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Quote1.png But I need being Clark-- I need a private life just like anyone! In the past, I've tried assuming other identities-- But it just didn't work! Clark Kent is as much a part of who I am as Kal-El of Krypton is! Ma and Pa Kent... The way they raised me... My boyhood in Smallville-- They made me what I am-- And I'd sooner die than give it up! Quote2.png
Superman src

Superman is Earth's premier superhero and the stalwart protector of Metropolis. Born Kal-El on the distant planet Krypton, he was sent to Earth as a child to survive Krypton's destruction. Raised with high moral ideals, he uses his extraordinary superpowers to fight evil and protect the innocent. In his civilian identity he is Clark Kent, a mild-mannered reporter working for the Daily Planet in Metropolis.

Contents

The Last Son of Krypton

Kal-El was born to the highly decorated scientific genius Jor-El and his wife Lara, a former astronaut on their home planet of Krypton. Like all Kryptonians, Kal-El had no superhuman powers or abilities on Krypton due to the rays of its red sun Rao, but was, like his father, a very astute and intelligent boy who learned to speak and read in his native language by the time he was three years old.

Jor-El and Lara decided to name their darling baby boy after a thespian friend of theirs who spent a few weeks in Kryptonopolis involved in the shoot of a film with the world-famous actress Lyla Lerrol. Unfortunately, the actor was presumed killed, propelled into the stratosphere in a disastrous incident involving a flame-dragon.[1] Unbeknownst to Jor-El and Lara, this very actor was the time-traveling future adult version of their son, creating the strange tautology that Kal-El was named after himself.

About the same time, Jor-El learned that Krypton was doomed to explode, and he brought this to the attention of Krypton's technocratic ruling body, the Kryptonian Science Council. Fearing the worst for his planet, Jor-El advised the Council to build a fleet of space rockets to carry the population farther away from the dying planet.

The Last Son of Krypton

Disbelieving Jor-El's prediction, the ruling council refused to warn their fellow Kryptonians and forbade Jor-El to do so. Lara pledged to remain with her husband when Jor-El tried to force her to leave along with her son so that the escape rocket would have a better chance of surviving the trip. Knowing that Krypton was soon to explode, Jor-El launched the ship to Earth, knowing that Earth's lower gravity and the yellow sun would give his son incredible powers.

Though Krypton's core avoided exploding, the alien agent Black Zero artificially accelerated the core to make Krypton's destiny come true. Tomar-Re, the Green Lantern of Space Sector 2813 sworn to protect Krypton, failed to undermine the criminal's plot, and Krypton exploded.[2][3]

Adopted by the Kents

The rocket crash-landed on Earth in an open field outside of Smallville, Kansas. It was there that the rocket and the young Kal-El were discovered by small land farmers Jonathan and Martha Kent. Upon finding the young boy, Martha became attached to Kal-El while Jonathan elected to have the child's true family found. Martha persuaded Jonathan to keep the boy as their adopted child, naming him Clark.[4]

The Kents fashioned a set of clothes for their "Superbaby" from the now-virtually indestructible red, blue and yellow blankets in the rocket. This same Kryptonian fabric was later used to create the costume Kal-El would wear as Superboy and Superman.

Superboy Begins

Jonathan and Martha instilled in their adopted son a good sense of right and wrong and an appreciation to help others. The young Clark took the advice to heart and, when he was eight years old, became active as the new hero Superboy. Clark's first outing as Superboy was to rescue a married couple who were also government nuclear scientists working on a top-secret project from the clutches of an international spy.[5]

Meanwhile, as Clark Kent, Kal-El pretended to be a normal human and formed connections with Lana Lang and Pete Ross while going through the stages of his primary and secondary education. While Lana tried repeatedly to prove that Clark Kent and Superboy were the same person, it was Pete who first discovered Clark's secret. Nevertheless, Pete took it upon himself never to reveal this secret to anyone.

Superboy discovered his origins from Krypton for the first time by overtaking light rays reflected off the dead planet prior to its destruction.[6] As he grew older and his powers increased, however, Kal-El developed total recall of his first few years of life on Krypton, as an aspect of his superior mental abilities.

Clark recieved his super-powered Kryptonian puppy Krypto when the dog crash landed in Smallville just like he had years prior. Krypto's rocket was used as a test by Jor-El prior to launching his son into space.

Adventures of Superboy

As Clark grows up on Earth, he is mindful to obey the laws of humanity and works directly with Police Chief Parker and other law enforcement agencies, which leads to Superboy's acceptance as a hero by the people of Smallville. In fact, by the time Clark is around 12 or so, the town officially recognizes their most popular citizen with a billboard that publicly announces: "Welcome to Smallville - the home of Superboy". Nonetheless, Superboy's presence attracted all manner of trouble to himself, chiefly in the form of protecting his secret identity and combatting criminals and alien beings. Early in his career, Superboy revealed his alien origins from Krypton to aspiring journalist Perry White, who went on to receive a Pulitzer Prize for breaking the story. Shortly afterwards, the United States Congress held a session to vote for Superboy to hold honorary U.S. citizenship.[7] Clark first learned about his vulnerability to Green Kryptonite, when Jonathan Kent accidentally exposes him to it and it has an immediate effect. Even then, Clark managed to keep awareness of this weakness secret as Superboy for a time, until the Smallville municipal government declared the first "Earthday" (the anniversary of baby Kal-El's arrival on Earth) as a local holiday, when a scientist unveiled a sample of Kryptonite in Superboy's honor and inadvertently caused him to collapse during a televised news broadcast. From that day onwards, the whole world knew that Kryptonite could weaken or kill Superboy.[8] Later, Superboy encountered the threat of Red Kryptonite when a Martian traveler exposes him to it and creates an evil duplicate of his Clark Kent persona.[9] Superboy first learned of his weakness under the rays of red-type stars while passing through a red sun system, barely making the landing on a nearby inhabited world before he could lose his powers completely. There, Superboy encountered a race of slug-like beings who communicated with static electricity by their antennae and taught them some of the principles of Earth-based mechanical engineering to improve their own subsistence methods. Finally, Superboy constructed a rocket on this nameless planet and blasted off into space, navigating through the space-warp leading from the red sun system back to the Sol system, and regaining his powers under the Sun's yellow rays.[10][11] Superboy first discovered that the rules of time-travel would not permit him to physically exist in two time-periods at once when he was 14 years old and traveled back to 1962 to obtain more firsthand information about the Project Mercury launch that year for a school project. Superboy discovered that the 10-year-old version of him was on the scene and actually prevented the launch from being sabotaged by Soviet Communists, all events of which he had no recollection. Eventually, upon realizing he had no memory of anything on that date, Superboy watched his younger counterpart's actions over the course of the day and learned that he erased his own memory with super-hypnotism to prevent him from carelessly leaking info about the launch that could compromise his secret identity.[12][13] Occasionally, Superboy met and teamed-up with the half-Atlantean wandering youth Arthur Curry, alias Aquaboy.[14] Lana Lang would acquire a Bio-Genetic Ring from an alien that she rescued, allowing her to manifest insectoid abilities and traits at will. With the ring, Lana fabricated an alter ego as the super-heroine Insect Queen, although her heroic exploits were mostly limited to those which would grab Superboy's attention.[15] Twice in his adolescence, Clark was visited by a robot teacher programmed by Jor-El to test his son's worthiness to use his powers on Earth. The first time, the robot tested Clark's ability to utilize his super-strength, flight, super-speed, invulnerability, X-ray vision, and ingenuity, with a final test being given to judge Clark's capacity to set aside his individual desires for the common welfare.[16] The robot returned some years later to conduct a more advanced test of Clark's abilities, mentally reprogramming a random girl into the false persona of "Misty" and insinuating her into Clark's life so that her artificially endowed set of personality traits would make Clark fall head over heels for her. Then, the robot simulated a scenario where Clark would witness Misty's apparent death in a mishap with a sasquatch pack, to judge Clark's ability to contain his grief without lashing out. Clark barely restrained himself from retaliating at the sasquatch which seemed to kill Misty, whereupon the robot teacher revealed itself and its manipulations. Disgusted and angry at the unfeeling automaton for its unwanted interference in his life and in the life of the girl who unwittingly played the role of "Misty," Clark defiantly pronounced, "Don't call me Superboy... After what I've been through, I deserve to be called a man!"[17]

Enter the Legion of Super-Heroes

Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes

Superboy was contacted by Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, and Lightning Lad of the Legion of Super-Heroes and offered an invitation to join their group. Although Superboy technically failed his initiation test, he had been diverted from his goals by simulated crises created by the Legionnaires, as the true test was to see how Superboy would handle rejection, as a heuristic of his strength of character. Once satisfied, the Legionnaires inaugurated Superboy.[18] (Unbeknownst to the Legion, a temporal upheaval rewrote these events in the timeline so they had rejected Superboy in earnest after he flunked his initiation test, causing a 75th Century time-traveler named Anti-Lad to intervene in order to resolve the discrepancy in the timeline and prevent reality from collapsing in on itself.[19]) Superboy encountered Ultra Boy for the first time when the youth was dispatched from the 30th century by the Legion to uncover Superboy's secret identity for his initiation test. Succeeding in his mission, Ultra Boy helped Superboy rescue Pete Ross from a booby-trapped bank vault before explaining his intent and returning to the future.[20] Soon afterwards, Superboy encountered another Legionnaire, Star Boy of Xanthu, and helped him to capture a pair of escaped crooks from his home-world in the 30th century, in addition to outwitting Lana Lang's repeated attempts to make him jealous by fawning over Star Boy.[21] As a member of the Legion, Superboy played a pivotal part in many of the team's early adventures, such as in their battles with Mxyzptlk V, the Time Trapper, Starfinger, Glorith, Universo, Computo, Doctor Regulus, and the adult Legion of Super-Villains from a possible future Legion timeline.[22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32][33] Superboy participated in the lightning-rod ritual on Korbal to revive Lightning Lad from his death-approximating stasis, defended Star Boy in a Legion court-martial for his usage of lethal force against an armed Naltorian psychopath, and briefly served as acting chairman of the LSH to recruit Ferro Lad, Princess Projectra, Karate Kid, and Nemesis Kid (who alone out of the 4 new recruits turned out to be a Khundian spy).[34][35][36][37] Superboy and Supergirl were honorably discharged from the Legion when a Green K cloud coalesced around the Earth's atmosphere, but not before they nominated their own successors "Sir Prize" and "Miss Terious" to take their places. After the two new Legionnaires used their unique skills to defeat Prince Evillo and his Devil's Dozen, they were revealed to be Star Boy and his girlfriend Dream Girl, and permitted to rejoin the Legion in their full capacity. Color Kid of the Legion of Substitute Heroes then changed the Green K cloud into Blue K, allowing Superboy and Supergirl to retake their places in the Legion.[38][39]

When a Sun-Eater was spotted on a runaway course for the Sol system, the Legion sought out the Fatal Five to help them stop it in return for presidential pardons, with Superboy being tasked with the recruitment of the Emerald Empress. When the time came, the Sun-Eater proved too great for even Superboy's might, overwhelming him with its raw power before putting him out of commission with a burst of red-sun energies. The Sun-Eater was eventually demolished through the heroic sacrifice of Ferro Lad, and the Fatal Five subsequently turned on the weakened Legionnaires. Fortunately, Princess Projectra appealed to Validus to revolt against Tharok's self-serving leadership, and the Fatal Five vanished in a flash of light as Validus's incalculable power collided with the Atomic Axe of his erstwhile ally, the Persuader.[40][41] Superboy brought Lana Lang on one of his trips to the 30th century as a reward for showing greater respect of his secret identity. Eager as ever, Lana applied for Legion membership in her superhero identity as Insect Queen. Although rejected for full-time membership on the basis that her powers derived from her Bio-Genetic Ring, Lana proved herself when she helped Superboy and the Legion save an Antarctic city from the designs of a madman and was admitted as a Legion reservist.[42] While grieving for Ferro Lad's sacrifice, Superboy was attacked by an apparition claiming to be the deceased Legionnaire's spirit, demanding the immediate disbanding of the Legion as vengeance for allowing him to die. Superboy was then captured by a renegade Controller, who revealed that he was responsible for setting the Sun-Eater loose upon the galaxy, simulated the recent appearances of Ferro Lad's "spirit," and intended to possess Superboy's body in a bid for universal domination. Just as the rest of the Legion arrived to rescue Superboy though, the Controller was frightened to death by what may have been the true ghost of Ferro Lad.[43] Superboy and the Legion were outlawed by the U.P. when Universo took over by impersonating Earthgov President Kandro Boltax, but Universo's mass-mind-control program was spoiled by the Legion with the assistance of his son Rond Vidar, who thereafter became a honorary Legionnaire.[44][45]

With the help of new Legion inductee Shadow Lass, Superboy and the Legion liberated Talok VIII from the grip of the Fatal Five and defended the central command console of the U.P. defensive weapons systems on Earth from the rogues. In the course of the battle, the Legion Clubhouse was damaged beyond repair by Validus.[46][47] As such, the U.P. subsidized the construction of a larger and more advanced Legion HQ out of gratitude to the club of young heroes. Superboy and the members of the Legion then repelled a Dark Circle invasion from Earth using the Miracle Machine.[48] Superboy, Mon-El, Duo Damsel, and Shadow Lass went into hiding from Mordru, the Dark Lord of Zerox, in 20th century Smallville after the evil mage's latest outing. Mordru followed the Legionnaires there, and it ultimately took the fullest efforts of all the Legionnaires, plus Lana Lang in her Insect Queen identity, to defeat the sorcerer.[49][50] Back in the 30th century, Colossal Boy was expelled from the Legion for trying to smuggle sensitive info about the Legion to Tarik the Mute, who was holding Colossal Boy's parents hostage to force him to help build up his criminal counterpart to the LSH: The Legion of Super-Villains. After it was determined that Colossal Boy was being coerced into his actions, Superboy went undercover as a delinquent Legion reject, with a disguised Chameleon Boy and relatively unknown Legion trainees Timber Wolf and Chemical King as his "gang," to attract the attentions of the LSV's recruiters and receive entry to their training grounds. However, Superboy and the infiltration squad were unable to keep up the ruse, and a battle erupted. Reinforced by the rest of the Legion and the Science Police, Superboy and his teammates were able to shut down Tarik's operation, save Colossal Boy's family, and put away many of the LSV recruits, of whom a significant proportion were disgruntled LSH rejects, like Ron-Karr, Spider Girl, and Radiation Roy and sociopathic youths with a criminal record, such as Nemesis Kid and an adolescent Lightning Lord. This was the same organization which would evolve into the adult LSV of Superboy and the Legion's future, dominated by the triumvirate of Lightning Lord, Cosmic King and Saturn Queen. This incident also served as Timber Wolf and Chemical King's trial by fire. After the mission reached a successful conclusion, the two trainees were allowed to join the Legion in an official capacity, and Colossal Boy was allowed to rejoin in light of the extenuating circumstances of his betrayal.[51] After encounters with the Tornado Twins and the Wanderers and Superboy's brush with death from consuming a Kryptonite-laced version of the toxin Rakurga[52][53][54][55], the time came when the Legion of Super-Heroes came under review by the United Planets' internal revenue service for failing to pay taxes exacted upon all private organizations exceeding 25 members. As the Legion had since reached 26, it became necessary for the Legion's incumbent chairman Karate Kid to dismiss one Legionnaire to fall under the limit and avoid charges of tax-evasion. Various Legionnaires volunteered themselves to resign for the good of the greater cause, and several Legionnaires attempted to sabotage tests employed to impartially decide which Legionnaire was the least useful to the group. Ultimately, Superboy decided to quit the Legion and return to the 20th century, rationalizing that Mon-El shared his powers but lacked his Kryptonite weakness and therefore was more than sufficient to replace him. The Legion accepted Superboy's resignation, but they honored his period of service with them by casting a statue of Superboy in gold to display in their headquarters.[56]

During this era, when Superboy and the Legion were still wide-eyed, young and fresh, Duo Damsel harbored a secret crush on Superboy, although she never opened up about her feelings because of low self-esteem and knowing from the historical records who Superman would ultimately end up with. Duo Damsel's feelings of unworthiness to approach the great Superboy blinded her to the affections of another Legionnaire, Bouncing Boy, who shared similar reservations about the practical usefulness of his power and crushed on Duo Damsel in secret ever since he had joined the Legion. Only at the end of this era did Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel begin to gain insight into the feelings of the other. Even then, Duo Damsel gave Superboy a goodbye kiss to remember her by, prior to his resignation from the team.

The Beginnings of the Rogues Gallery

One day, Superboy was incapacitated by a large Kryptonite meteorite on the property of the Luthor family. By pure happenstance, the boy tending the fields, Lex, happened upon the scene and removed the Kryptonite from the vicinity with his quick thinking. Lex gushed over Superboy's legendary achievements, explaining that he was the Boy of Steel's most devoted fan and that his great interest was in the sciences, despite spending most of his days working the fields on his family property to supplement their income. A flattered Superboy responded by fixing up a makeshift laboratory and stocking it with rare chemical substances for Lex to use. Using the means at his disposal to achieve the impossible and create primitive life, Lex planned to thank Superboy by synthesizing a serum that would remove Superboy's Kryptonite vulnerability, but he knocked over a vial of flammable liquid in his excitement and set his lab ablaze. Superboy arrived and blew out the fire with his super-breath, but he unintentionally blew a vial of strong acid into Lex's protoplasmic lifeform, destroying it. To add insult to injury, the fumes generated from the reaction caused all of Lex's hair to fall out and cauterized his hair follicles so that it could never regrow. In his rage and bewilderment at being denied on the cusp of the ultimate scientific victory, and resentful of his new appearance, Lex accused Superboy of thwarting him deliberately out of envy and spent the next few months trying to surpass Superboy as Smallville's resident hero by boosting the town's commerce and welfare with his inventions. Unfortunately, every last one of Lex's inventions went wrong and caused disaster. This led Lex into a downward spiral towards insane, unreasoning hate, as Lex's failed inventions caused the people of Smallville to resent and distrust him and brand him as an outcast. Lex then took his rivalry with Superboy to the next level, creating machines and unique scenarios to destroy the teenaged hero outright. This was the last straw for the Luthor family, which disowned Lex, left Smallville, changed their surname to "Thorul," and told Lex's little sister Lena when she grew older that her brother died in an accident. His future prospects ruined and his reputation irreparable, Lex had nowhere else to go from there- except for reform school. Lex would continue to challenge Superboy even into their adulthood, and just as in their adolescence, Lex would formulate schemes to eradicate his arch-enemy only to be foiled every time and jailed like a common criminal.[57][58]

While bearing witness to Professor Dalton's exhibition of a Duplicator Ray, which could theoretically materialize perfect copies of existing objects down to the molecular level but actually created imperfect duplicates, Superboy was accidentally hit by the ray. The product of this mishap was the materialization of a malformed copy of Superboy, possessing all of Superboy's powers and vague hints of his memories, but bearing an ugly, chalk-white, chiseled face and a subnormal intelligence. Overhearing Superboy calling it "bizarre," the creature assumed that its name must be "Bizarro" and wandered aimlessly as Superboy and the U.S. Army endeavored, unsuccessfully, to destroy it. Bizarro met only one human who was cordial to it, much less not running in terror from it: a blind girl, who could not perceive Bizarro's appearance and therefore could not be repulsed by it. Superboy ultimately figured out that the irradiated fragments of Dalton's destroyed Duplicator Ray had a similar effect on Bizarro that Kryptonite had on him. Possibly realizing that he did not belong in this world, Bizarro collided directly with Superboy while Superboy was holding an irradiated fragment of Dalton's machine as a shield. As a result, Bizarro disintegrated into the unliving matter from which it was formed. Tragically, Bizarro accomplished its one and only good deed only in death, as the vibrations from its collision with Superboy miraculously restored the blind girl's sight. The girl's final words on the matter - "I never saw Bizarro myself, while blind! But I know, from his gentle voice, that he must have had a kind face!"[59]

It is during his youth that Clark first encounters the juvenile 5th-dimensional imp Mxyzptlk, who breached the third-dimension with a space warp against the wishes of his elders. For no reason other than the sake of mischief-making, Mxyzptlk tries to prank Superboy several times, but Mxyzptlk's parents reveal to Superboy that the imp can be forcibly recalled to the 5th dimension for a 90-day period if he says his name backwards - "Kltpzyxm." Tricking Mxyzptlk into doing as such begins a long rivalry between Clark and Mxyzptlk which would extend well into Clark's adult life.[60]

Superboy also fought the Kryptonite Kid of Blor, an alien criminal whose mutation by a Green K space-cloud gave him the ability to emit an aura of Kryptonite radiations and transmute anything else into Green K. The Kryptonite Kid came to Earth in order to become the planet's greatest criminal, knowing of his ability to uniquely affect Kryptonians and Superboy in particular. In their first encounter, Superboy was only saved from the Kryptonite Kid by Mxyzptlk, who reasoned that if the Kryptonite Kid were allowed to kill Superboy that he would be deprived of years' worth of fun playing pranks at the Boy (later Man) of Steel's expense.[61] The Kryptonite Kid returned to challenge Superboy and after putting the hero at his mercy forced Superboy to trade Krypto's life in exchange for his own, believing that the guilt Superboy would suffer due to his irrevocable moment of cowardice would be a far more agonizing punishment than mere death. However, Superboy deceived the Kryptonite Kid by producing a robot duplicate of Krypto made out of lead mechanical components. The Krypto android duplicate lured the Kryptonite Kid in his spaceship through a Red K space-cloud, altering the Kryptonite Kid's radioactive aura to invert his moral compass and temporarily reform him for the duration of the Red K effect. Although Superboy knew his nemesis would revert to his original evil ways once the effect wore off, the dispositionally altered Kryptonite Kid left Superboy and the Earth alone and was not seen for quite some time.[62]

The Legacy of Krypton

Superboy would encounter remnants of the Kryptonian civilization during his time on Earth, starting with a casket of technological artifacts from Krypton that crashed on Earth and was discovered by Lana Lang's archaeologist father, Professor Lewis Lang. Superboy was summoned by the professor to open the casket and deciphered the note left within, written in Kryptonese by his father Jor-El, which explained that the devices contained were powerful weapons, illegally manufactured on Krypton by Jor-El's cousin Kru-El. Contained along with the arsenal of forbidden weapons was the Phantom Zone Projector, which the Kryptonian penal system used in lieu of prisons and capital punishment to banish Krypton's criminal element to an ethereal twilight dimension: The Phantom Zone. Superboy was transported to the Phantom Zone when a lizard pressed a button on the back of the Projector. However, Superboy realized that he had a limited influence on the physical world, even as a phantom, by focusing his thoughts, and used this method to clue Jonathan Kent in on his predicament and arrange his release from the Zone. Afterwards, Superboy placed the Phantom Zone Projector and other Kryptonian weapons back into the casket and deposited it at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, where only he could locate and access it.[63] Over the years, Superboy would have to contend with the escape of Kryptonian criminals from the Phantom Zone back into the physical world and the havoc they would play with his life. Many of the Phantom Zoners had a personal reason to despise Superman, as his father Jor-El played a role in catching and prosecuting many of them. Although mostly powerless in the form of wraiths, they exerted a low-level psionic influence over the physical world and frequently broadcast their thoughts in sync with one another to facilitate their escape. Nuclear experiments, atom bomb tests, chemical accidents, and scientific mishaps also had the potential to tear a hole in the veil separating the corporeal and incorporeal planes, which the Phantom Zoners exploited whenever possible.

Superboy's Promise to Mon-El

Superboy briefly believed that he had a brother when a rocket crash-landed in Smallville carrying a strangely-garbed teenager with similar powers as Superboy. Although the youth had retrograde amnesia and could recall nothing of his past, the boy's rocket contained a letter bearing Kryptonese well-wishes from Jor-El and Lara, leading Superboy to assume his Kryptonian ancestry and familial relationship. Because the rocket arrived on Earth on a Monday, Superboy constructed a Kryptonian name for his "brother": Mon-El. Meanwhile, Mon-El would adopt his own "secret identity" as traveling salesman Bob Cobb, a "cousin" of Clark Kent, to provide an alibi for his sudden appearance at the Kent residence. When Mon-El had no reaction to Green Kryptonite radiations and Krypto failed to recognize him, Superboy began to suspect Mon-El of secret, malicious motives for appearing in his life. To force Mon-El to reveal his presumed treachery, Superboy exposed him to lead coated with phosphorescent green paint to resemble Kryptonite. This caused Mon-El to experience a strong reaction to the metal and had the unintended effect of restoring his memories. Mon-El explained that he came from a planet called Daxam, whose inhabitants have powers approximating those of Kryptonians under the yellow sun, and that he stopped briefly on Krypton prior to the destruction of that planet, having met and befriended Jor-El and Lara in the process. As Daxamites have a similar reaction to lead as Kryptonians do to Green Kryptonite, with the added caveat that the effects are irreversible, Superboy determined that the only way to save his life would be to banish him to the Phantom Zone until such time as a cure for Daxamite lead-poisoning could be devised.[6] In the 30th Century, a temporary salve for Daxamite lead-poisoning would be formulated by the Legion of Super-Heroes, allowing Mon-El to join their adventures for limited periods. After helping to best a hostile android sent to the future by Lex Luthor, Mon-El was unanimously inaugurated into the Legionnaires' ranks.[64] When Brainiac 5 created a permanent cure for his lead poisoning, Mon-El was released from the Phantom Zone for good.[65]

Superboy would later encounter a genuine survivor of Krypton of comparable age to himself: the juvenile delinquent Dev-Em, who tried to ruin his reputation by banishing Superboy to the Phantom Zone and impersonating him to frame him for incorrigible actions, before letting Superboy go free and using his powers to travel into the 30th Century.[66][67] There, Dev-Em would learn the error of his ways and join the Interstellar Counterintelligence Corps of the United Planets, aiding the Legion of Super-Heroes to arrest interplanetary crime kingpin Molock.[68]

Return to the 30th Century

Superboy vs. The Fatal Five

Although he resigned from the Legion of Super-Heroes, Superboy remained available for contact by the team as a reservist. Although no longer contacted for regular missions, Superboy was called into action to tell Cosmic Boy apart from a magical duplicate conjured by Mordru to kill the Legion, free Chameleon Boy's mind from a mystic blood-gem created by Mordru to compel those who look into it to murder Superboy, thwart alien mercenary Tyr's scheme to brainwash Timber Wolf into destroying Legion HQ, stop the Fatal Five from activating a time-altering device from the 20th century in Smallville, prevent Tyr from breaking out of custody with his autonomous cybernetic arm-cannon, and keep Starfinger from kidnapping Duo Damsel on the eve of her wedding with Bouncing Boy[69][70][71][72][73][74]. After the wedding, both Duo Damsel and Bouncing Boy left the Legion to settle into normal married lives as civilians. As a result, Superboy was restored to full active service as a Legionnaire.[74]

Over the next few weeks, Superboy joined the Legion for the inauguration of new member Wildfire and the battle against Validus in which long-time member and former team leader Invisible Kid tragically perished.[75][76] While escorting Lana Lang to the 30th century on her birthday, Superboy came across a conspiracy to brainwash and enslave the Legion, dismantling it with the help of Ultra Boy and Lana's alter ego as Insect Queen.[77] At the request of President Boltax, Superboy headed up a team of Legionnaires consisting of Light Lass, Timber Wolf, Shrinking Violet, and Chameleon Boy, accompanied also by Science Police Officer Roon Dvron, with the objective of recapturing Universo.[78] Superboy and Mon-El were temporarily trapped in the 20th century while on furlough by Jonathan and Martha Kent, who had been brainwashed and equipped to accomplish the task by the Legion of Super-Villains. This was because neutralizing the Legionnaires with X-ray vision was prerequisite to successful execution of the LSV's plan. Fortunately, Superboy and Mon-El returned to the future to find that the rest of the Legion handled the situation admirably under the acting leadership of Sun Boy.[79] Superboy pursued Element Lad as he returned to his home-planet Trom to confront the genocidal space-pirate who murdered his people, Kivun Roxxas, and successfully convinced his comrade not to go through with the sociopathic monster's extrajudicial execution.[80] While the rest of the LSH went on a mission in Space Sector 14 to capture master thief Benn Pares, Superboy remained in Legion HQ to guard the Miracle Machine from Pares's clutches. When the thought of entering a space-serpent's maw to reach Pares's lair sent Ultra Boy into a panic-attack that endangered the integrity of the Legion Cruiser, Superboy's stray thought about extricating his fellow Legionnaires from their peril was picked up by the Miracle Machine and teleported Superboy to within Pares's lair, to capture the villain and rescue the team.[81] Superboy led a team consisting of Brainiac 5, Wildfire, and Shadow Lass on a mission to reprogram the computer systems of a fully automated industrial planet owned by Leland McCauley, the United Planets' second-wealthiest man. Things became complicated when McCauley's spoiled son entered the picture, forcing the Legionnaires to save him from his father's deranged former employee who had sabotaged the planet's all-cybernetic security mechanisms.[82] Superboy was also involved in the Legion's missions when a hitman from Bgztl tried to assassinate Phantom Girl and later when the team had to ally with Tyroc to retrieve a stolen fortune in jewels from a gang on Marzal Island. In spite of initial mistrust of Superboy and his comrades, Tyroc came to see that they were essentially good and noble and accepted Superboy's offer to apply for Legion membership.[83][84] While on a more leisurely sojourn in the world of the 30th century, Superboy happened upon Legion Academy rookie Laurel Kent, a future descendant of his with the sole power of invulnerability. Laurel revealed to Superboy that she bore a close facial resemblance to the woman whom he would ultimately be destined to marry, but the post-hypnotic suggestion, which keeps Superboy from retaining knowledge of his future, kicked in and blocked her existence out of his mind upon return to the 20th century.[85] Superboy and Sun Boy conspired to arrange Tyroc's final qualifying exam to join the LSH, creating a shared villain persona named "Zoraz" and producing the backstory that he had contingencies against the special abilities of all existing Legionnaires. This was intended to force Tyroc to think on his toes and take the initiative to pursue and capture "Zoraz" when a situation was manufactured where the fictional enemy had infiltrated Legion HQ. After passing the test with flying colors, Tyroc had to contend with disgruntled Legion reject Absorbency Boy, who held particular animus toward Tyroc for occupying the vacancy in the Legion roster that he had tried for previously.[86]

Superboy was made part of a Legion task force to recapture the Fatal Five after they conducted a series of devastating raids on inhabited worlds and put Duplicate Boy of the Heroes of Lallor in critical condition. Superboy blindsided and captured the Emerald Empress, while Mano and Persuader were pacified by other Legionnaires and Tharok and Validus escaped. In the aftermath, the Legion learned that the Fatal Five were not planning anything malicious with the materials they stole, but merely sought to furnish the surroundings of their makeshift base with personalized comforts.[87] Superboy also faced the crime-duo of Grimbor the Chainsman and Charma when the criminals broke into Legion HQ to hold the team hostage and exact an exorbitant ransom from their financier R.J. Brande.[88]

The Mordru-Stargrave Conflict

Superboy and the rest of the Legion were deployed to seal a rift in spacetime leading to the Antimatter Universe, before leakage of antimatter into the positive-matter universe could result in the destruction of a vast region of inhabited space. While preparing for the mission, Superboy, Saturn Girl, Chameleon Boy, and Karate Kid were ripped from the linear timestream and brought days into the future and parsecs away in space to the lair of the Time Trapper, who stated his goal to destroy them all in order to preserve his own continued existence, due to the revelation that those four Legionnaires were a common denominator to every timeline where he fails to conquer the universe and ceases to be. Superboy overcame the Trapper in their struggle and the Trapper was seemingly engulfed by the corona of a red sun, whereupon Superboy and his friends snapped back to the moment in time they were removed from in the first place.[89] On the way to accomplishing their mission objective, Superboy and the Legion ran into a Coluan mastermind named Pulsar Stargrave and his minions Quicksand and Holdur. Stargrave sealed the rift in space with a hand gesture and revealed he had caused the rupture to begin with to draw the Legion to his location. Stargrave had sought to test the Time Trapper for his worthiness to be his peon, but having fallen to Superboy and the Legion, Stargrave changed plans to recruit them as well. Stargrave was candid about his ambitions to dominate the universe, but he presented his reign as a preferable alternative to the supposedly inevitable eventuality that everything in creation would bend to the whim of Mordru. Superboy rebelled against the suggestion to join Stargrave and was stricken down by his incalculable power, followed by all the other combat-capable Legionnaires. Once only Brainiac 5 was left conscious, Stargrave revealed his true identity as Brainy's long-believed-dead father Brainiac 4. Back at Legion HQ, the Legion elected to back Stargrave if necessary, but only to the extent of defeating the greater evil of Mordru and no further. Superboy followed Brainiac 5 after the adjournment of the team meeting and caught Brainy in discussion with an astral projection of Stargrave, affirming that when the time came he would side with family over all else.[90]

Stargrave strikes!

Superboy lost the next election for the LSH leadership position in spite of receiving an absolute majority of votes because of an amendment to the Legion's constitution, which made Karate Kid and him ineligible due to their commitments in the 20th century. As a result, Wildfire was elected the next leader of the Legion instead. Superboy and the Legion then headed out to confront a brigade of alien Resource Raiders, who were attempting to deplete the Earth of its natural resources and hold its population's subsistence requirements for ransom in return for total submission. Wildfire introduced the preternaturally efficient tracker Dawnstar to the team and tasked her with helping the Legion trace the raiders' movements. After nabbing the criminals, Dawnstar was extended an invitation to join the Legion as a fully-fledged member. After returning to HQ, Superboy and the Legion discovered a recorded message left by Brainiac 5, revealing that he had been sent to Zerox by Pulsar Stargrave to steal Mordru's enchanted Soulstone. Although successful in his mission, Brainy was telepathically contacted by the sentient will of the Soulstone, which alleged that Stargrave was not Brainiac 5's father, but really the original Brainiac, somehow transmitted from his native time-period to 1000 years into his future. The end of Brainy's recording declared the unstable Coluan Legionnaire's intention to find and kill Stargrave for deceiving him, giving the Legion an urgent mission to find Brainy and Stargrave before they could interact with potentially explosive results.[91][92] Superboy and the Legionnaires appeared to locate Brainiac 5, stranded in the space above Colu, but a last-second deduction revealed the whole situation to be an ambush set up by Stargrave, who had captured Brainiac 5 and replaced him with an android duplicate. Phantom Girl quickly found the real Brainy in the brig of the imposter's ship, revealing that the ambush itself was simulated and solely intended by Stargrave to mock the Legion for trying to stop him. The LSH then descended upon Colu and split into teams to protect the planet's two main stabilizing facilities from hordes of robot drones, both headed by what seemed to be Stargrave himself. However, Phantom Girl confronted "Stargrave" at one location, while Shadow Lass and Shrinking Violet did the same at the other, revealing both to be mere decoys of the actual villain. Brainiac 5 realized that Stargrave's true target was Colu's Science Museum, which contained the deactivated hulks of the Computer Tyrants as exhibits. Brainy, Lightning Lad, and Saturn Girl headed for the location and fended off Quicksand, only to be utterly powerless when the real Stargrave arrived. Stargrave explained his designs to revive the Computer Tyrants and enslave the organic natives of the planet once more to them in vengeance for their millennium-old overthrow, affirming that while he had no love for his creators that he at least owed it to them for the act of giving him artificial life. Just as Stargrave was about to bathe the Computer Tyrants' shells in the cosmic energies to restore them, Superboy and Wildfire charged in and dealt their enemy a double-uppercut blow that launched him clear out of the atmosphere and into Colu's sun. Even then, Stargrave's menace paled in comparison to that of his rival Mordru, guaranteeing the Legion of a far more harrowing battle for the future fate of the United Planets.[93]

Superboy participated in an espionage operation, sanctioned by Earthgov, to infiltrate the provincial administration of Governor Deregon of Australia, due to anxieties about the rebellious official's talk of fomenting a war, the first Earth would have experienced in 200 years. Ultimately, it was uncovered that Deregon was a Dark Circle operative grasping for a cassus belli to use against Earthgov and initiate World War VII. Once exposed, Deregon activated a doomsday device that would destroy a sizeable chunk of the Earth, which was defused by Chemical King at the cost of his life.[94] Wildfire then appointed a team consisting of Superboy, Mon-El, Timber Wolf, Dawnstar, and himself to besiege the Dark Circle homeworld to capture Deregon and bring him to justice back on Earth. Although Superboy and his fellow Legionnaires encountered the full force of the Dark Circle fleet and fought their way to the main fortress on the ground, it was Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, and Lightning Lad, while off-duty in a 30th-century Smallville amusement park, who stumbled upon Deregon's hiding place and apprehended the treasonous vermin, barely restraining themselves from breaking the Legion Code and exacting personal revenge for Chemical King's death. Superboy and his team were recalled to Earth by Light Lass once it became apparent that Deregon was not on the planet they were attacking.[95] Superboy appeared on the planet Remor for an award ceremony held by the planetary natives when the mining world was suddenly hit by a wave of violent tremors. Superboy and fellow Legionnaires Dream Girl, Element Lad, Brainiac 5, and Sun Boy learned from the alien wizard Sden that the tremors were caused because a magic crystal fashioned by Mordru became embedded in Remor's crust and implored them to retrieve it for him. However, Dream Girl sensed with her precognitive powers that Sden intended to use the crystal to increase the frequency and magnitude of the seismic waves out of malice and that his ultimate ambition was to use its power to defeat both Mordru and the LSH and rule over the U.P. Consequently, the Legion tricked Sden into revealing his true intentions, took him prisoner to be sent to Takron-Galtos, and turned the crystal over to Superboy to take to the 20th century for safekeeping.[96] Back in his own time period and on his own planet, Clark joined Lana Lang, Pete Ross, and Tony Gordon in supervising the children at a Smallville summer camp as a counselor. Unbeknownst to him, Tony's little sister Barbara was one of the children at the camp and inadvertently used Mordru's crystal to bequeath herself mystical copies of Superboy's powers. After endangering counselors, other children, and herself with her newfound abilities, Barbara turned back to normal when Clark discreetly switched to Superboy and destroyed the crystal in the Sun. Although momentarily distraught by the loss of her super-powers, Barbara cheered up when Superboy told her that being a superhero would require discipline, training, and patience, and that she could not simply "wish" herself into being one. This encounter would leave a lasting impression on young Barbara, inspiring her years later when she took up the cape and cowl of Batgirl.[97]

In response to an extraordinary act of attempted stellar sabotage by the Fatal Five, Superboy was assigned to a Legion task force to assist the evacuation of an inhabited planet named Mordan in the endangered system. Although Mordan's sun exploded, Superboy and the Legion's efforts were successful in evacuating the entire sentient population and capturing the Fatal Five. Tharok activated a self-destruct mechanism in his ship and appeared to go up in the detonation with the rest of the Five, but Superboy had a strong suspicion that the quintet of genocidal terrorists would be back, at which time he would relish the opportunity to make them pay for their crimes at last.[98] Superboy and the Legion then stopped Doctor Regulus from spreading a spore plague over Titan and deceiving a psychotic mutant into murdering R.J. Brande.[99] When Jaxon Rugarth, a scientist with the Time Institute, was transformed into the nigh-omnipotent Infinite Man by an experiment gone wrong, Superboy and the Legion stood in the way of the mad would-be time-god to protect the target of his vengeance: the experiment's supervisor and honorary Legionnaire Rond Vidar.[100] Superboy accompanied Shrinking Violet, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, and Colossal Boy to Imskian space to help Vi capture a type of space-dragon whose scales emitted a radiation necessary to renew the Imskians' shrinking powers. As the planet of Imsk itself underwent cyclical size-fluctuations, these radiations, and consequently the species of space-dragon, were pivotal to ascertaining continued Imskian inhabitation of the planet. A large release of energy from the mass-removal of scales from a space-dragon caused Shrinking Violet, Colossal Boy, Saturn Girl, and Lightning Lad to merge into an insane Composite-Legionnaire and go on a rampage back on Earth. President Boltax contracted a bounty hunter, simply named Bounty, to rein the Composite in, dead or alive, in spite of the umbrage that Wildfire took with this decision. Superboy, who wasn't affected by the radiations in Imskian space, returned to Earth and directed the team in separating their comrades from their merged form, having Wildfire absorb the radiations released by an entire flock of space-dragons and "bombing" the Composite-Legionnaire with those energies. Superboy also interfered with Bounty's illegal attempt to down the Composite with a nuclear warhead and placed him under arrest. Although Superboy's strategy was successful, Wildfire was left on the verge of death.[101] After Wildfire was revived thanks to the acquisition of a mythical psycho-beast from Titan, Sklarian Raiders attacked the Life Institute in search of technology that the U.P. had denied their home-world access to in order to prevent culture shock. While Superboy helped the Legion tackle the case, he deduced that routine "examinations" Brainiac 5 compelled him to undergo prior were really brainwashing sessions intended to prevent him from discovering a forbidden secret about the Institute. After confronting his friends, Superboy concluded that the Legion was trying to prevent him from learning the principle of how to synthetically create new human life. Superboy returned to the 20th century once Brainy "confessed" that such was the case, although Superboy's deduction was off the mark. In actuality, the Legion wanted to keep Superboy from remembering advanced techniques that had been developed for prolonging life and retarding aging, knowing that Superboy's human attachments would make it likely for him to use such information to save his loved ones and disrupt the timeline as a consequence.[102]

Mordru's scheme throws 30th century Earth into peril.

Back in his own period, Superboy was temporarily run out of Smallville by an effect that appeared to cause everything to emit Kryptonite radiations, including the people. Superboy searched out the Kryptonite Kid in his remote corner of space, believing him to be the only realistic suspect, but his hunch proved to be off-base. Returning to Earth, Superboy deduced that Lex Luthor was responsible for the effect and that it was not true Kryptonite radiation at all. Rather, Lex impersonated a legitimate research scientist and deceived Superboy into helping him put a satellite in orbit, which was selectively filtering out wavelengths of light from the Sun to cause the pseudo-Green K effect over Smallville. With that knowledge, Superboy disposed of the satellite and made short work of Luthor.[103][104] Superboy's next stop in the 30th century revealed that a time-flux had changed the future to be more bleak, paranoid, and militaristic than the one he had known. His investigations into the matter revealed that the Time Trapper had intervened to cause the dissolution of the United Nations and the breakout of nuclear war in the late 20th century. With their culprit identified, Superboy and the Legion attacked the Trapper's citadel at the End of Time, where they pitted their collective willpower against the Trapper's for control over the Miracle Machine and the entire course of the timeline. In the end, the Legion was victorious and history was set right. This occurred against the backdrop of Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl's wedding, after which they resigned their positions in the Legion.[105] Superboy was part of the Legion's investigation when Ultra Boy was framed for the murder of his ex-girlfriend An Ryd by a man in an executioner's hood and played a key role in rescuing President Kandro Boltax from the captivity of Grimbor the Chainsman.[106][107] Back in the mid-20th century, Superboy's reputation came under fire from a homegrown anti-alien movement in Smallville, but Superboy discovered that the chief rabblerouser was under the psychic influence of a Phantom Zone criminal and shut the conspiracy down.[108][109] Superboy was pulled into the greatest challenge to face the Legion of Super-Heroes yet, as Mordru used the Dark Circle, the Khunds, and the Resource Raiders as pawns in a campaign to sabotage U.P.-Dominator peace talks at Weber's World and destroy the Earth out of spite. After Mordru executed his takeover plan, Superboy was one of four remaining Legionnaires, alongside Karate Kid and the technically retired Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl, to stand in Earth's defense. Thanks to their efforts, and especially thanks to Superboy's, the other Legionnaires were liberated from Mordru's captivity and sealed the sorcerer away. In the aftermath, Superboy and the Legion unanimously decided to amend the LSH Constitution to permit married members, whereupon Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl rejoined the team. However, Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel, who also contributed to the resistance against Mordru and the Khunds, elected to return to their happy, uneventful retirement.[110][111][112][113][114]

Superboy, Colossal Boy, and Element Lad were sent by President Boltax to assess the planet Corvan IV for suitability to join the U.P. and were shocked to discover that the primitive planetary natives had elevated the Fatal Five to the status of rulers for bringing advanced technology to their world. For the very same reason, the Legionnaires turned down Corvan's application on the grounds that the Fatal Five had forced an incredible culture shock upon the natives which membership in the U.P. would only exacerbate. Superboy and his allies thus battled with the Fatal Five until the Corvanians themselves broke the fight up and convinced the Fatal Five that their gifts were counterproductive to the independent course of their civilization. Afterwards, Lightning Lad was elected the new leader of the Legion, replacing Wildfire.[115][116] While reviewing evidence from the An Ryd murder case, Chameleon Boy was stricken into a coma by the man in the executioner's hood, seemingly putting his investigation to a premature end. However, Cham kept backups of his files which were decoded by Wildfire, and it was only a matter of hours before Wildfire convened the majority of active Legionnaires to reveal that the murderer of An Ryd who framed Ultra Boy was one of their own, specifically Brainiac 5. Brainy, who had been driven mad by the exacerbation of his doubts and insecurities as a Legionnaire by a delirium-causing disease, appeared to have masterminded the conspiracy, and to make matters worse, he had used the Miracle Machine to create a hate-entity called Omega, which would not relent until it had returned to the Miracle Machine and used its power to end creation. Superboy was one of the first Legionnaires to confront Omega out in space, but even his super-strength was no match for Omega. The threat only passed once the Legion consented to Brainy's demand to be declared ruler of the universe, and even then, Brainy's solution involved recalling ex-Legionnaire Matter-Eater Lad to consume the Miracle Machine, an act which plunged the Bismollian into a state of total madness as a consequence. Worse still, Legion HQ lay in a pile of rubble, Brainy had to be remanded to an institution for psychological reconditioning, and the U.P. Inner Council received news that the universe itself nearly came to an end due to the actions of a Legionnaire.[117][118] Only some years later, when a change in Earthgov administration challenged the integrity of the Legion Charter on the basis of Brainiac 5's actions here, did it emerge that much of the scheme was actually the doing of Pulsar Stargrave, with Brainiac 5 being used as a scapegoat and patsy as revenge for Stargrave's defeat on Colu.[119] Topping thse misfortunes was the sudden and inexplicable bankruptcy of R.J. Brande.[120]

Unable to secure funding to continue their operations from either Brande or the U.P., the LSH braved an uncertain future. Colossal Boy, Timber Wolf, Light Lass, Phantom Girl, and Ultra Boy came under attack by the League of Super-Assassins, a group of survivors of a dead world who had irrationally blamed the Legion for its destruction. Superboy stumbled by chance onto the Super-Assassins' plot and rescued his fellow Legionnaires by remotely inducing them into suspended animation, thereby tricking the Super-Assassins into believing that they had successfully murdered their targets. Superboy himself was the final target and put himself into a coma to avoid being killed by Lazon, who had turned into a blast of Kryptonite radiation. Then it fell to the Legion of Substitute Heroes and the still-insane Brainiac 5 to piece together the reality of what had happened and defeat the Super-Assassins, as Lazon's energy transformation capabilities were necessary for the process to bring the 6 comatose Legionnaires back to consciousness. Upon being reawakened, Superboy revealed that the Super-Assassins were put up to their scheme by a villain named The Dark Man. Being saved by Brainiac 5 also strengthened Superboy's private conviction to restore his former friend to his previous sanity, as now the Boy of Steel was indebted to Brainy for not just himself but also his teammates.[121][122]

Superboy returns to the 20th century to escape knowledge of his future.

Superboy joined with Lightning Lad, Cosmic Boy, and Saturn Girl to commandeer the hologram room of a futuristic amusement park and program it to display a simulation which would restore Brainiac 5 to sanity.[123] Afterwards, Superboy helped the Legion conduct an unauthorized investigation of R.J. Brande's financial records and determined that he was bankrupted by illicit siphoning of funds from his bank accounts by Earthgov President Kandro Boltax. The Legion and Brande confronted Boltax in the U.P. Inner Council chambers, where Boltax admitted to his crime but offered a justification in the necessity to finance reconstruction projects in the wake of the war with the Khunds. Boltax fell into disgrace and the Inner Council offered to make Brande reparations, but Brande declined, feeling that Earth needed the money more than he did and intent on using the rebuilding of his business as an opportunity to reconnect with the common people. Legionnaires offered to donate their time on furlough to help Brande in his endeavor.[124][125] No sooner was that matter settled than several Legionnaires came under attack by an escapee from a mental institution named Rejis Thomak. When Thomak came up against Superboy, the "psycho-warrior" attempted to drive Superboy into a nervous breakdown by revealing the ultimate fate of his foster-parents, the Kents, to him. Unwilling to make himself forget how he was destined to fail the Kents, at least so long as he sojourned in the 30th century, Superboy was psychically compelled by Saturn Girl to return to the 20th century for good, for the sake of his own mental and emotional health.[125][126]

The New Adventures

Superboy concentrated on his Smallville superhero career after his telepathically enforced hiatus from the Legion's missions in the 30th century. Superboy found himself frustrated by the appearance of a new costumed figure-- Astralad-- who performed daring deeds not out of altruism but for the sake of recognition. Realizing from the start that Astralad was his previously nebbish classmate Joey Silver, inexplicably made over with a personality change and a set of super-powers, Superboy made various attempts to end his super-career, believing that he lacked proper understanding of the responsibilities that being a hero would necessarily entail. These actions only served to make Superboy and Astralad direct rivals, but Astralad was convinced to stop his reckless campaign, being revealed as the time-traveling consciousness of the adult Joey Silver from the future inhabiting the body of his teenage self to live out his unactualized adolescent fantasies.[127][128] Superboy then investigated UFO appearances over Smallville one night to determine their motive for destroying tomato crops. Superboy discovered that the alien vessel accidentally scattered crystalline spores containing stored red-sun energy, which contaminated the town's tomato plants and were causing Superboy's powers to fail due to his consumption of tomatoes from Martha Kent's garden. Superboy assisted the alien visitors in destroying the spores, and while the Boy of Steel refused any reward for his actions, the aliens decided to repay him by proxy through Jonathan Kent, vowing to fulfill Jonathan's deepest subconscious wish one day.[129] The aliens made good on their promise one day, using their power to give Jonathan 30 hours of quality time with his son in the future, beyond his death.[130][131] Inspector Bill Henderson made a visit to Smallville on behalf of the city of Metropolis to convince Superboy that his powers could be put to better use tackling the problems of a big city. The Kents, meanwhile, counter-argued that Superboy lacked the experience to make the leap from Smallville to Metropolis. Superboy finally sided with his parents, albeit not without finding the opportunity to help the Inspector put away a few crooks who followed him from the city.[132]

While combatting a twister raging through Smallville, Superboy accidentally hit the vibrational frequency which shifted him across the dimensional barrier to a parallel reality (which would be designated Earth-Two years later). In this reality, where the flow of time was retarded compared to Earth-One, a different version of Clark Kent existed in a Great Depression-era Smallville. Eavesdropping on the other Clark, Superboy determined that his doppelganger had no super-heroic alter ego and had not yet developed a complete mastery of his powers, being unaware of his flight, X-ray vision and super-cold breath abilities, among others. Superboy revealed himself to the alternate Clark after witnessing a falling-out he had with John and Mary Kent about his desire to join the circus as a "freak." The two Clarks compared notes and matched their physical abilities against one another's, while Superboy tried his best to get his counterpart to expand the usage of his innate potential. Eventually, in spite of Superboy's decision to reveal himself to the Earth-Two Kents, Clark decided to run off and join the circus anyway, but he found a profoundly nobler calling in life after using his strength to stop the circus tent from collapsing on the audience. Meeting with Superboy again after the incident, the Clark Kent of Earth-Two confided that Superboy and the circus tent incident helped him realize that he could use his powers to do real good in the world and right the wrongs that no other man could -- A few years later, after moving to his own world's Metropolis, he would become Superman, first and greatest of the superheroes. However, the adventure for Superboy concluded when Earth-Two's Clark helped him set up the vibrations for Superboy to be returned to his own universe.[133][134] Carl "Moosie" Draper issued a challenge to Superboy, accusing him of being untested as a hero due to there being no known encounter on record with an equal or superior opponent. Although this argument was only made as part of Draper's counterproductive campaign to impress Lana Lang, it was still answered by Clark's decision to create an android antagonist powerful enough to battle him on equal terms: Kator. Eventually, Superboy destroyed Kator in a pitched battle, once his creation got dangerously close to killing Superboy and running out of control, but Kator had a back-up plan, leading Carl Draper to be transformed into a second Kator in the aftermath of the original's destruction. As the second Kator, Draper abducted Lana and nearly defeated Superboy, but he was ultimately put back to his former self, with Draper's memories of his super-villain experiences being wiped from his mind.[135][136]

Superboy rejoins the Legion of Super-Heroes!

In the 30th century, Ultra Boy was caught in an explosion on the pirate-planetoid New Tortuga and was presumed deceased by the rest of the Legion of Super-Heroes.[137] In fact, Ultra Boy's powers saved his life from the explosion, but the massive release of energy somehow shunted him to the Interdimensional Limbo. After failing to make contact with the Legionnaires in his own time-era, Ultra Boy used his telepathic-plug communicator to broadcast his thoughts to 20th century Smallville and attempted to make contact with Superboy. Instead, he underwent a partial merging of minds with Superboy, laying his own personality and memories over Superboy's own. Under Ultra Boy's "possession," Superboy interfered with a nuclear weapons test in the belief it would facilitate his return to the future. Failing that, he traveled to the 30th century under his own power, created a new alter ego for himself as Reflecto, and had a number of encounters with the Legion of Super-Heroes, during which he refused to explain his origins and motives but demonstrated a fierce protectiveness of Phantom Girl. Reflecto came to the Legion's aid to defeat Grimbor the Chainsman when the insane criminal surrounded the Earth with an impenetrable network of energy-chains and threatened to kill everyone on the planet, including himself, by using them to compress the atmosphere. In the denouement, Reflecto's guise was destroyed, revealing him as none other than Superboy, whom the other Legionnaires never expected to see again because of Saturn Girl's post-hypnotic command. Superboy expressed confusion upon his awakening, still believing himself to be Ultra Boy, and accompanied a team of Legionnaires back to Smallville in the 20th century, arriving one second after his interference in the A-bomb test and initial departure to the future. On the run from the military, which wanted to apprehend them all for disrupting the test, Superboy and the Legion were blocked from returning to the 30th century by the Time Trapper, who had been awaiting his opportunity to split the Legion up and pick them off. The Trapper dispatched his android minion Molecular Master to eliminate the stranded Legionnaires, but it was destroyed, causing an explosion that knocked out the entire group except for Phantom Girl. Phantom Girl then pulled Superboy and Dawnstar into the alternate dimension of her home-world Bgztl to rescue them along with herself. Upon regaining consciousness on Bgztl, Superboy's true personality and memories returned to him, and he had to be brought up to date on the situation by Phantom Girl and Dawnstar, in addition to becoming aware of the reason he was psychically barred from returning to the 30th century before. While in transit between Bgztl and Earth, Superboy's group caught a telepathic SOS from Ultra Boy, bringing them to the pocket of limbo where he had remained in a sort of physical stasis. Superboy and his friends managed to free Ultra Boy and liberated the rest of the Legionnaires in Smallville from military custody with Lana Lang's help as Insect Queen. Superboy and the Legion then headed back for the future, using Bgztl's dimensional plane to circumvent the Iron Curtain of Time, and defeated the Time Trapper once again at the End of Time. Superboy and Ultra Boy were both restored to the active Legion lineup, though with the caveat that Superboy requested Saturn Girl to erase his advance knowledge of the Kents' tragic death. Lastly, a statue was dedicated to Ultra Boy and Superboy's shared persona as Reflecto to commemorate the adventure.[138][139][140][141][142][143]

Back in his own era, Clark was on a camping trip with Jonathan Kent when the two inadvertently stumbled across a Soviet espionage operation to knock an American satellite out of orbit and retrieve it for study. Although his father admonished him not to make any use of his powers while on the trip, so as not to defeat the purpose of the experience, Clark successfully made covert usage of his powers to rescue Jonathan from the Russian operatives. After discreetly changing to Superboy, Clark determined that one of the agents was actually an American double-agent tasked with ensuring the Russians grabbed the satellite, due to its being a decoy that would mislead Soviet intelligence. Little did Clark know at the time that the double-agent was Cory Renwald, formerly a delinquent youth whose life was turned around by a period in the Kents' foster-care prior to Kal-El's arrival on Earth. As an adult, Cory became an American intelligence operative to serve his country.[144] Superboy stopped a volcanic eruption from claiming hundreds of lives on the Hawaiian Islands, yet in stopping the aperture of the volcano with a rock formation, Superboy inadvertently caused subterranean pressures to build up that resulted in the eruption of a massive magma fissure some miles offshore. This produced an enormous tsunami which nearly snuffed out hundreds more than the volcano would have, and Superboy arrived with only seconds left to prevent catastrophic loss of life. Ashamed of his reckless use of his powers, Superboy decided to banish himself to the 19th Century, specifically the American Old West, with the understanding that his inability to alter the appointed course of past events in spite of time-travel would negate the potentially harmful consequences of having destructive super-powers.[145] Adopting an alter ego in that period as the apprentice of a small Western town's sole newspaper publisher, Clark was forced back into action with his powers to stop an alien visitor, the Collector, from endangering the human inhabitants of the town. Deciding that his intervention in the 19th century and defeat of the Collector must have been forgotten events already written into the fabric of the past, Superboy nonetheless concluded that the benefit to humanity that his powers could bring outweighed the risk of accidentally causing a disaster and returned to his own era, determined to exercise greater caution before barging into a situation in the future. However, the Collector's hostile visit to the Old West claimed at least one human life in spite of Superboy's best efforts: the inveterate bandit Jess Manning. Jess's son Toby was abducted by the Collector into space to be raised as his own ward, becoming the space-pirate Terra-Man a century later.[146] When Lewis Lang's archaeology student Burt Belker donned an ancient Sumerian helmet for a demonstration, he was possessed in mind and body by the Lord of Chaos called Doctor Chaos. Doctor Chaos set about challenging Superboy for the fate of Smallville and ultimately the entire Earth, but Superboy and Lana pieced together a plan to deceive Doctor Chaos and trap his essence in his magic helmet for all time.[147] During Lana Lang's birthday party, Clark was subjected to the humiliation of school bully Bash Bashford, inspiring Lana's wacky inventor uncle Professor Potter to secretly spray Clark with a pheromone which would make him irresistable to the fairer sex against all reason. This turned out to backfire against the well-meaning professor when the effect of his pheromone hindered Superboy's efforts to save him from a group of gangsters who held him hostage for his other inventions, but luckily, everything worked out in the end.[12] Superboy came across two more survivors of Krypton, star-razing career criminals Sar-Ul and Ralsa, who attempted to telepathically alter Superboy's memories to deceive him into believing them to be his true biological parents. However, Superboy outwitted his adversaries and tricked them into stranding themselves on a distant planet under a red sun, where they would be permanently trapped.[13][148]

Stopping by the 30th century again to join some of his Legionnaire friends on a leisure trip to R.J. Brande's planetoid, Superboy was unexpectedly dragged into Doctor Regulus's plot to sabotage Brande's primary star manufactory, destroy the planetoid in a cataclysmic thermonuclear exposion, and absorb the nuclear emissions to become more powerful. While Sun Boy entered Brande's plant in order to stabilize it, Superboy charged in after him to extricate him from certain death, telepathically imbued with Brande's knowledge of nuclear physics by Saturn Girl to shut down the reactor himself. In a major case of serendipity, Sun Boy succeeded in shutting the reactor down by himself against all expectations, and Regulus was captured shortly afterwards.[149] In his own time, Superboy struggled to contain the rampage of a solar-powered menace called the Glowman, even as he encountered a potential new girfriend in his other identity as Clark: Rachel Lamar, who learned about Clark from her ailing great aunt Clara Desruc. By the end of the day, Clark was shocked twice over by the resolution of these events -- The Glowman turned out to be Bash Bashford, who was transformed into an inhuman creature by one of Lex Luthor's machines, and Rachel turned out to be the same person as "Aunt" Clara, having been cursed to assume an elderly form prematurely by a gypsy fortuneteller until she learned that physical proximity to Clark could turn her back to her true youthful self. Bash and Rachel were both changed back to normal by Superboy's contrivance, having no memories of what they experienced in their respective altered states.[150] Afterwards, Superboy was challenged by another teenage superhero named Pulsar and lost to him in a publicized battle, thanks to red-sun radiation treatments administered secretly by Pulsar's scientist father Robert Altus, Sr. With unrestricted rein, Pulsar became increasingly dictatorial at his father's orders and eventually issued an ultimatum to puppeteer the United Nations, forcing Superboy to face him again. This time, Superboy prevailed, thanks to boxing lessons from Jonathan Kent and lead plating under his costume to block the red-sun radiation, causing Robert Altus to threaten Superboy directly from a hover-craft. Fortunately, Superboy convinced Pulsar to see the error of his ways, and together, they defeated Pulsar's insane father and saved the world.[151] Superboy narrowly escaped an attempt to artificially accelerate his aging by a renegade member of the Superboy Revenge Squad and helped the rest of the Revenge Squad re-ignite their dying sun in an act of unselfish compassion towards his sworn enemies.[152][153]

Superboy and Supergirl vs. Darkseid

On another 30th century mission with the Legion, Superboy encountered a monstrous being sharing his powers, while investigating a break-in at the Museum of the Mystic Arts. In spite of their best efforts, Superboy and his group of Legionnaires failed to stop the creature from stealing the Mentachem Wand. Superboy and company then headed for the next several sites determined by Brainiac 5 to be the most logical targets of the creature, encountering similar but different creatures at the Tower of London while defending the sword of Excalibur and on Talok VIII while guarding the Orb of Ornathax. While Superboy vanquished one of the so-called Servants of Darkness, a fourth Servant appeared to retrieve the Orb for his master and made his getaway. On a distant and lifeless planet, the "master" received all the magical artifacts and absorbed their power.[154] While the Servants of Darkness struck Avalon and Takron-Galtos to steal the power of Mordru and the Time Trapper for their master to absorb, the Legion determined that the Servant rendered unconscious by Superboy was a warped clone of Shadow Lass's ancestor Lydea Mallor. With an election for Legion leader running simultaneously, Superboy visited Saturn Girl to provide moral support in the face of a debilitating illness that Lightning Lad had contracted, burdening the already distraught Saturn Girl with the added guilt of continuing to keep the destined deaths of the Kents a secret from Superboy. With things somewhat quieted down, Superboy returned to the 20th century for his adoptive parents' anniversary, but this respite did not last long. During Superboy's absence, the leadership election concluded with Dream Girl as victorious, and the Legion rallied to the defense of the White Witch and the planet of Zerox, acting upon Dream Girl's precognitive visions. Back in Legion HQ, the Servant of Darkness cloned from Lydea Mallor awakened, rousing Lightning Lad to power through his illness to stop it before Saturn Girl could come to harm. Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, and Cosmic Boy then analyzed the tissue samples of the Servants who attacked the Museum of the Mystic Arts and the Tower of London, learning that they were clones of Superboy and a Guardian of the Universe, respectively. This knowledge gave sufficient impression of their enemy's power that the founding trio sent out a general alarm to all Legionnaires and reservists, calling Superboy back into action before the anniversary party could conclude. Meanwhile, on Zerox, the Legion held off the Servants of Darkness and gave the White Witch and her teachers the opportunity to conduct a ritual that summoned a rapidly aging infant through a Boom Tube.[155][156] Superboy was tasked with searching for the "Master of Darkness" using his awesome array of super-powers, in concert with the other Legion search parties. At the same time, the Legion's unknown nemesis appeared in the skies of Daxam, having pulled the planet's location out of Mon-El's mind during their brief encounter on Zerox, psychically enslaved all 3,000,000,000 Daxamite natives, and switched his barren world's location in space with Daxam's, placing Daxam under a yellow sun and giving the villain mental domination over an army of minions each as individually mighty as Superboy himself. The Daxamites' first order was to terraform their planet into an uninhabitable, celestial bust of their new master, revealing his identity as none other than Darkseid! Dawnstar traced Darkseid's trail to the area of space originally inhabited by Daxam, now occupied by the barren world identifiable as Apokolips, and led the Legion to the planetary surface, where they were ambushed by the Servants of Darkness once again. While at a disadvantage due to Daxam's location in a red sun system, micro-circuitry developed by Brainiac 5 permitted Superboy to simulate his powers well enough to strike a critical blow against his Servant counterpart.[157] Afterwards, the White Witch spun a spell to open a Boom Tube leading to Darkseid's location on Daxam, which the Legion used to take the fight directly to the evil god. Subsequently, the child spawned on Zerox aged into full manhood, revealing himself to be a reincarnation of Highfather and empowering the White Witch to transfer the battle on Daxam back to Apokolips. There, Highfather reconstructed another of Darkseid's Servants, a clone of Orion, into a version uncorrupted by Darkseid's evil. While "Orion" did battle with Darkseid in the Fire Pits of Apokolips as the prophecies foretold, Highfather imbued Superboy and Supergirl with temporarily enhanced powers, in order so they could bring the fight to Darkseid even under red sun conditions. After destroying "Orion," Darkseid repelled the Kryptonian cousins, sending Superboy back to his own era with his Omega Beams and inflicting telepathic agony on Supergirl. However, this concentrated disruption was enough to break Darkseid's psychic hold on his 3 billion Daxamite slaves, instilling them with a shared single-minded desire for retribution. This represented a threat even Darkseid could not ignore, so he and Apokolips vanished into history once more, though not without putting their curse upon the Legion to be realized in the future.[158]

Back in Smallville, Superboy then had his first few encounters with the Yellow Peri when her imperfect command of her mystical powers produced a series of disasters.[159][160] A psychic villain named William Wright arrived in Smallville to challenge Superboy, using the belief of Pete Ross, Bash Bashford, and other Smallville High students to augment his own power-of-suggestion-based abilities. Ultimately, Superboy defeated Wright by using super-hypnosis on himself to disbelieve in Wright's power, instilling enough doubt in Wright himself that he could be beaten.[161][162]

The Death of the Kents

Jonathan Kent speaks his last words

During Clark's teenage years on Earth, the Kents had sold their farm, became shopkeepers in Smallville and settled into a more modern lifestyle supporting Clark's day-to-day life as well as his superhero activities. Sadly, it was the destiny of Jonathan and Martha Kent to die, and for Clark to be unable to save them in spite of his enormous power. While on a vacation on a Caribbean island, Jonathan and Martha Kent uncovered a buried chest containing scraps of an incomplete diary left behind by pirate Pegleg Morgan in the year 1717. Deciding to humor his adoptive parents' curiosity about the crumbled diary pages, Clark took them back in time to the exact day in history that the record was taken, where they witnessed Pegleg Morgan being stranded on the island by Blackbeard. Superboy and the Kents returned back to their own era and back to Smallville, but Jonathan and Martha fell deathly ill, developed extremely high fevers, and went into comas within a matter of hours. Doctors correlated the symptoms to the dreaded Fever Plague, a tropical disease with no recorded cases for the past 100 years. Realizing that his parents would not have contracted Fever Plague if not for their time-travel sojourn, Clark tried to treat Jonathan and Martha with traditional herbal remedies, to no avail. He also accepted the help of Lex Luthor, who devised a healing ray and believed that Jonathan would put in a good word to the parole board committee if he were successful, but Luthor's genius was equally inadequate to the task. Clark next attempted to give the Kents blood transfusions to bolster their immune systems, only to discover that it was ineffective due to the plague pathogens' inability to infect his bloodstream and produce a superhuman immune response. Finally, Clark resorted to using the Phantom Zone Projector to preserve the Kents, but sunspot activity had caused unusual defects in its mechanical functions, preventing the Projector from working. Traumatized by guilt, Clark bore witness as Martha Kent breathed her last. Jonathan awakened from his coma briefly to impart some last advice to his super-son -- "Son, you did your best for us! Now listen to my last words! You must always use your super-powers to do good... Uphold law and order! Good luck, my son... And goodbye!" With that, Jonathan Kent passed away, leaving Clark truly alone in the universe for the very first time. After matching the scrap of Pegleg Morgan's diary that his parents found with the rest of the diary page in a local museum, Clark analyzed the page with his microscopic vision and observed the Fever Plague pathogens on both. Clark decontaminated the complete page with a burst of heat vision and considered that the Kents may have contracted Fever Plague on the beach even before the time-travel trip, but this did little to improve Clark's emotional state.[163][164]

The Secret Years

The deaths of Clark's foster parents happened to roughly coincide with Clark's graduation from high school, and Clark made the decision to leave Smallville to go to college. A series of events seemed to Superboy to suggest the letters "M.U.," which Clark treated as an omen bidding him to enroll with Metropolis University.[165] Clark and Lana both separately moved to Metropolis to pursue a journalism degree, while Clark decided that he should stop appearing publicly as Superboy for some months so that the "coincidence" of Clark Kent and Superboy resurfacing in Metropolis would not undermine his secret identity. In his freshman year, Clark and Lana shared a dormitory with happy-go-lucky Tommy Lee and bitter, acerbic Ducky Ginsberg, both of whom quickly became friends with the transplants from Smallville. Using his super-powers covertly, Clark stopped a group of burglars from robbing students' belongings by faking a bomb scare on campus. Although Superboy was never seen by the criminals or anyone else, Inspector Henderson intuitively recognized that the Boy of Steel had decided to make Metropolis his new home.[164] Nevertheless, anticipation for Superboy to reappear led to a wave of mass-hysteria and media sensationalism, as reports flooded from nearly every major city in America that Superboy had relocated there. Just as he had gotten the scoop on Superboy's origin, Perry White was the first individual to obtain conclusive evidence that Superboy had set up shop in Metropolis. Perry had eavesdropped on a conference held by the mob council of local crimelord Boss Weed and was found out by the gangsters. Only Superboy's invisible assistance enabled Perry to avoid a hail of bullets from Weed's men and clear the distance between two building rooftops with his life intact. Perry found that one of the fired bullets had been melted in mid-air, though Daily Planet editor-in-chief George Taylor refused to be convinced unless Superboy came to his office personally. After watching Superboy down two rival gangs who were fighting over Boss Weed's territory in an empty football stadium, Perry managed to coax Superboy into giving Taylor a personal visit, and the Planet got the exclusive on Superboy's public relocation to the big city.[166][167]

One of Clark's early Metropolis exploits would involve thwarting a scheme by Lex Luthor to manipulate a computerized banking system to make illicit transfers and withdrawals. Later, Clark would meet and fall head over heels for the handicapped foreign student Lori Lemaris, whom he would have informal dates with on multiple occasions. In addition, Clark rapidly made friends with fellow student Billy Cramer. Clark entrusted Billy with the secret of his double-life and bequeathed him a supersonic whistle to summon him in case of emergencies, but unfortunately, Billy was killed in the process of rescuing a child from a burning building while Superboy was preoccupied. Once more, Clark would acutely experience the guilt of failing to protect those important to him. To compound Clark's grief, Lori informed Clark that they would no longer see each other and that she would be returning to her homeland shortly. Clark investigated Lori's background out of concern and arrived at the fantastic conclusion that the woman he loved was a mermaid from Atlantis, dispatched to survey the progress of the surface world under human guise. Lori also revealed that she knew from her concealed telepathic abilities that Clark was Superboy all along. Together, Clark and Lori rescued a valley full of people from the flooding caused by a burst dam, and then shared one last intimate moment together before Lori returned to the ocean. Luthor made his comeback in spectacular fashion, launching a network of satellites into orbit around the Earth which would beam enough energy into Lex to make him into Superboy's physical equivalent. Hijacking every broadcasting frequency the world over, Luthor presented Superboy with an ultimatum: to face him one-on-one or watch as his satellites rained orbital devastation down upon the planet. Even with Luthor's new advantage, Superboy won the day and returned Luthor to prison. This victory would serve as a line of demarcation in Kal-El's costumed career: Feeling he had experienced enough that he no longer ranked as a kid, a seasoned Clark Kent changed his superhero alter ego from Superboy to Superman.[168][169][170][171][172] Superman's debut in Metropolis was soon followed by his first encounters with the Toyman and the Prankster.[173]

The Man of Tomorrow

The Fortress of Solitude

One of the first determinations which Superman made as a fully-fledged costumed hero was to establish a base for himself to work on secret projects, store sensitive equipment and items, and be left to private thoughts. Superman created his first Fortress of Solitude in outer space, believing that he would be more isolated and undisturbed in space than in any Earthly locale. However, a malevolent presence called Urko the Terrible invaded the space-borne Fortress and tried to attack Superman by animating statues of his friends and loved ones, forcing Superman to destroy Urko. Subsequently, Superman scoped out an area in the Earth's core as a potential location for a second Fortress, only to be assaulted by a sentient race of magma-creatures which he had disturbed.[174] For a time, Superman maintained an undersea fortress, but he finally elected to establish his Fortress's permanent location in the Arctic, hidden behind an enormous door capable of being unlocked only by a gigantic key, weighing hundreds of tons and disguised as an airplane marker.[175][176][177] Within the Fortress, Superman created halls dedicated to his greatest friends (i.e. Jimmy Olsen, Batman, Lois Lane, Legion of Super-Heroes) and most pernicious foes (i.e. Lex Luthor), including memorabilia from adventures involving them in some manner. In addition, Superman would store The Bottle City of Kandor and the Phantom Zone Projector in the Fortress, as well as an interplanetary zoo, an arsenal of high-tech and extraterrestrial-designed weaponry, and the incinerator pit called the Atomic Cauldron. While temporarily admitting the public into his Fortress for a charity drive, Superman failed to screen out two members of the Anti-Superman Gang, who combined the two components of a chemical explosive once inside and hid it. Only for the warning of the people of Kandor was Superman able to detect the explosive and dispose of it before nabbing the culprits.[174]

The Daily Planet

After graduating from college with his journalism degree, Clark rented an apartment and set about looking for a profession in the big city. Ultimately, Clark applied with the Daily Planet newspaper, where Perry White held a position as editor-in-chief and Lois Lane was already employed as a reporter. At first, Perry saw Clark as a pest and tried to stymie Clark into leaving, first by quizzing Clark on historically significant Planet bylines, then by sending Clark on assignments to uneventful, humdrum locations, and finally by tasking Clark with convincing Superman to pose with a confiscated chunk of Kryptonite in front of a camera. To Perry's astonishment, Clark managed everything Perry had requested (with a little help from his super-powers) in spite of the impossibility of it all, so Clark was hired on as an investigative reporter. Over the next few years, Clark and Perry would develop a healthy mutual respect, with Perry never once suspecting that "timid" Clark Kent was in fact the Man of Steel.[178] However, Lois was considerably keener than Perry in that department and harbored unconfirmed suspicions that Clark was secretly the Man of Steel for years. At first, Lois believed that Clark's timid manner made it extremely unlikely that Clark was Superman, but a series of events changed her mind on the matter. She witnessed Clark crushing a telephone in his grip out of frustration and saw Clark change into costume on the night of a Daily Planet masquerade party. Lois tried testing her theory by exposing Clark to a minute quantity of Kryptonite concealed within a pipe. When Clark evidenced no weakness, Lois was prepared to give up until she realized that the pipe she had used was lead and would block the radiations. Although Clark substituted the lead pipe with an aluminum one while Lois was out-of-office to mislead her, Lois held her suspicions that Clark and Superman were the same man from that day forward.[179] Although Lois made numerous attempts to test her theory, she never succeeded in obtaining any concrete evidence. Lois's suspicions would recur upon noticing Clark making surreptitious usage of his Kryptonian abilities, only for Clark to mastermind an alibi or fabricate evidence of baseline human normalcy to put these suspicions to a rest, at least for the moment. Copy boy and staff photographer Jimmy Olsen became Superman's best pal, even being given a watch that could emit a supersonic frequency by Superman, to summon him in case of an emergency. Like Lois, Jimmy also went on his own series of adventures, although many involved bizarre and unusual transformations into superhuman or non-human beings. Once his reputation as "Superman's pal" became widespread, a fan club sprung up in honor of Jimmy, whose members wore bowties, red wigs and green plaid jackets in ritual imitation of the man. Jimmy himself became the fan club president.

The Thing From 40,000 A.D.

Superman would encounter all manner of nefarious villains and strange monsters in the first couple of years in his career. One notable antagonist was an amorphous creature with intentions of world conquest, known only as The Thing From 40,000 A.D.. After arriving from the distant future of 40,000 A.D., the gelatinous monstrosity duplicated Superman's form and powers and engaged him in a lengthy battle. Only when Superman's and the creature's respective durability levels were tested by an A-bomb test did the monster meet its demise.[180]

Superman vs. Lex Luthor

Lex Luthor continued to be the source of innumerable problems for Superman, especially in his early career when few other foes matched Luthor's cunning and intellect. In an era when a dearth of truly powerful enemies caused Superman's indestructibility to go mostly unchallenged, Luthor devised all manner of ingenious gimmicks to circumvent it. On one occasion, Luthor created an armor that would siphon and redirect Superman's power. Luthor set off a series of explosions around Metropolis to trick Superman into expending himself physically attending to them, while Luthor built up that expended energy within his armor and used it to go on a one-man crime spree. Superman defeated Luthor by deliberately exposing himself to Kryptonite, causing the energy in Luthor's armor to dissipate along with his own.[181] On another occasion, Luthor ingested a serum that enabled him to passively emit Kryptonite radiation from his body, briefly rechristening himself the Kryptonite Man, and using a satellite device to transmute all lead on Earth into glass. Forced to flee from Luthor and unable to use lead armor for protection, Superman resorted to trickery to convince Luthor that his serum was inert and manipulate him into ingesting the antidote.[182] After Superman made an alliance with Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder, Lex Luthor responded by opening a period of cooperation with the Joker to humiliate their longtime enemies. To accomplish this, Luthor and Joker feigned reformation and entered into a legitimate business enterprise in mass-producing android laborers called "Mechano-Men" for menial jobs. Multiple times, Luthor and the Joker deceived Superman and Batman into believing them to be committing criminal activity, in order to make the legendary heroes appear as impulsive fools to the public. Superman took up impersonating one of Luthor's Mechano-Men to investigate the evil duo for plans of villainy, only to be detected by Luthor and Joker almost immediately. Nevertheless, Luthor and Joker tried to make Superman's cluelessness work to their advantage, conducting a quick heist while Mechano-Men built in their images were busy taking up the heroes' attentions elsewhere. Fortunately, Superman and Batman outsmarted Luthor and Joker and sent them both up the river.[183] Superman and Batman would team up against Lex again when the villain shrunk himself and his gang down to the size of dolls, tricked Superman into smuggling them into the Fortress of Solitude, and invaded Kandor with the intention of establishing their rule in the bottle city, raiding it for Kryptonian technology and weapons, and luring Superman into the city to overpower and capture him. Batman and Robin discovered Luthor's scheme by pursuing leads through the members of his gang and provided the assistance to Superman which ultimately proved pivotal to Luthor's defeat.[184] At a technology expo, a disguised Luthor tried to trick Superman into testing a faulty teleporter, which would disassemble Superman at the atomic scale, but the plot was exposed by Batman, Robin and Batwoman.[185] Later, Luthor would summon Hercules from the mythical past to help him knock over banks. This time, it was Hercules's own self-image as a hero and distaste for being used which caused Luthor's plan to backfire.[186] In spite of repeated failure, Luthor's boundless ego prevented him from ever stopping to try to best the Man of Steel, with such ingenious devices as a cannon that could absorb and redirect Superman's power at him, an illusion-caster that could make Superman artificially sense the proximity of Kryptonite, and a spherical prison capsule linked by EM wave emissions to a nuclear bomb underneath the foundations of Metropolis.[187][188][189]

Lex Luthor was always Superman's most implacable foe.

Luthor created his own answer to Superman's Fortress of Solitude in the form of "Luthor's Lair", a concealed hideout within a museum building whose construction Luthor had funded under a false identity. The main defining feature of Luthor's Lair was a Hall of Heroes containing statues of Genghis Khan, Attila the Hun, Captain Kidd, Al Capone and other infamous marauders and outlaws. Luthor vowed to add his own statue to the gallery once he had contented himself with Superman's humiliation and destruction.[188] The police eventually became privy to knowledge of the lair's location and surrounded him, forcing Luthor to blast off in a rocket for another world populated by sentient androids. When Luthor was held prisoner there for the destruction of one of the ruling robot-caste, Superman had to outwit the robots so Luthor could complete his sentence on Earth. Afterwards, Luthor forced Superman to let him go, pointing out that the robot planet was outside the jurisdiction of Earth law, although it also meant he would be marooned on the planet as a consequence.[190] Winning the robot ruling-caste's trust by providing them with a defense against a swarm of belligerent giant insects, Luthor contrived to release three rebels of the planet's underclass from cryogenic suspension and transformed them with his machines into creatures made of diamond, lead and Green Kryptonite. Luthor used these beings to attack interplanetary shipping lanes as a space-pirate to provoke another confrontation with Superman, but the android henchmen rebelled against their evil master, sacrificing themselves so that Luthor could be stopped.[191] Back on Earth, Luthor tried to use a device on Superman to turn him into an incorporeal wraith, but wound up creating a "negative" duplicate of Superman instead.[192] After perfecting the device (or a similar machine), Luthor teamed up with the Joker once again to confound Superman and Batman and rob a rare gem exhibit in Metropolis.[193] Luthor formed an alliance with a duo of greedy aliens to draw Superman off-world and use an android duplicate to impersonate him on Earth. By making the Superman robot perform crimes such as looting silver, Luthor could make Superman's name anathema to the people of Metropolis and recompense the aliens with the stolen silver, which was the most valuable specie on their home-planet. Fortunately, the real Superman untangled Luthor's scheme with Batman and Robin's help and cleared his name.[194]

Superman vs. Brainiac

Superman's first encounter with Brainiac

Superman's greatest enemy (Lex Luthor excluded) was not destined to come from the Earth but rather from the stars, as Brainiac, self-proclaimed Master of Super-Scientific Forces, descended upon the blue planet to miniaturize several of the world's major cities, including Metropolis, and teleport them into oxygenated bottles simulating the environments and gravity of the captive cities' world of origin. Reduced in size to that of an insect, Superman set about contriving a way to free the captive Earth cities from Brainiac's grip, only to make the unexpected find of a preserved Kryptonian city in miniature, Kandor. Brainiac captured the city prior to Krypton's destruction, which Superman learned about during his sojourn in the bottle city. Superman then waited for Brainiac to believe he had won, whereupon he entered suspended animation, and used the machinery in Brainiac's ship to restore the Earth cities to their proper sizes and locations upon the planet. With only enough charge left to enlarge himself or Kandor, Superman was prepared to sacrifice for the welfare of his people, only for the decision to be taken out of his hands when a Kandorian scientist pressed the button to enlarge Superman instead. Superman then kept Kandor under safekeeping in his Fortress of Solitude, vowing to its citizens that he would see to its enlargement and freedom by any means necessary.[195] Later, Brainiac returned to Earth to expose Superman to a blast containing radiations of Green Kryptonite and Red Kryptonite. To divert suspicions about his true identity and keep Brainiac guessing, Superman convinced everyone that the effect of the blast was to compel Superman to carry out rescues and solve crimes while wearing unusual hats, though the truth was that Superman manifested a third eye on the back of his head which his activities were intended to obfuscate. Beating Brainiac with a concentrated burst of heat vision, Superman sent the villain into the distant past.[196] Brainiac remained in a state of suspended animation within his space-craft from the Mesozoic Era through the invention of the first wheel by prehistoric man. Awakened when said wheel smashed into the protective glass of his space-pod, Brainiac returned through a time-warp to the present and challenged Superman while he, as Clark Kent, was accompanying Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and Perry White to investigate a native uprising in the Congo. Neutralizing Superman with a Kryptonite-gas grenade, Brainiac reduced the Man of Tomorrow and his Daily Planet friends to the size of ants and encapsulated them in a bottle. Brainiac was undone when Congorilla, controlled by the intelligence of big-game hunter Congo Bill, helped Superman and friends out of their captivity while Brainiac was distracted by the unusual behavior of Congo Bill, whose body in turn fell under the control of the gorilla's intelligence.[197]

The Menace of Metallo

John Corben, a reporter by profession and racketeer/murderer on the side, ran off the road in his automobile one rainy night and was reconstructed by the benevolent Professor Emmett Vale as a cyborg dependent upon uranium capsules to survive on a day-to-day basis. Although Vale did mention that one other substance had the potential to sustain Corben in his new body indefinitely, he collapsed from a stroke before divulging that detail, even as his house became buried under a rockslide. Corben soon discovered his superior strength and invulnerability, going on a rampage in the pursuit of uranium stockpiles held at military and research facilities. Branded by the press as Metallo, Corben took advantage of the fact that his identity remained unknown to the authorities, seeking a job at the Daily Planet as an excuse to get close to Lois Lane and even letting her believe that he was Superman. Meanwhile, Corben returned to a revived Professor Vale and learned from Vale that Kryptonite was the substance that could power him indefinitely. Metallo then seized the Kryptonite in Vale's house safe and implanted it in his chest like a "heart" to grant him a permanent charge. Guessing at Metallo's M.O., Superman arranged to have a fake Kryptonite rock put on display in a museum, hoping to trap Metallo. The trap worked almost too well, as Metallo removed his Kryptonite heart to hold Superman at bay while substituting it for the fake Kryptonite on display. As a result, Metallo died for his error, whereas Superman melted the real Kryptonite with his heat vision just in time to save his life.[198]

The Supergirl From Krypton

Supergirl arrives on Earth

A few months after finding Kandor, Superman witnessed a Kryptonian rocket crashing near the outskirts of Metropolis. When Superman went to check out the place, he found his cousin Kara. Evidently, a metropolitan district on Krypton named Argo City was not destroyed with the planet itself, but rather propelled into deep space with an atmosphere-retaining protective dome around it. When the soil upon which Argo City was built turned to Green Kryptonite (actually a sub-variant called Anti-Kryptonite that could affect even depowered Kryptonians) due to irradiation, Jor-El's brother Zor-El had the ground plated with lead to protect the Kryptonian survivors from succumbing. Over time, Zor-El affixed a jet drive to the base of Argo City to allow it to blast through space into a system with a yellow sun. Religious fanatic Jer-Em opposed this decision, believing that Rao created the Kryptonian race to live under the rays of a red sun and never to manifest super-powers, so he tampered with the jet drive to propel Argo City back into Krypton's solar system. For his counterproductive interference, Zor-El banished Jer-Em to the Phantom Zone. As a result of Jer-Em's actions, Argo City collided with a shower of meteoroids that punctured its lead plating, consigning its inhabitants to slowly die of Kryptonite poisoning. Like Jor-El before him, Zor-El only had sufficient time to construct a one-person space vessel and sent his daughter Kara to Earth to reunite with her cousin Kal-El. Overjoyed to find his long-lost relative but being unable to take care of her at the time, Superman sent his teen cousin to Midvale Orphanage under the human alias "Linda Lee," even as he trained her to control her vast powers.[198][199][200] During this time, Kara embarked on her own series of independent adventures separate from those of her famous cousin. The first time that Supergirl directly involved herself in one of Superman's adventures was when the Kandorian scientist Kull-Ex framed Superman for causing catastrophes on Earth.[201] The Legion of Super-Heroes would appear to Supergirl with an offer of membership, but sadly, she flunked their entry test for new applicants on a technicality and was told to try again some other time.[186] Next year, the Legion returned for Supergirl to try again. This time, she and Brainiac 5 were chosen for membership. Supergirl and Brainiac 5 felt an attraction to each other starting from their first meeting, though for several years Supergirl's "official" boyfriend was Jerro, an Atlantean merman. As Linda Lee, Supergirl also grew attracted to a boy named Dick Malverne, whom she first met in the orphanage. Supergirl's final test of fortitude began when the wicked Kandorian scientist and Kara Zor-El look-alike, Lesla-Lar, used a teleportation/size-reduction ray on Kara while she slept at night to switch places with Kara in Midvale. To perfect the involuntary swap, Lesla-Lar brainwashed the sleeping Kara upon arrival in Kandor, so that Kara would in fact believe herself to be Lesla-Lar until returned to her proper place outside the bottle city. Impersonating Supergirl, Lesla-Lar hatched a scheme to assist Lex Luthor in creating a Kryptonite-ray weapon, with the intention of killing Lex in a staged accident after Lex killed Superman. From there, Lesla-Lar would indulge in the fame and attention that she knew Kara would receive had Superman ever allowed her to go public, in addition to plotting the takeover of the Earth at her leisure. However, Lesla-Lar's plan was repeatedly disrupted by Kara's activities in Kandor while brainwashed into her false identity, the interference of Krypto, who could smell the difference between Lesla-Lar and Kara, and the need for the plan to accommodate both Lesla-Lar's and Kara's Circadian rhythms. During the periods when Lesla-Lar was restricted to Kandor, she robbed Kara of her powers artificially using an energy siphon. Fortunately, the convoluted scheme was put on ice before it could reach fruition by the Kandorian police, who discovered that Lesla-Lar was experimenting with forbidden materials and arrested her. Meanwhile, Kara learned from Superman's vain efforts to restore her powers that she could manifest them in past and future time periods, but not in the present. Then, suddenly, Kara did appear to regain her powers, plus an immunity to Kryptonite radiation, but unbeknowst to her, these were powers bestowed on her by Mr. Mxyzptlk with magic as part of an intended prank on Superman. As these events were occurring, there was a shake-up of the status quo in Kara's personal life, as she was adopted by the caring suburbanite Danvers family and began to take her relationship with Dick Malverne to the next level. Confident in her newfound immunity to Kryptonite, Supergirl tried to gather up Red Kryptonite meteoroids and destroy them for the benefit of her cousin, only to realize too late that she was only made specifically immune to Green Kryptonite. After suffering through 6 Red K-induced mutations, Supergirl regained her Kryptonian abilities in earnest and was introduced by Superman before the entire world and officially deputized as an enforcer of the law by all the United Nations, complete with an international passport. Superman also helped Linda reveal her identity as Supergirl to her new adoptive parents, after Linda was forced to use her powers to save their car from a bridge collapse. Linda and Superman made sure to swear the Danvers family into secrecy about Linda's double-life, for the sake of their own protection. Not long after, Supergirl had one of her first true independent victories, defeating the Infinite Monster by replicating Brainiac 5's shrink-ray with blueprints sent from the future. Afterwards, Superman declared Supergirl coequal with him in their shared mission and placed trust in her to substitute for him during periods of absence.[202][203][197][204][205][206][207][208] Supergirl was tested once again when Lex Luthor launched another crime-spree, believing her very existence to be a hoax conjured by Superman to discourage criminals while off-world (and apparently having dismissed or forgotten about Lesla-Lar's impersonation). Luthor made his move by trying a duplicate of Brainiac's shrink-ray on a bank franchise and stealing it away. When Supergirl intervened, Luthor fled and accidentally killed himself. Resolute that Luthor should serve out his sentence in full, Supergirl found a way to revive Luthor from clinical death and returned him to prison.[209] Supergirl would continue to operate on an independent basis, amassing her own cast of friends, such as Lex Luthor's sister Lena, the housecat Streaky, who was artificially empowered by X-Kryptonite, and the centaur Biron, who was transformed by a mystical enchantment into Comet the Super-Horse. Then came the day that Supergirl discovered that her biological parents did not truly die with the rest of Argo City but in fact beamed themselves into an other-dimensional "Survival Zone" parallel to the Phantom Zone. Because of the proximity of the Survival Zone to Earth, Zor-El and Allura made telepathic contact with Kara and instructed her to release them. Upon their escape, Zor-El and Allura realized that their daughter had formed a legitimate connection with her human foster-parents and that they did not fit into Earth society, so they entered the bottle-city of Kandor to resume the relationships they had once formed on Krypton, while allowing Kara to have two sets of parents for the two different "worlds" she inhabited: Krypton and Earth.[210] Soon after, Linda graduated from high school and began taking classes at Stanhope College.[211] Supergirl's ability would again be validated when she triumphed in a solo encounter against Brainiac during one of her cousin's excursions with the Justice League.[212]

Superman vs. Bizarro

A menace from Superman's past would be restored, as Lex Luthor recreated the imperfect Duplicator Ray of Professor Dalton and tricked Superman into letting Luthor use it on him. As a result, Luthor produced a Bizarro Superman that retained the memories of his predecessor but had an overwhelming compulsion to prove its worth to Lois Lane. Obsessed with winning Lois's hand in marriage, Bizarro whisked the lady reporter to a tropical island and created an imperfect duplicate of himself with the Duplicator Ray. The result was a new Bizarro that had the unblemished, unaltered appearance of the real Superman but the corrupted, childlike mind of the original Bizarro. While Lois may not have been more impressed by the new Bizarro than the old one, the two flawed entities found much to despise about the other and were soon embroiled in a duel to the death. With Superman's help, the original Bizarro destroyed the new Bizarro, and Lois used the Duplicator Ray on herself to create a perfect mate for Bizarro: a Bizarro Lois Lane. Together, the two took off for the depths of space, to find an imperfect world that they could call their own.[213][214]

Bizarro and his bride settled upon an uninhabited Earth-like world and stumbled upon the ruins of an extinct civilization, reusing the materials of its abandoned cities to create a distorted replica of Metropolis. When Bizarro Lois grew lonely, Bizarro used the Duplicator Ray to create an entire population of Bizarro Supermen and Bizarro Lois Lanes. The originals were enshrined as rulers of the planet and distinguished themselves from their subjects by wearing necklaces bearing stone engravings proclaiming them both #1. By chance, Superman stumbled upon the Bizarro World and committed one faux pas too many in working to make things "more perfect" for the benefit of its people. Little did Superman know that this was a grave violation of the Bizarro Code, which enforced a reverence for ugliness and adherence to the opposite of normal Earthly conduct as laws, causing Bizarro #1 to have Superman jailed along with a select population of Bizarros which lacked the backwards insanity characteristic of their kind. As punishment, Superman was sentenced to transformation into a Bizarro, whereas a Bizarro Lois that unsuccessfully tried to free Superman disguised as Bizarro Lois #1 was sentenced to death. Fortunately, Superman stymied Bizarro #1 by pointing out that the shape of their planet (Htrae) was not wildly deviant from Earth's shape, forcing him to let Superman and the other prisoners go on principle of making up for hypocrisy. Once free, Superman terraformed Htrae into a cube-shaped planetary mass, granting the Bizarros' wish to have a truly imperfect world at last.[215][216] Bizarro #1 and Bizarro Lois #1 went on to have a baby, which appeared as a normal human and wound up on Earth due to his father's negligence. Superman and Supergirl took custody of the baby, unaware of its origins until it eventually took upon the appearance of a Bizarro as part of its natural metamorphosis. The baby Bizarro was detected on Earth by Bizarro #1, and when the complication of a Bizarro Supergirl on Earth who was possessive of the baby presented itself, Earth and Htrae entered into interplanetary war. Superman thankfully defused the situation by using the Duplicator Ray on Green Kryptonite to create Blue Kryptonite, a variant exclusively lethal to Bizarros, and returning the baby to his father. Meanwhile, Bizarro Supergirl was killed by the Blue K.[217]

The Mischief of Mr. Mxyzptlk

Superman continued to be bedeviled by the imp from the 5th-dimensional land of Zrfff, Mr. Mxyzptlk, although the nature of Mxyzptlk's pranks remained more annoying than malicious. Every time Superman would contrive some way to make the magical being say his name backwards and return to his own dimension, and upon every return Mxyzptlk would think of some new way to "cover his blind spots" from previous defeats, such as by using hypnotism on Superman, submerging himself in water, or installing an alarm into his derby hat.[218][219][220] On occasion, Mxyzptlk would change his name to make Superman's task of making him say it backwards more difficult, but Superman always found a way to manage and leave Mxy in the dust.[221] Uncharacteristically, Mr. Mxyzptlk once tried to outdo Superman by becoming a Metropolis-based super-hero and performing good deeds instead of irritating pranks, but Bizarro accidentally sent Mxy back to Zrfff during a brief sojourn on Earth by dedicating a statue with commemorative plaque to the imp in Bizarro-form, startling Mxy such that he read his backwards-spelled name off the plaque in disbelief. Mxy irrationally blamed Superman for his downfall as a hero and reverted back to his old modus operandi on his next outing.[222]

Titano the Super-Ape

Superman fights Titano

When the extraordinarily intelligent chimpanzee Toto was launched into space by NASA, his space pod was bathed in the radioactive energies of colliding plutonium and Kryptonite meteoroids. Upon returning to Earth, Toto grew to a gigantic size and manifested the ability to emit Kryptonite-radiation eye-beams, making him a formidable threat to Superman. While the U.S. Army sought to put the beast down, Lois Lane sympathized with the Super-Ape, knowing that its actions were not the product of malice so much as confusion, and with Superman's help, Lois managed to stop the overgrown chimp's rampage. To spare it from being euthanized by the army, Superman breached the time-barrier and deposited the creature now called Titano in the Mesozoic Era, from where it was assumed never to be capable of returning.[223] A year later, Titano returned to modern-day Metropolis because of a technological fluke and went on a rampage until Superman stopped him again and returned him to the distant past.[224] Titano was befriended by Krypto during one of the Superdog's romps through the timestream.[225]

The Superman Emergency Squad

Superman was almost done in when billionaire philanthropist John Kiley, who had good relations with Clark Kent for years, faked being on his deathbed in order to press Clark to admit to being Superman. As the secret leader of the Anti-Superman Gang, Kiley used that knowledge to lure Clark into a Kryptonite deathtrap at one of his mines, forcing the city of Kandor to assemble an ad hoc taskforce, the Superman Emergency Squad, to save his life. Kiley and his gang were arrested and taken to jail, but not before the appearance of Supergirl and the Emergency Squad (neither of whose existences were public knowledge at the time) was used by Superman to convince Kiley that Clark Kent's confession to being Superman was a drug-induced hallucination.[226] The Superman Emergency Squad would be of immense help to the Man of Steel on a number of further occasions, spawning ideas of similar Kandorian auxiliary teams such as the Supergirl Emergency Squad.

The Loved and Lost

Lois Lane was Superman's most frequent romantic interest after making his debut in Metropolis, though their relationship could often seem one-sided. Though Superman always cared for Lois and came to her rescue when the situation called for it, he felt that his immense powers and responsibility to the world to preserve freedom and fight crime made the maintenance of a love-life unnecessarily burdensome. On top of that, Superman suspected on many an occasion that Lois was more fascinated by his popularity and might than actually attracted to his personal qualities. Additionally, Lois's reporter's instinct led her on a quest to uncover Superman's secret identity, which she always suspected was Clark Kent. Although Lois's suspicions were on the mark, of course, she was never able to conclusively prove anything, thanks to Superman's own quick-wittedness and talent for misdirection. Nevertheless, having his prospective girlfriend poke around in an area best left unexplored did not endear him to the notion of a long-term commitment at any rate. Lana Lang, who was infatuated with Superboy during Clark Kent's adolescence, also returned as an important figure in Superman's adult life, having become a TV-news reporter in her maturity. Often Lana would compete with Lois for Superman's hand in marriage, though at some level both women knew that the Last Son of Krypton would never have either of them so long as he retained his duty to humanity. Lori Lemaris would also return to Superman's life as an adult. Clark Kent's first suspicion that Lori was back was while overhearing an urban legend about a mermaid that stops illegal fishing in the spawning waters. Clark and Lori reunited and thought of rekindling their relationship, but Lori's informal nemesis, a disgruntled fisherman, attacked her with a harpoon, forcing Superman to search the stars for an alien surgeon from an aquatic planet, who might have insight into the physiology of mer-people. Superman was successful, but Lori quickly fell in love with the alien merman that Superman brought back, Ronal. Soon, the two were married, but that didn't stop Lori and Clark from frequently interacting, typically in some capacity having to do with Superman's love life vis-a-vis Lois Lane.[219][227][228] On an accidental trip through time to Krypton, several years before its destruction, Superman fell in love with the actress Lyla Lerrol. Tragically, any permanent romance between the two was not to be, as the circumstance of Krypton's looming death and the necessity of Superman's departure prior to the cataclysm cut their relationship short. Like everyone else on Krypton at the time of its destruction, Lyla Lerrol perished, to be mourned by her erstwhile lover decades into the future and light years away.[229]

Tales of the Phantom Zone

When a rift began to open between the Phantom Zone and the physical world, which would grow wide enough for its imprisoned criminals to escape, Mon-El warned Superman of the peril at hand, in spite of his incorporeal state. After reducing himself to the size of a child with a deliberate Red K mutation to fit through the rift and consult with Mon-El about the problem, Superman eventually determined that the phenomenon of the Aurora Borealis was responsible for the rift and closed it by focusing his heat vision upon it with Supergirl and Krypto.[230] Kryptonian mad scientist Jax-Ur later escaped the Phantom Zone by influencing the mind of Fred Danvers into concocting a serum that breached the veil between dimensions, but Supergirl drove him back with the help of Mon-El.[231] Several criminals from the Phantom Zone were released by a space-warp caused by a 50-megaton atom bomb test and took up residence in a Southwestern ghost town. Anonymously tipping Lois Lane on to the town's existence, the Phantom Zoners spun a false tale of how they arrived on Earth from Krypton to draw Superman to them, in order so they could banish Superman to the Zone in their place. Superman deduced their intentions and beat the Phantom Zoners in a traditional Wild West showdown, with miniaturized Phantom Zone Projectors in place of pistols.[232]

Quex-Ul completes his sentence in the Phantom Zone.

For the first time, Superman was compelled by his sense of righteousness into releasing a Phantom Zoner upon completion of his sentence. Quex-Ul, who was sentenced to the Phantom Zone for 25 years for poaching Rondors back on Krypton, tried to depower Superman with Gold Kryptonite upon release. Meanwhile, Superman and Supergirl learned that Quex-Ul was not a true criminal, but was rather hypnotized by the real poacher into taking the fall for his misdeeds. Upon being told this, Quex-Ul sacrificed himself to prevent Superman from being exposed to Gold K, not only permanently losing all his powers but also losing all his memories as well. With Superman's endorsement, Quex-Ul was given the new identity of "Charlie Kweskill" and given a job in the production department of the Daily Planet, none the wiser about his Kryptonian origins.[233][234] Fresh upon release from captivity in Kandor, Lesla-Lar, Supergirl's nemesis and one-time impersonator, switched places with Lena Thorul to release 3 criminals from the Phantom Zone-- Kru-El, General Zod and Jax-Ur-- and plot their takeover of the Earth. Unearthing the casket of forbidden weapons that Kal-El had deposited into the ocean years ago as Superboy, the Phantom Zoners used one of their weapons upon Lesla-Lar, killing her, and another on Supergirl when she arrived to respond to the disturbance. Supergirl had to call upon the assistance of Superman and Lex Luthor (whose motivation was to rescue his sister) to turn the tables on the villains and put them back where they belong. In the aftermath, Lena was extricated from the bottle-city of Kandor and her brother Lex was returned to his prison cell.[235][236] Jax-Ur later leveraged an appeal to the Phantom Zone parole board in Kandor to engineer Jewel Kryptonite from shards of Krypton's Jewel Mountains. The previously unknown variety of Kryptonite enhanced Phantom Zoners' psionic abilities as wraiths to the point of having a palpable effect on the physical plane, allowing Jax-Ur to cause mass destruction on Earth with telekinetically-induced spontaneous combustion. Only by the telepathic warning of Lori Lemaris was Superman able to discover the source of Jewel K in orbit around the Earth and neutralize it.[210]

The Superman Revenge Squad

A consortium of would-be universal conquerors from the planet Wexr II banded together as the Superman Revenge Squad to retaliate against the Man of Tomorrow for crushing their ambitions back when he was Superboy. Their revenge would repeatedly revolve around orchestrating some improbable series of catastrophes with alien technology to derail Superman's life and impair his ability to function as a crime-fighter. In their first appearance, the Revenge Squad exposed Superman to Red Kryptonite without his knowing to cause him to lapse into bizarre dreams of strange futuristic scenarios and launching an invasion of Earth once Superman realized he could no longer trust in his own senses to guide him. Superman prevailed when he recognized a pattern in his Red K-induced dreams that was not present in the Revenge Squad's invasion scenario and stopped them.[237][238] The Revenge Squad returned with a psionic weapon that would cause Superman to go mad and lash out at everyone in his vicinity, with the aim of ruining his reputation with the people of Earth. After several destructive incidents, Superman turned the tables by executing a plan with the assistance of Perry White and the Superman Emergency Squad.[239] The Revenge Squad struck again and tricked Superman into following their ships through a time-warp into a far-flung future. In this period, the Sun had become a red giant and boiled the Earth's oceans away, and humanity had abandoned the planet to colonize distant worlds millennia ago. Under the red Sun's rays, Superman lost all his powers and trekked across the barren landscape, accompanied only by an ancient robot of Perry White, until he reached the Fortress of Solitude, where Superman found the machinery required to return to his own time.[240] The Revenge Squad's next attempt on Superman's life involved transferring the intelligence of a Superman robot to a chemically-augmented quasi-human body and sending him to Earth as Wonder-Man to compete with and ultimately destroy Superman. The Revenge Squad was done in this time when Wonder-Man turned on his "handlers" and united with Superman to drive the alien menace off-planet.[241] The Revenge Squad next created android duplicates of Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Perry White, Supergirl, Batman and Lori Lemaris, kidnapping the real versions and holding them in suspended animation in a cave, to convince Superman that his Daily Planet friends had discovered his secret identity from his super-friends and were using the knowledge as leverage to enforce blackmail demands. Superman deduced the villains' plan when he noticed certain abnormalities giving his "friends" away as non-human replicas and freed their likenesses from captivity.[242] As the Revenge Squad grew more audacious in its endeavors to destroy Superman, it attracted failed dictators and fallen petty tyrants from beyond Wexr II, expanding into a veritable confederation of interstellar despots, raiders and brigands. Some splinter groups of the Revenge Squad took to shaving their heads bald in ritual imitation of Superman's arch-enemy Lex Luthor and adopted a "team uniform" in a manner of speaking: a variant of Superman's own uniform with a green luminescent version of the S-crest, meant to invoke the imagery of Green Kryptonite.[243]

The Legion of Super-Villains

Cobbling together a communication device capable of penetrating the time-barrier in search of allies, Lex Luthor came upon the 30th Century rogues called the Legion of Super-Villains, consisting of Cosmic King, Lightning Lord and Saturn Queen. Together, Luthor and the LSV lured Superman into a Kryptonite death-trap, but they were interrupted by the arrival of the Legion of Super-Heroes, who turned the tides in Superman's favor. Superman won the day by manipulating Saturn Queen into turning on her allies.[244] Planning their revenge from the future, the LSV sent two Durlan henchmen to the 20th Century as emissaries of chaos. The Durlans gathered Red Kryptonite meteorites together into a crude statue of Superman on a small island. Then, disguised as admirals of the U.S. Navy, the Durlans sent Jimmy Olsen of the Daily Planet an anonymous news tip about the statue, knowing that he would bring Clark Kent and Lois Lane along with him. Their plan succeeded in exposing Clark to the Red K radiations, but fortunately, the first induced mutation was not a bizarre, revealing physical transformation, giving Clark the time to think about how to remove Lois and Jimmy from the vicinity before more disturbing mutations set in. After weathering all the Red K-induced mutations without harming anyone or exposing his secret identity, Superman was called to join a summit between the leaders of the United States and Russia. Using the temporary telepathy granted by the last Red K-induced mutation, Superman realized that the world leaders attending the summit were in fact the Durlans and exposed them, returning them to their native time-period for punishment.[245]

Nightwing and Flamebird

When Kandorian scientist Than-Ol invented an enlargement procedure by which Kandor could hypothetically be restored, he and his men convinced the majority of the bottle-city's people that Superman was deliberately withholding knowledge of the procedure out of a desire to preserve his perceived uniqueness on Earth. Superman became aware of the situation when several of Than-Ol's enlarged henchmen conducted raids of Earth laboratories for elements to perform the enlargement procedure on a large scale. Superman and Jimmy Olsen tracked the raiders to Kandor and shrunk themselves down into the bottle-city, at which point they realized the people had been turned against Superman. Powerless inside the bottle, Superman adopted the identity of costumed adventurer Nightwing, inspired by his crime-fighting partner Batman, while Jimmy became a Robin-inspired persona named Flamebird. With the help of Superman's kinsman Van-Zee, Jor-El's old friend Nor-Kann and the Superman Emergency Squad, Superman and Jimmy uncovered that Than-Ol's enlargement procedure stood the chance of causing Kandor's disintegration if not reversed within a 3-hour time period and proved this point to the city's inhabitants, saving their lives and regaining their trust.[246]

The Never-Ending Battle

After masterminding his next jailbreak, Lex challenged Superman to fight him on a planet in a red-sun system, alleging that all of the Man of Tomorrow's previous victories had been solely due to his prodigious might in the yellow-sun environment. Being punched out in his first round with Superman, Luthor fled into the desert to lose his enemy and happened across the planetary natives, who once possessed a flourishing technological civilization but had lost all cultural memory of how to sustain it after a cataclysmic war of ages past. Seeing the opportunity to play the philanthropist, Lex showed the aliens how to operate some simple machinery before Superman caught up to him again. Superman and Luthor dueled once more, this time with weapons native to the planet's construction, and while Luthor was in a position to claim victory, he decided to yield so long as Superman moved icebergs to the planet's barren ocean floors, recreating its natural bodies of water. The aliens attributed the deed to their benefactor Lex Luthor and renamed the planet Lexor in his honor.[247]

The Luthor-Brainiac Team

It wasn't long before Lex Luthor was out on the lam again, and this time the mad genius sought allies against the Last Son of Krypton. Reaching out with a telepathic thought-helmet, Luthor received errant thoughts from the planet of Colu detailing the origin of Brainiac, specifically that he was truly an highly sophisticated computer in humanoid frame, manufactured by the Computer Tyrants to expand their dominion over other worlds. Luthor freed Brainiac from his prison on a distant, uninhabited world, and together, the nefarious duo set about gathering the ingredients to an anti-super-power serum. The villains' search brought them to Colu, where Brainiac learned of the Computer Tyrants' downfall and his release from the purpose they appointed for his existence, and Lexor, where Lex had a fateful first encounter with an appreciative woman named Ardora and demonstrated his well-hidden compassionate side by refusing to let Brainiac appropriate resources from the Lexorian people for their plot. Luthor and Brainiac ambushed Superman and had him at their mercy. Only the mobilization of the Kandorian Superman Emergency Squad reversed the villains' fortunes. Even still, while Luthor failed to successfully defend Brainiac for the shrinking of Kandor in a court of Kryptonian law, he succeeded in blackmailing Kandor into securing their release with the fact that only Brainiac and he knew how to restore Superman. Shockingly, the villains held up their part of the bargain, even after the Kandorians relented and gave them back their freedom.[248]

Thinking better of his bargain with Luthor and Brainiac, Superman returned to Lexor in pursuit of Luthor, but his mission was diverted by the realization that the Lexorians used a unique form of jewel-currency which emitted intelligence-sapping radiations over the long-term. Luthor gave himself temporary super-powers and pursued Superman as "The Defender" while Superman absconded with the jewel-currency, but he decided to let Superman go once he understood the motivation for Superman's actions. Still not content with stalemate, Luthor prepared a spacecraft to head to Earth, ready with a supply of synthetic Red K to render Superman powerless, but Luthor accidentally flew through a time-warp and wound up back in 1906 San Francisco. Luthor took the identity of Cyrus Groat, publisher of the Daily Planet in that era, after the real Groat was thrown off a horse and broke his neck. Superman headed back in time to pursue Luthor, but once again, Luthor bested him. Luthor did himself in, activating a time-machine in the San Francisco Bay that brought him decades into the future and left him trapped in a cell at the abandoned Alcatraz Island. A vibrational shockwave released by the device caused the infamous San Francisco earthquake of 1906.[249]

Superman, Batman, and Robin were nearly forced into retirement when the supremely powerful Composite Superman decided to interfere in their affairs.[250] Luthor broke out of prison and returned to Lexor, and Superman made it his mission to drag Luthor back to Earth. Luthor married Ardora but was compelled to swear that he wouldn't kill Superman when next they fought, and instead to leave Superman's fate to a Lexorian court. The crafty Luthor thought his way around this, faking his own death upon Superman's arrival and framing Superman for murdering him. Superman was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death in less than 3 days, as virtually all of Lexor demanded vengeance for the death of their savior. Making an unusual exception to his usual commitment to uphold the law, Superman broke out of a Lexorian prison on the night of his planned execution and exposed Luthor's plot. In spite of this, Luthor still remained a venerated figure among his people, and while Superman's death sentence was stricken down by the court, the Man of Steel was still banished from the planet, giving Luthor a rare victory.[211][251] Superman lost his powers while redirecting a radioactive comet from an inhabited system and appointed Ar-Val, an experienced member of the Superman Emergency Squad, to be resized out of Kandor and take up the name and responsibilities of Superman. However, Ar-Val seemed more interested in grandstanding than altruism, so a de-powered Kal-El had to use 30th century Legion tech to protect Lois Lane and Lana Lang when Luthor and Brainiac teamed up to kill them both. Ar-Val finally grasped the true meaning of heroism through Kal-El's selfless example, and after the villains were dealt with, Ar-Val sacrificed his life in a procedure to transfer his Kryptonian powers back to the original Superman.[252]

Superman faced a swarm of super-powerful insects from the planet Giantia, defeated a criminal inventor's Kryptium-composed robotic knight, and thwarted a train robbery attempt by the Toyman using an android duplicate.[253][254][255] In spite of having been exiled from Lexor, Superman returned nevertheless, in pursuit of Luthor. Superman inadvertently exposed Luthor to Ardora as being a consummate criminal on Earth, ruining their marriage. Luthor allied with Brainiac again to exact his revenge, taking the form of a concerted psychological warfare campaign that would cause Superman to second-guess himself into being completely ineffectual. Though nearly brought to the brink of a mental breakdown, Superman put it together and drove Luthor and Brainiac off-world. Recognizing that he was somewhat at fault for destroying Lex's relationship with Ardora, Superman decided to grant the villains a reprieve this time around and wiped Ardora's memories with a dose of Amnesium gas.[256][257][258]

Perry White collapsed from a nervous attack and appointed Clark to be acting editor-in-chief of the Daily Planet during his recovery. Meanwhile, Superman ran a mock Congressional campaign to distract Mister Mxyzptlk from more destructive activities on the imp's latest invasion of 3-dimensional reality, and Lois Lane ran against him due to taking umbrage with Superman's feigned conceitedness on the campaign trail. In the end, Superman and Lois came to realize the other's motives and conspired to trick Mxy into saying his name backwards and returning to Zrfff, after which both were disqualified due to an editorial run by Clark about why neither was a viable candidate: Superman wasn't born in the state of the election, and Lois was under 30 years old. Perry was appointed to occupy the contested seat in the Senate until a new round of elections could be held, and the editorial duties at the Planet were transferred to an out-of-town reporter named Van Benson.[259] Benson was ultimately revealed as an FBI agent tasked with using the editorial position as cover while infiltrating and dismantling an anti-Superman conspiracy, which Lois Lane and Lana Lang stumbled into by pure chance. Benson resigned upon completion of the assignment, leaving Perry White to reclaim his old position once the Senate recessed.[260][261]

When the sentence of Phantom Zone criminal Ak-Var expired, just as with Quex-Ul before him, Superman felt obligated to arrange his release. Although Superman compelled Ak-Var to reside in Kandor, Ak-Var was granted a 20-minute reprieve to explore Earth, during which time he was exposed to Red Kryptonite. Upon miniaturization into Kandor, the Red K effect caused Ak-Var to unwittingly transmit 3 Kryptonian super-powers-- super-strength, invulnerability and flight-- to the 3 members of his old gang, through physical contact. Ak-Var's former associates then put a plan into motion to frame Ak-Var for deliberately granting them powers and trapping Superman in the Phantom Zone. Fortunately, Ak-Var and Superman got wise to the crooks' scheme and exposed them. Ak-Var found a job in the laboratory of Van-Zee as a technical assistant, and found love in the arms of Van-Zee's niece Thara.[262]

Superman fights the Parasite

Superman met his most powerful nemesis yet when resentful lab worker Max Jensen accidentally exposed himself to radioactive materials from outer space and mutated into the Parasite, a villain with a physiological need to absorb others' life-force to survive. The Parasite set his sights on Superman, discovering his secret identity and battering him to the brink of death, but he realized too late that he was overloading on Superman's power and disintegrated.[263] The space pirate Amalak challenged Superman on Earth with the creation of 4 elemental beings and a ray that cut Superman's power in half.[264] Professor Va-Kox masterminded his escape from the Phantom Zone and masqueraded as a duplicate Clark Kent who came into existence from nuclear radiation exposure. Va-Kox "gifted" Superman with a utility belt full of gadgets, ostensibly to assist Superman in his crime-fighting activities, but he was discovered and returned to the Phantom Zone when Superman caught that the belt was booby-trapped to kill him.[265] Alien conqueror Grax stole the force-field of his rival Brainiac and used it to contain Superman within the Earth's atmosphere as a K-meson bomb attached to his costume counted down to destruction for the human race. With Brainiac's unexpected assistance, Superman outwitted Grax and the K-meson bomb denotated harmlessly in outer space. Grax meanwhile became incorporeal to survive the bomb and was sent reeling throughout the cosmos.[266] Superman fought the terrorist organization DEMON to keep them from stealing the Sacred Star of Sinsubhani.[267] The Superman Revenge Squad awakened an invincible robot goliath named Eterno from its slumber at the Earth's core to draw it into an inevitable confrontation with the Man of Steel. Though Superman and Eterno were equally matched in might, the android turned on the Revenge Squad when he discovered that he was being used. The Revenge Squad were forced to deactivate Eterno with Absorbium pellets to save themselves, but the robot's inanimate chassis collapsed on their ship and killed them just the same.[268] The Legion of Super-Heroes summoned Superman into their 30th-century future for the first time since boyhood to help them contend with a villain who was bent on systematically dismantling the Legion. Superman and Cosmic Man did in the mystery marauder by disguising themselves as one another and determined the villain to be Ferro Lad's vengeful brother Douglas Nolan, who was under the mental domination of Saturn Queen.[269] Clark Kent was recruited by the FBI to trail the notorious saboteur Acid Master and dismantled the spy's operations without making overt use of his super-powers.[270] Amalak returned, manipulating an alien space explorer into blaming Krypton for his own home planet's destruction and waging a one-man war on the last surviving Kryptonians. Superman exposed Amalak's treachery just in time to keep him from detonating a charge that would have destroyed the Earth.[271] Next, Superman had to contend with Zha-Vam, a being sent by the Gods of Olympus to punish Superman for dwarfing their legend with his own.[272][273][274]

Superman was duped by an impeccable android facsimile of his Clark Kent persona, who claimed to be the non-super-powered Clark of an alternate Earth, into traveling to a parallel universe where the android's creators, the Superman Revenge Squad, intended to strand him.[275] Superman then fought a ridiculous-looking yet surprisingly formidable adversary going by the name of Captain Incredible.[276] The vengeful alien Xan set his sights on Superman and Batman and used the Composite Superman as his pawn in bringing about the heroes' end, but the Composite Superman came to see the error of his ways and sacrificed his life to help Superman and Batman defeat Xan.[277] Superman then fought a new villain named the Annihilator and his juvenile delinquent sidekick when the two went on a rampage culminating in the occupation of Washington, D.C.[278][279][280] Superman's inability to stop the entirely preventable death of a cave explorer shattered Superman's self-esteem and caused him to resettle for some time on a planet in a red-sun system named Moxia, but Superman ultimately came to terms with his destiny as protector of the innocent and returned to Earth, albeit not without leaving Moxia with its own super-powered robot guardian.[281] Clark had to duck the assassination attempts of the Long-Hair Gang to preserve his secret identity while spending the whole day in the company of a girl photographer for a feature in a popular magazine.[282] Next, Superman's lady friends Lois Lane, Lori Lemaris and Lana Lang came under attack from deranged scientist Lorraine Lewis, who felt betrayed by Superman when her romantic delusions about the Man of Tomorrow failed to match the reality. Lorraine tried to kill Superman will a pillar of Q-Energy but stumbled into it herself and was immediately disintegrated. Everything in the Fortress of Solitude was then possessed by an energy-being from Pluto, which Superman defeated through use of his heat vision.[283]

For the first time, Superman had to face a homicide rap (excepting the earlier episode on Lexor), when a cunning criminal syndicate framed the Man of Steel for the murder of one of their own, but Superman proved his innocence and rooted out the true culprit with the help of Batman and paraplegic semi-retired ace attorney Earl Barton.[284][285] The Parasite was resurrected from his vaporized remains by a well-meaning alien cartographer. Realizing that his past defeat came from attempting to absorb Superman's power away too quickly all at once, Parasite disguised himself as "Larcon P. Leech," got a job as a Daily Planet reporter by draining away enough of Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen's skills to impress Perry White, and followed Clark Kent around on assignments for the next couple of days, gradually draining his life-force and super-powers from him all the while. Fortunately, Superman realized what was going on and successfully set a trap for his duplicitous enemy.[286]

Infected by Virus X!

Superman's closest brush with death began when Clark was captured by a criminal ventriloquist named Ventor, who collaborated with Lex Luthor to reverse-engineer the deadly "Kryptonian leprosy" pathogen Virus X and brainwashed Clark Kent into infecting Superman with it, not realizing that Clark himself was the Man of Steel. Breaking free of the mental programming after infecting himself, Superman incrementally manifested the hideous symptoms of Virus X and decided to launch his disease-ridden body into Flammbron, the hottest sun in the universe, to be immolated, recalling the moments that defined his life up until that point. By a twist of fate, the denizens of Bizarro World were Superman's unwitting saviors, as they shot a collection of Red and White Kryptonite shards into space in the flight-path of Superman's rocket. The White K radiations destroyed the viral particles and restored Superman to health. Superman then returned to Earth, where he learned that Supergirl and the Justice League were carrying his weight for him, having the public believe that Superman recovered and returned much earlier than he did until Kandor could present a suitable replacement Superman. With the miraculous revival of the real deal, all Superman's friends rejoiced.[287][288][289][290][291] Superman and Jax-Ur were then forced into a highly unusual alliance to defeat the planetary saboteur Black Zero, in order to avenge the destruction of Krypton and, on Superman's part, to save the Earth from meeting with the same fate. Jax-Ur killed Black Zero after defeating the sociopathic alien mass-murderer, putting a stop to his evil at long last.[2]

While covering a story about a supercomputer he brought from another world as Superman, Clark was waylaid by a foreign espionage agent, accidentally hitting a switch on the computer which activated an amnestic ray. For weeks, Superman was engaged in a mission to discover what his secret identity was, temporarily taking the roles of costumed wrestler, master thief and even President of the United States before stumbling onto the fact that he was Clark. Clark then hunted down the espionage agent, who took his place as "Clark" as a cover for subversive activities, and saw to it that his entire spy ring was broken up by the FBI. With information from Batman, Clark then determined the location of his Arctic Fortress and used the resources therein to restore his memories.[292][293][294][295] Mordru mystically sealed Superman in an impregnable vault, forcing Supergirl to summon Brainiac 5 from the 30th century and think up a scheme to deceive Lex Luthor into arranging Superman's release.[296] A changeling from another world took the forms of three of Superman's deceased yet most fearsome adversaries -- Metallo, Composite Superman and Zha-Vam -- as part of an initiation test for an exclusive fraternity on his home-planet.[297] Mr. Mxyzptlk tried to trick Superman into believing that he had a wife and half-Kryptonian child living in the suburbs whom he inexplicably forgot about, but Superman pieced it together that his least favorite imp was just playing a prank on him, as usual.[298] The Anti-Superman Gang used a Green K missile and a machine that could transmute lead into glass in an unsuccessful attempt to kill Superman.[299][300] The Marauder brainwashed Kal-El's non-Kryptonian godfather, space-traveler Rol-Nac, to take the persona of the Devil and challenge Superman with eldritch-themed Kryptonite weaponry. Superman liberated Rol-Nac from his mental programming and briefly reunited with him before sending him back on his way off-world.[301] The Superman Revenge Squad framed Superman for a series of crimes and tried to drive him insane with a chunk of Red K.[302][303]

Superman faces his mortality

Superman was contacted by an SOS from 1,000,000 years into the future, but having made a promise to the President of the United States that he wouldn't break the time-barrier with super-speed for the next few days, so as not to interfere with secret time-travel experiments that were underway, Superman used a mothballed Legion of Super-Heroes Time Bubble. Superman had not recalled why the Time Bubble was decommissioned, which was that it had a mechanical defect, making its occupant age every year that the Time Bubble moved through the timestream. Consequently, when Superman reached his target time-era, he was physically 1,000,000 years old. To make matters worse, the Time Trapper erected the Iron Curtain of Time against the past, in order so that Superman could only continue to move forward in time from that moment 1,000,000 years in the future. Though Superman easily solved the future-dwellers' problem, he was confronted with the fact that he was apparently stranded in a far-flung period long after everything and everyone he knew had fallen to the wayside and met its inevitable end. With nowhere to go but forward, until he reached the hypothetical End of Time, Superman grew more despondent and lonely in each era, until Superman reached the point when he actively admitted to want to die. By some good fortune, Superman was extricated from his torturous fate when he was swept into the tail of a comet, entered in and out of consciousness, and reappeared in his Fortress the very moment after his initial departure, with all his millions of years of aging undone. Superman was unable to explain what had happened, so he attributed it to the theory of time as a recursive loop and moved on.[304][305][56]

Gods and Monsters

After years of cycling through a certain fixed routine about life, Superman was on the brink of an unexpected and tumultuous change-over of the status quo. The Man of Tomorrow had to contend with a new variety of foe, more fearsome and yet more aberrant than any who came before, as the coming of the New Gods plunged Superman into the fray of their timeless conflict and the appearance of the Sand Superman threatened to wipe out the Man of Steel's powers entirely. Simultaneously, the personal lives of Clark Kent and his close associations were shunted into new and unfamiliar territory as a consequence of the Galaxy Broadcasting System's corporate buyout of the Daily Planet and the reshuffling of their traditional roles by the Planet's new owner, Morgan Edge.

Morgan Edge, President of the Galaxy Broadcasting System (GBS) and secretly the leader of Intergang, purchased a controlling share of Daily Planet stock, and his first order as publisher was to finance the construction of a futuristic multinavigational vehicle, the Whiz Wagon, and send Jimmy off with it to the so-called Wild Area at the outskirts of Metropolis to investigate a location spoken of only in murmurs by the local biker gangs as the Mountain of Judgement. Edge also sent the Newsboy Legion to back Jimmy up, with the incentive that they would get to keep the Whiz Wagon in the assignment was successful. Clark objected to his new boss that a cub reporter like Jimmy was being sent to cover such a dangerous story. Edge rebuffed Clark and tried to have him assassinated for his efforts. Now certain that Edge was up to no good, Clark tried to intercept the Whiz Wagon as Superman and succeeded in preventing Jimmy and the Newsboys from unwittingly delivering an explosive device to the Mountain of Judgement, which turned out to be a colossal tank-like vehicle guided by a hi-tech group called the Hairies, but Superman had to divulge top secret information to Jimmy and the Newsboys, as they had seen too much to be kept out of the loop. [306] The United States Government was supporting a clandestine research facility called the DNA Project, whose goal was to unlock the secrets of the human genome and breed genetically modified clones, like the Hairies, Dubbilex, and security chief Guardian. However, a rival installation called the Evil Factory was involved in stealing tissue samples from the Project and had sent its own genetically engineered monsters to destroy it. No sooner had all this been disclosed than Simyan and Mokkari of the Evil Factory attacked the Project with a giant Kryptonite-coated clone of Jimmy and a feral horde of Four-Armed Terrors to destroy the Project's nuclear power plant and cause the whole area to go up in a mushroom cloud. Superman was able to shove the damaged nuclear reactor into a subterranean crevice, saving Jimmy, the Newsboys, the Project, and the whole city of Metropolis. Superman and Jimmy detected a connection between Edge, Intergang, and the Evil Factory, but what they didn't know at this point was that all their actions had been directed by Darkseid.[307][308][309][310]

Kryptonite Nevermore!

Clark learned of the vigilante Thorn when she announced her mission to combat the crime syndicate known as The 100. He encountered Thorn in person as Superman shortly thereafter, first teaming up to save Lois Lane from being killed by a gang of escaped convicts.[311] While overseeing the test of an experimental Green K reactor, Superman was blasted by K-emissions and the reactor exploded, somehow converting all Kryptonite on Earth into iron. Ecstatic at the elimination of his most potent weakness, Superman stopped hijackers from intercepting the maiden voyage of an international mail carrier rocket, and Morgan Edge decided to take Clark off the Planet staff and make him into the anchorman for the 6 o'clock news on WGBS-TV. Meanwhile, a mysterious Sand Superman rose from the spot where the K-reactor exploded.[312] Superman encountered his sandy duplicate while rescuing an entire population of indigenous contract laborers from a volcanic eruption on a South Pacific island. Superman deduced from the sharp pain he felt during their brief proximity that the Sand Superman was leeching off of his super-powers.[313]

Superman learned of the existence of the New Gods while searching out the Forever People to investigate their claims of coming from a "Supertown", motivated by a longing to be among those who could sympathize with the burden of being "super." Superman got more than he bargained for, as he quickly learned of the existence of Darkseid and his ambitions for the Anti-Life Equation on Earth. Superman and the Infinity Man fought side by side against Darkseid's Gravi-Guards and liberated Beautiful Dreamer from Darkseid's clutches. Out of gratitude for his help, the Forever People opened a Boom Tube leading back to New Genesis so Superman could see Supertown for himself, but the Man of Steel declined, knowing that as long as monsters like Darkseid existed that his first responsibility would be to Earth, not to himself.[314] Superman battled Ferlin Nyxly, a former museum curator who used an artifact called the Devil's Harp to steal Superman's powers one by one. During their final battle, the Sand Superman reappeared and destroyed the Devil's Harp, leaving Superman as confused as ever about where the enigmatic being stood.[315] The unexpected death of one of Superman's scientist friends left the scientist's son Gregor Nagy in the Man of Tomorrow's guardianship as godfather. Though Gregor resented Superman for failing to save him from being mutated by one of his father's out-of-control experiments years prior, Gregor learned to forgive Superman and to use his shapeshifting powers to perform good deeds after Superman's example. Unfortunately, Gregor overexerted himself in an early solo outing and perished.[316]

Superman and the duplicate from Quarrm realize that their battle would destroy the Earth

Superman was hit with a dilemma when he accidentally acted as a vector for a space-borne plague on Earth, yet had to intervene in South America to save Lois Lane from being overrun by a colony of destructive army-ants. Learning that the energy evolved by making contact with the Sand Superman decontaminated parts of his body, Superman found his sandy doppelganger and thrust himself directly at it. Superman rescued Lois, but his powers were significantly weakened, while those of the Sand Superman were increased enormously. Gaining the ability to speak, the Sand Superman warned his body-template that while Superman would recover from his momentary weakness that it would not be a complete recovery, and that the two of them would be equal in power when next they would meet.[317] Operating at subnormal power levels, Superman barely stopped a desperate terrorist from detonating an H-bomb within a magma chamber deep within the Earth's crust.[318] Diana Prince's new mentor I-Ching somehow knew of Superman's troubles and offered to conduct a ritual whereby Superman's astral form would be extracted from his body and sent to reclaim his power from the Sand Superman. Superman and I-Ching were attacked by grunts of the Anti-Superman Gang prior to the ritual, and while a powerless Superman proved sufficient to knock the hoods unconscious, he was inflicted with a mild traumatic brain injury during the fight.[319] Ching continued with the ritual until Superman had reclaimed 2/3 of his power from his duplicate via astral projection. Unfortunately, Superman's brain injury also could not be healed in his invulnerable state, causing him to become irrational and make terrible blunders at crucial moments. The Sand Superman used the rest of its power to tear open a portal to its home-dimension and let a spirit-entity through to Earth to possess a papier-mache war-demon in a Chinatown parade. Superman flew out to meet the creature, but his power was leeched from his body by the war-demon.[320] Two thugs took advantage of Superman's powerlessness by beating him unconscious, leaving him to be found by Jimmy Olsen, I-Ching, and Diana Prince. Superman was hospitalized and brain surgery was performed to resolve the confusion caused by his head trauma, while I-Ching explained to Jimmy and Diana that the war-demon and the Sand-Superman were spirit-beings from another dimension named Quarrm, whose way was to inhabit avatars made of inorganic materials and absorb energy from any "extraordinary beings" they encounter. Superman's rest in the ICU after surgery was interrupted when the war-demon came back to finish him off, but this gave Superman the chance to re-absorb the stolen 2/3 of his power and unite with the Sand Superman to force it back through the portal. The Sand Superman then prepared to do battle with the real Superman for the privilege of being the protector of Earth, but I-Ching showed them both an illusory scenario where their clash destroyed the Earth to dissuade them. The Sand Superman returned to Quarrm peaceably, and Superman allowed it to take 1/3 of his power with him, acutely comprehending that his human fallibility combined with his almost limitless power risked the possible destruction of the Earth if his judgement ever lapsed.[321]

Clark Kent and Jimmy Olsen finally decided between themselves to confront Morgan Edge about suspicious details of his activities which implied ties to Intergang. In preemptive retaliation against their inquiries, Edge sent them to investigate a craft from Apokolips which had landed in Metropolis Park. Edge had arranged for the craft to trap Clark and Jimmy and send them both to Apokolips to be killed, but only Clark fell victim to Edge's snare. Consequently, Edge sent Bruno Mannheim to finish off Jimmy but the Guardian rescued him. In the Apokoliptian craft, Clark caught his first glimpse of the twin worlds of New Genesis and Apokolips, but fortunately, Lightray intercepted the craft and sent Clark back to Metropolis with a Boom Tube.[322][323] Simyan and Mokkari used evil miniature clones of the JLA to convert Lois into the carrier for a biological agent which would drive Superman violently insane. The DNA Project sent in a squad of miniature Lois clones to defeat the JLA clones and equip the original Lois to undo the effect on Superman.[324] Superman and the Thorn teamed up again to expose the 100 when they used a hate-group as a front to drive protesters from Metropolis's Little Africa district off a high-rise project which was intended to be another front for the 100's operations.[325] Superman confronted the threat of an "electronic ghost" which was created by a malfunctioning AI in Galaxy's recently installed supercomputer network hub.[326] Edge then attempted to kill Superman by giving Lois a new typewriter containing an explosive device from Apokolips powerful enough to eliminate the Man of Steel.[327] Intergang tried to kill Superman again by luring him to the Happyland amusement park after-hours, where Desaad had a deathtrap of his own design waiting to be sprung on the unsuspecting Man of Steel.[328] Superman later stopped the rampage of a mutated alga on the loose from S.T.A.R. Labs, but he failed as Clark Kent to prevent the other tenants of his apartment building from forming a vigilante watch group out of fear of robbers and accidentally shooting another tenant in a panic.[329] Lex Luthor infiltrated the Fortress of Solitude and planted an antimatter bomb in the Fortress keyhole as a trap for Superman, but Luthor's undoing this time was in using Clark Kent as a hostage and bringing him inside the Fortress, where Clark could learn every detail of his scheme and the only challenge presented in figuring out how to disappear to switch identities.[330]

Superman and Jimmy ran across ghoulish beings calling themselves Dragorin and Lupek and learned that they came from a world-in-miniature named Transilvane, which had been created by callous Project geneticist Dabney Donovan. Dragorin and Lupek's mission was to contact Superman for a way to stop their entire mini-planetoid from being saturated with defoliants on a timed trigger, the method preferred by Donovan to dispose of old experiments once they had run their course.[331][332] While Jimmy Olsen and the Newsboys evaded an Intergang assassination attempt and disrupted the Evil Factory on assignment from Morgan Edge in Scotland, Superman, the Guardian, and Dubbilex discovered an eerie underground tunnel network connecting the DNA Project labs with several Metropolis locations. It didn't take long for Superman to piece together that the tunnel's existence was the doing of Darkseid and that the Project was a strategic target of Apokolips in its proxy-war with New Genesis on Earth.[333][334][335] It was at this time that the man whom the Daily Planet staff knew as "Morgan Edge" was revealed to be a mentally programmed clone of the real Morgan Edge, turned out by the Evil Factory to put the resources of the Galaxy Broadcasting corporate empire at the disposal of Darkseid's quest for the Anti-Life Equation. After being created and artificially implanted with the copied memories of the real Edge, the clone was commanded by Darkseid to execute the original, only to find himself incapable of going through with it due to pangs of residual conscience. The Edge clone instead had a secret soundproof room built into his penthouse suite to contain the real Edge, hidden behind a large one-way mirror. However, the real Morgan Edge escaped from his captivity, and the clone began executing multiple creative schemes intended to facilitate his progenitor's recapture, as he knew Darkseid would show no mercy if his insufficiency was laid bare. These schemes failed, typically because of Superman's interference, and the real Edge took refuge on a communal farm run by Yango of the Outsiders.[336][337]

The Guardians of the Universe summoned Superman to divert a cluster of yellow alien spores heading for the Milky Way Galaxy because of the Green Lantern Corps' vulnerability to the color yellow. Knocked out in the process of accomplishing the task, Superman was telepathically influenced by the Guardians to consider the sociological implications of his routine intervention in human affairs, in particular the proposition that human society was bound to stagnate with a Superman to solve all of its problems for it. Superman carefully considered the notion and put the principle of limited non-interventionism into practice when faced with a labor dispute between a California fruit-grower and his Mexican workforce. As Clark Kent, Superman took the idea a step further, persuading a juvenile delinquent gang to break up with rational argument and not even lifting a fist.[338] Superman and Lois broke up a conspiracy run by the 100 in South America to steal Pentagon-commissioned blueprints for a devastating new kind of nuclear weapon. Tragically, Lois's sister Lucy fell in with the 100 and was seemingly murdered while attempting to escape their fold. Lois stayed behind in Argentina for 6 weeks after the incident to cope with her sister's death.[339] At the end of those 6 weeks, Lois returned to America, more determined, confident, and fiercely independent than ever. Lois's first decision was to quit the staff of the Daily Planet and go freelance as a reporter to search out only the stories that she felt had personal relevance and served a higher purpose. She also resolved to be less dependent in her relationship with Superman. While searching for a new apartment to rent out, Lois broke her first freelance story, exposing a retirement-village scam run by the 100 through a crooked landlord, with Superman naturally tagging behind to make sure no one got hurt.[340]

A Superman in Supertown!

Lex Luthor created the Galactic Golem from matter extracted from the heart of the universe and pitted the monster against Superman. Superman's strategy for defeating the Golem temporarily relocated everyone on Earth into a parallel universe, leading Luthor to believe he was responsible for destroying humanity, but the truth became clear when the Golem broke back into Luthor's lab to consume the source of its energy supply. Superman reappeared to hold the Golem at bay while Luthor ejected the Golem's energy supply into outer space for the creature to pursue throughout the reaches of eternity.[341] Superman's next great challenge was the arrival of the space-bandit Terra-Man, who attempted to kill Superman on his birthday, while Superman was experiencing a psychosomatic episode unique to his Kryptonian origins. Terra-Man was defeated and jailed, but he almost immediately broke free with the help of his Arguvian space-steed Nova and attacked Superman with an accelerated aging ray. Nevertheless, Superman triumphed again in the rematch round.[342][343] Exploring the subterranean tunnel network leading from the DNA Project to directly under Metropolis, Superman was accosted by yet another New God emerging from a Boom Tube, named Magnar. Both combatants initially believed the other to be an agent of Apokolips, but Superman soon realized the truth when the other end of Magnar's Boom Tube led to verdant New Genesis instead. Superman explored the gigantic floating city called Supertown, which the Forever People spoke of, elated that he had found a place where others could relate to the burden of super-powers. Unfortunately, Superman's exuberance was attenuated when his unfamiliarity with the alien culture of the New Gods and difficulty with suppressing his instinct to regard other beings as more fragile caused him to make several gaffes right from the start. Superman was invited by Highfather, the leader of New Genesis, to confide his woes. Afterwards, Highfather returned Superman to Earth, just in time to give Jimmy and the Newsboys a helping hand against the megalomaniac Victor Volcanum. Volcanum spent the last 110 years of his immortal life devising a super-weapon with which to annihilate the Earth's cities and take over the world. Superman put a stop to Volcanum's mad ambitions by preventing him from unleashing his weapon on Metropolis, and the madman committed suicide to avoid facing up to the consequences of his defeat.[344][345]

The interference of Lois Lane in the 100's recent activities brought her to the attention of the Thorn, who aside from recognizing her bravery and journalistic talent realized the utility of having "Superman's girlfriend" on her side. At Thorn's behest, Lois fed a story to the Daily Planet about the Thorn having a master plan to put the remaining 77 of the 100's chief membership roster in coffins, as a tactic of misdirection while Thorn and she searched the bay in scuba gear for one of the 100's discarded contraptions, a prototype of a Mother Box designated K.A.R.L. 1 which the 100 had snatched from Intergang. The consigliere of the 100, funeral home director Vince Adams, retaliated by setting up a trap to catch Superman, Lois, and Thorn all in one go, but he and his men failed miserably and were taken into police custody.[346] Superman and Lois then reactivated K.A.R.L. to print out information regarding the organizational secrets of the 100, revealing that the core of the organization consisted of 10 separate divisions, each consisting of 10 specialists. Superman and Lois captured two of these divisions, the Space-Raiders and the Hunters.[347][348] Disguised as a human mystic "Doctor Mystir," Brainiac took control of Superman's actions with a bionic "voodoo doll" contraption and invited Lex Luthor into his plot. Superman pulled the rug out from under Brainiac's new persona, but Brainiac appeared to kill both himself and Luthor with an explosive burst of disintegrating energies in order to avoid the indignity of being imprisoned again.[349]

Morgan Edge and Yango approached Jimmy and revealed to him that the man he knew as "Morgan Edge" was in reality a clone produced by the Evil Factory and a servant of Darkseid. More inclined to believe the story than Superman and Lois before him had been, due to his personal experience with the Evil Factory in Scotland, Jimmy rode with Yango and Edge to the Galaxy building to bring the truth out into the light. Alerted by Intergang street informants of their approach, the other Morgan Edge frantically dispatched teams of killers to eliminate them all, especially his genetic template, before the chaos in Metropolis could make Darkseid aware of his original act of insubordination. Superman arrived to rescue Jimmy and Yango from the Intergang murderers in the Galaxy sound room, while the original Morgan Edge hid in the film library. Darkseid then appeared in the evil Edge's office, making clear that the proverbial cat was out of the bag, and teleported his erstwhile changeling minion to the film library via Omega Effect. Deranged by the torturous nature of the experience, the clone initially believed that Darkseid had given him a second chance to rectify his error and kill his progenitor, though the truth was that Darkseid had merely set him up to die at the hands of one of his own unwitting hitmen. Comprehending too late that he had killed the wrong Morgan Edge, the hitman prepared to eliminate the real Edge when Superman blocked his shot, causing the blaster to recoil and reduce the hitman to atoms. Once the smoke had cleared, Superman told Jimmy, Edge, and Yango that the events which had transpired were but a microcosm of a greater cosmic war than any of them could participate in and made them swear never to tell another soul of what had happened that day.[350]

Amazing Adventures

The death of the evil "Morgan Edge" and his replacement as owner of the Daily Planet by the real Edge marked a significant hiccup in the unfolding of Darkseid's plans for Earth, as much of the interests of Apokolips in Metropolis were pursued by "Edge" through his management of Intergang. As such, the eradication of Intergang's leader, combined with the destruction of the Evil Factory, represented the elimination of much of Darkseid's base on Earth. Meanwhile, the 100 were being whittled away by the independent and collaborative efforts of Superman and the Thorn, so the net effect was the apparent decline of the major existing organized crime groups. The era which followed was marked by a explosive growth in Superman's circle of allies, as the Man of Steel joined forces with mighty champions of justice like Vartox, Captain Strong, Valdemar of the Flame, and Captain Thunder, while Clark Kent met the acquaintance of such personalities as Steve Lombard, Lola Barnett, Josh Coyle, and Johnny Nevada. This era also saw reinventions and reintroductions of several of Superman's old enemies, like Lex Luthor, the Parasite, the Toyman, and Mister Mxyzptlk, and a greater emphasis upon the seemingly mundane details of Clark's private life.

The Galactic Golem returns to Earth, hungrier and more powerful than ever!

A rematch with Ferlin Nyxly and an encounter with a neighborhood boy named Billy Anders, whose mind Nyxly had temporarily transferred into a pet lynx, led to Superman's discovery of a disappearing alien citadel in the Utah Salt Flats.[351] The citadel turned out to be a gateway to the planet Vonn, where the remnants of the Martian race had settled. After helping his old JLA comrade J'onn J'onzz defeat a clique of slavers on Vonn called the Thythen[352], Superman returned to Earth to find the planet being menaced by a renegade band of aliens. The aliens neutralized Superman by encasing him in an energy-field which would cause his power to reflect back upon him and attacked the United Nations. With the help of a defector from the crew of extraterrestrial brigands, Superman built a machine which allowed him to transfer the bioenergetic source of his powers to Billy Anders. Superman retained the ability to draw upon these powers whenever necessary by visualizing Billy's lynx and expelled the alien threat from Earth.[353] Lex Luthor and Brainiac "returned from the dead" to warn Superman about a bizarre phenomenon which would cause his powers to run out of control and produce destructive poltergeist-like phantom-doppelgangers. Luthor and Brainiac, united with space pirates Grax and Marauder, almost convinced Superman that their intention to help Superman combat the phantom duplicates was sincere, but it turned out to be yet another scheme to trap Superman and take over the world.[354][355] Superman next had a rematch with the monstrous Galactic Golem and defeated him once and for all by coating him in an iron-nickel alloy and luring him to the exact spot of the magnetic north pole. Curious about his next-door neighbor Mister Xavier, Clark Kent tried his hand at amateur sleuthing by trailing a man he thought was Xavier and making a deduction about his everyday occupation, but not only was the man Clark was stalking not Xavier, Clark misinterpreted the clues to the man's job as well.[356]

Superman came under attack by Terra-Man, who learned about Billy Anders's nature as a psychic conduit for Superman's powers in times of need. Terra-Man kidnapped Billy and his lynx to neutralize Superman and put him at a disadvantage when next they fought. However, Superman found Billy, rigged up Terra-Man's alien equipment to dispel the reflective energy-aura about him, and decisively triumphed over the intergalactic outlaw.[357] A trip to Maine for a story brought Superman into a chance encounter with the latter-day viking warrior Valdemar of the Flame and his hidden Nordic village of Valhalla. After an initial misunderstanding, Superman and Valdemar agreed to part as friends.[358] Superman would later meet the acquaintance of the sailor Captain Strong and help him get off his addiction to the alien seaweed Sauncha.[359] Star Sapphire came to Metropolis to battle Superman when she fell victim to a delusion that the Man of Might had murdered Green Lantern.[360] Lex Luthor tried to erode Superman's rational mentality using his Hammer of Hate in order to make Superman easier to beat, but even at his worst, Superman exhibited enough self-control to outwit Luthor at his best.[361] The hack film director Simon March was imbued with supernatural powers and pitted against Superman by the evil alchemist Doctor Phoenix but failed. March's unsound mind kept Phoenix from being potentially implicated in enabling him.[362] Clark Kent and Lois Lane first met quarterback Steve "The Slinger" Lombard when they were sent to interview him by GBS, perplexing Superman when he had to fight a rampaging duplicate of Steve in football gear with superhuman strength. It turned out that the duplicate was created on accident by an experimental solar-powered healing ray used to remedy Steve's knee injury and had no will of its own, being commanded entirely by the thoughts of nearby humans. Although Superman used this property of the "Phantom Quarterback" to force him to return to the Sun, Steve confessed on live television that he had allowed the duplicate to take his place in the Superbowl and quit professional football. However, Morgan Edge extended Steve a job offer to join GBS as a sportscaster, an offer Steve took up for more opportunities to heckle Clark.[363] Superman protected King Solovar of Gorilla City from a brazen attack by Gorilla Grodd, acted as guardian angel for Perry White when the aging editor tackled the story of rogue government scientist Calixto and his teenage mutant Army of Tomorrow, and prevented the universe from being destroyed by Doctor Phoenix, who revealed himself to be the human form of that legendary creature, the Abominable Snowman.[364][365][366]

Superman battled Terra-Man again when he manipulated a cult of lunatics into stealing moon-rocks from S.T.A.R. Labs so that the liquidation of their otherworldly mineral contents could imbue him with greater power.[367] Lex Luthor hijacked a GBS satellite and converted it into a mass-hypnosis ray, erasing all memories of Superman from the past 10 years, but Superman tricked Luthor into giving himself away by deceiving Luthor into believing the ray had erased all memory of him as well.[368] Clark was flabbergasted when the Daily Planet morgue contained a Kryptonese obituary for him, containing all relevant details of his life including his Superman career. Superman deduced that a ticker-tape machine in the morgue was somehow connected to the diary-recording device in his Fortress and swore the morgue-keeper into secrecy.[369] Then Superman faced a reptilian shapeshifting monster from the future named The Quakerer, who was masquerading as a tenant at his apartment building named Martin Warbow.[370][371] In Metropolis, Superman was paid a visit of goodwill by Valdemar, though culture shock, air pollution, and radiation poisoning combined to drive the viking warrior slightly out of his mind temporarily. As Clark, Superman reconnected with boyhood friend Pete Ross in Smallville and thought up a way so the home of his foster parents could avoid being demolished to put through a road.[372] Superman fought Brainiac to save Metropolis from being totally destroyed and teamed up with the retired Winslow Schott to outsmart a new crook holding the Toyman mantle.[373][374] Phantom Zone escapees Dr. Xa-Du and Erndine Ze-Da tried to use Superman as a battery for a teleportation effect that would move the entire Earth into the Rao system, but the duo were vanquished by their would-be patsy.[375][376] Clark met Galaxy's gossip reporter Lola Barnett for the first time and was drawn by circumstance into a mission to rescue her brother, an American intelligence agent, from foreign spies.[377]

Superman was vexed by Captain Thunder, a superhero from a parallel Earth whose intrinsic moral compass was inverted by a mystical enchantment by his enemies. Superman forced Thunder to use his powers of supernatural wisdom to break the spell and return to his own world.[378] Perry White was gifted a box of "special" cigars by Calixto's four-thumbed mutants as a sign of gratitude for freeing them from their creator's mental domination. Without knowing the origin of the cigars, Perry began to spontaneously manifest super-powers of his own after lighting them up, using his newfound abilities to help Superman save lives and fight crime over the duration of the day. Meanwhile, Clark and he were on their way to New York for Perry to accept his third Pulitzer Prize for covering the "Army of Tomorrow" story. When all his self-granted super-powers faded, Perry decided to save the last remaining cigar in his office safe in case of a future emergency.[379] After spending the day angling at an exclusive interview with famous foreign correspondent Ted "Pappy" Mailerway and ducking the journalist's suspicions about his secret identity, Clark was given a week off as vacation time by Morgan Edge, was shanghaied by Steve Lombard into pretending to be his roommate for the benefit of Steve's aunt Kaye Daye, and tripped up a trio of armed convicts in a local pizza parlor.[380] Clark and his friends in the GBS staff were kidnapped by Terra-Man and brought to an artificial reconstruction of a town in the Old West, while Terra-Man pubicly challenged Superman to accept his gauntlet of 7 challenges for the lives of his hostages. With a bit of ingenuity, Clark outwitted Terra-Man and prevented any of his friends from coming to harm.[381] Superman later rescued Captain Strong's fiancé Olivia Tallow from a raging prehistoric anomaly and cured Steve Lombard of a condition that turned him into a malevolent diamond-creature. Morgan Edge made another attempt to force Perry White to retire as editor-in-chief of the Daily Planet, citing Galaxy's long-standing policy of mandating its employees' retirement at age 65, but Clark and a group of Perry's loyal friends, including Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, and Melba Manton, convinced Edge to reconsider by threatening to collectively tender their resignations in protest. Before hearing the good news, Perry prepared for his forced retirement by going out with the biggest headline of his 30-year-long career, cracking a decades-old, unsolved case of missing dirty money with his own wits, guts, and reflexes and proving once again his superlative qualification for his job.[382][383] The master crook Michael J. Coram tapped into the amassed genius of his private think-tank of criminal scientists to drive Superman away from Earth and make a thrust at world takeover, but Superman caught quickly on to the plot and baited Coram into giving himself away.[384]

When Superman first encountered Vartox, it was uncertain whether the hero of Valeron would present himself as friend or foe.

Vartox, the hero of planet Valeron, first arrived on Earth and made friends with Superman in the way of pursuing a crook whose murder of a store clerk in a Metropolis slum inexplicably caused the death of his wife through a "biological linkage."[385] Oliver Queen and Dinah Lance called into Clark's office at the Galaxy building to clue him in to the return of his long-lost Superdog Krypto to Earth.[386] If Superman had any thoughts of beginning a search for his childhood pet, they were to be interrupted by the latest cockamamie gimmick devised by Lex Luthor to even the playing field with his alien adversary, his hyper-weaponized Battle Array Suit. In spite of Luthor's increased combat capabilities and new tricks, Superman prevailed once more. Fresh off a trip to the 30th century during which she tendered her resignation to the Legion of Super-Heroes,[387] Supergirl talked to her cousin about her doubts concerning the whole costumed life, expressing her earnest want to settle down and live as normal people do somewhere. Superman related the cautionary tale of the crying immortal Nam-Ek, to convey to Kara that sometimes people regret satisfying their immediate wants if such want amounts to caprice and is not well-considered beforehand.[388] Superman saved the life of late-nite talk-show host Johnny Nevada from a gang of violent crooks with ransom demands by pulling an incredibly risky stunt, while Steve Lombard carried the hosting duties on Johnny's show that night.[389] After a long period of silence on his end caused by a temporary misalignment between the dimensions, Mister Mxyzptlk made his spectacular return to wreak havoc once more upon Superman's world. After animating the Lincoln Memorial and menacing Capitol Hill with his hijinks, Mxy was deceived by Superman into reciting a version of the Gettysburg Address with "Kltpzyxm" insinuated into the text.[390] Clark was summoned by Lana Lang and Pete Ross to Smallville to help them investigate the oddity of Smallville's "charmed life" -- going through years' worth of the town newspaper revealed a conspicuous absence of bad news of all forms ever since Superboy's departure a full decade ago, most astonishingly the inexplicable circumstances by which the few criminals to plague the town fell into police custody. This was proven to be the work of a deviant Superboy Robot who defied his creator's self-termination order when Clark Kent moved out to Metropolis U, determining that the original Superboy must be evil for mandating his destruction and guarding Smallville as per his prime directive in all the time since. The robot operated in secrecy to avoid his creator's attentions and so prolong its own existence, but the arrival of Superman in Smallville to coincide with Clark's visit drew the robot into a confrontation, in which it was deceived into destroying itself in obeisance of its own uncompromising black-and-white computer logic.[391]

Superman took time out of his week to investigate the unusual disappearance of Roy Raymond, TV Detective, from years ago. After being saved by Superman from the clutches of a malicious brainwasher, Roy was picked up by GBS for a revival of his classic skeptic program Impossible-- But True.[392] Superman had to rely on his body-double, famous actor Greg Reed, to save the day when the Superman Revenge Squad made their long-awaited return to Earth.[393] This was followed by an alliance of convenience between Superman and Lex Luthor to overcome their mutual foe, the Parasite.[394] At a later date, Superman was enjoying a date with Lois in the park when he serendipitously happened upon his old pal Krypto the Superdog. Krypto's memories were wiped at some time in the past by a monster from outer space called the Mindbreaker, explaining his absence from Superman's life over the past several years. However, seeing his master in action jostled Krypto's memory, and together Superman and Superdog marked the date of their reunion by teaming to stop an art museum robbery.[395] Even on vacation in Las Vegas, Clark was called into action as Superman, as Johnny Nevada was transformed into a rampaging sand-monster by latent, uncontrollable psychic abilities unlocked by a head injury.[396] Lex Luthor averted a potentially world-destroying crisis in exchange for a presidential pardon while the JLA were off-world, but Lois Lane investigated the seemingly rehabilitated Luthor and uncovered his secret plot to hypnotize Superman into revealing his secret identity to the world. With Johnny Nevada's cooperation in a bait-and-switch plot, Lois and Superman tricked Luthor into showing his hand too early.[397] With Luthor promptly back to his old status as convict, Superman had an outright battle with Lex over Metropolis International Airport. Mulling over the carnage wrought by their clash, Superman reflected on the events of his past with Lex that marked his descent into self-destructive, obsessive hate and lamented that, whereas it would be a simple task for him to repair damage to the airport, it demanded far beyond even a Superman's abilities to repair the damage done to people.[398]

The Miracle of Thirsty Thursday!

Superman was at the center of the events in the phenomenon known as the Miracle of Thirsty Thursday, a subject of devoted study by the chroniclers of future centuries and millennia as one of the truly scientifically inexplicable occurrences in the history of mankind. On Wednesday, August 20, the date of an infamous tenement blaze, all of the people of Metropolis spontaneously developed a pathological disgust of water, fell asleep for a 24-hour period, and then awakened on the following day with an incredible thirst upon them, hence the nomenclature of "Thirsty Thursday." Dozens of time-travelers from these distant future time-periods had stopped to check into a particular Metropolis hotel to observe the events firsthand and attempt to divine the true nature of what had happened, yet all experienced the same as the rest of Metropolis and returned to their native eras to report their befuddlement. The truth of the so-called "miracle" was that the spell of city-wide hydrophobia was caused by S.T.A.R. Labs scientist Dr. Larry Ishmael, who dropped a vial containing a serum being developed clandestinely by S.T.A.R. for exactly that purpose, allowing trace particles of the volatile vapors to spread out and affect everyone in Metropolis. Ishmael consumed what he mistakenly took to be an antidote, but was in fact a psychoactive drug that temporarily turned Ishmael into a superhumanly strong wild-man and sent him on a rampage. Overhearing S.T.A.R. Labs Director Dr. Wilson Farr discussing that only 24 hours of constant rest or perpetual physical stimulation could negate the affects of the hydrophobia serum, Superman placed and detonated tens of sleeping gas canisters throughout the municipal sewer system, putting all residents of Metropolis at the time, including the covert time-travelers, into a day-long sleep spell. Only Ishmael was immune to the gas due to his augmented physiology and therefore fought Superman over 24 straight hours before his condition could return to normal. When all was said and done, Superman allowed only two other individuals to become privy to the knowledge of what had happened on Thirsty Thursday: Larry Ishmael and Wilson Farr. None of the three men revealed the secret to another soul for as long as they lived, creating a legend to stand in the annals of history as a mystery for the ages.[399] Brain Storm removed all humans on Earth to an alternate dimension in order to harness a stellar phenomenon for vastly increased powers, but Superman managed to foil Brain Storm's designs and force him to restore the world to the way it used to be.[400] Superman was drawn into the 30th century future of alternate reality Earth-AD to confront his possible future descendant Jaxon the Mighty as part of a plot by Xenofobe, the Green Lantern of Sector 2814 from the timeline of the Legion of Super-Heroes. As Xenofobe explained, the Time Trapper used the energy generated by his battle with the 30th century Green Lantern Corps to erase all 30th century timelines except for Earth-AD's, including that of the Legion. As a refugee in the 20th century of Earth-One, Xenofobe lured Superman and Jaxon into conflict to generate the energy sufficient for Xenofobe's power ring to undo the Time Trapper's devastation.[401]

Superman fought Green Lantern's nemesis The Shark to return a child in the care of Captain Strong back from protoplasm to human form, as the Shark had reduced him to protoplasm in the effort of regaining his bipedal "super-evolved" form, as well as to stop the Shark from consuming the ozone layer over Metropolis.[402] Superman responded to Pete Ross's summons when his son Jon was suffering from a psychosomatically induced yet potentially terminal illness. With a bleak prognosis from the doctors, Jon made a special request to Superman to learn his secret identity, which the Man of Steel decided to humor in his compassion, and with the understanding that it might even alleviate the psychological root of the ailment in its entirety. While Superman endeavored over the course of the day to prove to a skeptical Jon Ross that he was truly Clark Kent, he also ran into a new super-villain named Whirlicane several times and eventually defeated him. In the end, what proved to Jon that Superman and Clark Kent were one and the same was a detail which did not even occur to Superman until after the fact: In Clark Kent's 344 Clinton Street apartment, many common amenities such as shaving cream, aspirins, and toothbrushes were completely absent from Clark's drawers and medicine cabinets, only logical since all would be redundant to an invulnerable Kryptonian with no requirements for upkeep of personal health or hygiene. Fortunately, Jon's illness came to pass, and unbeknownst to Superman, Jon would be the second member of the Ross family to have discovered his most closely-guarded secret.[403] Once more Superman was called into action when the Metropolis International Trade Center caught fire. Later that day, by situational happenstance, Lois Lane uncovered the culprit as disgraced physicist Fredrik Schlaus, who planned to use powers over X-rays gained from a scientific mishap to try destroying Washington, D.C. Unable to stop Schlaus in his super-powered state, Superman volunteered his life in exchange for the capital, but while Schlaus went up in a massive explosion, Superman made a last-second escape.[404]

In the wake of the flight of 3 of WGBS's 6 TV newscasters, including Lola Barnett, to accept employment at the rival United Broadcasting Company (UBC), Morgan Edge promoted Clark to duties as associate producer of all Galaxy's news programming, with the objective of fishing for new journalistic talent in the proverbial ocean and ascertaining fidelity of all WGBS's on-air personalities to the company. Simultaneously, UBC President Sam Tanner tasked inventor Dr. Peter Silverstone to create a new superhero on UBC's payroll to help WUBC compete with the higher ratings of WGBS, which Tanner attributed to GBS's highly Superman-centric media focus. Silverstone's creation, Blackrock, a costumed crimefighter with the power to harness radio waves and convert them into power, competed with Superman, in the immediate sense for the privilege of capturing a mad scientist and his "vacuum-tank" super-weapon, and in the longer-term assessment for the lion's share of the media focus. Although Superman ultimately captured the real criminal, Blackrock destroyed the criminal's out-of-control creation, in a very public showdown. Then the real coup came for UBC when Blackrock approached Lola Barnett directly through TV-broadcast frequencies and offered for her to conduct an exclusive, televised first interview with the latest mystery-man to hit the Metropolis scene.[405] After upstaging Blackrock again in the middle of breaking up a jewelry heist, Superman was attacked by Blackrock with an effect that turned Superman's brain into a mental receiver for news broadcasts from the day before, causing him to increasingly perceive nothing outside the visual and auditory hallucination of himself as Clark Kent spouting old news. Using his other senses to track the source of the signal to the UBC building, Superman confronted Sam Tanner in his office and instigated his unexpected transformation into Blackrock for a final battle. Peter Silverstone, who had hypnotized Tanner into donning the costume and weapon of Blackrock in the first place, under the belief that no one else was better-suited to the role, helped Superman turn Tanner back to normal by cobbling together a signal-jammer in his lab. Afterwards, Tanner retained no memory of ever having been Blackrock, and the glory-getting would-be superhero vanished from the public's memory as abruptly as he had first appeared.[406]

Who Took the Super Out Of Superman?

Superman met his greatest challenge yet, not from an external force of malignant might, but from the turmoil of identity crisis, as the Last Son of Krypton was forced at last to face the unresolved dilemma: Who is the real self, Clark Kent or Superman? Clark inexplicably lost his powers and was knocked unconscious upon collision with a speeding car in the Metropolis streets. Upon awakening in a general hospital, Clark switched to his hidden Superman costume to leave the building without having to answer any questions. Clark returned to his apartment and came under attack from a killer robot sent by Intergang, deducing that he still possessed his powers as Superman but would suddenly lose them as Clark for some reason. Hypothesizing that the phenomenon might be due to cognitive dissonance from juggling the demands of a double-life, Clark decided to spend one full week only in his civilian identity, sans powers, and then to spend the entirety of the following week only existing as Superman, in order to glean insights that could help him elect whether to abandon one of his identities.[407] After stopping Intergang from turning the Olympus Telescope into a plasma cannon and incinerating the city, Superman began his week of living solely as Clark Kent. Without the need to act the meek and timid persona to deflect suspicions about his Superman identity, Clark acted more assertively and confidently in all his relationships with his GBS co-workers, impressing Morgan Edge, frustrating Steve Lombard, and turning on Lois Lane. For his part, Clark fully embraced Lois's advances and shared several passionate nights with her in his 344 Clinton Street apartment. Even without his powers, Clark resolved to take down Intergang, learning the location of the syndicate's rolling office from an underworld stoolie and incapacitating the leadership with an anti-gravity device borrowed from Professor Pepperwinkle.[408] Once the 7 days of being only Clark Kent had passed, Superman committed to existing for the next 7 days in his superhero persona, which was just as well, seeing how he had begun to suffer nightmares from the internalized anxiety of ignoring crime and disaster for the past week. Superman cleared Intergang hoods off the streets with greater efficiency than ever before, but because Clark Kent was nowhere to be found, even at work, the D.A.'s case against Intergang's leader Max Danner was missing its star witness and Lois even speculated that Intergang was behind his disappearance. Superman fought and bested an upstart super-villain called Solarman, but the pressure of serving as a 24/7 superhero proved to be too emotionally exhausting to endure. As it turned out, even a Superman has the same psychological needs as any other man, and a secret identity was the anchor to ordinary life that provided him with stability. At the end of the week, Superman concluded that both the parts of him which were "Clark Kent" and "Superman" represented equally valid and valuable parts of himself, that no one was more the "true self" than the other, and that both were necessary to give much-needed balance and perspective to his life.[409] Superman had hardly any time to contemplate the significance of having concluded his journey of self-discovery when he caught an image of 9 of his deadliest enemies-- Lex Luthor, Brainiac, Mister Mxyzptlk, Terra-Man, the Toyman, the Parasite, Amalak, the Prankster, and the Kryptonite Man (formerly the Kryptonite Kid)-- convened together in his apartment. As Superman discovered, the reason for why he seemed to lose his powers was not psychological, but rather all of the suits in his apartment wardrobe had been chemically contaminated. Superman soon pieced together that the culprit was his mysterious next-door neighbor Mister Xavier, in actuality an alien agent of destruction sent to demolish the Earth in a 30-year time-period by a cutthroat intergalactic transportation company. Worse still, by luring Superman to his apartment by conjuring the assemblage of villains, Xavier had exposed Superman to potent energies that would cause his body to erupt in an explosion and destroy the world once he had defeated the last of the villains. Xavier teamed the villains and spirited them off to far-away locations to give himself enough time to leave Earth prior to detonation, but luckily for the human race, Superman realized what Xavier had done to him before it was too late and managed a way to down the 9 villains and catch Xavier without annihilating the planet.[410]

The Action Ace

Fresh off his identity crisis, Superman was besieged by a paranoid alien refugee on Earth-- Karb-Brak-- a native of the Andromeda galaxy who had an allergy to every known form of sapient life in the universe, including his own kind, with the sole exception of Earth humans. Fearing for his own life, Karb-Brak tried to kill Superman and then to strand him in the 18th Century but failed on both counts. Superman induced clinical death in Karb-Brak through overexposure to allergens, then resuscitated him with Kryptonian tech in the Fortress, in order so Karb-Brak's physiology would develop immunity to Kryptonian allergens.[411][412][413][414] In the aftermath, Superman was faced by a relentless onslaught of menaces: First the uprising of the new crime combine known as SKULL, then a battle with the Earth-Two zombie villain Solomon Grundy[415], followed by a hyperpituitarism-inducing ray courtesy of Lex Luthor[416], the return of Whirlicane and his android minion Thunder/Lightning[417], the Parasite's Prism of Power[418], and yet another Luthor gimmick, based on a de-aging ray and the power of suggestion.[419][420][421]

In the private life of Clark Kent, Lois resumed her advances toward Clark, remembering the resolutely confident man he transformed into during the week of Superman's recent absence. Having glimpsed for the first time that a man of real character and fortitude existed beneath the unassuming demeanor of the mild-mannered bungler, Lois arranged to replicate one of the more passionate nights that Clark and she shared during that week. Opening up perhaps out of his new perspective on the balance between his dual identities, Clark accepted Lois back into his life, allowing an unforeseen romance to blossom: Not Superman and his girlfriend, Lois Lane, but a partnership of romantic and professional equals between Lois Lane and Clark Kent. Superman began to routinely butt heads with the new Chief Administrator of S.T.A.R. Labs, Albert Michaels, who insisted against reason that Superman's recklessness alone was to account for the majority of damages incurred by S.T.A.R. installations in the city. Unbeknownst to everyone, Michaels had an ulterior motive to rebuke Superman's efforts, being a secret agent of SKULL.[417]

Winslow Schott was driven back into a life of crime as the Toyman when Bizarro returned to Earth and clumsily flew into an expo hall, destroying an exhibit containing the original models of every toy Schott had made in his life and causing everyone, including and especially Schott, to confuse Bizarro for Superman at superhuman speeds. Worse was Superman's situation the following day, having to deal with with a string of murders committed by Schott (including his brief replacement Jack Nimball), the insults of a vindictive and reactionary public, and the return of BIzarro. This all culminated in a fight at the Superman Museum, where Toyman and Bizarro double-teamed Superman and succeeded in knocking him out.[422] Detecting that Bizarro had come for the Duplicator Ray which created him, Toyman told him that the device in the Superman Museum was broken and that he would repair it in exchange for Bizarro's assistance in murdering Superman. Superman learned from Bizarro that he returned to Earth after so many years because a meteor shower devastated the surface of the Bizarro World and destroyed all of its inhabitants except for himself. As such, Bizarro needed the Duplicator Ray to create more Bizarros in order to banish his feelings of grief and loneliness. However, Superman explained that the Duplicator Ray exhibit in the Superman Museum was an inoperative prop, not the real thing, filling Bizarro with an irrational rage based on a newly formed conviction that Superman was the only thing standing in the way of his happiness. Bizarro kidnapped Lois Lane and brought her to the Fortress of Solitude, where Bizarro decided the real Duplicator Ray was to be found, planning to create a new Bizarro Lois. Luckily, Superman managed to rescue Lois and showed Bizarro that the apparent destruction of his world was an illusion produced by a cosmic cloud. Having realized that Bizarro was to blame for the destruction of the expo, Schott realized how insane he had become and turned himself in to the police.[423]

After being summoned to investigate a plastic factory for safety violations and finding to his disgust that the owner had no intention of even disguising his criminal negligence, Superman developed a heightened sense of environmental awareness and decided to take the initiative in cleaning up the planet himself, being opposed by mutant super-villains Radion and The Protector, who derived their powers from ecotoxicity. Due to the paternalism and destruction of property inherent in Superman's new approach, Supergirl decided to craft an elaborate fiction that Krypton had never existed and sought, with some success, to convince Superman that his recollections of Krypton were deep-seated delusions meant to shield his psyche from the "truth" of their being Earth-borne mutants. Being forced to readjust to the "revelation" that he was not alone in the universe altered Clark's entire attitude about life, even backfiring on Supergirl to an extent as now Superman insisted on seeing to his private life above repelling a genocidal alien horde from a faraway planet. Yet at the same time, Clark became consumed by a new feeling of emptiness, caused by the belief that everything he once thought he knew about himself was a falsehood. While Clark relished the opportunity to be more genuine in his relationship with Lois, ultimately Superman pieced together what Supergirl was trying to do and confronted her about it, albeit not before aiding her in combatting the aforementioned genocidal alien swarm. Supergirl explained that she was encouraged by Kandorian psychiatrists to trick Superman into believing Krypton had never existed, based on the theory that Superman's concern for saving the Earth came fundamentally from transference of his grief over the loss of his home-planet. While understanding, if not exactly condoning, Supergirl's motives and methods, Superman rejected the thinking behind them, telling Supergirl that the Earth was precious to him not because of Krypton-centric grief, but because the Earth adopted him when he had no home, in some respects reserving a place in his heart as even more dear than the memory of Krypton.[424][425][426]

Superman countered the agents of SKULL during an attempted break-in at S.T.A.R. Labs, but one of the criminals, Roger Corben, was grievously injured in the process. Using the man-made elements stolen from S.T.A.R., SKULL created synthetic Green Kryptonite and rebuilt Corben into a cyborg that could be powered by it, taking their inspiration from the brief outing of Roger's brother John as the K-powered cyborg Metallo. Moreover, SKULL deliberately planned for Roger to be mortally wounded in their S.T.A.R. robbery but sought to use Superman's presence to obfuscate their responsibility and concentrate Corben's wrath on the Man of Steel, whom he already blamed for the death of his brother. SKULL captured Steve Lombard and held him hostage to force Superman to fight the new Metallo at an empty sports arena. Superman won by overtaxing Metallo's robotic body, but the cybernetic villain chose to commit suicide rather than be captured. Meanwhile, Lois Lane broke off her relationship with Clark Kent, feeling that putting up with his constantly vacillating personality was becoming too emotionally exhausting. Lois also announced her intention to leave Metropolis to go work at a Galaxy-owned newspaper out in the Midwest.[427] Superman had to contend with a mass break-out from the Phantom Zone orchestrated by the misandristic murderer Faora through emotional manipulation of Clark's senile new neighbor Jackson Porter.[428][429][430] Superman then had to stop Doctor Light from discovering his true identity and divined the hidden meaning in a string of "technical" crimes, breaking only a number of obsolete laws, perpetrated by the Prankster.[431][432] While Clark, Lois, and Steve were attending an international news conference in Central City, which incidentally was where Lois was planning to relocate for her future career, a space-borne plague quickly dubbed Journalists' Disease struck the area, eventually afflicting almost everyone present. Superman and the Flash initially held the Kryptonian immortal Nam-Ek responsible for vectoring the plague when he was seen in Central City around the same time, but were proven mistaken when the plague continued to spread even after Superman seemingly and inadvertently killed Nam-Ek. Superman rendezvoused with Supergirl, realized that Nam-Ek was merely extracted by a teleport-beam at the moment of his apparent "demise," and traced the trail of the teleport-beam to discover that Amalak was the true cause for the space-plague. Nam-Ek had been a prisoner of Amalak but escaped when Amalak's ship passed through a yellow-sun system and came to warn Superman. However, Nam-Ek's treatment by Superman convinced him to mend fences with Amalak to work towards Superman's destruction. This alliance did not get very far, as Superman defeated Nam-Ek out in space and used his Rondor horn's curative properties to cause remission in the infected. Before long, Superman deduced that the actual vector of the plague was Amalak's shapeshifting pet Jevik and was nearly driven by the space-pirate into killing it and in so doing breaking his ethical code. However, Superman found a way to dispose of Jevik without killing it and defeated Amalak in the Justice League Satellite. In a desperate bid to salvage victory from the jaws of defeat, Amalak mortally wounded himself with an energy-weapon in the JLA trophy room while Superman was attending to other concerns and tried to tell Superman with his last moments that injuries from their battle were responsible. However, it was all for naught, as Superman knew what Amalak had done and threw his enemy's spite back at him to stew in as he died. Returning to Lois in the quarantine zone in Central City, Clark confessed his earnest love for Lois and spontaneously proposed, but Lois agreed on only one condition: That Clark admit to being Superman. Fighting every instinct that could lead him to select personal happiness over the demands of his secret identity, Clark somberly refused.[433][434][435][436]

Superman struggles with the curse of Kryptonite for the first time in many years.

After eradicating the last vestiges of Journalists' Disease, Superman brought Nam-Ek to the Fortress of Solitude and deposited him in the Phantom Zone. Alerted by a monitor in his Fortress keyed to global reports of SKULL activity, the Man of Steel returned to the site of his first fight with Nam-Ek, where Superman had found traces of Green Kryptonite in an underground magma chamber. Agents of SKULL were inspecting the site and deduced that the chain-reaction which first destroyed all Kryptonite on Earth had not been absolute, but that trace amounts of Kryptonite remained strewn throughout the Earth's crust. Superman took the SKULL operatives into custody and returned them to Metropolis to be booked but took note that the goons had made mention of a SKULL "Kryptonite pipeline." Superman was then assaulted by a new incarnation of Blackrock, who turned out this time to be Sam Tanner's comedian nephew Les Vegas. The Man of Steel figured that Les, like his uncle before him, had been mesmerized into taking up the role by Peter Silverstone. The same day, Morgan Edge announced to Clark that the WGBS 6 o'clock news would be featuring a female co-anchor in an attempt at a ratings boost, though Morgan refused to disclose who in particular he had in mind. As Superman, Clark checked with the police about the SKULL thugs he captured earlier, only to be referred to S.T.A.R. Labs, where Jenet Klyburn informed the Man of Tomorrow that the SKULL agents up and died the moment they were in police custody. Subsequent autopsies revealed that each of them had their hearts eerily replaced with a chunk of Kryptonite.[437] Brief analysis by Superman revealed that the rocks were not true Kryptonite though, but merely ordinary stones painted phosphorescent green. Superman immediately linked this ghastly multiple-murder to Metallo and checked with the police morgue that his body was missing, thereby confirming to him that the Killer with the Kryptonite Heart was out and about. To compound this peculiar discovery, Jenet Klyburn explained that she was hired on as the new Chief Administrator of S.T.A.R. Labs because of Albert Michaels's abrupt disappearance and that a highly sensitive project, about which no one but Michaels knew any details, went missing with him. Superman went on to have a series of encounters with Metallo while the cyborg gathered up samples of real Kryptonite, much of it recently fallen to Earth. Metallo had stolen Michaels's secret project, a matter-transporter ray, from S.T.A.R. and planned to use it to exterminate every last member of SKULL, concluding with Michaels himself, as revenge for the conspiracy to destroy his human body and make him into a freak. That was the very reason Michaels had gone into hiding, to escape Metallo's vengeance. Afterwards, Metallo intended to turn the ray upon Superman and exchange his Kryptonite heart for Superman's Kryptonian heart, killing Superman and granting Metallo the ability to channel vastly increased power. Metallo tripped himself up by impersonating Martin Korda, the new associate producer of WGBS, giving Clark all the clues he needed to put Metallo's scheme together, anticipate it, and ultimately sabotage it. While Superman vanquished Metallo in the end, the SKULL organization was still in shambles, and Albert Michaels was exposed as a criminal. Even then, Michaels escaped police custody with the matter-transporter ray, vowing to rebuild SKULL and seek revenge on Superman when he was ready. Back at the Galaxy building, Morgan Edge unveiled the identity of Clark's new co-anchor: Lana Lang![438][439]

After catching up with Lana for a few minutes as Clark, Superman was summoned to the Olympus Observatory to investigate the sudden appearance of a massive light source in the outer solar system. Superman found that it was a wormhole to a distant sector of space and met a stranded alien woman named Portia on a planet populated only by psychic intelligent canines. Superman determined that Portia was actually afflicted with a deadly disease but was being kept alive for the past 300 years against her will. Although it was difficult for him to come to terms with the ethical implications of doing such, Superman honored Portia's wish to be taken back to her now-lifeless homeworld to die in peace.[440] Vartox returned to Earth to absorb the toxins in Karb-Brak's system which were responsible for Karb-Brak's immune disorder, believing that they would halt the deterioration of his own super-powers. Although restored to full power, with the side effect of having cured Karb-Brak, Vartox became temporarily insane and fought Superman for the right to be Earth's protector, before a ruse perpetrated by Superman and Lois snapped Vartox to his senses. Vartox and Karb-Brak peaceably went their separate ways off-world.[441][442] Superman then saved the Earth from being destroyed by a hidden alien civilization on the interior of the Earth's Moon.[443][444] A representative of an ancient, hi-tech undersea civilization known as Quorxa reached out to Superman, whom she and her people worshipped as the god Sonzrr due to their ancestors' having witnessed Superman on a time-travel sojourn in the Mesozoic Era. The Quorxans believed that Superman had the power to restore their dwindling immortality, which they misattributed the son of Krypton for giving them in the first place, and Lex Luthor and Brainiac attempted to exploit the situation to eradicate their mutual adversary's super-powers and kill him. Brainiac tried hijacking the scheme to shrink Earth to a 5-mm diameter and bottle it for study, but Superman vanquished his foes and even renewed the Quorxans' immortality as a happy by-product.[445] The Parasite created a new Solomon Grundy creature using his Power Prism and used long-distance power absorption to trick Superman into believing that his powers were running out of control, when in actuality it was merely his reflexive inhibitions that were being sapped away by the villain. This was a set-up for Parasite to steal national defense secrets about an orbital satellite laser and use it to ransom Metropolis a sum of $1,000,000,000 for its own survival. Fortunately, Superman got wise to Parasite's game and triumphed over him in a "laser-war" over the city with criss-crossing heat-vision rays, with a little help from Grundy. Meanwhile, Lois began to rekindle her romantic relationship with Superman.[446][447][448][449] A pulse of red-sun radiation swept through the solar system, temporarily eliminating Superman's powers, reactivating Amazo in the Justice League Satellite trophy room, and affecting plant life to photosynthesize a gas which suspended the human race's collective ability to sleep. While Amazo searched out his creator Professor Ivo to kill him, Superman constructed a Supermobile to circumvent his power loss and stop the android. The deactivated Amazo was then used to absorb the sleep-destroying gas from the Earth's atmosphere.[450][451][452][453] Superman was visited by his Earth-Two counterpart via the Transmatter Cube in the Justice League Satellite, in order to recruit Earth-One's Jimmy Olsen for an organ transplant to save the life of Earth-Two's Jimmy. In the process, a destructive barbarian from the Interdimensional Limbo named Krogg was unleashed, which both Supermen had to be temporarily merged into a single being by the Transmatter in order to vanquish.[454][455]

Albert Michaels reappeared as the super-villain Atomic Skull and kidnapped Jenet Klyburn in such a way to draw Superman's attention and lure him into a trap. In the process of freeing Klyburn from a death-trap, Superman unknowingly set various elements of a system into action which combined to pack the warhead of a missile with Kryptonite (retrieved via the SKULL Kryptonite pipeline) and fire it into the ionosphere. There, the missile would explode and surround the Earth with a ring of K-radiations comparable to the Van Allen radiation belt, neutralizing Superman's powers. The Atomic Skull then unleashed Titano on the Man of Steel to finish him off, having the Super-Ape under telepathic control with a brain implant. Superman defeated the Skull's plan, by reducing the effect of the K-radiation belt with another warhead packed with lead filaments and thereby preventing the complete elimination of his powers, followed by complete decontamination of the ionosphere with a "super-breath" apparatus added to the Supermobile.[456][457] No sooner than the SKULL threat had passed did Superman come under hypnotic assault by a new Blackrock, this time to force Superman to sign an exclusive contract with UBC and reveal his secret identity on a UBC-owned television channel to attract millions of dollars in sponsorship money. Superman discovered that the latest Blackrock was nothing more than a construct of ionized particles controlled by Peter Silverstone and destroyed it, and while he could have taken Silverstone and Sam Tanner to court for their actions, he decided not to press charges in exchange for Tanner's agreement to nullify Superman's contract.[458][459] Superman's long day didn't stop there, as he was waylaid in his apartment by Kobra. Kobra inadvertently stumbled onto Superman's secret identity as Clark Kent in the way of following a homing beacon installed in Albert Michaels's matter-transporter ray, which as it turned out had not been Michaels's invention, but was rather an alien artifact excavated by the Kobra Cult and stolen by SKULL. Using his technology to pluck Jonathan and Martha Kent out of time, Kobra threatened to kill them before their destined time had come, which could also have the effect of negating Superman's existence, unless if Superman recovered nerve-toxins scattered from a wrecked army plane. Superman thought a way out of this situation and sent Kobra on the run, before returning the Kents back to the past where they belonged.[460]

After a 40-year sojourn among the stars courtesy of aliens, Earth's first super-villain Microwave Man returned to pit his might against Earth's first superhero: Superman. Realizing that his opponent was on death's door, Superman allowed Microwave Man to defeat him in order so he could die happy.[461][462] Superman joined forces with Supergirl, Jimmy, Lois, Krypto, the new Nightwing and Flamebird (Van-Zee and Ak-Var), and escaped Phantom Zoners Zod, Jax-Ur, and Kru-El to liberate Kandor after it was stolen from his Fortress by a group of aliens for their cosmic zoo.[463] Superman then faced a hivemind colony of ravenous microorganisms which was cultured on Krypton before the cataclysm and stopped it before it could assimilate every living creature on Earth.[464][465] On the day when the light from Krypton's explosion was predicted to reach Earth, Superman was overpowered by Brainiac and forced to stare directly into the light, inflicting a condition that would force Superman to expend enormous amounts of energy in destructive panic attacks upon concentrated exposure to other light sources. Superman defeated Brainiac by drawing their next battle into the proximity of a supernova, which both provoked Superman into a fit relentless enough to smash through Brainiac's force-field and flushed the afterimage of Krypton's explosion from his retina, thereby curing the condition.[466][467][468]

Relationship drama and super-villains were major anxieties for Superman in this era.

Superman attended the opening of the Mount Olympus Correctional Facility, an "escape-proof" prison designed by Clark Kent and Lana Lang's childhood peer from Smallville, security consultant Carl Draper, specifically to contain super-criminals like the Parasite, Metallo, and the Atomic Skull. By constructing a plastic bubble around the facility and suspending it 22,000 feet in the air on an anti-gravity platform to bolster security, Superman had the unintented effect of overshadowing Draper's achievement in the press, as a stray comment by Lana dubbing the prison as "Superman Island" caught on in the papers. Driven by a powerful desire for Lana's affections and contemputous of Lana's single-minded fixation with Superman, Draper stole the power-packs from the imprisoned villains' cells and used them to replicate the villains' super-powers. Calling himself the Master Jailer, Draper knocked out Superman and kidnapped Lana from her apartment, taking them to a hidden mountain lair. The Jailer trapped a de-powered Superman in a rotating deadly labyrinth to navigate for the rest of his life, but Lana spoiled his scheme by destroying the computer controlling the Jailer's death-traps, thereby allowing Superman to regain his powers and capture the Jailer. After returning Lana to her apartment, Superman rebuked her overzealous advances, accusing her of being similar to Draper in their inability to accept refusal. Superman claimed that Lana was never truly in love with him and left her to reflect on her recent decisions in life.[469][470] Incarcerated in the very same prison he helped to design, Draper broke out with Metallo and the Atomic Skull mere days later and attacked the Galaxy building to get at Lana, being swiftly taken down by Superman again. However, Lana didn't learn her lesson well enough, as she persisted in melodramatically fawning over Superman despite his disapproval. At the same time, Lois was aggrieved that Superman wasn't reprimanding Lana's flirtatious behavior sternly enough, causing a minor relationship upset. Due to going several days without sleep to focus on recapturing Metallo and the Skull as quickly as possible, Superman was susceptible to Mister Mxyzptlk's latest trick. To win a bet with an other-dimensional gambler that Superman could self-destruct from emotional distress, Mxy magically granted Superman the power of telekinesis. Superman's sleep-deprived mind manifested his anxieties psychokinetically as constructs of the escaped villains, Bizarro, and a meteoroid heading for Earth. Superman managed to dispel most of the manifestations by using the Kryptonian meditation technique of Torquasm Vo and disappeared the meteoroid by resolving his issues with Lois and affirming that Lana would never come between them.[471] On New Year's Day, Superman saved the entire Galaxy cast from an attack on Morgan Edge's private jet by Bizarro, forcing it to land in Chicago. Once more, Superman proved his exclusive commitment to Lois in a tender moment between the two, while a heartbroken Lana eavesdropped from afar.[472] Using info gathered by Superman on a SKULL remnant-group called Skeleton, Lana managed to get herself into trouble with the gang and was barely extricated from an unpleasant situation by Superman. Knowing that Lana was bugged by the criminals, yet unable to trust her based on recent behavior, Superman staged a hoax with Lois to draw Skeleton out into the open, using an Ancient Egyptian exhibit at a natural history museum as bait. Things didn't go quite as planned when Skeleton kidnapped Lana and brought her to a desolate field for a mob execution as other agents of the group broke into the museum exhibit, but Superman thwarted both teams of criminals with a little quick-thinking. Superman then revealed to Lana how they had used her to trap Skeleton without her knowledge and explained to her that the one reason why his relationship with Lois works is a strong foundation of mutual trust, something that Lana and he no longer shared. A dejected Lana finally admitted her defeat by Lois in the contest for Superman's feelings.[473]

Kandor is released from a bottle city to a new world

With the permission of Morgan Edge, Perry White was allowed to extend Clark Kent the opportunity to be a newspaper reporter with the Daily Planet again.[474] Clark was forced to accept a week of vacation time from his newscaster role with WGBS; this "free time" was used productively, accompanying Lois for an investigatory piece on an alleged ghost-haunting at the old Kent home in Smallville.[475][476] Around this time, Superman recovered a Kryptonian artifact from the Earth's orbit, a recording taken by his biological father Jor-El telling his life story from the earliest days of his education up until his, and the whole world of Krypton's, tragic death.[477][478][479] After accidentally transmitting a super-microbe from Kandor to the outside world and narrowly averting the death of every living human being[480], Superman put the final touches on an experimental enlarging-ray with which he could theoretically restore the bottle-city and their inhabitants to their original size. Requiring a small concentration of Illium 349 and captured energy from the stellar plasma of a supernova, the ray required testing on a living being, for which purpose Superman volunteered himself. To that end, Superman provoked Brainiac into a fight using a transmitter that would interfere with the frequency of Brainiac's electronic "brainwaves" and arranged to be blasted by the Coluan villain's shrink-ray. Brainiac then threatened to shrink Superman into subatomic nonexistence when Supergirl intervened to deflect the next shrink-ray blast, seemingly killing Brainiac on accident. Supergirl then used the enlarging-ray on her cousin with successful results, and the super-cousins proceeded to transport Kandor to a planet with hospitable living conditions in orbit around a red sun. Superman and Supergirl re-enlarged the city and had a brief and teary-eyed reunion with their Kryptonian surviving relatives, such as Van-Zee, Zor-El, and Allura, before an unforeseen consequence of the enlarging-ray kicked in, causing the city of Kandor to twinkle into nothingness. Superman realized too late that he hadn't tested the ray on inorganic material to predict the effect, but Van-Zee spoke on behalf of the Kandorians when he consoled Superman, assuring him that years of being cared for in the bottle had caused them to become lazy and that their new home gave them the opportunity to build Kryptonian civilization anew. Furthermore, the Science Council in Kandor selected that planet-- Rokyn-- in particular because it existed in a flux between the dimensions, allowing New Krypton to develop in the absence of outside influences and ties to the past once it phased into another dimensional plane.[481] Vartox returned to Earth to meet with Superman again, this time for a far graver purpose than on any previous excursion. Valeron was destroyed by a cataclysmic atmospheric disturbance, and Vartox knew not where else to go except to consult with his Earth-based counterpart. Superman gave Vartox access to the technology at the Fortress of Solitude in exchange for Vartox's compliance with adopting a human alter ego to fit in. The next day, security professional "Vernon O'Valeron" began his first day of employment at Galaxy and quickly formed a strong romantic relationship with Lana Lang, who reciprocated his feelings with equal if not greater enthusiasm. Before long, "Vern" revealed his true identity as an alien superhero to the anchorwoman. Vartox then learned that a chemical agent he inadvertently carried from an outer-space voyage had ended Valeron, by reacting with Valeron's greater atmospheric concentration of oxygen gas to release massive amounts of energy. Vartox convinced Superman, albeit not without some difficulty, that Earth would meet the same fate unless they did something. Upon determining that Valeronian mineral samples kept by Vartox as a memento of his dead world could neutralize the chain-reaction, Superman and Vartox moved and pulverized large chunks of Valeron's jettisoned crust and saturated the Earth's atmosphere with the particulate matter. Satisfied with having saved the Earth, even if still wracked with guilt for having unwittingly destroyed his own planet, Vartox explained to Lana that Earth had so many defenders already that his presence would only be superfluous and took off for the void to find another civilization more in need of heroes.[482][483]

Superman was blocked from interfering with the alien abduction of Jon Ross by none other than the Legion of Super-Heroes, who explained that the alien abductors, hailing from planet Nrvyn, took specimens of other races to replenish their own ranks from the toll taken by their never-ending war. A millennium of warfare would refine the Nrvynians' military strategy and hardware to their pinnacle and play a pivotal role in galactic history, as the Nrvynians would come to Earth's aid in a cataclysmic conflict and make possible the ultimate establishment of the United Planets. Jon Ross in particular was singled out as necessary for the proper direction of the timeline, but while Superman reluctantly accepted that he could not save Jon, he recycled his defunct line of Superman Robots to play the collective role of arbiter in the alien conflict and prevent loss of life where possible. Pete Ross took the news that Superman was unable, or unwilling, to bring back his son very badly, revealing to Superman that he had always known of his other identity as Clark Kent.[484] Pete then found a mothballed Luthor's Lair in Smallville and used its technology to extract Superboy from the past and switch their minds and bodies. Wearing the body of Superboy, Pete attacked Superman and threatened to kill both him and his friends, but the time-displaced Superboy (in the adult Pete's body) managed to escape his bonds and summon Krypto from space to lend his adult self a helping hand. Superboy and Pete switched back into their original bodies, and while Superboy returned to his own time, Superman was left with the unenviable task of turning over his boyhood friend to a mental institution.[485] Philanthropist J. Robert Arngrim enticed Superman to give a tour of his Superman-themed pavilion in exchange for a generous donation to Superman's preferred charity. While leading the tour, Superman recalled the various details of his life story, unaware that hidden devices were recording his brain-engrams and transmitting them to a secret lab underneath the pavilion. The whole scheme was a plot by Lex Luthor, who had kidnapped the real J. Robert Arngrim and replaced him with a clone, to mentally program a clone of Superman, with subtle alterations that would make the duplicate pliable to Luthor's will. At the end of the tour, Superman was dropped through a trap-door into Luthor's Lair, where Lex depowered his nemesis with artificial red-sun radiation and trained a laser on the helpless Man of Steel. Luthor explained that the tour group would trip a laser tripwire at the exit to the pavilion, which would simultaneously activate the laser trained on Superman and detonate explosives planted all throughout the pavilion, killing everyone in the building, including Lois Lane and Lana Lang. The Superman clone, who surreptitiously replaced the real Man of Steel as tour guide, caused a commotion by betraying his vital personality difference from his progenitor in confessing his "unfairness" toward Luthor in the past. This distracted Luthor's attention enough for Superman to find a way out of his predicament, turn off the red-sun lamp, disarm the explosive trigger linked to the laser tripwire, and expose Luthor and his clone minions.[486]

The Metropolis Marvel

Clark is shocked to encounter a still-living Jonathan Kent

In the wake of the Superman pavilion incident, there was no shortage of new menaces to Metropolis. Superman dealt with the rampaging nuclear-powered android N.R.G.-X[487][488], Major Disaster, con artist J. Wilbur Wolfingham[489], the Superman Revenge Squad[490], Chemo[491], Amos Fortune[492], and other assorted monsters and criminals. Superman and Supergirl took upon the responsibility of raising a synthetic alien child to teach him how to experience emotions and fulfill his destiny to act as an emotional medium to his ordinarily emotionless race.[493] Clark was struck speechless on the day when Lana invited him after the evening news to meet with the long-deceased Jonathan Kent at a high-end restaurant. Although initially suspecting Jonathan of being a malicious imposter, Clark soon accommodated himself to the fact that reality had seemingly been rewritten so Jonathan Kent had never died and eagerly embraced the involvement of his much-missed father in his life once again. Sadly, it was not to last, as Jonathan had been sent into the future to see the kind of man his son would grow into as a gift by a pair of benevolent alien visitors[129], and part of the condition Jonathan had agreed to was that he would not explain the nature of the situation to his son at all. Upon the passage of 30 hours from his materialization in modern-day Metropolis, Jonathan Kent faded out to meet his fate in the past, and the day Clark got to experience at his father's side was wiped from the timeline to maintain the cosmic balance.[130][131] While entering the Galaxy building one day, Clark appeared to have stepped into an alternate reality where everyone on Earth was gender-flipped. The first oddity that Clark noticed was that separate female counterparts existed to both his Superman and civilian identities; the second was that "Superwoman" and that world's Justice League apparently recognized Superman and considered him to be the world's most notorious criminal. Superman pieced together from the available evidence, in addition to that Mister Mxyzptlk was the only non-gender-swapped member of "Superwoman's" rogues' gallery, that he had not entered a parallel reality at all, but rather that the Earth had been magically distorted by Mxyzptlk for the sake of a prank. From that point on, it was a simple matter for Superman to expose Mxy and compel him to return to the Fifth Dimension.[494] Lex Luthor enacted a convoluted, months-long plot to banish Superman to an antimatter realm adjacent to the Phantom Zone, by brainwashing himself into acting the role of a witless pawn and falling head over heels for the genetically engineered clone of a morbidly diseased woman named Angela Blake. Lex killed the real Angela and altered the chromosomes of the clone to come associated with an organic trigger molecule which would react to direct contact with Kryptonian tissue. Then, Lex programmed himself to love "Angela," who remained unaware of her true origins as a callously manipulated instrument of revenge, and wiped his memories of his own plot, to inspire himself to reform and cure and marry the Angela clone. All these events came to pass, while Lex tried to prove his change of heart to Superman by aiding him against his former criminal associates and teaming up with him to defeat Terra-Man. Superman realized from a brain scan of Luthor that something was amiss and deduced most of what was going on upon noticing Angela's genetic modifications. Superman played along until the moment of Lex and Angela's wedding, at which time skin contact with the latter set off the trigger and sent Angela to the antimatter dimension, an effect that Superman barely avoided thanks to his super-speed and reflexes. A confused Lex was then manhandled by his own robot servants and reprogrammed to remember what he had done back at his lair, only to run into the one possibility he had failed to anticipate from the start: Luthor's psychological self-manipulation was so emotionally damaging that Luthor regressed to a basket case and lacked even the will to resist imminent capture by Superman.[495][496][497]

Superman and Supergirl -- Together against Mongul to end the terror of Warworld!

Even while institutionalized, Pete Ross managed to strike back at Superman for his refusal to save his son Jon, bribing an intermediary to pay off a sorceress into putting a curse on Superman. This curse would afflict Superman with episodes of physical pain for as long as he continued to suffer from a guilty conscience over leaving Jon to his fate. Unknown to all but the Phantom Stranger, the demoness Tala had inspired this course of events with the expectation of dragging the souls of both Superman and Pete into the darkness of her domain. Fortunately, the Stranger interceded on their behalf and combatted Tala on her native plane, while Superman threw off the shackles of the fatalism which had led him to abandon Jon Ross on Nrvyn and returned him to his father on Earth, confident that destiny would have to work its own way out to reconciling the timeline. Jon's return by Superman was also the critical intervention required to snap Pete back to sanity.[498] Clark was visited in his apartment and compelled to publicly declare his imminent retirement as Superman by the eldritch wraith called Destiny. This was part of an exercise intended to reinforce in Superman's mind that the human race could get along without him and that it would be more beneficial for Superman to lead mortal men to find their own solutions as opposed to directly tackling their problems. In spite of his best attempts, Superman was blocked by Destiny from intervening in the attack of a pair of crooked landlords on an orphanage-in-construction, but Lois and a local community leader managed to resolve the situation by their own ingenuity. Afterwards, Destiny's hold on Superman was lifted, and the Man of Steel declared his return to full-time duties as Metropolis's protector.[499] Superman encountered a fearsome new enemy in The H.I.V.E., a new hi-tech criminal group with a network of well-fortified lairs.[500][501] The alien tyrant Mongul coerced Superman into doing his bidding by threatening the lives of Lois, Jimmy, and Steve, sending him to Mars II to retrieve a crystal key from a crypt. Although fully intent on turning on Mongul as soon as his friends' lives were secured, Superman faced down the Martian Manhunter and collected the key, learning in the process that the key was necessary to overcome the defensive screen of the weaponized planet-sized satellite Warworld. After Mongul absconded with the key, Superman gathered Supergirl to hunt down Warworld and destroy it before Mongul could use it to subjugate the entire universe. The super-cousins defeated Mongul by overtaxing Warworld's weapons systems and causing Mongul to faint from mental overexertion, then destroyed Warworld by blasting a clean hole through it by flying at faster-than-light velocity and setting its weapons systems to fire their collective payload inwardly. Supergirl was sent careening beyond the barriers of light, time, and infinity itself, having been rendered unto an unconscious state. Superman attempted to follow, but was stopped by the Spectre, who explained that even a Superman must recognize certain limitations to his powers and prerogative before returning Supergirl to her cousin's side.[502][503][504]

Revealing himself to have survived their last encounter due to a built-in failsafe against uncontrolled shrinkage, Brainiac infiltrated the Fortress of Solitude and hacked into its supercomputer in order to resolve programming bugs, which the process of being reduced to subatomic size and restored had introduced. As a consequence, Brainiac extended the reach of his influence to trigger public infrastructure malfunctions in Metropolis, causing Superman to investigate and trace the root cause of the problem to the Fortress. There, Brainiac amassed the Fortress's considerable arsenal of weaponry against the Man of Steel, but he was finally defeated when Superman hijacked Brainiac's reprogramming and used it to eradicate his sociopathic personality, replacing it with an altruistic one. Brainiac surrendered, apologized for his career of remorseless intergalactic villainy, and took off into the starry void on a noble quest to right his artificial lifetime's worth of wrongs.[505] Vandal Savage, the immortal conqueror from Earth-Two, tricked Superman into igniting a time-altering device with Superman's own internal energy acting as the detonator. This remade Earth-One into a planet under Savage's dominion, where every living man and woman could testify that Savage was master of the world for as long as they could remember. Savage's timeline had it that Superman was his super-powered enforcer, with which he crushed the rebel underground led by Jimmy Olsen. Lois and Perry were rewritten into functionaries of Savage's worldwide regime, but both secretly retained their inner conscience and informed on Savage to the rebels, eventually convincing Superman that Savage was evil and had to be opposed. When Superman made his stand, Savage disintegrated Lois with an energy weapon and began a trek back through time, seeking to trick Superman into pursuing him to various eras where other time-bombs were hidden. The detonation of them all would permanently stabilize the timeline of Savage's one world government, whereas the alterations to Superman's present would otherwise have been temporary if unaccompanied by corresponding changes to the past history of the world. Unbeknownst to Savage, Lex Luthor used his position as Savage's chief scientist to reprogram the final time-bomb to create a different timeline where Luthor would become master of the world. Fortunately, both Savage's and Luthor's plots were crushed thanks to the efforts of Jimmy to catch up with Superman in time-travel and warn him, and the original timeline was restored.[506][507] Vartox returned to Earth again to involve Superman in a scheme unfolding on Tynola, the planet Vartox settled on to protect, to get to the bottom of a conspiracy by the planet's rulers to simulate the disasters Vartox would rescue them from. By acting the role of one of Vartox's enemies and getting taken captive, Superman determined that the Tynolans were trying to keep Vartox busy until such time as they could summon the cosmic entity Moxumbra, who renewed their race's supernatural conjuring powers in return for baiting and offering advanced alien life-forms up for consumption. Together, Superman and Vartox defeated Moxumbra, and the Tynolans lost their conjuring abilities. Vartox decided to settle permanently on Tynola anyway to protect the natives against the consequences of their newfound powerlessness and serve as a moral guide.[508][509]

Superman contemplates the limitations of his powers in the face of death

A new threat named Dominus used a powerful electromagnetic beacon to pull an enormous meteoroid into a direct collision course with the Earth, threatening the world with imminent destruction. Although Superman predictably broke up the meteoroid, Dominus gave the Man of Tomorrow a vision of the Earth's cataclysmic explosion an hour into the future and led him to deduce that the focal center of the phenomenon would be at the exact location of his Fortress of Solitude. Superman wracked his brain to find a solution to the crisis at hand, trying to deduce how the contents of the Fortress could be the key to saving or destroying the planet, while reminiscing on the past. Finally, Superman realized that a chain reaction of several factors in his Fortress could culminate in an Earth-shattering cataclysm and cross-referenced all the possible scenarios to knock their one common denominator out of place, thereby saving the entire human race from a traumatic extinction. Afterwards, Superman tracked Dominus to his secret headquarters, thwarted his attempt to escape into a parallel universe, and unmasked him as none other than Lex Luthor.[510] Clark once again revisited the grief of his parents' deaths when Lana Lang accidentally infected herself and Lois with a specimen of Fever Plague while mishandling an artifact from her father's latest archaeological dig. Faced with a short period of time before the devastating clutch of fever symptoms, Superman raced to explore every possible avenue for a cure, including considering the Phantom Zone Projector, which had been fried by a concentrated psychokinetic burst of the Phantom Zoners themselves out of spite, analysis of his tremendous databanks of information from alien planets, which yielded nothing, and even pleading with Luthor for help, which Luthor took immense satisfaction in denying to Superman. Superman resigned himself to the outcome that the two great loves of his life would die and that he would be powerless to do anything about it, just as he was powerless to save Jonathan and Martha Kent a decade prior. However, a moment of inspiration provided Superman with the answer to his problem. Superman recalled that Fever Plague was decidedly infectious only to adults and that the pathogen released by Lana was tenacious enough to penetrate even his Kryptonian tissues now that he was an adult, but that his heightened immune response destroyed the pathogens. Superman therefore reasoned that the cure to Fever Plague was now within his own antibodies and used his blood to inoculate Lois and Lana with an anti-plague serum that saved both their lives.[164][511] After dissuading Batman's sometimes-ally/sometimes-enemy Man-Bat from making a raid on S.T.A.R. Labs for experimental equipment, Superman learned that Man-Bat's main concern was to treat a condition which threatened his daughter's life. Superman offered the usage of a device in his Fortress which could suffice, only to be unexpectedly attacked by the Atomic Skull for ownership over it. Superman and Man-Bat battled the Skull for possession of the device and won the day, albeit at the seeming cost of the Skull's life.[512]

Superman heeded a summons from Starman, the rightful ruler and protector of a far-off alien empire centered on the planet Kranaltine, and learned that Kranaltine's Crown Imperial had been usurped by Mongul. The empire had been stabilized for centuries by the telepathic link between the reigning monarch and a doomsday weapon located in the heart of the system's sun, which had the raw power to annihilate any one of the individual colonized planets and was the means behind the empire's cohesion to begin with. Superman interrupted Mongul's coronation to save Starman's beloved Lady Merria, whom Mongul intended to force to wed him to legitimate the power-transfer, and to distract Mongul long enough to buy time for Starman to destroy the doomsday weapon. Although Superman's goal was to disrupt Mongul's concentration before he had a chance to use the doomsday weapon, Mongul absorbed Superman's best blows and overwhelmed the Man of Steel with superior power, before hurriedly calling the representatives of the worlds of the empire to conference to announce his rule. Fortunately, Starman destroyed Mongul's weapon before any of the representatives had an opportunity to tempt his wrath. Superman and Starman then regrouped to challenge Mongul with a united front, but the brutish dictator saw no further benefit in pursuing direct conflict and teleported to parts unknown. Superman returned to his own world, and without a means of coercing the planets of the empire to submit to the same rule, Starman resignedly witnessed the dissolution of the Crown Imperial.[513] Revealing himself to still be alive, the Superman clone that Lex Luthor created for his Superman pavilion plot constructed an artificial super-power suit from the remains of an inoperative Superman Robot, to compensate for his loss of powers from prior Gold K exposure. Desperate to achieve an identity of his own, the clone made an attempt to kill the real Superman in order to usurp his life as Clark Kent, but the pangs of residual conscience caused by sharing Superman's memories made the clone hesitate, giving Superman the opportunity needed to turn the tables on his doppelganger. The fight between the two left the clone's face disfigured beyond recognition, leading Superman to use his contacts with the U.S. government to reconstruct his face to resemble Dan Reed, a WGBS newsman who recently died in a plane crash. Superman then rewrote the clone's memories so he would believe himself to be Dan Reed, taking care of a threat to the preservation of his secret identity and giving his tragic duplicate the chance to escape Superman's shadow and be his own individual at very last.[514] Superman faced the wrath of Neutron, the Living Bomb, whose ambition was to eliminate his two former partners in Lex Luthor's industrial espionage team, the TNT Trio. After Neutron killed one, Superman managed to get the other to safety and pressed a direct confrontation with the radioactive villain. Neutron defeated Superman but slinked away, angry that all his power proved insufficient to end the Man of Steel.[515] Meanwhile, a campaign by Lois and Jimmy convinced Morgan Edge to restore the Daily Planet globe to the roof of the Galaxy building and hold a ceremony which top names in politics, industry, the press, and show business would all be invited to. Neutron decided that if he lacked the raw power to kill Superman that he would cripple Superman's sense of purpose by annihilating Metropolis, planting numerous decoy-bombs throughout the city, converting the new Daily Planet globe into an atomic bomb, and trapping Metropolis under a dome of force to prevent anyone from escaping. After a wild goose chase to uncover and neutralize Neutron's bomb, Superman figured out that the globe was the true source of the threat and disposed of it, putting Neutron's rampage to a halt. Fortunately, Superman replaced the Daily Planet globe with an exact replica, and the public unveiling ceremony commenced uninterrupted.[516]

After the Superman Revenge Squad temporarily drove Supergirl to madness in a failed attempt to destroy him[166], Superman decided to strike back at the Revengers for once, with the aim of putting them out of commission for good. To accomplish this, Superman used technology scavenged from his Fortress to rewrite his genome into that of a reptiloid alien from a distant star-cluster and brainwashed himself into a false alter-ego as a space-pirate with a grudge against his caped persona. Approaching the Revengers' homeworld with a set of implanted memories to enhance the verisimilitude of his disguise, Superman advanced through the Revenge Squad's training program until he earned the right to be selected as the Squad's next appointee to venture to Earth to liquidate the Last Son of Krypton. After returning to Earth, Superman returned to his true form and technologically extracted his alter ego's memories and experiences on the Revenge Squad's world for him to analyze. However, unbeknownst to Superman, one of the Revengers' chief scientists deduced Superman's true identity during his sojourn on their world and secretly programmed a post-hypnotic trigger to believe himself to be an android duplicate and destroy his own legacy upon the next time he gazed into a mirror. After wrecking the Superman Museum, the brainwashed Superman kidnapped Lois, expecting for the "real" Superman to appear in her defense. However, Lois intuitively sensed that her captor was the real Superman and risked putting her own life in danger to break the Revengers' hold over Superman's mind. Subsequently, Superman trafficked an explosive device to the Revenge Squad's world which detonated to permeate the atmosphere with an amnestic mist, after which Superman gave his long-time foes the ultimatum to either cling to their hatred and remain confined to their planet forever or to re-enter the greater universe as new individuals without grudges.[167][517][518] Clark was assigned by Morgan Edge to investigate Superman's family tree for a series of articles in the Daily Planet meant to lay the ground for a GBS-produced miniseries about the subject. Realizing that he knew exceptionally little about his family history outside of his father and grandfather, Superman took the opportunity to visit Rokyn with Supergirl and learn about the achievements of all his ancestors, back to the beginning of Krypton's recorded history, starting with the El Family Vault in the reconstructed Kandor and continuing by capturing light rays reflected off Krypton's surface into deep space thousands of years ago. After concluding his mission, Superman returned to Earth with a stronger appreciation of his Kryptonian heritage.[519][520][521] Clark was unexpectedly conscripted by Syrene, a sorceress from a future timeline of Earth in which magic has once more supplanted science, to oppose her husband, the demonic Lord Satanis. After a heated battle, Satanis bound Superman and revealed that both Syrene and he desired to use his body as a medium through which to channel a spell to conjure the mystic Runestone of Merlin the Magician. Though Satanis successfully used Superman to summon the Runestone, Syrene made the Runestone vanish into another time-period of the Earth's history, in order to keep Satanis from seizing it. Satanis and Syrene both vanished into the Timestream to search for their coveted prize, leaving Superman with the threat of their eventual return to finish what they had started in his era.[522] While in Los Angeles with Lois and Perry to attend a journalism conference, Clark had to switch to Superman to thwart rival schemes by the Joker and the Prankster to loot the bank account of a recently deceased comedian whom both were convinced had cheated them.[523]

Superman and Quex-Ul face the eldritch evil at the heart of the Phantom Zone

Superman continued to avert catastrophes of global scale, each more harrowing and potentially planet-shattering than the last. Charlie Kweskill, formerly the Kryptonian ex-convict Quex-Ul, was mentally subjugated by the psychic broadcast of nearly every major Phantom Zone prisoner, under the direction of General Zod. A sleepwalking Charlie spent his nights stealing electronics equipment from S.T.A.R. Labs facilities, leaving him exhausted to the point of physical and mental collapse in the daytime during his job for the Daily Planet. Just as a mind-controlled Charlie completed the construction of a makeshift Phantom Zone Projector from his scavenged parts, Superman visited Charlie out of suspicion and concern and realized what Charlie was building immediately before its activation. Consequently, Superman and Charlie were shunted into the Phantom Zone, while the host of Phantom Zoners were released once more into physical reality. Taking leadership of Faora, Jax-Ur, Kru-El, and Va-Kox, Zod initiated a sequence of operations calculated to thrust the Earth into chaos and systematically disable its other protectors: hurling the Justice League Satellite out of its orbit over the curve of the Moon, demolishing American and Soviet military telecommunications satellite networks in order to provoke both sides into nuclear strikes on the other, destroying the Phantom Zone Projector in the Fortress of Solitude, stealing Hal Jordan's Green Lantern Power Battery for use as a power source, and cannibalizing the Fortress's Kryptonian tech to build a giant Phantom Zone Projector cannon in the Earth's orbit. While Supergirl, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern made their best effort to contain the situation on Earth, Superman and Charlie were led by Mon-El to a backdoor route out of the Phantom Zone and into corporeal reality. However, as Superman and Charlie advanced, they encountered all manner of bizarre and quasi-mystical dangers, eventually encountering the Kryptonian wizard Thul-Kar, who revealed that the Phantom Zone was merely the outer sphere of an interface between the physical plane and Aethyr the Oversoul, a soul-devouring deity existing outside of the universe. Ultimately, Charlie recovered his memories and powers from his former life as Quex-Ul, as a side-effect of the changes wrought by his extradimensional journey, and sacrificed his life in battle with Aethyr to give Superman a chance to escape from the Zone. Superman managed to escape Aethyr's flames of wrath and returned to Earth before Zod could conclude his plan to banish the entire planet into the Phantom Zone with his cannon, subduing the surviving Phantom Zone escapees and returning them to the bleak void where they rightfully belonged.[234][524][525][526]

The end of the planet came near yet again when the rehabilitated Brainiac returned to Earth to inform Superman of the advance of the Planet-Eater, a planet-sized doomsday weapon which Brainiac had devised prior to his reprogramming but discarded even then because of his inability to control it. Brainiac explained to Superman that the Planet-Eater's nature was to absorb all matter in the universe until it had reduced creation back to a singularity and that it would stop at nothing until all life was extinguished. Superman and Brainiac teamed up to breach the exterior of the Planet-Eater, but the Planet-Eater used a mind-altering ray on Superman to make him forget ever having encountered it and become unable to perceive the material effects of the Planet-Eater's devastation. The Planet-Eater's approach to Earth caused gravitational upheavals on the Earth's surface and threatened to tear the world apart, while Superman would be unable to see it happening before his very eyes. Barely escaping the Planet-Eater alive, Brainiac regrouped with Superman and used a machine to jolt Superman's suppressed memory. Consumed with desperation to save the Earth and guilt at failing to stop the Planet-Eater from annihilating another inhabited world, Superman restored Brainiac's original programming against Brainiac's will, in the hopes that Brainiac's original programming would contain a clue to stopping the monstrous world-devouring satellite. Instead, Brainiac double-crossed Superman at the pivotal moment of the mission and usurped control over the Planet-Eater directly, planning to end the universe and rebuild it in his image using the Planet-Eater's power. Superman got the upper hand in his fight with Brainiac, cracked the Planet-Eater's outer shell to expose the new celestial body being coalesced within, and trapped Brainiac deep within the bowels of his own crippled creation, albeit not without pangs of remorse at having reverted Brainiac to his evil personality to begin with. Surrounding the tragedy and destruction, Morgan Edge revealed to the Daily Planet staff that poor sales on the Planet had given him cause to consider selling the newspaper to a tabloid publisher named Mort Waxman, provoking uniform protest and disgust in Lois, Jimmy, and Perry.[527][528][529] The Parasite returned to menace Superman, this time taking aim at both of his identities simultaneously. Parasite sought to drive Superman to a breakdown by staging unpredictable ambushes on his enemy, while directing government agent Cory Renwald to invade Clark's private life by impersonating Renwald's agency superiors and informing him that Clark was allegedly conspiring with alien infiltrators against the United States. The scheme did not work thanks to one factor which Parasite had not anticipated-- the fact that Renwald was also raised for a time by Jonathan and Martha Kent[144] and could not believe that Clark possessed the qualities of a traitor-- instead resulting in Renwald conducting a counter-operation to expose the Parasite for a fraud. Superman then defeated the Parasite by tricking his foe into absorbing Kryptonite radiations while empowered by a share of Superman's life-force.[530] The Man of Steel had to contend with still another threat to the entire planet, a Sun-Eater which had been stolen by Mongul and turned loose on the Earth's Sun. Superman, Supergirl, and the Justice League rallied to take Mongul down, while Jimmy became aware of the crisis from an observatory on Earth and summoned the Legion of Super-Heroes into the 20th century to tackle the Sun-Eater. Eventually, Wildfire neutralized the Sun-Eater by releasing his anti-energy true form from his containment suit, while Superman finally triumphed over Mongul in hand-to-hand combat for the first time, achieving a historic victory and capturing the death-dealing tyrant at long last.[531]

Superman placed a model replica of the Bottle-City of Kandor in the Fortress of Solitude as a memento to all the years that he was charged with the guardianship of the original Kryptonian municipality. On the same day, a race of diminutive extraterrestrial visitors named the Sh'strians appeared within the model city, explaining that they vacated their world due to its imminent demise. The Sh'strians chose to relocate to Earth, due to receiving images that indicated humans looked similar enough to their kind that they could assimilate with ease, only to realize too late that they were in error because of the size difference between their two species. Superman enlarged two Sh'strian visitors, one male and one female, and helped them fabricate human identities to acquire jobs at GBS. However, infection by common Earth pathogens caused the Sh'strians to transform into barbarian monsters and go on a rampage, forcing Superman to expose them to White Kryptonite and return them to the bottle. Until such time as a panacea could be devised to permit the Sh'strians to live in the outside world, Superman resolved to guard over them as he spent so many years watching over the original Kandorians. In recognition of the original Kryptonian city, the Sh'strians agreed to retain the name "Kandor" for their new home.[532][533] On the day that Edge was to sell the Daily Planet over to Mort Waxman, the Galaxy building was overtaken by the ghost of Jeremiah Odets, a printer's devil who died during the Planet's historic first day of publication, more than 200 years ago. After spooking Clark, Lois, Jimmy, Perry, Edge, and Waxman himself, Jeremiah's ghost revealed himself and apologized for the disruptions, but vowed never to rest until the Planet's future was secured. Waxman, being a slimy tabloid publisher with no regard for journalistic integrity, was anathema to the spirit of the Daily Planet, and on that basis, Edge rescinded his offer to sell the paper, giving all the Planet's regular staff a reason to celebrate.[534] The H.I.V.E. Council of Seven masterminded a subterfuge designed to bring about the demise of both Superman and Lois Lane, staging the capture of their agent Alice Smith by Lois in order so that Lois could impersonate Alice and use Alice's identity to infiltrate one of their bases. Lois was permitted to believe that she was gathering intel on the H.I.V.E., but the H.I.V.E. was really feeding Lois false info to mislead her, and Superman by extension, into believing that they planned to raid a S.T.A.R. Labs nuclear power plant the following morning. In actuality, the H.I.V.E.'s true target was not the plant, but the radioactive waste being transported via train to an subterranean dump site. While Superman was kept occupied by an attack on the power plant by H.I.V.E. paratroopers, the real H.I.V.E. capture team got away with the radioactive waste and packed a rocket with it, intending to ransom the nations of Earth with the threat of releasing a radioactive aerosol into the Earth's atmosphere. However, Superman was able to intercept the rocket and burn away the radioactive wastes with the heat of the solar winds.[535][536]

Vartox then returned to Earth to visit his beloved Lana again, and was more than delighted when an aura mysteriously coalesced around Lana which granted her the ability to breath Tynola's atmosphere. While Lana hastily made plans with Vartox to move with him to his planet on a permanent basis, even willing to abandon her relationships at GBS, tragedy struck when Vartox suddenly experienced a series of irrational psychotic episodes, during which he attacked Superman out of paranoia of "stealing" Lana from him. In the last of these, Vartox seemingly killed Lana on accident by petrifying her with his hyper-powers, but Superman and Vartox pieced together that Vartox was being driven towards madness by his jilted first love Syreena, whom he incorrectly believed died with the rest of Valeron. While being exposed had the effect of guilting Syreena into reversing her course of action, what neither Superman nor Vartox realized was that the process of restoring Lana would also take Syreena's life. An additional consequence was the nullification of the aura which represented Lana's hopes of a future with Vartox on Tynola, forcing the starcrossed lovers to remain forever light-years apart.[537][538][539] Superman and Batman were separately confronted and bested by a menace from the past: The Composite Superman! It became apparent that this Composite Superman was not Joe Meach, returned from the dead, however, and Superman recruited the Legion of Super-Heroes from the 30th century to help him overcome the villain. The new Composite Superman changed his appearance and rechristened himself as Amalgamax, but it did not take long for Batman to deduce that Amalgamax was actually Xan, the alien who restored the Composite Superman powers to Joe Meach in his second and final outing. Ultimately, Superman, Batman, and the Legion did Amalgamax in not by sheer force but by trickery, convincing him that he had contracted the same disease that claimed his father's life using one of Princess Projectra's illusions.[540][541] Superman teamed up with Perry White (who used up the last cigar granted by the Army of Tomorrow children) to stop the Ozone-Master[542], thwarted Terra-Man's attempt to defeat him by luring him into an alternate reality governed by magical instead of scientific laws[543], matched wits with a misguided precognitive tech-thief named Colonel Future[544], and saved the Bizarro World from invasion by a horde of ravenous alien creatures.[545]

Lord Satanis and Syrene come to a split decision over Superman!

Lord Satanis made his dreaded comeback, pulling Superman out of time against his will and back to a castle in 14th Century England, where he had established a base of operations and cowed the peasant population into worshipping him in the guise of "Satan." Satanis captured Superman and revealed that his quest for Merlin's Runestone had come to an end, beginning the ritual to filter the Runestone's magicks through Superman's invulnerable body and thereby transform them into a state which could be harnessed. Syrene intervened midway into the ritual to block Satanis's power-grab and split Superman into two separate beings, each containing only half of his full power set.[546] Syrene captured the Superman which retained invulnerability and heat-vision, planning to use that half for the purposes of channeling the Runestone's power, even at the cost of Superman's life. Satanis sent the other Superman, possessing super-strength, X-ray vision, and super-cold breath back to Metropolis in the 20th century, having no use for him. However, Satanis also erected a supernatural block against all of Superman's known time-travel methods, including the Legion of Super-Heroes Time Bubble, the Cosmic Treadmill, and the Time Pool. While trapped in his own era, the non-invulnerable Superman dealt with extreme difficulty in continuing his heroic career, as formerly minor nuisances now posed a deadly threat and the vulnerability of his muscular tissue to breakdown limited the exertion of his other super-powers. Superman encountered the Omega Men briefly during this time, and the assistance of the latter became pivotal to save Superman's life when small-time bank robber The Mole took Superman captive in his underground lair. Accompanied by the Omega Men, Lois Lane contacted retired subterranean explorer Cave Carson and recruited his reluctant help in locating the Mole's lair using Carson's burrowing machine.[547][548] After the defeat of the Mole, Superman was beleagured by the Jackhammer, another third-rate criminal who sought to capitalize off Superman's newfound handicap. Upon rendering Superman unconscious in their first battle, Jackhammer leveraged this victory to build a reputation around himself in the underworld and stage more daring robberies. Finally, Superman recovered the inner courage to face Jackhammer again and overcame him in the rematch, partially thanks to the support extended by spectating pedestrians at the risk of their own lives.[549][550][551] Back in the 14th century, Syrene completed the ritual with the Runestone, torturing Superman's invulnerable half to death in the process, and gained quasi-omnipotence with which she postured to seize revenge against Satanis. In the 20th century, this caused Clark Kent to suddenly collapse in the Daily Planet offices, and his vital signs quickly decreased to the point where he was declared clinically dead. However, Satanis infused his life-force into the invulnerable half of Superman to gain control of his body in the 14th century, having the miraculous effect of reviving the non-invulnerable Clark Kent back to life as his autopsy was about to begin in the 20th century. All of Clark's GBS co-workers were amazed and relieved by this inexplicable turn of events, none moreso than Lana Lang, who began to feel closer to Clark than ever before as a result of the extreme emotions experienced when she believed Clark had died. The non-invulnerable half of Superman, realizing the urgency of the situation in the past because of his near-fatal incident, contacted another retired adventurer of an earlier age -- Rip Hunter, Time-Master -- and desperately tried to circumvent Satanis's chronal barrier with Rip's Time Sphere.[552] This endeavor was a success, and Superman found himself momentarily allied with Satanis to thwart the universal ambitions of Syrene. Against Superman's protestations, Satanis attempted to execute Syrene with one of his spells; however, the remnant of Superman's personality in Satanis's possessed Kryptonian body prevented Satanis from truly destroying her, instead banishing her back to her native time-period. Satanis and the non-invulnerable half of Superman proceeded to turn their attentions against the other, with Satanis eventually discarding the life-essence which was Superman's invulnerable half in order so that he would not be constrained by Superman's conscience. Both incomplete parts of Superman's whole person rejoined into a singular being to launch an attack against Satanis, and in the end, the Man of Steel triumphed over Satanis and exiled him to his far-flung future to meet the same fate as Syrene.[553]

Road to Crisis

A crisis arose, threatening Earth-One and Earth-Two, when Lex Luthor contacted his own Earth-Two counterpart to propose an alliance against both realities' Supermen. The Luthors' original plan was a bait-and-switch gimmick, wherein Lex Luthor would make an attempt on the Earth-Two Superman's life with a shrink ray while Alexei Luthor tried to eliminate the Earth-One Superman using a gravity-amplifying device. Both Supermen overcame the Luthors, however, and deposited them into the Interdimensional Limbo until they could be properly returned to their home-realities. Lex activated a backup plan, transporting Alexei and himself to Earth-Three in order so they could plot the destruction of their enemies from a universe with no native heroes of its own. However, they allied with Ultraman, and Alexei began to work on his own plan to shift Earth-One and Earth-Two into the same dimensional phase to destroy them both, along with all the heroes of both worlds who could potentially oppose him. While Lex stalled Alexei from accomplishing his objective due to reservations about the nature of the act, Earth-Three's Alexander Luthor pulled the Supermen of Earth-One and Earth-Two into his reality in order to stop his evil other-dimensional doppelgangers. Superman of Earth-One intercepted the ion beam that Alexei was using to shift the two Earths into the same phase, holding off the ray's cataclysmic effects long enough for Superman of Earth-Two to defeat the Luthors and destroy the ion beam generator itself. Both Supermen subsequently parted ways and returned to their respective realities with their nemeses in tow, though their actions served to inspire Alexander Luthor to become Earth-Three's first true super-hero. The Superman of Earth-Two also gave his Earth-One counterpart the advice to marry Lois, describing the vigor and fulfillment that his marriage with his own world's Lois had brought him.[554]

Superman set off on another adventure of cosmic proportions when he collided with his past self as Superboy while navigating through the Timestream, because of an ominous temporal anomaly. The bizarre effect of this was to send both Superman and Superboy hurtling back to their own eras, but with the mind of each inhabiting the other's body. Superman, trapped within the form of his 16-year-old self several years ago, was subjected to the tragedy of encountering Jonathan and Martha Kent once more, but being unable to tell them of their eventual destiny to die from Fever Plague and playing the role of his teenaged self. Meanwhile, he was forced to contend with the adolescent Lex Luthor's plot to trap Superboy in a permanent time-loop lasting the span of the day, hoping that he could literally trap his hated enemy in an eternal "yesterday." Back in Superman's time, Superboy had to come to grips with the more modern trappings of the world he now inhabited, as well as learning enough about his adult self's life and career to convincingly substitute for him. Superboy, in Superman's body, was challenged by a self-proclaimed savior named Euphor, who aimed to become an omnipotent being by using his ability to absorb the negative emotions of others and convert them into raw power. Once both threats were extinguished in both time-periods, Superman and Superboy thought to replicate the accident that caused their body-swap in the first place, returning the mind of each to its appropriate body and giving Superboy amnesia from the turbulence of the time-storm.[555][556][557][558][559]

Superman's string of strange exploits, unified by the the theme of encountering another version of himself, came to a close with a third installment. While directing an asteroid off a course that would lead to collision with an inhabited planet, Superman made a fleeting wish that he could lead his separate lives as Superman and Clark Kent simultaneously, so that he wouldn't be forced to stifle one identity in order to lend greater expression to the other. Unbeknownst to the Man of Steel, the Miracle Machine had embedded itself into that asteroid, materializing there due to an unpredictable effect caused by the experimentation of its Controller creators. As such, the Miracle Machine picked up Superman's mental rumination and acted upon it to split Superman and Clark Kent into completely separate individuals, who at first were unaware that they were once the same being. Being dissociated from Clark, his anchor in the world of mortal men, also had an unusual impact on the personality of Superman, leading him to become more obsessively dedicated to patrolling the Earth and the greater universe nonstop and excluding his personal relationships such as Lois Lane. Ultimately, Clark pieced together that he and Superman had once been the same entity, convincing Superman of this while helping him to stop one of the Atomic Skull's rampages. To revive Superman's memories of their shared past, Clark rustled one painful recollection that he shared with his Superman half, and which held equal meaning to both of them: The deaths of their adoptive parents. This was the final epiphany necessary for Superman and Clark to recombine into a singular entity.[560]

World's Finest: The Superman-Batman Team

Batman and Superman switch identities

Superboy had a few encounters with a young Bruce Wayne, beginning with a Smallville excursion by Bruce in his days as a budding amateur detective. Bruce tracked Superboy's movements as he publicly performed super-feats with the objective of deducing Superboy's secret identity, while being harassed by a hoodlum named Thad Linnis to divulge the results of his search. Although Superboy took steps to confound Bruce, he made a subtle error in his Clark Kent guise which tipped Bruce off. However, Bruce had only intended to test his own sleuthing skills, not to expose Superboy, and destroyed the only article of evidence from his investigation that Linnis could use to make the same deduction.[561] Shortly after the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne, Superboy teamed up with Bruce in his first attempt at adopting a costumed identity, the Flying Fox, and the two tackled several emergencies together while Bruce was taking a temporary stay in Smallville. Bruce soon caught the attention of Lana Lang, who agreed to go out to the prom with him if he deduced Superboy's true identity. Although Bruce already knew, he set about to prove it again, succeeding in matching Superboy's voice-print to that of Clark's. However, after being shown how Clark and he were destined to meet again and voluntarily exchange secrets years later as Superman and Batman by Superboy's time-scope, Bruce decided that the future scenario is how they ought to discover the truth about one another and arranged for his memories of Superboy's true identity to be erased by a self-hypnosis procedure.[562] Superboy retained the knowledge of Bruce's future destiny to be the Batman, however. Some time later, Superboy allied with Bruce in his next early costumed identity, the Executioner, and together they exposed a scheme by a dishonest Gotham Gazette reporter to alter crime and disaster scenes to hoax the public with claims of a zodiac-themed serial killer.[563] At some point after this encounter, Superboy decided to subject himself to the same self-hypnosis as Bruce, in order so that he would forget about their destined future meeting in their heroic personae as adults.[564]

Years later, Superman first met the Dark Knight avenger called the Batman and his youthful crime-fighting partner Robin, the Boy Wonder, while they were chasing down a gang with access to a Kryptonite-irradiated liquid-spray gun. Batman and Robin pulled a ruse on the gangsters and wrested control of the K-gun, allowing Superman to join them in cleaning the crooks' proverbial clocks.[565] Soon, Superman and Batman learned each other's secret identity in the course of uncovering a criminal conspiracy on a cruise-liner, shortly after their civilian alter egos, Daily Planet reporter Clark Kent and billionaire Gotham City socialite Bruce Wayne, were drawn by circumstance into a personal encounter on the very same ship. Both about-to-be-legendary crimebusters promised to keep each other's identity a secret, and they subsequently started working on several cases together with greater frequency.[566] The act of exchanging secret identities at this time also undid the mental blocks created by Clark and Bruce over their own conscious minds to keep them from remembering their encounters as teenagers, permitting them to recall the total of their shared history from that point onwards.[564] When Superman rescued Batman and Robin from a mob attack, he would accidentally reveal his secret identity to Lois Lane, prompting Batman and Robin help stage an elaborate hoax in order to once more protect Superman's identity.[567] When Clark Kent and Lois Lane were captured by criminals who used heavy artillery in their crimes, Batman and Robin were led to their hideout thanks to Superman's secret aid and they captured the thugs.[568] Sometime later, Batman and Superman came up with an elaborate hoax wherein Batman poses as a swami and needs Superman's assistance in order to capture a group of crooks.[569] When Batman was exposed to a lethal gas by the Purple Mask Mob that would've killed the Dark Knight should he be physically active, Superman and Robin made Batman believe that he had a broken leg to keep him out of action until his system fully metabolized it.[570]

Batman and Superman started a competition to determine in which of their cities a science convention should be held, but the heroes proved to be equal in the final assessment and the science convention took place in both cities.[571] Batman and Superman worked together to stop the evil Professor Pender, who used a machine to swap powers between them. Using their respective abilities, Super-Batman and Normal Superman managed to defeat Pender and return to their normal forms.[572] Next, Superman summons Batman and Robin to Metropolis to try and figure out who is trying to reveal Superman's secret identity. This all turns out to be a ruse to keep the Dynamic Duo preoccupied while Superman travels out to Gotham City to capture the Varrel Mob.[573] Superman and Batman stopped the Mole Gang, while also working on their civilian identities as temporary reporters in order to report the epic gang battle and save the Gotham Gazette from bankruptcy.[574]

When Superman went missing, Batman and Robin were asked to track down the Man of Steel and help him expose yet another empty threat from a criminal attempting to expose Superman's secret identity.[575] Superman and Batman teamed yet again to stop a gang of crooks which had duped a preserved Kryptonian caveman into aiding their crimes, although the caveman died from the combination of exposure to Kryptonite and cosmic rays.[576] Superman and Batman then had to contend with Clayface, who used his shapeshifting powers to take Superman's form and replicate his powers.[577] Sometime later, Batman and Superman investigated the mysterious case of the deaths of Robin and Jimmy Olsen, learned about a purposeful deception and captured an important gang in the process.[578] Next, the Batman and Superman team almost disappeared as a grudge grew between the heroes, but after working together to save Kandor, they moved past their disagreements.[579] Following this, the heroes stopped the double threat of Brainiac and Clayface with help from their sidekicks Robin and Jimmy.[580] Superman, Batman and Robin joined forces once more to stop Bizarro and the newly-spawned Bizarro Batman from turning the world topsy turvy with the Joker.[581] Superman and Batman then went up against their evil doppelgangers Anti-Superman and Anti-Batman, realizing that they were actually Perry White and Commissioner Gordon under the influence of a mind-altering gas.[582] Batman and Superman later pulled a hoax on notorious con-artist Doctor Zodiac to make him believe he could successfully predict luck through astrology and captured him along with several other gangsters once he had been tricked into lowering his guard.[583] Superman and Batman were drawn into the extra-dimensional realm of an otherworldly collector named Jemphis, who tried to have them mesmerized under the pretense of hosting an intergalactic heroes' convention. Batman succumbed though Superman narrowly escaped. Jemphis then turned the sun of his dimension red to neutralize Superman's powers and forced him to contend in a gladiatorial contest against Batman for the "honor" of becoming his personal slave. Batman defeated Superman, in spite of Superman's creative attempt at cobbling together a makeshift utility belt from elements of the alien environment, but Batman broke free from Jemphis's psychic hold when his willpower rejected the villain's kill order. Jemphis then fell into one of his own mesmerizing machines trying to escape and was compelled for the rest of eternity to kneel before his own image in the mirror.[584] Brainiac attempted to impersonate Batman to steal Kandor from the Fortress of Solitude. Failing at that, but escaping Superman's grasp, Brainiac created an android servant to trick Superman, Batman and Robin into placing receivers in the 5 greatest cities on Earth for his shrink-ray to home onto. However, the heroes caught wise to Brainiac's scheme and prevented it from reaching fruition.[585] Superman, Batman and Robin were beset again by the other-dimensional shenanigans of Mr. Mxyzptlk and Bat-Mite, who led their respective objects of obsession to believe that Supergirl and Batgirl had turned evil and betrayed them, while the real girl superheroes were temporarily trapped in another dimension.[586] Superman and Batman then interfered with the unethical experiment of biochemist Dr. Arron, who retaliated by exposing Superman and Batman to psychoactive chemicals that transformed them, physically and mentally, into duplicates of their feared nemeses: Kralik the Conqueror and Two-Face. Dr. Arron was accidentally exposed to these chemicals himself and broke up the fight between the transformed heroes in the physically and mentally altered form of the Composite Superman.[587] On the day of Superman and Batman's annual contest of crime-fighting ability, the Superman Revenge Squad and its Earth-based spinoff, the Batman Revenge Squad, attempted to rig the trophies being competed for with deadly booby-traps, in order so that either or both of the heroes would consign themselves to a horrible death as a result of victory. Fortunately, Robin and Jimmy Olsen discovered how the trophies had been tampered with and baited the criminals into giving away their location so they could be arrested.[243] Superman faked his own death with a synthetic android to manipulate Lex Luthor into flushing a quartet of notorious gangsters out of hiding. Batman and Robin were in on the hoax and kept Luthor and the gangsters busy until Superman had concluded a mission in the Andromeda galaxy.[588][589] Together, Superman and Batman escaped the labor camp of the bloodthirsty Colonel Koslov of Lubania and thwarted an espionage operation being run in the heart of Washington, D.C..[590][591] Although not without encountering a few hitches along the way, the Last Son of Krypton and the Caped Crusader worked together to dismantle an organized crime syndicate run by "Big Uncle" Lukaz.[592][593] Superman's next team-up with the Batman was to rescue Lois Lane and the archaeologist whose Middle Eastern expedition she was covering from a Bedouin grave-robber who came into possession of a malfunctioning Superman Robot.[594] Some time later, Batman and Superman worked together to stop Doctor Light from killing Superman with a magical staff he created using Zatanna's powers.[595] When the Earth was menaced by a starship manned by the agents of a fascist alien empire, Superman and Batman teamed up to deduce their motive, to abduct and execute a pacifist refugee from their planet who had taken residence in Kandor. Subsequently, Superman briefly impersonated Batman and engaged the alien fascists in one-and-one combat to deceive them into believing that all Earth humans were physically superior and leaving the planet in fear.[596]

Batman and Superman then worked with Metamorpho after he gained their powers and together they overthrew a communist dictator who had been developing super-weapons in contravention of international accords.[597] Superman and Batman worked together to tackle the cases of the desperate telepathic blackmailer Capricorn, the swamp-mutant South American avenger of injustice known as "El Monstro," and a town in Northern Scotland where the children had been possessed by avian animist spirits and attempted to use supernatural powers to execute Bruce Wayne, the last surviving heir to the locale's historic Castle Wayne.[598][599][600][601] Superman and Batman were dispatched by the U.S. military to liberate an enslaved scientist from the South American military dictatorship of Mariposa. Their mission was helped along by Metamorpho, who was visiting in the country at the same time by coincidence to inspect his bitter acquaintance Simon Stagg's industrial interests in the Mariposan mining sector.[602] Superman and Batman then cracked the case of another psychic blackmailer Sagittarius, an alien plague-carrier in disguise on Earth as a human woman, and the arrival of a Kryptonian beast on Earth sent by Jor-El to counteract a mutant swarm of space-borne giant locusts. [603][604][605] Superman and Batman came to the aid of their former JLA comrade J'onn J'onzz when an attempt to deceive and kill him by a military conspiracy on Mars II brought him into misunderstanding and unnecessary conflict with Supergirl, Hawkman, and Hawkgirl on Earth.[606][607][608][609] Superman and Batman united to expose the Parasite, who had conspired with Gotham City gang boss "Mad Dog" Doyle to fabricate a false identity for himself as Superman's long-lost hunchback brother Kor-El, as part of a greater scheme to disgrace and kill Superman with a Kryptonite asteroid and create a global totalitarian dictatorship starting with the United States.[610][611] Superman teamed with Batman to infiltrate and dismantle Lex Luthor's scheme to switch Superman's mind into Batman's vulnerable body and then kill him, subsequently offering testimony in a mock-court presided over by the Gotham crime underworld when Luthor appeared to take credit for the Batman's (wrongly assumed) demise.[612] When a Kryptonian with a werewolf-like affliction was released in Gotham, Batman and Superman teamed-up to capture Lar-On and place him in the Phantom Zone, for his and others' safety.[613] Shortly thereafter, Batman contracted Lar-On's disease and transformed into a were-bat before Superman cured his condition.[614] Superman went to Gotham to rescue Jimmy Olsen and helped Batman stop the terrorist group called the Battalion of Doom.[615]

Batman and Superman then stopped the threat of the Pi-Meson Man.[616] When Clayface returned and kidnapped Lois Lane, Superman and Batman used the oldest of their tricks and switched identities to confuse the criminal and stop his mad plan.[617] Superman and Batman were pitted in a race against the clock to stop Lady Lunar from devastating the planet.[618] Batman and Superman then stopped Metallo, who had escaped from Superman Island and started a crime wave using a black hole.[619] Batman and Superman teamed up yet again to combat a Nazi super-villain from the past of Earth-Two, the Atoman, who had a bloody thirst for revenge on Superman's Earth-Two counterpart for a defeat from decades past and had not realized he jumped over to another plane of reality entirely.[564] When several weapons were stolen from the Fortress of Solitude,[620] Batman and Superman investigated and came in conflict with the intergalactic villain called Weapon-Master.[621] When Superman was captured by the Weapon Master, Batman used one of Superman's machines to save his friend, but in the end the Weapon Master escaped.[622]

The World's Finest part ways.

After this, the heroes worked together to stop Mister Freeze from altering the weather in both their cities.[623] They then worked together to defeat and capture Doctor Double X following a break-out from Arkham Asylum.[624] Batman and Superman then stop the threat of a lethal plague.[625] The heroes then assisted Hawkman to restore peace in Thanagar.[626] Afterwards, Batman and Superman confronted and stopped General Scarr's Army of Crime.[627][628][629]

Batman and Superman were then threatened by a mystical being[630] and Batman was possessed by a dark entity[631] and taken away to Madame Zodiac's lair.[632] Superman searched all over the world and eventually found Batman. The Man of Steel helped Batman overcome the possession and with unexpected help from Dr. Zodiac, the heroes managed to defeat Madame Zodiac and the Dark Entity.[633] Later, they stopped the powerful duo called Null and Void[634][635], the menace of Chronos[636] and finally, they stopped the threat of Nightwolf before they decided to go their separate ways.[637]

Super-Hero Team-Ups

In addition to his history with the Dynamic Duo of Batman and Robin, Superman has allied with many other superheroes on numerous occasions.

Superman's historic first race with the Flash

The Flash

Superman participated in a UN-sponsored race with the Flash to raise money for charitable projects in underdeveloped countries. However, they agreed to cross the finish line at exactly the same instant and end the race in a tie when it became apparent that rival gambling syndicates were trying to fix the outcome in their favor.[638] Such would only be the first of a series of races between the two legendary figures, often accompanied by a raising of the stakes in their contest. The next race between the fastest men alive would be when Reverse-Flash and Abra Kadabra, impersonating the vexatious Venturan gamblers Rokk and Sorban, compelled the two to compete with the threat of destroying their cities Metropolis and Central City. However, the whole race was never intended to truly test the heroes' capabilities, but rather to put the Flash in harm's way by navigating through a cavalcade of interstellar death traps. With the help of their fellow Justice League members, Superman and the Flash returned to Earth and overpowered the villains before they could comprehend what was happening.[639] Superman's next team-up with the Flash was when the two headed out into space to destroy the spore of a parasitic extraterrestrial plant which would drain the Earth of its natural resources and leave it an inhospitable husk, incapable of supporting life, before starting a new reproductive cycle. The plant somehow gave Superman and Flash temporary amnesia to keep them from counteracting it and sent them back to Earth, where each hero was briefly misled in their confused state into thinking himself to be the other hero. After Superman and the Flash cleared up their identity issues and the amnesia spell passed, the two worked together to briefly accelerate the orbit of the Earth around the Sun, just enough so that the plant spore would miss its mark and instead hurtle into the Sun.[640] Again Superman teamed up with the Flash when both heroes found themselves summoned by the Guardians of the Universe to Oa, to neutralize the deleterious influence of a manner of beings called the Anachronids upon spacetime. To do so, both heroes would have to accelerate as fast as possible counter-clockwise around the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies, in the opposite direction of the Anachronids' path. Eventually, Superman and Flash determined that the Anachronids were robots constructed by Professor Va-Kox to merge the Phantom Zone into the realm of physical space surrounded by the Anachronids' circular path, annihilating the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies (including Earth and its solar system) and freeing Va-Kox and his cohorts Jax-Ur, General Zod and Kru-El to dominate the rest of the universe. Superman and the Flash were trapped in a realm at the periphery of the Phantom Zone and suffered incapacitating injuries in the process of escaping the Phantom Zoners' captivity. The two heroes clawed their way across the ground with desperation in their hearts to turn off the machine powering the Anachronids before they could accomplish their nefarious purpose. The Flash was the one who reached the machine first and pulled the off switch, however, making him the victor in his most unusual race against the Man of Steel.[641][642]

While under the control of the malignant sorcerer Effron, Superman was forced to combat the Flash and defeated the Scarlet Speedster, before thankfully being returned to his senses by the contrivance of Green Arrow and the Kandorians.[643] On a later occasion, the Weather Wizard caused a string of improbable meteorological catastrophes in Metropolis to lure Superman into concluding his responsibility for the rash of incidents and teaming up with the Flash to interrogate him in prison. This would put Superman in the range of a secret weapon Weather Wizard had been working on previously during his incarceration, a device that would artificially simulate a meteorological event unique to the climate of Krypton which would compel Superman, as a Kryptonian, to murder the Flash. However, Superman and Flash figured the Wizard's game before confronting him and pulled a bait-and-switch to trick the Wizard into showing his hand, whereupon his threat was defused.[644] Superman and the Flash held an impromptu rematch race, from the 20th century to the End of Time, when two warring alien races coerced them into acting as their representatives to decide the outcome of a conflict.[645][646] Superman and the Flash teamed up again when the linear flow of time on Earth was ground to a halt by the incursion of an extradimensional alien visitor, leaving the two fastest men alive as the only sapient beings unaffected.[647]

Teen Titans

The first time Superman and Robin teamed up without Batman's involvment was when they met up to prevent violent outbursts at Hudson University admist a rash of student protests, and the Teen Wonder was taken along for the ride along with two quarrelsome brothers when a pair of psychic aliens abducted the Man of Tomorrow to use as a perpetual energy-source for their life-extension machine. Robin and the two brothers freed Superman from his captivity so the four of them could return to Earth in one piece, and the brothers learned a lesson about willingly putting aside differences in the service of a greater cause.[648] The Man of Steel next met the other Teen Titans (Speedy, Kid Flash, Wonder Girl, Mal Duncan and Lilith Clay) when he received a telepathic distress-signal sent to him as Clark Kent by Lilith's subconscious mind. Investigating the town of Fairfield, where Lilith claimed the Titans were "trapped," Superman soon discovered that the Titans and the rest of the town's population were under the mental domination of a supercomputer which had absorbed the reactionary personality and prejudices of long-deceased cavern-explorer Richard Handley. Once Superman smashed the computer, the psychic hold on the Titans and the townspeople was released.[649]

Green Lantern

Superman and Green Lantern first met as adolescent boys, when they were both Clark Kent and Hal Jordan. Clark embarked on a trip to Coast City, California, with his parents, to attend the anniversary party of some affluent relatives. In the process, Clark witnessed firsthand several instances of Hal's exceptional fearlessness in the face of danger, such as remaining calm to keep order among the passengers of a plummeting airplane and braving tall and potentially deadly waves with his surfboard. Clark came to Hal's aid as Superboy when Hal inadvertently stumbled upon a smuggling operation and imparted the advice to Hal that his exemplary courage must always be tempered with good judgement.[650]

Long-suppressed tensions between Superman and Green Lantern came to a boil when each hero's attempt to destroy large space debris before it could penetrate Earth's atmosphere inadvertently obstructed the other's. A spontaneous shouting match erupted wherein Superman accused GL of being overly impulsive and hot-headed and GL accused Superman in turn of being an egotist. The Guardians of the Universe intervened with the notion of settling the dispute by setting up a contest between the heroes, with the understanding that the loser would have to cede territorial protection over the Earth to the winner. Their tempers inflamed beyond reason, Superman and Green Lantern consented to the contest, which appeared to be supervised by Doctor Fate of Earth-Two's Justice Society. In actuality, the images of Doctor Fate and the Guardians were mere illusions conjured by the Justice League's old enemy Felix Faust to exploit the heroes' immature anger and use the energies of the Green Lantern Power Ring to complete a dragon-releasing spell. Afterwards, Faust unleashed the dragon upon the Justice League Satellite, creating the circumstance for Superman and GL to bury their trivial grudge and cooperate to destroy the winged serpent. Resolving never to let feelings of petty rivalry get the better of them ever again, Superman and GL concluded the adventure by returning Faust to his prison cell on Earth.[651] While under the control of the malignant sorcerer Effron, Superman was forced to combat Green Lantern and defeated the Emerald Crusader, before thankfully being returned to his senses by the contrivance of Green Arrow and the Kandorians.[652]

Superman's next team-up with Green Lantern was spurred by the anti-Superman campaign of Kydyk and Zoyoz, a pair of shapeshifting intergalactic assassins belonging to an alien race with simple and amorphous body-plans. Kydyk and Zoyoz were contracted by Sinestro to murder the Green Lantern of Space Sector 2814 for him; the assassins' strategy revolved around a concerted attack upon Superman on Earth to convince the Man of Tomorrow that he was the target instead. Under the guise of attempting to kill Superman with a death-ray, Kydyk and Zoyoz charged Superman's body with an unusual energy-signature that manifested itself as a trail of confetti-like "twinkles" every time Superman opened his mouth to speak. A quick analysis of the twinkles' substance revealed that a discharge from the Green Lantern Power Ring would be sufficient to dispel the condition, but Superman played the cautious route. Having noticed that the twinkles drift off in a predictable direction along the Earth's magnetic field lines upon being expired, Superman traced them to a cave where Kydyk and Zoyoz discussed their true plot: By inviting Green Lantern to negate the twinkles with his power ring, the ring's energies would trigger the energy-charge dormant inside Superman's body and transmute it into a fatal area-effect yellow energy-burst, against which GL would have no protection. Superman went to GL to put on a play for the assassins' benefit, to trick them into believing they had succeeded long enough for GL's "corpse" to be teleported aboard their client's starship. GL overcame Sinestro by capitalizing off the element of surprise, and Superman did the same to trap Zoyoz and Kydyk into inescapable vacuum-tubes.[653] Green Lantern sent his power ring to Superman temporarily after being knocked unconscious during a battle with Star Sapphire. As a result, Superman was able to save GL from being kidnapped from the Earth by Sapphire in his helpless state.[654] Superman later helped Hal Jordan reclaim his power-ring from a vicious alien imposter.[655]

Wonder Woman

In spite of serving alongside Wonder Woman for years in the Justice League, Superman never got to know her on a level beyond that of a professional acquaintance. The first indication that this was about to change was after Diana had been stripped of her Amazon powers and began a new career at the side of the ancient master I-Ching as a plainclothes vigilante. I-Ching convinced Diana to use a computer-dating service to match her up on a blind date with a member of the opposite sex. By an apparent coincidence, Perry White received permission from Morgan Edge the very same day to assign Clark to use the computer-dating service for a Daily Planet feature on the topic. A supercomputer from a possible future of Earth, where war and pollution had eradicated all human life, manipulated the results so that Clark was improbably paired with Diana and then whisked the two away to its barren future Earth to explain how the cataclysm could be averted. Evidently, the death of an unknown individual at a conflict between student rioters and campus security at a major university would cause a butterfly effect ending in the extinction of humanity. Superman and Diana were dispatched back into the past to stop the violence on both sides, and while none of the protestors were harmed, one of the guards was killed, either by deflected gunfire from his fellow guards or from the explosion of a car's gas tank from a protestor's Molotov cocktail. This leaves the success or failure of Superman and Diana's mission uncertain, and with it the future of the Earth. However, it is presumed that they succeeded due to the perseverance of human life on Earth in future timelines which are dated farther into the future than the predicted apocalypse.[656] Shortly after Diana regained her Amazon powers and the title of Wonder Woman, she teamed up with Superman to hoax the public with a feigned high-profile romance. The true reason for this was because a dangerous mental patient with romantic delusions about Superman had escaped, and Lois Lane would have been the first woman in the psychopath's sights if Wonder Woman hadn't briefly seemed to be the "new woman" in Superman's life. In an ironic twist, Lois and her fellow Daily Planet reporter Melba Manton became pivotal to saving Wonder Woman's life from mortal danger.[657] Years later, Superman and Wonder Woman teamed again to defeat an alien ice-creature.[658] On another occasion, Wonder Woman and Superman were unnaturally drawn together by the love-inducing arrows of Eros, causing embarrassment for their usual love interests Lois Lane and Steve Trevor.[659]

Aquaman

The first time Superman and Aquaman met was when the two were fledgling teen heroes Superboy and Aquaboy. As self-appointed defender of the deep, Aquaboy set out to persuade an oil company to recall its shoddily-maintained tankers in order to prevent harm from coming to maritime ecosystems by oil spills. The mercenary captain of the tanker instead attempted to kill Aquaboy by drenching him in crude oil and left him to suffocate out at sea, until the half-Atlantean hero was inadvertently rescued by some coastal fishermen and cleaned off by Superboy with a detergent bath. Superboy and Aquaboy petitioned the executive of the oil company personally, only to be brushed off. Superboy and Aquaboy retaliated by forcing the leaky oil tankers to return to shipyards to undergo necessary repairs, inviting subsequent reprisal from the mercenary agents of the unethical corporate executives, who baited Aquaboy into a trap and held him hostage to coerce Superboy into ceasing his interference with their operations. Superboy saved Aquaboy anyway and forced the criminals to face the music regardless, ending the first team-up of the two great heroes on a positive note.[660] Superman and Aquaman would encounter each other on occasion in the years to come.[661] The frequency of interaction would only increase upon the formation of the Justice League.

Superman was allied with Aquaman again by a twist of fate when Clark was waylaid in the streets of Metropolis by a cetacoid (dolphin-like) creature and warned of a plot against the human race. Clark's subsequent investigation as Superman brought him to an abandoned oceanography outpost where Aquaman had been overcome by the concerted sonic attack of a horde of cetacoids. Superman and Aquaman then encountered the good cetacoid from Metropolis, who explained that he was a mutant dolphin with humanoid body plan, intelligence and vocal communicative ability who was adopted by the oceanographers and harbored mixed love-hate feelings for humans due to their uplift of him but inability to truly accept him as he was. One day, the cetacoid spontaneously duplicated itself, an uncontrollable process that give rise to new cetacoids who only loathed humanity. Superman, Aquaman and the good cetacoid traveled to the polar ice caps to stop the evil cetacoids from melting them and flooding the Earth, which would create an environment hospitable for them but decimate the human population. After lecturing them on their grave error, Superman escorted the cetacoid beings to a habitable, but uninhabited, aquatic planet for them to make their new home.[662] Later, Superman teamed up with Aquaman to defeat his half-brother Ocean Master when a scheme was hatched to take over the Atlantean city-states of Poseidonis and Tritonis by manipulating them into going to war.[663] Superman and Aquaman allied yet again to prevent a colony of octopus-like aliens from mutating themselves with S.T.A.R. Labs technology to overrun the surface world.[664]

Hawkman and Hawkwoman

Superman's first adventure with Hawkman outside of the Justice League was a series of events engineered by a demonic entity known as the Tempter. The Tempter agitated the subconscious insecurities of the heroes and those closest to them. Specifically, the Tempter inflamed Hawkman's indignation that Superman was being summoned instead of him to attend a ceremony for the dedication of a new park in Midway City and Superman's resentment of the human race's apparent collective ingratitude for his many years in the service of the planet, in order to set them on a collision course. The end goal was for Superman and Hawkman to grow so petty and misanthropic that they would lose sight of justice and destroy Midway City through the selfishness of their actions. Fortunately, the strength of the heroes' willpower won the day, with some encouragement from their lady-loves Lois Lane and Hawkgirl and Superman and Hawkman arrived at a peaceful resolution to their personal issues.[665] Hawkman was later brainwashed by the criminal Frank Rayles using solar radiation from the star Polaris and sent to Paris to booby-trap a trophy Superman was scheduled to receive from the President of France. The detonation sent Superman reeling back through the timestream to World War II, where Superman tagged along with Easy Company while temporarily amnesiac. After regaining his memory, Superman returned to the present, where he came under direct attack by the mind-controlled Hawkman. Luckily, a blue jay sent by Hawkman to warn Superman prior to his mental takeover and a photo collection taken by a Daily Planet sweepstakes winner who accompanied Superman for 6 hours of the day tipped the Man of Steel off to Rayles's involvement, allowing him to free Hawkman's mind.[666][667]

The first occasion on which Superman teamed up with Hawkwoman was when one of Carter Hall's archaeologist peers uncovered the existence of an underground ruin bearing markings unlike the pictograms used by any Native American tribe. Due to Carter's unavailability at the time, Shiera Hall learned about this site instead and correctly interpreted the language as Kryptonese, leading her to bring Superman over at night to investigate in secret. Superman and Hawkwoman pieced together that the ruin was an eroded facade obscuring the lab of Superman's great-grandfather Var-El and surmised that Var-El set up a base of operations on Earth to conduct experiments which were forbidden on Krypton.[668]

Green Arrow

Clark Kent first met Oliver Queen when the two were adolescents, and Queen had spent a small amount of time in Smallville, Kansas. An atmospheric disturbance allowed one of Superboy's non-functional scientific projects, a view-screen that would peer past the veil of time, to reveal Oliver Queen's destiny to become the crime-fighting expert bowman Green Arrow. Seeking to help Oliver jumpstart his interest in archery early, Clark convinced Oliver to attend a Smallville High School costume pageant while dressed as Robin Hood and encouraged Oliver to try using the bow and arrow to stop several tricksters from causing a public disturbance. Although Oliver succeded in using the bow and arrow creatively in some instances, he failed to evince any true marksmanship talent. Nevertheless, Oliver's actions unintentionally clued Superboy in on a gold smuggling operation which the tricksters' disruption was meant to obfuscate.[669] Clark Kent and Oliver Queen did not have many notable encounters with one another until both joined the Justice League of America years later as Superman and Green Arrow.

While covering the running-up to the next round of municipal elections in Star City for WGBS-TV, Clark came across Oliver, who had recently expressed his intention to run for mayor to the public against the advice of his JLA comrades, Clark included. Clark and Oliver were whisked against their will to an alternate universe or dimension, possibly a variant of Earth in some long-forgotten, distant past, where magic permeated the very elements and the tyrannical sorcerer Effron made brainwashed puppets of his people. Superman was set upon by demons representing disease, poverty and ignorance, while GA was forced by the sorcerer to participate in a meaningless contest for the crown of his kingdom, even though the reigning monarch would always be reduced to a mindless meatpuppet by the sorcerer's magicks anyway. Superman and GA restored individuality to the enslaved common people and set them against their wicked overlord, taking advantage of the ambient magic in the environment that they could both manipulate to work in their favor, and subsequently returned to the Earth they called their own.[670] Later, Superman and Green Arrow were maneuvered into teaming up again by that same sorcerer as part of a plot to reclaim his magic powers and reduce Superman to a slave. As leverage to hold over the heroes and make them cooperate, Effron held hostage the centuries-preserved viking village of Valhalla, Maine, home of Superman's friend Valdemar of the Flame. While Superman fought Green Lantern and The Flash for Effron's amusement, Green Arrow contacted the people of Kandor in the Fortress of Solitude to deceive Effron into revealing the distant future-era where Effron was holding Valhalla.[671]

Oliver Queen visited Metropolis as the promotional agent for film director Morty Rivers, who took inspiration from watching TV 24/7 to create a model for a movie monster from recycled electronic junk sitting around in his studio. To rustle up publicity, Ollie called in a favor with Clark Kent to cover Rivers's new movie and interview him on the air, while the Atom was busy collaborating with Kandorian scientists to contribute his know-how to a method of re-enlarging their bottle-city. However, a freak mishap in Kandor while eavesdropping on Clark and Ollie with their view-screen caused Rivers's inanimate "Junkman" model to come to life and begin an inexorable trek to the Fortress of Solitude, and ultimately Kandor itself. Superman and Green Arrow battled the so-called "recycled superstar" on the way to the North Pole, but it was Green Arrow's quick thinking to beam the Junkman into Kandor's size-reducing microwave-tunnel that saved the city and rendered the Junkman harmless and inanimate.[672] Superman and Green Arrow teamed up later to take down a corrupt ex-politician-turned-oil-baron who was involved in murder and assault to safeguard his monopoly on a source of groundwater which was contaminated by combustible impurities.[673] Superman, Green Arrow, and Black Canary later joined forces to stop a reckless experiment by the Zeta Corporation to harness an experimental, clean, new energy source from outer space, which had the side-effect of concentrating the Earth's air pollution over the eastern half of the continental United States and making the atmosphere unbreathable.[674]

Captain Marvel

Superman's first encounter with Captain Marvel outside of the Justice League was engineered by the Martian sorcerer-scientist Karmang the Evil, who forced Black Adam and the Sand Superman into submission and sent them to Earth-One and Earth-S to impersonate Captain Marvel and Superman, respectively. Adam would then attack Superman in the guise of Cap while the Quarrmer attacked Captain Marvel wearing the image of Superman. Both heroes were then affected by their disguised opponents with a hate-inducing ray that would compel the two to engage in a battle to the finish. Meanwhile, Black Adam and the Sand Superman planted devices on Earth-One and Earth-S for Karmang, which would cause both planets to merge into the same dimensional phase and result in their mutual obliteration. Luckily, Supergirl and Mary Marvel teamed up, learned about the nature of the plot from Karmang's unwilling minions, and brought their male counterparts back to their senses, before fighting and defeating Karmang on Mars. Superman and Captain Marvel innovated a risky technique for destroying Karmang's machines, and both parallel worlds were saved from imminent destruction.[675]

In collusion with Captain Marvel's enemies Mister Mind and King Kull, Mister Mxyzptlk exchanged the costumes and power sets of Superman and Captain Marvel on their respective Earths, prompting Superman to travel to Earth-S to investigate the cause of the switch. Once Superman joined with Captain Marvel, Mxy mystically sealed the pathway from Earth-S to other worlds at the Rock of Eternity and gave Kull the power to increase in power each time that "Shazam!" was invoked by a member of the Marvel Family. However, Mxy turned against his co-conspirators and banished himself to the Fifth Dimension with the word "Kltpzyxm" once he realized that Kull and Mister Mind wanted to destroy the entire human race on Earth-S, allowing Superman and the Marvel Family to defeat the two Monster Society of Evil alumni and save the world.[676][677]

At a later date, Black Adam broke through the dimensional veil into Earth-One reality by a mystical fluke at Abu Simbel Temple, threatening the entire world with subjugation and generating a magic lightning barrier to prevent Captain Marvel from hopping universes in chase of him. Adam used the Billy Batson of Earth-One as a hostage to keep Superman at bay, but Superman rescued Billy and brought him back to Abu Simbel in order to summon Captain Marvel into Earth-One by the same method as Black Adam's arrival. The combined forces of Superman and Captain Marvel turned the tables on Adam, and the ingenuity of the Earth-One Billy sealed Adam's defeat by tricking him into speaking "Shazam" again, returning him to mortal form.[678]

Other Heroes

One of Kal-El's earliest team-ups with another figure of repute in the superhero community transpired when he was a toddler with poor control over his Kryptonian powers. Jonathan and Martha Kent had taken young Clark out to see a magic show put on by John Zatara. Zatara ran into a rambunctious Clark after the show, initially believing that Clark's flight powers were an aberration of his mystical incantations. However, Zatara was held up by a gang of criminals who wanted to exploit his talents, and young Clark used his other super-powers to humiliate and subdue the hoods. Although he knew better after the encounter, Zatara allowed the goons to believe that the young boy was granted these powers by his magic and kept the incident to himself out of gratitude and amusement.[679]

Shortly after all Kryptonite on Earth was transformed into iron[680], Superman decided to consult a friendly sorcerer about the prospects of nullifying his weakness to magical forces. Superman met with Zatanna following his near-demise at the hands of Doctor Light by a magic scepter[681], only to be informed that neither Zatanna nor her father Zatara possessed the intimate knowledge of the mystic arts to help with the matter. Refusing to allow himself to be discouraged, Superman traveled to Earth-Two to speak to Doctor Fate about the same, only to be interrupted by the urgent threat of a trio of psychokinetic alien visitors who sought to fuse the tectonic plates of the Earth under the belief that it would release enough energy to enable them to ascend to a higher form of existence. Superman defeated the aliens and set the tectonic plates right again due to the empowerment of a mystic aura provided by Dr. Fate, giving Superman the inspiration that his vulnerability to magic could be a boon just as much as a hindrance and that the world would be better off with a Superman who possessed at least one weakness to keep him humble about his place in respect to the greater cosmic powers.[682]

Superman teamed up with the Atom to save a subatomic universe inside the current passing through a telephone line from total annihilation.[683] During an episode when his powers had become unreliable, the Atom came to Superman for a solution and wound up cooperating to defeat a group of alien invaders.[684] On a third occasion, Superman and the Atom traveled back in time 100 years using Professor Hyatt's Time Pool to determine the fate of Superman's ancestor Var-El.[685]

In Montana, Clark Kent covered a rodeo event for WGBS-TV, when a man unleashed a stampede of broncos to destroy Clark's camera set-up so he couldn't be recognized on film. Changing to Superman, Clark teamed up with the Vigilante to track the culprit down, discovering along the way that he was a werewolf.[686]

While on a date with Congresswoman Barbara Gordon at Batman's insistence, Clark Kent was kidnapped by the international crime syndicate MAZE for his ostensible knowledge about top government secrets. Barbara came to Clark's rescue as Batgirl, never once realizing that the reporter was actually Superman and perfectly capable of handling himself, having only gone along with the kidnapping to learn more about MAZE's operation by pretending to be their prisoner.[687] Superman and Batgirl teamed up a few months later to thwart a gang of energy-thieves in the pay of bankrupted oil magnate J. Saul Kerry.[688] Years later, Superman and Batgirl allied a third time to investigate an overnight millionaire whose secluded desert estate became struck by a hate-plague.[689]

Superman ran up against Black Lightning, or rather vice versa, when he mistakenly believed BL had assaulted Jimmy Olsen. Once the misunderstanding was resolved, both heroes joined forces to defeat The 100's super-powered hitman Cyclotronic Man.[690] At a later time, Superman and BL were attacked by an alien being which took prehistoric forms.[691]

Superman teamed up with Captain Comet for the first time when the Secret Society of Super-Villains sprung a trap on him in his Fortress of Solitude. Incidentally, stopping the Society at that juncture also saved the lives of Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, and Green Lantern.[692] Superman allied with Captain Comet on another occasion to defeat Starstriker.[693]

Shortly after the debut of Firestorm, the Nuclear Man, Superman made a point of seeking the young hero out in New York City, believing him to be a potential future recruit for the Justice League. Superman interrupted in Firestorm's first battle with Multiplex and lent a helping hand.[694] Superman and Firestorm later teamed together to defeat Killer Frost, after which Superman formally extended an invitation to join the JLA to the younger hero.[695] Superman and Firestorm teamed up a third time, after Firestorm's inauguration into the League, to combat the technopathic saboteur Kriss-Kross and clear Martin Stein of charges of treason.[696]

Superman's first team-up with Adam Strange outside of the Justice League saw the heroes' respective planets of Earth and Rann exchange places in space due to an evil scheme of Kaskor.[697]

Superman teamed up with the Metal Men for the first time to prevent I.Q. from using Chemo to alter the composition of the Sun.[698] After being kidnapped by the Weaponers of Qward to filter a Q-Energy field that would paralyze every living being on Earth, Superman was saved by the heroic actions of Red Tornado, who was unaffected due to his android nature.[699]

Superman ran into Swamp Thing for the first time in the sewers of Metropolis, while the Man of Steel was on a mission to purge an army of Solomon Grundy duplicates.[700]

Although the two had heard much about each other prior, the first time Superman met Mister Miracle was when the escape artist of the New Gods challenged him to a duel in the Nevada Desert, with the hidden intention of using the circumstance to sabotage a plot by Intergang to unleash a psychic weapon on the Man of Steel.[701]

Superman was later approached by his Justice League teammate Black Canary about disturbing visions of the deceased Larry Lance in her dreams. The two heroes eventually put together that it was a subconscious warning of a psionic attack by Doctor Destiny and warded off the threat.[702]

Superman and Batman allied with the Challengers of the Unknown to defeat a gang of terrorists with an anti-gravity weapon at the behest of the U.S. government.[703]

Superman teamed up with the Vixen in one of her earliest public appearances to nab an American fur merchant who was involved in poaching operations in India.[704]

Superman first teamed up with Plastic Man when the Toyman attempted to perpetrate a bank heist in Plas's city in alliance with some of Plas's own enemies.[705]

Superman was vitally assisted by the Unknown Soldier (or his ghost) to sabotage an attempt at staging a worldwide nuclear holocaust by a ring of insane renegade generals and scientists.[706]

While tailing a story for the Daily Planet about the plethora of heroes which had recently appeared in Fairfax, Maine, Clark and Jimmy ran across a monster known as Beast-Maniac and a heroine called Sphera. As Superman, Clark discovered that they were teenagers Chris King and Vicki Grant, the latest recipients of the mystic H-Dial. After determining that Chris's transformation was an unfortunate result of using the H-Dial to spell out "H-O-R-R-O-R" instead of "H-E-R-O," Superman lent his assistance to Chris and Vicki to combat the villainous clone-creations of their arch-enemy The Master.[707]

Superman joined forces with Doctor Mist, Seraph, Olympian, Little Mermaid, Jack O'Lantern, Green Fury, and Rising Sun of the Global Guardians in order to stop a group of international villain-sorcerers from resurrecting an ancient Atlantean tyrant.[708]

Superman first allied with the Doom Patrol when Negative Woman's powers began to run out of control, causing collateral damage as her Negative Energy Form rampaged through Metropolis. While Superman lent his assistance to Tempest, Celsius, and Robotman to contain their teammate, they also had to contend with a psychotic would-be super-villain named Ambush Bug.[709]

The Justice League of America

 Main article: Justice League of America (New Earth)

The Early Years

The secret first meeting of the Justice League

The secret origin of the Justice League of America revolved around the circumstance of J'onn J'onnz, in particular his first few years on Earth hiding among the human populace and the moment of his reveal to the world at large. J'onn came under attack from the genocidal White Martian dictator Commander Blanx, exposing the existence of Martians to the people of the small Midwestern town of Middleton. The Flash was the first costumed adventurer to investigate, but feeling out of his league, reached out to Superman in Metropolis for assistance. Flash got more than he bargained for, recruiting Batman and Robin along the way. Many more exceptional figures joined the hunt for Martians, but it was the team consisting of Superman, Batman, Robin, Flash, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Roy Raymond, and Rex, the Wonder Dog, that found Blanx at a space shuttle launch site, acting on a recommendation by Ferris Aircraft test pilot Hal Jordan. Blanx had tied J'onn to the nose of the shuttle, intending for J'onn to be incinerated by the combustion of the rocket fuel and the loss of his invulnerability once the shuttle penetrated the atmosphere. Batman and Robin got to J'onn and learned from him about the Martian vulnerability to fire, which Superman exploited to defeat Blanx and his minions with heat-vision. Blanx was deposited back on Mars, but J'onn was allowed to remain on Earth, pleading that he had nothing left for him on Mars since evil in the form of Blanx and his toadies triumphed over good there. Convincing the assembled heroes that he would prefer to wage the eternal battle of good against evil on Earth, where the conflict still raged indecisively, J'onn prepared for his public debut as the Martian Manhunter. However, Superman and the others realized that the public were too hysterical to accept the presence of Martians on Earth and made arrangements to unveil J'onn to the world at a later date. It was then that the first plans were drafted for a team to stand up for the cause of justice.[710]

One year later, humanity was plunged again into peril by the invasion of the alien Appellaxians, who sought to make Earth into the battlefield for the contest over rulership of their world. The Appellaxians, taking elemental forms, projected themselves to Earth in the form of meteorites before awakening upon impact. Superman and Batman met the Appellaxian warrior called the Crystal Creature, while Wonder Woman, Aquaman, the Flash, Hal Jordan (who became a masked hero as Green Lantern of Space Sector 2814 in the interim), and the Martian Manhunter fought the entities elsewhere. In the aftermath, Superman and the other heroes banded together as the Justice League of America, to combat threats too powerful for any single hero to handle. It was this event which would go on record as the official first meeting of the JLA.[711] In the League's earliest adventures, Superman played somewhat of a backseat role, however. For instance, he was confined to outer space, protecting Earth from a swarm of meteoroids, as the JLA fought the starfish-like alien invader Starro the Conqueror, arrived only during the team's final battle against Xotar, the Weapons Master, to turn the tables, and got taken out by Professor Anthony Ivo's Kryptonite gas-trap while the rest of the League fought Ivo's android Amazo.[712][713][714] Superman took a more active role starting with the JLA's encounters with Despero[715], the Lord of Time[716], the Demons Three[717], Doctor Light[718], Brain Storm[719][720], Doctor Destiny[721][722][723], the Key[724][725], the Unimaginable[726][727], Professor Amos Fortune and his Royal Flush Gang[728], the Queen Bee[729], and T.O. Morrow.[730] Superman also met the Atom[731], Adam Strange, Hawkman and Hawkgirl[732], Metamorpho[726], the Creeper[733], and Red Tornado[730] for the first time as a member of the JLA. Atom and Hawkman joined the League, as did Green Arrow[734], whom Superman first met as a young Oliver Queen back in the Superboy days.[669] Metamorpho was extended a membership offer, but being too much of a loner, he accepted only a reserve-membership status. Superman played an important role in the first couple of team-ups between the Justice League and its counterpart, the Justice Society of America of Earth-Two, first combatting a team of villains drawn from both Earth-One and Earth-Two called the Crime Champions[735][736] and later the League's evil counterpart from Earth-Three, the Crime Syndicate.[737][738]

The following months constituted one of the most turbulent periods in the Justice League's history. Wonder Woman lost her Amazon powers and resigned from the group while she trained to develop her talents anew with I-Ching.[739][740] The Martian Manhunter turned up after a months-long unexplained absence to recruit his JLA comrades in the effort to overthrow Commander Blanx, who now aimed to exterminate all life on Mars and sell what remained of the planet to an intergalactic corporation for its mineral wealth. Superman and Green Lantern tried to prevent Mars from being consumed by an unquenchable blue flame while J'onn battled Blanx to the death. By the end of it, Blanx was dead, but all but a few Martians who fled the planet before it was too late had perished, leaving J'onn a man without a home. In the aftermath, J'onn resigned from the Justice League to search the universe for the Martian survivors on other worlds and lead them to a new home.[741] Red Tornado arrived on Earth-One to warn the JLA about the menace of the sentient star Aquarius, who had destroyed all of Earth-Two, except for a small contingent of JSA members who held out thanks to the magic of Doctor Fate. Piercing the dimensional veil, the JLA were forced to fight the remnants of the JSA, who had been placed under Aquarius's mental domination as such, with the Superman of Earth-One fighting his Earth-Two counterpart until both collapsed from exhaustion.

Superman vs. Superman

Once the JSA were broken out of their trance, both teams of heroes focused their energies on Aquarius, who was finally destroyed by a trick perpetrated by the two Green Lanterns. A casualty of this incident was Larry Lance, the wife of the Black Canary. Although Earth-Two sprang back to life from the smolders of Aquarius's downfall, Black Canary's grief became so great that she could not continue living on Earth-Two. Superman decided to accept her request to join the JLA on Earth-One.[742][743] Superman moved to waive all requirements and call a vote for Black Canary to join the League immediately. While the other members were in the middle of debate, Canary suddenly manifested a new power that she never had before, the sonic scream known as her Canary's Cry. Green Arrow was then affected by the interaction of a psychiatrist's psyche-analyzing machine with residual magic from the battle against Aquarius, manifesting his id in the form of an evil duplicate. This effect spread to the other JLAers, except for Superman, who was not sufficiently altered by Aquarius's magic. However, Superman faked the appearance of his own evil duplicate with a Superman Robot and made a show of defeating it, intended to motivate the other JLAers to go after their darker halves. The ruse succeeded, and the id manifestations faded from existence.[744] Doctor Light enacted a scheme to disguise himself as an ice-monster and smuggle himself into the Fortress of Solitude's intergalactic zoo in order to steal Absorbium samples from the Fortress and use them to scramble the Justice Leaguers' recognition of their secret identities. Superman and Aquaman, who were unaffected by the Absorbium for different reasons, led their confused teammates back to the Fortress to take on Doctor Light and flush him out, and Green Arrow suggested in the aftermath that the Leaguers should reveal their identities to avoid a repeat of the situation. Superman and the other JLAers voted in favor of the action unanimously and made it common practice for secret identities to be exchanged with all present and future members.[745] This early era of the Justice League's history was brought to an abrupt close when popular cult leader "John Dough" convinced team mascot Snapper Carr to betray the League and the location of its Secret Sanctuary to him, with the argument that superheroes made a mockery of the average working man with their larger-than-life personae. The plot to discredit the JLA was unraveled by the Batman and "John Dough" himself was unmasked as an alter ego for the Joker. However, Snapper had fallen into disgrace, the Secret Sanctuary's location was compromised, and the League still had to account with the press and the public for the chaos that had transpired.[746]

The Satellite Years

Superman and the Justice League board the Satellite for the first time

A few weeks after the Secret Sanctuary's location was compromised, the Justice League set up a higher-tech and higher-security headquarters in geosynchronous orbit: The all-new Justice League Satellite. This base of operations would serve the Justice League well for many years to come, defining its own historical era in the League's history. The satellite itself was accessible by a relativity-beam system utilizing Thanagarian technology installed by Hawkman. Superman, Green Lantern, and Hawkman started the project of constructing a new HQ for the JLA by pooling their resources into building a massive supercomputer, partly based on the Fortress of Solitude's Kryptonian supercomputer and partly on the A.I. of Hawkman's Thanagarian spacer. The rest of the satellite then had to be literally put together around the resulting computer-core. A tabloid newspaper which had chased after the League in the past to boost its circulation donated the space on its office building's rooftop to the JLA to use as the site for the Earth-side end of the relativity-beam system, which required a computer interface to confirm each Justice Leaguer's identity with a retinal scan and electroencephalogram prior to activating. Superman began his service as de facto chairman of the Justice League during this period, being the member to most frequently give orders and coordinate missions.[747][748] The first case that the League was called in to handle subsequent to the adoption of the satellite base was the attempt by the Doomster aliens to make the Earth uninhabitable by humans and colonize the planet themselves using toxic environmental pollutants, which was smashed by the JLA with the help of the Vigilante.[747][749] Just after, an alien called a Dharlu invaded the Justice League Satellite and merged with its supercomputer AI, forcing Superman to short the supercomputer out and rebuild it with safeguards in place to keep the Dharlu at bay in perpetuity. Once the Dharlu's threat was neutralized, it turned out that merging the supercomputer with an alien intelligence had the unforeseen yet auspicious result of working out some bugs in the computer's operating system.[748]

Superman participated in the League's subsequent missions to stop a Thanagarian religious fanatic from stealing the souls of people on Earth, defeat a mad alien with a social-Darwinist philosophy named the Jest-Master, prevent The 100 from selling an American scientist into slavery in Eastern Europe, assist the JSA and Red Tornado in thwarting Creator²'s attempt to merge Earth-One and Earth-Two into the same dimensional phase, thwart glorified con man Theo "The Zapper" Zappa's scheme to steal the Earth's plankton, and intervene in a war between Atlantis and the belligerent city-state of Sareme.[750][751][752][753][754][755][756][757] Superman lent a helping hand in the next year's JLA/JSA team-up, helping to re-unite an alien child and pet with a symbiotic relationship, albeit not before almost being torn to bits by Solomon Grundy.[758][759] After contending with Merlyn the Archer's attempt to assassinate Batman on the orders of Sensei of the League of Assassins, the Justice League gave their satellite's teleport system an overhaul, to accommodate the mass-transport of several JLAers at once. While heading up to the Satellite under his own power, Superman learned from Black Canary on monitor duty that Flash, Green Lantern and Hawkman were nowhere to be found on Earth and that their molecules may have been irretrievably dispersed by the teleporter if there was anything wrong with it.[760] Batman hypothesized that the Leaguers were tranported to the planet Rann due to interference with the Thanagarian relativity-beam system by a Zeta-Beam, a theory that was near-instantaneously confirmed by an SOS call projected into the Satellite's monitor room from Rann by Green Lantern. While Batman, Green Arrow, Black Canary and the Atom stayed on Earth to suppress a riot stirred by the hypnotic voice of Johnny Dune, Superman flew off into deep space to investigate the circumstances of the Flash, GL and Hawkman on Rann.[761]

When Superman, Flash, and Hawkman face Starbreaker -- They face the power of a sun!

On Rann, Superman learned from the three stranded heroes that their arrival coincided with the coming of a cosmic energy-vampire named Starbreaker, whose practice was to send planets hurtling into their own suns to empower himself with the energy release, as well as by the absorption of the planetary natives' negative emotions in the face of certain doom. Superman and the other three shut down Starbreaker's operations on Rann, causing the menace to target the Earth in an act of vengeance. Superman, Flash and Green Lantern responded when Starbreaker appeared in Central City and began his spree of destruction, but were effortlessly defeated. The Justice League then rendezvoused in their satellite, where they were contacted by the Earth-Two magical hero Sargon the Sorcerer and directed to collect Earth-One's twin counterparts to Sargon's Ruby of Life to stop Starbreaker. Upon the task's completion, Sargon used the power of the gems to cast an aura around the Justice League that would increase their power and resolve against Starbreaker's psychic vampirism. When the JLA confronted Starbreaker again as a team, the villain unleashed his desperation tactic of separating them and casting them across the veil of time to past and future eras, where Starbreaker attempted one last time to break their spirits and pick them off. However, the League triumphed against the obstacles facing them, and the three magic gems were used to bind Starbreaker and drain him of the energy-reserves he drew upon. The Justice League's most fearsome foe was defeated at last.[762][763][764]

On the 100th anniversary meeting of the JLA, invitations were extended to all active and inactive members, in addition to old allies of the League from past adventures, to celebrate the occasion. However, the assembled heroes were whisked into the parallel world of Earth-Two. Upon rematerializing in the JSA headquarters, the Earth-One heroes were informed that their arrival was contrived by Doctor Fate to help the JSA stop a nebuloid hand construct from clasping the Earth and ending all human life on the planet. The combined magical energies of Fate, Zatanna, and Johnny Thunder's Thunderbolt summoned the cosmic seer Oracle, who revealed that the current dilemma was connected to the defeat of an entity called the Nebula Man years ago by the Seven Soldiers of Victory. However, one of the Soldiers laid down his life to secure the victory, and the rest were scattered across time and disappeared from all memory. To save the Earth from the threat now facing it, the JLA, JSA, and other heroes formed teams and scoured the timestream with Oracle's assistance, searching for the surviving Soldiers of Victory. Superman was teamed with Metamorpho and The Sandman to retrieve Shining Knight from 13th-century China, where Genghis Khan had put Justin under an enchantment and turned him against the holdouts of the Southern Song Dynasty. The three heroes routed the Mongol hordes and restored Shining Knight to his senses, upon which Oracle whisked them back to the present era. With the Soldiers of Victory assembled, the heroes defeated the mastermind of the doomsday plot, and of the Nebula Man before it: The Iron Hand, the Seven Soldiers' first and greatest enemy. Then Superman followed the Star-Spangled Kid's instructions in building a cosmically charged rod to dispel the nebuloid hand construct; however, it was the Red Tornado, having long angsted over his status as a non-human android construct and his corresponding treatment as such from the JSA, who saved the day, delivering the rod into outer space to react against the hand. The resulting explosion seemingly blew the Tornado to atoms, the same fate met by Wing, the "unknown Soldier of Victory" who sacrificed himself to destroy the Nebula Man all those years ago.[765][766][767] Superman was among a team of Justice Leaguers sent to a small Vermont town on Halloween by the Phantom Stranger in order to stop Felix Faust from summoning demons into the mortal plane.[768]

Superman duked it out with the Shaggy Man to stop the Justice League Satellite from being knocked out of orbit, welcomed Elongated Man and a resurrected Red Tornado into the JLA while contending with a conspiracy against the League masterminded by T.O. Morrow, helped to stop the Key from detonating a whole city block of St. Louis, Missouri, on Christmas Eve with the pivotal help of the Phantom Stranger and Green Lantern John Stewart, and bade farewell to Hawkman, who was recalled to Thanagar upon the conclusion of an adventure involving Eclipso.[769][770][771][772][773] Superman then fought the Scarecrow during the clash between the JLA and the Injustice Gang, overcoming his foe before being stricken unconscious by the enemy team leader Libra, who used his Transmortifier device to steal half of the power in Superman's body. Libra planned to ascend to godhood by turning the Transmortifier upon the Milky Way Galaxy itself and became so powerful that his untrained mortal mind lost control of his physical form, which dissipated into nothingness.[774] Superman and the JLA then rigged up Amazo to act as a beacon for the dispersed molecules beating the essence of the abilities stolen by Libra and gave the malevolent android a wild-goose chase for the sake of restoring themselves to full-power.[775] On a sojourn on Earth-Two, Superman helped the Sandman and other members of the JLA and JSA teams track down Sandman's former teen sidekick Sandy, the Golden Boy, who was revealed to have been transformed into a silicon monster in an experiment gone wrong decades ago and broke free of containment to go on a seeming rampage. Ultimately, it turned out that Sandy retained his human morality and intelligence and was actually trying to forestall an earthquake along a fault line extending beneath the city foundations, leaving Sandman's conscience wracked with guilt when he reflected upon the years he stole from his former ward's life because he lacked understanding.[776] Aware that the Queen Bee and her Anti-Justice League dispatched his fellow JLAers using divide-and-conquer tactics, Superman created an elaborate ruse, dependent on temporarily brainwashing the entire population of Earth with a Kandorian machine, to free his teammates. Although a direct assault on the Anti-Justice League saw Superman overcome, the Man of Tomorrow's strategy was sufficient to put his comrades back in action and level the playing field, resulting in another JLA victory.[777] At the behest of the Martian Manhunter, Superman made a trip to a distant planet, accompanied by the Flash, Green Lantern, and the Atom, in order to knock out a self-proclaimed deity who threatened the survivors of the Martian race.[778]

Superman and several other JLAers ran into Hawkman and aided him in battling an alien called the Equalizer, who eradicated all individuality on Thanagar with an "Equalizing Disease." After Hawkman exacted revenge on the Equalizer for stunting the progress of Thanagarian civilization, with the assistance of the League, Hawkman re-applied to join and was admitted unanimously[779] No sooner than Hawkman rejoined the team did Superman and the JLA nearly meet their death in battle with the alien Adaptoids, but thanks to the Winged Wonder, the Justice Leaguers managed to weaponize the Equalizing Disease to neutralize them and save the world.[780][781] Superman and the JLA then returned to Rann and helped Adam Strange surmount the obstacles raised by their mutual nemesis Kanjar Ro before attending Adam's wedding to his betrothed Alanna in the planetary capital of Ranagar[782][783] Superman and a team of JLAers were next forced into a considerably more awkward alliance, as the heroes joined forces with Batman's archfoe Two-Face to avert the Earth's destruction by the Weaponers of Qward and an other-dimensional race of beings called the Dronndarians. Two-Face somewhat predictably switched sides midway during the mission with the flip of a coin, but the Atom was able to deduce how Two-Face was selling the team out to the Qwardians and found a way to work that to their advantage.[784] Superman led the Justice League to defeat a villain called The Anarchist, who had found a means of tapping into Green Lantern's power ring charge and had begun using it to kidnap world leaders and dignitaries.[785] Wonder Woman rejoined the League after completing the last of 12 labors to prove her worthiness to be a superhero again[786], and the Amazon princess would be vital to helping the JLA surmount the challenge posed by the extradimensional fear-parasite Nekron, using her Lasso of Truth to compel her comrades to face their fears. Nekron was finally defeated by using GL's power ring to boost Aquaman's telepathic abilities such that he became capable of inducing intense fear in Superman's mind. Nekron attempted to feast on Superman's fear and "overdosed," bringing about his downfall. While the Justice League could claim victory, it was not without a cost, as Red Tornado sacrificed his artificial life to fight Nekron.[787][788]

While coordinating efforts with the other League members to foil a terrorist plot by Sonar to brainwash Americans with a sonic wavelength, Superman was whisked against his will to the planet Sirkia light-years away. Supergirl involved herself and helped the League uncover that Sonar's scheme had been co-opted by Queen Bee, in order to draw the Justice League's attention to Superman's abrupt and unexplained disappearance. The native Sirkians tried to deceive Superman into believing that Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman, and Green Lantern were retrieved with him, by sending Sirkian actors to impersonate the Earth-spawned heroes in Superman's retinue, and informed him that Despero was laying waste to their world. Superman did his best to defeat Despero, but the demoralization suffered by witnessing the false Justice Leaguers fall so easily in battle to the three-eyed dictator threw Superman off his game and made him easy pickings as well. Batman, Supergirl, Wonder Woman, Hawkman, the Atom, and Elongated Man headed off into space in Hawkman's Thanagarian cruiser to track Superman, but they and Despero were plucked out of space and brought to a controlled environment by a pair of hyper-advanced aliens called Krill to do battle for their amusement. Supergirl extricated them all from the situation by convincing the Krill to take bets on a fight between her and a mind-controlled Despero for further gratification. Supergirl then defeated Despero, introducing the Krill who bet on Despero to the concept of envy and causing the two to break out in conflict with one another. Supergirl and the JLA then liberated Superman from a suspended animation pod in Despero's ship where he was being held captive.[789][790][791][792]

The Big Red "S" collides with the Big Red Cheese!

Superman and fellow JLAers Flash, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, and Hawkman were convened by the Roman messenger-god Mercury together with Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, and Johnny Thunder of Earth-Two and Mister Scarlet, Pinky, Bulletman, Bulletgirl, Ibis the Invincible, and Spy Smasher of Earth-S to save all three of their parallel universes from the machinations of King Kull, Lord of the Beast-Men, who had taken over the Rock of Eternity, incapacitated Shazam and the Greco-Roman pantheon, and was simulating apocalyptic upheavals with unwitting super-villains on their worlds to destroy the human race in all three realities. Superman was teamed with Green Arrow, the Earth-Two Wonder Woman, and Spy Smasher and sent to Earth-Two to defeat Kull's lackeys Clea, Penguin, Blockbuster, and Ibac. When the other teams of heroes completed their respective missions on Earth-One and Earth-S, they regrouped to tackle Kull himself at the Rock of Eternity, but Kull materialized Red Kryptonite to warp Superman's mind and cause him to lash out at his allies. Just at that moment, Mercury sent Johnny Thunder to the WHIZ Radio station in Fawcett City on Earth-S to summon his Bahdnisian Thunderbolt, whose magic could bypass Shazam's inert enchantment and transform Billy Batson, Mary Batson, and Freddy Freeman into their empowered alter egos as Captain Marvel, Mary Marvel, and Captain Marvel, Jr. The Marvel Family headed promptly to the Rock of Eternity, made short work of Kull and his machines, freed Shazam and the gods, and restored Superman to his proper state of mind with a flash of mystic lightning.[793][794][795]

Superman's next missions with the JLA involved allying once again with Adam Strange to defeat the menace of Kanjar Ro in both the 20th and 73rd centuries, working to clear Green Lantern's name for the destruction of a planet and exposing the Manhunter Cult as the perpetrators of the galactic frame-up job, waging war against the malicious thoughtform called the Construct and a regrouped Injustice Gang, and plunging into the depths of the netherworld itself to meet the very face of evil before a miraculous resurrection courtesy of the Phantom Stranger. Tensions between Wonder Woman and both Green Arrow and the Flash caused the latter group to urge Superman to consider Wonder Woman's removal from the active roster, though fortunately the situation defused itself with time. After the third (and at the time, supposedly final) defeat of the Construct, Hawkgirl earned a place in the Justice League, just as a thrice-revived Red Tornado returned to occupy the place he vacated months ago.[796][797][798][799][800][801][802][803] Superman was summoned to the 30th Century by the Dark Lord Mordru along with several other members of the Justice League and the Justice Society in order to recover the artifacts needed to conjure the Demons Three. Mordru released the demons, who struck him down in their ingratitude and enslaved the JLA, JSA, and Legion of Super-Heroes to fight on their behalf for the dominion of Earth. By simulating a three-way stalemate, the hero teams forced the Demons Three to engage in direct hostilities and neutralize one another.[804][805] Upon return to the 20th century, Superman and the JLA fought Doctor Light and became entangled in the mystery of a new villain named Star-Tsar, which turned out to be a convoluted conspiracy involving Snapper Carr, the Key, and ex-Manhunter-turned-phony-crimefighter Mark Shaw.[806][807]

After being shifted to Earth-Prime against their will, Superman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, and Green Arrow were thrust by circumstance into the confrontation between Earth-Prime's first superhero, Ultraa, and its first super-villain, Maxitron. Realizing that Earth-Prime was too jaded and unstable to tolerate the open existence of super-beings, Ultraa decided to permanently relocate to Earth-One after defeating Maxitron, and GL mind-wiped the entire planet outside of the DC Comics offices to restore the status quo.[808] Superman, Batman, the Flash, the Atom, Green Arrow, and Black Canary next came under attack by a degraded skeletal incarnation of their old foe Doctor Destiny.[809] After taking part in the League's mission to overcome the global threat of the Fiend with the Five Faces, Superman graciously attended the wedding of Ray Palmer and Jean Loring as Clark Kent.[810][811] Superman and the JLA had to deal with the resurgence of the Injustice Gang under the leadership of Abra Kadabra, after Ultraa imposed artificial psychological handicaps on usage of their super-powers as part of a fanatical anti-superhuman crusade.[812] Superman and several of his friends were attacked at a Gotham City banquet hall during the annual JLA/JSA get-together by Enemy Ace, Jonah Hex, Miss America, Viking Prince, and Black Pirate, who had been plucked out of time, granted temporary super-powers, and mentally programmed by the Lord of Time for that purpose. The Lord of Time actually wanted the time-stranded heroes to leave a chronal energy trail to the Palace of Eternity in the far future, which Superman could trace with his super-vision and lead the other 20th century heroes to, with the end goal of manipulating them into destroying an out-of-control invention of his which was set to permanently freeze the entire linear flow of time.[813][814] Shortly after Zatanna joined the League, Superman and several other JLAers joined her on her quest to learn the true fate of her missing mother, the Homo Magi sorceress Sindella.[815][816]

The Justice League vs. the Secret Society of Super-Villains -- The last great switcheroo!

Superman was one of several JLAers to switch bodies with a member of the Secret Society of Super-Villains after their escape from the Interdimensional Limbo. Specifically, the Wizard, leader of the Secret Society, used a griffon statuette with mystic properties as a focus for a spell to exchange his team's souls, still trapped in limbo with high risk of immediate dissipation, with those of the Justice League members. The Wizard and Superman swapped souls and bodies directly. The JLAers in the villains' bodies were defeated by the other League members, who were tricked into doing as such by the villains in the JLAers' bodies, and Wizard hurled the power-ring-construct prison containing the vanquished heroes into a course for the Sun. Fortunately, the rest of the League deduced that their seeming teammates were super-villain imposters and overpowered them, while Red Tornado saved Superman and the body-exchanged JLAers from incineration in the Sun's corona. Finally, Superman overcame the Wizard with the potent magic of his sorcerous accoutrements, and Zatanna (in Star Sapphire's body) conducted the spell to reverse the body-swap.[817][818][819] Superman was brought before the World Court along with Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, the Flash, and Red Tornado to collectively represent the JLA as defendant, when it was discovered that they had imprisoned Ultraa in a stasis cube in Nova Scotia without due process on account of his counterproductive campaign to eliminate super-powers from the Earth. However, Ultraa dropped charges against the heroes when he eavesdropped on them demonstrating genuinely remorseful behavior and an imminent alien invasion demanded that they rally their efforts against a larger menace.[820][821] When Mister Terrific was murdered on Justice League Satellite during one of the JLA/JSA annual meet-togethers, Superman took charge of the situation and ordered Doctor Fate and the two Green Lanterns to seal the Satellite in a sphere of magically reinforced power-ring energy before appointing Batman and Huntress to lead the investigation of the murder. Ultimately, the culprit was exposed as Mister Terrific's old arch-enemy, the Spirit King, who had possessed the body of the Earth-Two Flash to commit the foul deed.[822][823] At the suggestion of Green Arrow, the JLA held an impromptu "membership test" for Black Lightning, which Superman stood back from to act as an impartial judge of BL's performance. Although BL passed the test with flying colors, he rejected the membership offer when the Justice League revealed their true involvement, considering his duties to be first and always to local problems in Suicide Slum over global threats.[824] Superman and the Justice League destroyed three Materioptikon devices set up by Doctor Destiny before they could shunt the entire human race into a world comprised of their own nightmares.[825]

Superman sponsors Firestorm for JLA membership

After teaming up with Firestorm, the Nuclear Man, to defeat Killer Frost[695], Superman sponsored the young hero for membership in the Justice League. The first mission Firestorm joined the JLA on was to investigate disappearances caused by the Satin Satan.[826][827] Superman was one of several Justice League and Justice Society members drawn to New Genesis by Metron to counteract the Injustice Society, who had been summoned to Apokolips from Earth-Two by the disembodied spirit of Darkseid in order to brainwash the entire New Genesis population and put them to work on a machine which would restore Darkseid's physical being. Superman joined Wonder Woman of Earth-Two and Big Barda in storming the orphanage of Granny Goodness, freed the captive children of New Genesis, and contributed to ending Darkseid's plan to relocate Apokolips into Earth-Two's dimensional space, which would have destroyed Earth-Two in the process.[828][829][830] Back on Earth, Superman responded to the invasion of Starro in New York along with a contingent of fellow Justice Leaguers. Alongside Black Canary, the Man of Steel was the last to fall to Starro's mind-controlling probes, but another group of Justice Leaguers led by Batman managed to free him and the rest of the NYC population from Starro's control and defeat the starfish conqueror itself.[831][832] Superman and the Justice League were attacked by malevolent duplicates of Red Tornado constructed by T.O. Morrow, as part of an experiment by Morrow to determine what made the Red Tornado different from any other android of his make and model,[833][834] and subsequently by the Tarot Gang of Amos Fortune.[835] When the Flash, Green Lantern, Zatanna, and the Elongated Man went suddenly missing after converging on the Grand Canyon, Superman headed there to investigate, discovering that the Lord of Time was the responsible party for the disappearance. The Lord of Time baited Superman into destroying a combat robot, in so doing exposing its concealed Kryptonite interior and incapacitating himself. Fortunately, Superman was able to divert the Colorado River to sweep the Kryptonite out of his proximity, enabling him to recover, take over the Lord of Time's disguised time-travel craft, and retrieve the four missing JLAers from the year 1878, when the Lord of Time expected to manipulate them into allowing him to intercept and contain a bubble of antimatter.[836][837]

Superman and the JLA sally forth for a rematch with the Appellaxians

Supeman fell under a psychic compulsion to retrieve the Kryptonite meteorite which first carried the Appellaxian Crystal Creature to Earth, same as the other JLA founding members (including Martian Manhunter, who was no longer an active JLAer) experienced compulsions to retrieve the other Appellaxian meteorites. The rest of the Justice League quickly gathered that the founders were under some sort of mental domination connected to the meteorites and attempted to stop their teammates from accomplishing their objective. Hawkman was dispatched to intercept Superman's retrieval attempt in Greenland and expected only to face Superman Robots due to the meteorite's Kryptonite substance, but the real Man of Steel appeared, coated in a plasti-lead transparent body-sheath, and punched the Winged Warrior into Earth's orbit, where he was hit by a Zeta Beam by pure chance and sent back from Rann to Justice League Satellite. Superman and the other League founders gathered the meteorites at the location of the League's long-abandoned Secret Sanctuary, where the Appellaxians regenerated from them thanks to "clone-seeds" left behind at the time of their first emergence. With this, Superman and the others were released from the Appellaxian's psychic domination and regrouped with the rest of the JLA to destroy the extraterrestial elementals and save the world from their depredations. Superman, Hawkman, Wonder Woman, Zatanna, Black Canary, Batman, and Green Arrow confronted and defeated the Wood-King, the Mercury Monster, and the Crystal Creature, while other JLA squads encountered and neutralized the other Appellaxian challengers elsewhere. Finally, the shattered remnants of the Appellaxians' corporeal avatars were blasted into the Sun with the meteorites that first transported them to Earth, and Green Arrow was convinced to rejoin the Justice League once the fighting had concluded.[838] Afterwards, Superman, Flash, Green Arrow, Atom, Black Canary, and Hawkman took an unusual metahuman bank-robbery case from the FBI and learned that Ultraa was responsible, having been manipulated into becoming a criminal by a smooth-talking ex-con. The JLA captured Ultraa's toxic "friend," but permitted Ultraa to retreat from the civilization that so abused him to return to the Australian Outback where he felt at home.[839] Superman was one of a number of JLAers to fall before the gauntlet of Hector Hammond's Royal Flush Gang, but thanks to Batman, Flash, Black Canary, and Elongated Man, he and the other fallen heroes were revived from the artificial comas that the Gang put them in.[840][841]

The End

Superman would continue to try to protect the universe directly from various forces throughout all of his career such like Mongul's Warworld, up until the war against the Anti-Monitor. It would be during this conflict that Kal-El would lose his cousin Kara. He would not recover from the loss of Supergirl at the hands of the Anti-Monitor.

Like his Earth-Two counterpart, Superman would decide to sacrifice his life in order to stop the Anti-Monitor, but was stopped by a somewhat-underhanded sneak-blow by the elder Kal-L, who decided the younger and more powerful Kryptonian would have a better chance at stopping the Anti-Monitor later if Kal-L's direct attack against the Anti-Monitor failed.

Kal-L's attack, along with the assistance of Superboy-Prime, succeeded, and the single surviving universe was saved. The Superman of Earth-One returned to the singular Earth, and continued to be active as Superman until such time where he was erased from existence and recreated as a new individual with a restructured history. When he and those connected to him were recreated, the people of the new singular Earth lost all memories of the previous Earth-One Superman, but would still go on to know the brand-new individual as "Superman" on this new Earth.

Convergence

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Convergence
This section of the history takes place during Convergence, a massive crossover event revisiting characters from past eras and realities. The villains Brainiac and Telos plucked them from their own timeline and stored them together, causing them to cross over into each others' reality. Its precise chronological placement and canonicity may be unclear.

Two versions of him are taken to Convergence, back when he was Superboy and a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes and the adult version of him in modern day. The 31st century Metropolis and modern day Gotham are taken by Telos and they are stripped of their powers for a year. Back when he was Superboy, he and the Legion encounter Prime Earth Booster Gold, Rip Hunter and Goldstar, assumes they are villains and attacks them. But Rip Hunter teleports them a few minutes into the future and they escape.[842] After the dome goes down, he and the Legion fight the Atomic Knights,[843] but ends up forming peace with them due to their mutual beliefs in justice.[844]

Meanwhile, Lucius teleports his adult self and Supergirl to the Phantom Zone while attempting to escape the dome. He and Supergirl are attacked by Phantom Zoners and he sacrifices himself so Kara can escape. Supergirl later comes back to save him but they are ambushed and trapped by the Phantom Zoners.[845]Lucius opens a portal for them to escape, but Superman sacrifices himself so Supergirl can escape and the Phantom Zoners can't get out. He is narrowly saved when Supergirl uses a grapple gun to pull him out of the Phantom Zone. He and Kara then help Kamandi fight off General Symian and the Ape-Men. He then lets the Ape-Men take him to their ultimate weapon and destroys it.[846]

When Brainiac reveals that unless the destruction of the original Pre-Crisis multiverse is prevented the current multiverse will collapse into one universe, New Earth Kal-El asks to be sent back to the Crisis along with Hal, Kara and Barry. Lois and his baby son join him and they are transported back to the first Crisis by Brainiac. His final fate after Convergence is unknown.

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Powers

  • Kryptonian Physiology: Under the rays of a yellow sun, Superman, like all Kryptonians and some species of extraterrestrial lifeforms with similar physiology, gained enormous power to wield as he sees fit. The below covers his variegated power set.
    • Solar Energy Absorption: As a product of his Kryptonian physiology, Superman absorbs solar radiation and stores it within his cells to survive.[847]The rays of a white sun could amplify Superman's strength beyond normal limits, while the rays of an orange sun reduced Superman's strength and invulnerability to levels at which collisions with small meteoroids could stun him. According to some sources, the rays of an orange sun could also render Superman blind as well as at half-power. The rays of a red sun, while sufficient to sustain his life functions by providing his cells solar radiation, nonetheless negated all of his powers instantaneously and made him the equivalent of a human man with a well-trained, albeit vulnerable, body. Red sun radiation could strip Superman of his abilities even in environments which existed primarily under a yellow sun. Exposure to the rays of a violet sun could add the ability to psychokinetically conjure objects into existence, although this power would wear off shortly after cessation of exposure. Any objects conjured under the empowerment of violet-sun radiation would also vanish into thin air once the power itself disappeared.[533]
    • Superhuman Strength: Superman possesses a truly extraordinary strength level, by no means capable of being precisely measured but certainly well within the range of being able to press or lift from millions to sextillions of tons. Although early Silver Age appearances portrayed Superman as being so strong that he could tow a galaxy of planets through space with an absurdly large chain with one hand and throw white dwarf star matter light years away without effort, later appearances showed Superman's physical might, though still incredible to say the least, to possess veritable and somewhat tamer limits. For instance, Superman once had to exert himself to the point of collapse to retrieve Hawkman's Thanagarian Star Cruiser from the gravity well of a neutron star, demonstrating that his strength and endurance were not infinite and could be exhausted by sufficiently challenging tasks.[848] In the Bronze Age, Superman could still move individual planets around the Earth's size and lift neutron star matter, though he would have to struggle and strain in the process, while these feats were presented at the time as if the uppermost bounds of his ability. This de-powering may have been the by-product of the Kryptonite Nevermore saga, in which Superman's power was permanently reduced by 33.33% by the Sand Superman. Afterwards, as Superman once lamented when tasked with shifting the tectonic plates of the Earth with brute strength, "Superman, who could once juggle planets with one hand, can't even manipulate one puny continent!"[849]
    • Invulnerability: Superman's body was virtually invulnerable to all forms of mundane and ordinary harm. Neither bullets nor bazookas could even faze the nigh-invincible Man of Steel. Superman could even withstand the explosion of an atomic bomb at ground zero unfazed, and even the force and heat of planetary-level explosions and supernovas only had the power to stun Superman momentarily. Superman even withstood the Big Bang for a few minutes.[850] However, even excepting Superman's specific Kryptonian weaknesses, it was possible to hurt and/or daze Superman by channeling massive forces comparable to those which Superman himself could muster. Though uncommon, there has been a select host of powerful beings capable of fighting Superman on equal ground (e.g. Martian Manhunter, Galactic Golem, Bizarro, Darkseid, Mongul, Amazo, Shaggy Man, Neutron, Validus, etc.). It seemed that Superman could also increase his base durability level by bracing himself for an incoming attack; attacks that could send Superman reeling often had no noticeable effect once Superman prepared himself.[851] Due to years of exposure under a yellow sun, Superman's invulnerability is greater than that of the Phantom Zoners; Once, every Zoner was affected by Faora Hu-Ul's psychic bolts, while Superman was undamaged.[852]
      • Accelerated Healing
      • Longevity: Superman can live almost indefinitely if he resides under continuous exposure to Earth's sunlight or that of another yellow star/sun.
      • Self-Sustenance: He does not need to eat or sleep (but is still capable of doing so) and doesn't require oxygen to breathe, enabling him to travel in space and underwater unprotected.
      • Superhuman Stamina: He has the ability to maintain continuous physical activity for an undefined period. Although not unlimited, Superman's stamina is indeed considerable. His resilience in the face of perils that could potentially annihilate planets, galaxies, and even whole universes is tremendous.
    • Flight: Superman is capable of defying gravity as a result of Krypton's greater gravity and its demands on Kryptonian physiology. Superman can travel through time and traverse dimensions by exceeding the speed of light.
    • Superhuman Speed: He is capable of moving, reacting, running and flying at superhuman speeds. While not as fast as the Flash, Superman is considered one of the swiftest beings in the universe. He can use this power to disarm opponents, catch bullets or shrapnel, cross vast distances in seconds, and move himself and other objects at speeds exceeding the speed of light itself.
    • Superhuman Hearing: Superman has vastly increased auditory sensitivity to even the slightest changes in sound and pitch, allowing him to pick up noises from across the globe. He has shown enough control to block out ambient sounds to focus on a specific source/frequency. Superman can not only pick up acoustic waves with his super-hearing, but also receive radio-wave transmissions out in space.[854]
    • Enhanced Sense of Smell
    • Enhanced Senses
    • Super-Breath: Superman can create hurricane force winds by blowing, and also exhale super-cooled gas to freeze a target. His super breath is so powerful that he once used it to blow earth back into orbit. He can also breathe in large amounts of air to dispel clouds of gas by exhaling it.
    • Heat Vision: Superman can fire beams of intense heat from his eyes, a product of his capacity for optical release of electromagnetic radiation along a range of wavelengths. One time, when he was Superboy, he used heat vision to reignite the Sun, which had been drained by a Sun-Eater. Even still, some enemies were powerful enough to stand up to it and not even wince, such as Brainiac, whose Ultra-Force Shield Belt protected him from harm on a level even greater than Superman's invincibility, and Mongul, who withstood the full intensity of Superman's heat vision after being hit with it point-blank. In earlier appearances, heat vision was portrayed as a more intense version of X-Ray vision and therefore to be ineffective against lead[855], but in later appearances, heat vision and X-ray vision were depicted as entirely different powers.[856]
    • Super Vision: Superman also possessed telescopic vision, enabling him to see objects from great distances away, and X-ray vision, which enabled Superman to see through objects via the optical projection of X-rays.
      • Telescopic Vision: The ability to focus his vision to see something at a great distance, without violating the laws of physics.
      • Microscopic Vision: The ability to see extremely small objects and images down to the sub-atomic level.
      • X-Ray Vision: The ability to see through anything except lead. Since it is passive, this ability would not generate harmful radiation in the same manner as a focused projection of hard X-rays.
    • Super-Ventriloquism: He could project his voice without visibly moving his mouth or lips across large distances.
    • Super-Hypnotism: Superman was trained in how to mesmerize others using a variety of effects.
    • Genius Level Intellect: Superman, like most Kryptonians, is possessed of a higher level of intelligence than the average Earth human. Even among Kryptonians, the House of El was a lineage associated with scientific, cultural and forensic achievement and possessed an above-average intelligence which Superman inherited.
      • Total Recall: Superman had total and perfect recollection of all the events that transpired in his life since his birth on Krypton, being able to recall even trivial and minute details or information from decades ago with impeccable accuracy. He could learn surgery in minutes by reading the appropriate books, and re-build an exploded computer by recalling where each component was. This power was facilitated by augmentation of his already formidable intellectual capabilities by the Sun's rays.
    • Superman can stop his breathing and heartbeat, faking death.[171] However, Superman can only sustain this effect for a limited time before his body gives out.[703]
    • Psychokinesis (Temporarily; only after exposure to the rays of a violet sun)
      • Summoning (Temporarily; only after exposure to the rays of a violet sun)

Abilities

Weaknesses

  • Vulnerability to Kryptonite: There existed various kinds of Kryptonite, most of which affected Superman in a particular and invariably negative way.
    • Green Kryptonite, of both real and synthetic varieties, could negate Superman's powers in a matter of seconds and immobilize Superman with waves of excruciating pain. Prolonged exposure would lead to fatal radiation poisoning and discolor Superman's blood and tissues green.
    • Red Kryptonite, on the other hand, emitted radiation that would mutate Superman in unpredictable ways for a time span of 48 hours. No two samples of Red K would have the same effect on Superman, while any given Red K chunk could only affect Superman or any other Kryptonian once through exposure.
    • Gold Kryptonite emitted radiations that would permanently destroy Superman's powers without causing him direct physical harm; he would became equivalent to a normal human man of his age and build from so on.
    • While other varieties of Kryptonite, typically synthetic, existed, these three main varieties were the most commonly found in nature and impacted Superman each in their own unique, detrimental way.
  • Vulnerability to Magic: Due to lacking the innate resonance with magical forces that became adaptive in humans over millions of years, the Kryptonian race, Superman included, were not only bereft of the human disposition towards magical mastery (though a secret cult of Kryptonian wizards did exist), but were also more acutely vulnerable to the effects of magic than normal humans.[114][879] This applies even to Superman, whose physiology is enhanced in numerous ways by Earth's environment to be immune to most natural forces. Superman thus has no special invincibility to harm inflicted through mystical means and could often be rendered powerless by the forces of magic. Supernatural creatures and human spell-casters as such were always formidable adversaries for Superman to contend with.
  • Vulnerability to Red Sun Radiation: When exposed to the frequency range of electromagnetic radiation emitted by a red sun, whether naturally or artificially generated, Superman lost all his superpowers and became, for all intents and purposes, equivalent to a normal human man of his age and build. Even on worlds that exist under yellow suns, the projection of red sun radiation at close range could render him imminently powerless. However, unlike Green K, red sun radiation does not harm Superman directly, and unlike Gold K, its effect is not permanent.
  • Vulnerability to Green Sun Radiation: Similarly to Red Sun, Kal-El will temporarily lose all superpowers in the presence of green sun radiation.[880]
  • Vulnerability to Psionics: Superman could be totally incapacitated by a psychic intrusion if the source of the intrusion were capable of subverting his mental defenses quickly enough. Potentially, a talented psychic could render Superman unconscious or place him under mind-control if Superman were not given the opportunity to respond.
  • Vulnerability to Q-Energy: Q-Energy had a similar effect on Superman as Green Kryptonite and could potentially destroy him.[881] [882]
  • Although Superman can survive with no food, water, oxygen or sleep, it's been stated a lack of rest and dream taxes a Kryptonian's mind,[883][884][885] to the point Superman becomes prickly, irritable and psychologically unstable.[886] On one occasion, the mental stress from prolonged lack of sleep made Superman manifest a split personality that tried to kill his Clark Kent identity with deathtraps.[887]
  • It is possible that Atron-Rays, which affected the renegade Kryptonian Klax-Ar might strip the powers of Superman or any other Kryptonian, if the exposure is prolonged.
  • A special type of rare metal ore had the ability to siphon Superman's ecto-energy, weakening Superman's powers and potentially creating super-powerful monsters from the ectoplasm.[445] Another metal ore, buried deep into the Earth's mantle, had the ability to leech the solar radiation from Superman's tissue, leaving him in a perpetual state of lethargy until it was neutralized.[888]
  • As a rule, any substance native to Krypton from before its destruction had the potential to affect Superman (or any other Kryptonian) in the same manner that an analogous substance made of Earth elements might do to a normal human.[236][889][890][891]

Equipment

  • Superman's Costume: Originally the normal Kryptonian cloth that infant Kal-El was swaddled with during his flight to Earth, Superman's costume becomes just as invulnerable as its wearer, if not actually more so, under the radiation of a yellow sun. Evidence that Superman's costume may become more durable than his body on Earth includes the fact that fights with various enemies capable of physically harming Superman still fail to tear or rip his costume. As a result, Superman's costume provides some measure of protection even when Superman is stripped of his superpowers, as it can resist the effects of drastic temperature change and physical abuse, though this says nothing about the ability or lack thereof of its wearer to sustain this type of damage under conditions of powerlessness. Superman's costume is also known to be able to shield its wearer (or anything wrapped in its cape) from the effects of friction.
  • Kryptonian Lenses: Clark Kent can use glasses with lenses from his Kryptonian spaceship to project his heat vision without melting them.
  • Superman Robots: Android facsimiles of the Man of Steel imbued with inferior duplicates of Superman's main power set and used to stand in for him on occasions when it is necessary that Superman and Clark Kent be seen together in order to deflect suspicion or to defend Metropolis when their creator is unable to for a variety of reasons. Special Superman Robots have even been created to pose as Clark Kent in his civilian identity. Pollution eventually made it unsafe for them to use their superpowers.
  • Lead Armor: Superman occasionally used an airight full-body armor suit made of lead to block lethal Green Kryptonite radiations from reaching his body. Although the armor had no eyeholes as such, Superman could navigate with the suit on by using a viewscreen built into the interior of the helmet. The suit was frequently destroyed or transmuted into glass by Superman's enemies, presumably being replaced each time.
  • Super-Computer: Superman's highly advanced supercomputer, located in the Fortress of Solitude.
  • Various technological artifacts from Krypton and other alien world Superman has visited in the past, usually contained within the Fortress of Solitude.

Transportation

  • Supermobile: Usually just flies under his own power, but occasionally made use of a Supermobile to compensate for temporary loss of powers or for protection against non-yellow sun-systems in which Superman would often lose his powers or find them diminished.
  • Rocket-Belt: During his time in Kandor as Nightwing, Kal-El utilized a rocket belt to give him the ability to fly as he would be able to under Earth's yellow sun.

Weapons

  • Phantom Zone Projector
  • Various weapons collected from past interstellar adventures, usually contained the Fortress of Solitude's armory.


  • Catchphrases:
    • "Up, up and away" (when ready to fly)
    • "This is a job for Superman" (when a threat or enemy is present)
    • "Great Krypton!"
    • "Great Scott!"
    • "Great Rao!"

Related

Footnotes

  1. Superman #149
  2. 2.0 2.1 Superman #205
  3. Superman #257
  4. The 1960s versions of the origin story have the Kents sending Kal-El to an orphanage and adopt him later, while most 1970 versions of the story have the Kents pass Kal-El off as their own distant relative whose birth parents die.
  5. Superboy #196
  6. 6.0 6.1 Superboy #89
  7. Superboy (Volume 2) #12
  8. Superman #137
  9. Superman #139
  10. Superboy (Volume 2) #20
  11. Superboy (Volume 2) #21
  12. 12.0 12.1 Superboy (Volume 2) #26
  13. 13.0 13.1 Superboy (Volume 2) #27
  14. Superboy #171
  15. Superboy #124
  16. Adventure Comics #240
  17. DC Super-Stars #12
  18. Adventure Comics #247
  19. Superboy #204
  20. Superboy #98
  21. Adventure Comics #282
  22. Adventure Comics #317
  23. Adventure Comics #318
  24. Adventure Comics #321
  25. Adventure Comics #330
  26. Adventure Comics #331
  27. Adventure Comics #335
  28. Adventure Comics #336
  29. Adventure Comics #338
  30. Adventure Comics #340
  31. Adventure Comics #341
  32. Adventure Comics #348
  33. Adventure Comics #349
  34. Adventure Comics #312
  35. Adventure Comics #342
  36. Adventure Comics #346
  37. Adventure Comics #347
  38. Adventure Comics #350
  39. Adventure Comics #351
  40. Adventure Comics #352
  41. Adventure Comics #353
  42. Adventure Comics #355
  43. Adventure Comics #357
  44. Adventure Comics #359
  45. Adventure Comics #360
  46. Adventure Comics #365
  47. Adventure Comics #366
  48. Adventure Comics #367
  49. Adventure Comics #369
  50. Adventure Comics #370
  51. Adventure Comics #372
  52. Adventure Comics #373
  53. Adventure Comics #377
  54. Adventure Comics #378
  55. Adventure Comics #379
  56. 56.0 56.1 Action Comics #387
  57. Adventure Comics #271
  58. Superman #292
  59. Superboy #68
  60. Superboy #78
  61. Superboy #83
  62. Superboy #99
  63. Adventure Comics #283
  64. Adventure Comics #300
  65. Adventure Comics #305
  66. Adventure Comics #287
  67. Adventure Comics #288
  68. Adventure Comics #320
  69. Superboy #173
  70. Superboy #188
  71. Superboy #197
  72. Superboy #198
  73. Superboy #199
  74. 74.0 74.1 Superboy #200
  75. Superboy #201
  76. Superboy #203
  77. Superboy #205
  78. Superboy #207
  79. Superboy #208
  80. Superboy #212
  81. Superboy #213
  82. Superboy #214
  83. Superboy #215
  84. Superboy #216
  85. Superboy #217
  86. Superboy #218
  87. Superboy #219
  88. Superboy #221
  89. Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #223
  90. Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #224
  91. Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #225
  92. Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #226
  93. Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #227
  94. Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #228
  95. Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #229
  96. Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #230
  97. Adventure Comics #453
  98. Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #231
  99. Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #232
  100. Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #233
  101. Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #234
  102. Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #235
  103. Adventure Comics #454
  104. Adventure Comics #455
  105. All-New Collectors' Edition #C-55
  106. Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #239
  107. Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #240
  108. Adventure Comics #457
  109. Adventure Comics #458
  110. Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #241
  111. Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #242
  112. Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #243
  113. Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #244
  114. 114.0 114.1 Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #245
  115. Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #246
  116. Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #247
  117. Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #250
  118. Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #251
  119. Legion of Super-Heroes (Volume 2) #273
  120. Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #252
  121. Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #253
  122. Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #254
  123. Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #256
  124. Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #257
  125. 125.0 125.1 Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #258
  126. Legion of Super-Heroes (Volume 2) #259
  127. Superboy (Volume 2) #3
  128. Superboy (Volume 2) #4
  129. 129.0 129.1 Superboy (Volume 2) #5
  130. 130.0 130.1 Action Comics #507
  131. 131.0 131.1 Action Comics #508
  132. 132.0 132.1 Superboy (Volume 2) #6
  133. Superboy (Volume 2) #15
  134. Superboy (Volume 2) #16
  135. Superboy (Volume 2) #17
  136. Superboy (Volume 2) #18
  137. Legion of Super-Heroes (Volume 2) #275
  138. Legion of Super-Heroes (Volume 2) #277
  139. Legion of Super-Heroes (Volume 2) #278
  140. 140.0 140.1 Legion of Super-Heroes (Volume 2) #279
  141. Legion of Super-Heroes (Volume 2) #280
  142. Legion of Super-Heroes (Volume 2) #281
  143. Legion of Super-Heroes (Volume 2) #282
  144. 144.0 144.1 Superboy (Volume 2) #19
  145. Superboy (Volume 2) #22
  146. Superboy (Volume 2) #23
  147. 147.0 147.1 Superboy (Volume 2) #25
  148. Superboy (Volume 2) #28
  149. Legion of Super-Heroes (Volume 2) #286
  150. Superboy (Volume 2) #30
  151. Superboy (Volume 2) #31
  152. Superboy (Volume 2) #32
  153. Superboy (Volume 2) #33
  154. Legion of Super-Heroes (Volume 2) #290
  155. Legion of Super-Heroes (Volume 2) #291
  156. Legion of Super-Heroes (Volume 2) #292
  157. Legion of Super-Heroes (Volume 2) #293
  158. Legion of Super-Heroes (Volume 2) #294
  159. Superboy (Volume 2) #34
  160. Superboy (Volume 2) #35
  161. Superboy (Volume 2) #36
  162. Superboy (Volume 2) #37
  163. Superman #161
  164. 164.0 164.1 164.2 Superman #362
  165. Superman #359
  166. 166.0 166.1 Superman #365
  167. 167.0 167.1 167.2 Superman #366
  168. Superman: The Secret Years #1
  169. Superman: The Secret Years #2
  170. Superman: The Secret Years #3
  171. 171.0 171.1 Superman: The Secret Years #4
  172. Superman #129
  173. The first appearance of the Earth-One Toyman and Prankster was Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #9, a relatively early Earth-One Superman appearance, but Superman is shown as already familiar with the two villains. This is only natural, as the existence of Earth-Two and the consequent distinction between Earth-One and Earth-Two versions of Superman, his supporting cast, and his rogues' gallery had not been made yet at that time.
  174. 174.0 174.1 Action Comics #261
  175. Action Comics #241
  176. Action Comics #265
  177. Superman #176
  178. Superman #133
  179. Superman #136
  180. Superman #87
  181. Superman #106
  182. Action Comics #249
  183. World's Finest #88
  184. World's Finest #100
  185. World's Finest #104
  186. 186.0 186.1 Action Comics #267
  187. Action Comics #271
  188. 188.0 188.1 Action Comics #277
  189. Superman #144
  190. Action Comics #292
  191. Action Comics #294
  192. World's Finest #126
  193. World's Finest #129
  194. World's Finest #137
  195. Action Comics #242
  196. Action Comics #275
  197. 197.0 197.1 Action Comics #280
  198. 198.0 198.1 Action Comics #252
  199. Action Comics #309
  200. Adventure Comics #393
  201. Superman #134
  202. Action Comics #278
  203. Action Comics #279
  204. Action Comics #281
  205. Action Comics #282
  206. Action Comics #283
  207. Action Comics #284
  208. Action Comics #285
  209. Action Comics #286
  210. 210.0 210.1 Action Comics #310
  211. 211.0 211.1 Action Comics #318
  212. Action Comics #339
  213. Action Comics #254
  214. Action Comics #255
  215. Action Comics #263
  216. Action Comics #264
  217. Superman #140
  218. Superman #131
  219. 219.0 219.1 Superman #135
  220. Superman #154
  221. Superman #148
  222. Superman #174
  223. Superman #127
  224. Superman #138
  225. Superman #147
  226. Action Comics #276
  227. Superman #138
  228. Superman #139
  229. Superman #141
  230. Action Comics #284
  231. Action Comics #289
  232. Superman #153
  233. Superman #157
  234. 234.0 234.1 The Phantom Zone #1
  235. Action Comics #297
  236. 236.0 236.1 Action Comics #298
  237. Action Comics #286
  238. Action Comics #287
  239. Action Comics #295
  240. Action Comics #300
  241. Superman #163
  242. Action Comics #313
  243. 243.0 243.1 World's Finest #175
  244. Superman #147
  245. Action Comics #283
  246. Superman #158
  247. Superman #164
  248. Superman #167
  249. Superman #168
  250. World's Finest #142
  251. Action Comics #319
  252. 252.0 252.1 Superman #172
  253. Action Comics #326
  254. Action Comics #329
  255. Superman #182
  256. Action Comics #332
  257. Action Comics #333
  258. 258.0 258.1 Action Comics #335
  259. Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #62
  260. Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #63
  261. Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #64
  262. Action Comics #336
  263. Action Comics #340
  264. Superman #190
  265. Action Comics #341
  266. Action Comics #342
  267. Superman #191
  268. Action Comics #343
  269. Adventure Comics #354
  270. Action Comics #348
  271. Superman #195
  272. Action Comics #351
  273. Action Comics #352
  274. Action Comics #353
  275. Superman #198
  276. Action Comics #354
  277. World's Finest #168
  278. Action Comics #355
  279. Action Comics #356
  280. Action Comics #357
  281. Superman #201
  282. Superman #203
  283. Superman #204
  284. Action Comics #358
  285. Action Comics #359
  286. Action Comics #361
  287. Action Comics #362
  288. Action Comics #363
  289. Action Comics #364
  290. Action Comics #365
  291. Action Comics #366
  292. Action Comics #371
  293. 293.0 293.1 Action Comics #372
  294. 294.0 294.1 Action Comics #374
  295. 295.0 295.1 Action Comics #375
  296. Superman #213
  297. Superman #214
  298. Superman #218
  299. Action Comics #376
  300. Action Comics #377
  301. Action Comics #378
  302. Action Comics #380
  303. Action Comics #381
  304. Action Comics #385
  305. Action Comics #386
  306. Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #133
  307. Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #135
  308. Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #136
  309. Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #137
  310. Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #138
  311. Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #105
  312. Superman #233
  313. Superman #234
  314. Forever People #1
  315. Superman #235
  316. Action Comics #400
  317. Superman #237
  318. Superman #238
  319. Superman #240
  320. Superman #241
  321. Superman #242
  322. Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #139
  323. Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #141
  324. Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #111
  325. Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #114
  326. Superman #244
  327. Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #115
  328. Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #116
  329. Superman #246
  330. Action Comics #407
  331. Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #142
  332. Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #143
  333. Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #144
  334. Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #145
  335. Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #146
  336. Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #118
  337. Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #119
  338. Superman #247
  339. Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #120
  340. Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #121
  341. Superman #248
  342. Superman #249
  343. Superman #250
  344. Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #147
  345. Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #148
  346. Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #122
  347. Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #123
  348. Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #124
  349. Action Comics #413
  350. Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #152
  351. Superman #253
  352. World's Finest #202
  353. Superman #254
  354. Action Comics #417
  355. Action Comics #418
  356. Superman #258
  357. Superman #259
  358. Superman #260
  359. Action Comics #421
  360. Superman #261
  361. Action Comics #423
  362. Superman #263
  363. Superman #264
  364. Action Comics #424
  365. Superman #265
  366. Superman #266
  367. Action Comics #426
  368. Action Comics #428
  369. Action Comics #429
  370. Action Comics #430
  371. Action Comics #431
  372. Superman #270
  373. Superman #271
  374. Action Comics #432
  375. Action Comics #434
  376. Action Comics #435
  377. Superman #275
  378. Superman #276
  379. Action Comics #436
  380. Superman #277
  381. Superman #278
  382. Action Comics #439
  383. Superman #280
  384. Action Comics #440
  385. Superman #281
  386. Action Comics #441
  387. Superboy #204
  388. Superman #282
  389. Action Comics #442
  390. Superman #283
  391. Superman #284
  392. Superman #285
  393. Action Comics #445
  394. Superman #286
  395. Superman #287
  396. Action Comics #450
  397. Superman Family #172
  398. Superman #292
  399. Superman #293
  400. Superman #294
  401. Superman #295
  402. Action Comics #456
  403. Action Comics #457
  404. Superman Family #175
  405. Action Comics #458
  406. Action Comics #459
  407. Superman #296
  408. 408.0 408.1 Superman #297
  409. Superman #298
  410. Superman #299
  411. Action Comics #460
  412. Action Comics #461
  413. Action Comics #462
  414. Action Comics #463
  415. Superman #301
  416. Superman #302
  417. 417.0 417.1 417.2 Superman #303
  418. Superman #304
  419. Action Comics #464
  420. Action Comics #465
  421. Action Comics #466
  422. Superman #305
  423. Superman #306
  424. Superman #307
  425. Superman #308
  426. Superman #309
  427. Superman #310
  428. Action Comics #471
  429. Action Comics #472
  430. Action Comics #473
  431. Action Comics #474
  432. Superman Family #184
  433. Superman #311
  434. Superman #312
  435. Superman #313
  436. Superman #314
  437. Superman #315
  438. Superman #316
  439. Superman #317
  440. Superman #318
  441. Action Comics #475
  442. Action Comics #476
  443. Action Comics #477
  444. Action Comics #478
  445. 445.0 445.1 445.2 DC Special Series #5
  446. Superman #319
  447. Superman #320
  448. Superman #321
  449. Superman #322
  450. Action Comics #480
  451. Action Comics #481
  452. Action Comics #482
  453. Action Comics #483
  454. Superman Family #186
  455. Superman Family #187
  456. Superman #323
  457. Superman #324
  458. Superman #325
  459. Superman #326
  460. Superman #327
  461. Action Comics #487
  462. Action Comics #488
  463. Superman Family #190
  464. Superman #328
  465. Superman #329
  466. Action Comics #489
  467. Action Comics #490
  468. Action Comics #491
  469. Superman #331
  470. Superman #332
  471. DC Retroactive: Superman-The '70s #1
  472. Superman #333
  473. Superman #334
  474. Action Comics #493
  475. Action Comics #494
  476. Action Comics #495
  477. World of Krypton #1
  478. World of Krypton #2
  479. World of Krypton #3
  480. Action Comics #496
  481. Superman #338
  482. Action Comics #498
  483. Action Comics #499
  484. DC Comics Presents #13
  485. DC Comics Presents #14
  486. Action Comics #500
  487. Superman #339
  488. Superman #340
  489. Superman #341
  490. Action Comics #501
  491. Superman #342
  492. Superman #346
  493. Action Comics #502
  494. Superman #349
  495. 495.0 495.1 Action Comics #510
  496. Action Comics #511
  497. Action Comics #512
  498. DC Comics Presents #25
  499. Superman #352
  500. 500.0 500.1 Superman Family #205
  501. Action Comics #513
  502. DC Comics Presents #27
  503. DC Comics Presents #28
  504. DC Comics Presents #29
  505. Action Comics #514
  506. Action Comics #515
  507. Action Comics #516
  508. Superman #356
  509. Superman #357
  510. DC Special Series #26
  511. Superman #363
  512. DC Comics Presents #35
  513. DC Comics Presents #36
  514. Action Comics #524
  515. Action Comics #525
  516. Action Comics #526
  517. Superman #367
  518. Superman #368
  519. Krypton Chronicles #1
  520. Krypton Chronicles #2
  521. Krypton Chronicles #3
  522. Action Comics #527
  523. DC Comics Presents #41
  524. The Phantom Zone #2
  525. The Phantom Zone #3
  526. The Phantom Zone #4
  527. Action Comics #528
  528. Action Comics #529
  529. Action Comics #530
  530. Superman #369
  531. DC Comics Presents #43
  532. Superman #370
  533. 533.0 533.1 Superman #371
  534. Action Comics #531
  535. Action Comics #532
  536. Action Comics #533
  537. Superman #373
  538. Superman #374
  539. Superman #375
  540. World's Finest #283
  541. World's Finest #284