Superman, birth name Kal-El and adopted name Clark Kent, is Earth's premiere superhero and the stalwart protector of Metropolis. The exact details of his early superhero career are unknown, but it safe to assume they are the same as his New Earth counterpart.
Superman travels to Belize to stop an earthquake, while a group of terrorists attacks Metropolis and takes Lois hostage. After quickly solving the earthquake situation, Sueprman returns to Metropolis and sees Supergirl had already defeated the terrorists. Both cousins talk about Kara’s arrival to Earth a few months ago and her choice to be a superhero. Later, Clark goes to the Daily Planet, where Lois attempts to get him to make their relationship public despite his fear of the consequences, but their argument is halted by a staff meeting before Clark leaves after being alerted to an approaching meteor. Intercepting it, Superman learns the meteor is actually a robot that he promptly defeats before activating its beacon and taking it to the Fortress of Solitude. With help from a fearful Supergirl, Superman learns the robot is actually a drone controlled by a being named Brainiac, a cyborg who was originally a Coluan scientist who subjected himself to extensive cybernetic and genetic enhancements. As Supergirl reveals from her experience with the monster, Brainiac seized and miniaturized Krypton's capital city of Kandor prior to the planet's destruction with her father and mother attempting to track him down before they mysteriously lost contact with Krypton.
Fearing more drones would come, Superman flies through the galaxy in an attempt to track down Brainiac before finding his drones attacking a planet. Though he attempts to stop them, Superman witnesses Brainiac capture the planet's capital like he did with Kandor before firing a Solar Aggressor missile to consume the planet in its exploding sun. The explosion knocks Superman unconscious and he is brought on board Brainiac’s ship. Coming to in the examination room, he fights his way through the vessel before he discovers a room full of bottled cities prior to being attacked by Brainiac. At this point, confirming that he spared Krypton because of its eventual destruction, Brainiac reveals that he has been collecting information on all the planets he visited before destroying them. Using Superman's spacecraft, Brainiac decides to chart a course to Earth while sending Superman into Kandor. Inside Kandor, his strength waning due to the artificial red sun, Superman meets his uncle Zor-El and aunt Alura. They explain that Brainiac was instructed to learn all that is knowable about the galaxy. Being a cyborg, Brainiac interpreted his directive literally and realized that he could not achieve this goal because life keeps changing. His knowledge of one world would become out-of-date as soon as he moved on to the next world. Brainiac therefore destroys civilizations after studying them so that they cannot change further, thus leaving him with a literally complete and up-to-date knowledge of them.
Superman formulates a plan and escapes Kandor using the subjugator robots. From there, he reaches a miniature yellow sun that replenishes his powers. Superman disables Brainiac's ship and takes Kandor with him back to Earth. Meeting up with Supergirl at the Fortress, Superman informs her that he recovered Kandor and her parents are waiting for her. He also expresses his plans to take Kandor to a habitable planet with a red sun, where they can restore the city to its original size. Unfortunately, Brainiac’s forces storm Earth.
Despite Superman, Supergirl and the U.S. Army doing their best to fend his drones off, Metropolis is encased in a bottle and both Superman and Supergirl are captured. Having hooked Superman up to his ship, Braniac reveals that Earth offers nothing to him and tortures Superman to obtain Kandor and attempts to destroy the planet. However, telling his captor what Earth means to him, Superman breaks free and then frees Supergirl and convinces her to stop the Solar-Aggressor from hitting the sun. Remembering Zor-El's words about Brainiac's ideals, Superman knocks him out of the ship and they crash into a swamp. As he fights Braniac, Superman forces the cyborg to experience the chaos of life itself outside of the safe, artificial environments he has created. Eventually, the combined mental and physical strain takes its toll on Brainiac and he combusts and is reduced to ash and molten machinery. After restoring Metropolis, taking Kandor to another planet together with his cousin to restore its normal size and establishing a Kryptonian colony, Clark makes his love life with Lois public with a marriage proposal.
- 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.
- Expert Combatant: In combat situations, Superman makes use of an improvised fighting style that relies on overwhelming force and speed.
- Genius Level Intellect: Superman possesses incredible intelligence and computational abilities.
- Indomitable Will: Superman has shown to have a powerful spirit, free of corruption and temptation. Having been raised by a kindly Kansas farmer and his wife, he was taught to protect life and help others. He is very optimistic and never gives up, even when things look bad.
- Journalism: Clark is one of the top reporters on the Daily Planet, rivaled only by Lois Lane.
- Kryptonian Physiology: Under the effects of a "yellow" sun, Superman possesses the same potential weaknesses as an average Kryptonian. These include:
- This version of the character is exclusive to the continuity of the film Superman: Unbound and is an adaptation of Clark Kent/Superman. The original character was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster and first appeared in Action Comics (Volume #1) #1.
- Superman is voiced by Matt Bomer.
- Superman Recommended Reading
- Action Comics (Volume 1)
- Action Comics (Volume 2)
- Adventures of Superman (Volume 1)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 1)
- 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 (Unbound)
- 11 Images featuring Kal-El (Unbound)
- Quotations by or about Kal-El (Unbound)
- Character Gallery: Kal-El (Unbound)
Superman Family member
Daily Planet Staff member