- I promise... I will never leave you.
- — Superman src
Rocketed to Earth from the doomed planet Krypton, Kal-El was found by Jonathan and Martha Kent, and raised as their own son, Clark Kent, with the aid of Professor Phineas Potter; at some point prior to 1926, the Kryptonian hound Krypto had joined him, a playmate to the boy as he explored his burgeoning superhuman powers under the light of the yellow sun. By 1938, Clark had begun his career as Superman, defender of Earth, and the revelation that man was not alone in the universe would spur mankind to push itself farther than ever previously imagined.
By 1939 construction on the starship Phaethon was completed, and one day after working together with Batman and Dracula to battle the forces of Frankenstein's Forbidden Army, Superman went to see the rocket's launch, powered by a new red version of the Kryptonite mineral. However, a problem with the fuel resulted in disaster and the apparent annihilation of the ship, yet due to its disappearance without a trace, Superman believed it had not been destroyed; regardless, the incident was his first major failure.
Seemingly unaging, Superman would battle the forces of evil over the course of decades, gain new and incredible abilities, fall for Lois Lane, find his long-lost relative Kara, and look after the Bottle City of Kandor, among his many other magnificent deeds and trials.
By 2013 Superman primarily worked for the government, but took the time to attend a rededication ceremony for the Metropolis Spaceport alongside Lois, at the site of the loss of the Phaethon, to commemorate his 75th anniversary. Mr. Mxyzptlk revealed to him as an anniversary present that the Phaethon indeed survived, trapped outside of time due to its unstable Red K fuel and unreachable even by the 5-dimensional imp, yet still potentially capable of being saved one day.
Superman would live countless epochs, outlasting his home planet (which would come to revere him as a role model for all humanity, and would successfully utilize Red Kryptonite as a fuel to power the exodus from the doomed planet), mortal life, and ultimately even the gods. Eventually he would separate himself into thousands of counterparts to roam the cosmos, while the prime "Superman Null" personally held back the end of creation. When the last other being in the universe, the god Anu, finally died, Superman reunified, and encouraged by the spirit of Lois Lane, outflew the waves of entropy and tore open the fabric of reality to finally reach the Phaethon, which had aged only minutes over the billions of years in which it was trapped. Reassuring the crew that all was not lost with the Earth, and that he would remain with them no matter what, they journeyed together into the unknown of the new universe.
- Kryptonian Physiology: Under the effects of a "yellow" sun, Superman possesses the same potential powers as an average Kryptonian. These include:
- Solar Energy Absorption: Under optimal conditions, this is the main source of Superman's super powers as they are contingent upon exposure to solar radiation from a yellow sun star system. His biological make up includes a number of organs which lack analogues in humans and whose functions are unknown. It is believed that between one or more of these and his bio-cellular matrix, "yellow" solar energy is stored for later use. This allows for the use of these powers to fade when yellow solar radiation is not available instead of immediate failure.
- Heat Vision: Superman can, as a conscious act, fire beams of intense heat at a target by looking at it. He can vary the heat and area affected.
- Super-Hearing: Superman's hearing is sensitive enough to hear any sound at any volume or pitch. With skill and concentration, he can block out ambient sounds to focus on a specific source or frequency.
- Enhanced Vision: Superman's vision processes the entire electromagnetic spectrum as well as allowing vast control over selective perception and focus.
This umbrella ability includes the following:
- Electromagnetic Spectrum Vision: Superman can see well into most of the electromagnetic spectrum. He can see and identify radio and television signals as well as all other broadcast or transmitted frequencies. Using this ability, he can avoid detection by radar or satellite monitoring methods. This also allows him to see the aura generated by living thing.
- Telescopic Vision: This is the ability to see something at a great distance, without violating the laws of physics. Though limited, the exact extent of the ability is undetermined. In function, it is similar to the zoom lens on a camera.
- X-Ray Vision: This is the ability to see through any volume of matter except lead. Supermans can see things behind a solid, opaque object as if it were not there. He can focus this ability to "peel back" layers of an object, allowing hidden image or inner workings to be observed. The exact type of energy perceived—such as x-rays, cosmic rays, or some other energy invisible to normal humans—is unclear. This ability perceives an ambient energy source though, it does not involve the eye projecting a concentrated, possibly toxic, beam to be reflected back from objects.
- Microscopic Vision: This is the ability to see extremely small objects and images down to the atomic level.
- Infrared Vision: Superman can see with better acuity in darkness, and to a degree in total darkness.
- Flight: Superman is able to manipulate graviton particles to defy the forces of gravity and achieve flight. This ranges from hovering to moving in any posture, in any direction.
- Invulnerability: Due to the interaction of his dense molecular structure and supercharged bio-electric aura, Superman is nigh-invulnerable to extreme energy forces. In addition, his extends this protection against toxins and diseases.
- Superhuman Stamina: Superman is able to maintain continuous strenuous physical action for an indefinite period of time. This based on his body converting yellow solar radiation directly to energy, but is limited by physiological and psychological needs to eat, drink, and sleep.
- Superhuman Strength: Superman's strength is augmented by yellow solar radiation interacting with the greater than human density, resilience and biological efficiency of his musculature. His strength is more an act of conscious will on energy fields than actual physical strength. It is this act of conscious will that enables him to perform physical feats that are beyond the mere application force, such as moving a mountain top without said rock crumbling under its own mass.
- Superhuman Speed: Superman is able to move at incredible speed by sheer force of will. This extends to his perceptions and allows for feats such as catching bullets in mid flight as well as covering vast distances in little or no time.
This also confers:
- Super-Breath: Superman is able to create hurricane force winds by exhaling air from his lungs. He can chill the air as it leaves his lungs to freeze targets. He can also reverse the process to pull large volumes of air or vapor into his lungs.
- Longevity: Superman can live longer than regular humans, remaining at his prime as long as he was under the exposure of the "yellow" sun.
Superman's natural Kryptonian abilities grew immeasurably over the course of billions of years, eventually being capable of flying faster than the encroaching entropic waves of the end of the universe and manipulating the fabric of reality through sheer strength.
- Immortality: Superman is truly immortal, whether due to his natural abilities or because of events taking place over the course of the billions of years of his existence, outliving every other being, mortal or even god, in creation. 
- Telepathy: Superman eventually develops telepathic capabilities, using it to communicate in space. 
- Self-Division: Superman is capable by the end of his existence of splitting himself into multiple, physically differentiated beings as extensions of his original consciousness (referred to by his duplicates as "Superman Null"). 
- Reality Alteration: Superman is shown as, through an act of pure will, holding back the death of the universe. 
- Kryptonian Physiology: Under the effects of a "yellow" sun, Superman possesses the same potential weaknesses as an average Kryptonian. These include:
- This Superman is notably similar to the original Superman of Action Comics #1 in power and appearance in 1939; even decades later, despite changing to the 'classic' uniform, the sleeves of the outfit remain the same.
- This Superman's career corresponds in his years of operation precisely to that of the existence of the real-world fictional Superman character.
- Superman Recommended Reading
- Action Comics (Volume 1)
- Action Comics (Volume 2)
- Adventures of Superman (Volume 1)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 1)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 2)
- DC Comics Presents (Volume 1)
- Superman (Volume 1)
- Superman (Volume 2)
- Superman (Volume 3)
- Superman (Volume 4)
- Superman (Volume 5)
- Superman/Batman (Volume 1)
- Superman Confidential (Volume 1)
- Superman: The Man of Steel (Volume 1)
- Superman: The Man of Tomorrow (Volume 1)
- Superman/Wonder Woman (Volume 1)
- World's Finest (Volume 1)
- 1 Appearances of Kal-El (Strange Visitor)
- 2 Images featuring Kal-El (Strange Visitor)
- 1 Quotations by or about Kal-El (Strange Visitor)
- Character Gallery: Kal-El (Strange Visitor)
Superman Family member
Daily Planet Staff member