Subject One is Kal-El, an alien foundling captured by the US Government.
This section of the history takes place during Flashpoint, a massive crossover event set in an alternate timeline to the mainstream DCU. History was completely changed when Professor Zoom finally found a way to erase his nemesis the Flash without harming his own legacy.
In this new world, Kal-El's rocket crashes directly in Metropolis instead of Smallville, with the resulting impact causing several deaths. The government takes custody of Kal-El and initiates Project Superman, a military project with the sole purpose of creating a supersoldier that could be used against America's enemies. Kal is designated as Subject One.
In the cold and harsh environment of the project's labs, Kal grows to become a solitary and very thin boy who has difficulty getting close to people. Kal's only sources of love and companionship are General Sam Lane, who loves him as the son he never had, and Krypto, who is designated as Subject Two.
Kal is then contacted by Subject Zero, the very first person inducted into Project Superman. Having obtained superpowers from the experiments, Zero talks to Kal in a volume only he can hear. Zero trains Kal in the use of his powers, including x-ray vision, as three years pass.
Kal witnesses as Lionel Luthor and his son Lex visit the project labs. However, Zero unleashes Two on the Luthors, forcing the soldiers to kill him, much to Kal's grief. However, Kal manages to reach Zero's chamber and destroys the lock with his heat vision, unleashing Zero.
As Zero wreaks havoc across the base, Kal returns to General Lane's office, where he meets Lois, General Lane's daughter. Kal and Lois, intrigued by each other, try to reach for the other's hands when Zero comes in. Zero tries to kill Lois as revenge for the experiments her father conducted on him, but Kal defends her. Zero, thanking Kal for letting him escape, tries to kill them both, but General Lane appears with a harness that seals them both in the Phantom Zone.
Kal would reach maturity in his time in Project Superman. The Flash, Batman and Cyborg planned to free Kal from his cell so that he could join them in their mission to stop the war between the Amazons and the Atlanteans and return the timestream to normal. They manage to free Kal, exposing him to yellow sunlight. However, Kal, remembering Lois, flies away from the three heroes and goes to England. Also, Kal's release from the project labs had also destroyed the power source that kept Zero in the Phantom Zone, allowing Zero to break free.
As Kal reaches England, he finds that Lois is being attacked by the Amazons. He quickly saves her and tells her that they must go somewhere safe from Subject Zero. Lois tells him she can't leave, as she must stay and end the war. Suddenly, Zero reaches England and attacks them. Kal and Zero fight, with Lois standing in the middle. A group of Amazons try to intervene, but Zero kills them.
Lois tells Kal that he must escape from Zero, but Kal refuses, remembering that General Lane told them that they must protect people from monsters like Zero. Kal continues the battle with Zero, noticing that the energy Zero absorbed from his dead opponents is causing his body to overload. Taking advantage of this, Kal punches Zero in the torso and destroys him in a massive explosion. Unfortunately, Lois is injured in the blast and Kal cradles her in his arms. Lois dies from her injuries, but not before telling Kal to save the people. Mourning her death, Kal decides to be a Superman.
In the final battle of the Amazon-Atlantean war, Kal crushes the Enchantress, and then he fights Wonder Woman and Emperor Aquaman. However, the Flash manages to change reality again, creating a new world and allowing his friends to live their lives once again, but in a new way.
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.
Kal is one of the many heroes that were in Gotham City when it was domed and taken to the Blood Moon by Brainiac. A year later, Telos opens the domes and pits each world against one another. Kal is in attendance in Thomas Wayne's decision to prepare for war. He disagrees with Captain Thunder's insistence to strike first in order to win but is shut down by both him and Cyborg who insist that Kal doesn't know how lethal this fight can get.
Kal discovers Lois Lane within the Pre-Flashpoint Gotham City and believes that his Lois Lane has returned and flies off to get her, briefly encountering another version of himself. He finds Lois who tries to explain that she isn't the Lois from his world but he ignores her, declaring that he will save her. When he discovered that Lois is pregnant and in labor, Kal took her to the Batcave and requesting a bewildered Thomas Wayne to help deliver the baby. But soon after, Kal was easily defeated by his Pre-Flashpoint counterpart who came searching for his wife.
Powers and Abilities
- Kryptonian Physiology: Under the effects of a "yellow" sun, Kal-El possesses the same potential powers as an average Kryptonian. These include:
- Solar Energy Absorption: Under optimal conditions, this is the main source of Kal-El's super powers as they are contingent upon exposure to solar radiation from a yellow sun star system. His biological make up includes a number of organs which lack analogues in humans and whose functions are unknown. It is believed that between one or more of these and his bio-cellular matrix, "yellow" solar energy is stored for later use. This allows for the use of these powers to fade when yellow solar radiation is not available instead of immediate failure.
- Heat Vision: Kal-El can, as a conscious act, fire beams of intense heat at a target by looking at it. He can vary the heat and area affected.
- Super-Hearing: Kal-El's hearing is sensitive enough to hear any sound at any volume or pitch. With skill and concentration, he can block out ambient sounds to focus on a specific source or frequency.
- Enhanced Vision: Kal-El's vision processes the entire electromagnetic spectrum as well as allowing vast control over selective perception and focus.
This umbrella ability includes the following:
- Electromagnetic Spectrum Vision: Kal-El can see well into most of the electromagnetic spectrum. He can see and identify radio and television signals as well as all other broadcast or transmitted frequencies. Using this ability, he can avoid detection by radar or satellite monitoring methods. This also allows him to see the aura generated by living thing.
- Telescopic Vision: This is the ability to see something at a great distance, without violating the laws of physics. Though limited, the exact extent of the ability is undetermined. In function, it is similar to the zoom lens on a camera.
- X-Ray Vision: This is the ability to see through any volume of matter except lead. Kal-Els can see things behind a solid, opaque object as if it were not there. He can focus this ability to "peel back" layers of an object, allowing hidden image or inner workings to be observed. The exact type of energy perceived—such as x-rays, cosmic rays, or some other energy invisible to normal humans—is unclear. This ability perceives an ambient energy source though, it does not involve the eye projecting a concentrated, possibly toxic, beam to be reflected back from objects.
- Microscopic Vision: This is the ability to see extremely small objects and images down to the atomic level.
- Infrared Vision: Kal-El can see with better acuity in darkness, and to a degree in total darkness.
- Flight: Kal-El is able to manipulate graviton particles to defy the forces of gravity and achieve flight. This ranges from hovering to moving in any posture, in any direction.
- Invulnerability: Due to the interaction of his dense molecular structure and supercharged bio-electric aura, Kal-El is nigh-invulnerable to extreme energy forces. In addition, his extends this protection against toxins and diseases.
- Superhuman Stamina: Kal-El is able to maintain continuous strenuous physical action for an indefinite period of time. This based on his body converting yellow solar radiation directly to energy, but is limited by physiological and psychological needs to eat, drink, and sleep.
- Superhuman Strength: Kal-El's strength is augmented by yellow solar radiation interacting with the greater than human density, resilience and biological efficiency of his musculature. His strength is more an act of conscious will on energy fields than actual physical strength. It is this act of conscious will that enables him to perform physical feats that are beyond the mere application force, such as moving a mountain top without said rock crumbling under its own mass.
- Superhuman Speed: Kal-El is able to move at incredible speed by sheer force of will. This extends to his perceptions and allows for feats such as catching bullets in mid flight as well as covering vast distances in little or no time.
This also confers:
- Super-Breath: Kal-El is able to create hurricane force winds by exhaling air from his lungs. He can chill the air as it leaves his lungs to freeze targets. He can also reverse the process to pull large volumes of air or vapor into his lungs.
- Longevity: Kal-El can live longer than regular humans, remaining at his prime as long as he was under the exposure of the "yellow" sun.
- Kryptonian Physiology: Under the effects of a "yellow" sun, Kal-El possesses the same potential weaknesses as an average Kryptonian. These include:
- 10 Appearances of Kal-El (Flashpoint Timeline)
- 6 Images featuring Kal-El (Flashpoint Timeline)
- Quotations by or about Kal-El (Flashpoint Timeline)
- Character Gallery: Kal-El (Flashpoint Timeline)
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