Kal-El, known by his human name Clark Kent, is a reporter for the Daily Planet who secretly operates as the famous superhero Superman.
Kal-El was born in 1979. Shortly after his birth, he was sent to Earth so that he could survive the destruction of Krypton. Kal-El's pod eventually crashed on Earth in a town called Smallville, where he was discovered and adopted by the Kent family, giving him the human name Clark Kent. Growing up in the local town, Clark was instilled with great morals as he began learning about his extraordinary powers. Wishing to use his powers to help Smallville, he worked with childhood friend Chloe to solve various mysterious that would plague the town. Some point after, Clark discovered the Fortress of Solitude and learned much about his Kryptonian heritage as well as meeting scientists Jeremiah and Eliza Danvers, who helped him discover more about his powers.
Beginnings as Superman
Reaching adulthood, Clark moved to Metropolis and, after stopping a plane from crashing, became known as the superhero Superman. Clark then began his career as a reporter for the Daily Planet newspaper, meeting gossip reporter Cat Grant, the no-nonsense Lois Lane, young photographer Jimmy Olsen and editor-in-chief Perry White. Jimmy, who Superman had previously saved, would take the first photo of Superman and be given a signal watch to alert Superman of any danger. Clark eventually entrusted his identity to him alongside Lois. Eventually, Clark developed romantic feelings towards Lois, something which bothered Cat who had the same feelings toward him.
Clark's heroic activities in Metropolis became a spectacle, especially when more powerful and fearsome villains began showing up. Throughout these years, Clark had faced the Kryptonian tyrant General Zod, becoming one of his most feared enemies, Doomsday, the radiation-powered villain Reactron and the extremely powerful Darkseid. Reactron especially became a problem, having been unable to truly defeat each other with Clark almost being killed on one occasion. After these threats, Clark began adventuring outside of Earth and experienced Warworld as well as a Sun-Eater, the latter of which he kept in his Fortress. However, despite Superman's affinity for protecting Earth and his many victories in doing so, there were many who feared him due to his alien and powerful nature. At some point, Clark met Gotham City's masked vigilante Batman, becoming "frenemies" as a result. Their partnership led to the duo beings called the World's Finest, though both had many differences despite knowing each other's identities. Clark also partnered with the billionaire industrialist Lex Luthor, working with him to protect Earth from alien threats. However, Lex's methods and view of aliens caused the friendship to collapse and the two become recurring enemies. Due to this, Lex decided that Superman needed to be rid of and tried many times to kill him, such as causing an earthquake in California. Clark also battled many of Lex's deathtraps and "Lexosuits", making him known as Superman's greatest enemy. It was also at this time that Clark met the Green Martian J'onn J'onzz, knowing him enough to claim that he may be the most powerful being on Earth. However, a falling out occurred when J'onn's discovery of a substance capable of weakening Kryptonians, Kryptonite, led to the decision of him keeping it, something Clark was heavily against. Despite this though, Clark kept J'onn's secret identity as Hank Henshaw safe but retained distaste for his choice.
Finding and Protecting Kara
Now 24-years-old, Clark Kent had began a relationship with Lois Lane. When another Kryptonian pod crash-landed on Earth, Clark shockingly learned that his older cousin, Kara Zor-El, had survived. Learning that her stasis within the Phantom Zone caused her to not age, Clark placed her in the care of scientists Jeremiah and Eliza Danvers, who had helped Superman in the past. As the years went by and Kara grew up, Clark tried to take her to visit the Fortress of Solitude, though she denied his invitation in fear of being reminded of Krypton's destruction.
Once Kara reached adulthood and moved to National City, Clark asked James Olsen, who wished to do more, to keep an eye on her, beginning his new career working for Cat Grant's own company, CatCo Worldwide Media. When Kara rushed to save a plane from crashing, much like Clark in his first year, she decided on becoming a hero and settled on the name Supergirl, coined by Cat Grant. Clark gifted her the blanket he was wrapped in as a baby for her to use as a cape. In Supergirl's early years, Clark learned that his enemy Reactron had appeared in National City and saved Kara from nearly being killed thanks to James alerting him with his watch. However, Clark had to leave immediately after to deal with a disaster elsewhere and later apologised to Kara for interfering, informing her of how proud he was of her recent accomplishments.
When the Queen of Almerac, Maxima, appeared on Earth in search of a mate, she settled on Superman. He denied her advances, causing a rampage across the city that resulted in Superman defeating and handing her over to the D.E.O.. Some time later, Kara's own battle against her aunt Astra and Non forced Clark to get involved. However, the activation of a piece of technology called Myriad led to Clark being affected much like the rest of National City, causing him to fall into a coma. When Kara emerged victorious against Astra and Non, Myriad was deactivated and Clark woke up some time later, thanking Kara once again.
In 2015, after years of warring with Lex Luthor, Superman's battle against him reached a climax when Lex turned the sky red in order to negate his powers. The act resulted in the endangerment of millions and, though he was defeated and imprisoned in Stryker's Island Penitentiary, Clark settled on never trusting the Luthor family ever again.
Working with Supergirl
Clark eventually returned to National City to help his cousin Kara with a failing spacecraft called the Venture. After succeeding in doing so, Clark joined Kara in arriving at the D.E.O. headquarters, where he was introduced to her friends. Kara then asked for his help on a comatose alien they discovered in a pod. Although J'onn's presence as the director of the D.E.O. was apparent, Clark opted to stay for a while to help Kara in the investigation of the Venture's failure. Clark reunited with Cat Grant and met Lex's estranged sister Lena, who's helicopter was later attacked but quickly saved by Superman and Supergirl, making them realise that someone wanted to kill Lena. J'onn later tried to converse with Superman but to no avail, due to Clark maintaining his stance toward him and his decision all those years ago.
Lena was once again targeted, this time by assassin John Corben. Rescuing her just in time, they discovered that Lex hired Corben to kill her and thwarted the assassination. Clark then wrote a positive article about Lena for the Daily Planet, something she was grateful for as she wished to break the stigma of the Luthor family. After the investigation was over, Clark remained for a short while, aiding Kara as the two protected the city from various crimes. However, the time came for Clark to return to Metropolis, leaving Kara upset. Before leaving though, an alert about a suicidal jumper led to the two facing off against the returning Corben, revealed to be the jumper in question. Calling himself Metallo and revealing he was now a Kryptonite-infused cyborg, he attacked and nearly killed Kara. Luckily, Superman stopped him in time and threw him off the bridge. Returning to the D.E.O., an angry Superman confronted J'onn, who revealed that a stash of Kryptonite was stolen months ago. Cadmus later declared war on aliens, forcing Superman and J'onn to work together to learn what Metallo was made out of for Winn to develop a way to protect both Kryptonians. Though they were able to track down Corben, another Metallo was seen in Metropolis. Superman was unable to stop the new Metallo in time as he had destroyed Krypton Park. Using Winn's tech to counteract both Metallos, they were soon defeated, giving Clark a newfound respect for J'onn as a result with the two's broken friendship restored once more. The D.E.O. later handed Superman their remaining stash of Kryptonite as a sign of trust before he left to return to Metropolis to grumpy Perry White, who reprimanded him for being away for so long.
Daxamite invasion and later years
As National City was dealing with an invasion of Daxamites, Clark confronted Queen Rhea as Kara tried to contact him. However, Rhea was ready for him and Clark was poisoned Silver Kryponite, leading to him hallucinating and believing that it was his sworn enemy Zod invading as opposed to Daxamites. Whilst fighting off the invaders, Kara discovered this and was forced to fight him.
Clark, seeing Kara as Zod himself, was soon defeated, though Kara later blacked out due to exhaustion. Kara's sister, Alex, found the two and took them to the Fortress to recover. After doing so, Clark realised what had happened and apologised to Kara before scouring the Fortress's records for any Daxamite weaknesses. Learning that they could engage a trial by combat to stop the invaders, the two returned to the D.E.O. where Clark met the Daxam prince Mon-El, who was the comatosa alien Kara had found previously. Persuaded by the fact that Kara was dating him, Clark approved of Mon-El, who was against his mother's attack on the city. Putting the trial of combat into play, Kara stepped in to challenge Queen Rhea as, through her victory against Superman, she was now the champion of Earth. Clark and Kara then discovered that the challenge was being publicized and the two pleaded with Cat Grant to hold off in order to prevent anyone from getting hurt in the crossfire. Afterwards, both Lena and her mother Lillian Luthor contacted them in regards to a newly made weapon that could stop the invasion. After being explained that the weapon, initially designed to release Kryptonite into the atmosphere, could be modified to release lead, which is toxic to Daxamites, they realised this could mean that Mon-El would die unless he left the planet. Clark then prepared a stressed Kara, who confided in him about potentially losing Mon-El if she couldn't beat Rhea. Clark reassured her, stating that, in every fight, he was fighting for Lois and told her to fight for what she holds dear to as well.
As the trial by combat began between Kara and Rhea, Clark acted as a guard with J'onn, fending off Daxamites when Rhea violated the terms by ordering them to attack the city. Mon-El, Miss Martian and her White Martian allies also joined to help. The trial by combat was later nullified and Kara found herself forced to activate the Luthors' weapon, causing the Daxamite army to retreat. As Rhea died as a result, Mon-El as forced to leave the planet. Clark, before returning to Metropolis, then consoled Kara and told her that he believed she was stronger than her, mainly since Clark wasn't sure if he could choose between Lois and the Earth if he were in her position.
Some time during 2018, following the Daxamite invasion, Superman found himself battling Zod once again. However, this battle led to Clark having to kill him, presumably having no choice.
Following an attack on Earth by the Worldkillers, Clark decided to visit Argo City, which was revealed to have survived Krypton's destruction, leaving Kara in charge of the planet full-time. Taking Lois with him, Clark left in order to experience Kryptonian culture with his people and the two visited its landmarks whilst attending multiple meetings with Argo's High Council. During their time on Argo, Lois found herself pregnant.
Visiting Earth-1 and Elseworlds
Clark and Lois briefly returned to Earth, spending their free time at the Kent farm with Kara who told him about her firing from the D.E.O. due her refusal to reveal her identity. Clark sympathised and felt guilty, thinking he was selfish for leaving her alone to protect Earth. Kara then told him not to feel guilty and, as Clark was getting ready to announce Lois' pregnancy to her, two strangers from another universe showed up, startling Lois. Revealing themselves as Barry Allen and Oliver Queen, friends of Kara during their time in Invasion!, they asked for help due to having their lives switched mysteriously. Clark then allowed them some time to deal with the situation until another man from their Earth showed up to inform them about an android called A.M.A.Z.O. rampaging in their Central City. Kara invited Clark to join them and he accepted, aiding in the efforts of stopping A.M.A.Z.O. with their combined strength. After their success, Clark decided to return to his universe in order to not leave the Earth, and Lois, defenseless. Before leaving though, Team Flash's Sherloque asked him to take an alimony check meant for one of his ex-wives, who resided on his Earth.
As the heroes of Earth-1 and Kara were busy dealing with a man warping reality, Clark found himself once again visited by Oliver, Barry and Cisco whilst in the Fortress, being told that the former two had their powers revoked and lives replaced as the criminal duo called the Trigger Twins whilst Cisco had become a mobster. They further elaborated, revealing that the cause was an artifact called the Book of Destiny and it was being used by ex-Arkham psychiatrist John Deegan, who turned himself into Superman. Deciding to return to Earth-1 to both rescue Kara, who was trapped in S.T.A.R. Labs, and find the Book of Destiny, Clark aided the three and succeeded in saving Kara and Earth-1's Alex Danvers, who had helped her in the process.
The two Supermen, Clark and Deegan, then fought across Central City, though Deegan's lack of care for civilians forced Clark to hold back to save others. This act resulted in Deegan nearly defeating him until Kara arrived to hold him back with heat vision. Clark swiftly grabbed the Book of Destiny and began fixing reality until Deegan recovered and took the Flash, now once again Barry, hostage. The standoff ended when Green Arrow appeared with a Kryptonite arrow, ready to shoot Deegan, though he decided to stand down on Barry's request. Deegan then unleashed a sonic clap, making Superman lose grip on the book, and flew away after repossessing it.
Reality was under threat of a third change by Deegan's hand, giving Supergirl and Flash no choice but to slow down the Earth to give them time to stop him. Clark tried to shut down the idea due to having read that they'd die doing so in the Book of Destiny. Despite this though, the two went through with the plan as Oliver went to confront the being behind the book and Deegan: the Monitor. Clark then left to hunt down Deegan and found himself facing yet another A.M.A.Z.O. as one of the book's creations. However, Lois, wielding the Solar Hammer from the Fortress, had arrived from their Earth alongside Martian Manhunter and Brainiac 5. As Brainiac 5 battled A.M.A.Z.O. and J'onn ensured the public's protection, Superman and Lois battled Deegan together until they were swept off their feet by a shockwave. Luckily though, time slowed down thanks to Flash and Supergirl and Oliver had returned from confronting the Monitor with a specialised arrow that destroyed the book and rendered Deegan defeated and permanently disfigured as a result. Following Deegan's defeat and Flash and Supergirl's return, time returned to normal and Clark was able to catch Lois just in time. The heroes then witnessed Brainiac 5's return with a destroyed A.M.A.Z.O. thrown at their feet.
Returning to his Earth alongside the other natives, Clark came back to Smallville to enjoy the rest of his free time with Kara and Lois. After assuring Kara that she doesn't need the D.E.O. to be a hero, Clark concluded that she's stronger than he could ever be. Revealing Lois' pregnancy to Kara, Clark told her that they're returning to Argo City to deal with the pregnancy and perhaps for a little while after that. Elated at the news, Kara told the two that she'd miss them.
Clark and Lois later arrived at the Fortress for a barbecue, where Clark, awkwardly trying to make the night perfect, proposed to her by turning a chunk of soul into a diamond with his fist. Lois accepted his proposal before he could even finish his sentence. Nine months after the proposal and their return to Argo, Lois gave birth to a son, who they named Jonathan Kent.
Crisis on Infinite Earths
Powers and Abilities
- Kryptonian Physiology: Under the effects of a "yellow" sun, Superman possesses the same potential powers as an average Kryptonian. These include:
- Solar Energy Absorption: Under optimal conditions, this is the main source of Superman's super powers as they are contingent upon exposure to solar radiation from a yellow sun star system. His biological make up includes a number of organs which lack analogues in humans and whose functions are unknown. It is believed that between one or more of these and his bio-cellular matrix, "yellow" solar energy is stored for later use. This allows for the use of these powers to fade when yellow solar radiation is not available instead of immediate failure.
- Heat Vision: Superman can, as a conscious act, fire beams of intense heat at a target by looking at it. He can vary the heat and area affected.
- Super-Hearing: Superman's hearing is sensitive enough to hear any sound at any volume or pitch. With skill and concentration, he can block out ambient sounds to focus on a specific source or frequency.
- Enhanced Vision: Superman's vision processes the entire electromagnetic spectrum as well as allowing vast control over selective perception and focus.
This umbrella ability includes the following:
- Electromagnetic Spectrum Vision: Superman can see well into most of the electromagnetic spectrum. He can see and identify radio and television signals as well as all other broadcast or transmitted frequencies. Using this ability, he can avoid detection by radar or satellite monitoring methods. This also allows him to see the aura generated by living thing.
- Telescopic Vision: This is the ability to see something at a great distance, without violating the laws of physics. Though limited, the exact extent of the ability is undetermined. In function, it is similar to the zoom lens on a camera.
- X-Ray Vision: This is the ability to see through any volume of matter except lead. Supermans can see things behind a solid, opaque object as if it were not there. He can focus this ability to "peel back" layers of an object, allowing hidden image or inner workings to be observed. The exact type of energy perceived—such as x-rays, cosmic rays, or some other energy invisible to normal humans—is unclear. This ability perceives an ambient energy source though, it does not involve the eye projecting a concentrated, possibly toxic, beam to be reflected back from objects.
- Microscopic Vision: This is the ability to see extremely small objects and images down to the atomic level.
- Infrared Vision: Superman can see with better acuity in darkness, and to a degree in total darkness.
- Flight: Superman is able to manipulate graviton particles to defy the forces of gravity and achieve flight. This ranges from hovering to moving in any posture, in any direction.
- Invulnerability: Due to the interaction of his dense molecular structure and supercharged bio-electric aura, Superman is nigh-invulnerable to extreme energy forces. In addition, his extends this protection against toxins and diseases.
- Superhuman Stamina: Superman is able to maintain continuous strenuous physical action for an indefinite period of time. This based on his body converting yellow solar radiation directly to energy, but is limited by physiological and psychological needs to eat, drink, and sleep.
- Superhuman Strength: Superman's strength is augmented by yellow solar radiation interacting with the greater than human density, resilience and biological efficiency of his musculature. His strength is more an act of conscious will on energy fields than actual physical strength. It is this act of conscious will that enables him to perform physical feats that are beyond the mere application force, such as moving a mountain top without said rock crumbling under its own mass.
- Superhuman Speed: Superman is able to move at incredible speed by sheer force of will. This extends to his perceptions and allows for feats such as catching bullets in mid flight as well as covering vast distances in little or no time.
This also confers:
- Super-Breath: Superman is able to create hurricane force winds by exhaling air from his lungs. He can chill the air as it leaves his lungs to freeze targets. He can also reverse the process to pull large volumes of air or vapor into his lungs.
- Longevity: Superman can live longer than regular humans, remaining at his prime as long as he was under the exposure of the "yellow" sun.
- Kryptonian Physiology: Under the effects of a "yellow" sun, Superman possesses the same potential weaknesses as an average Kryptonian. These include:
- Lead: Superman cannot see through lead with his vision powers.
- Solar Energy Dependancy: Superman's abilities will eventually weaken without replenishing his energy reserves with normal (yellow) sun radiation. When exposed to the same red solar radiation as Krypton's red sun Rao, it causes him to lose his powers and stamina within a large amount of exposure until exposure to yellow sunlight reverses this effect.
- Legion Flight Ring: Presumably after encountering the Legion of Super-Heroes, Clark acquired a Legion ring which he kept in the Fortress of Solitude.
- This version of the character is exclusive to the continuity of the Arrowverse franchise and is an adaptation of Superman. The original character was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster and first appeared in Action Comics #1.
- Beginning in Season 2 of Supergirl, Superman and his alter ego Clark Kent were portrayed by Tyler Hoechlin as an adult, Daniel DiMaggio when young, Dylan Kingwell as a teenager, and Lennix James as a 4-year old.
- Superman had a close partnership with Batman, becoming the 'World's Finest'. Their nickname would later be adopted by Supergirl and Batwoman.
- Although not explicitly mentioned, Superman may have battled Mongul due to visiting Warworld. In addition, his battle against Doomsday is referenced, though it is not known if he died and resurrected as a result like in Death of Superman.
- Superman is one of the most experienced and oldest vigilantes, alongside Martian Manhunter and Batman.
- In the Crisis on Infinite Earths event, Superman briefly mentions that he imagined having two children with Lois whilst residing in Metropolis as opposed to one child in Argo City. When the multiverse is restored, Clark learns he now has two children and returns to Metropolis, fulfilling his wish.
- 24 Appearances of Kal-El (Arrowverse: Earth-38)
- 11 Images featuring Kal-El (Arrowverse: Earth-38)
- 4 Quotations by or about Kal-El (Arrowverse: Earth-38)
- Character Gallery: Kal-El (Arrowverse: Earth-38)
- Earth-Prime #6
- Crisis on Infinite Earths Giant Vol 1 1
- Supergirl (TV Series) Episode: Solitude
- Supergirl (TV Series) Episode: Pilot
- Supergirl (TV Series) Episode: The Adventures of Supergirl
- The Flash (2014 TV Series) Episode: Elseworlds, Part 1
- Supergirl (TV Series) Episode: Midvale
- Supergirl (TV Series) Episode: Stronger Together
- Supergirl (TV Series) Episode: The Faithful
- Supergirl (TV Series) Episode: Fight or Flight
- Supergirl (TV Series) Episode: Nevertheless, She Persisted
- Supergirl (TV Series) Episode: Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part One
- The Flash: Supergirl's Sacrifice
- Supergirl (TV Series) Episode: Stand and Deliver
- Supergirl (TV Series) Episode: Red Faced
- Supergirl (TV Series) Episode: The Darkest Place
- Supergirl (TV Series) Episode: City of Lost Children
- Arrow (TV Series) Episode: Elseworlds, Part 2
- Supergirl (TV Series) Episode: Luthors
- Supergirl (TV Series) Episode: Human for a Day
- Supergirl (TV Series) Episode: Manhunter
- Supergirl (TV Series) Episode: Myriad
- Supergirl (TV Series) Episode: O Brother, Where Art Thou?
- Supergirl (TV Series) Episode: The Last Children of Krypton
- Supergirl (TV Series) Episode: Resist
- Supergirl (TV Series) Episode: For Good
- Supergirl (TV Series) Episode: Battles Lost and Won
- Supergirl (TV Series) Episode: American Alien
- Supergirl (TV Series) Episode: Elseworlds, Part 3
Daily Planet Staff member
|Justice League member|
This character is or was a member of the Justice League of America, or the Justice League in any of its various incarnations, sworn by a duty to act as guardians of America and the world by using their skills and/or superpowers to protect Earth from both interstellar and domestic threats.
Legion of Super-Heroes member
Superman Family member