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How does Superman shave? Kevin Smith weighs in

- June 3rd, 2013

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As far as comic book fans are concerned, when they’ve had to answer the question: How does Superman, the man with impenetrable skin, shave? The reply has come easy.

Duh, he uses his heat vision and a mirror to get the job done.

But thanks to Henry Cavill’s shaggy look in early trailers for the upcoming Man of Steel, a lot of people – the non comic book kind – have been left wondering: Er, how does he shave the beard?

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To help answer that question, Gillette employed a crack team of comic book aficionados for their thoughts with a video series – How Does the Man of Steel Shave? – that entertains a variety of ways Supes could achieve a clean cut look.

Experts offering their theories include The Big Bang Theory’s Mayim Bialik, Bill Nye, the science guy, and MythBusters’ Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman. But diehard Superman fan Kevin Smith talked to me about a possible grooming routine the Man of Steel could have employed that involves… his spaceship.

Supes, you see, could use a piece of the ship that brought him to Earth to achieve that close shave.

“I first considered the question when I read John Byrne’s The Man of Steel in the ‘80s,” Smith says down the line from Los Angeles. “I never really thought about it, because we were always presented with a clean-shaven Superman. But then in the mini-series it shows Superman bouncing his heat vision off a mirror into his beard and burning it down. When that’s presented to you as a kid, you’re like, ‘All right, I’ll buy that.’”

Over 25 years later, though, the director of Clerks, Chasing Amy and Cop Out has his own idea of how Superman shears his beard: The Kryptonian Rocket That Brought Superman to Earth Theory. (Watch his video below and judge for yourself).

Smith’s theory is unlikely to gain credence with fanboys since it opens up a possible way the Man of Steel could be killed – for good. But he’s happy people are coming to the table with new ideas.

“What’s interesting about the Man of Steel movie, though, is as soon as that trailer came out and you see images of Superman in a beard… the mainstream started asking, ‘Wait, how does he shave?’ It’s interesting to watch the imaginations of the masses get captured by something you knew about a long time ago.”

Smith, who wrote Superman Lives in the late ’90s, calls his participation in the campaign his “booby prize” for being a Superman devotee.

“They were like, ‘You wrote Superman once, so we’ll let you talk about the new Superman and how he shaves,’” he laughs. “But it’s kind of neat to see people having this conversation. It shows you how far comic book characters have come. It’s nice to see people who never really think about comic books… jumping in on the conversation too. It means comic books have gone further than anyone possibly could have imagined.”

Theories from Smith, Bialik, Nye and the MythBusters are available at HowDoesHeShave.ca. And if you don’t like any of their theories, you can share your own.

“People got to vote for me, though,” Smith pleads. “I’ve at least got to beat Mayim for heaven’s sake. Please, she was on Blossom, what does she know.”

I’ll have more with Smith later in the week including his thoughts on why DC should just copy Marvel’s movie strategy, which of his films didn’t get its due, and why Clerks III will be the best movie he ever makes.

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13 comments

  1. Odog Thewise | June 3, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    He uses his fingernails to shave.

  2. Tim OBrien | June 4, 2013 at 4:32 am

    Superman shaves with the crystals from the fortress of solitude that his father left him and explains how to do such on earth …

  3. Will Hutchings | June 4, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Heat vision and a mirror. He did it all the time in the comics, and even in an episode of the 90′s cartoon. Doesn’t get much more official than that.

  4. scrog | June 4, 2013 at 10:54 am

    how does he shave? Jeezuz. How does he clip his fingernails? How does he cut his hair?
    Answer – he’s not real, moron.

  5. Armitage | June 4, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    If his heat vision burned his hair… it would also burn his skin.

    If his ship was “super” too, it wouldn’t have been crunched up in the crash, or how could he even break off a piece? And considering Superman is a biological who gets his powers from our sun, why would people assume his metallic/mechanical ship would too.

    Back in grade school I just assumed he didn’t need hair to protect himself from sun etc, so it simply didn’t grow… This beard throws that out the window.

  6. Mr. Bawkbagawk | June 4, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Last time i looked into superman’s powers he had a thin force field of invulnerability right next to his skin, explaining why his capes would be damaged but his suit [more often than not] would not even have a grass stain. the stubble a clean shaven man would get daily is under this layer, therefore he uses the heat vision and a mirror. for a beard i would think regular scissors could serve until he gets to the stubble.

    Spider-man doesn’t have these issues.

  7. Damnuserid | June 4, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    Superman gets Chuck Norris to stare at his beard and it simply falls out.

  8. Shawn | June 5, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    He uses a razor made from Kryptonite.

  9. Anoop Mahal | June 12, 2013 at 5:34 am

    He uses red solar lamps to become vulnerable for a short time then shaves. Bestanswer.

  10. Andrew | June 12, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    He gets his powers from the sun. So if he goes to to a planet without a yellow sun he can shave in peace.

  11. Dwight | June 14, 2013 at 2:50 am

    He uses supercircular motion with his hands and rubs the whiskers into nothingness.

  12. Ashton Desardins | June 17, 2013 at 10:34 am

    He heats up his finger and uses it like the no no.

  13. Sam | April 13, 2014 at 4:34 am

    His hair should just be that, hair. Like human hair it should be able to be removed with razors, scissors, hair clippers etc.

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