Cleric was an alien missionary.
The Kryptonian Science Council was threatened by the preacher and developed the Eradicator to kill him. It merely incapacitated him, but it instigated a riot that left many dead. Cleric took the Eradicator and left the planet, taking a large portion of his followers with him. Sen-M stayed behind to lead the League of Life.
However, the Kryptonians needed a link to their planet, and without it, they slowly withered away and died. Cleric felt responsible and went into exile. What he did not know was that the Eradicator had become linked to him and prolonged his life.
Some 200,000 years later, he had an opportunity to meet the last survivor of Krypton: Superman, who had been abducted by Mongul, with the Cleric now living on an asteroid near Warworld while communicating with one of the prison guards. Initially the Cleric believed that the idea of a surviving Kryptonian was impossible, using the Eradicator to project the full story of his time on Krypton, but in the process the Eradicator also formed a link to Superman, which allowed the Cleric to learn that Kal-El had escaped Krypton thanks to his father's experiments freeing his son of the genetic bond with Krypton that prevented them from leaving. When the Cleric had a vision of Superman's fight with Mongul, the Eradicator was able to teleport Superman to safety, the new telepathic link also providing Superman with a new costume to replace the one he had lost during his travels in space.
Through the Eradicator's mental link, the Cleric and Superman spoke about their past histories, which included Superman's reasons for being out in deep space; Superman had recently been forced to break his vow never to kill when he executed three Kryptonian criminals from a pocket universe, with his guilt driving him to leave Earth to protect his friends from the danger he felt he had become. Hearing Superman's history, the Cleric assures Superman that his departure has only deprived his world of a great hero rather than sparing it from the threat he perceived he had become, confident that Kal-El would only have killed when he had no other choice to preserve justice. When the Cleric gives the Eradicator to Superman, he rapidly aged and died as the link to the Eradicator extending his life is severed, but assured Superman that he had lived a long life and was content to pass on now. Superman marks the Cleric's grave with his symbol to reflect the impact the Cleric had on him, vowing that he would champion life for the rest of his days.
- 12 Appearances of Cleric (New Earth)
- 2 Images featuring Cleric (New Earth)
- Quotations by or about Cleric (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Cleric (New Earth)