Sunday, September 6, 2009
I've discussed this topic before both here and here. Maybe this skepticism is just part of my long-running, deeply-studied asupermanist beliefs, but I have to wonder...
Why is Superman depicted as muscular? Doesn't he just derive his super strength from the fact that he is an alien from outer space? Couldn't he just look like Woody Allen or something equally non-muscular and still maintain his super strength?
I mean, the comic book writers already threw out the principles of physics -- of leverage and notions that at least hinted of physical strength when they had Superman go from "leaping tall buildings in a single bound" to actually flying. Flying isn't a strength thing. And yet they never even really try to explain the forward and upward thrust. Superman just went from jumping to levitating and the writers didn't even bother to tell you, the reader, how.
Like we don't care?
From the moment a science fiction book or movie comes out, the immediate response is to pick apart the impossibilities inherent in the science of the fiction. Yet Superman gets a pass?
Heck, even if his skin is impervious to bullets, wouldn't he still be pushed back at least a little by the impact of a projectile fired from a high-powered rifle? The answer is obviously, "No". In fact, Superman can stop a speeding train, though a train obviously has the mass and momentum to simply carry Superman along with its forward motion, should he stand in front of it.
And I'm no mathematician, but wouldn't a normal man's mass be to a train about the same thing as a large bug would be to an automobile? Are we expected to believe instead that Superman has the same mass as a train? And even then, wouldn't the train's forward momentum cause one hellacious crash if it ran into something of equal mass? And Superman, impervious skin or not, should at least end up in the next county after the impact, no?
And if Superman does have this Jupiterian mass, he goes ahead and marries Lois Lane anyway? Are you kidding me? As if the notion of getting carried away in the throes of passion isn't enough to contemplate with a human that can crush a ball bearing between his fingers, now we have to believe that he weighs a few tons? Heck, is there even a comfort setting on a Sleep Number Bed that would allow a superhero with a mass that equals the average 80-car freight train to sleep comfortably? ... much less keep Lois from rolling his way all night as the mattress caves the whole bedroom inward toward him?