Superman The Man Of Steel
The Many Powers of Superman
Superman

Strength Invulnerability Flight Super Speed X-Ray Vision Heat Vision Super Breath Super Hearing Super Smell Eidetic Memory Kryptonite

Superman has been a comic book icon since his first appearance in Action Comics #1 in 1938. Since then, the story and depth of the Man of Steel has grown and evolved into the superhuman phenomenon we know today. This site is dedicated to the many powers Superman has acquired over the years.

 

Action Comics #1

 


Strength: Superman's strength is much greater than that of a normal human, making him "more powerful than a locomotive," . Depictions of the upper limit of how much weight he can lift have ranged from being able to do the work of several laborers in half the time, lift objects hundreds of times his own weight including any sized vehicle over his head, bend and/or break steel with his bare hands, lifting mountains, and even moving entire planets. While Superman's strength is not infinite, its full extent is so great that it has never been accurately measured. His body is virtually indestructible.


Invulnerability: Immunity to almost all forms of harm, including extreme force and extremely high temperatures. Effectiveness has ranged from his skin being piercable by nothing less than a "bursting shell" to being completely unharmed at ground zero of a nuclear explosion. This ability includes the immunity to most known diseases, viruses and toxins. Explanations for this ability have included Kryptonians having an extremely dense molecular structure to each of his cells emitting an unbreakable aura of solar energy.


Flight:

flight The ability to naturally defy and operate independently of gravity and propel himself through the air at will. Originally, he only had the power to jump great distances, as stated by the 1940s Superman ("Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound"). Has ranged from simply being able to jump great distances using his vast strength, to beginning in late 1941 being able to accelerate, float in midair, and change direction while traveling. Later he became able to traverse interstellar distances without stopping.
 

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Super Speed: Another one of Superman's signature abilities is his superhuman speed, allowing him to move, react, run, and fly extraodinarily fast. Originally classified as being "faster than a speeding bullet", allowing him to catch bullets in mid air before they hit him, or anyone else. Top speeds have ranged from nearly a hundred miles per hour when he was first created in the 1930s to speeds far greater than the speed of light. His thoughts and perception are also greatly accelerated to be able to control his actions while moving at high speeds. Superman's running speed has oftentimes been shown to be on par with that of the Flash.


X-Ray Vision: The ability to see through solid objects, usually with the exception of lead. Early stories assumed that hiding objects in lead would prevent him from finding them, however, more modern stories have Superman being able to take advantage of lead's opaqueness to do a wide scan of an area with his X-Ray vision in which the lead objects become immediately visible and then narrow his search to those specific locations. Explanations for how this power works vary, but rarely include the emission and perception of actual X-Rays, as such high-energy radiation would actually be dangerous to living things he uses it on. A more common theory involves being able to see and concentrate on the patterns of natural cosmic radiation as it reverberates off objects.


Heat Vision:

Ability to emit solar energy from his eyes. Usually resembles bright red or orange laser-like beams, which may be invisible at low temperatures but extremely bright at high ones. The effective range of his beams are hundreds of feet. In addition varying the beam width, height, and intensity, Superman has demonstrated a high degree of skill and accuracy in manipulating his beam able use this power with surgical precision and at microscopic levels. Since the power can be used invisibly, Superman often takes advantage of that to perform tasks subtly without needing to get into costume. In some version, these beams can also be used to produce great concussive force rather than heat. The beams are tremendously powerful and can be used to rupture steel plates and pulverize rock. Also in some stories, it can be reflected like a true laser, able to use great skill and accuracy in manipulating the blasts off multiple targets in rapid succession, or more commonly to remove his very durable facial hair. Sometimes shown to be one of his more physically draining powers to use as it uses such concentrated solar energy.
heat


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Super Breath:

breath Ability to inhale and exhale huge volumes of air with great force, capable of extinguishing large fires and moving heavy objects such as cars. Also allows Superman to hold his breath for extended periods in airless environments. The release (exhalation) of highly compressed air through a valve (such as pursed lips) causes it to drop radically in temperature. This is known as the Joule-Thomson effect, and when Superman does this, it is usually referred to as Freeze Breath, and can cool objects to sub-zero temperatures and freeze air moisture solid.


Super Hearing: Can hear far more sounds with far more detail at far greater distances than normally humanly possible, including sounds on frequencies undetectable by humans such as dog whistles. Superman is able to mentally screen out most of these sounds to be able to function normally, even in a noisy environment, and can focus in on specific things, like a person's voice or heartbeat, even if they are in another part of the city. He can even hear sounds on other planets. Like humans and most animals, he is skilled at automatically noticing his own name out of the jumble of several overheard conversations, making him adept at quickly responding to calls of distress all over the city.


Super Vision: His senses grant him the ability to see farther and with greater accuracy and detail than humanly possible. Sometimes includes the ability to see EM frequencies invisible to humans, such as radio transmissions, infrared light, the bioelectric aura which surrounds all living things, even in pitch-black darkness. Offshoots of this power include telescopic vision, which allows him to "zoom in" on far away objects, sometimes hundreds of miles away, and microscopic vision, which allows him to zoom in on objects that would normally be too small to see, like those on a cellular or molecular level.


Super Smell: A heightened and highly accurate sense of smell comparable to some animals such as dogs. Can be used to detect things like the chemicals in a bomb hidden somewhere in a crowded room.


Eidetic Memory: Superman is occasionally shown to have flawless, total recall of everything he has ever seen, read or heard. In turn, he is often depicted as being fluent in many of Earth's languages and cultures.


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Sources:

http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Kryptonite;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powers_and_abilities_of_Superman;

http://news.yahoo.com/action-comics-1-sells-2-16-million-auction-010326975.html;

http://www.hyperborea.org/flash/races.html

http://www.superherostuff.com/biographies/supermanbio.html

http://books.google.com/books?id=aknpy8JiMWEC&pg=PA404&lpg=PA404&dq=superman+hearing&source=bl&ots=sKjSTgIFIw&sig=ZzhCsgczk4H0a2cRgXAIj3JocOQ&hl=en&ei=hRzhTv_OJ8qsiQLi2dycDw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=10&ved=0CGcQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=superman%20hearing&f=false

This page was created by Jayden Bontrager on Dec. 6th 2011. Last updated: Dec. 8th 2011