When you think about the prototypical superhero, it’s easy to think of Superman. The Last Son Of Krypton is the example to which all subsequent heroes are held, and his vast array over powers inspired every hero that followed… Welcome to Ten Things!
Whooshman-Bicarbonate Films, in conjunction with ‘An Amateur Comics Historian’, and mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent, Presents:
TEN SUPERS WHO TOGETHER MAKE SUPERMAN!
10) STARLET – Super-Strength
H-Dial possessor Vicki Grant went through dozens of identities, with powers ranging from freezing to flying to a magical spyglass, but as Starlet she possessed merely a good strong arm. Of course, superhuman strength as pioneered by Superman back in ’38 implies a level of invulnerability anyway (to avoid harm from punching solid steel and such) but that’s the kind of discussion that will unravel every comic book of the last 80 years, so… I b’lieve I shall postpone that conversation.
9) OUTRUN – Super-Speed
Superman’s speed is second only the The Flash in most iterations of the DC Universe. As a member of the Guardians Of The Globe, from the pages of ‘Invincible’, Lily (Last Name Unknown) fills the role of “super-speed guy.” (Seems like every super-team has to have one, be it Quicksilver, The Flash, XS or Charlie Hustle.) Outrun is one of the Guardians who survived fellow hero Robot’s successful attempt to take over the world and wipe out crime and injustice, but has not, as of this writing, joined him in ruling the planet.
8) HERO – Invulnerability
The Man Of Steel gets his name from the impenetrability of his alien skin. Alongside Superboy and an informal group of superhumans called The Ravers, Hero Cruz traveled the universe, participating in an intergalactic rave and fighting evil as necessary. With the help of Rex The Wonder Dog, greatest hero of the DC Universe, and his Achilles Vest, providing him with an impenetrable force shield, Hero made a good showing of himself, until The Scavenger (the super-villain from whom Hero stole the vest) arrived looking for revenge.
7) THE MIGHTY HUMMINGBIRD – Flight
Superman may not have been the first comic character who could fly, but he’s definitely the Ur-example, setting the precedent for dozens of flying types to come. A loving parody of the Silver Age Atom, Ray Palmer, Alan Laurel fights crime in Circle City. When duty calls, he joins other heroes (Ultiman, The Knight Watchman, The Beacon, The Blitz and more) as the legendary Round Table Of America. Later in his career, he gains the ability to reverse his shrinking powers and become the giant-size Red Roc, a transition that leaves him without his wings.
6) BIG CHILL – Freeze Breath
Of all the Kryptonian powers, the ability to freeze things using super-cold breath is perhaps one of the most nonsensical, given that we’re dealing with a humanoid solar dynamo. Still, it’s a power shared by the Necrofriggians of planet Kylmyss, one of whom had his DNA sampled by Ben 10’s Omnitrix. Using that DNA, Ben is able to transform himself into Big Chill, the greatest superhero ever to share his code name with a Kevin Kline movie!
5) STARFIRE – Solar Energy Absorption & Release
Speaking of solar-powered dynamos, the use of solar energy to provide superpowers is not limited to the Kryptonians. Princess Koriand’r of Tamaran gained such an ability thanks to the experiments of the nefarious Psions, allowing her to make her way to Earth as the heroine known as Starfire. Though Superman uses his stored energy as heat vision, Starfire releases hers as concussive “star-bolts”, a step up in both coolness of name and explosive potential.
4) CYPHER – Omni-Linguism
During the Silver Age Of Comics, Superman was able to speak every language spoken on planet Earth fluently (as well as Kryptonian, Interlac and a few other alien tongues) thanks to his superior computer brain. The much-maligned Doug Ramsey, Cypher of The New Mutants, possesses this same ability, eventually branching out to speak computer coding languages, demonic tongue and more. In the 80s, Ramsey took a lot of flack for having “useless” powers, but in a modern global/internet economy, he has the greatest powers of all…
3) VISI-LAD – Enhanced Vision Powers
Rhent Ustin is one of the more obscure members of the Legion Of Super-Heroes, serving at the Legion Academy as well as joining the team during the ‘Five Years Later’ stories in Volume 4. With telescopic, microscopic, hypnotic,
turbomatic, Hydramatic, Greased Lighting! and other forms of super-vision, it’s kind of a shame that he never made it to the LSH big leagues…
2) HYPNO-MAN – Super-Hypnotism
One of Robby Reed’s H-Dial transformations, he has the ability to hypnotize people with the spinning disc on his costume. During the Silver Age, Superman’s power of super-hypnosis was seldom used, and that mostly as a plot device to keep knowledge of his Clark Kent identity secret. Either way, it is undeniable fact that Hypno-Man’s costume is one of the most perfectly conceived in Dial H history…
1) VOICE-OVER – Super-Ventriloquism
Another seldom-used power of the Golden and Silver Age Superman, super-ventriloquism defied explanation and often the laws of physics, allowing Superman to throw his voice over vast distances and even through airless space. As a member of Hero Hotline, street-level hero Andy Greenwald’s ventriloquism is somewhat less impressive, although it should be noted that he’s good enough with vocal powers that the existence of his invisible sidekick Fred is still disputed.
Feel free to follow along @MightyKingCobra for more Ten Things madness on Twitter (or check out the full archive here!) As with any set of like items, these aren’t meant to be hard and fast or absolutely complete, as Superman has a dozen more powers we haven’t even considered…
Either way, the comments section is Below for just such an emergency, but, as always: Please, no wagering!
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