As per the storyline of Man of Steel, it is said that Superman is able to fly because of earth's low gravity. But how is he able to control the speed at which he flies? How can he hover or accelerate at any given time?

  • this would explain how he would fly on worlds within a atmosphere environment. I like this answer alot. I just thought that since it is shown later in the movie that zods armor is "floating" when he learns to fly that maybe they have in ability to compress gravity into shall we say less than a molecule size part of space under his body and once that space has gathered the amount of gravity desired( Perhaps making/ejecting energy into a part of the empty space around him to add "temporary mass" so as to draw in gravity to a desired level)he could release it downwards which would cause him to sh
    – user5690
    Commented Aug 6, 2013 at 23:18
  • But if this were just a anti-gravity field (which would actually be a electromagnetic field that "cancels" out gravity since physics doesn't allow for gravity to be made repulsive to itself) then what causes the damage to the earth during his first flight? Its clearly shown that the ground under his feet is cracked because of taking off in this manner/method. Also the thing is that unless telekinesis is being shown in the movie to be something that is a field in nature that is controlled by superman on a unconscious level then again the issue would remain why is there such a disturbance to the
    – user5873
    Commented Aug 21, 2013 at 23:19
  • I like to think it's a combination of flatulence and excellent muscular control.
    – Omegacron
    Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 3:36

3 Answers 3


(Shamelessly copied) from Kevin Howell's answer for the "How Does Superman Propel Himself?" question at SF&F SE:

"I think the best explanation for all of Superman's powers is explained by The Unified Theory of Superman's Powers. It basically says that all of powers Superman has are possible if his power is the ability to manipulate, from atomic to kilometer length scales, the inertia of his own and any matter with which he is in contact.

But as far as applying real world physics there is also a great article that describes it on i09 called The physics of Superman."

Here is the excerpt:

Negative mass and positive mass are supposed to fall towards each other, so he feels gravity the same way everyone else does. However, he also feels air molecules all over his body. If he turned them to negative mass, they would push his body upwards. By contrast, if he turned the outer skin of his body to negative mass (or his aura), the air pressing back against it would cause it to push him forward. So Superman uses air pressure and negative mass to fly around planets with atmosphere.
  • This answer is way above my head. I was expecting something along the simpler terms. Thanks
    – Aditya
    Commented Jun 25, 2013 at 6:12
  • @Aditya: You cant expect simple answers for complicated topics! At least when you don't understand the canon.
    – Sayan
    Commented Jun 27, 2013 at 10:50
  • Sure you can Keybrd - especially in the case of Superman whose canon evolved with each passing decade.
    – Nobby
    Commented Aug 6, 2013 at 23:34
  • But how does Supes fly in space? There's no air mass there!
    – NVZ
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 12:22

"Kryptonians are able to manipulate graviton particles, in an unknown and apparently unconscious manner, to defy the forces of gravity. Under one Earth gravity, they are capable of speeds of multi-Mach speeds in Earth's atmosphere. Their control of their flight is very precise and they can perform aerobatic feats such as hovering, flying backwards and even lifting great weights while flying." This is how He does things like this. http://www.fxguide.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/MOS-TRL2-2502r.jpg But in Man of Steel, Kal generates his own gravitational field.

  • Please provide references to back this up. Where is that quote from? A Wiki page? Interview? Other article?
    – Tom
    Commented Aug 10, 2013 at 21:22

Well, in "Man of Steel" you see a disturbance on the ground around Superman just before he takes off each time. So apparently Kryptonians are able to create some sort of anti-gravity field, or perhaps it is a form of localized telekinesis. That would also explain why Zod's henchmen were not able to fly. It would seem that this ability requires a certain clarity of thought or a precise emotional state.

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