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  1. #61
    Astonishing Member superduperman's Avatar
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    To me, powers from day one are as much a part of his origin as him coming from Krypton or the rocket just because that's what I grew up knowing. The Donner movies and Ruby Spears shaped how I see the character. The post-Crisis "no powers til puberty" rule always felt like a foreign concept to me. It didn't help that, during the 90s, anything that wasn't that was treated as silly or childish. I get the argument for it but I also think there is an argument for giving him powers from day one, too. For one thing, he learns to control his powers from an early age. If you wake up with the ability to lift a tractor over your head one day when you couldn't the day before, that's going to take some getting used to and could be dangerous. Whereas if you start off with a baseline of grown adult strength early on and work up from there, you can adjust to your circumstances much easier. It also creates a good plot device. The entire concept of Smallville was built around the idea that he was always an outsider.

    I also grew up physically weaker than everyone else due to birth defects. So a Superman who was also different from everyone else from early childhood on was something I could relate to. While mine was negative, his was positive. Whereas a perfect student with an idyllic childhood who also gets to have super powers one day is not something I could connect with. Again, I get why they did it. By 1985 Superman was on the verge of cancellation so they went in the complete opposite direction. But everyone is a product of what they grew up with. And being able to relate to a character also helps.
    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!

  2. #62
    Ultimate Member Sacred Knight's Avatar
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    I'd definitely be down for dropping the solar power thing and just going back to Kryptonian=enhanced abilities anywhere. I don't dislike the solar battery explanation, I never did and have no qualms with it continuing. But wouldn't bat an eye if they ever got rid of it, and in a reboot scenario such as this or a new version, would lean toward switching back.

    I'd add a bit of a change-up though. Have his powers steadily grow to the early Golden Age derivative, and say at that point, that's what your general Kryptonian was like. That's just the way a Kryptonian grows. By adult hood its your original leap tall buildings in a single bound, etc. It doesn't go into Silver/Bronze Age ranges by default. I'd have a specific event early in his career, maybe year two or so,expand his powers further, Beyond that of a normal Kryptonian and then you get things like natural flight and the more standard power level of today. Something unnatural that happens to cause it. I just haven't figured out what I'd like that to be yet.
    Last edited by Sacred Knight; 02-19-2020 at 01:11 PM.
    "They can be a great people Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you. My only son." - Jor-El

    "“Your boos mean nothing, I’ve seen what makes you cheer!”

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sacred Knight View Post
    I'd definitely be down for dropping the solar power thing and just going back to Kryptonian=enhanced abilities anywhere. I don't dislike the solar battery explanation, I never did and have no qualms with it continuing. But wouldn't bat an eye if they ever got rid of it, and in a reboot scenario such as this or a new version, would lean toward switching back.
    I don't hate the solar battery idea and actually have it play a part in my head cannon. I've just seen too many stories that lean too far into "just a human being with sun powers" making Superman powerless underground or implying that cutting him off from prolonged sun exposure would make him "human". And I've grown more and more disenchanted with characters that have that "depower" button.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Clark View Post
    I don't hate the solar battery idea and actually have it play a part in my head cannon. I've just seen too many stories that lean too far into "just a human being with sun powers" making Superman powerless underground or implying that cutting him off from prolonged sun exposure would make him "human". And I've grown more and more disenchanted with characters that have that "depower" button.
    As with my previous note, I think it's worth disambiguating between his physical powers* -- which should be mostly unaffected by the above -- and his energy-based powers (flight, heat vision, x-ray vision etc) -- that could be affected by the above. IMO, writers who conflate the two -- either to depower Superman or quickly empower villians like Zod -- are the mostly frustrating element.

    * While I'm not dogmatic on this point, dropping these down to 1938 levels in above situation is not unreasonable.

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcl100 View Post
    1.) His physical abilities would be far greater than his size would suggest during his entire childhood, but not at actual superhuman levels until he gets into his teens.
    Would he face any of his rogues or just petty, corrupt criminals?

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shamrock Holmes View Post
    As with my previous note, I think it's worth disambiguating between his physical powers* -- which should be mostly unaffected by the above -- and his energy-based powers (flight, heat vision, x-ray vision etc) -- that could be affected by the above. IMO, writers who conflate the two -- either to depower Superman or quickly empower villians like Zod -- are the mostly frustrating element.

    * While I'm not dogmatic on this point, dropping these down to 1938 levels in above situation is not unreasonable.
    I can see that. The 1938 stuff as Superman on an Earthlike planet under a red sun might work.

    I don't disambiguate the powers as much between those from the sun and purely physical as much as between active and passive.

    His senses (X-ray vision, micro/tele- scopic, hearing) are all passive and environmentally based. Kryptonians are always seeing X-rays, gamma rays, etc. Under a red sun it isn't that their vision weakens, it's that there might be less radiation for them to see. If you had a camera just picking up the human visible spectrum you'd be blind on Krypton except around high noon.

    Kryptonian body tissue is simply denser or more tightly bonded than ours. Under any range of light, alive or dead, you just can't pierce their skin or muscle with a ,45 caliber steel jacketed bullet. But then again on Krypton a bullet would need more power to move at the same speed and would need to be a stronger material to take the strain. So a "gun" on Krypton might act like a missile launcher if fired on Earth.

    But active powers like strength, flight, speed are natural abilities on Krypton magnified. On Krypton a feather might weigh 5 pounds and a Kryptonian on Earth needs no more energy yo lift a bag of potatoes than we need to lift a feather, But on top of that on Krypton it might take a full second for them to metabolize enough sunlight to lift that feather while on Earth they are getting enough energy to lift a thousand times that every second. So under a red sun they lift a bag of potatoes like we lift a feather, but under a yellow sun they lift a minivan like we lift a feather.

    Think of humans as ancient wooden ships and Kryptonians are modern ocean liners. Steel hulls are tougher than wooden ones, right off the bat. But then you have the added features like engines vs oars or radar/GPS vs human sight/maps/sextants.
    Last edited by Jon Clark; 02-21-2020 at 01:57 AM.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Clark View Post
    They aren't activated by our sun, maybe magnified but they are as natural as our own sight.
    It’s not a huge deal because everyone from Krypton will have the same or similar powers regardless.

  8. #68
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Clark View Post
    I don't hate the solar battery idea and actually have it play a part in my head cannon. I've just seen too many stories that lean too far into "just a human being with sun powers" making Superman powerless underground or implying that cutting him off from prolonged sun exposure would make him "human". And I've grown more and more disenchanted with characters that have that "depower" button.
    Finally, someone sees it my way.

  9. #69
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    I recall in some of the Superman 2000 pitch one of the ideas brought up was Clark being mentored in his years between leaving Smallville and debuting as Superman by former members of the JSA. I think that's one aspect I'd bring in to a new origin for Superman.

  10. #70

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    Superman is born with powers which develop slowly until early adolescence when he can access them fully.

    He uses them to help people in secret until early adulthood. That’s when he embarks on his Superman career.
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  11. #71
    Ultimate Member Sacred Knight's Avatar
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    What if you mix the two concepts? On their own, Kryptonians are naturally at superhuman levels akin to the earliest Golden Age tales. But they can also get charged by a yellow sun. That could be a reasonable explanation to go with Morrison's route of GA levels early on in his career but they begin growing exponentially not long after. It would also eliminate stupid overused cliches like simulated red sunlight to a degree. You do that, okay, yes Superman does get depowered. But only to the extent that the yellow sun enhances him. Outside of Kryptonite there is nothing that can just weaken him to normal human levels. Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound is permanent biologically as a Kryptonian.
    "They can be a great people Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you. My only son." - Jor-El

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  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sacred Knight View Post
    What if you mix the two concepts? On their own, Kryptonians are naturally at superhuman levels akin to the earliest Golden Age tales. But they can also get charged by a yellow sun. That could be a reasonable explanation to go with Morrison's route of GA levels early on in his career but they begin growing exponentially not long after. It would also eliminate stupid overused cliches like simulated red sunlight to a degree. You do that, okay, yes Superman does get depowered. But only to the extent that the yellow sun enhances him. Outside of Kryptonite there is nothing that can just weaken him to normal human levels. Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound is permanent biologically as a Kryptonian.
    I could get behind this.

    However, there's also gold Kryptonite to consider. Pre-Crisis (and in Superman/Batman: Generations) it was an uncurable total depowering -- though per Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? it doesn't affect the reproductive genes. However, when it was introduced during the New Krypton arc in the 2000s it was a temporary negator, though still total for the duration.

  13. #73
    Astonishing Member superduperman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sacred Knight View Post
    What if you mix the two concepts? On their own, Kryptonians are naturally at superhuman levels akin to the earliest Golden Age tales. But they can also get charged by a yellow sun. That could be a reasonable explanation to go with Morrison's route of GA levels early on in his career but they begin growing exponentially not long after. It would also eliminate stupid overused cliches like simulated red sunlight to a degree. You do that, okay, yes Superman does get depowered. But only to the extent that the yellow sun enhances him. Outside of Kryptonite there is nothing that can just weaken him to normal human levels. Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound is permanent biologically as a Kryptonian.
    Most versions do this. He's seen throwing furniture around or whatever early on and then when he hits puberty, things like the vision powers and flight kick in. That was the whole premise of Smallville.
    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!

  14. #74
    Extraordinary Member Jackalope89's Avatar
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    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, even if its the wrong opinion!

    That said, I don't like him "being born" with powers. His powers should come from the sunlight, but don't start popping up until he's a little older (preteen years). And from then, its a slow creep as he stumbles from one power to another. In subsequent years, like after regaining his powers from being exposed to red solar radiation, he knows what powers to tap into.

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sacred Knight View Post
    What if you mix the two concepts? On their own, Kryptonians are naturally at superhuman levels akin to the earliest Golden Age tales. But they can also get charged by a yellow sun. That could be a reasonable explanation to go with Morrison's route of GA levels early on in his career but they begin growing exponentially not long after. It would also eliminate stupid overused cliches like simulated red sunlight to a degree. You do that, okay, yes Superman does get depowered. But only to the extent that the yellow sun enhances him. Outside of Kryptonite there is nothing that can just weaken him to normal human levels. Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound is permanent biologically as a Kryptonian.
    That was my idea, except that Krypton was a place where human Olympic athletes would have trouble crawling so you'd need to have the ability to leap that eighth of a mile on Earth just to walk normally there. And a .45 bullet fired on Krypton would maybe go 15 mph for a foot before inertia stopped it.

    Superman is a normal human evolved to survive on a world with heavier gravity, denser air (but with a lower oxygen level), less "light"... On Earth his physical body simply is like a human on the moon. But surviving Krypton also involved other adaptations that allowed him to survive there and drew power from the weak solar rays from Krypton's sun. Those adaptations go from just helping him stand up under massive gravity to actually flying when they have stronger amounts of solar rays to draw on. From helping him cushion a fall to actually resisting the impact of a train.

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