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Quote1 You will give the people of Earth an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time... they will join you in the sun, Kal. In time... you will help them accomplish wonders. Quote2
Jor-El src

Superman (born Kal-El, legal name Clark Kent) is a quiet, noble, and powerful Kryptonian superhero sent to Earth as a child, and growing up to protect it, mainly as a member of the Justice League. In his civilian identity, he acts as a reporter for the Daily Planet in Metropolis.

Origins

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"Goodbye, my son."

Kal-El was born on Krypton to scientist Jor-El and his wife Lara Lor-Van of the House of El in the midst of a planet-wide war on February 29, 1980. Kal was bonded with the Genetic Codex of Krypton, ostensibly making him the planet's future and legacy. Along with a small command key containing an AI of his father, he was sent to Earth in a pod before Krypton's destruction, where he was found on by local farmers Jonathan and Martha Kent in Smallville, Kansas. They renamed him "Clark Kent", and raised him as their own child.

As he grew older, Clark began to develop extraordinary abilities, such as heat vision and super-strength, thanks to his Kryptonian biology's reaction to Earth's atmosphere. He was encouraged by Jonathan to keep his abilities and Kryptonian heritage a secret, out of fear that the world wouldn't accept him. Because of this, Clark grew up to be rather soft-spoken and quiet, but secretly traveled around the world to help those in need, becoming a sort of urban legend around the world as he used his powers to save people from disasters. As he traveled around with his command key, he also searched for more signs of alien life, hoping it could help him discover more about his past.

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Clark learns his heritage

Eventually, in 2013, Clark discovered a military site up in the Antarctic that was attempting to excavate and study a crashed Kryptonian scout ship. He got a job at the site, where he met the spunky and kind Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane and used his heat vision and command key to enter the ship. By plugging in his command key, Clark was able to interface with the Jor-El AI, who told him his history and heritage as one of the last survivors of Krypton. Jor gave him a special skinsuit the ship created, bearing the House of El's crest, and encouraged him to test his powers and help even more people by becoming a hero and symbol of hope for all mankind. He returned to Smallville where he found Lois, now investigating him, and convinced her to leave his story a mystery for the world, despite the two forming a sort of bond. Clark then attempted to begin his new life as the protector of humanity.[1]

Zod's invasion

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Surrendering to the military

Soon after Clark's return to Smallville, General Zod, an extremist Kryptonian military leader who had killed Jor-El, had found his way to Earth with his forces, and revealed himself to the world, threatening the human race to turn over Kal-El or kill them all. Clark turned himself over to the military as Kal-El in order to protect his mother, and while at the military base, re-encountered Lois, and bonded with her further. They grew attached to each other, and after Clark assured military leader General Swanwick that he had posed no threat to humanity and only wanted to help, turned himself over to Zod, who was searching for the Growth Codex to rebuild Krypton. Zod explained that he was planning to use his ship, the Black Zero, to alter Earth's environment to make it like Krypton, decimating all life on the planet, and use the Codex to repopulate the planet with Kryptonians. In an attempt to stop him, Clark returned to Earth and battled Zod in Smallville, where Zod was searching for the Codex. He drove Zod away, and returned to the military to help them prepare for Zod's full plan, and took up the name "Superman".

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Superman battles Zod

Superman delivered the pod he arrived in as a child to the military to be used as a bomb against the Black Zero, which had begun terraforming Earth in the city of Metropolis. After a long battle, they destroyed the Black Zero, and Superman and Zod had a long, violent battle across the city. Several buildings were destroyed, killing thousands and leaving millions homeless. Finally, to stop Zod, Superman was forced to snap his neck, killing him. This shook Superman to his core, and he vowed never again to take an intelligent life.

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Clark Kent at the Daily Planet

Some time later, after Metropolis had begun to recover, Clark got a job at the Daily Planet in Metropolis, using his skills as a journalist to find dangerous situations to help as Superman, and wearing glasses and bulky clothing to disguise him in his civilian identity. It also drew him closer to Lois, and the two became lovers, even moving in together. Unfortunately, the amount of life lost in Metropolis made Superman a rather controversial figure, with some seeing him as a beacon of hope, while others saw him as a monster with unrestrained power only needing to be killed. Ultimately, though, helping people around the world made Clark a more hopeful person, and his connection to Lois, and friends at the Planet, allowed him to not feel quite as lonely and isolated.[1][3]

The Superman controversy

In 2015, Lois and photographer Jimmy Olsen were sent to interrogate warlord Amajagh in Nairomi, Africa. When Jimmy was exposed as a CIA operative by Amajagh's bodyguard, Anatoli Knyazev, Amajagh took Lois captive. Superman rushed to save her, and took out Amajagh, but Knyazev murdered all of Amajagh's men, torching their bodies with a flamethrower to make it look like they had been killed by Superman's heat vision. When he and Lois returned home, they found that Senator June Finch was holding hearings about the incident, saying that Superman should come into court and take responsibility for his actions. This only served to stir up the controversy around Superman even more around the world, and began to stress Clark out and make him feel even more isolated and lonely.

Alexander Luthor, Jr

"Bruce Wayne meets Clark Kent!"

While investigating a supposed witness of Superman killing the men in Nairomi, Clark began to learn more about the Batman in Gotham City, a brutal vigilante taking the law into his own hands and killing several criminals. His investigation gave him a serious disdain for the Batman, who, unbeknownst to him, hated Superman for the destruction in Metropolis. Soon after this, Clark was sent to cover a party hosted by the young eccentric genius and CEO of LexCorp, Lex Luthor, where he met both Luthor, who had a strong hatred for Superman, and billionaire Bruce Wayne, who was secretly the Batman. Bruce and Clark began a feud over their conflicting ideologies, and Bruce's accusations against Superman, combined with the controversy surrounding him, began to weigh down on Clark, confusing him even more and making him feel even more isolated than before, even from Lois.

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Confronting the Batman

When Clark was mailed a series of newspaper clippings branding the Batman as "judge, jury, and executioner" towards criminals and the poor, he decided to travel as Superman to Gotham to confront him, and found him stealing the newly discovered Kryptonite from Lex Luthor's yacht, the White Portuguese. When the two met, Superman threatened Batman to stop his activities, or he'd stop him, but Batman refused to back down.

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Superman on trial

Superman was then called by Senator Finch to a hearing in the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. on the Nairomi massacre. The hearing was also attended by Wallace Keefe, a man who lost his legs in the battle in Metropolis with Zod, who was secretly working for Lex Luthor. Before the hearing could begin, an explosive went off in Keefe's wheelchair, coated in lead so that Superman couldn't see it. The explosion took out much of the Capitol and killed the majority of those at the hearing. This disheartened Superman even more, and made him decide he wasn't a hero, and that it was too dangerous for him to continue being so. He returned to his apartment, said goodbye to Lois, and went into a self-imposed exile in the Arctic circle, away from anyone he could hurt.

While alone in the Arctic, he had a revelation: he shouldn't give up on humanity yet, and should continue being a hero even if others don't accept him, because it's the right thing to do. With renewed hope in humanity, Superman returned to Metropolis, ready to continue his journey as a hero regardless of what others said about him.[3]

Last stand against Luthor

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"Son of Krypton versus Bat of Gotham!"

When he returned to Metropolis, he met up with Luthor, who revealed that he had manipulated the Batman into hating Superman even more than he already did, and that if Superman didn't kill the Batman for him, he would kill Martha Kent, who Luthor's men had kidnapped. Superman agreed, and faced off against Batman in Gotham. Batman wouldn't listen to Superman's pleas, and the two fought long and hard, with the Batman nearly killing Superman using Kryptonite weapons, including a Kryptonite spear. At the last moment, however, Superman begged Batman to listen, and calmed him down long enough to let him explain Luthor's plans and manipulations.

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Confronting Doomsday

Realizing his mistake, Batman teamed up with Superman, going off to save Martha while Superman went off to fight Luthor. He found Luthor in the Kryptonian scout ship, which had been moved to Metropolis for study, and discovered that he had anticipated this, and created a monster to kill Superman if the Batman failed: Doomsday, a hulking monster formed by a genetic fusion of Luthor's blood and Zod's corpse. The creature and Superman fought, destroying several buildings in a part of the city that had been evacuated. Even when Superman launched the creature into space to be shot with a missile, it merely absorbed the energy of the blast and grew even stronger.

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The death of Superman

When Superman returned to Earth to face Doomsday, he teamed up with the Batman, who had indeed saved Martha, and the powerful, noble heroine Wonder Woman, one of Earth's first superheroes and an ally of Batman's. They fought a long, hard battle against the creature, but eventually, Superman realized that it could be hurt by Kryptonite if it was part-Kryptonian. Using the Kryptonite spear Batman tried to kill him with, he impaled Doomsday with it, but was impaled through the heart by one of Doomsday's spikes, causing him to cry out in pain. His cry awakened the dormant Mother Boxes, machines left by Lord Darkseid in his invasion of Earth thousands of years prior. Finally, both Superman and Doomsday fell dead, and Batman, Wonder Woman, and Lois mourned the loss of a great hero.[3][2]

Post-mortem legacy

Superman was mourned by the world, with a massive funeral procession and a memorial constructed in his honor of his selfless sacrifice. His body was buried in Smallville, where Clark Kent was mourned by his friends and family, believed to have died in the battle against Doomsday. The world appeared much more dangerous after Superman's death, with more and more metahumans beginning to emerge, prompting Amanda Waller to create Task Force X, a group of government-controlled metahuman criminals sent up against superhuman threats as a replacement for Superman.

Lois grieved for two years over the loss of her lover, and eventually discovered that she was pregnant with his child. Meanwhile, crime rates around the world rose as morale declined, but the Batman had been given new hope by Superman's sacrifice, and planned to put together a team of superhumans of his own, including himself, Wonder Woman, the hyperactive and awkward speedster the Barry Allen, the emotionally tortured but technologically aided Victor Stone, and the standoffish Aquaman. Superman's accidental activation of the Mother Boxes also signaled to the ruthless New God warlord Steppenwolf that the time was right to invade and take the planet for Darkseid.[3][4][2]

Resurrected by the Justice League

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The League resurrects Superman

Two years after Superman's death, Steppenwolf arrived on Earth to reclaim his honor by destroying it for Darkseid. He was faced down by Batman's new superhero team, the Justice League, but they realized they needed Superman if they had any hope of beating him. Using the Kryptonian scout ship that created Doomsday, a Mother Box, and Barry Allen's Speed Force energy, Victor brought Superman back to life.

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"Fighting the devil and his army in hell."

After he recovered from his amnesia, Clark became a much more hopeful and optimistic person, quicker with a joke and attempting to lighten the mood. He reconciled with Martha and Lois, got a new costume from the scout ship, and joined the League to save the world from Steppenwolf. He reunited with them at Steppenwolf's base, helped them stop the unity of Mother Boxes, which would've destroyed the world, and helped kill Steppenwolf. He then joined the Justice League to help them face down any future superhuman threats, and even somehow got his job at the Daily Planet back.[2]

Later career

For years, Superman continued to protect the world from threats and supervillains, and sometimes took time away from his busy schedule to just be kind to others like the superhero Billy Batson and his foster brother, Freddy Freeman.[5] Superman also became a contact of Amanda Waller, being called in by her to help defeat the alien Butterflies, and later to confront the rogue champion Black Adam.[6][7]

In 2022, Barry Allen, now known as "The Flash", traveled back in time to save his mother, and heavily altered the timeline as a result. Even after attempting to return everything to normal, the Flash's meddling resulted in a universe mostly similar to his own, but with some notable differences, such as the Batman being much older. It is unknown how Superman was affected by these alterations, if at all.[8]

Potential future

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Superman looks over Lois' corpse

In a horrific potential future of the original timeline, Darkseid returned to Earth and slaughtered Lois. Using the mind-controlling Anti-Life Equation, he brought Superman over to his side by making him feel the Batman was responsible for her death. Darkseid made him the general of his armies, while the Batman formed a resistance group against their tyrannical regime using the surviving League members, and even his enemies such as the Joker and Deathstroke. But they couldn't run from Superman forever, and the Batman was eventually captured and killed by Superman, who asserted control of the barren, destroyed planet, with Darkseid as his master.[2]

Powers

  • Kryptonian Physiology: Due to evolving under an old red star, Kryptonians develop a vast array of abilities when exposed to the radiation of younger, more powerful foreign stars.
    • Solar Energy Absorption: Clark's cellular structure allows him to absorb, store and metabolize the wavelength of yellow sun radiation to fuel all of his abilities.
      • Superhuman Strength: Superman possesses vast levels of physical strength, capable of pushing a school bus out of a river as a teenager, hold a collapsing drill derrick, and resist the gravity beam of a world engine. He managed to subdue both Nam-Ek and Faora-Ul and overpowered Dru-Zod. After being revived, he could easily defeat all of the Justice League members, and shrugged off an attack from Steppenwolf's axe.
      • Superhuman Stamina
      • Superhuman Speed: Superman can move and run at supersonic speeds.
      • Invulnerability: Superman possesses extraordinary levels of resistance, capable of enduring the heat of a burning oil rig, the cold of the Arctic, the vacuum of outer space, and attacks from other Kryptonians.
      • Flight
      • Enhanced Senses
      • Superhuman Hearing
      • Superhuman Smell
      • Super-Breath: He can chill his breath, as seen when he froze Steppenwolf's axe, shattering it.
      • Heat Vision
      • Superhuman Vision
        • Telescopic Vision
        • Microscopic Vision
        • X-Ray Vision
      • Accelerated Healing: Superman could fully recover from being hit with a nuclear missile in seconds with exposure to the sun.

Abilities

Weaknesses

Other Characteristics

  • Mental Instability (Formerly): When the Justice League resurrected Clark, he was briefly unsure as to who he was, and lashed out against them in a moment of unstable rage and fear.[2]

Equipment


Related

External Links

Footnotes


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Daily Planet Staff member
This character is or was an employee of the Daily Planet, a daily newspaper based in Metropolis. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Daily Planet Staff members" category.

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Justice League member
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This character has been 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 the clutches of both interstellar and domestic threats.
This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Justice League of America members" category.

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Superman Family member
This character is or was an incarnation of or an ally of Superman, and a member of the Superman Family. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Superman Family members" category.

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Batman Villain(s)
This character, team or organization, has been primarily an enemy of the Batman, or the Batman Family as a whole. This template will categorize articles that include it into the category "Batman Villains."

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