Superman’s super senses defy the laws of science, but the Man of Steel’s vision and hearing still have their limits, depending on the era.
When it comes to superpowers, few heroes in the American pulp lore are as stacked as Superman. The Last Son of Krypton has an impressive set of offensive powers like heat vision and ice breath, but he also has an equally impressive set of passive powers like his super senses. In fact, it is his incredible ability to see and hear at great distances (combined with flight and superspeed) that makes the Man of Steel such a dependable hero. But how powerful are these abilities and do they have limitations? The short answer is … it depends on the time.
Superman was arguably most powerful during his Silver Age era, where he basically had the ability to blow out the sun like a birthday candle. His super senses defied scientific reason, even for the comics. In Super Boy # 167 Baby Clark is causing trouble on the other side of the world, so Martha Kent lures him home by making pancakes, knowing that her son will smell them even on the other side of the planet. But after DC renewed their characters afterCrisis on Infinite Earths, the writer John Byrne significantly weakened the Man of Steel. He could still see and hear at great distances, but his abilities were more ingrained. He could hear a cry for help from the other side of the city, but not from the other side of the solar system. His eyes were like binoculars, but not like the Hubble telescope.
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Over the next two decades, Superman’s abilities grew again in strength as each writer slightly expanded his power levels, until he was practically operating at the demigod level again. Not only could Superman see at a microscopic level (down to the atoms), but he could also see at a telescopic level, meaning he could magnify his vision to see the farthest reaches of the galaxy. In addition to that, Superman could also see in infrared, thermal, and of course X-rays. He could even occasionally perceive ectoenergy, the life force emitted by all living things. But once again, DC found out that its main character had grown too strong for his own good, and again rendered him powerless after another Crisis event. Flash point.
Like its 80s counterpart, New 52 Superman’s abilities were more ingrained and less divine. Her super hearing was again limited and she was frequently exploited by opponents with sound-based powers and weaponry. His supervision allowed him to see within the limits of the city, but not the confines of the galaxy. New 52 Supes was also younger and inexperienced, meaning his abilities would likely have grown stronger over time, but eventually this iteration of the Man of Steel would come to an end, paving the way for DC. Renaissance Superman. How powerful are the super senses of the current Man of Tomorrow? While he certainly hasn’t returned to his Silver Age level of power, writers have come up with clever ways for Superman to use his senses without completely breaking the concept of physics.
While Superman in modern comics can scan a person’s heartbeat like a lie detector, he has to really focus to do so and the range is limited to a one-mile radius. in a Batman / Superman In the story titled “Game Over,” Clark also uses this ability on a macroscopic level, listening to the collective “world pulse” of ambient beats along the East Coast. When the background hum of the human heartbeat increases in a specific area, it is usually a clear sign that disaster is imminent. However, there are ways around Superman’s super audience, such as the tactics employed by the Invisible Mafia, which used code names that could be easily found on a shopping list and intentionally avoided the use of certain “red flag” words. .
Although Superman can sense acoustics far beyond any normal human being, it is a power that he has learned to switch off when he’s not using it (as shown in the movie Iron Man). Since he couldn’t function in a constant state of hyperconsciousness, Clark has to actively listen to get the full effect of his super hearing. And it’s possible to use Superman’s keen hearing against him. In Batman # 42 by Tom King, Poison Ivy takes control of Superman’s mind and uses the Kryptonian to keep an eye on Batman and Catwoman. Realizing that Superman is not in the clearest state of mind, Batman tricks his brainwashed ally into listening closely to him whispering … then casually hits the Man of Steel with a whistle. While whistling wouldn’t normally hurt Superman, it can get pretty weird when his super hearing is fully tuned. And extremely loud sounds can even harm Superman when his super hearing is not active, such as Black Canary’s sonic scream.
Superman’s super essence doesn’t come into play often, but the Man of Steel’s sense of smell nonetheless rises to the level of a bomb-sniffing dog, at one point allowing him to sense a rare element called infinitium in the premiere of a movie in Action Comics (Vol. 2) # 22. While his super smell was more of a Silver Age gimmick, when Superman uses it in modern comics, it’s akin to watching a CSI hound examine a crime scene. But while the Man of Steel’s sense of smell is impressive, his nose is nothing compared to that of his dog Krypto, which can track just about anything or person within city limits.
But of all Clark’s super senses, the most used is his super vision. Combined with his X-ray vision, Superman’s Krptonian eyes give him an intimate glimpse of Metropolis. Although he can no longer see to the edge of the universe, the range of his sight is still quite far away; and it still defies the laws of physics. Although DC still uses the term “X-rays” to describe Superman’s ability to see through solid matter, it has previously been established that his eyes do not emit actual radiation (just a lot, a lot of heat). Rather than bombarding people with cancer-causing optical rays, Superman uses a mix of different ESPs to interpret images through solid matter, although he still cannot see through denser metals like lead.
How powerful are the super senses of the last son of Krypton? More powerful than our Earth brains can comprehend. To be Superman is to be a living god, and part of his divinity implies a certain level of omniscience. You can see people in danger from miles away. You can hear the collective panic of an entire city. But he can’t save everyone 100 percent of the time, because even without his secret identity, Superman is ultimately deadly. His super senses are both a blessing and a curse – he can hear the prayers of millions, but he can’t answer them all. It is worth noting that Superman You can completely turn off your super hearing at any time, but you choose not to because deep down you love to feel connected to the world.
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