Superman's flight ability seems second nature to him. It seems like flying for him does not requiremore effort than walking.

Since it seems to be all the same, it there a canon reason why does Kal-el bother to use his legs for walking? Like being conditioned for that, or because flying would either tire him out or make it harder to control his speed? Or does he just do that to make himself more relatable to non-flyers?

  • 7
    Because he was raised right? It's rude to fly when others can't.
    – Paulie_D
    Oct 17, 2020 at 21:04
  • 1
    It may be that dealing with an environment designed for people subject to gravity, while defying gravity oneself, is more effort in terms of concentration and attention than just playing along with gravity and following the course of least resistance.
    – tbrookside
    Oct 18, 2020 at 13:43
  • 2
    It's been in innumerable plot lines how Superman wants to stay connected to the human experience. He wants to stay literally, psychologically, and metaphorically grounded.
    – Blaze
    Oct 18, 2020 at 16:09
  • @Blaze that could be elaborated into a good answer, if you can add some references to movie or comics.
    – Marvel Boy
    Oct 18, 2020 at 16:30

1 Answer 1


You may consider that going back to issue 1 Superman was an extraordinary jumper not a flyer. His strength was genetic from Krypton's high gravity. This was similar to John Carter having super strength on Mars due his Earth gravity strength.

As the character evolved the character started doing vector changes that were clearly no longer jumping and it was eventually depicted as proper flying.

That said I would say flying is something that needs to be turned on. If he doesn't gravity should affect him normally. In other words I do not believe he has to make an effort to stay on the ground - but does have to apply his powers to fly by choice.

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