They don't call him Superman for nothing. With super-strength, flight, super-speed, and various "visions", the mild-mannered reporter known as Clark Kent is practically invulnerable — except when he's exposed to kryptonite or battles Doomsday or forgets to tightly put the covers on the trash cans. You don't want to be around Lois Lane when that happens.
For the most part, these powers and abilities beyond mortal men are what the reading public expects when they see Superman in comics, television, and they movies. What they don't expect is super-makeup, super-hypnosis, or super-bathroom skills. Nevertheless, Supes had some of these abilities over his history. Curious? Here are 10 the 10 Weirdest Superpowers Superman Had That DC Wishes You Forgot About.
10 Rainbow Beams
Give it to writer Silver Age Superman writer Jerry Coleman. When the Comics Code went into effect, he needed to figure out ways Supes could defeat villains without beating the stuffing out of them. The solution, at least for one story in Superman #125, was rainbow beams that shot out of his hands.
Technically, they weren't like the colored beams of Halo, Color Kid, or Rainbow Brite. Instead, they were miniature versions of Superman himself. The power disappeared once mini-Supes sacrificed itself to save his owner from green kryptonite. That chunk of metal, along with the rainbow beams, were never seen again.
Silly Kryptonian, shapeshifting is for Plastic Man, Chameleon Boy, and Rainbow Brite. Why do you need to change your looks to become a yellow-skinned alien? You're taking away valuable shape-shifting jobs from deserving superheroes.
Yet, this is what Supes did early on, at least for two or three issues. After that, the idea was forgotten and hasn't returned in the Silver, Bronze, or Teflon Ages. Yet, for some reason, they bring back super-mustache growing every so often.
8 Telepathic Control
In the same issue where Superman utilized his shapeshifting abilities (Superman #45), he also demonstrated telepathic control over others. In this case, it was one of the alien beings known as the Collectors. He did this for three reasons.
First, he wanted the alien to give up a machine that allowed the Collectors to travel between dimensions. Second, he needed to get out of his cell so he could impersonate the aliens and return to his own dimension to destroy the machine. Third...he's Superman.
To be honest, it's not much of a leap for Superman to have the ability of super-hypnosis when he telepathically controls other people — although, it is a bit redundant. In reality, while it seems silly, there was a legitimate reason for the power at some point. It helped protect his secret identity.
For instance, he used it to save Lois' life in Action Comics #32. After drinking a potion that left her in a daze, Superman, in his Clark Kent guise, used his super-hypnosis to restore her memory. It worked, including the convenient part where she didn't remember him changing into Superman. Thus, he should have called it Super-Selective Memory.
Time to examine the science of Superman. The man is a living solar battery as well as a warm-blooded human. Therefore, his breath should be warm and, being Superman, should smell like lavender. However, he can perform an exhalation of super breath that freezes people and objects?
Why did this power exist in the first place? Supes has the ability to create man-made vortices to move items out of the way, so that should be sufficient. Second, how does the breath get refrigerated so quickly, particularly in battle? If anything, he should breathe fire instead of ice.
Turns out, Superman is a manipulative cad. In addition to his powers of telepathic control and super-hypnosis, he can cause amnesia through his super-kissing. Man, if Lois remembered all the times Superman kissed her ...
Many remember Christopher Reeve's Superman kissing Margot Kidder's Lois Lane at the end of Superman II. Though he didn't want to, Superman kissed her so she would forget who he was after she found out. Wait — yes, that sounds right. But it wasn't the first time the brute did this. He gave the comic book Lois a similar smooch to activate her amnesia during the Silver Age. Today, she doesn't remember much before the Bronze Age.
In DC Comics Presents #58, Supes pairs up with Robin and Elongated Man to stop a band of intangible hoodlums who like to steal money from charity events. When the trio of heroes confront these villains, they use a weapon that temporarily blinds the Man of Steel.
Though without his sight-based powers, Superman is still able to rescue a damaged airplane. He does it by clapping his hands to create, "radar-like shock waves" that allow him to find the plane and repair it.
During the New 52 era of DC Comics, Superman was a 20-something individual. This made him a millennial, hence the reason for wearing jeans, a t-shirt, and sandals when he started his career. So, if he could super-brew his own beer, why didn't writer Grant Morrison bring back the hero's super-weaving ability to crochet a cape for himself?
This isn't super-speed weaving, though it was done quickly. This was putting together a modern wedding dress from the silk of Helen of Troy's marital gown. Not only did Supes weave it, but he also designed it, cut the materials, and added a belt. All he needs to do now is super-bake artisan bread and relocate from Metropolis to Brooklyn.
Superman can change the course of mighty rivers and bend steel in his bare hands. He can turn back time to save Lois from dying. He can tolerate Batman's sour moods without bashing him against the wall. So, why super-walk (basically, just walking) across the U.S.?
Apparently, to find himself. That's what he did in the last major Superman story arc, "Grounded", prior to the New 52 era. Feeling he had distanced himself from the people he was supposed to protect, he walks through a number of towns and cities. Along the way, he plays basketball, saves a woman from suicide, and rescues a mother and child from an abusive relationship. You know, all of this could have been solved by a combination of super-telepathy and super-hypnosis.
1 Flare Vision
"Hey, I have a great idea," they (quite possibly) said in a New 52-based creative meeting. "Let's introduce a new Superman power so he can become human for 24 hours." "Isn't that counter-productive to being a 'super' man?" asked someone else. "You're fired," responded the first person.
Yes, flare vision — Superman's heat vision pumped up to 100. It eliminated everything in its path, including his costume. In addition, his powers vanished while he recharged. During that period of time, he's was as vulnerable as the rest of us poor saps. Fortunately, the new power vanished at the start of the Rebirth era. That, or the post-Crisis Superman decided he didn't want it. Smart idea.