I too am greatly enjoying this discussion. So thanks to all who are participating.
Anyway, I do agree that this sort of thing needs to be handled carefully or it could get out of control.
But I maintain that Superman as a scientist is essential to exploring the character's full potential. And more importantly, it makes him more fun.
It does raise problems with the shared universe. If Superman is so smart it does make the League look secondary. But if you dumb down Superman to make everyone else look good, that's no better. And besides isnt being better than us sort of the point of the character? Isnt he the best of the best and the person other heroes aspire to be? And there are stories out there that showcase Superman in all his glory without taking away from others. You dont write Superman down, you write everyone else up. You show them at their best and show why they're worthy of being at Clark's side, rather than dumbing Clark down so the others are relevant. That's been a big problem of mine for years; Clark being written as less powerful, less intelligent, and just "less" so that others look good next to him.
Anyway, there are a few factors to look at really. One being his homeworld. Krypton was so far ahead of us, their children would have to be smarter just to keep up. Morrison touched on that a bit in Action and there is real life research out there that shows our children are being born smarter than we are. Advancement of the species I suppose. I mean, my kid is doing stuff in Kindergarten that I didnt do until first or second grade. As we learn more we squeeze more information into the kids. And throughout the Silver Age Superman was a scientist and explorer. So there is a precedent for it.
And if you look at Clark's worldview, its an odd mix. At a young age he travels to the 30th century and finds a bright future waiting. So he's got this massive, big picture worldview, but to his mind, he is not building the future. The future is already happening, he is just doing his part to make sure we get there. It's very humble yet everything he does is focused towards that big picture, ultimate end.
And then there's the background at the farm. Clark believes in hard work and being hands on. He's probably the only reporter out there who still uses a pen and notepad rather than a tablet. So he has that old school mentality to him as well.
Personally, I see Superman as being a sort of super-mechanic. I could see him spending a day at the Fortress and rebuilding a classic Mustang while at the same time trying to develop a device that can see and record the same energy wavelengths he can. To him there's almost no difference and it's all hands on. Hell he likely forges the parts himself. And its likely a hobby moreso than anything else. I would imagine that had he grown up on Krypton he would have done well for himself in whatever career he ended up in but I doubt he would ever rise to the amazing genius levels of his father.
Do I see him building machines to help defeat his enemies? No. He's not Batman. He doesnt have a device waiting under a sheet somewhere for the next time Solaris shows up. And he's not the sort of guy to share his technology and discoveries with humanity either. It's humanity's job to evolve along their own path. He's not going to interfere with that. Will he share his tech with the League so the Watchtower is better equipped to detect and handle threats? Absolutely. And Batman does the same, and J'onn has shared his native tech too. And Palmer's tech and Magnus' tech and Steel's are all mixed in there as well. Like the League itself, the Watchtower is better than the sum of its parts, even though the individual parts are pretty amazing on their own.
Myself, Adkal, and others who are in favor of this sort of thing are likely thinking along the lines of All-Star Superman. There, Clark had some amazing devices. The Time Window and the Super-Serum and the Cosmic Anvil just to name a couple. And I like that. It adds a fantastical nature to the character that very few superheroes can match. It all helps make Superman bigger than life, which he should be. And Clark was smart enough to figure out what Lex's ultimate plan was and prepare counter-measures. That's how I see Superman using his intellect.
He doesnt have the highest raw IQ on earth (though he's still likely one of the smarter men around). And there are plenty of people who are better than he is at their chosen fields. Im sure Clark does not understand the physics that Ray Palmer uses as the Atom. And Magnus' developments in robotics are likely as inspiring to Clark as Clark is inspiring to everyone else. Same goes for Steel and Im sure Clark wishes he was as clever and smart as Lex is. But Clark should be more than a super strong jock who's answer to every problem is "punch it until it goes away." That does a disservice to the character and the readers.
I can see Clark using his tech to streamline his work as Superman. He should be the ultimate multi-tasker and anything that he uses (like advanced comms systems) are there to help save lives. If he can hack into emergency channels and let the cops and hospitals know of a threat before they would otherwise find out, then those people are better able to save lives when the dust settles. That I can see. Putting on a power suit or something? Not so much. Again, Clark is a hands on sort of guy and if he can solve a problem on his own he's going to do it. But he should still be clever. He should be able to figure out what someone like Lex is doing and prepare for it.
Again, All-Star Superman. He doesnt need tech to help him beat up villains. But using his tech to explore the universe? Absolutely. Using his tech (a little) to help save lives as he flies into battle? Sure. Just so long as he does not become reliant on anything but his own two fists and his own mind, he's good. As soon as he starts needing Phantom Zone projectors to handle problems all the time, then its gone to far.
That just isn't true. I own every appearance of every New God in every comic book, elseworld or not. No one knows Darkseid better than Orion. And he knows him through and through, as only blood can.Most of the 'pantheon' know nothing about Darkseid (other than him being 'evil', a source of torment, and seeking the ALE) and, frankly, are more geared towards maintaining a status quo rather than actually stopping him - since the only one who can truly do that is Orion.
Sure, and I don't mind if there is some little bit of crossover, but putting Superman in a position of authority over the New Gods in regards to their MAIN FOE is absurd, and reductive. It's tantamount to Superman giving Hal Jordan advice on how to defeat Sinestro, or mapping out strategies for Batman against the Joker. Or, for that matter, Orion coming in and telling Superman how to defeat Lex Luthor or Brainiac.You'll have no disagreement with me on that, but in a shared universe such as the DC one there will be overlaps.
Yes, but he's not just some god of War, he's a god of a very specific TYPE of war, a very specific MINDSET, the counterpoint to Kalibak's brutal, simple minded savagery. He doesn't just 'punch' stuff. I recommend heartily that you go and read some non Superman centric appearances of the New Gods, because it really sounds to me as if you're basing your assessment on the work of Loeb and Starlin.Orion is wholly different to the inhabitants of New Genesis. Although they love him and embrace him he's not one of them. He's the God of War and although his Motherbox, along with Highfather's teachings and the companionship of certain New Gods, helps to sooth aspects of him, he is, and remains, the God of War.
War is not some simple minded thing.
More than that it's INTELLECTUAL.War isn't just physical, it's psychological, too.
Sure, of course, but that isn't ALL he does, that's not even 1/10th of what the battle between he and Darkseid is about. These are wars of IDEOLOGIES. The New Gods are LIVING IDEAS, they exist on a higher plane, they fight in ways and with weapons that are beyond comprehension, in a noumenal realm.And he will (and does) punch Darkseid.
Because at what point do you stop? If he's building devices that let him peer into other universes and he's using his free time to keep tabs on every potential threat in the universe, you've turned him into a super powered Batman + Mr. Fantastic + Green Lantern.In what way? How does having and using analytical and observational technology make him a 'one man army'?
I don't think that's what the character is about, and I think it gets hard to write stories for someone who is so consistently 'on the ball', so to speak.
It's okay that Clark is a success story as much because of his friends and influences as he is because of his own innate abilities. I tend to think, in fact, that this is a large part of the character itself.
He gets it well enough. He's not a researcher, he's NOT a scientist. His father being a scientist does not mean that he should be, anymore than his father being a brick layer would make him well suited to laying bricks. I don't think it's in his nature to over analyze everything, everywhere. That's Batman. Superman is smart, brilliant in his way, but that doesn't need to be every way.But it is in his nature to seek to understand and, having been blasted on numerous occasions by Darkseid, he would want to understand what those variable eye-blasts do.
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I do agree that Clark shouldnt be brilliant in *every* way.
Still maintain that a degree of the old scientist/explorer aspect of his character should be brought back though. But the fears of the Super-Bat-Lantern thing are certainly justified. That's what I would be afraid of it turning into too. But I dont think that's what most of us are looking for.
Originally Posted by adkal‘Currently established’? Are you referring to the nu52 version? Or is this a generalisation?Originally Posted by Desaad
Existing in one plane doesn’t mean he can’t see what happens on others.
Originally Posted by adkalWhich bit isn’t true? What you posted pretty much agrees with what I’ve said...Originally Posted by Desaad
Again, I’m not putting him in any position of authority, I’m merely putting forward an investigative approach he might utilise (which is one which, as far as I am aware (please correct me if I’m wrong) none of the New Gods has ever done).Originally Posted by Desaad
No, it’s not. It’s merely someone using their head and, where need be, sharing that information with others who could use it.Originally Posted by Desaad
As for Brainiac, didn’t Orion try to give some advice to Superman about him in the aftermath of Panic in the Sky? Something along the lines of ‘let the New Gods take him to New Genesis’...
I thought Starlin was well-regarded when it comes to the New Gods...(or is that Simonson?)Originally Posted by Desaad
At a certain level, though, that’s all besides the point: we can’t see and process their encounter on the ‘true’ level, so our brains re-jig things to something we can handle – so what we see are punches, etc.Originally Posted by Desaad
Originally Posted by adkalWhich is what he becomes, on a multiversal level – see DC One Million, centuries down the line...Originally Posted by Desaad
You’ve jumped to the end and skipped the process.Originally Posted by Desaad
Originally Posted by adkalGetting hurt by them doesn’t mean he understands them; it doesn’t mean he knows what the Omega Sanction does, or the ‘erasing’ aspect adjusts time, etc. He’s been told the effects certain versions of the blasts have but that doesn’t equate to him ‘getting it’.Originally Posted by Desaad
He’s an investigative journalist so, yes, he’s a researcher.Originally Posted by Desaad
Pre-CoIE, he was. Post-CoIE, he dabbled here and there. All-Star, he was. Red Son, he was. Heck, even SBP put together an energy convertor without any formal training or instruction. Having a return of aspects of that isn’t something that makes other characters redundant.Originally Posted by Desaad
I don’t think it’s in his nature to not seek to understand something, even at a basic level.Originally Posted by Desaad
I understand you feel I’m ‘stepping on the toes’ of the New Gods with the idea that Kal might put together a device that allows him to see the results of the various occasions Darkseid used the Omega Effect, etc but, frankly, the creation and implementation of such a device would be a long and very protracted process – retrofitting a two-way mirror into a viewer into the Phantom Zone would probably be easier...(besides, if Batman can have something which can triangulate Poison Ivy’s pheromones...)
And as for the ‘big brother’ scenario you put forward, that’s taking things to an extreme – and we’ve already seen the effects of him watching over the world 24/7, and I don’t think any of us want him to go down that path.
Yeah, gotta agree Clark tries to understand everything.
I think its an extension of his sensory abilities. You gotta figure, the guy can see into spectrums we need machinery to see, and likely some we dont even know about. As a kid/teen growing up, seeing all these positrons and electromagnetic waves floating around that no one else can register, how could you not want to understand what you're looking at? Its not like he could ask Ma Kent about something he's seeing. Taking that further into adulthood, I can totally see Clark discovering a new energy wavelength and saying "Huh. Wonder what this is?" and then start tinkering on a machine to help him figure it out. Or at least dig into the Fortress' databanks for an explanation.
I would bet that goes double for the rare occurance he comes upon something that can hurt him. That's a fairly rare find really, so I imagine for him it's a surprise perk of the job. "Damn, that guy actually hurt me! When this fight is over I have got to find out what that is!" Curiosity for the win yknow?
Dude is totally a back-yard mechanic. Growing up on the farm, I bet he had to help Johnathon repair all kinds of stuff. Farmers dont just take the tractor to the shop right? And given his parents were two smart people, among a race of smart people, his experiences seeing all manner of strange things, and his knowledge of the future, how could Clark not be into tinkering?
It's always nice to see him using his brain. Some people seem to think that he's of average intelligence, when they think of someone creating tech they think of people like Batman. Though really, Supes has created some very advanced technology. He's no Doom or Reed Richards, but he gets by.
Though for me, it would make sense for him to mostly let the technology of Earth progress at it's own natural rate. Otherwise people might come to rely on him a bit too much. They might even begin to blame certain things on him. Like, why hasn't Superman cured cancer? Why hasn't he ended world hunger?
Last edited by Surtur; 05-09-2012 at 09:30 AM.
A woman can move a lot faster with her skirt up than a man can with his pants down.
I still like the idea that the last thing he does before leaving earth forever is to upload the basis of Kryptonian science into all of earth's computers though. It's his final, lasting gift to humanity that will force them to work together, even create new technologies just to understand some aspects of the Kryptonian data. I like to think that this final gift is what truly propels the world into the United Planets setup we see in the 31st century. I figure that would be the kind of thing the world would remember him for, not for punching Metallo in the face a trillion times.