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  1. #1
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    Default Superman stronger than Black Adam in Rebirth (JLA #59)

    I read JLA #59 today and noticed that Superman seemed considerably more powerful than Black Adam, given how he easily knocked away Brutus who had just given Black Adam trouble.

    I haven't read much rebirth, but has Adam been made weaker or something? This is a far cry from post crisis when they seemed relatively at the same level.

    Even if you think Superman should be stronger, surely the difference shouldn't be by this much?

    What makes this more confusing is that the cover of the upcoming issue suggests a fight, which going by the logic of the previous issue should be easily in Superman's favour.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCfan10 View Post
    I read JLA #59 today and noticed that Superman seemed considerably more powerful than Black Adam, given how he easily knocked away Brutus who had just given Black Adam trouble.

    I haven't read much rebirth, but has Adam been made weaker or something? This is a far cry from post crisis when they seemed relatively at the same level.

    Even if you think Superman should be stronger, surely the difference shouldn't be by this much?

    What makes this more confusing is that the cover of the upcoming issue suggests a fight, which going by the logic of the previous issue should be easily in Superman's favour.
    I would consider Superman pretty stronger than Black Adam, but could still lose to him in a fight, especially since Black Adam is magic powered, which is Superman's weakness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by titanfan View Post
    I would consider Superman pretty stronger than Black Adam, but could still lose to him in a fight, especially since Black Adam is magic powered, which is Superman's weakness.
    They've always been portrayed as in the same ballpark strength wise.

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    Extraordinary Member Robanker's Avatar
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    He and Clark usually tow roughly the same line but Clark does have that protagonist reservoir to draw from when he needs some extra power.

    While not inherently weak to magic, if we consider Captain Marvel or Black Adam's power themselves to be magic, it stands to reason that some or all of it might bypass Clark's biological invulnerability and thus he would take more damage in a head-to-head slugfest even if he's actually punching harder.

    If you're thinking of video games or tabletop rpgs, imagine that Clark's not weak to magic itself but Black Adam has high armor penetration or some such. A lot of writers don't get that, though, so hurr durr magic is kryptonite.

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    see beauty in all things. charliehustle415's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robanker View Post
    He and Clark usually tow roughly the same line but Clark does have that protagonist reservoir to draw from when he needs some extra power.

    While not inherently weak to magic, if we consider Captain Marvel or Black Adam's power themselves to be magic, it stands to reason that some or all of it might bypass Clark's biological invulnerability and thus he would take more damage in a head-to-head slugfest even if he's actually punching harder.

    If you're thinking of video games or tabletop rpgs, imagine that Clark's not weak to magic itself but Black Adam has high armor penetration or some such. A lot of writers don't get that, though, so hurr durr magic is kryptonite.
    I always understood it as "hurr durr magic is kryptonite" maybe because I was highly influenced by Justice League Unlimited where Captain Marvel really hurt Supes with lightning strikes and that is Superman didn't outsmart dumbass Billy Clark would have lost.



    Now Black Adam is much smarter than Billy so I can imagine he can put a real hurt on Supes

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    Extraordinary Member Robanker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charliehustle415 View Post
    I always understood it as "hurr durr magic is kryptonite" maybe because I was highly influenced by Justice League Unlimited where Captain Marvel really hurt Supes with lightning strikes and that is Superman didn't outsmart dumbass Billy Clark would have lost.



    Now Black Adam is much smarter than Billy so I can imagine he can put a real hurt on Supes
    You can be forgiven for that because a lot of modern writers get it wrong. The classic interpretation was simply he's got no natural defense to it like he does blunt force trauma-- magic hits Superman the same as it does you. He had three weaknesses and each was slightly different.

    Kryptonite poisoned him and took his powers. Red sunlight drained him like your phone losing juice to a greedy app, leaving him physically exhausted and vulnerable. Magic slapped him around the same as anyone else, and unlike Kryptonite he couldn't see it coming.

    Green K was most effective/lethal. Red sunlight was effective but on its own wouldn't kill him, just make him relatively human. Magic was the light switch but he could fight back at full strength.

    Now they're all just Kryptonite. It's more generic and I refuse to see it as anything other than lazy writing. It's goddamn dumb to think that all Kryptonians are especially biologically susceptible to getting wrecked by magic. The concept of the Homo-Magi makes enough sense in that they're more attuned to magic because it's case-by-case per person instead of Kryptonians who apparently fall to pieces if you can hide a couple rabbits in a top hat.

    Again, going to video games/tabletop as an example, if Clark's hitting solid 10/10 punches but Shazam is hitting 9/10 with an enchantment, it's going to surpass Clark's defenses more than his raw power would get through to Shazam or Black Adam. It's a pretty good handwave for why Clark is the one they all turn to in Crisis events when you need raw strength but Billy/Adam can slap him around sometimes. Remember, Clark gets electrocuted by Livewire in that continuity and it's mostly a stun to him. The magic component is what actually makes it hurt Clark, but he doesn't get whammied by it anymore than any other flying brick would.

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    see beauty in all things. charliehustle415's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robanker View Post
    You can be forgiven for that because a lot of modern writers get it wrong. The classic interpretation was simply he's got no natural defense to it like he does blunt force trauma-- magic hits Superman the same as it does you. He had three weaknesses and each was slightly different.

    Kryptonite poisoned him and took his powers. Red sunlight drained him like your phone losing juice to a greedy app, leaving him physically exhausted and vulnerable. Magic slapped him around the same as anyone else, and unlike Kryptonite he couldn't see it coming.

    Green K was most effective/lethal. Red sunlight was effective but on its own wouldn't kill him, just make him relatively human. Magic was the light switch but he could fight back at full strength.

    Now they're all just Kryptonite. It's more generic and I refuse to see it as anything other than lazy writing. It's goddamn dumb to think that all Kryptonians are especially biologically susceptible to getting wrecked by magic. The concept of the Homo-Magi makes enough sense in that they're more attuned to magic because it's case-by-case per person instead of Kryptonians who apparently fall to pieces if you can hide a couple rabbits in a top hat.

    Again, going to video games/tabletop as an example, if Clark's hitting solid 10/10 punches but Shazam is hitting 9/10 with an enchantment, it's going to surpass Clark's defenses more than his raw power would get through to Shazam or Black Adam. It's a pretty good handwave for why Clark is the one they all turn to in Crisis events when you need raw strength but Billy/Adam can slap him around sometimes. Remember, Clark gets electrocuted by Livewire in that continuity and it's mostly a stun to him. The magic component is what actually makes it hurt Clark, but he doesn't get whammied by it anymore than any other flying brick would.
    See I never knew that, I always assumed for whatever reason Kryptonians were particularly weak against magic - so if Zatana wanted to kick Superman's ass she could.

    I wonder when did this idea become so mainstream or are we all suffering from the Mandela Effect?
    Last edited by charliehustle415; 04-13-2021 at 04:48 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by charliehustle415 View Post
    See I never knew that, I always assumed for whatever reason Kryptonians were particularly weak against magic - so if Zatana wanted to kick Superman's ass she could.

    I wonder when did this idea become so mainstream or are we all suffering from the Mandela Effect?
    I think it'd be more the case that something enchanted by her he wouldn't be able to naturally overpower like he would otherwise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by charliehustle415 View Post
    See I never knew that, I always assumed for whatever reason Kryptonians were particularly weak against magic - so if Zatana wanted to kick Superman's ass she could.

    I wonder when did this idea become so mainstream or are we all suffering from the Mandela Effect?
    Let's say a wizard put a spell in a regular steel sword so everything the sword touchs will become purple and then someone atacks Superman with it, he won't be harmed because it's just a regular steel sword, but he will become purple. Now, if the spell was that anything the sword cuts becomes purple and someone atacked Superman with it he wouldn't become purple because the sword wouldn't be able to cut him.

  10. #10
    see beauty in all things. charliehustle415's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    I think it'd be more the case that something enchanted by her he wouldn't be able to naturally overpower like he would otherwise.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ra-El View Post
    Let's say a wizard put a spell in a regular steel sword so everything the sword touchs will become purple and then someone atacks Superman with it, he won't be harmed because it's just a regular steel sword, but he will become purple. Now, if the spell was that anything the sword cuts becomes purple and someone atacked Superman with it he wouldn't become purple because the sword wouldn't be able to cut him.
    I never knew any of this, thanks for all the info.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by charliehustle415 View Post
    I always understood it as "hurr durr magic is kryptonite" maybe because I was highly influenced by Justice League Unlimited where Captain Marvel really hurt Supes with lightning strikes and that is Superman didn't outsmart dumbass Billy Clark would have lost.



    Now Black Adam is much smarter than Billy so I can imagine he can put a real hurt on Supes
    More ruthless sure

    But isn't Billy as cm as wise as Solomon

    I mean he's out thought 5th d imps with that

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by kilderkin View Post
    More ruthless sure

    But isn't Billy as cm as wise as Solomon

    I mean he's out thought 5th d imps with that
    Sure but Billy is never depicted as wise, especially after the New 52

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    I think it'd be more the case that something enchanted by her he wouldn't be able to naturally overpower like he would otherwise.
    I know this magic thing goes on and on

    But iirc DC once said it was more that supes wasn't particularly vulnerable to magic, he just wasn't invulnerable

    He's still hard as nails and super strong

    Sure his invulnerability might be bypassed but he's still also naturally durable, it can't be the same power, otherwise Adam or cm would be killing him, Adam certainly wouldn't hold back,

    So supes must still be durable enough to tank magic even though he isn't basically completely invulnerable

    Sure spell effects might still work on him, like say a polymorph effect, but magic damage he can still soak on being superhumanly durable even if not invulnerable

    Aside from all that, I've often thought this was over used,

    Sure zatanna or Fate could blast him or cast a spell on him, but he's still gotta get targeted, he really could just move so fast they wouldn't be able to, he could really outpace they at the start of a spell and cripple them before they finish

    No good if the spell is already in effect of course

    By the by its fairly moot as the whole point is to give him something he can't just tank despite it really not being as big a problem as it's made out

    If it was, he'd be a toad all the time with people like mordru around

  14. #14
    Extraordinary Member Robanker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charliehustle415 View Post
    I never knew any of this, thanks for all the info.
    Don't worry, that puts you one even ground with most the writers DC hires to handle Superman.

  15. #15
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charliehustle415 View Post
    Sure but Billy is never depicted as wise, especially after the New 52
    It was more apparent Post-Crisis at least where he was generally a little more on the ball in his adult form.

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