Why doesn't Superman make his own Flashpoint paradox?

  • He knows about the Flash-based one, including the time artifacts
  • He has the ability to time-travel
  • He has said numerous times that he would do anything to save Krypton

He could try to save Krypton while still sending himself and Kara to earth, and thus preserve the timelines, story continuity, and the Kryptonian people. Instead of it being entirely destroyed, the rescued folks could be hidden/displaced.

He could even set a "flag", where his past self leaves an indicator to his incoming present self, and failure to find the flag at the right spot means failure, so desist. He would make steps back in time, and along the track, and leave flags about their progress for his future self to allow improvement, reactivity. If, in the long run, rescuing Krypton was a bad idea, he could go back, and pull one of his own flags, and tell himself "abandon ship".

  • Why wouldn't he think of this?
  • If he did think of it, why wouldn't he do this, to save his entire planet and people?

Options in approach:

  • Go back in time 1000 years before the fall of Krypton, clone some Kryptonians, and put them elsewhere in the universe where they have a decent chance of getting back to the future.
  • Go back in time 10 years before the fall of Krypton, and give his father measurement equipment and material, retrieve just before the destruction, then go back 100, or 1000 years and let them have the data for more than enough time to do all that needs to be done to save it.
  • Pull a Dr. Who and teleport it to another place at the moment of its apparent destruction, or tuck it into a place like the Phantom Zone that is disconnected from the actual phantom zone. Or just tuck all the people into such a place - it is a much better option than being dead.
  • Go rescue his family only, and do it 10 years before Krypton explodes.

There are different "scopes" of saved: family, people, beings, city, planet. They require different scopes of work and strategy. He has options.

Notes:

  • In the movie his parents find it mentionable that the yellow sun will give him super-powers. This suggests that super-powers were not the norm on Krypton. It may be a planet of kryptonite, or the lack of a sun, give the Kryptonians substantially less powers than superman himself.
  • Superman has worn protective suits to retain his powers in the presence of kryptonite. It might be a viable strategy to get his super-powered self to Krypton, retain his powers, and fly back "under his own steam".
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    How would he go about rescuing Krypton? Once he gets there, he has no more power than all the other Kryptonians on the scene, right? What can he do that those old Kryptonians couldn't have done for themselves? How would he even save himself and get back to Earth? In another rocket ship? – user14111 Feb 21 '17 at 18:43
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    If you've seen Flashpoint paradox, you must realise that Flash spent 10 minutes saving his mother, and the next hour undoing the mess he created. Can't speak for the comics, but the point of the animated movie seemed to be "don't mess with time". – Gallifreyan Feb 21 '17 at 19:54
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    He intends to, but he hasn't got around to it yet. When you have time travel, it's never too late; there are no deadlines, so it's easy to keep putting things off. – user14111 Feb 21 '17 at 19:57
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    Bear in mind that there was nothing actually stopping the kryptonians from saving themselves but their own egos. What makes you certain that he could save them, and if he did, would they be the same culture and people? And for that matter, if he can travel through time and save everybody's lives, why not save everybody is Auschwitz? There comes a point where you just need to move on and build a better future rather than try to resurrect the past. – Broklynite Feb 21 '17 at 22:19
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Four Reasons

1. Krypton's Red Sun

Under a red sun, Superman's abilities are reduced to human-like levels. Depending on who's writing the story, it could take anywhere from a few seconds to a day or so but either way, it's unlikely he'd be "super" enough to do anything helpful for very long.

2. Kryptonian Skepticism

While the details surrounding Krypton's demise change from iteration to iteration, it's generally understood that it was Kryptonian pride/skepticism/ignorance that allowed the planet's destruction. Despite Jor-El's pleading, no one believed they were in any danger until it was too late. I don't see what a de-powered Superman could do to change public perception that Jor-El didn't already try.

3. It's Insanely Complicated

I realize we're talking about Superman, the guy that can basically do anything, but the logistics of implementing one of the solutions you mention are no walk in the park. Go back and read Booster Gold #5 (Feb 2008) as an example of just how hard it can be to screw with time to save 1 person who was shot a few years ago, let alone traveling hundreds or thousands of years back to save an alien civilization responsible for its own demise. There are so many unknowns and variables involved in cloning, hiding a whole planet in the phantom zone, etc. that the likelihood of success is very low.

4. Super Morality

The most important reason, if we're being honest. Even if Superman could find a reasonable, safe solution for saving Krypton, what makes us think he should? In every DC comics time travel story I've ever read, the moral of the story is always something like:

Don't f*** with time. You'll always regret it.

Every story - Flashpoint especially - ends poorly for those that try to manipulate time. Time either won't let you change events at all, time auto-corrects itself down the road, or the desired changes cause a ripple effect that screw up everything you've ever cared about. Whatever the narrative is, it's never "So-and-so went back in time, changed history, and lived happily ever after."

Because of this, any speedster or time traveler in the DC universe (Flash, Rip Hunter, Booster Gold, etc.) would advise Superman against trying. His above-reproach morality would force him to swallow his own desires - no matter how noble - and let the past stay in the past because he knows changing history would only make things worse.

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    I wonder if the right breed of red-ish kryptonite could overcome number 4. – EngrStudent Feb 23 '17 at 13:33
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    @EngrStudent - It certainly could, I'd imagine. But it'd be hard to generate that morality sweet spot between "Trying to change the past is wrong" and "Who gives a crap about Krypton when you can punch a hole in Lex Luthor's chest?" – TheIronCheek Feb 23 '17 at 14:39
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    Honestly, I think this is a much better question for Supergirl instead of Superman. She'd have even more motivation than Superman to restore Krypton and while she's definitely on the right side of the morality equation, she can be impulsive and immature at times and doesn't have quite the same super perfect, above reproach morality the Supes does. – TheIronCheek Feb 23 '17 at 14:42
  • @ThelronCheek - I put it up, and it was instantly downvoted without comment. I hate when people do that. We will see how the question holds up over time. Personally speaking - I really like your suggestion and see Kara as much more likely to try something there than her cousin. – EngrStudent Feb 23 '17 at 17:15
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    @EngrStudent - If I had to guess, I'd say it got DV'd because of your reasoning listed under "Elaborations". Most of it seems off or completely unrelated to her motivations for saving Krypton. Plus, I probably wouldn't necessarily mention Flashpoint in the question and ask just about time travel rather than referencing a Flash-specific event. – TheIronCheek Feb 23 '17 at 18:37

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