Is Supermans power exponentially powerful?

I don’t know if you have seen this movie or not, but I gotta ask.
Is his power limitless? I was under the impression that he was only SO powerful. Is he like the Hulk where he can get as powerful as he wants aslong as something is pushing him?

He’s as powerful as the writers want him to be. Period.

Entertaining article on Superman’s power levels in the early days.

Writers have never been able to resist gradually increasing Superman’s power, topping themselves and other writers. Twice in Superman’s history he has been significantly depowered: Dennis O’Neil’s 1971 “Kryptonite Nevermore!” saga (aka the Sandman Saga) starting in Superman #233, which showed Superman losing half his power (though half infinity is still infinity and his power levels crept back up again) and the 1986 The Man of Steel reboot (one of the immediate offshoots of the so-called Crisis on Infinite Earths and the demarcation between “pre-Crisis” and “post-Crisis” Superman) by John Byrne. This later modification, coming as it does on top of a large-scale revamp of the entire DC universe, seems to be holding, though pre-Crisis elements are popular with fans (as well as the writers, apparently) and keep sneaking back in.

He’s been significantly de-powered since crisis and while he has some impressive high-end feats he just isn’t the uber-character he once was. Put another way, there are actually other heroes and villans in both the DCU and the MU who can beat him.

There was one what if type story where Superman was empowered significantly by sitting in the sun for 1,000 years.

Of course it is. How else could he rip off his own head?

I believe this has already been discussed. He can’t rip his own head off.
I’m just curious as to how they can explain what did at the end of the Superman Returns movie. Just kinda incredible…

Well, except there’s been an on-again off-again undertone about how his powers are a matter of will – such that, when the chips are down and he absolutely needs to come through and his emotions get all worked up, he can do anything he really puts his mind to. He shattered Wonder Woman’s indestructible bracelets just by getting extremely upset, and that doesn’t even make sense.

Superman smashed Wonder Woman’s bracelets, supposed members of the jury! That doesn’t make sense! And if Superman can do that, and Superman isn’t a Wookie, you must acquit!

I haven’t seen the movie yet and I don’t need to.

Superman can do anything the writers want him to do. Period.

Uh…maybe because he’s Superman?

Superman got so powerful at one point that he actually blew out a star. That was back in the 50’s or 60’s. He was gradually being made more and more powerful by the comic book writers, that they began having trouble finding conflict for Superman to deal with. It got to the point where there was nothing he couldn’t do, no trouble he couldn’t handle. I mean, he blew out a star.

By the time the 80’s rolled around, Superman comics were more about comic foils and such, and less about external conflicts. So around that time, comic book writers reworked the character of Superman. They focused on the superpowers he had, instead of letting him do whatever they wanted. They made him a lot more human. His adopted parents played a bigger role. There was more focus on Clark Kent, making him more of who Superman really was rather than just his disguise. This was also the time that Superman’s greatest enemy, Lex Luthor, was changed from a “mad scientist” to a very intelligent and evil tycoon.

Basically, these days, Superman gets his power from the yellow sun. The more sun he gets, the more powerful he is. In other words, like everyone else has said, he’s as powerful as the writers want him to be, but in general it’s more reserved than it was in the 50’s and 60’s. He is strong enough to stop an airplane from crashing, but not instantaneously; it takes a great deal of effort.

Have I made things clearer or more muddled? :slight_smile:

Complete nitpick, but this isn’t what “exponentially” means. I think the OP meant infinite. Exponential refers to rates of growth.

It’s not a complete nitpick. I was confused as well. I was wondering if he wanted to know if Superman has linearly become stronger or if his strength has shot up exponentialy.

I’m not even that big a nerd!

No, I’m kinda curious about the short-term. Like the Hulk. The Hulk is only as powerful as he is mad. When hes the hulk but nothing is chasing or shooting at him. Hes mildly powerful. But when hes SUPER pissed, hes SUPER powerful.

For the most part, my question has been answered. Thanks guys.

That pretty much goes for any hero though. For example, Thor busting apart a planet or the Silver Surfer defeating Morg, Terrax and Red Shift all at once.

I have a few Hulk feats that are up there in stupidity with Superman blowing out a star.

The Hulk carrying an island

The Hulk causing tidal waves just from swimming

Here he is punching through er…time or dimensions

Here, the final feat of stipidity, he destroys an asteroid 2x the size of earth

So Marvel writers were also power-nuts for a while as well.

He is SO powerful that if a fireball is heading toward someone in a tunnel he can blow it out…so no worries.

He is SO powerful that if a jetliner is falling through the sky he can fly over, swoop it up and set it down gently…so no worries.

He is SO powerful that he can prevent head on train collisions by jumping in the middle and holding his arms out like my sister used to hold my forehad away from her when I was trying to hit her back…so no worries.

I bet he couldn’t get my boyfriend off the couch though, so I don’t think he’s exponentially powerful.