In recent years, we’ve noticed a growing trend that rubs us Superman fans the wrong way. For whatever reason, a lot of people act as if Superman has the same IQ as Bizarro! This is probably due to the recent influx of media that pits Batman against Superman – often giving Bruce Wayne the edge because he’s “smarter than Superman.”
Now, Batman’s proven that he’s a genius and is smarter than most of DC’s pantheon of heroes and heroines – but so has Superman. The Man of Steel’s brain is like a supercomputer – even his dog is smarter than the average human! As evidence of the Man of Tomorrow’s intellect, we’d like to introduce you to ten of Superman’s greatest inventions.
10 The Expunger
Years ago, someone thought to give peace-loving, life-cherishing Superman a gun. Not merely a handgun or a rifle, mind you – they gave him an amalgamation of chainguns that’s so large, you’d need superstrength to even think about carrying it! The Expunger is one of many kooky creations that come from Superman: At Earth’s End.
This comic is also the story wherein Supes looks like Santa Claus and fights twins clones of Adolf Hitler. Yep, the Expunger is actually one of the tamest things to come from this story. As ridiculous as this gun is, it’s still a powerful weapon in Superman’s hands. Our gripe lies in giving Clark Kent a gun in the first place!
9 Anti-Kryptonite Suit
When the modern person finds that they have a glaring weakness, they work to overcome it to the best of their ability. That’s what separates us from our cave-dwelling ancestors, and will hopefully lead to a better tomorrow. Naturally, it only makes sense for someone as clever as Superman to do the same!
To combat his vulnerability to Kryptonite, Superman created a metallic suit of full-body armor. While wearing this suit, Supes completely negates his weakness to Kryptonite! There’s one problem, though – he has to constantly use x-ray vision to see! For this suit to be effective, Supes had to pass on installing eyeholes (opting for a tiny mesh screen instead) – an idea that would only sound clever to DC’s writers during the Silver Age of comics.
8 The Super-Chess Bot
The Super-Chess bot honestly would give any of a run for our money if we tried to win a game against it. For Superman, however, it’s a toy that he created purely out of boredom. The Man of Steel gave the Super-Chess bot a “super-electronic brain” (whatever that’s supposed to mean), allowing it to think “at the speed of lightning and [plan] a million moves at once!”
Even Magnus Carlsen, the current World Chess Champion, would struggle to beat the Super-Chess bot – if he managed to win at all! Unlike the last two entries, there’s nothing wrong with the Super-Chess bot. However, it’s far from Supes’ most useful or creative invention.
7 Superman Robots
After creating the Super-Chess bot, it only makes sense that Supes would make mass production his next step. But Kal-El wasn’t content making a smorgasbord of chess champions – he decided to create an army of androids with powers similar to himself!
We’ve always thought that Superman robots were a funny concept – like, why does the Man of Steel need bodyguards? Yeah, we know that he occasionally uses them to patrol when he’s off duty – as well as defend his secret lair (more on that later) – but Superman robots are still a funny concept. Most modern Superman writers seem to agree, as we rarely see these things around anymore.
Super-steel seems like it’d have a whole host of useful applications all across the board; it’s an incredibly durable metal that the Man of Steel invented during the Silver Age of comics. As you can imagine, Supes displayed the usefulness of Super-Steel in the most over-the-top way imaginable; letting someone ram a tank into it!
With Super-steel, buildings would no longer crumble during earthquakes or tsunamis. Cars would also remain intact, even in the nastiest of crashes. In truth, the problem isn’t with Super-steel, it’s with us; there’s a high chance that plenty of people would abuse Super-steel and commit crimes that they otherwise couldn’t get away with.
5 The Golden Flower
Thousands of years into the future, Superman will attain godlike power and take up residence inside our sun. He’ll work tirelessly to make sure that Sol doesn’t die out before it’s supposed to – and that humanity will be prepared when that time eventually comes. This version of the Man of Steel – dubbed Superman One Million by his admirers – will watch over Earth without intervening more than he needs to.
In his spare time, he’ll also create this priceless Golden Flower in honor of his adoptive father, Jonathan Kent. The Golden Flower is indestructible and will never succumb to the effects of time – making it a perfect symbol of Pa Kent’s spirit, as well as anyone else who chose to help others when they could’ve walked away.
4 The Super-Elixir
As beautiful as Superman One Million’s Golden Flower is, you can’t use it to protect yourself or anyone else. That’s where the Super-Elixir comes in. Take one sip of this concoction, and you’ll gain the Man of Steel’s powers for a day! Clark gave the first batch to Lois Lane during the All-Star Superman miniseries, turning her into Superwoman for 24 hours.
Lex also got his hands on the elixir, which gave him Superman’s powers but also allowed him to view the world from Clark’s perspective. The experience humbled Luthor so much that he wept and gained a greater appreciation for humanity and Superman. In other words, Super-Elixir is a literal version of what the Golden Flower symbolizes.
3 The Fortress of Solitude
Do you remember that secret lair we mentioned earlier? Eh, we ought to stop playing coy about things – we’re sure that everyone knows about the Fortress of Solitude by now. In most stories, Superman builds the Fortress of Solitude himself. Even in the stories wherein in Kal-El uses Sunstone crystals to do the job for him, he almost always upgrades it later on.
Simply put, we’d be remiss not to mention the Fortress of Solitude in this article – it’d be like dismissing the Batcave if this article were about Batman! The FoS is Supes’ home away from home and a symbol of the sort of indestructible, high-tech homes everyone could someday live in.
2 An Artificial Heart For The Sun
This invention is the reason why Superman goes to live inside the sun. Near the end of All-Star Superman, Clark flies into our sun and builds an artificial heart that will keep it from dying for the foreseeable future.
We can’t even imagine how many joules of energy it takes to power the sun! If Supes were able, he could potentially use technology similar to this artificial heart to power whole cities! Perhaps he could even create a version that energizes entire countries or even continents!
1 Earth Q
In the end, all of these other inventions pale in comparison to Earth Q. The fact that Superman created an entire realm is impressive in and of itself. But here’s the kicker: Earth Q is our world, implying that Superman created our universe!
Grant Morrison, the writer of All-Star Superman, favors these sorts of meta-textual ideas – crack open a copy of Flex Metallo if you don’t believe us. Morrison isn’t trolling with Earth-Q, either: he had Clark create a world without a Superman to see if it could flourish. To Kal-El’s delight, Earth-Q (our world) managed to evolve into something amazing without ever needing a Man of Tomorrow. Why? Because we have each other – which is greater than one Superman could ever be.
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