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Headscratchers / All-Star Superman

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  • When Lois tries to poke holes in his claim of being both Clark Kent and Superman, she brings up the time where Superman escorted Clark to a trial. His response: Batman filled in for me. Um ok, HOW?! Superman doesn't wear a mask and Bruce Wayne is a famous billionaire. Even if everyone simultaneously forgot what Superman looked like, they'd still be like, hey what's Bruce Wayne doing wearing Superman's suit? Or vice-versa if they decided to commit perjury by having Bruce Wayne testify at the trial pretending to be Clark Kent.
    • One of Batman's sometimes forgotten talents. In addition to being the world's greatest detective, a genius technician and engineer, a Machiavellian mastermind, and a mixed-martial-arts superninja, he is a master of disguise. Recall his turn as the crazy bag lady in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, for example.
    • Plus they did that all the time in the Silver Age. A lack of diversity has its advantages.
    • As noted on Latex Perfection, Silver Age Bruce has a perfect Superman mask. Which for some reason he wears over his cowl.
    • Even in Post-Crisis continuities, Bruce and Clark look enough like each other that it isn't hard to imagine they could pass for one another given the right circumstances. Take this picture from a very recent comic, for example, which shows Bruce in the Superman costume and Clark in the Batsuit.
    • This also assumes that Batman filled in for Superman. He could have been filling in for Clark, which is a much easier task. And then they would make a convenient switch somewhere inside.
  • Why is Metallo lifting weights? I know he's a cyborg, but I don't think that involves the arms being organic.
    • Routinely making sure he's still in full working order?
    • Metallo is a human mind trapped in a cybernetic body; he has all the neural functions without the sensorial feedback, several times in the past this has driven him nearly insane. Counting repetitions of a boring excercise could help him focus on something else besides the fact that he's a freak. He can't sleep and can't "get bored" either; so his mind is left alone to wonder, but he can't get tired either; so all he can do is occupy his mind with stuff to not go crazy.
  • After Clark/Superman freezes a group of rioting prisoners who are chasing him and Luthor, the Parasite quickly comes along and shatters them. How solidly did he freeze them that they literally shattered? Didn't Superman see how close the Parasite was? While I'm on the subject of that issue, why the hell didn't he find ways to save the numerous guards and prisoners who were killed during the riot? Why did he put the survival of Lex-freaking-Luthor above the lives of all those other men?
    • Actually, he encases them in a frozen shell by freezing the water that got dumped on them by the sprinkler system he activated a few moments earlier. The speech bubbles coming from them indicate that they're still alive and just struggling to move. Furthermore, in the next panel it's clear that the Parasite took a different route, since he's crashing through walls that don't match up to any of the walls in the room with the frozen prisoners. You never see him shatter any of the frozen prisoners. So Superman didn't freeze anyone solid, he just incapacitated them, and the Parasite didn't shatter them, either.
      • Unless you're watching the movie, in which you totally see the Parasite shattering them as he rushes towards the door. Of course, you also see Clark Kent's look of shock, he um, probably wasn't expecting that.
  • If gaining Superman's powers and perspective makes people good, how does Morrison explain the Phantom Zone Criminals?
    • A guess: it makes people living with normal humans good; maybe the Phantom Zone criminals would have become good eventually. Or maybe it makes smart people good, which describes both Clark and Lex, but the Phantom Zone criminals weren't all that smart to start, despite being convinced of their own superiority. Or maybe it just makes Lex himself good, for any number of possible reasons, such as And Then What?.
    • I'm assuming it's partly to do with how long someone has Superman's powers for. Lex's epiphany was a result of Superman accelerating the drug in Luthor's system that gave him Superman's powers until it basically burnt itself out; the longer someone has Superman's powers, the more they gradually begin to see the things that help them take on Superman's viewpoint. Superman is as benevolent as he is because he's had his powers basically all his life, whereas the Phantom Zone criminals (assuming they even had Superman's powers to begin with — many of them will have been exiled there while Krypton was still around) have only had the same powers for what is comparatively a fraction of the time Superman's had them.
    • Lex, for all his numerous flaws, is a cultured man. He was inspired not by the powers themselves, but by the beauty of what he could now perceive; in effect, he was stricken by something that he saw as art, and the meaning of that art. We can assume that most violent criminals would not have the same reaction. Further, Luthor has a way of convincing himself that the way he acts is morally right. When faced with the inter-connectivity of the Earth and the people on it, that notion was challenged in a way he could not ignore. Violent criminals on the other hand, would either explicitly want to cause harm, or be otherwise aware that they are doing evil, and thus it would not have the same effect on them.
    • Or it could only have that effect on people with human sensibilities. Which, in some continuities, is part of the reason Jor-El sent his son to Earth out of all planets in the universe.
    • If I recall correctly, one of the Kryptonian astronauts reffers to the Phantom Zone criminals as "insane". Lex may be a petty, egomaniacal asshole who can't let a grudge go, but he is not insane.
    • Lex is also a scientific genius suddenly getting a flood of new data about the world through his expanded perceptions. Not everybody would be able to fully appreciate what they're seeing the way Lex does.
  • What was Lex's plan? Lex was planning to escape his death sentence with Superman serum. But he got that serum from Superman. But Superman didn't make the serum until his powers had been augmented (including his intelligence) and only did so for Lois's perfect birthday party which he was throwing because he was dying. This was all kicked into motion by Lex fatally poisoning Superman as part of the same plan. We even see that he didn't get the serum until approximately the time of the robot malfunction which again occurred after phase one. So did Lex just somehow anticipate that fatally poisoning Superman would cause Superman to invent a temporary super power serum? Was he originally intending to escape a different way (such as through the tunnel?)
    • Lex was originally happy to die knowing he had caused Superman's impending death. Likely he changed his mind when he found about the serum and saw a chance to get his victory AND escape.
  • So the key to the Fortress of Solitude weighs 500,000 tons!? How the hell did the ledge they were standing on support all that?
    • Ice can support a lotta weight. 15 inches can manage about four tons from what I gather. Since there's likely a few dozen miles beneath that ledge, there's a lot of accumulative lifting power involved. If that explanation doesn't do it for you, Superman might have some Applied Phlebotinum to help out.
    • Yeah, there has to be some Applied Phlebotinum, because for example how does the key not deform when he picks it up, given the tremendous forces involved? For that matter "dwarf star material" is just super-compressed matter (details vary based on what kind of dwarf we're talking about) which should expand as soon as it's scooped out of its parent star, and is no longer being compacted by all the other matter around it.
  • How much of Lex Luthors plan did Superman know at the end? From the dialogue in Issue 12 it seems like Superman knew Lex would get the super serum. If so why would he not stop Lex from using the serum beforehand? If Superman was aware of this why would he allow Lex to be placed in a position were he was able to kill people like the clergyman in Issue 11?
    • Superman also points out that taking on his powers also means inevitably taking on Superman's morality and regard for human life — he just might have underestimated how long it would take Luthor to reach that point. Since the series up to that point has clearly shown that he's getting closer to death and has been a bit swept off his feet getting his affairs in order, we can possibly forgive him a little bit of oversight.