Created by the digitized gestalt inventor K3NT using DNA from the first Superman, Superman-X was genetically conceived to possess all of Superman's strengths, but none of his weaknesses. Unlike the original Superman, Superman-X was not vulnerable to the effects of Kryptonite. In fact, his body actually produced Kryptonite radiation, which he could channel and project in the form of concentrated blasts of energy from his hands.
As a young man, Superman-X fought to save the galaxy from the tyranny of a conqueror known as Imperiex. He learned from K3NT that he was created expressly for the purpose of fighting Imperiex. Imperiex's army proved too strong for Superman however, and he was forced to look to the past to find a way to save his future. He traveled backwards in time one-thousand years to the 31st century where he met the Legion of Super-Heroes. Legionnaire Brainiac 5, who had always admired the first Superman, but felt ill at ease with this aggressive and violent successor. Superman-X explained to the Legion that Imperiex was destined to destroy all of New Metropolis and that the Legion were fated to fall in battle.
Although not completely trusting this strange new Superman, the Legion agreed to help him and they traveled forward with him to the 41st century. Imperiex's army fought Earth's resistance forces and created a self-perpetuating wave of Antimatter energy that threatened to destroy all of reality. Superman-X and Brainiac 5 put together a magnetic cannon, which they hoped would disrupt the power core in Imperiex's armor, but this attack failed and Imperiex's forces defeated the resistance. Using the technology from inside Imperiex's ship, Superman-X and the Legion retreated back to the 31st century. When they arrived however, they found that the Legion headquarters had been destroyed. Imperiex had found a way to rewrite history.
Superman-X and the Legionnaires regrouped with other team members from the 31st century to investigate what had happened. Rather than finding Imperiex however, they instead found the Fatal Five and the Legion of Super-Villains. When Imperiex arrived in the 31st century, he set the various villains free from imprisonment at Takron-Galtos and sent them against the Legion, enabling himself the opportunity to hack into the Computo mainframe that powered Legion Headquarters. To improve their chances of success, the Legion pulled the original Superman from the 21st century to help them out. Despite being conceived from Superman's DNA, Superman-X was not particularly impressed with the Man of Steel. So that the others could easily distinguish between the two, Superman gave his successor a Kryptonian name - Kell-El.
Before long, Superman-X went to Takron-Galtos to face Imperiex. The two finally fought one another one-on-one, but Imperiex surprised his foe with a secret ally - Validus of the Fatal Five. Kell-El was not ready to take on both titans, and he left Takron-Galtos with Brainiac 5. Imperiex used his control over Computo to self-destruct the Legion Cruiser, but Superman-X and Brainiac 5 survived the explosion. Later, Imperiex succeeded in capturing the remaining members of the Legion and secured them at Takron-Galtos. Superman-X returned to the prison planet and helped to free them. Together with the original Superman and the entire Legion, they succeeded in capturing the Fatal Five and the Legion of Super-Villains. Imperiex and Validus however, managed to escape.
Kell-El continued to serve as a member of the Legion, focusing primarily on the team's divided efforts to stop Imperiex. On one mission, Kell-El discovered a young boy named Abel. Abel possessed a natural aptitude for robotics, and the team soon discovered that Abel was wanted by two different factions - Imperiex's army and a group of cybernetic bounty hunters led by Terra-Man. During this conflict, Kell-El learned that Terra-Man had actually been sent backwards in time by Kell-El's parental construct K3NT. Kell-El was shocked to discover that Imperiex sought to protect Abel, revealing the fact that Abel is destined to develop the technology that will one day comprise Imperiex's 41st century armor. He now understood why K3NT would send cyborgs back in time to assassinate a child. Kell-El found himself faced with a moral dilemma. By eliminating the child, he would in fact destroy his most hated adversary. Kell-El could not bring himself to take Abel's life however, and fought up against both Imperiex and Terra-Man's cyborgs. With the Legion's help, the cyborgs were eliminated, but Imperiex managed to escape once again. Abel was taken aboard the Legion cruiser and Kell-El and he began to bond.
After Imperiex was destroyed by a Brainiac-corrupted Brainiac 5, Saturn Girl projects Kell-El and Superman into the mind of Brainiac 5 in a cooperative mental attack to free him from his ancestor's influence. Initially, they are overwhelmed by the power of Brainiac 1.0, but they find success when Saturn Girl temporarily merges their consciousnesses into a single entity. With Imperiex destroyed, Kell-El's timeline is restored, and the clone returns there, but not before reciting the Legion oath, and thus becoming a full member of the team.
Kell-El apparently considers himself to be a living weapon and behaves in a taciturn, aggressive manner, unlike that of the original Superman. He is also far more cold blooded, and when he first requested the help of Legion of Super-Heroes he was willing to let members of the Legion be killed if it meant he could go after Imperiex, and only helped them because they could help against Imperiex. However, he becomes less cold during the search for Imperiex in the 31st century. Such as when Imperiex offered him a chance to kill a boy named Abel (who would play a key role in Imperiex coming into existence, and whose destruction in the past would erase Imperiex), Kell-El couldn't do it, and Imperiex comments that before meeting the Legion, he would not have hesitated to kill the boy. Also, Kell-El stated that he didn't get along well with children and even "stepped on one once".
After Brainiac 5 killed Imperiex, Kell-El felt useless because destroying Imperiex was his duty.
Like his name giver and ancestor, Kell-El is the last survivor of his home world. Although he seldom admits it, this fact makes him feel alone in his present situation. Ever since meeting the Legion, Kell-El expressed a distrust of Brainiac 5, making oblique references to the potential dangers Brainiac poses to others, in which he was eventually succumbed to the influence and control of his predecessor Brainiac 1.0. However, he has not elaborated on this.
Cloned Kryptonian Physiology: Under the effects of a "yellow" sun, Superman-X possesses the same potential powers as an average Kryptonian. These include:
- Kryptonian Physiology: Under the effects of a "yellow" sun, Superman-X possesses the same potential powers as an average Kryptonian. These include:
- Solar Energy Absorption: Under optimal conditions, this is the main source of Superman-X'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-X 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-X'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-X'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-X 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. Superman-Xs 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-X can see with better acuity in darkness, and to a degree in total darkness.
- Flight: Superman-X 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-X is nigh-invulnerable to extreme energy forces. In addition, his extends this protection against toxins and diseases.
- Superhuman Stamina: Superman-X 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-X'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-X 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-X 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-X can live longer than regular humans, remaining at his prime as long as he was under the exposure of the "yellow" sun.
- Energy Projection
- Energy Resistance: Kell-El's DNA has kryptonite embedded into it which makes him immune to its radiation unlike other Kryptonians.
- Enhanced Senses: Kell-El's senses covers the ability to perceive the world in greater detail than the five sense the average human possesses. This includes augmented or superior versions of sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste as well as "extra" senses.
- Magic: Kell-El learn basic magic from the young and immature wizard Zyx.
Kryptonian Physiology: Under the effects of a "yellow" sun, Superman possesses the same potential weaknesses as an average Kryptonian. These include:
- Vulnerability to Magic
- Vulnerability to Red Sun Radiation: His powers come from the light of a yellow sun, but if he is forced under a red sun or solar radiation, he rapidly loses his superpowers.
- The character of Superman-X is exclusive to the continuity of the Legion of Super-Heroes animated series.
- Superman-X was voiced by Yuri Lowenthal.
- 11 Appearances of Kell-El (Legion of Super-Heroes TV Series)
- 3 Images featuring Kell-El (Legion of Super-Heroes TV Series)
- 3 Quotations by or about Kell-El (Legion of Super-Heroes TV Series)
- Character Gallery: Kell-El (Legion of Super-Heroes TV Series)
- Legion of Super-Heroes (TV Series) Episode: The Man from the Edge of Tomorrow (Part I)
- Legion of Super-Heroes (TV Series) Episode: The Man from the Edge of Tomorrow (Part II)
- Legion of Super-Heroes (TV Series) Episode: Unnatural Alliances
- Legion of Super-Heroes (TV Series) Episode: Dark Victory, Part 2
Superman Family member
Legion of Super-Heroes member