I've always wanted to know if he can see while he's using his heat vision, and if he can, what does it look like, is everything red, does his vision spectrum change?

Have we ever seen through his eyes while he was using his heat vision?

  • It might depend on heat vision visibility - see scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/84029/… which addresses that issue.
    – Deltharis
    Commented Aug 12, 2015 at 7:06
  • Things bursting into flames?
    – Beta
    Commented Aug 13, 2015 at 1:57
  • @Beta he usually seems to be cutting things in half or melting somthing, not really starting fires.
    – Daft
    Commented Aug 13, 2015 at 5:31
  • Hi. I note you haven't accepted any answers for this question yet. If my answer addresses the question, would you please consider answering it for future viewers? If not, please let me know where I can improve it! Commented Sep 6, 2015 at 5:37

2 Answers 2


It Depends

According to the Superman Wiki page, and more generally, the heat vision page on the Superpower Wiki, heat vision doesn't actually affect one's vision per-se - it is more that it is heat rays coming from the eyes (hence the misnomer 'Heat vision').

However, the below quote form the aforementioned Superman Wiki page explains that:

[Heat vision] was originally considered to be a subset of X-Ray Vision; for example, Superman was known to melt metal with "The heat of his X-Ray vision". As his powers developed and became more defined, however, Heat Vision became distinguished as an individual power.

The ability of heat vision being part of X-Ray vision was introduced in Superman (vol. 1) #59 (July 1949), and later established as a separate power in Action Comics #275 (April 1961) (Source).

The below comic (Superman #38) shows the origin of the heat vision in the form of a 'solar flare':

enter image description here

Hence my title of 'it depends' - originally, heat vision, being a feature of X-Ray vision meant that he would be viewing the world in X-Ray vision rather than normally, but *once heat vision became a distinct power*, it seems there is no change to Superman's vision.

  • 2
    A first person perspective would be more helpful than the wiki article.
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 12, 2015 at 7:31
  • @Richard agreed, but this was the best I could come up with for now anyway! Commented Aug 12, 2015 at 7:32
  • Also, is there any sourcing?
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 12, 2015 at 7:32
  • 1
    Have to agree with @Richard here, but this is still a good answer.
    – Daft
    Commented Aug 12, 2015 at 8:11
  • @Daft if a better sourced answer comes along I'm perfectly happy for you to accept it (in fact I encourage you to!). Currently this is the best evidence I can find, but I'm sure someone else with deeper Superman knowledge may be able to find some supportive or contradictory sources! Commented Aug 12, 2015 at 9:02

If it's truly just heat, there may be a "mirage" effect - that same blurry effect you see coming off car hoods in the summer or a hot fire. Or, if there's an actual red tint to it like we see in the visualization of a heat ray, it could indeed be like Marvel's Cyclops where he sees red:

enter image description here

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