Superman nitpic

This must be the most ancient of all Superman nitpicks. (I have no idea whether it applies to post-Crisis Superman, my ideas of the character were formed earlier).

If Superman gets his superpowers from Earth’s yellow sun, how can he fly through interstellar space with no such stars nearby?

His cells are batteries. He stores yellow solar energy for significant periods of time - unless he encounters red solar energy, which his cells absorb preferentially.

Originally, BTW, Superman did not get his superpowers from Earth’s yellow sun. From Dave Szondy’s Tales of Future Past:

He can store up energy for later use, as long as he doesn’t get too close to a red star (which saps the energy back out).

You may argue that this is silly, but it has actually been addressed.

Is that original canon, or post-Crisis?

And its “Earth’s low gravity” still a canon-element of his powers or not? I can recall it being mentioned only in the oldest Golden Age reprints, never in Silver Age comics.

True enough. Also, the Post-Crisis Superman didn’t do much in the way of interstellar flying under his own power anyway. (I don’t know about the New52 version.) And while the Silver/Bronze Age Superman did, it generally seemed that, once a Kryptonian was powered up, s/he’d stay that way until red sun energy sapped his power.

I’ve had this private fanwank for a while that someone cosmic – the Guardians of the Universe, maybe, or Darkseid – hinkied with the Kryptonian (and Daxamite) genome millennia ago so that their natural red-sun environment would leave them powerless.

At least as of the Post-Crisis era, they had abandoned the low-gravity element. Again, I haven’t read enough of New52 to know.

This is right. One of his powers in the Silver Age was Superindefatigability, he never got tired or used up his energy, and didn’t need to eat, breathe or sleep.

Here’s some interesting bits of character-development trivia from TVTropes:

It may be, though, that having been on Earth for about 27 years, Earth-1 Kal had simply soaked up so much energy that it was going to take an extremely long time to burn it all off. He was explicitly [del]more invulnerable[/del] measurably tougher than anybody from the Phantom Zone (immune to Faora’s psychic lightning bolts, at least) because he’d soaked up much more yellow sun radiation than anybody else.

Bronze-Age Supes did need to sleep, though. Or, more accurately, he needed to dream every once in a while, even though the rest of him could go indefinitely without rest.

Hot damn. I remember reading that one, with the creepy ninja guy trying to assassinate Clark Kent (and some ineffectual space-detective observing).

The super-ninja was Kal having a psychotic episode because he had not slept for weeks while working on some super-project.

BTW, does post-Crisis Superman need food or water or air? Or does the yellow-sun-energy in his cells serve in place of (what I presume are) normal and necessary (even for a Kryptonian) biological processes?

Too bad they didn’t think of that sooner, they could’ve got a lot of corny-comedic Silver Age plots out of Sleepwalking Superman.

IIRC, Bronze-Age Supes had figured out how to sleep with one hemisphere of his brain at a time, like a dolphin.

This seems like a good place for this article: Super Weird Facts That You Didn’t Know About Superman.

Superman is a dick.

Here’s a real Superman nitpick. Okay, it’s more of a Man of Steel nitpick, because it’s based on the promotional materials for the movie coming out this month:

Where the hell is his spit-curl? Superman without a spit-curl is as implausible as Batman without an Aunt Harriet.

It fits with my notion that the Kryptonians couldn’t have evolved their yellow-sun-based powers under a red sun. The only natural explanation I have for it is that their sun was yellow for most of their evolutionary period, advancing to red late in their development. The problem with that is that such a change would probably have rendered Krypton uninhabitable, but you could handwave that Kryptonian life retained enough of its superpowers to survive the transition for long enough to adapt (or escape and settle on another planet, perhaps).

Under the circumstances, gene-tweaking somewhere along the way seems like a more likely explanation, and the Guardians seem like a good bet. They like color-coded weaknesses, after all. The Kryptonians could have been one of their pre-Corps attempts to create a super police force, either by harnessing their natural superpowers or by engineering them. Either way, they proved too dangerous, and the Guardians were forced to use a failsafe mechanism–either activating a genetic override that changed the Kryptonian absorption spectrum or changing the spectrum of the Kryptonian star to depower them. Either way, it would effectively bottle the Kryptonians up until they developed interstellar travel.

Of course, their planet just happened to get destroyed when they were apparently on the verge of doing just that…

So that’s the part you find implausible, is it?:dubious:

Spit-curl? Hell, where’s his red BVDs?