What is Superman without his powers?

  • 129 results
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
#1 Edited by i_like_swords (16672 posts) - - Show Bio

Think about it for a second.

Online
#2 Edited by SmashBrawler (5978 posts) - - Show Bio

Um... he's still Superman but without his powers?

Overused yet still effective scan

#3 Posted by trebean (696 posts) - - Show Bio

Think about it for a second.

Well, there was this one Elseworld comic (No not Act of God, that sucked ass, this is Superman Last Son of Earth)

Where instead being a survivor of Krypton and sent to Earth, he is a survivor of Earth sent to Krypton and given a green power ring.

#4 Posted by i_like_swords (16672 posts) - - Show Bio

Um... he's still Superman but without his powers?

Overused yet still effective scan

All I'm saying is, what makes him stand out from other heroes nowadays if you were to take away all his strength, flight ect..
Fair enough, he is the blueprint for all superheroes, but the concept of a hero has always been around. There are loads of superheroes that share his humanity and will to do good. So, if you took away his powers, what actually makes him interesting? I can't find a reason to find him interesting enough to read based on everything I've ever heard about him, and I think I know a fair bit.

Online
#5 Edited by SmashBrawler (5978 posts) - - Show Bio

There's also that time during Final Night when he lost his powers, same after Infinite Crisis. And that time Batman got his powers and went crazy.

#6 Posted by Deadcool (6818 posts) - - Show Bio

A good guy that would do anything to do the right thing.

#7 Posted by Perpetr8rMike (590 posts) - - Show Bio

That scan is overused and ineffective. That was two worn out Clarks one being decades older and in better shape beating up the weaker one who had never done anything but use his powers.

Clark to many is just his powers, whether they like to admit it or not. People really do love Superman because of his abilities, him being top dog and so on. In to many comics Clark has 0 personality. He is a walking, talking, plot device.

Now in GOOD stories he is a character but still Clark is nothing without his powers, Clark has no strong features outside of his powers. Clark is a nice guy, likes to help people. But that is virtually every character unless they are specifically written to be bad guys.

#8 Posted by i_like_swords (16672 posts) - - Show Bio

@deadcool said:

A good guy that would do anything to do the right thing.

Agreed, but so is damn near the majority of superheroes. What's special about Superman? Does he have a weapon unique to him? Does he have a unique characteristic? Does he have some form of personal conflict with himself because of the way he is? (Hulk for example, X-men being shunned by large populace, Spider-man vs Jonah Jameson, I could go on). In short, no. He's basically perfect, and widely accepted by all humans on DC earth. He has nothing wrong with him physically or mentally which prevents him from doing his superhero duties. I just don't see where the interest is besides the fact he's so powerful...

Online
#9 Posted by SmashBrawler (5978 posts) - - Show Bio

@perpetr8rmike said:

That scan is overused and ineffective. That was two worn out Clarks one being decades older and in better shape beating up the weaker one who had never done anything but use his powers.

Yeah, because that was exactly the point of the scan. It's not like I wanted to showcase Superman's little speech about what it means to be him, nooooo, it was all about the fight.

Fair enough, he is the blueprint for all superheroes, but the concept of a hero has always been around. There are loads of superheroes that share his humanity and will to do good. So, if you took away his powers, what actually makes him interesting? I can't find a reason to find him interesting enough to read based on everything I've ever heard about him, and I think I know a fair bit.

Yeah, because that's the reason so many people like Superman and read his comic books every month. The powers. Only the powers.

#10 Edited by i_like_swords (16672 posts) - - Show Bio

That scan is overused and ineffective. That was two worn out Clarks one being decades older and in better shape beating up the weaker one who had never done anything but use his powers.

Clark to many is just his powers, whether they like to admit it or not. People really do love Superman because of his abilities, him being top dog and so on. In to many comics Clark has 0 personality. He is a walking, talking, plot device.

Now in GOOD stories he is a character but still Clark is nothing without his powers, Clark has no strong features outside of his powers. Clark is a nice guy, likes to help people. But that is virtually every character unless they are specifically written to be bad guys.

We share the same view. I don't mean to insult at all, but he to me, just seems very straight forward and in my own opinion, boring.

Online
#11 Edited by trebean (696 posts) - - Show Bio

That scan is overused and ineffective. That was two worn out Clarks one being decades older and in better shape beating up the weaker one who had never done anything but use his powers.

Clark to many is just his powers, whether they like to admit it or not. People really do love Superman because of his abilities, him being top dog and so on. In to many comics Clark has 0 personality. He is a walking, talking, plot device.

Now in GOOD stories he is a character but still Clark is nothing without his powers, Clark has no strong features outside of his powers. Clark is a nice guy, likes to help people. But that is virtually every character unless they are specifically written to be bad guys.

Clark was doubly weakened because of the Kryptonite lying around, SBP is just weakened from the Red Sun.

#12 Posted by i_like_swords (16672 posts) - - Show Bio

@smashbrawler: Read what I said. I didn't say why people read Superman, I said what makes him stand out.

Online
#13 Posted by Veshark (9058 posts) - - Show Bio

Read Superman & the Legion of Super-Heroes.

#14 Posted by i_like_swords (16672 posts) - - Show Bio

@trebean said:

@perpetr8rmike said:

That scan is overused and ineffective. That was two worn out Clarks one being decades older and in better shape beating up the weaker one who had never done anything but use his powers.

Clark to many is just his powers, whether they like to admit it or not. People really do love Superman because of his abilities, him being top dog and so on. In to many comics Clark has 0 personality. He is a walking, talking, plot device.

Now in GOOD stories he is a character but still Clark is nothing without his powers, Clark has no strong features outside of his powers. Clark is a nice guy, likes to help people. But that is virtually every character unless they are specifically written to be bad guys.

Clark was doubly weakened because of the Kryptonite lying around, SBP is just weakened from the Red Sun.

So because Clark beat someone in a fight who at that time could punch a bit harder than him, he is an extremely interesting and unique character to read? I don't really think so.. Beating someone who is stronger than you, and being a good person aren't very unique abilities/characteristics or however you want to put it.

Online
#15 Posted by SmashBrawler (5978 posts) - - Show Bio
#16 Posted by lightsout (1833 posts) - - Show Bio

There's a very good thread in the Superman forum called something like "why do you like superman?" where a bunch of people gave very well thought out answers, that might answer this one as well (it used to be on the front page a few months ago when I was more active, but I don't care to search for it now).

#17 Posted by KnightRise (4785 posts) - - Show Bio

Um... he's still Superman but without his powers?

Overused yet still effective scan

Red sun withstanding, he's still a big a$$ dude (;

#18 Edited by Deadcool (6818 posts) - - Show Bio

@i_like_swords: His conflict would deepend on which Superman are you reading.

My favourite Superman conflict is in the fact that he doesn't know if he belongs earth, what is his business in here. Some incarnatios of Superman are also hated like Spider-man is. Lex Luthor says that humanity won't be able to find his potencial with Sups, and that he is not human. Should Superman be considered a human being? Or even part of the humanity?

I started to like Superman when I read Superman: War of the Worlds, there Superman dies for his adopted planet with all his strength just to discover that he doesn't belong here, that there is no reason to continue with his punishment, and there he dies.

#19 Posted by Perpetr8rMike (590 posts) - - Show Bio

Here is a question for all of you. Would you read a Clark Kent Comic Book? One where there was NO Superman, no super powers. Just Clark Kent, the other heroes exist and their all buddies but he is just an average joe?

#20 Edited by The Stegman (25545 posts) - - Show Bio

He's still a bada** motha shut yo mouth.

#21 Posted by i_like_swords (16672 posts) - - Show Bio

@lightsout: @smashbrawler: what I took away from that thread was, people like his powers (this thread..) and like that he is a good person who does right and represents humanity.. how does that make him unique from other heroes?

Online
#22 Edited by Perpetr8rMike (590 posts) - - Show Bio

@smashbrawler: I have read that thread. Its nothing but suck up. Its not a debate.

#23 Posted by i_like_swords (16672 posts) - - Show Bio

Here is a question for all of you. Would you read a Clark Kent Comic Book? One where there was NO Superman, no super powers. Just Clark Kent, the other heroes exist and their all buddies but he is just an average joe?

Online
#24 Posted by i_like_swords (16672 posts) - - Show Bio

@deadcool said:

@i_like_swords: His conflict would deepend on which Superman are you reading.

My favourite Superman conflict is in the fact that he doesn't know if he belongs earth, what is his business in here. Some incarnatios of Superman are also hated like Spider-man is. Lex Luthor says that humanity won't be able to find his potencial with Sups, and that he is not human. Should Superman be considered a human being? Or even part of the humanity?

I started to like Superman when I read Superman: War of the Worlds, there Superman dies for his adopted planet with all his strength just to discover that he doesn't belong here, that there is no reason to continue with his punishment, and there he dies.

I guess that's fair enough, but honestly, how often is that a factor in his comics? Is he shunned by the majority of the people he is helping? Is he constantly questioning his place on earth because he is an alien? I'm guessing not, but correct me if I'm wrong.

Online
#25 Posted by JLDoom (2310 posts) - - Show Bio

Here's an even better question: why ask this? I've noticed Superman is the character that gets this kind of thread the most. But why is that? If you don't like him that's fine, but why do you need to question his fans about why they like him? That seems like a pretty douchey thing to do if you ask me.

#26 Edited by Binski (647 posts) - - Show Bio

@trebean: What comic is this? I'd love to give this a read I have a lot of the elseworld stories "Speeding Bullets" "Red Son" and "Batman in Darkest Knight" etc etc this sounds like something I'd like to add to my collection, I did a basic Google search but came up with nothing.

#27 Posted by i_like_swords (16672 posts) - - Show Bio

@jldoom said:

Here's an even better question: why ask this? I've noticed Superman is the character that gets this kind of thread the most. But why is that? If you don't like him that's fine, but why do you need to question his fans about why they like him? That seems like a pretty douchey thing to do if you ask me.

I ask it because he is arguably the most popular comic book superhero of all time. I'm asking questions like this to his fans because I fail to see what they see in him.

Online
#28 Posted by JLDoom (2310 posts) - - Show Bio

@i_like_swords: I'm not talking about you specifically, but rather this odd phenomenon that seems to surround Superman. I rarely hear someone ask "what's so cool about Batman/Spider-Man/Etc. anyway?" but people seem to have a very hard time grasping the idea of Superman having fans.

#29 Edited by i_like_swords (16672 posts) - - Show Bio

@jldoom: I think it's because of this idea of Superman being perfect, and his fans often reinforce this idea. Perfect Superheroes don't appeal to every fan nowadays. But since Superman is portrayed as perfect, and he is the most popular hero, it raises the question "what's so great about him?" "what makes him interesting?"
(I use the term "perfect" loosely. I'm well aware the guy can be hurt, defeated or killed, but let's be honest, it takes some doing.)

Online
#30 Edited by lightsout (1833 posts) - - Show Bio

@i_like_swords: I would say he epitomizes all the qualities more so than any other character. But really - what makes any of those other heroes stand out? (And really, I think far fewer characters are as self-less as we'd like to believe). You're pretty much asking to whittle away all the details of a character and be left with the self-less heroic qualities....so they'd all be the same that way. (And it also sounds a little like someone who already has a bias against Superman and yet demands to be convinced otherwise (which isn't possible)).

#31 Posted by LikeUntoAThingOfIron (3 posts) - - Show Bio

Superman is interesting because, when done right, he makes you want to be a better human being. The point is that it's amazing someone as powerful as him would even care to protect people. Maybe without his powers he's just a nice guy, but I don't see how you can say he doesn't stand out. Really it's the other heroes that are like him. Clark is the original "nice guy" superhero.

#32 Posted by lightsout (1833 posts) - - Show Bio

@smashbrawler: I have read that thread. Its nothing but suck up. Its not a debate.

.....because it's not supposed to be a debate? The OP actually came in with a neutral slate (no anti-Superman bias) and was just curious why people liked him. People gave their answers as to why they liked that character. That's not "sucking up" to anything or anyone.

#33 Edited by i_like_swords (16672 posts) - - Show Bio

@lightsout: I wouldn't say he epitomizes the qualities any better than someone like Captain America. He would give his life to defend the helpless just as quickly as Supes. The fact is, someone like Captain America has more to his character than him being selfless to make him interesting.

I'm not whittling away details, I'm saying: if Superman had no powers, what would be interesting about him? As in, what about his character/personality is unique and interesting? You could ask this question about any superhero, but I chose Superman because he is the most popular yet I don't see what's most interesting about him. I in no way have a bias against him, I've just formed an educated opinion about his character. I'm not looking to be convinced, I'm asking comicvine what they see in Superman that I don't.

Online
#34 Posted by i_like_swords (16672 posts) - - Show Bio

@likeuntoathingofiron: He might be the original nice guy superhero, but he isn't the original concept of a hero. And even though other characters have taken this nice guy aspect from him, they for the most part have other factors that make them interesting, or don't share this nice guy trait with him at all.

Online
#35 Posted by Perpetr8rMike (590 posts) - - Show Bio

@lightsout: They don't say anything though, they just keep spouting the same thing of him being the first hero (Which is not true.) And how he is perfect, self-less, etc. Things that don't exactly explain why people like him. These are GOOD things no doubt but much if not every detail can be put on any other hero.
-------------------
I have noticed most of his fans get offended and defensive if you post something along these lines. If you question him then your somehow making an attack on their fandom.

I don't find him interesting except in the rare case he gets a very good story. In fact I love Last God of Krypton when he was actually acting human, he was afraid of Cythonna and yet he still fought her to try and save people, knowing she could easily kill him yet he still fought. This was a good example of him being a Hero but thats not to say that someone like Captain America wouldn't do the same.

#36 Edited by GreatCaesarsGhost (3595 posts) - - Show Bio

What is any Super powered character without their powers? Think about that.

Wolverine is just a psychopath who has managed to control himself.

Spider-Man is some nerd.

Captain America is just some scrawny do-gooder.

Captain Marvel is some little kid who's sweet and innocent.

#37 Edited by i_like_swords (16672 posts) - - Show Bio

@greatcaesarsghost said:

What is any Super powered character without their powers? Think about that.

Wolverine is just a psychopath who has managed to control himself.

Spider-Man is some nerd.

Captain America is just some scrawny do-gooder.

Captain Marvel is some little kid who's sweet an innocent.

I don't see why you feel the need to single out Clark on this matter.

Many, many people can relate to Peter Parkers story. Not even going to explain it in detail. He is certainly not "some nerd".

Cap is very similar to Superman when his powers are taken out of it. But he also has the military training and "ultimate human combatant" aspect of him whereas Superman.. punches really hard. There is the shield which is a cool feature of his. The fact he is only peak human, and by no means perfect like Superman is. So when Cap gets shot, we all feel it. When Supes is shot, it bounces off him. Not to mention, Steve didn't always have his powers. He was trying desperately to help fight in WW2 but couldn't until he got the opportunity (SSS). Superman just appeared on earth from a space ship and already had his powers. He's never not been perfect.

The short answer to your question: in a lot of cases, an interesting character with a unique personality or unusual or relatable circumstance.

Online
#38 Posted by SandMan_ (4528 posts) - - Show Bio

http://slurm.trakt.us/images/episodes/341-2-20.jpg

#39 Posted by lightsout (1833 posts) - - Show Bio

@lightsout:

They don't say anything though, they just keep spouting the same thing of him being the first hero (Which is not true.) And how he is perfect, self-less, etc. Things that don't exactly explain why people like him. These are GOOD things no doubt but much if not every detail can be put on any other hero.

If you want to split hairs, what you say is a little conflicting. Just because other heroes are selfless (etc) doesn't mean that can't be a reason for liking Superman. Someone could say that's also why they like Cap or Spiderman (& it's no less valid. They could dislike selfish heroes too). (And your assessment is a bit unfair IMO. I personally think my post in that thread (as well as others) was deeper than that (I esp. didn't call him perfect. He's far from that IMO) and that "any other hero" part seems to go back to what I told the OP. That IS the core of some of the greatest heroes - that's WHY we love them (the classical heroic ideology). The unique parts are just the look & name & history & powers. The more you get to the core of anyone the characteristics become more vague/common (kindness, intelligence, etc etc)).

#40 Posted by i_like_swords (16672 posts) - - Show Bio

@lightsout: You summed it up pretty well there actually. While I personally still don't find him interesting, it's true that there are some features about him that people like. Just saying, there isn't anything astonishingly unique about his character, and that's why I don't like him.

Online
#41 Posted by Perpetr8rMike (590 posts) - - Show Bio

@sandman_: I don't get the point of your picture.

#42 Posted by SandMan_ (4528 posts) - - Show Bio
#43 Posted by Perpetr8rMike (590 posts) - - Show Bio

@sandman_: I know where it is from.
Why post it? I get that he had no powers during that time. Sure. But that episode was not exactly very entertaining other then the sheer 'What if' idea of it all.

I would like an answer. Would you buy a Comic about Clark Kent. One where he was just a normal guy, same personality and so on. But no super powers.

#44 Posted by SandMan_ (4528 posts) - - Show Bio
#45 Edited by Perpetr8rMike (590 posts) - - Show Bio

@sandman_: But its a lame episode overall. Just because he was depowered in it? It still doesn't say much. He was still played at being above human. He was defeating those wolves FAR easier then a human level character would have.

#46 Posted by SandMan_ (4528 posts) - - Show Bio
#47 Posted by AllStarSuperman (22794 posts) - - Show Bio

Superman isn't just his powers at all.

Without his powers he still has: more willpower than Hal Jordon, more determination than Batman, more heart than Wonder Woman. He still mastered 2 kryptonian martial arts, can box, and trained pressure points by Batman. He can even be used to inspire hope in the real world. That's why he's so cool. With or without powers he's still a "Super" man.

#48 Posted by SandMan_ (4528 posts) - - Show Bio
#49 Posted by Deadcool (6818 posts) - - Show Bio

@i_like_swords said:

I guess that's fair enough, but honestly, how often is that a factor in his comics? Is he shunned by the majority of the people he is helping? Is he constantly questioning his place on earth because he is an alien? I'm guessing not, but correct me if I'm wrong.

Actually I don't know, I like Superman, but I rarely read his stuff. But it seems that currently he does question himself about that a lot, he can't just have a normal life because his powers:

"I feel like I live in a world made of cardboard, always taking constant care not to break something, to break someone. Never allowing myself to lose control even for a moment, or someone could die."

This quote belongs to Justice League Unlimited (DC animated universe), and I think that it clearly shows how "forced" he feels, he can't do the things as freely as anyone, actually I remember that a lot of episodes from Smallville were about that kind of stuff, I think that he would constantly think that he doesn't belong in here, he lives enchained, I bet he would love to live in a place in which he could have a normal life.

#50 Edited by AllStarSuperman (22794 posts) - - Show Bio

This edit will also create new pages on Comic Vine for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Comic Vine users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.