When Superman uses his heat vision, can he measure exactly where he wants to hit someone? And how far can he expand his heat vision? Is his heat vision invisible to the human eye? I know we see it in the films for the audience to know that it is his heat vision is coming out.

  • I don't know about range off the top of my head, but I'm pretty sure it can be visible OR infrared depending on what he wants. I believe it also has pinpoint (or even microscopic) accuracy and has been used to target objects inside other objects (such as internal wounds)
    – user31178
    Mar 17, 2015 at 5:57
  • In one Justice League cartoon, when Superman went bad for a while his heat ray being suprisingly invisible was one of the plot points. Maybe will try to look it up later, though I don't know enough DC to provide a full answer besides that.
    – Deltharis
    Mar 17, 2015 at 12:17
  • See also a great answer with additional information at scifi.stackexchange.com/a/131109/4918 "Can Superman focus his heat vision to a microscopic level?"
    – b_jonas
    Feb 14, 2017 at 16:38

3 Answers 3


Yes he can target it with very precise precision. No, there is no stated upper limit. Visibility depends on the medium and plot demands, it has been shown to be visible and invisible, as a line and as a point. Sometimes it is shown for the audience sake.

One example is Superman vs the Elite (movie). Sups uses his non-violent (infrared) heat vision to lobotomize Manchester Black through his pupils (real life biology aside). Pin point accuracy, no tissue damage.

A different example is Superman lobotomizing Doomsday in Justice League cartoon. We see the heat vision burning through Doomsday skull. Scars are left, smoke is seen as is the heat vision lasers.

Finally, again the Superman Batman Adventures had Superman shaving with his laser vision bouncing it off the mirror, it followed his eye balls.

  • Also not to forget how Clark healed the internal bleeding Louis was suffering in "Man of Steel" movie with his heat vision(if it was heat vision in the first place)
    – Aditya
    Mar 17, 2015 at 16:09
  • Wonder if he can burn a CD? Also, I would consider a lobotomy an act of violence.
    – Chloe
    Apr 12, 2016 at 8:14

How does it work- in Action Comics volume 1 (new 52) Superman says "my eyes don't just absorb radiation, they emit all kinds to" meaning that his eyes could manipulate the electromagnetic spectrum, beyond what humans perceive as visible color.

Can he direct it- yes, it would technically work the same way as someone focusing on something. But he could focus his sight in ways humans can't. He blanketed a large (a beach) area with heat vision in Superman/ Batman: Supergirl, and he focused his sight through retina to lobotomies someone in Superman vs the Elite.

Would a human be able to see this- it depends on the writer. Grant Morrison had him use invisible heat vision during a fight with the Ultra Marine Corpse . Man of Steel made it obvious.

And if a movie has invisible heat vision, they could use an object glowing with heat.


By saying heat vision you had given it away now we know it has something to do with infrared radiation which we perceived as heat and the visible wavelength which allows us to see. Honestly I don't know the answer to your question because superman usually do the interviewing not the other way around.

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