Superman I think gets his powers from the solar energy of a yellow sun. Energy is not infinite, unless the superpower in the DCU is infinite energy. Superman must get his energy from the sun in order to have his superpowers. Therefore, it would be reasonable to think Superman could lose his powers by running out of solar energy from using too much of it. I would like to know if Superman has lost his powers by either overusing or exhausting his solar energy reserves, under a yellow sun, in the comics in the Modern Age (2004-now). It is acceptable to use the retconned Superman after the Rebirth Event of 2016.

Please provide an example. A single example or list of examples is sufficient. I doubt Superman has lost his power, in this specific way, frequently, so I think that this is not a list question as discussed in the Meta, but rather an on topic question that asked for a few limited examples.

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    Superman loses his powers at least one per issue :-)
    – Valorum
    Jan 24, 2023 at 14:33
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    @Valorum They probably do that to give Supes an actual challenge : ). But I was asking for this specific way 🙂
    – user160583
    Jan 24, 2023 at 14:41
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    @Clockwork - He depleted his energy using his heat-vision to power planet-moving engines in Superman Vol. 2 #167, but he was under a red sun at the time. Jan 24, 2023 at 15:51
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    @Clockwork - I have that issue and can confirm that his powers weren't exhausted in that scene. You can see him and Wonder Woman flying upward in the final panel of the second page posted in this answer, and they're still flying on the page after that, which is the second-to-last page of the issue. Jan 24, 2023 at 16:47
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    @Paul D. Waite - The events of the Superman/Aliens crossover were acknowledged within the mainstream Superman books of the time, as shown here. Jan 24, 2023 at 21:12

1 Answer 1


In Superman/Batman #10 - The Supergirl from Krypton, Part Three: Warrior which came out in 2004, as mentioned in this answer as to why Kryptonians are disoriented after using their heat vision, Superman unleashed a very powerful heat vision to get rid of an entire army of Doomsday clones that had just arrived through a Boom Tube on Themyscira.

Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and an army of Amazons are standing ready on Paradise Island, against an army of Doomsday clones that are coming out of a Boom Tube to attack them. It's still day time.

Judging by that scene, we can tell it's still day time, which means Superman is most likely still exposed to the radiations of the sun.

However, in the aforementioned scene during which he used his heat vision, it's visibly darker.

Superman flies in front of all the Amazons, unleashing a widespread heat vision to destroy the entire army of Doomsday clones attacking Paradise Island. The sky is visibly darker.

It's unclear whether or not the yellow light we see in his back is the sun setting down or not. But Superman is visibly tired after what he did, even though there was no red sun nor kryptonite to weaken him.

Superman falls down to his knees on the ground and tells Wonder Woman that be probably cannot do that twice.

But a few seconds later, he was shown to still be capable of flying away, which means he was not completely depleted after his feat.

Superman and Wonder Woman can be seen flying away, after the former wondered where Batman might be.

  • I'm going to leave this answer around even if only partly answer the question (i.e., he did not run out of power, even if it drained him).
    – Clockwork
    Jan 24, 2023 at 16:52
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    Although Thaddeus Howze's answer states that Superman was "momentarily depleted" by this use of heat-vision, the issue itself never says that, and it's open to interpretation in my view as to whether he's on his knees due to exhaustion, or whether it's because he's uncomfortable about the fact that he resorted to lethal measures to dispatch those Doomsday 'clones.' It could be either one, or a combination of the two, but it's far from clear that the reason was exhaustion alone. Jan 24, 2023 at 16:59
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    Incidentally, the Sun was setting in that scene. The sky is darker on the next two pages, which are the final pages of the issue. Conversely, the sky is brighter earlier in the issue. Jan 24, 2023 at 17:02
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    One other thing to note is that these Doomsday 'clones' weren't genuine clones. Batman surmised that Doomsday's DNA must've proven too difficult for Darkseid's head scientist, Dr. Bedlam, to replicate, so he created non-living "animates" using Doomsday's DNA as a "template" instead. As a result, they apparently weren't as durable as the real Doomsday, and Batman was able to blow one apart with explosive batarangs. Jan 24, 2023 at 17:43

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