How smart is Superman?

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#1 Posted by Wolfrazer (7732 posts) - - Show Bio

Like I know he is smart, but just how smart is he? There any scans or anything of the sort, showing just how much of a genius he really is?

#2 Posted by Durakken (1591 posts) - - Show Bio

@Wolfrazer said:

Like I know he is smart, but just how smart is he? There any scans or anything of the sort, showing just how much of a genius he really is?

Somewhere it in the DCnU books it says he has an 8th level intellect 9th is the top level and it has people like Bruce Wayne, Lex Luthor, and Brainiac. 9th level is rare in the universe...Earth just happens to be one of those places where rare things happen. I think it is likely that most Kryptonians rank 7th or 8th levels

#3 Posted by Twentyfive (2845 posts) - - Show Bio

He's smart as heck. He can learn anything in an instant. I don't have a scanner, but in Superman: Red Son, Superman was able to deduce that Stalin was dying from a liver problem just by taking half a second to read how many medical textbooks.

HOWEVER....

No plot should ever call for that. That plot would suck. No good. When there are other people have different attributes, Superman can and most likely does let Batman, Cyborg, Atom solve problems on their own.

#4 Posted by Mr_Winchester (710 posts) - - Show Bio

He is really smart, like jeopardy smart.

#5 Edited by INLIFE (1600 posts) - - Show Bio

Super Smart.

Seriously, there are four essential factors:

  • Heritage: Superman father and family roots come from a long series of the best scientists on Krypton. The Kryptonian civilization was one of the most advanced civilizations in the entire universe. They used their crystals (We have crystals too!) to store as much information as they could get their hands on. All of this knowledge is stored in the Fortress of Solitude. Even without super powers, Kal-El could use this massive amount of knowledge to become a powerful fighter of justice.
  • Genetics: Kryptonians are generally smarter compared to humans. They are not apes with nuclear weapons.
  • Solar Charging: Superman is capable of very fast problem solving and thinking due to the fact that he is supercharged by the Yellow Sun.
  • Kal-El/ Clark Kent is really smart on his own.
#6 Posted by Joygirl (19955 posts) - - Show Bio

Not as smart as the people who say he is smart say he is, smarter than the people who say he's not smart say he is.

#7 Posted by buttersdaman000 (10576 posts) - - Show Bio

I think a common misconception is that Superman's powers add on to his intellect, however, in my opinion that is not the case. Kal is plenty smart on his own thanks to his Kryptonian genetics and being the son of one of Kryptons greatest scientist. His powers only apply to how quickly he can learn and not to how well he can.

#8 Posted by wildvine (10371 posts) - - Show Bio

@Joygirl said:

Not as smart as the people who say he is smart say he is, smarter than the people who say he's not smart say he is.

Ow. My brain.

Moderator
#9 Edited by Superlad93 (46 posts) - - Show Bio

@Durakken said:

@Wolfrazer said:

Like I know he is smart, but just how smart is he? There any scans or anything of the sort, showing just how much of a genius he really is?

Somewhere it in the DCnU books it says he has an 8th level intellect 9th is the top level and it has people like Bruce Wayne, Lex Luthor, and Brainiac. 9th level is rare in the universe...Earth just happens to be one of those places where rare things happen. I think it is likely that most Kryptonians rank 7th or 8th levels

12th is actually the top and it's never been stated that Batman is 9th.....but he is very very clever and quick thinking but that doesn't make someone smarter than anther, just more clever.

Also in Action comics #12 of the new he was able to perform very very dangerous surgery on Lois Lane to save her life by actually reading and learning every medical text ever printed in seconds!! After doing this Superman now has accesses to all of that medical knowledge because it is now canon that his recall is perfect as of Action comics #6.

Also recently in Superman #13 Superman is seen actually finishing the analyses of an omniologist (this is the study of EVERYTHING). He constantly finishes her sentences for her.

So to answer the question, yes he is indeed very very smart.....like really smart.

#10 Posted by Supes1903 (137 posts) - - Show Bio

If the book "Last Son of Kypton" is held as canon (I have no idea if it is or not, considering it's mostly set in SA levels of power), Jor-El built a machine early in his career that could scan a person's mind and essentially figure out that person's intellectual potential. While doing this, he of course ran it on himself and his results were off the device's register. He did the same on baby Kal and found the scores to be even higher. So using that bit of a data one could draw the conclusion that if Kal had never left Krypton and it stayed in tact, he was well on his way to being one of the great scientific minds of Krypton.

#11 Posted by toptom (1268 posts) - - Show Bio

@Wolfrazer said:

Like I know he is smart, but just how smart is he? There any scans or anything of the sort, showing just how much of a genius he really is?

pre 52 superman or dcnu superman?

#12 Posted by Wolfrazer (7732 posts) - - Show Bio
@toptom said:

@Wolfrazer said:

Like I know he is smart, but just how smart is he? There any scans or anything of the sort, showing just how much of a genius he really is?

pre 52 superman or dcnu superman?

Well either or really, just a general thing about Superman wanting to know is all. But ah thanks folks.
#13 Posted by toptom (1268 posts) - - Show Bio
#14 Posted by xxxddd (3593 posts) - - Show Bio

@Wolfrazer said:

Like I know he is smart, but just how smart is he? There any scans or anything of the sort, showing just how much of a genius he really is?

New 52 Superman learned what takes a human 10 years of medical training to accomplish in 5 minutes.....literally.

Here is pre 52 Superman.

#15 Posted by Dark_Vengeance_ (15132 posts) - - Show Bio

Reed Richards level. I might say even smarter but fanboys will start hating.

#16 Posted by Onemoreposter (4101 posts) - - Show Bio

@DarkKnightDetective said:

Reed Richards level. I might say even smarter but fanboys will start hating.

Superman has an eidetic memory and has far faster cognition than humans. Coupled with his other super powers this means he can pretty much build super computers in a handful of seconds (depending on the writer). However, I don't think he's as creative as Reed and I'd be surprised if his actual IQ is as high either.

#17 Posted by Wboy (442 posts) - - Show Bio

Smart in terms of being able to absorb knowledge. However he thinks and acts like a regular person to be honest.

#18 Posted by GodDamnIronMan (1553 posts) - - Show Bio

@xxxddd said:

@Wolfrazer said:

Like I know he is smart, but just how smart is he? There any scans or anything of the sort, showing just how much of a genius he really is?

New 52 Superman learned what takes a human 10 years of medical training to accomplish in 5 minutes.....literally.

Here is pre 52 Superman.

Nice scans! that's just impressive

@Onemoreposter said:

@DarkKnightDetective said:

Reed Richards level. I might say even smarter but fanboys will start hating.

Superman has an eidetic memory and has far faster cognition than humans. Coupled with his other super powers this means he can pretty much build super computers in a handful of seconds (depending on the writer). However, I don't think he's as creative as Reed and I'd be surprised if his actual IQ is as high either.

Ya, true...I 100% agree your point

someone who can calculated real fast, or faster than a computer doesn't mean he is SMART in terms of creativity.

He sees things in slow motion...it's like 1second = 1 day for him.

#19 Edited by Zoch81 (279 posts) - - Show Bio

He very smart it was said in Action Comics 7 that Kryptonians have level 8 intelligence compared to Humans who only have level 3 intelligence which is primitive to them, plus in Action comics 12 perform surgery on Lois after absorbing and learning 10 years of medical knowledge in less than 2 mins from medical books and texts and also show in Action Comics 6 he has total perfect recall which allows him to store all information he absorbs.

#20 Posted by Durakken (1591 posts) - - Show Bio

Ummm no where does it show he has "perfect recall" or "eidetic memory" it just shows that he can read and process information at a high rate thanks to his Super Speed. That reading all the books thing doesn't show that he is any more or less smart than a human... especially since we've seen Impulse/Kid Flash do it.

He has a high intellect naturally, but we know he isn't the most intelligent person on Earth. He may however be near the smartest since he has access to things which humans don't have...arguably though, even if it is the case that he has access to all Kryptonian knowledge it stands to reason that Kara is still actually smarter than him since she was raised with it and thus understands it that much better,

#21 Posted by drgnx (3566 posts) - - Show Bio

Superman does not display his intelligence much because it would kill characters like Batman and Cyborg, its like back in the days when people thought Superman was Flash's speed, they were like "what is the point in the Flash?". Lex, Batman, and Cyborg are up their, but I think Pre-52 Cyborgs dad might actually have one of the best tech feats since he re-built cyborg, though I think the Foe Super-Girl just built is up there too as well as the guy building portals for Power Girl....actually I think a lot of side-show characters have the best tech feats so far :/

#22 Posted by Crissdragon (61 posts) - - Show Bio

@Wolfrazer: Well logically he should be the smartest,the super abilities wouldn't just stop with his strength,speed and range attacks but his body is also changed.

I assume his neurons are running at an amazing speed compared to humans so logially it would take him much less to resolve a situation.

The issue is that in most of Dc's adaption he is never written to be that smart but he really should since his powers work from the inside out not the other way.

#23 Posted by Wolfrazer (7732 posts) - - Show Bio
@drgnx said:

Superman does not display his intelligence much because it would kill characters like Batman and Cyborg

True, but that doesn't mean that they need to make Superman stupid by comparison.
#24 Posted by Durakken (1591 posts) - - Show Bio
#25 Posted by Gambit1024 (9843 posts) - - Show Bio

@INLIFE said:

Super Smart.

Seriously, there are four essential factors:

  • Heritage: Superman father and family roots come from a long series of the best scientists on Krypton. The Kryptonian civilization was one of the most advanced civilizations in the entire universe. They used their crystals (We have crystals too!) to store as much information as they could get their hands on. All of this knowledge is stored in the Fortress of Solitude. Even without super powers, Kal-El could use this massive amount of knowledge to become a powerful fighter of justice.
  • Genetics: Kryptonians are generally smarter compared to humans. They are not apes with nuclear weapons.
  • Solar Charging: Superman is capable of very fast problem solving and thinking due to the fact that he is supercharged by the Yellow Sun.
  • Kal-El/ Clark Kent is really smart on his own.

Very nicely put

#26 Posted by moywar700 (2775 posts) - - Show Bio

It should had been that he can read books and remember the knowledge for a short amount of time.

#27 Posted by BlackWind (7232 posts) - - Show Bio

Pretty damn smart.

When Batman isn't around.

#28 Posted by Supermansito (197 posts) - - Show Bio

@Wolfrazer said:

@drgnx said:

Superman does not display his intelligence much because it would kill characters like Batman and Cyborg

True, but that doesn't mean that they need to make Superman stupid by comparison.

Both

#29 Edited by Alexander505 (2177 posts) - - Show Bio

Clark is very smart, but isn't a genius like Batman, Martian Manhunter or Luthor.

@drgnx said:

Superman does not display his intelligence much because it would kill characters like Batman and Cyborg

In part this is true, but the authors chose not to characterize the intellect of Superman too, otherwise it would have appeared too powerful and omnipotent, and would have made Lex Luthor (the real strength of Luthor is the intellect) completely irrelevant.

#30 Posted by Squalleon (4989 posts) - - Show Bio

@buttersdaman000 said:

I think a common misconception is that Superman's powers add on to his intellect, however, in my opinion that is not the case. Kal is plenty smart on his own thanks to his Kryptonian genetics and being the son of one of Kryptons greatest scientist. His powers only apply to how quickly he can learn and not to how well he can.

True story!

Online
#31 Edited by drgnx (3566 posts) - - Show Bio

@Alexander505 said:

Clark is very smart, but isn't a genius like Batman, Martian Manhunter or Luthor.

@drgnx said:

Superman does not display his intelligence much because it would kill characters like Batman and Cyborg

In part this is true, but the authors chose not to characterize the intellect of Superman too, otherwise it would have appeared too powerful and omnipotent, and would have made Lex Luthor (the real strength of Luthor is the intellect) completely irrelevant.

I don't agree, Luthor's scientific intelligence might actually be slightly higher than Superman's (at worse) but it is his cunning and wisdom that compensate for his lack of powers. (The last family of Krypton is not cannon, but it as always portrayed what I felt was a fairly accurate comparison of Jor-el vs Luthor vs Kal-el when it came to scientific knowledge).

@Wolfrazer said:

@drgnx said:

Superman does not display his intelligence much because it would kill characters like Batman and Cyborg

True, but that doesn't mean that they need to make Superman stupid by comparison.

I'm not defending this, I very well think that stories could be written in a way that allow characters to utilize their full abilities when on teams. I just think writers take the low road; there is no reason why Batman, Superman, and Cyborg can't regulatory collaborate scientifically with support from Green Lanterns Database of knowledge or Aquaman's incite on atlantean tech, or Flash's forensic background.

I could go on about how Superman and Flash should team speed-blitz, or Superman, Wonder Women, and Aquaman should team power-house more, or how cyborg should seem to be more than Batman's gadget/Jarvis, or how Batman as of late should, remember he is not "prof x" and actually get in on the fighting more he (probably has fought and I just didn't notice/remember cause is was nothing special), but ....

#32 Posted by yotaman (101 posts) - - Show Bio

from what i understand here

http://www.comicvine.com/source-wall/34-42569/

the dc universe have up till 12th level intellect...

#33 Posted by Deranged Midget (17974 posts) - - Show Bio

His intelligence varies and it depends on the writer. For example, in Morrison's Action Comics, Clark was able to read just about every piece of work published in relation to the medical field in order to save Lois. In Earth One by JMS, Clark was shown solving a company's hardest formula in seconds, being able to achieve any job he wanted.

Moderator
#34 Posted by Saucedo17 (135 posts) - - Show Bio

@drgnx: Now that I think about Batman hasn't really fought in the JL comic although I did stop reading on #10 (I'm only working part time and can't afford to buy JL especially with better comic on sale) but back on topic Superman will be smart depending on who rights him, although his powers does to help a bit.

#35 Posted by Pyrogram (41344 posts) - - Show Bio

I like to think he is above average, If he can perform surgery he is pretty smart.

#36 Posted by jobbernos (1420 posts) - - Show Bio

quite smart the average kryptonian is smarter than the average human.

#37 Posted by fiarwizord (15 posts) - - Show Bio

@Durakken: If you look in the Superman wiki, one of his abilities is Genius-level intellect and eidetic memory.

#38 Posted by Durakken (1591 posts) - - Show Bio

@fiarwizord said:

@Durakken: If you look in the Superman wiki, one of his abilities is Genius-level intellect and eidetic memory.

If you look at wikipedia there are plenty of zombies out there too.

#39 Posted by asIsuspected (543 posts) - - Show Bio

I would prefer him not to be genious level smart, because otherwise what advantage would guys like Batman have over him?

#40 Posted by Durakken (1591 posts) - - Show Bio

btw... yes superman has a genius level intellect... to normal humans and even though eidetic memory isn't "real" he has it just like a number of other people who are on the same level or higher intellect because people have mixed up genius with knowledge memory with knowledge and all of that with intelligent or understanding.

All of us have the ability to meet Superman's level of intellect because it isn't anything beyond knowledge based intellect. He's only ahead of the common person due to eidetic memory and superspeed, but then he doesn't always use those so then again he's not that far advanced.

To put it to you in an analogy. Superman's intellect is equivalent to what we have in the internet. The only difference is the data is in his brain rather than on a computer in some network. it exists there, but it doesn't meann he has actually read it, understood it, or even can apply it practically.

Here's an example. go look up all the quantum physics formulas. keep them up where you can see them. Now go make the LHC and produce the Higgs Boson. Can you do it? Come on you have all the formulas right there! You should be able to do it... That's the same position Superman is in.

Further more, to say someone is intelligent doesn't necessarily mean they are so in the sciences or that they are quick to figure something out. Their intelligence may lie in a different field all together or it may take them some time to process the information fully so they appear slower but in the end they have a better understanding of what it is that they are trying to learn.

For all these reasons I wouldn't consider Superman "super" intelligent, but rather just a guy who has an encyclopdia in his head that he hasn't read for the most part. Granted, what he he has read puts him head and shoulders above many normal humans, but to the exceptional he doesn't stack up to what I would consider actual intelligence.

#41 Posted by mysoulz (400 posts) - - Show Bio

Superman's intelligence mostly relies on his scientifically nature. He created a device from kryptonian technology that can cause millions of people to vanished, created multiple automated bots, created an image world in the phantom zone, built the fortress of solitude, has eidetic memory, and has other x-ray vision available to read faster by giving him the advantage. Superman, depending on the writer also uses his scientific logic against his foes during fights to analyze the anatomy of his opponent’s structure, thanks to his x-ray vision. In some cases, he would judge whether he be better off punching a bit harder than he normally does depending whether his opponent doesn’t have any living organics. His super speed brain problem solves much faster than an ordinary human, but still learns like anyone else.

#42 Posted by Smart_Dork_Dude (2685 posts) - - Show Bio

Very smart.

#43 Posted by Shallbecomeabat (33 posts) - - Show Bio

Like I posted in another thread... If you like smart Superman you all should check out the run by Kurt Busiek, especially Camelot Falls. Here, Supes uses super intelligence a lot. He reads multiple books at the same time, which are all written on the molecules of the paper of another book, he holds as Clark, while on a plane. That was pretty cool. I think it was a new Superpower that manifested in that run, so I don't know if he normally is that smart.

#44 Posted by Press Oblivion (1658 posts) - - Show Bio

Have you guys read Superman 15? Lex Luthor admits that Superman's intellect is only second to his own. Lex believes that he (Lex Luthor) is the smartest person on the planet.

#45 Posted by jphulk26 (1332 posts) - - Show Bio

@Wolfrazer: It completely depends on the writer. He´s not in all incarnations a genius. JMS played it up a bit in Earth One.

#46 Posted by jphulk26 (1332 posts) - - Show Bio

@Durakken: @Durakken said:

Here's an example. go look up all the quantum physics formulas. keep them up where you can see them. Now go make the LHC and produce the Higgs Boson. Can you do it? Come on you have all the formulas right there! You should be able to do it... That's the same position Superman is in.

Challenge accepted............................

Ah, took me a while, but just did it. :)

#47 Posted by drgnx (3566 posts) - - Show Bio

@Durakken said:

btw... yes superman has a genius level intellect... to normal humans and even though eidetic memory isn't "real" he has it just like a number of other people who are on the same level or higher intellect because people have mixed up genius with knowledge memory with knowledge and all of that with intelligent or understanding.

All of us have the ability to meet Superman's level of intellect because it isn't anything beyond knowledge based intellect. He's only ahead of the common person due to eidetic memory and superspeed, but then he doesn't always use those so then again he's not that far advanced.

To put it to you in an analogy. Superman's intellect is equivalent to what we have in the internet. The only difference is the data is in his brain rather than on a computer in some network. it exists there, but it doesn't meann he has actually read it, understood it, or even can apply it practically.

Here's an example. go look up all the quantum physics formulas. keep them up where you can see them. Now go make the LHC and produce the Higgs Boson. Can you do it? Come on you have all the formulas right there! You should be able to do it... That's the same position Superman is in.

Further more, to say someone is intelligent doesn't necessarily mean they are so in the sciences or that they are quick to figure something out. Their intelligence may lie in a different field all together or it may take them some time to process the information fully so they appear slower but in the end they have a better understanding of what it is that they are trying to learn.

For all these reasons I wouldn't consider Superman "super" intelligent, but rather just a guy who has an encyclopdia in his head that he hasn't read for the most part. Granted, what he he has read puts him head and shoulders above many normal humans, but to the exceptional he doesn't stack up to what I would consider actual intelligence.

Some version have applied their knowledge. All-Star (Super power forumula) and Earth - 1 (equation to convert Salt to energy) for instance. Current Superman was able to read DNA and understand it on some level. So I don't think it is matter of having knowledge because he has applied some of what he knows.

#48 Posted by PowerHerc (85336 posts) - - Show Bio

Deux ex Machina.

He's as smart as the situation requires him to be.

#49 Posted by Superguy1591 (3964 posts) - - Show Bio

Superman is smart, damn smart. The only human in his level is Lex, who is a 12th level intellect to Superman's 10th level (Kryptonians are 8th on average).

Humans are second level intellects on average, but Batman can be considered a fourth level intellect.

@Durakken:Superman's name isn't ever brought up when people talk about ranking the smartest men in the DCU because Superman doesn't count. He's not a man, but if we were to rank smartest beings on Earth in the DCU he would be in the top 10.

#50 Posted by Press Oblivion (1658 posts) - - Show Bio

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