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  1. #1
    Cavilling Metropolitan Self-DCeit's Avatar
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    Default Kryptonians and yellow sunlight exposure

    I know I'm not the first one to have noticed this, that even though it took Superman a good number of years of yellow sunlight exposure to get to his current power levels, all a Phantom Zoner/renegade Kryptonian/what-have-you from Krypton has to do is catch a few rays and up he goes, lifting freighters, blasting away with heat vision and boasting some brand spankin' new invulnerability.

    My question is: Has any writer ever addressed this discrepancy? Any kind of explanation, like adult kryptonian metabolism adapts quicker to yellow sunlight, or something? Was Kal-El rubbed with kryptonian sunscreen before he was put in the rocket, leading him to absorb less sunlight? Or is it just another one of those "let's sweep this detail under the carpet for the sake of the plot" contrivances?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Coyote2010's Avatar
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    I am not sure, but I do know that only recently did I hear that Superman was some sort of battery.

    In the past, I felt like Yellow Sun Light was just an on switch. 2 seconds or 20 years and a Krytponian is super. I read on message boards that even though he is a science hero, yellow sun radiation meant that Superman suddenly tapped into a godwave, intrinsic field, quantum phsyics force or some sort of science magic force of the universe.

    I don't know, but I like it like Speed Force, Odin Force, Power Cosmic, or Source energy... Superman taps into Super and so do other Krptonians.
    Last edited by Coyote2010; 02-02-2013 at 03:06 PM.

  3. #3
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    Coyote2010 is right, in the Silver Age it was treated like a switch, and Red Sun light turned the switch off immediately. Post CoIE DC started using the "solar battery" explanation for his powers, but for some reason writers kept using Red Sun light in the old way to immediately turn his powers off. Thus we got things like swords with "Red Sun" blades that could cut Kryptonian skin in Supergirl even when she's otherwise fully powered, Kryptonians dying in space from asphyxiation when suddenly exposed to Red Sun light in WONK, and so forth. It would be nice if DC decided sunlight worked one way or the other now that they've rebooted, but for right now it works in whatever way is most convenient for the writer.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Superlad93's Avatar
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    Well right now red sunlight is very gradual and seems to take his powers one by one in the new 52 (Action comics 15-16).

    As far as other kryptonians: Xa-Du is the only other proven kryptonian humanoid to hit the sun but his situation is not normal. Xa-Du is a phantom and due to that his powers are only dictated and limited to how strong his will is. He is not affected by red or green kryptonite or by red sunlight (Action comics 15-16). He does however have all of the normal super kryptonian powers.

    Krypto: Krypto seems to have the same powers of a humanoid kryptonian. He got his powers instantly but that could be because Superman flew him into the upper atmosphere to save him (Action comics 13) so he could have just gotten a boost. He's hurt by green k just like Superman

    H'el: is pretty much unknown right now.

    Superboy: may not even work with the sun

    Supergirl: enhanced and has been orbiting a yellow sun for maybe 20 years but still has the body of a teen.


    But one thing to take note is that even though Superman got his powers the slowest he still seems to be the strongest by a good margin (aside from the unknown factors of H'el). So there still seems to be some use for actually growing up with the sun.

  5. #5
    Cavilling Metropolitan Self-DCeit's Avatar
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    I didn't know some of the stuff you guys posted. Thanks. So I guess we can chalk it up as a contrivance pre-Flashpoint and TBD post-Flashpoint?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Coyote2010's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Self-DCeit View Post
    I didn't know some of the stuff you guys posted. Thanks. So I guess we can chalk it up as a contrivance pre-Flashpoint and TBD post-Flashpoint?

    Wait, I am just talking about stuff I've read on line and made up too! The absorbing yellow radiation stuff is used in a science kind of way too way back, that Super force stuff is just as much made up as anything. I just like what I read once on the old DC message boards and applying how lots of Superman types from Dr. Manhattan to Irredeemable seem to be powered.

    Lots of pre crisis comics talk about him aborbing rays too, so the battery stuff is not entirely new, it just seemed to work quicker always. When I read silver age stuff, supergirl, despite being 100 pounds and 1 foot shorter than superman, is just as powerful. So not only exposure time, but battery size doesn't seem to matter, once upon a time.

  7. #7
    Cavilling Metropolitan Self-DCeit's Avatar
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    I see. Thanks for elaborating, friend.

  8. #8
    Elder Member Mat001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Self-DCeit View Post
    I know I'm not the first one to have noticed this, that even though it took Superman a good number of years of yellow sunlight exposure to get to his current power levels, all a Phantom Zoner/renegade Kryptonian/what-have-you from Krypton has to do is catch a few rays and up he goes, lifting freighters, blasting away with heat vision and boasting some brand spankin' new invulnerability.

    My question is: Has any writer ever addressed this discrepancy? Any kind of explanation, like adult kryptonian metabolism adapts quicker to yellow sunlight, or something? Was Kal-El rubbed with kryptonian sunscreen before he was put in the rocket, leading him to absorb less sunlight? Or is it just another one of those "let's sweep this detail under the carpet for the sake of the plot" contrivances?
    At the time that "Man Of Steel" was written, it was John Byrne's intent to not have Clark be Superboy. This was going to be a reflection of the early Golden Age stories, where Superman didn't have all of his powers at the outset. Here, Clark would have all the known classic powers, but they would not be at full strength until after becoming an adult. With the retcons brought on by "Birthright" and Superman #200, the door for other Kryptonians was open. In Supergirl's case, she was in a ship that had yellow solar lamps that gave Kara her powers upon emerging from the ship. In the aftermath of "Infinite Crisis", things had changed. Clark did develop his powers slowly at the start, but had all of them by the time he was fourteen and first began to use them as Superboy. The Phantom Zoners seemed to gain their powers quickly, while it took only a few days before the Kandorians were up to speed when "New Krypton" began. Those few days were when Jonathan's funeral took place.

    In current continuity, things are different. Clark's powers were there, but he had yet to push himself to the point where he can be at full power.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Self-DCeit View Post
    I know I'm not the first one to have noticed this, that even though it took Superman a good number of years of yellow sunlight exposure to get to his current power levels, all a Phantom Zoner/renegade Kryptonian/what-have-you from Krypton has to do is catch a few rays and up he goes, lifting freighters, blasting away with heat vision and boasting some brand spankin' new invulnerability.

    My question is: Has any writer ever addressed this discrepancy? Any kind of explanation, like adult kryptonian metabolism adapts quicker to yellow sunlight, or something? Was Kal-El rubbed with kryptonian sunscreen before he was put in the rocket, leading him to absorb less sunlight? Or is it just another one of those "let's sweep this detail under the carpet for the sake of the plot" contrivances?
    It's probably a maturation issue and not an exposure issue.

  10. #10
    Cavilling Metropolitan Self-DCeit's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input, guys. So essentially, it works however the writer deems it more convenient for the story, and the 'on-off' switch variant seems to be the narrative tool of choice. Oh well, maybe one day we'll get an explanation from the horse's mouth.

  11. #11
    ..for whom the bell tolls The Frozen Reptile's Avatar
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    A question: As our sun is technically white and only looks yellow due to our atmosphere; how should Superman's powers be changed in the books?
    "Make yourself comfortable, I haven’t time to attend to it." - With these words, a legend was born.

  12. #12
    Cavilling Metropolitan Self-DCeit's Avatar
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    Think you're smart? DC is way ahead of you, pal:

    Click image for larger version. 

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  13. #13
    Senior Member adkal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superlad93 View Post
    Supergirl: enhanced and has been orbiting a yellow sun for maybe 20 years but still has the body of a teen.
    Her powers still aren't stable - when removed from direct exposure for a prolonged period she seems to weaken and then rely on an 'internal' source.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mat001 View Post
    ....while it took only a few days before the Kandorians were up to speed when "New Krypton" began.
    Kandorian adults. The kids had, at most, low level abilities, with most having no (noticeable) enhancements. As the war kicked off some of the kids were shown to have certain abilities (hearing and vision) being triggered - likely due to the heightened stress levels).


    (Personally, I'm of the view that diet plays a key role, coupled with the basic Kryptonian (compensatory) metabolism, and then a sprinkle of Sol)

  14. #14
    Senior Member the Sun God's Avatar
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    Am I the only one who likes the original version in which the Kryptonians have powers even on their home planet?

  15. #15
    Senior Member adkal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the Sun God View Post
    Am I the only one who likes the original version in which the Kryptonians have powers even on their home planet?
    Only if the powers were AC1 level, or thereabouts. Otherwise, the reason the yellow sun element was brought into play becomes a necessity again.

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