It was established in an answer to another question that Sheldon from Big Bang Theory was wrong to say that Superman doesn't have enough space to gently decelerate Lois when he catches her and a helicopter and that she would be sliced in three by his arms.

Are there any other scenes in the Superman films where this would apply? Where superman catches someone and slows them down or speeds them up so quickly that we would expect them to be hurt, but they are shown to be generally unhurt.


It's difficult to determine canon in the Superman franchise. However, in at least a few of the comics Lex Luthor has speculated that Superman is able to fly because (biologically) he can create gravitic fields around himself. This is apparently the result of evolving on a heavy-gravity world.

Not only would this explain how he is able to fly, but potentially also why he's able to pick up a bus from one of the corners without the full weight of the bus twisting and ruining it at the point he makes contact. His hand isn't really holding it up, but the gravitic field he extends outward is holding it at all points simultaneously.

This might make it possible to decelerate someone in a gentle fashion even when there isn't enough room to do so in a more normal fashion.

It explains many other things as well. Not only could it make him bullet-proof, but it might be able to make the clothes that he wears bullet-proof.

If this is an acceptable canon explanation, many bizarre and counter-intuitive events in the Superman franchise become more reasonable.

  • If Superman can create arbitrary gravitational fields that extend into the objects and people he touches then he would indeed be able to accelerate or decelerate a person as suddenly as he wants without hurting them. Acceleration purely due to gravity, (assuming the g-field is uniform) just feels like weightlessness, no matter how strong the field is. 120mph to zero in one millisecond would be fine.
    – bdsl
    Feb 17 '14 at 19:56
  • On the other hand, "Gravity Man" Just isn't as impressive as far as names go...
    – Zibbobz
    Oct 21 '14 at 15:54
  • 1
    @bdsl no, acceleration purely due to gravity would feel the same as high G-force, as the name implies, which certainly does NOT feel like weightlessness
    – zipquincy
    Oct 21 '14 at 16:09
  • @zipquincy: Don't let Sheldon hear you say that.
    – Beta
    Oct 22 '14 at 5:13
  • Acceleration purely due to gravity is called free fall and it does feel like weightlessness. It's what the astronauts in the space station experience - the Earth's gravity is pulling on them about as hard as it's pulling on us on the ground, which keeps them orbiting earth rather than flying off into deep space. It's also what you experience briefly when you jump.
    – bdsl
    Oct 23 '14 at 21:50

What if Superman taps into the speed force or some equivalent that allows him to instantly bleed off inertia like the flash can. The moment that Lois comes into contact with him or with his field all inertia is dampened.

Also, like in Star Trek how they have Inertial Dampeners that keep people from splatting against the wall when the ship takes off at warp or comes out of warp.

  • This doesn't seem to answer the question asked.
    – Valorum
    Apr 29 '18 at 13:47

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