Supergirl and cornstarch

Supergirl is supposed to be soft and feminine, yet at the same indestructible. How, you may be asking, is this seeming contradiction possible? How can you bounce bullets off of the same skin that would feel smooth and pliable to the touch?

Well, I think I know the answer. And that answer can be found in … CORNSTARCH.

You see, when you mix cornstarch with a little bit of water, it becomes this mushy, pliable mixture. You can stir it and press it with no problem, it’s soft and pliable and yielding. However, if you strike it hard it suddenly becomes extremely rigid. It gets an unyielding, very very solid surface to it for a fraction of a second, then “relaxes” again. If you hit it hard enough, you can see cracks in its surface, just like cracks you’d get if you punched drywall; and then these cracks fill in with the liquid cornstarch solution and everything goes back to normal.

I’m betting it’s the same way with Supergirl. Punch her or shoot her, and she’s the Girl of Steel; hold her hand or kiss her, and she feels like a soft-skinned human woman.

Note: This would also explain why Lois Lane can still enjoy it when she kisses Superman.

So, in other words, she’s a non-Newtonian fluid.

Considering the rest of her powers, that ain’t the only thing non-Newtonian about her. <rimshot>

Considering her costume, that ain’t the only thing non-Newtonian about her. <rimshot>
Thank you, thank you, I’ll be here all week, try the veal.

Yes. I’ve often thought this as well, about both Superman and Supergirl. The one problem is that it means a sharp enough blade, moving slow enough, could still cut them. Though Kryptonians do have superhealing, so maybe the cut heals up too quickly. (It would let them shave, however.)

Then there’s also the idea that, if they try hard enough, they can turn their invulnerablity off partly. Being able to turn off their other powers, like their super strength, would make things a lot easier for them. We know they can turn off off other powers, such as x-ray and heat vision, and there are biological structures that can make themselves harder–consider muscles, for a common example.

Heck, maybe it’s a combination of both.

Jokes aside, the costume invulnerability often gives people pause. The classic explanation is that Kryptonians project a short range force field that also protects their clothing.

But, seeing as they can put the clothing on through it, it would be non-Newtonian. Well, unless it can be shut off–then it wouldn’t have to be.

But completely shutting it off when being touched would not be good for their invulnerability. Hire someone to get close to Supergirl, have her make herself soft, then have someone else attack her while she’s vulnerable. Far better is for the forcefield to be non-Newtonian.

And making it the force field that’s non Newtonian gets around the pesky problem that Supergirl’s skin is not a fluid.

Them turning their abilities “off” is probably the only way to explain hundreds if not thousands of events depicted in their comics. Since the Supers possess super-speed, any battle with an opponent who does not possess super speed (or does at a lower level) would be over near-instantly, since the Super can land dozens or even thousands of blows before the opponent can land one - indeed the opponent could never land any.

Similarly, any story in which a villain opens a lead box to reveal… kryptonite! The relative snail-pace of the villain should give a Super ample (seemingly eternal) opportunity to take the box away before it is opened, or close the distance and grip the box to keep it closed, or at the very least notice that the villain has a lead box and become suspicious.

Any stories about the “Flash” family of characters should carry a similar assumption because if their speed was “on” all the time, any conflict except with another Flash-type character would be over immediately.

The skin situation is impossible to explain away realistically. Supergirl works in an office, rides in an elevator, walks in a crowded modern city. Every adult has had hundreds of minor bumps because of crowding. Bumping into Supergirl would like hitting a lead wall. You couldn’t not notice it. People would literally be falling at her feet.

Only some incredible fanwanking, like a supersense ability to know when a body is approaching so that she subtly shifts her body away, can approach the problem. Supergirl’s history of not using or training her powers makes this harder to accept.

At some point in the Superman comics’ history, the explanation was that Superman’s costume was made from special indestructible fabric that was sent along with baby Kal-El on his spaceship. Ma Kent couldn’t use her sewing machine to turn it into a costume; Superboy had to use his heat vision to weld it together.

Which should theoretically mean that a Kryptonian villain with heat vision – or any sufficiently intense heat source, for that matter – should be able to mess up Superman’s costume. Yet these same comics sometimes mention that Superman flies through the core of the sun (while still wearing his costume) to give himself a refreshing bath*. Go figure.
*) It was before Crisis on Infinite Earths. Back then, Superman could shrug off hydrogen bomb blasts at ground zero, and toss black holes around like juggling balls.

Actually I’m usually able to move through large crowds without hitting or bumping anyone. It’s Evasive Man!

Well, I suppose it’s an improvement over your old codename: Repulsive Man.

I think Kryptonians can control the strength and toughness of their bodies under yellow sun conditions. It would be difficult for their skin to look human if it wasn’t subject to weathering, and just shaking hands would seem like touching a statue. They couldn’t pass as humans without some control of their body consistency. It goes along with the rest of their powers also, they don’t burn up everything they see with heat vision, they don’t see through everything except lead all the time, they don’t float up in the air at random times, their powers are under their control.

Or she’s wearing a Holtzman shield.

Jesus, guys. Next thing you’ll be telling us is that Supergirl fanfic porn exists on the Internet.

Y’know, and if young Clark’s skin could not be pierced, how would they explai… Holy Crap, the Kents were anti-vaxxer believers in faith-healing-only and got waivers from the school district so the boy would never get any needles in him!:eek::D:p

Holtzman bra.

It can be unhooked if you move smoothly enough…

Nah. The skin itself is still invulnerable. You can’t actually break any of the chemical bonds in the skin so you it can’t be cut.

Think of it like a plastic bag full of cornstarch wrapped in chain mail. It remains perfectly pliable but you won’t cut it no matter how sharp or slow the knife.

But then, we don’t need the cornstarch, either.

“At some point in the Superman comics’ history, the explanation was that Superman’s costume was made from special indestructible fabric that was sent along with baby Kal-El on his spaceship.”

As I recall, it was the red and blue baby blanket Jor-El and Lara wrapped him in before launching the rocket from Krypton. What more explanation do you need?