Superman's 7 Greatest Superpowers

Which is the greatest of Superman's powers?

Man of Steel (2013) Superman
Warner Bros

Superman is one of the most powerful superheroes ever, because he has a lot of superpowers, but which of them are the greatest? Most superheroes have one or two powers, tops. Superman has more powers than all the original X-Men combined. But of all his many abilities, seven rise above the others. Let's run down the ones that make him the mightiest superhero ever, in order of good to great.

#7 - X-Ray Vision

One of the Superman's most iconic but underrated powers is his x-ray vision.

It's the power to see through most objects. His x-ray vision is an invaluable tool for fighting crime. He can scan everything around him for criminals, people to rescue, and anything else, with just a turn of his head. But, of course, he's too much of a gentleman to look through women's clothes. For a long time, lead was the only thing he couldn't see through. But in more modern stories, Superman can see through that, too. In early stories, Superman's eyes would shoot actual x-rays. That changed, and rightfully so, otherwise he'd be flooding people and objects with tons of radiation, causing cancer everywhere he went. A newer explanation is that his x-ray vision comes from being able to see cosmic radiation coming off of objects. Or something.

#6 - Super-Breath

Another power that comes in handy is Superman's "super-breath." That's his ability to suck in or blow huge amounts of air. He basically can become a human vacuum or create hurricane-force winds at will.

The power is usually explained by his super-strong lungs. You wouldn't think something like that would come in handy that much, but it does. He often uses it to knock over people and heavy objects, including cars. But inhaling comes in handy, too. Superman can hold enough air that he can travel underwater or even outer space for hours.

In one story, he even sucked up a tornado and blew it into outer space. But one side effect of his super-breath allows him to blow air through his pursed lips, which causes the air to come out ice cold. That's what's known as the Joule–Thomson effect, kids. With his "freeze breath," Superman can freeze almost anything.

#5 - Heat Vision

One of Superman's most destructive powers is definitely his heat vision. Superman has the power to shoot extremely hot beams of energy from his eyes. This is usually explained by Superman channeling the solar energy in his body out of his eyeballs. He can control the width and intensity of the beams, so they can be wide enough to incinerate a whole group of super-villains standing close together or narrow enough to perform microscopic surgery. Superman can also fire the beams across hundreds of feet. The beams can be hot enough to melt metal and even rock. He's even used it to shave off his super-strong facial hair.

#4 - Super-Speed

His slogan is "faster than a speeding bullet," and he's even faster than that. Superman has superhuman speed, which lets him run, move, and even fly at hundreds of miles an hour. In some versions, Superman has been able to move at the speed of light and beyond.

Along with his speed comes accelerated reflexes and thought, so he can perceive the world in slow-motion and out-think his opponents. His speed has been compared to the Flash, and the times the two have raced have ended in ties.

#3 - Flight

Now we're getting into one of Superman's most well-known and often imitated powers. In the early comics, Superman could only jump, like in his slogan "able to leap tall buildings in a single bound." It was explained by the fact that Krypton had heavier gravity than Earth, giving him stronger muscles. But in late 1941, Superman's jumping turned into legitimate flying with hovering and changing direction. and he's been soaring ever since. The reasons behind his flying have varied from Superman having telekinetic powers to having his own gravitational field he can change at will.

Regardless of how he does it, what matters is Superman is synonymous with flying. He can fly at incredible speeds, even capable of exceeding the speed of light. He can also pick up and move enormous objects while flying.

#2 - Super-Strength 

Another one of Superman's core powers is his incredible strength. His strength was originally explained by the stronger gravity of Krypton giving him more powerful muscles. Later, it was explained by his ability to absorb the power of the yellow sun, and turn it into energy. Like his slogan says, Superman is "more powerful than a locomotive." Much more powerful. In the early comics, Superman had almost no limit to his strength. He could pick up cars, rip steel, and escalated to lifting mountains and even moving whole planets. In the modern comics, he can't do that anymore. Spoilsports. But he's still really strong.

#1 - Invulnerability

Whenever people complain about Superman, their number one complaint is that Superman is too powerful. He can't be hurt, they say, so that makes him boring. But that doesn't make him boring. It makes him awesome. In the beginning, Superman could withstand anything less than "an exploding shell." Over time, his resistance has increased. Superman's body can take on extreme impacts, high temperatures, and even explosions without even a scratch.  it was explained that Kryptonians were just naturally dense. Like all his powers, that explanation changed. At one point, it was suggested Superman can generate an impenetrable force field around himself.

However it works, it makes him one of the greatest superheroes who ever lived.

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Your Citation
Mitchell, Nigel. "Superman's 7 Greatest Superpowers." ThoughtCo, May. 13, 2018, Mitchell, Nigel. (2018, May 13). Superman's 7 Greatest Superpowers. Retrieved from Mitchell, Nigel. "Superman's 7 Greatest Superpowers." ThoughtCo. (accessed May 26, 2018).