#1 Edited by hadrian29 (18 posts) - - Show Bio

OK. I haven't read Superman on a regular basis in about 12 years or so, but I've sorta kept up on what's been going on in "comicdom" via the internet. That's how I found out about New 52. Now I'm waaay behind, so maybe this issue has been addressed. Anyway, the whole "red stars are too old and cold to give Superman energy" is a SERIOUSLY gross misconception about the nature of star classification. And BTW...red visible light is red visible light. Any electromagnetic radiation from 700 to 600 nm will appear red to human eyes and react with matter the same way whether it's source is a star or a freakin' lava lamp. That's right. The mighty Man of Steel should be brought to his knees whenever he walks into the apartment of some hemp smokin' hippie listening to Greatful Dead. Yes, stars with a surface temperature lower than that our Sun will appear red. Does that mean that...in layman's terms...it puts out less energy (ie has a lower luminosity) than our Sun? Sure...if it's a red dwarf. If it's a red giant...not so much. When our Sun enters the red giant stage it's luminosity will increase by a factor of 1,000 to 10,000 times. Seems like a lot of energy to me. What makes it's surface temperature cooler is the fact it expands about 200 times or so in size....leading to a larger surface area over which to dissipate it's energy...hence the lower surface temperature and reddish color. Now I know a main part of the Superman mythos is explaining why kryptonians had no powers at home, but there's an explanation that makes MUCH more sense in terms of stellar classification...and could lead to some interesting stories as well. One thing about red giants (Rao was a red giant right?) is that their spectral output has less UV in it than stars like our Sun. It would make sense then than kyptonians wouldn't get much (if anything) in terms energy from a star like Rao even it was as energetic as Betelgeuse because there isn't enough UV. But the "color/age/energy" thing...at least the way DC is using has just wrong. The damn Sun isn't even yellow for crying out loud. It's white! Superman getting feebed out glorified red laser pointer (yes that's ALL they really are when you get right down to it) is just...YEESH!

#2 Edited by JetiiMitra (8176 posts) - - Show Bio

The reason he doesn't have powers under a red sun is because he can't process it. It doesn't cause him to lose his powers, he just can't convert the energy. In comics, the sun is yellow and red sunlight is different from normal light.

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#3 Posted by Veshark (9058 posts) - - Show Bio

Cool explanation, I guess. But hey, comics.

#4 Edited by w0nd (2871 posts) - - Show Bio

people need to stop applying real science to actual science. You're next crusade should be against hulks color being green.

#5 Edited by dagmar_merrill (6633 posts) - - Show Bio

Lets not get rid of Supermans weaknesses.

#6 Posted by hadrian29 (18 posts) - - Show Bio

@mitran:

Depending on who is writing at the time, he has lost power as a result of "red sunlight" exposure. And the sun looks yellow from here. Leave the atmosphere and it's white. And red sunlight is different then normal light? What does that mean exactly? Light from a sun that's red or red light from a sun...any sun? Because that would include our sun at sunset. Is he supposed weaken then? And the infared/UV distinction works well enough, and requires less suspension of disbelief than "red light vs normal light."

#7 Posted by deaditegonzo (3624 posts) - - Show Bio

I prefer the Red Sun weakness infinitely to Kryptonite, but id do without either, and force writers to make more interesting villains.

#8 Edited by hadrian29 (18 posts) - - Show Bio

@dagmar_merrill:

Weakness...singular, not plural. And why not? Lord knows he's got enough. I see Superman-haters raving about them online all the time. But this isn't even about that really. At no point did I suggest he should be charged up by a red sun. All I said was they color thing just didn't make any sense. And the way I see it discussed on forums sometimes is just...well...ignorant. I even offered (what I thought at least) was way to explain how his people didn't have powers on there homeworld that still sorta jived with what we know about stars. The color thing has been taken to what I believe are idiotic conclusions in some comics that I've read in the past. In the Red Son story for instance, Batman used what where essentially high powered flood lamps with a red filter to de-power him instantly. That's more than a little ridiculous. Popping him with a with a wavelength between 700 and 600 nanometers and he's done? Come on.

#9 Posted by Durakken (1593 posts) - - Show Bio

It's not a "weakness" in most ways that one can think of for his powers to work. Basically I prefer to think of it as red light just takes longer to fill his tank up rather than anything up.

red light is less energetic than blue light and blue light less energetic than gamma rays. If you you have a batter that is 700 w and red light gives 100w/s and yellow 300w/s and blue 700w/s then it will take 3.3 seconds to charge under yellow light conditions and 7s under red light conditions... it's really that simple in my opinion. It only gets a moderate bit more complex if you think that the power he absorbs is used instantly or not... If that's the case then it would mean that it takes a charge greater than 100w/s to work... ie if you have a cell that can hold 700w and your immunity runs 200w/s then in 7s you won't be immune anymore... or rather you'll have immunity every other second then... where as if you have yellow light for every second that passes you'd be full because you lose 200w, gain 300w

#10 Edited by hadrian29 (18 posts) - - Show Bio

@w0nd:

What crusade? I just think the explanation needs to be refined that's all. And this is not about real science in comics...which you'll never completely get. But seriously, does anyone really think that red light...or green, yellow, blue, or whatever from a flashlight is inherently different from the same color light from a star? "Oh, but it's red solar radiation." So? All that tell us how the photon was produced. It's still just another photon of some wavelength.

#11 Edited by hadrian29 (18 posts) - - Show Bio

@durakken:

I'd prefer to think of it that way myself. Unfortunately, NO writer to my knowledge has written it that way. And it makes sense not to do that if you wanna keep all krytonians "normal" while on krypton. Besides, if photons in the red wavelength don't fill the tank fast enough, all you'd need to overcome that is exposure to more them at once. And all that requires is an increase in luminosity from the source. A few minutes exposure to a super luminous monstrosity like Betelgeuse would make up for the energy difference between a photon in the red wavelength and a photon in the yellow wavelength. That's why I mentioned the infared/UV difference as a way of explaining things. It works for all red stars, from small dim red dwarfs to super bright red super giants.

#12 Posted by Durakken (1593 posts) - - Show Bio

@hadrian29 said:

@w0nd:

What crusade? I just think the explanation needs to be refined that's all. And this is not about real science in comics...which you'll never completely get. But seriously, does anyone really think that red light...or green, yellow, blue, or whatever from a flashlight is inherently different from the same color light from a star? "Oh, but it's red solar radiation." So? All that tell us how the photon was produced. It's still just another photon of some wavelength.

just wait till they realize that if red light hurts him so much then someone touching him would hurt him even more considering we give off heat and that's infrared light and don't forget microwaves and x-rays!

#13 Edited by Black_Arrow (2488 posts) - - Show Bio

@hadrian29: So you are trying to apply science to a being that can go to the speed of light and can shoot lasers with his eyes.

#14 Posted by theTimeStreamer (2841 posts) - - Show Bio

hey noob how about reading more than internet pages like ................ some actual comics and then running your mouth. you are just .......yeesh!

#15 Posted by TheIncredibleSuperHulk8642 (1974 posts) - - Show Bio

I would take this weakness over Kryptonite any day. His supposed weakness to magic is also utter BS.

#16 Posted by consolemaster001 (4943 posts) - - Show Bio

Cool

#17 Posted by LaserLambert (635 posts) - - Show Bio

it was always dumb, yellow sunlight GIVES him power, why does that suddenly imply that red takes it away? shouldn't red be only as effective as the absence of yellow?

#18 Posted by JetiiMitra (8176 posts) - - Show Bio

@mitran:

Depending on who is writing at the time, he has lost power as a result of "red sunlight" exposure. And the sun looks yellow from here. Leave the atmosphere and it's white. And red sunlight is different then normal light? What does that mean exactly? Light from a sun that's red or red light from a sun...any sun? Because that would include our sun at sunset. Is he supposed weaken then? And the infared/UV distinction works well enough, and requires less suspension of disbelief than "red light vs normal light."

I suppose that's true. I think it's bad writing for him to lose power; I should have specified that. Either way, it stands that in the DCU, the sun is yellow. That's not how it is in the real world, but in depictions of Superman flying next to the sun or sundipping, it's still depicted as yellow. In the same way, the red sunlight is different than normal red light. Call it solar energy, whatever, it's just different. I agree that your UV explanation makes sense. The suspension of belief just doesn't matter to me. This is fiction. If I'm to believe a humanoid alien plant can move planets and shoot lasers from his eyes, I have no trouble believing there is a difference between sunlight and normal light and the sun is a different color.

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#19 Posted by lightsout (1822 posts) - - Show Bio

Paragraphs/spacing would have helped, but good write up :). I've thought that myself for a while now (IR vs UV), it's more more logical (and it works whether it's the UV "powering" him, or just a lack of the massive IR given off by a red-giant - like it suppresses some gene or w/e (which means a small "red lamp" wouldn't work)). My feelings for "comic science" is that of course we have to suspend some belief, but I like things to stay true to some simple science (and not in an insulting manner, but this is simple to me). That, and "I'll spot you a belief that a body could turn sun rays into super powers, but in practice I want you to follow science" (ie: like how things don't crumble under their weight when lifted - I want an explanation that he's using some form of telekinesis to grab & secure them).

#20 Posted by SOG7dc (6713 posts) - - Show Bio

I the the fact that superman has so many weaknesses/vulnurabilities. He's the only character on his level with so many achilles heels' and thy sucks. But writers love his weaknesses/vulnerabilities for some stupid reason

#21 Edited by SheenLantern (6221 posts) - - Show Bio

I always assumed it was because his body was absorbing the red sun radiation and replacing all of the yellow radiation he had already absorbed.

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#22 Posted by Dayvid3 (807 posts) - - Show Bio

it was always dumb, yellow sunlight GIVES him power, why does that suddenly imply that red takes it away? shouldn't red be only as effective as the absence of yellow?

Completely agree

#23 Posted by Justthatkid (2799 posts) - - Show Bio

@hadrian29: Kryptonians would be stronger then humans under red sun,

#24 Posted by UltimateSMfan (1370 posts) - - Show Bio

it was always dumb, yellow sunlight GIVES him power, why does that suddenly imply that red takes it away? shouldn't red be only as effective as the absence of yellow?

i kno right its really stupid when u apply actual science to it but if we're to accept it maybe its something where when he's exposed only to red sun rays they negate the effect of the yellow sun energy in his body. but i just tell myself this to sleep well at night.

@sog7dc said:

I the the fact that superman has so many weaknesses/vulnurabilities. He's the only character on his level with so many achilles heels' and thy sucks. But writers love his weaknesses/vulnerabilities for some stupid reason

its dumb,and then people complain he's OP when he's the only character on that level to have like 15 weaknesses.

#25 Edited by WIshIWasSuperman (1338 posts) - - Show Bio

I totally agree with this post. I also agree that the number of vulnerabilities (not weaknesses technically ) is higher than it is for comparable characters. I always put this down to lazy writers who don't want to have villains always beaten too easily. Also there always needs to be a way Batman can beat him because "he's batman". (sarcasm there btw)

#26 Posted by SOG7dc (6713 posts) - - Show Bio
#27 Edited by MuyJingo (1554 posts) - - Show Bio

I would have no problems with them refining the explanations in the New 52 to make everything more scientifically accurate, however I also think the getting powers from a yellow sun is an important aspect of the character.

However, I don't really see a need to update it. There really are no problems with the science. Reason being, all this takes place in a different universe, with different laws of physics. There is an extra force for example, the speed force. In that universe, red light may well be different from yellow sun light.

Having said that, isn't it possible there are differences in the output of suns that we don't yet understand or detect?

#28 Posted by Lvenger (18328 posts) - - Show Bio

I know it doesn't make scientific sense having watched "The Science of Superman" but I honestly don't mind him having a vulnerability to red sunlight. It makes just as much sense as a radioactive rock capable of poisoning him.

#30 Posted by NeonPheonix (649 posts) - - Show Bio

He doesn't completely lose his powers he just needs to charge under a yellow sun who's radiation he can process he does get weaker over time because he requires yellow sunlight to gain, think of him in yellow sun radiation like a laptop plugged into an outlet, when you unplug the outlet your laptop loses power over time. Same concept in a sense

#31 Edited by FadeToBlackBolt (23334 posts) - - Show Bio

Grant Morrison;

IT'S NOT REAL.

#32 Posted by Eternal19 (2076 posts) - - Show Bio
#33 Posted by stephens2177 (998 posts) - - Show Bio

He has to many equals,or almost equals to have more weaknesses than all of them combined period.if someone can punch him enough,blast him enough,and give him the mental whammy enough,then why does he need extra weakness to take him down,anyone who is more powerful or more skilled that is close to his power level should be able to take him down.

Now red sunlight distinction,as stupid as it is,how about they just say that the younger and more hot the sun is,the easier it is for him to charge up,and for the old suns it is harder to charge,but for both types he can charge.see that easy.

Magic should work the same as on anyone else,BUT does not negate that he is a invulnerable guy.

Kryptonite should just make him sick,like having a allergic reaction to something,no more,no less.

Still a lot of weaknesses,but they are common sense,and streamlined for ya.

#34 Posted by lightsout (1822 posts) - - Show Bio

The "it's not real" argument is complete BS. How much science do they try to integrate into comics? How many scientific words/measurements do they use (for feats)? How many characters are based around being smart/scientists? They have an obligation to have it not be TOO illogical (assuming a basic high-school level of science knowledge). If this wasn't the case, if it was a world solely of magic & fairies - that's another story (but it isn't).

#35 Posted by drgnx (3549 posts) - - Show Bio

These weakness were in place so guys like Lex can exploit them

#36 Edited by InnerVenom123 (29499 posts) - - Show Bio

If anything, Superman needs a few more weaknesses. The "black hole bullets" from Superman Unchained are a cool idea.

#37 Edited by ThanosIsMad (2193 posts) - - Show Bio

@lightsout said:

Paragraphs/spacing would have helped, but good write up :). I've thought that myself for a while now (IR vs UV), it's more more logical (and it works whether it's the UV "powering" him, or just a lack of the massive IR given off by a red-giant - like it suppresses some gene or w/e (which means a small "red lamp" wouldn't work)). My feelings for "comic science" is that of course we have to suspend some belief, but I like things to stay true to some simple science (and not in an insulting manner, but this is simple to me). That, and "I'll spot you a belief that a body could turn sun rays into super powers, but in practice I want you to follow science" (ie: like how things don't crumble under their weight when lifted - I want an explanation that he's using some form of telekinesis to grab & secure them).

Superman subconsciously manipulating the EM fields of things he touches to keep them from falling apart when he lifts them makes a lot more sense for his powerset than him randomly having telekinesis. Hell, everything he does could be quasi-explained by saying that he manipulates the EM spectrum.

edit: And also, in the comic book world, there may be components/wavelengths of the EM spectrum that we're not able to detect but Superman's (and other Kryptonians) body reacts to. There may be a specific wavelength of yellow stars radiation that doesn't exist in a red star and blah blah; thus coupled with the frequency and some doodads, a yellow star will power Superman while a red star does not, causing him to become weaker when in a red star environment because it doesn't replenish his power stores.

After all, this is a universe where magic exists along with other exotic forms of energy that should obviously allude to the fact that the EM spectrum in the DCU has a lot more going to it than the EM spectrum in real life.

#38 Posted by lightsout (1822 posts) - - Show Bio

@thanosismad: Not telekinesis exactly (I just used that word to keep the explanation simple), more of a tactile-kinesis that doesn't extend beyond "hold" w/e he's touching on an atom-by-atom level -- and it wouldn't be too far-fetched, since Superboy has it (to some degree) & hybrids bring out the potential of their components (ie: Superman has a less "evolved" form). Most of his powers could be unified under the TK banner as well (just like Martian Manhunter's) -- but really, subconscious TK or subconscious EM are pretty much the same thing - psionic manipulation of the environment on an atomic scale.

Eh, to me that last part seems like a back-peddle by a writer. Just because there's magic & such in the universe doesn't mean they can't follow some very basic science (like I said in my last post, they use enough science - it's not like it's magical unicorn land). What you describe sounds more complicated than "UV vs IR light" (and given that you used the reasoning "should obviously allude to.." I could argue that "he gets powered up from a sun that has a much higher UV output (compared to one that is mainly an IR output) should obviously allude to the fact that it's UV light that is the key to his powers")

#39 Posted by hadrian29 (18 posts) - - Show Bio

@

@

hey noob how about reading more than internet pages like ................ some actual comics and then running your mouth. you are just .......yeesh!

First of all, I read ACTUAL comics for about 15 years before I stopped reading them on a regular basis due to marriage, parenting, and...well...life. Lol. But the kid in me is still interested in them, and always will be. That's why I use the net to sorta keep tabs on what's going on in Comicdom. So, way to make knee-jerk, baseless assumption and run your own mouth without knowing all the facts. Second, you could ACTUALLY contribute a serious opinion to the discussion instead of...again...running your own mouth in a sophomoric effort to deliberately insult me. YEEESH...x2!

#40 Posted by The_Good_Loser (236 posts) - - Show Bio

That's right. The mighty Man of Steel should be brought to his knees whenever he walks into the apartment of some hemp smokin' hippie listening to Greatful Dead.