Inconsistency of Superman's intelligence

#1 Edited by DRUDOX19 (157 posts) - - Show Bio

Is it me or are writers very inconsistent when it comes to Superman's intellect, John Bryne made Superman have everything in the fortress because of the eradicator thus making Superman not create most of the stuff on his own in the fortress. Yeah bryne had a more less intelligent Superman. Grant Morrison portrays superman has a genius cause in his mind its kinda stupid and illogical that his parents where the most intelligent scientist on krypton and how that was never even passed on what so ever seems stupid to him. I mean Grant takes it to a level that Superman and Lex are intellectually equal to each other ( not to Brainiac) but lex is a better strategist then Clark

Some writers do this also make superman stupid when he is fighting his foes outside the fortress in Metropolis and Lex smarter then him then out of nowhere in the fortress he can build portals to other dimensions like Lex Luthor could. Earth One books Superman is kinda a Genius but doesn't want to show it, heck maybe superman is like that, but it seems very odd that writers don't make superman use his head but when he is in the fortress that's where superman's brain goes crazy and starts building crazy things. I like Grant Morrison's portrayal of Superman actually being a genius and his explanation for it.

I do like that Grant showed Superman being a Genius in science but he s not a great tactical person that i can live with.

#2 Posted by Dernman (15160 posts) - - Show Bio

Superman is a genius and writers do purposely forget about it. To be honest though I'm fine with that.

#3 Edited by Z3RO180 (6592 posts) - - Show Bio

All the forums you make is just you complaing

#4 Posted by FadeToBlackBolt (23334 posts) - - Show Bio

He's not a genius.

Morrison's All Star was based on Silver Age Superman, who was a genius because of his "Super-intellect" since he had "super-everything."

He's far from an idiot, and he's experienced, but he's not a genius, which is how it should be. To an average person, he's very clever, but he's nowhere near Luthor and co.

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

Even a natural genius is limited by their surroundings and their access to knowledge and their care about the material. Clark likely has an IQ around 2 or 3 deviations of standard... 130 to 145. I'd say no higher than 160, but is possible that he could have as high as 190. I doubt it though cuz he doesn't care for a lot of science and he didn't have access to it and he had to hide it a lot so yeah... He's kinda stupid for a Kryptonian, but smart for a Human.

#6 Edited by UltimateSMfan (1425 posts) - - Show Bio
Nuff said.

#7 Posted by kasino (1785 posts) - - Show Bio

always felt he was just average for someone with his powers

if you could identify the sounds and sights of everything your a genius in the since that someone with the most powerful binoculars and hearing aids are.

i never saw the creativity that other geniuses posses that leads to cures, technology or strategy

#8 Posted by DRUDOX19 (157 posts) - - Show Bio

I prefer Grant Morrison genius Superman case it seems stupid that he built Phantom Zone Projectors and such, Alan Moore also writes Superman has a genius has well it all depends on the writers IMO

#9 Posted by Cr4pSnip3r (302 posts) - - Show Bio

Regardless of what's said, I don't see how he wouldn't be a genius.

#10 Posted by deaditegonzo (3686 posts) - - Show Bio

Superman is a genius in canon, the only version that wasnt was Byrne's version, which happens to to be my least favourite, and is thankfully now totally removed from canon.

Anyway, we'd have to define what intelligence really is before we could discuss it in full. On an IQ test, as somebody brought up, Superman's score would be off of any existing charts, as he could potentially know everything. If it is how one can apply their knowledge, Superman has done heart surgery after five minutes of study, cured cancer, built the Miracle Machine from memory, said he could improve Bruce Wayne's own gadgets, sorted through terabytes of data instantly, built Phantom Zone projectors, was called Lex Luthor's equal by Lex Luthor, built Superman robots, etc etc. If the question is how much trivia he knows, he would score higher there than basically any human in the comics as well.

Superman is a genius, but a lot of the time, his fights arent something he could think his way out of. A lot of his villains have the wisdom of ages, one of his villains is the smartest being in DC. So a lot of the time he just has to fight it out. Also, he isnt a "genius in battle." He's not a tactician by any means.

#11 Posted by consolemaster001 (5670 posts) - - Show Bio

@z3ro180 said:

All the forums you make is just you complaing

lol

#12 Posted by lightsout (1830 posts) - - Show Bio

Logically he should be, but it'd get boring. Being smart isn't part of his characterization - leave that for others. (ie: Batman has the brains to build mech suits & such - why doesn't he use them like Iron Man & be able to fight stronger people? Because it's not part of his characterization. His characterization is fighting int he shadows like a ninja & being a detective).

#13 Posted by PowerHerc (84386 posts) - - Show Bio

The writers have been woefully inconsistent, in terms of Superman's intelligence, for most of his existence.

#14 Posted by Jayc1324 (12348 posts) - - Show Bio

Most stories he doesn't really need intelligence for, so that's probably a reason why. He's more of a power character instead of an analytical/genius type. He's not dumb and probably has a high IQ though, and being kryptonite can't hurt

#15 Posted by WIshIWasSuperman (1351 posts) - - Show Bio

I can't totally agree with the lack if tactical ability they give him. His brain is capable of operating much "faster" than a humans, and part of tactics is analysis. Ergo, he should be able to analyse a scenario/situation faster than majority of his contemporaries (especially freakin Batman) and see solutions. But if they were to do that, I'm guessing there'd be more complaints of "he's to powerful, it's boring". As such he's only as smart as the writer wants him to be in a given situation that they feel gives appropriate entertainment = inconsistent intellect across writers (even the same writer sometimes).

#16 Edited by MuyJingo (1779 posts) - - Show Bio

At some point, I'm not sure when it happened, but he got assigned a super intellect due to being Kryptonian.

This always annoyed me...I liked Superman as as essentially an average guy with all this power who did the right things due to his morals. Maybe a bit above average intelligence because he is the hero.

The problem with him having super intellect, is he never uses it. Batman often figured things out that Superman couldn't for example, which makes absolutely no sense.

#17 Posted by toptom (1181 posts) - - Show Bio

I can't totally agree with the lack if tactical ability they give him. His brain is capable of operating much "faster" than a humans, and part of tactics is analysis. Ergo, he should be able to analyse a scenario/situation faster than majority of his contemporaries (especially freakin Batman) and see solutions. But if they were to do that, I'm guessing there'd be more complaints of "he's to powerful, it's boring". As such he's only as smart as the writer wants him to be in a given situation that they feel gives appropriate entertainment = inconsistent intellect across writers (even the same writer sometimes).

this. welcome to the Comicvine!

#18 Edited by sinestro_GL (3179 posts) - - Show Bio

I wasn't a fan of one of the moments in Morrison's recent Action Comics run when Kal reads every medical journal known to man in like 2 minutes, and then performs surgery.

#19 Edited by WIshIWasSuperman (1351 posts) - - Show Bio

@toptom: Thanks for the welcome. Not entirely sure why I've never been across this site, but I suspect it will be my new home online.

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