Friday, October 19, 2007

Electric Blue!

One fine morning, Clark woke up and headed into the bathroom for a shave. Suddenly it happened - crackling blue streaks or electricity burst out of his eyes. Lois was stunned, as was the man of steel. After a series of further intensifying unfortunate events, he transformed - into a being of pure energy - a vast energy, that could not be contained. Cadmus and Lexcorp then came up with a containment suit in white and blue, with a new 'S' emblazoned on the the chest and thus was born a new avatar - Superman blue.

Though it was said that this condition was, but a natural evolution of his powers, it came with new powers that were totally unrelated to his classical ones, the biggest change being that he could no longer have powers as Clark Kent. As superman he was apparently dissipating out of the real plane of existence. When he concentrated hard enough, he returned to the real plane of existence as Clark, but minus his powers. To use his powers he had to transform into superman. However, if he were to get injured as Clark, he could transform into superman, dissipate and reform - and this would completely heal him.

The classic lowering of the glasses to see through could no longer be done. In fact, supes no longer had his x-ray or telescopic vision. Instead, he could now see all wavelengths and spectra. He quickly adjusted to this though and still used his super-vision to generate something like a heat impression that he could see.

He was now like a energy absorbing coil with sparks flying all around. Instead of bouncing bullets off his body, he now let them pass through his body - as if he held no form. However the bullets did melt off as they passed through him and he could still protect those who were fired at.

Could he still fly? Apparently not. In his initial transformation, he was losing his ability to fly. Now instead, he could change his physical form and transform into a bolt of lightning and travel at the speed of light (and maybe more). He could reach the supervillain by just making a call and traveling through the phone - like electricity. In some situations, he was actually able to teleport at will. Much faster than a speeding bullet yes.

He got a lot more creative with the electrical side of his powers. He could now scan through computer records by just passing sparks through them. He could become intangible and phase through objects. He could generate high-energy beams, tractor beams and electron beams - not just from his eyes but at times from his palms too. He was able to even change his form, just like spiderman's symbiote costume. He could manipulate magnetic fields, even generate them at will and he used that a lot to his advantage. It seemed that he had the ability to manipulate matter at a sub-atomic level, and the scope of his electrical powers was limited only by his imagination. A big change was that he could now absorb not just solar energy but any kind of energy - it fact it could overload him at times. Excess energy could also cause him a lot of pain. He did have his super-strength and maybe even his super-breath, but the former was not used much and the later, not at all. He preferred to zap his villains instead of punching them out.

His hairstyle and appearance changed dramatically. He no longer had that trademark curl careening over his temple. And he was thinner than ever before - a build that would make him resemble nightwing more than superman. The upper part of his costume bore a fair resemblance to Jor-El and the the other Kryptonians' shiny white outfits. The cape, the leggings and all of his traditional gear were all gone. The 'S' was bigger and had a more futuristic look.

He was still vulnerable to kryptonite and magic though. He was once beaten into unconsciousness by the 'Shahganowahna' - a magical form taken by a native indian fellow using a special rock that granted him the power.

These drastic changes were too much for many a fan and there was a lot of protest about it. But Seigel and Shuster chuckled those away and gave superman blue a lot of room to showcase his talent. In a lot of ways, they allowed the man of steel to use his energy-based abilities to best his villains - sometimes a lot more easily than his previous encounters. A good number of blue's critics converted and blue gained some respect. After decades of complex and convoluted storylines that described his every detail and explored every possibility with him - including death, he finally faced evolution, a new horizon - atleast thats how I took it, since there was no other choice.

And then Hank Henshaw and the Toyman came along...and gave us a devil-may-care Superman red to join the serious and somber Superman blue..And after some 'philosophical discussions' and 'deliberations' the classical supes returned...

Superman blue was lost I thought... A big event like this would not be repeated I thought... But DC cared. Strange visitor was created two years later - making blue a more permanent figure! Brilliant!!!

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