Everyone knows the many standard powers of Superman; fly, super-strength, super-speed, super-breath, invulnerable, heat-vision, etc. Not everyone knows, though, that he didn’t always have many of these abilities. Not only that, Superman has several other super powers that are less used, but still kept in his back pocket for just the right moment when he can whip it out and dazzle everyone.
As the years went on, and writers kept getting more…”creative”…Supes powers were quickly growing and getting more out of control. These little known powers had stacked up over the years until finally DC had to say, “Dammit, that’s enough” and launched the massive Crisis on Infinite Earths event to just level the playing field.
Let’s take a look at some of the lesser known, and therefore more humorous, of Superman’s Pre-Crisis abilities . I’ll include panels of Superman using the ridiculous powers when I can. If you have trouble reading the text, click the images to make them bigger.
Super-Ventriloquism and other voice “powers” – Not only Super-V, he had a whole bag full of voice powers that writers tended to wield at their hip like gunslingers. Superman could throw his voice over great distances and also possessed super-voice-mimicry, which means he could make his voice sound like anyone else. That power must come in handy at parties when you are stuck talking to the guy who won’t leave you alone and keeps asking you to come check out his “sweet van” out in the parking lot. The one painted all white with no windows (aka RAPE van). If you were Supes, you could throw your voice across the room as someone else calling your name and you can get the hell out of there. Nicely done, Superman. Or, you could just punch a hole in the rapist’s face because you are, you know, SUPERMAN.
Super-Mathematics – Super Mathematics? That looks a lot like regular mathematics to me. By the way, Super Douche, isn’t 20 x 16 x 10 = 3,200?
Super-Weaving – Yes, that actually happened. Super weaving. Not weaving at super speed. Super-weaving.
Super-Hypnosis – Apparently this is why no one recognizes Clark Kent is Superman. And it apparently works even when he isn’t concentrating on using it (I guess that’s what makes it super hypnosis?). However, I prefer to ignore this power and assume that everyone in Metropolis is just that dumb to notice they are the same person. Or they really just don’t care.
Super-Telepathic Will Control – In an early issue of Superman where he’s kidnapped by aliens, he whips out telepathic will control, which allows him to override someone’s mind and make their body do whatever Superman wants. If he can do this, then why would he ever need Super Hypnosis?