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Just Imagine J.A. Phillips Creating Superman

So, I asked a little while ago what everyone reading my blog would do if it were left up to them to create the DC Universe and its characters… … …Then I had someone ask me what I’d do if I were tasked with creating Squirrel Girl. However, rather than poke fun, I’ll just say this: Squirrel Girl? Best kept exactly as she is. I would never want to tweak or rework Squirrel Girl in the slightest from what she is right now. She’s AWESOME. lol

Anyway, but I figured, if I’m gonna do these, I might as well start from the beginning. So, with that said, I want you all to read along and Just Imagine J.A. Phillips Creating Superman. Oh, and just so you know, I’m gonna type this up more or less like it’s one of those database wikis for DC and Marvel (which you should go check out, btw).


History

Born on the planet Krypton mere days before its destruction, Kal-L and his family found themselves fleeing the planet before it exploded. However, their ship soon entered a hidden wormhole that led to the Sol System, during which the ship was rocked and slammed horribly by the energy ripples throughout the wormhole. While the ship managed to make it through to the other side, even surviving the crash landing to Earth in Nova Scotia, and the force field projected around Kal’s bed stayed up the whole way, his parents were less lucky. They survived just long enough for farmers John and Martha Kent to find the ship, requesting in their dying breaths to watch over young Kal.

As Kal, now adopted under the name of Clark Kent, grew older, he developed a love of mysteries and a desire to uncover the truths hidden in the world, leading him to wanting to become a journalist. However, nothing could prepare him for what he discovered in his teenage years, as he found himself facing his greatest mystery of all: “What am I?” He found himself growing faster and stronger everyday, as well as his sight and hearing reaching further and his mind processing information faster. Finally, this led to him uncovering the truth of his alien heritage, and of his ability to become superhuman by absorbing solar rays.

From that point on, Clark chose to operate in secret as a protector of the innocent, keeping out of the public eye all the way until he turned 27. By then, though, the world had changed. A brilliant man named Gerard Shugel, whose mind had been warped through years of isolation in the cold north and dealing with paralysis, learned of the existence of someone with superhuman abilities and sought to draw him out with massive disturbances to take his body for himself. Deciding he could no longer keep himself hidden, Clark made himself known to mankind as Superman, the Man of Tomorrow, defeating Shugel and putting an end to his plot, though he would now find himself the target of many others who mistrusted him or wanted his powers for themselves.

Powers

Kryptonian Physiology/Solar Absorption: While appearing human, Superman’s cellular structure is actually far denser, more resilient, and more biologically effective than standard human tissue. It can also absorb solar radiation to grant him powers far beyond that of ordinary humans. The exact levels and limits of Superman’s powers differ depending on how much energy he’s absorbed and if he’s in direct sunlight, but according to Shugel’s personal analysis, he can at any given time pull in 140 gigawatts of solar energy while on Earth.

Bioluminescence: Superman’s body emits a golden glow of energy when drawing on his solar energy. The more power power he uses, the brighter the illumination becomes, essentially making him a miniature sun in terms of how bright he is.

Superhuman Strength: While his exact limits are unknown even to him, depending on how much solar energy he has stored in his body, Superman can lift anything from a car to a cargo plane. He can also crush steel with his bare hands, and has enough throwing power to toss an object roughly his own size and weight clear out of Earth’s atmosphere.

Invulnerability: Superman’s durable enough to take gunfire and walk it off without so much as a scratch no matter where it hits him. Ordinary knives cannot cut him, and while bigger and deadlier weapons can knock him around, he’ll ultimately be able to shake off the impact.

Superhuman Leap: Using his strength, Superman can leap extremely far heights and distances. At best, he’s been able to leap 800 metres, just short of the world’s tallest man-made structure, the Burj Khalifa.

Superhuman Speed: While not the fastest runner on Earth, the Man of Tomorrow is nonetheless faster than any non-empowered human being when staying on the ground, and can even outpace some land vehicles. His reflexes are also well-tuned enough to allow him to dodge gunfire.

Flight: While at first only able to leap over tall buildings, Superman soon found himself able to propel himself even further by channeling the planet’s electromagnetic field with his own to defy gravity. Without being hindered by gravity, he’s able to fly at hypersonic speeds, clocking in at over 3300 km/s.

Superhuman Senses: Superman has the ability to see and hear across vast distances, and while this gave him trouble as a child, he eventually overcame it to the point of being able to pinpoint specific sounds while blocking out others and seeing down to microscopic levels and across the entire EM spectrum.

Healing Factor/Longevity: Superman can regenerate damage done to him near-instantly when he’s in direct exposure to sunlight. As such, it’s believed that, no matter how horrendous the wound, if his body is kept intact and exposed to the sun’s rays, he is essentially immortal. The only way to permanently kill him is to keep him out of the sun and/or completely destroy his body at the cellular level.

Super Flare: Superman’s most powerful ability. It allows him to expel mass amounts of solar energy at once, either as blinding flashes of light or destructive blasts of energy. However, the more energy he uses, the more the Super Flare will drain him, leaving him weak and vulnerable until he’s able to recover his strength.

Weaknesses

Solar Energy Dependency: While Superman gains his powers from the infinite light of the sun, the amount of energy he takes in at any given time on Earth has limits, and many of his powers (the Super Flare in particular) drains the amount he has stored inside of his cells. As such, if he’s kept out of sunlight and doesn’t have a constant supply of solar energy, his powers will eventually fade, leaving him with the same base weaknesses as an ordinary human. Also, anyone with powers comparable to his own, however few they may be, have the potential to outlast his solar reserves, provided they keep him from obtaining any more.

Vulnerability to Magic: Because magic can override solar radiation and electromagnetic fields, Superman lacks any sort of protection against magical attacks or enchanted weapons.


 

What’s Different About Him?

Basically, I decided to keep a lot of his back-story the same, with a few tweaks here and there. I decided to go with the original variation of his Kryptonian name, Kal-L, while also making it so that his parents were along for the ride to Earth but died when they arrived, as to avoid the plot hole of why they chose not to go with him. I also made him Canadian growing up because he was created by a Canadian artist, and had him grow up in Nova Scotia to reference the supposed Shag Harbour UFO sighting, and because there’s over 600 farms in King’s County alone. Also, Clark figuring out the truth of his alien heritage on his own helps set up his later deductive and investigative reasoning.

As for his powers, I wanted to put a bigger emphasis on his powers coming from the sun, and having him be a solar-based hero. I thought the idea of him being able to glow like a small sun was a cool idea, plus it restores that idea of him being this shining figure to inspire others. The Super Flare is no longer just a massive solar bomb going off, but a power he can use in a variety of ways. And as for his base abilities, I decided to scale back a bit, having him start off much like he did originally: Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

I decided to change up the suit a bit, with the original concept being Electric Red Superman with a cape. I went from there to coming up with a look a bit closer to his usual attire, but with a red and white colour-scheme to reflect his Canadian heritage. Reason being, Superman’s character and personality should always be seen first and foremost as the product of his upbringing, not of where he was born. His powers are the result of his alien heritage, but he is who he is because of how he was raised on Earth.


 

So, I suppose overall, my version of Superman is more or less the same hero, just with a few tweaks. Really, though, I think that does a lot to show why the character works so well and doesn’t require a darker revamp. But hey, leave a comment below letting me know if you disagree, what you’d do with the character, and so on. I’ll probably do Batman the next time we talk about how I’d create the DC Universe. Next time, though, it’s time for the 600th blog post here on Jyger’s Rant, and I think I’ll take that opportunity to talk about something I don’t usually talk abou-

…Looks like somebody is soooooooooo nasty. Kawoom!

Just Imagine YOU Creating The DC Universe (Comments Requested)

So, this month on Atop The Fourth Wall, Linkara is reviewing issues of Just Imagine Stan Lee, wherein the man himself, Stan Lee, gave his own takes on legendary figures in the DC Universe. Specifically, Linkara will be checking out Lee’s takes on Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and The Flash. Now, he’s already looked at Superman and Batman, and thus far, we’ve got a miss and a hit respectively. Still, even the miss had good ideas, albeit not executed that well, and while Superman came off as a jerk…well, a lot of Stan Lee characters come off as jerks initially, but then develop into better people (or don’t, in the case of Reed Richards and a few members of the X-Men).

Anyway, the point is, looking these over, it’s actually interesting to think of what these characters would be like if they were first put to paper by different people. Sure, we’ve all done alternate universe takes of characters (I’ve done several, actually), but they ultimately wind up bearing resemblance to their mainstream counterparts. What Stan did, though, as far as I can tell, was take the bare bones concepts of the characters (Superman being an immigrant from outer space, Batman being a crime fighter in a batsuit, etc.) from when they were first conceived and went his own way with them. Although, while I say that this isn’t meant to just be another Elseworlds version of them, the map shown in Grant Morrison’s The Multiversity reveals that the characters of Just Imagine are the heroes of Earth 6 of the current Multiverse, but it’s still a radically different take on the characters. So, with that in mind, I wanna ask everyone reading this to just imagine if YOU created the DC Universe. What if YOU were given these simple descriptions of heroes and the ideas behind them, and how would you develop them? No preconceived notions of the characters beyond those concepts, no previously used continuity, just those short descriptions, and maybe some concept art to go by and their civilian names (optional). For now, let’s go with probably the five most iconic of all DC heroes, who started in the Golden Age and are still going strong today: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, and Green Lantern.

Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Superman, and Batman

  • Superman: An immigrant from outer space with powers beyond human beings now having to live among humans.
  • Batman: A wealthy man who is secretly a crime fighter wearing a dark, bat-like costume to scare criminals.
  • Wonder Woman: A princess and emissary of a race of warrior women who wears bullet proof bracers.
  • The Flash: A person (not necessarily a man, since many Flashes have been female) imbued with the power of superspeed.
  • Green Lantern: A person (again, not necessarily a man) with a ring powered by a lantern that can conjure green constructs of anything the wearer can imagine.

And that’s all there is to it. Lemme know what you’d do with any of these heroes based on those basic concepts, or if there are any others you’d like to see added to this list. Ja né!