Although he isn’t the only superhero with a sun-based healing factor, Superman takes his healing abilities to new (and hilarious) heights. Unlike regular humans, Superman can solve all his vision problems by staring directly into the sun—literally.
For decades, Superman’s entire power set has been fueled by Earth’s yellow sun, just like all Kryptonians. The radiation from the sun charges his body on a cellular level, giving him flight, super-strength, heat vision, and more. This power source comes with its own limitations, of course: if Superman is away from the sun for too long, or if he is exposed to red sunlight, his powers are weakened or even eliminated. The opposite is also true: Superman can release all of his stored solar energy in a solar flare, causing potential devastation. At its most balanced, though, Superman’s relationship to the sun given him strength and peace—and it can even heal him, especially when he gets up close and personal with Earth’s yellow sun.
Superman’s “Eye Drops” Would Kill a Normal Human
Superman shows readers just how “up close” he can get to the sun in 1983’s DC Comics Presents #58 by Mike W. Barr, Curt Swan, Dave Hunt, Gene D’Angelo, John Costanza. During a team-up with Robin and Elongated Man, Superman is hit with a strange ray gun. The “bad guys” hope the ray will completely eliminate Superman’s vision powers, but they have no such luck; instead, Superman’s depth perception is thrown completely out of whack, making him a danger to the others. Being a resourceful Kryptonian, Superman finds a solution to this problem. He leaves the fight and flies directly up to space—saving a plane with his eyes closed along the way—only stopping when he’s inches away from the sun. He heals his eyes by staring into the sun at that close distant, saying to himself: “This should be the equivalent of eye-drops!“
It’s common knowledge among Superman fans that his sun-fueled healing factor is one of the strongest in the DC Universe, but it’s still strange—and sometimes just plain funny—to see the Man of Steel get up close and personal with Earth’s actual sun. In panels like these, he’s practically on the sun’s surface, a truly impossible feat for any normal human by leaps and bounds, and yet he’s making jokes to himself about eye-drops. Moments like this remind readers just how powerful Superman truly is—but also how charming and funny he can be, despite that immense power.
Superman’s healing factor is one of his most useful and powerful abilities, especially when he can get this close to a yellow sun. No doctor would ever recommend staring into the sun, even from the distance of Earth’s surface—but Superman has always been known for upending the rules and doing the impossible.
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