Random Superman flying technique question

When Superman flies through the air with his arms stretched out in front of him, sometimes his fingers are straight out and other times he’s making a fist.

Is the fist “low gear?” Aerodynamically speaking, I would imagine he can fly faster with his palms flat.

I think it is more of a visual representation of how much effort he puts into his flight. The tighter the fist the harder he is working on flying.

Don’t bother with the physics, just accept that Kryptonians have magical flying abilities on Earth that allow them to somehow propel themselves at unlimited speeds an any direction and that the force of their anti gravity also can be used to hold and move really large objects without any coounter force to hold them up.

In other words… a wizard did it.

In the earliest comics (1965ish and before), when he flew, he had one arm extended and one arm folded, below his torso, almost like a “swimming” position, hands in a fist. I took it as a visual representation of “swimming” through the air. When he “hovered” in the air, his arms often looked like he was “treading water.”

The 1950s TV show portrayed him flying with both arm extended straight ahead of him (no fist, palms down) – undoubtedly, because George Reeves was on a board and couldn’t have one hand lower than his torso. But it also gave a sort of aerodynamic look, like he had shot himself into position with a mighty leap. (How he turned around to land feet first is beyond the scope of this essay.)

After that, I think the artists or movie-makers did whatever they wanted. My recollection is that the Christopher Reeve movies involve different arm positions, for variety and based on what looks good in any given shot. Certainly, by the LOIS AND CLARK TV show, he can just hover in the air when he’s sleeping.

I can’t believe that(George Reeves that is, being on a board) I always thought he was the real Superman. I’m sure he didn’t need no board.

Vetch, seasons 1 - 3 are now available on DVD. I have to say, they don’t hold up to my childhood memories… alas.

I seem to recall that the earliest comics incarnation of Superman jumped rather than flew. In other words what looked like flight was actually a super-leap. (“Able to leap tall buildings at a single bound.”)

This always made far more sense to me than a magical flying ability which could change direction on a dime, accelerate and decelerate in mid-air, etc. I mean, what’s supposed to be propelling the guy, super-gas from his ass or what?

Certainly the earlier ones in black and white were better than the later ones. Some of that was that things just looked better in B&W, but I think a lot of it was the presence of Phyllis Coates, who in my opinion, was the best Lois Lane ever.

A little hijack… but I hope you Super-experts won’t mind, and it doesn’t really warrant its own thread. Question: in real life have you ever met a ‘Lois’ or heard of anyone with that name? I’m a Brit, and over here it’s an unheard of name.

I think he is supposed to have pyschic abilities that allow him to control the flow of gravitons, thus making him able to reverse gravity or even shunt himself around if he wants.

So, in other words, a wizard did do it.

Based on the Christopher Reeve films:

When Superman is taking off, his fingers are extended. When he turns, he also extends his fingers. Otherwise, he generally keeps his hands in a fist.

This site says it was the 22nd and 21st most popular women’s name in the 20’s and 30’s but has sharply declined since then, not even being in the top 1000 since the 1960’s.

I interact regularly with two, both older women.

Ah, indeed. Believe it or not, I’m old enough so that as a kid I well remember buying the very first Superman comic book and many after that.

I liked it better than other comics of that time as it really was based on what would be possible for a being from a planet with stronger gravity to do. As he grew up, he was found to be very strong, of course, but also because of our lighter gravity, he could leap huge distances. He never flew!

Sometime after I grew up, it obviously changed so he could fly, was impervious to everything from bullets to atomic bombs (but not Kryptonite, of course) and it became totally ridiculous.

Incidentally, before I left home my mother made me throw out all those first editions of Superman and Batman comic books. I used every argument to keep them except the perfectly silly one that some day they’d be valuable. Damn!

If you take your glassses off do they still recognize you?


Siegel and Schuster went to high school with several girls named Lois (and supposedly had major crushes on them) and had crushes on several movie stars of the time named Lois.

Certainly by far the most beautiful. Every time I see her I am simply amazed by how stunning she was. Noel Neill I can see avoiding; but if Phyllis Coates circa 1950 expressed the tiniest bit of interest in me, I doubt I’d do anything other than say yes and silently thank whichever god was smiling on me.

My older sister’s best friend from high school was a Lois.

If he were the real Superman, he’d have stopped that bullet…

I have an aunt named Lois. On an unrelate note, there’s a reporter named Lane at the newspaper where I work. Her first initial is L, but alas, it doesn’t stand for Lois.