How does Superman fly?

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#1 Posted by phoenix654 (23 posts) - - Show Bio

Yes, I know it's a comic book. Yes, I know there are at least nine other impossible things that the Blue Boy Scout can do. Yes, I know it's a silly question, but isn't that what forums are for?

I'm just curious if there has ever been an in-universe explanation for how Supes can propel himself up in the sky. Does he emit some kind of propulsion? Is he capable of moving himself through space regardless of gravity/wind resistance/inertia? Has the issue ever even been tackled in the comics or the movies and I've just never heard it or is this another glaring journalistic omission by the Daily Planet? Please, I must know, it's oddly disquieting for some reason.

#2 Posted by trailofdead (55 posts) - - Show Bio

I really like how Waid explained Plutonian power in Irredeemable's. Plutonian's powers are not physical but psionic, possessing the ability to manipulate matter without realizing, simply believing himself to be strong and able to fly. Maybe Superman, whom Plutonian is similar to has the same ability.

#3 Posted by difficlus (10678 posts) - - Show Bio

Never really being explained, the only power he has which is without a viable explanation.

#4 Posted by BiteMe-Fanboy (7118 posts) - - Show Bio

IDK. He just......does.

#5 Posted by phoenix654 (23 posts) - - Show Bio

Hm... As old a character as he is, I kind of thought it would have been addressed at some point. I know it started out as just him leaping really far, hence "able to leap tall buildings in a single bound," and that is a cool explanation tailofdead, but I'd hoped it had a full on theory behind it.

#6 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29332 posts) - - Show Bio

Magic.

#7 Posted by Gambit1024 (9890 posts) - - Show Bio

It was explained to me that Krypton was significantly bigger than Earth. This, in turn, makes Kryptonians built for higher-gravity planets. Since Earth is so much smaller than that of Krypton, Superman's pretty much weightless, allowing him the ability of flight.

But I'm sure there's a better reason than that.

#8 Posted by Kallarkz (3303 posts) - - Show Bio

@InnerVenom123 said:

Magic.

;p

#9 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29332 posts) - - Show Bio

@Kallarkz said:

@InnerVenom123 said:

Magic.

;p

A wizard did it. Trust me.

#10 Posted by kingjoeg (693 posts) - - Show Bio

I read somewhere that the sun gives superman the ability to defy earths gravity. So I think he can fly because he can manipulate how gravity affects him.

#11 Posted by KingofMadCows (345 posts) - - Show Bio

Inertial dampening field. That would also explain how he's able to do a lot of the other stuff he does like catching airplanes and throwing massive objects.

#12 Posted by Overkill (404 posts) - - Show Bio
#13 Posted by GalacticPunt (77 posts) - - Show Bio

"Earth has low gravity for Kryptonians" is a fine explanation for the Golden Age Superman, who could simply jump very far. It breaks down for a character that can impulsively change direction mid-flight.

I like to think the modern Superman has telekinetic powers, and can levitate himself anywhere. He could probably levitate other objects and people if he concentrated, but he's basically too stupid and uncreative to fully understand his own powers. When he thinks "fly" he flies, but he hasn't given proper thought to why he can do that!

#14 Posted by Primmaster64 (21137 posts) - - Show Bio

With style!

#15 Posted by ThanosIsMad (2170 posts) - - Show Bio

He feels like it.

#16 Posted by RainEffect (3240 posts) - - Show Bio
@Primmaster64 said:

With style!

Anything that Prim says on CV in regards to Superman is gospel truth. xD
#17 Posted by JediXMan (28071 posts) - - Show Bio

Actually, I believe it's TK. Superman has a low-level TK field, which is why large items he picks up don't fold around him. I don't have a source, but I believe that's actually true.

#18 Posted by Primmaster64 (21137 posts) - - Show Bio
@RainEffect said:
@Primmaster64 said:

With style!

Anything that Prim says on CV in regards to Superman is gospel truth. xD
XD
#19 Posted by ThanosIsMad (2170 posts) - - Show Bio

@JediXMan said:

Actually, I believe it's TK. Superman has a low-level TK field, which is why large items he picks up don't fold around him. I don't have a source, but I believe that's actually true.

It's the reason why Superboy has TTK.

#20 Posted by Video_Martian (5631 posts) - - Show Bio

@Primmaster64 said:

With style!

lol

#21 Posted by JediXMan (28071 posts) - - Show Bio
@ThanosIsMad said:

@JediXMan said:

Actually, I believe it's TK. Superman has a low-level TK field, which is why large items he picks up don't fold around him. I don't have a source, but I believe that's actually true.

It's the reason why Superboy has TTK.

True. But as far as I know, Superman's TK is limited to physical contact.
#22 Posted by TheWitchingHour (1340 posts) - - Show Bio

@JediXMan said:

@ThanosIsMad said:

@JediXMan said:

Actually, I believe it's TK. Superman has a low-level TK field, which is why large items he picks up don't fold around him. I don't have a source, but I believe that's actually true.

It's the reason why Superboy has TTK.

True. But as far as I know, Superman's TK is limited to physical contact.

I really like this theory. And it is somewhat explored in All-Star Superman when Clark is saving Professor Quintum's ship from the surface of the sun. I've heard of the relatively low gravity of Earth when compared to Krypton theory but that always sounded like crap to me. It never made a lick of sense.

#23 Posted by JediXMan (28071 posts) - - Show Bio
@TheWitchingHour said:

@JediXMan said:

@ThanosIsMad said:

@JediXMan said:

Actually, I believe it's TK. Superman has a low-level TK field, which is why large items he picks up don't fold around him. I don't have a source, but I believe that's actually true.

It's the reason why Superboy has TTK.

True. But as far as I know, Superman's TK is limited to physical contact.

I really like this theory. And it is somewhat explored in All-Star Superman when Clark is saving Professor Quintum's ship from the surface of the sun. I've heard of the relatively low gravity of Earth when compared to Krypton theory but that always sounded like crap to me. It never made a lick of sense.

It makes no sense. How does one explain his ability to actually fly through space? He has to be capable of propelling himself. The TK field actually fits rather well.
#24 Posted by Deadcool (6809 posts) - - Show Bio

@trailofdead said:

I really like how Waid explained Plutonian power in Irredeemable's. Plutonian's powers are not physical but psionic, possessing the ability to manipulate matter without realizing, simply believing himself to be strong and able to fly. Maybe Superman, whom Plutonian is similar to has the same ability.

That is how I explain sentry's powers, for me he has just one power, matter manipulation...

#25 Posted by cyberninja (10413 posts) - - Show Bio

LIKE A BOSS

#26 Posted by TheWitchingHour (1340 posts) - - Show Bio

It's also possible that he thinks happy thoughts to induce flight

#27 Posted by joshmightbe (24107 posts) - - Show Bio

@TheWitchingHour: that requires pixie dust

#28 Edited by The Stegman (20873 posts) - - Show Bio

Superman's body also stores energy actively within his bio-cellular matrix as an energy pattern that is linked to his body's electromagnetic field. This energy powers most of Superman's electromagnetic capabilities such as flight and heat vision. 

#29 Posted by TheWitchingHour (1340 posts) - - Show Bio

@joshmightbe said:

@TheWitchingHour: that requires pixie dust

#30 Posted by danhimself (21916 posts) - - Show Bio

@joshmightbe said:

@TheWitchingHour: that requires pixie dust

D@MN IT!!!!! I was just about to make a comment about pixie dust....HOW DARE YOU!!!!!!!!

#31 Edited by tron_bonne (2286 posts) - - Show Bio

His propulsion is through his butt when he farts.

#32 Posted by BlackArmor (6121 posts) - - Show Bio
HE'S SUPERMAN THAT'S HOW
#33 Posted by phoenix654 (23 posts) - - Show Bio

I love that this made for such a great number of comments on my first post! I should have come over here from Giant Bomb a while ago...

I agree that limited telekinesis is probably the most likely, it doesn't seem like some means of propulsion or Krypton having more gravity. Maybe some writer will cover it one day.

#34 Posted by ComicMan24 (147021 posts) - - Show Bio

Well Post-Crisis it was explained that he flies because he possesses a form of telekinesis called tactile telekinesis. With it they also explained how the objects he lifts don't crumble under their own weight since he surrounds them with the TK field.

#35 Posted by Primmaster64 (21137 posts) - - Show Bio
@BlackArmor said:
HE'S SUPERMAN THAT'S HOW

Hell Yeah

#36 Posted by ComicMan24 (147021 posts) - - Show Bio

@Primmaster64 said:

@BlackArmor said:
HE'S SUPERMAN THAT'S HOW

Hell Yeah

lol Like the way you two are thinking.

#37 Posted by ssejllenrad (12802 posts) - - Show Bio

I love the less serious answers here! Haha! This thread is a winner!

 
@InnerVenom123 said:

Magic.

@Overkill said:
@Primmaster64 said:

With style!


@cyberninja said:

LIKE A BOSS

@TheWitchingHour said:

@joshmightbe said:

@TheWitchingHour: that requires pixie dust

@tron_bonne said:

His propulsion is through his butt when he farts.

@BlackArmor said:
HE'S SUPERMAN THAT'S HOW
#38 Posted by Primmaster64 (21137 posts) - - Show Bio
@ssejllenrad: XD
#39 Posted by Hazlenaut (1960 posts) - - Show Bio

If we go with that his flight is with levitation meaning he has low level of telekinesis, so he would be affected psychic nullifiers. This would be ok since he can leap tall buildings in a single bound.

#40 Posted by Watcherg6 (263 posts) - - Show Bio

in the beginging, He could only Jump, or Leap tall buildings, but don't forget the radition from or Yellow sun helps also

#41 Posted by TheConductor (2 posts) - - Show Bio

I think it may be because he's a massive solar battery.

Now, hot air always rises right? So I'm thinking that he is able to expell the heat he has stored in his body to allow him to rise in the air and can release it from different parts of his body to move him.

#42 Edited by Izaiah (5157 posts) - - Show Bio

In Superman: Birthright, Luthor implies that an ability to manipulate one's own gravitational field evolved among Kryptonians, due to the heavy gravity of Krypton..presumably this ability would be even further enhanced by yellow solar radiation (allowing flight, super speed and such), just like any other Kryptonian 'power'.

#43 Posted by Hoboseid (1022 posts) - - Show Bio

@GalacticPunt said:

"Earth has low gravity for Kryptonians" is a fine explanation for the Golden Age Superman, who could simply jump very far. It breaks down for a character that can impulsively change direction mid-flight.

I like to think the modern Superman has telekinetic powers, and can levitate himself anywhere. He could probably levitate other objects and people if he concentrated, but he's basically too stupid and uncreative to fully understand his own powers. When he thinks "fly" he flies, but he hasn't given proper thought to why he can do that!

seems reasonable

#44 Posted by htb106 (1641 posts) - - Show Bio

he recycles the jealousy from the bat family to change his power from jumping to flight

#45 Posted by jeanroygrant (20191 posts) - - Show Bio

@BiteMe-Fanboy said:

IDK. He just......does.

#46 Posted by UNIQUE69 (200 posts) - - Show Bio

krypton which is the planet superman is from has stronger gravity than earth. to where humans would be paralized or in wheelchairs if they were there. which explains why gravity on earth doesnt keep superman down to the ground.

#47 Posted by Casublett (175 posts) - - Show Bio

I read in an older (80s/90s?) Whos Whos/Secret Origins, that he pushes off of sub-atomic space to fly... It's probably not cannon anymore, but at one point it was.

#48 Posted by kasino (470 posts) - - Show Bio

nobody realized the OP used a Tosh bit from one of his specials

#49 Edited by alejandroescobar35762241 (1 posts) - - Show Bio

Why can't nobody except he just breathes hard and heavy to fly

Always made sense to me

#50 Edited by Z3RO180 (5947 posts) - - Show Bio

It's not TK I can tell you that much its got to do with his biology all his powers are physical/biological

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