EDIT: 10-23-2012 Added a reference article on Punching power Strength vs Speed
First, I would like to address people that are anti-Physics. Please don't start with the "it's comics, science does not apply." This is very simple physics and it does apply because it's nothing too complex. I am not trying to standardize physics and science into comics, but rather mix them together to explain some key differences to resolve confusion that causes frustration to the battle vets here.
PLEASE DO NOT BOTHER READING IF YOU STILL THINK I'M TRYING TO STANDARDIZE SCIENCE INTO COMICS! I AM NOT.
Now let me begin.
A common misconception in the battle boards is that someone who can lift 100 tons is surely able to punch buildings apart. This is not always true because:
1. Force relies on acceleration and mass.
2. Impact, a integral of force also relies on velocity.
Therefore someone that can lift as much as Superman but doesn't move nearly as fast as Superman cannot punch nearly as hard as Superman. They can lift and grapple as strong as Superman could but they cannot punch as hard as him. Or cause impacts as devastating as him.
But wait, it's not over. Why are super strong characters shown to punch hard? Well there are a number of reasons why:
3. Their muscles and bones are more dense than the material they are hitting. Therefore their limbs do not brake when throwing a haymaker at a wall. If you punched a wall as hard as you could, a lot of the force would transfer back into your bones and brake them. This can significantly lower the amount of force you are trying to deliver to the wall.
4. Their muscles, bones and tendons support their small size so much that they are capable of delivering all their mass into their punches because they know their bone is not going to brake.
5. Their muscles, bones and tendons are probably strong enough to accelerate their mass instantly. This doesn't necessarily mean that they are FTL, it's just that with their stronger and more dense body allows them to throw a snapping like motion better than a normal humans. Therefore I am no contradicting myself from 1-2.
So in summary, this gives a good reason why characters like Luke Cage, Hulk or Max Damage are capable of delivering heavy blows without being much faster than an Olympic athlete.
From this, two arguements can actually be made:
6. This is exactly why the Hulk can never beat Superman.
7. The Hulk actually does move at higher speeds than we think (but no where near speedsters). With the amount of lean muscles the Hulk has, and his muscles he can surely snap and throw his weight quickly. This can be a reason why he's capable of keeping up with some faster people like the Sentry. This is just a theory, you guys can discuss it.
Now it's time to tune into the Flashes. The Flashse abilities allow them to move at ultra high speeds, faster than even Superman. Thanks tot eh speed force, their durability is increased to sustain themselves when moving at super high speeds. Does this mean that the Flash can thunderclap stronger than the Hulk? Or they can even punch with greater impacts than Superman himself? The answer is yes.
Thunder clapping: Essentially they are sonic booms caused by high impacts. I explained what influences great impacts already.
Therefore the Flash theoretically would probably be able to Thunderclap with much more devastation than the Hulk and Juggernaut. An example is how Zoom (whose powers works differently but similarly than the Flashes) causes devastating sonic booms from just clicking his fingers.
Thus, Zoom and Flash can most likely thunderclap better than Juggernaut and Hulk can. Other scans show them punching each other and with each punch causes a sonic boom.
Potentially Punching Harder than Superman
This is assuming that Flash is much faster than Superman. Some people debate that he isn't much faster, but from what I have seen he is MUCH FASER than Superman. Thanks to the Speed force in increasing his durability to sustain his fast speeds, he can also punch with greater impacts than Superman if he punches much faster than him. Mass is almost negligible since they weight very close tot eh same ( Superman @ 225 lbs, Wally @ 190 lbs). Durability during the punch is also very close thanks to the Flash and his Speed force aura. We don't see the Flashes deliver their devastating punch, but what happens when they do? An IMP.
And here Flash explains with physics that his punches moving at the speed of light is equal to a white dwarf star. "Physics 101. The faster an object moves , the more mass it attains, at light speed, my fist hits like a white dwarf star."
Although Zoom is faster than Flash, Flash is still Faster than Superman. Punches at light speeds do hurt Johnny!
Diana trying to claim she is as fast as Zoom... is a matter of her own opinion. Surely, she is not.
That's it for now! Thank you for reading. I may add more.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------Update: March 17, 2012-------------------------------------------------------------------
The Hulk's speed
Here I wanted to discuss how fast the Hulk is. I would like to hear some feedback. Often times we wonder how the Hulk manages to go toe to toe with enemies who have marginal speed advantages over him. Enemies such as the Silver Surfer, Sentry, etc. The first and foremost response we hear from users around here is that it is obvious plot/writer/artist induced stupidity [PIS, WIS and AIS (PWA)]. My proposal is that the Hulk isn't at a speed disadvantage but rather his reflexes and mind set are not on par with speedsters. This proposal sets a means for consistency rather than we claim PWA all the time. Now to further ado, I give scans for us to discuss.
Hulk performs a Thunderclap with such force, the pressure from the sonic boom sends cars and people (through concrete walls) flying:
The amount of speed Hulk would require would be dozens that of the speed of sound. There is absolutely no way someone of the Hulk's stature can perform such a feat moving at normal or even 10 to 100 times faster. It would have to be tremendous. It is absolutely impossible for the Hulk to perform a feat with strength alone.
The Hulk leaps to escape velocity:
For an object to escape the earths atmoshphere, it must have an initial velocity of Mach 34. Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escape_velocity. For Hulk to perform such a feat, his legs would have to accelerate and propel someone of his weight, which is approximately 2000 pounds, at even greater speeds than so. It is absolutely impossible for the Hulk to perform a feat with strength alone.
Objects to the moon:
Back to escape velocity. Fin Fang Foom weighs 40,000 lbs (20 tons). The Hulk's arm would have to propel Fin Fang Foom at those speeds in order to make him escape. Fin Fang Foom actually ended up on the moon which is much further than just escaping the earths atmosphere. Much like a baseball pitchers arm swinging at the same speed he releases the ball, the Hulk's arm would have to be moving at much greater speeds than so. There is absolutely no way the Hulk could have performed such a feat with strength alone.
The Reason (then why does the Hulk have difficulties tagging street levelers at times)
So if the Hulk is so fast, why does he have such difficulty tagging street leveler fighters with great dodging ability such as the Captain America, Spider-man, etc? Part of your answer is that they are great at dodging. How often are they hit with bullets? Not quite often. The other part is the Hulk lacks the ability to speed up his thought process and mindset in addition to his reflexes possibly being a few magnitudes above average. The Hulk's powers stem from being physically amped. His powers do not affect his mindset. A great example would be how Superman and the Flash whom are capable of such feats. Here is a scan.
So what is the excuse? Why is it not PAW when the Hulk fights foes such as the Sentry?
This is a fairly simple answer. It's because the Sentry who we all know moves at extreme super speed with a sped up mindset (collects multiple I-Beams and builds a structure within a matter of seconds) has chose to downplay his mindset to Hulk's levels. Otherwise they wouldn't be able to have a conversation. If Sentry's mindset was sped up to super speeds, he wouldn't be able to understand a word the Hulk said along with Hulk not being capable of understanding a word the Sentry said. This is the sole reason why the Hulk and Sentry and trading blows near evenly due to their mindsets being at the same pace.
Superman, Black Adam and others can battle at FTL
Yes, Superman flew her to the sun at FTL, but guess what, Superman CAN'T battle at FTL.
Read this scan where it describes what happens to Superman's mindset.
His mind is left behind as he flies at FTL. Therefore he does not think or battle at FTL. He's faster than a bullet, yes. But what happens when 100s of bullets are fired?
So how fast can the man of steel move his limbs?
How fast is Superman? Sure he can fly at faster than light (FTL), but can he actually move his body at such speeds?
By speculation maybe he can. But from what we have seen, he cannot. Not like the Flash has.
First I will address this notorious scan of Superman chasing Wally.
People try and use this scan and the calculation above to show that they are running FTL. Now they misinterpret the scan and ignore all the narration and dialogue that Wally states before he approximates his calculation. He says that if he steals Superman's speed and turns him into a statue like he did to inertia, then it the speed and momentum they are moving at would make it so like he is moving much faster than FTL. Don't believe me, I have more evidence.
This is Superman running after Flash, people have used this scan to try and say Superman easily runs at light speed. He is not flying and using his biosphere. Therefore lets accept that he is using his superspeed with his limbs. Look at his facial expression, he is struggling to catch the Flash while the Flash barely seems to exert himself. Now how fast are they actually moving? Here is the scan that people FAIL to post when they are claiming FTL again.
Read what Superman says there. He hears something speaking a hypersonic speeds meaning that the Flash, who can use his powers of the speed force to add speed to almost anything even sound itself, is not running near the speed of light here. Superman running slower than Hypderspeeds, scale how fast someone can run to how fast they can punch and you can at least have a good rough estimate of how fast Superman can battle at. I'm currently too lazy to perform the research and claculations.
Lastly, we know what happens when Barry is serious.
There you go, he can probably run and sprint at around the same level as Black Adam. Someone that can run his legs at Mach 500. Superman has never outperformed Black Adam in speed or moved so fast that Black Adam couldn't see or deal with his speed. He would have to outperform Black Adam at a magnitude of 880000/500 (Light speed is about Mach 880000) in order to be light speed and no way in hell Superman is that much faster than Back Adam.
The Hulk has performed some remarkable feats. Often times it is the common misconception that his feats are performed with strength alone and there is in no way, shape or form that his feats required any sign of super speed. We have blamed plot/writer/artist induced stupidity (PAW) for story lines that involve Hulk going toe to toe with foes who are considered speedsters in their own right. My purpose for this post was to rather than blame PAW, there should be consistency. By taking the time to properly analyze these scans, it is evident that the Hulk does move his limbs at great speeds greater than sound. He just lacks the speedster mindset to control them on levels such as Superman, Flash, Silver Surfer, etc.
Why lifting weights won't increase punching power:
"Lifting weights is a pushing motion. Punching is a snapping motion"
"So how DO you punch?
I won’t go into specifics right now but here are some simple concepts:
- Punching power (damage caused) = acceleration (hand speed) x force (muscle strength & body weight)
- You punch harder by using committing more speed and more force."
" An explosive punch is 99.99% snap, and 0.01% push."