Smallville Forums

The CW (ended 2011)

Did Clark's Human Education Slow The Growth Of His Powers?

  • Avatar of jedi66

    jedi66

    [1]Aug 8, 2007
    • member since: 06/06/07
    • level: 11
    • rank: Red Shirted Lt.
    • posts: 973

    When you think about it, doesn't it make an unfortunate kind of sense that being raised, and equally impotantly taught as a human would have an adverse effect on the development of Kal-El's special abilities? I'm borrowing this from a post I made in the Supergirl Spin-off thread, but I thought it deserved a thread of it's own.

    When you really think about it, even though it has been taken way too far, and Clark seems to only discover new powers by accident or when something unusual happens to him (like sneezing or getting aroused), doesn't it make sense that an alien who looks human, was raised human, and educated as a human would be limited to a degree by human teachings?

    I mean, here we have a new character, Kara Zor-El, Supergirl, entering the fray, and some people are upset about the fact that she is proclaimed to have all of Clark's powers, plus some new ones. This may seem unfair, but when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Kara was raised and educated on a planet with an advanced alien society. She knew there was life on other worlds, and many different life-forms. She would have been taught what to expect if traveling to certain worlds, and would certainly have been taught about Kryptonian abilities when exposed to a yellow sun. Likewise, when she learned that her world was going to be destroyed, and she was charged with protecting her cousin, Kal-El, it makes perfect sense that she would learn different fighting styles to defend them both, and everything she could about the world they were going to.

    Clark, on the other hand, knew nothing of his alien heritage until he was in his mid teens. He only knew he was different, and that he had to keep that fact a secret. All the while leading up to that revelation, he was taught that he was a human, and prejudiced by human teachings. Humans are flesh and bone, and havecountless limitations. There are no such things as super-heroes, or super-villains. People can't fly. If you get shot, you die. People can only run so fast, and lift so much.Earth is the only planet we have found life on. People cannot shoot lasers from their eyes, except in movies in comic books (the irony of that statement is not lost on me).

    In that context, is it really any wonder that someone raised on Krypton and taught about their abilities and weaknesses would have a tremendous advantage over someone like Clark who essentially came to the USA with a manual written in Russian? He doesn't know his limits or his abilities, and he had no one to teach him, because Kara's ship was thrown off course and she was trapped in suspended animation for more than a decade.

    I understand the flying argument is an old one, but just look at it from this perspective: if you've been taught your entire life that humans can't fly, and you spent most of your life believing yourself a human, would you suddenly just decide that after learning you were an alien that the laws of gravity didn't apply to you. That's no excuse after all this time in the series, but I'm just using it as an example of how a person's perceptions can shape their reality. Kara probably knows the full spectrum of her abilities on Earth, likely subconsciously taught while in suspended animation by her onboard computer. Clark had no one to teach him until the fortress became available to him, and after all the horrible experiences he has had with the Jor-El A.I., can you blame him for not completely trusting the fortress to do something awful to him during his training?

    Just think how different it would have been if Kara's ship had stayed on course, and Kal-El had an older cousin to properly train him how to use his powers on Earth. He would have been Supermanby the age of thirteen. I'm just saying if you are taught to believe things are impossible, lots of times you just acceptthat as fact, even when you learn differently. How many people think that just because we haven't heard a radio signal from an alien planet, we are alone in the universe? What if they have a different means of communicating and don't use radio waves? Or what if the nearest inhabited planet is a thousand light years away, and it will be a millenium before our signals reach them, assuming they can even recognize them? What you learn when you are young shapes what you believe is possible when you are older. Clark was shortchanged by not getting a Kryptonian education.

    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of FreakyDroid

    FreakyDroid

    [2]Aug 8, 2007
    • member since: 01/24/06
    • level: 12
    • rank: Evil Bert
    • posts: 7,363
    It most certainly did. But Superman wouldn't be Superman if he didn't have the upbringing by the Kent's. I don't think education is an issue, because he can read at superspeed and he has a photographic memory. It would be very easy for him to acquire all the knowledge stored in the FoS in just a few years, or maybe even less. So that's not really a big loss for him. Everything that happened to Clark on Smallville went according to Jor-el's plan. It was Jor-El who sent him to the Kent's and it was him who decided to start his training at the age of 16. I guess the reason is that Jor-El wanted Clark to adapt our (human) ways first in order to blend in, and then introduce him to all things Krypton. That makes much more sense if you ask me.
    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of S-Shield

    S-Shield

    [3]Aug 8, 2007
    • member since: 07/26/05
    • level: 21
    • rank: Snagglepuss
    • posts: 1,841
    Plus, no matter how much power Clark had as a child, he still needed people who could protect him and teach him how to deal with the human race. Jor-El needed people who could keep Kal-El's feet on the ground both literally and figuritvely, until he was ready to accept his responsibility. A child with the powers of a god is still just a child.
    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of alpha_Bravo_A_B

    alpha_Bravo_A_B

    [4]Aug 8, 2007
    • member since: 01/29/07
    • level: 2
    • rank: Sweat Hog
    • posts: 59
    it makes less sence for kara to have those powers. Clark has been slowly exploring these new powers. They come to him in growing spurts. You can compare it to learing ones own body.

    Now here comes kara a more adult kryptonian when she left krypton then clark so she should know her body better. That's where you are right. But since clark got his powers from our yellow sun and krypton had a red one kara didn't have these powers when she was on krypton. So instead of a krypton thinking as a human who thinks he can't fly here we have a krypton who thinks kryptionians couldn't fly.
    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of jedi66

    jedi66

    [5]Aug 8, 2007
    • member since: 06/06/07
    • level: 11
    • rank: Red Shirted Lt.
    • posts: 973

    I'm not arguing any of the points you are making in posts 2 and 3, although again, I would point out that perhaps Clark Fears what might subconsciously fear what might happen if he gave himself over to the computer in the Fortress of Solitude given his horrific experiences with the Jor-El A.I. in the past. That thing was not only ruthless but every bit as murderous as BRAINIAC. I recently saw the end of the season finale in which the Jor-El A.I. and the false Kara were trying to lure Clark into the cave. I was shocked at just how brutal it was, seeing it again. Kara was of no more use, so the computer either killed her, or teleported her away and put her in stasis for future use (remember, this was the genetically engineered Kara, not the real one). The Jor-El A.I. created an energy whip (almost as impressive as a lightsaber) and wrapped it around Jonathon's throat, bringing him to his knees and threatening to kill him unless Clark entered the Cave's secret chamber. That computer was one mean SOB!

    That aside, my point is that some of the things that Clark should be doing but aren't can be explained by his learned expectations of what are possible. He doesn't believe people can fly, because he has been taught that it is impossible, so he subconsciously won't allow himself to fly. Likewise, it was only when he sneezed that he learned of his lung capacity being so spectacular, which would never have happened had he not gone to the Phantom Zone and caught a virus. He was probably taught in biology that human lungs hold a couple of litres of air. It would never occur to him, or indeed me until I saw that episode, that the air in his lungs was actually under great pressure. He probably just thought he was breathing the same amount as a normal human when running at superspeed, but doing it superfast (i.e. 7000 breaths per second instead of one). It was actually Chloe that had to convince him that he had the capacity to blow a vault door open in one part of that episode. He thought the idea was ridiculous until he actually did it, but Chloe was so used to strange things from her Wall of Weird experiences that the idea was obvious to her.

    It's actually great that the writers don't take everything too literally in trying to be realistic, otherwise the first time he lost his powers he either would have exploded from the air pressure in his lungs, or he would have caused a tornado from the air rushing out in such massive quantities!

    I'm sure if people think about it, there are probably other things that his human beliefs have caused him to have problems with like his superhearing. Did he really need to lose his sight to have his sense of hearing heightened, or did it just never occur to him to try the limits of his hearing because normal people don't?

    Hopefully, you get my point.

    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of jedi66

    jedi66

    [6]Aug 8, 2007
    • member since: 06/06/07
    • level: 11
    • rank: Red Shirted Lt.
    • posts: 973

    alpha_Bravo_A_B wrote:
    it makes less sence for kara to have those powers. Clark has been slowly exploring these new powers. They come to him in growing spurts. You can compare it to learing ones own body. Now here comes kara a more adult kryptonian when she left krypton then clark so she should know her body better. That's where you are right. But since clark got his powers from our yellow sun and krypton had a red one kara didn't have these powers when she was on krypton. So instead of a krypton thinking as a human who thinks he can't fly here we have a krypton who thinks kryptionians couldn't fly.

    But there is a big difference. In the case of flying, I'm human, and I'm absolutely certain that if I jump out of a flying plane without a parachute, I'm going to plunge to my death. Clark would think exactly the same way. But now look at it this way. Kara's civilization knew about other galaxies, and the effects of yellow sunlight. In addition, she was old enough to not only learn about things like that in school, but given sufficient warning, would have been taught by her father what to expect. And if she has been in suspended animation inside a Kryptonian vesselbeing exposed toyellow sun radiation (think sunlamps like they use for treating seasonal affective disorder), she would have had as much if not more exposure to sunlight as Clark.

    Also, to continue the line of thinking about education, while I know I cannot jump out of a flying plane without falling to my death, I know that if I travelled to the moon, it has 1/8th Earth's gravity, so I could lift a much more massive object, throw things farther, jump much higher, etc. I also know that I would need a spacesuit or I would die from explosive decompression the second I left the airlock. Knowing these little tidbits of information makes a big difference, in that context. Kara has the benefit of being old enough to have learned about Earth, and how to utilize the power it gives her. And don't forget that both her uncle and her father on Kryptonwere great scientists who would have been able to tell her everything she needed to know, and program a computer to assist her in her training as she travelled to Earth in suspended animation.

    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of alpha_Bravo_A_B

    alpha_Bravo_A_B

    [7]Aug 8, 2007
    • member since: 01/29/07
    • level: 2
    • rank: Sweat Hog
    • posts: 59
    but here you are taking in to consideration that kryptonians as an advanced race have been busy colonizing the universe and learning of the yellow sun effects. But seeing as we try to link this serie to the comic clark and kara are the last full kryptonians left and kryptonians couldn't leave krypton for to long. (except in bottles, if someone doesn't get it ask later) so no kryptonian ever thought of having these powers and they consider themself only slightly stronger then us (if at all)and never could think about getting better powers due to a different collored sun
    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of kenneth_velez

    kenneth_velez

    [8]Aug 8, 2007
    • member since: 07/10/05
    • level: 2
    • rank: Sweat Hog
    • posts: 2,290
    The City of Kandor (the bottle city) I remember reading in an ark that there was a different colored sun that altered Clarks power yet again (he couldn't fly and it was telepathy bassed abilities).
    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of S-Shield

    S-Shield

    [9]Aug 8, 2007
    • member since: 07/26/05
    • level: 21
    • rank: Snagglepuss
    • posts: 1,841
    Kryptonians in Smallville almost definetly knew about the powers they should have under a yellow sun. Both Naman, the legendary Krytponian who came to Earth centuries ago, and a young Jor-El had been to Earth and were shown or discussed as have had powers. Even Baren, when he saw that Clark and Raya had super powers noted "So I guess what they say about a Yellow Sun giving you Kryptonian cockroaches powers are true." So it must have been well known. And even if Baren only heard about that fact in the Zone from Nam-Ek or Aytheir, people like Kara from the House of El should have heard rumors, since Jor-El and Naman were from the House of El. So she probably grew up knowing or suspecting that a Kryptonian under a Yellow Sun will have super powers.
    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of S-Shield

    S-Shield

    [10]Aug 8, 2007
    • member since: 07/26/05
    • level: 21
    • rank: Snagglepuss
    • posts: 1,841

    kenneth_velez wrote:
    The City of Kandor (the bottle city) I remember reading in an ark that there was a different colored sun that altered Clarks power yet again (he couldn't fly and it was telepathy bassed abilities).

    You might be thinking of Purple Sunlight, which gave Clark the mental power to create matter out of nothing.

    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of FreakyDroid

    FreakyDroid

    [11]Aug 9, 2007
    • member since: 01/24/06
    • level: 12
    • rank: Evil Bert
    • posts: 7,363
    ^ I haven't read that story. Sounds interesting. Do you know which series was that and which issues?
    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of petef20

    petef20

    [12]Aug 9, 2007
    • member since: 06/16/05
    • level: 22
    • rank: Freak and Geek
    • posts: 2,166
    I think it's acceptable to assume that Kara has some knowledge of what effect Earth's gravity and yellow sun will have on her, hence why she can do stuff Clark can't.
    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of SupermanNYC

    SupermanNYC

    [13]Aug 9, 2007
    • member since: 01/27/06
    • level: 45
    • rank: Swizzle-Bird
    • posts: 18,651
    S-Shield wrote:
    Plus, no matter how much power Clark had as a child, he still needed people who could protect him and teach him how to deal with the human race. Jor-El needed people who could keep Kal-El's feet on the ground both literally and figuritvely, until he was ready to accept his responsibility. A child with the powers of a god is still just a child.
    Thats correct. He had to learn the human ways as well to blend in (Sort of speaking) with others. Learn the human ways and make the right decisions in life.
    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of S-Shield

    S-Shield

    [14]Aug 9, 2007
    • member since: 07/26/05
    • level: 21
    • rank: Snagglepuss
    • posts: 1,841

    FreakyDroid wrote:
    ^ I haven't read that story. Sounds interesting. Do you know which series was that and which issues?

    I believe it was a back up story from Superman #371, August 1982. In it Superman is exploring wormholes in space as a means to move faster though the universe without breaking the time barrier and going back in time. It lands in front of a Purple Sun and retreats, not sure what will happen to his body with purple light. Later he finds he forgot his wallet or something and money magically appears in his pocket. He uses it to stop some bank robbers or something (it's been a while since I read it) and the power fades away later in the day. Good old Pre-Crisis. I'll try to find it and make sure, it's in my room somewhere.

    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of FreakyDroid

    FreakyDroid

    [15]Aug 9, 2007
    • member since: 01/24/06
    • level: 12
    • rank: Evil Bert
    • posts: 7,363
    Thanks. I don't think I'll be reading that though. I'm not such a big fan of pre-crisis stuff.
    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of SupermanNYC

    SupermanNYC

    [16]Aug 9, 2007
    • member since: 01/27/06
    • level: 45
    • rank: Swizzle-Bird
    • posts: 18,651
    S-Shield wrote:

    FreakyDroid wrote:
    ^ I haven't read that story. Sounds interesting. Do you know which series was that and which issues?

    I believe it was a back up story from Superman #371, August 1982. In it Superman is exploring wormholes in space as a means to move faster though the universe without breaking the time barrier and going back in time. It lands in front of a Purple Sun and retreats, not sure what will happen to his body with purple light. Later he finds he forgot his wallet or something and money magically appears in his pocket. He uses it to stop some bank robbers or something (it's been a while since I read it) and the power fades away later in the day. Good old Pre-Crisis. I'll try to find it and make sure, it's in my room somewhere.

    And if its not?
    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of S-Shield

    S-Shield

    [17]Aug 9, 2007
    • member since: 07/26/05
    • level: 21
    • rank: Snagglepuss
    • posts: 1,841
    SupermanNYC wrote:
    S-Shield wrote:

    FreakyDroid wrote:
    ^ I haven't read that story. Sounds interesting. Do you know which series was that and which issues?

    I believe it was a back up story from Superman #371, August 1982. In it Superman is exploring wormholes in space as a means to move faster though the universe without breaking the time barrier and going back in time. It lands in front of a Purple Sun and retreats, not sure what will happen to his body with purple light. Later he finds he forgot his wallet or something and money magically appears in his pocket. He uses it to stop some bank robbers or something (it's been a while since I read it) and the power fades away later in the day. Good old Pre-Crisis. I'll try to find it and make sure, it's in my room somewhere.

    And if its not?

    No, I was right. It was there. In my huge stack of like 100 Superman comics from around the time I was born, which my dad gave me for Christmas. Good old Dad.

    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of olderSVfan

    olderSVfan

    [18]Aug 9, 2007
    • member since: 10/22/05
    • level: 7
    • rank: Talk Show Host
    • posts: 1,836
    Howdoes Clarks "fear or heights" come into play with this whole flight issue? Okay I get it...Smallville is nothing like the superman mythos...but I'm curious. Phobia's aren't learned are they? They just present themselves. So maybe he has learned that humans can't fly and that has detered his kryptonian flight ability...but I'm thinking his "Acrophobia" probably played a part as well! And if so...how did it develop?Anythoughts on this?
    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of S-Shield

    S-Shield

    [19]Aug 9, 2007
    • member since: 07/26/05
    • level: 21
    • rank: Snagglepuss
    • posts: 1,841

    olderSVfan wrote:
    Howdoes Clarks "fear or heights" come into play with this whole flight issue? Okay I get it...Smallville is nothing like the superman mythos...but I'm curious. Phobia's aren't learned are they? They just present themselves. So maybe he has learned that humans can't fly and that has detered his kryptonian flight ability...but I'm thinking his "Acrophobia" probably played a part as well! And if so...how did it develop?Anythoughts on this?

    That's a good question. They never dealt with the "why" of Clark's fear of heights. It was just one of those delicious ironies of the show, like Clark and Lex being best friends. Maybe since Krypton had such high gravity, Kryptonians didn'tclimb that high? That's just me grasping at straws, which doesn't make much sense, since Clark is the only Kryptonian we've seen afraid of heights. Maybe it had something to do with falling out of the sky?

    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of FreakyDroid

    FreakyDroid

    [20]Aug 9, 2007
    • member since: 01/24/06
    • level: 12
    • rank: Evil Bert
    • posts: 7,363
    ^ He didn't seem afraid at all when he fell out of the sky in episode Zod.

    Anyways, it was just an excuse by the writers, and an ironic one at that. Also when Clark was asked what would he become when he grows up, he said that he would do anything that doesnt involve a combination of wearing a suit and flying. Ironic

    Even I have fear of heights, but it's not something I developed because I was traumatized or something. I just am. I'm guessing that's the case with Clark too.
    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.