider View Post
    Love the respones so far. So on a related note, how would Clark's body react when depowered? I imagine that for the first couple of times, he gets very sick, but it passes quickly. The foreign environment would shock his body a bit, but since he's advanced even without the yellow sun radiation, he'd heal and adapt much more quickly.
    I think that a Kryptonian body, even without a drop of yellow sun, is well beyond our's. I kind of break it down like the Golden Age power levels (leap tall buildings, faster than a speeding bullet, yadda yadda yadda) is the Kryptonian baseline. You magically take every ohm of solar radiation out of his system, he's still stronger than a locomotive. I also agree with Morrison's Action; even at that baseline Clark's eyes pick up wavelengths we can't, his hearing is more advanced, etc. I truly despite stories where Clark loses his powers and becomes "human." It makes no sense to me and, I think, does a big disservice to Clark's character while showing a great misunderstanding of his character. It should take reality-warping, "No more Kryptonians" level BS to make Clark "human."
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  5. #20
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    I truly despite stories where Clark loses his powers and becomes "human." It makes no sense to me and, I think, does a big disservice to Clark's character while showing a great misunderstanding of his character.
    That's been the exact case as long as a red sun or radiation has been in play. That's like hating how his hair curls on his forehead, or how his boots have an M shape to match the S.
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  6. #21
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    That's been the exact case as long as a red sun or radiation has been in play. That's like hating how his hair curls on his forehead, or how his boots have an M shape to match the S.
    What? Come on man, that's hyperbolic! How often does Clark get de-powered, especially in the modern age? Once every couple years maybe? And you wanna compare that to his costume, that has remained virtually unchanged for 80+ years?

    Yeah, it's always been the case that a de-powered Superman is basically human. And I think that's dumb. I think writers haven't thought it all out. I mean, in the Silver Age it was canon that Krypton had much higher gravity right? So why is Clark as weak as a human without yellow sun? Higher gravity would require greater strength to stand upright. So what the authors are saying here is that Clark is actually a total wimp; by Kryptonian standards he'd be a 90 pound weakling barely able to walk around town back home. Is that really the kind of Superman we want? I sure as hell don't.
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  7. #22
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    *shrug*

    Somehow the gravity got turned into a reason for flight, not strength. I think being a peak human is good stuff to play with if a writer is willing. I don't mind there even being a few drawbacks like not having a clue about maintaining his physique due to not really experiencing a human diet (electric phase). Advanced human ability is also cool for a long term depower, like Truth.

    But as a great misunderstanding of the character... maybe Return to Krypton didn't necessarily originate with Jerry Siegel, but it's still pretty much untouchable as a fixture of the mythos.
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  8. #23
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Oh I got no issue with a Golden Age/Morrison/Truth level Superman. If that's what they run with, cool.

    But the idea that, despite the harsher environment of Krypton, Clark's "naturally" at human physical levels doesn't make sense to me, never has, never will, and actual science would agree with me, insofar as actual science is applicable to this genre. I don't care what the canon says in this case, it's breaking it's own internal logic so I get to write it off as a decades-long screw up.

    If I'm the only one who gets annoyed by this, so be it. I shall be the lone voice of reason!!! Bwahahahahaha!
    Last edited by Ascended; 10-15-2019 at 08:26 PM.
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  9. #24
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Goldenage superman is the most realistic. So, if you want ask questions on the how. This is his only credible realistic explanation of powers.
    But, if you want to take the "flight of imagination". He doesn't need much explanation. Anything works, really. Sun or bioelectric aura or dark energy or strength force so on and so forth.but to be fair sun can't produce enough energy to do the stuff superman does especially in the silverage. So don't dirty "the flight of imagination" with logic or scientific explanation. He can't be bound by that.
    Last edited by manwhohaseverything; 10-15-2019 at 08:27 PM.

  10. #25
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    Oh I got no issue with a Golden Age/Morrison/Truth level Superman. If that's what they run with, cool.

    But the idea that, despite the harsher environment of Krypton, Clark's "naturally" at human physical levels doesn't make sense to me, never has, never will, and actual science would agree with me, insofar as actual science is applicable to this genre. I don't care what the canon says in this case, it's breaking it's own internal logic so I get to write it off as a decades-long screw up.

    If I'm the only one who gets annoyed by this, so be it. I shall be the lone voice of reason!!! Bwahahahahaha!
    I'll say this: the idea that, without powers, his muscles are for show sucks. You can't really just look the part at 6'3" 225 and seven percent body fat. Certain activities are more difficult if he's extremely new to being depowered or hasn't had an equivalent activity in his life before, but he should be able to hang with anyone who doesn't far surpass him in skill. I like to think that quickly adapting a style similar to Ali would have led to a much more competitive bout with a few more days.
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  11. #26
    Astonishing Member Vordan's Avatar
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    I just headcanon it that Clark builds up muscle naturally working on a farm because he doesn’t get strength until puberty. That conflicts with canon but I don’t care lol.

  12. #27
    I'm at least a C-Lister! exile001's Avatar
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    I've always disliked the idea that Clark and Lois can have a biological child together (in the normal, fun way). They are different species and as a result shouldn't be able to procreate.

    Of all the things to bug me about a super powered alien who can fly, bend steel with his hands, radiate heat from his eyes and cold from his mouth, the idea that a Kryptonian and a Human can naturally reproduce has always been where my incredulity sets in. I just can't get past it.

    This has little to do with my dislike for Jon, which is a whole other issue.
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  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by exile001 View Post
    I've always disliked the idea that Clark and Lois can have a biological child together (in the normal, fun way). They are different species and as a result shouldn't be able to procreate.

    Of all the things to bug me about a super powered alien who can fly, bend steel with his hands, radiate heat from his eyes and cold from his mouth, the idea that a Kryptonian and a Human can naturally reproduce has always been where my incredulity sets in. I just can't get past it.

    This has little to do with my dislike for Jon, which is a whole other issue.
    As someone who experienced years of painful and terrible infertility with my own husband, I feel the exact opposite. They should absolutely be able to have a biological child distinctly for all the reasons you listed.

    This is a story about the impossible. About hope. Love conquers all. The idea that, in this story, odds could be stacked against them and they could, by some miracle, have a child is very inspiring and important to me.

    And I’m here to tell you that you can be told you will never have a child and then...miracles happen. It makes no sense to me to accept all of his other powers—all of which are literal miracles—and then draw the line at him having a biological child with the woman he loves thereby fulfilling the extension of his people and joining earth and Kryton as one.

  14. #29
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    I actually agree with both of you. I do think it should be basically impossible for Kryptonians to reproduce with humans. But I also think Clark and Lois should beat the odds. Because he's Superman; he does the impossible every day.

    I'd like to play it so that Clark believes his whole life that he can't have kids. He and Lois deal with that and make their peace with it, etc etc. And then, after they've been together for years, boom, they hit the odds just right and, through some trillion-to-one quirk, Lois gets pregnant.
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  15. #30
    Astonishing Member Vordan's Avatar
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    That’s pretty much how it played out in the 90s. Lex used to taunt Supes that he was the last of his species and he’d never be able to pass on his name. Given that Jurgens clearly brought a lot of that 90s stuff back in Reborn Clark basically lived for a long time believing he’d never be able to have kids only to have Jon.

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