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Quote1 His whole planet was destroyed. He's the last of a holocaust. He grew up in the dirt. Finding out slowly how different he was. A stranger discovering every day how strange he was. He has the power to tear the world apart. And he could. With a pinkie. It's not his world. We're not his people. We should be ants to him. Imagine that. Always being on the outside. The pain that would come from always being on the outside. And yet, he took that pain and became the symbol of hope. Quote2
-- Batman src
Superman is the last son of Krypton, sent as the dying planet's last hope to Earth, where he grew to become its protector. Though he was apparently killed shortly after the Darkseid War, his essence merged with the New Earth Superman in Rebirth, creating a new, merged timeline for Superman.

New 52

Origin

Baby Kal-El's escape from a dying planet

Baby Kal-El's escape from a dying planet

Kal-El was born on Krypton to Jor-El and Lara. After Jor-El discovered that the planet was doomed to destruction, he attempted to escape with his family into the Phantom Zone but was repelled by the criminals who had been imprisoned there. With no other choice, he and Lara resigned themselves to their fates, placing their son in a prototype evacuation rocket, activating its Brainiac intelligence, and sending it to a place with a yellow sun: Earth.[1]

The crash site was discovered by Jonathan and Martha Kent, who had just learned that they could not have children. Seeing this alien orphan as their chance, they gathered him up and took him home, leaving a stillborn calf in his place in the hopes of throwing the government off their trail.[2] They raised him as Clark Kent in Smallville, Kansas, teaching him their values. Eventually, Jonathan revealed Clark's true parentage to him, but left it to him to decide what it would mean. On the night of his prom, however, Clark's adopted parents were both killed in a car accident.[3] After their funerals, Clark sold Kent Farm to a neighbour and moved to Metropolis to become a journalist.[4]

Becoming Superman

 
Superman debuts in Metropolis

Superman debuts in Metropolis

Upon moving to Metropolis, Clark took a job at the Daily Star, and prepared himself to act as a vigilante at the age of 22[5], by having several shirts printed with the S-Symbol that had come to Earth with him emblazoned on them. His attempt to rescue a young boy caused him to reveal himself before he expected to, and the city came to know of the superhuman man.[6] Within six months, he had fully revealed himself, and was targeting corrupt businessman Glen Glenmorgan when General Sam Lane and Lex Luthor took an interest in him. They staged several emergencies to trap him, finally succeeding with a train crash that endangered the General's own daughter Lois.[7] In collaboration with the military, Luthor tortured Superman while his Kryptonian Rocket was studied. Upon his escape, Superman discovered it and sealed it away for protection, but too late to prevent its Kryptonian signal from alerting the Collector of Worlds to its location - and unaware that Luthor was complicit in making that happen.[8]

After the district of New Troy had been secretly shrunken down and abducted by the Collector of Worlds, Superman made a giant leap from Metropolis into outer space, catching hold of the retreating space-ship. The Collector tried to force Superman to choose between the lives of those in the city of Kandor and of New Troy, but he refused to choose, instead donning a Kryptonian suit of armour from one of the bottles, and promising to protect both.[9] Defeating the Collector and returning New Troy to its original place, Superman then came out officially to the people of Metropolis as an alien and promised to remain on the side of good.[10]

Superman and Batman met for the first time while Clark was investigating a series of murders in Wayne Enterprises. The two new heroes were unexpectedly whisked to a parallel reality by Kaiyo the Trickster where they met older and more experienced versions of themselves. When they were returned back to their Earth however, Kaiyo wiped their memories of the whole interaction.[11]

At some point, some of Superman's DNA was collected by both the organization N.O.W.H.E.R.E. and Lex Luthor to produce clones of the Kryptonian, in five years creating Superboy and Bizarro respectively.

Justice League

 
The Justice League is formed.

The Justice League is formed.

Superman had his real first encounter with Batman and Green Lantern after they'd pursued a Parademon to Metropolis.[12] He assumed they were villains because they had a Father Box, overpowering both of them, even after Green Lantern called the Flash for help.

Batman convinced them all to team up, but they were too late to stop the Father Box opening a Boom Tube to Apokolips.[13] The four of them were forced to battle an army of invading Parademons, but they were fortunate to receive assistance from Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and Cyborg - the last of whom had just assimilated the Father Box technology into his cybernetic body.[14] Their resistance attracted the attention of Darkseid, ruler of Apokolips, who came to fight them personally.[15] Darkseid incapacitated Superman with an Omega Blast, and the Parademons carried him off to Apokolips. Batman followed to rescue him while the rest of the group remained to battle Darkseid.[16] Superman was tortured by Desaad and Steppenwolf until Batman managed to save him. They returned to Earth and Superman punched Darkseid back through the Boom Tube as Cyborg closed it.

The heroes were congratulated by the President for saving the planet, and they decided to become an official team. Historian David Graves would later call them the Justice League.[17]

Death of "Clark Kent" and Fighting Vyndktvx

 

After faking his death as Clark Kent to shake off someone who was investigating too closely into his secret identity, Clark took the alias of Johnny Clark and joined the fire department. Still he began to regret killing Clark Kent off and sought advice from Batman, who promised to deal with it.

After discovering an alien named Captain Comet who foretold of Earth's extinction by alien attacks, Superman managed to fight him off but, in the process, caused his Johnny Clark identity to be thought dead as well. Luckily, Superman's former landlady, Mrs. Nyxly, who knew of his former secret identity as Clark Kent, revealed to him that she was from the Fifth Dimension and used one of her three wishes she had saved to wipe Clark Kent's death from everyone's minds. Nyxly continued to tell Superman that everything bad that ever happened in his life was the doing of someone else from her home.[18] She explained that Lord Vyndktvx, from her home Dimension had attacked Clark at multiple points in his history, to the point that certain memories he had might have happened otherwise before those attacks.[19]

Lord Vyndktvx finally made a play for Superman's life in the present with his assembled Anti-Superman Army.[19] Finally understanding Vyndktvx's weakness, Superman used a telepathic connection set up by Lois Lane's psychic niece Susie Thompkins to convince everyone in the world to say their own names backwards. The sound of this five-dimensional utterance caused Vyndktvx to retreat to his own dimension, where he was immediately arrested.[20]

H'El on Earth

 
Superman vs H'el

Superman vs H'el

Soon after, the Daily Planet was bought out by businessman Morgan Edge, initiating a major change in the reporting style of the Planet. Unhappy with the changes, Clark quit working for the paper and, to make matters worse, found out that his love interest Lois Lane was now in a serious relationship with another man named John Carroll.[21]

Later, in his hero identity, Superman was confronted by another Kryptonian called H'El, who wanted to recruit him by force to join his unholy crusade of saving Krypton. After learning that H'el wanted to use the Fortress to go back in time to save Krypton, Superman called in the Justice League and his teenage clone Superboy to fight H'El and prevent the destruction of the solar system.[22]

Unchained

While investigating the shady government group known as Ascension, Superman uncovered the beast known as Wraith, an alien with very similar powers that was captured and trained by the US government to bring down terrorist. After learning about their common purposes, Superman and Wraith agreed to work together to stop Ascension.[23]

Superman and Wraith defeated a small faction of Ascension, but Superman was soon betrayed by Wraith, who sought what was known as an Earthstone. Following a colossal battle, Superman defeated Wraith and not long after this, Lex Luthor informed him that Wraith's species was planning to attack Earth and the only weapon that could used against them would kill Superman.[24] Superman chose not to use the weapon and confronted the aliens without aid, but Wraith soon redeemed himself by using the weapon against his own species, killing himself in the process.[25]

The Psi-War

 
Main article: Superman: Psi-War

After the battle with H'El, Superman was called to a U.S. Senate hearing to discuss the existence of the Fortress of Solitude. The Senate representatives want to investigate the Fortress in order to secure or remove anything that might be considered a threat to the world. However, Superman refuses, appealing to his right to privacy and the fact that the Fortress contains technology beyond humanity's control. Clark also becomes a blogger to make ends meet.[26]

Later, Superman is attacked by the New God Orion, who believes him to be a threat to the universe.[27] Fortunately, Wonder Woman stops the confrontation and discovers the reason behind Orion's attack. Hector Hammond, after falling into a coma, used his telepathy to hide his consciousness within Superman's memories. Wonder Woman and Orion banish Hammond back to his own body and Orion departs, apologizing for his earlier attack. He also uses his Mother Box to grant Superman protection from telepathic assaults.[28]

Continuing his investigative work, Clark goes to Gotham City, where a mysterious Chinese woman gives him a folder containing info about an urban myth called "the Twenty". Returning to Metropolis, Superman finds Lois, Jimmy and Perry to act irrationally and display aspects of his own personality, which causes Superman to believe someone is trying to attack him mentally.[29] During this series of events, Superman discovers Lois has fallen into a coma and brings her to the hospital.[30]

Later, Clark tells Cat about his findings on the Twenty, believing that a story that big could help bring Clark Catropolis on the map. An earthquake hits Metropolis and Superman discovers the destruction is being caused by metallic tentacles derived from Brainiac's technology. Before Superman can do anything, however, he is incapacitated by a psychic attack caused by the H.I.V.E. Queen, one of the Twenty.[31]

Recovering from the psychic attack, Superman attempts to stop the Queen, but she has the upper hand. In that moment, Hammond enters the fray and engages the Queen in a mental struggle, using the people of Metropolis as soldiers. As Metropolis is engulfed in chaos, Superman goes to the H.I.V.E. headquarters to directly stop the disaster. Upon arriving, he finds the building in ruins. Superman finds the heavily injured Hammond, who says that the Queen is dead. In that moment, a new villain arrives: the Psycho Pirate, a telepath who knows about Superman’s secret identity.[32]

The Psycho Pirate leads Superman to the Swarm, a prison for psionic people, explaining that he is also one of the Twenty. The Queen created the Swarm in order to prepare the world for Brainiac's return. With the Queen dead, the Psycho Pirate wants to release the people trapped in the Swarm, so he traps Superman in a illusionary world in order to absorb his energy.[33]

Lois, having developed psychic powers of her own, frees Superman from the illusions. Knowing they are outmatched against the Psycho Pirate, Superman and Lois join forces with Hammond and the H.I.V.E. Queen, who barely survived the Pirate's attack. They work together and defeat the Pirate, with Superman destroying his Medusa Mask with his heat vision. During the battle, however, Lois learns of Superman's secret identity and falls back into a coma. Afterwards, Superman brings Lois' comatose body back to the hospital, but then, a mysterious force pulls him into outer space.[34]

Krypton Returns

 
Main article: Krypton Returns
Superman and Jor-El

Superman and Jor-El

After battling a group of mentally enhanced psychics known as the Twenty in a sort of "Psi-War" [35], Superman learned that H'El had survived and had managed to bring Krypton back to life. However, H'El also altered the timeline and they had to stop him from destroying the universe. With the help of Faora, Superman traveled to Kryptonopolis a few months before Krypton's destruction, where he meets his mother Lara.[36][37] Superman witnessed Lara telling Jor-El that she was pregnant, but then, Superman was confronted by a mysterious person who was aware about his travel in time.[38]

This stranger was in fact Jor-El, who came from one of the alternate futures created by H'El. Realizing he was the one who created H'El, Jor-El came to the past to stop H'El from conquering Krypton. Superman and Jor-El traveled to Krypton's core and fought H'El. At first, Jor-El wanted to kill H'El but Superman instead used H'El's own chronal powers against him and froze him with his super-breath, locking H'El in a state of eternal limbo. Superman and Supergirl were reunited in the present, but they learned that Superboy sacrificed his life to stop H'El. Mourning the loss of their friend, Superman and Supergirl returned to Earth.[39]

Trinity War and Forever Evil

 
Main articles: Trinity War and Forever Evil

In the hopes of ridding the world of evil, Pandora tried to have members of the Justice League open her box for her, believing that their virtuousness would prevent the calamity that occurred when she opened it.[40] However, this backfired, and the active Justice Leagues took sides, fighting over the "correct" method to open the box.[41]

While trying to understand the escalating tension of opening the box, Superman and Wonder Woman were ambushed by Dr. Light and, during their fight, Superman accidentally killed Light with his heat vision.[42] Superman asked to be locked away for his outburst but started getting sick in captivity.[43] Upon investigating further, Firestorm, the Atom, and Element Woman discovered that there was Kryptonite in Superman's nervous system, which caused him to attack Dr. Light unintentionally.[44] However, before they could save him, the Crime Syndicate came to Earth from their world and trapped the Justice League inside the Firestorm Matrix.

After being freed by Lex Luthor and his group of rebellious criminals, Superman was eventually saved by Luthor, who was volunteered to remove the Kryptonite from his brain.[45]

Doomed

 
Main article: Superman: Doomed
SuperDoom

SuperDoom

After discovering Doomsday wrecking havoc and harboring a dangerous toxin within his body, Superman ripped the beast in half and used his super-breath to inhale the toxin to stop it from spreading.[46] After recovering, Superman realized that he was slowly turning into a Doomsday-like creature.[47] Superman's girlfriend, Wonder Woman tried to help him, but the transformation was becoming stronger[48] and Superman had no choice but to turn himself to the authorities.[49] Superman was locked in a special facility but he soon was needed by the Teen Titans to defeat an enemy, which he eliminated ruthlessly.[50]

The military declared Superman an enemy of the state and they sent Metallo and Atomic Skull to eliminate him. Steel tried to help Superman fight the enemies, but, after a suicide attack with kryptonite by Metallo, Superman became weak and his transformation into "SuperDoom" was accelerated.[51] Wonder Woman then took Clark to outer space where he could escape into its depths until they found a way to save him.[52]

While in space, SuperDoom tried to help an alien colony but lost control and attacked their leader.[53] He was then warned about an incoming invasion of Earth by Brainiac's forces and he confronted its commander, a cyborg with Superman's appearance.[54] After a brief fight between them, SuperDoom returned to Earth and joined the Justice League to fight Brainiac's forces and after their victory, the Justice League remove the kryptonite from Earth's atmosphere, making Superman temporarily change back to normal.[55][56]

When Brainiac's forces returned with reinforcements, Superman attempted to turn back into SuperDoom to fight them. Unfortunately, Superman lost control of his body completely to the virus.[57] Once defeating Brainiac, Lois Lane helped Superman steal Brainiac's powers and finally cure Superman of the Doomsday virus. Once free, the hero captured Brainiac and took him inside a black hole,[58] returning back to Earth sixty days later.[59] Once back, he was reunited with Wonder Woman, and the two resumed their relationship.[60]

Men of Tomorrow

Superman and Ulysses

Superman and Ulysses

During an alien attack on Metropolis, Superman was assisted by a stranger called Ulysses and together they defeated Klerik, one of the alien soldiers. Superman then learned that Ulysses believed himself to be the last survivor of Earth.[61] With Superman's help, Ulysses found the truth about his past,[62] but they were soon confronted by "The Machinist", a man responsible for creating destructive robots.[63] The criminal managed to escape and shortly afterwards, Ulysses revealed his plan of taking millions of people to his home planet, "The Great World" in order to save mankind from what he believed was Earth's doom.[64] This lead to a confrontation between Superman and Ulysses, with the latter winning and taking Superman prisoner.[65]

On their way to Ulysses' home planet, there was another confrontation between Superman and Ulysses[66] and the fight was brought to Metropolis, where Superman unleashed a new power he didn't know he had: a super flare of solar energy, beating Ulysses for good. Unfortunately, the solar flare drained his powers for a day, leaving him as a normal human until they slowly began to come back.[67]

Darkseid War

 
Superman Prime Earth 0037

Superman as the God of Strength.

After the Crime Syndicate's defeat, the Justice League was forced to accept Lex Luthor into their ranks due to the latter's role in stopping the Crime Syndicate.[68] When Wonder Woman is attacked by Grail, Superman and Lex attempt to help her, they are betrayed by Lex's sister Lena, who uses a Mother Box to teleport them to Apokolips.[69] Once there, Superman and Lex are forced to work together in order to survive, especially because Apokolips is far away from a yellow sun, meaning that Superman's powers were depleting fast.[70] As they are surrounded by Parademons, Lex throws Superman into one of Apokolips' fire pits, thinking its energy will revitalize Superman. Unfortunately, Apokolips' energy darkens Superman's body and mind, turning him into the God of Strength.[71] With his new power, the God of Strength destroys the enemies surrounding him and destroys Lex's armor[72], leaving him alone in Apokolips while he returns home.[73] Upon returning to Metropolis, Superman confronts and easily defeats an alien invader. He later goes to Melvin's Diner and demands some apple pie. As he eats his meal, Jimmy enters the diner and asks Superman to stop a mysterious black substance that had been spreading throughout the city. Superman angrily rebukes Jimmy, who still tries to appeal to the Man of Steel's inner goodness, even when the entire city is consumed by the black substance. Just when the entire city falls silent, Superman briefly frees himself from the God of Strength's dark energy and freezes, then destroys the black substance with no effort. Although the city rejoices, Superman finds no reason to celebrate and flies away.[74]

Superman attacks Wonder Woman[75], wanting to test his new strength against her. Fortunately, Wonder Woman is able to use her lasso to bring Superman to his senses, but Batman, the new God of Knowledge, warns that the dark energy of Apokolips has damaged his cellular and is now killing him.[76] Aware of the threat the Mobius, the former Anti-Monitor, poses, the Justice League agree to work together with the Crime Syndicate to stop him, with Superman even providing Ultraman a piece of Kryptonite to replenish his powers. The Justice League, the Crime Syndicate and the Green Lantern Corps attack the Anti-Monitor, who kills Ultraman and several Green Lanterns.[77] Superman himself briefly staggers Mobius by blasting him with all the dark energy in his body, turning himself back to normal. Mobius in unexpectedly killed by Steve Trevor, who had been infected with the Anti-Life Equation by Grail. [78]

The assembled heroes are forced to fight the infected Steve. Lex, powered by the Omega Effect, thinks the only way to end Steve’s threat is by killing him, which leads him into conflict with Superman. Their fight is cut short, however, when Superwoman uses her newborn baby to separate Lex from the Omega Effect and take the Anti-Life Equation from Steve, resurrecting the fallen Darkseid. Grail kills Superwoman and uses the Anti-Life Equation to control Darkseid and attack the heroes, who manage to separate Darkseid from the Anti-Life Equation and finally end the battle. Unfortunately, the power Superman had absorbed from Apokolips has permanently damaged his cellular structure. He is dying. [79]

Truth and Savage Dawn

Action Comics Vol 2 41 Textless

Superman loses his powers.

At the Daily Planet, Clark gets a text message from an unnamed source that informs of a factory that has been manufacturing and selling high-tech weapons to criminal gangs. Using his new solar flare power, Superman destroys the weapons and gains enough evidence to arrest the people behind the operation. Unfortunately, he gets more messages from the unnamed source, who reveals he knows Clark's secret identity and forces him to turn a woman called Condesa to the authorities. Realizing that Condesa knows about the man blackmailing him, Clark chooses to help her, with assistance from Lois and Jimmy.[80]

Condesa tells the Daily Planet team that she is being followed by a criminal organization called HORDR. As the group eludes HORDOR's forces, Clark is forced to admit to Lois that he is Superman. Deciding they must take down HORDR, the group infiltrate's HORDRs base of operations and once there, the leader of HORDR, HORDR_ROOT, offers Superman to work with, lest he will reveal his secret identity to the entire world. Superman refuses and uses his solar flare to destroy the HORDR base. During the struggle, however, HORDR infects with a substance that neutralizes his powers.[81] Much later, as Clark recovers, HORDR_ROOT reveals he survived and blackmails Superman into working with him. For now, Clark agrees to play along and goes to a secret facility where HORDR forces him to use his solar flare so HORDR can analyze it. Lois, not wanting Superman to suffer through blackmail, leaks Superman's secret identity to the world, as well all the information she has on HORDR. Unfortunately, this turns Superman into public enemy #1.[82]

The next few days are not easy for Clark, as he is fired from the Daily Planet by an angry Perry, who felt betrayed that Clark kept such an important secret from him.[83] Despite this decreased powers, Superman still attempts to help the people of Metropolis, such as stopping Wrath and her Shadow Beasts[84], working alongside the new Batman end a war with Subterranea[85], and stopping Angelo Bind from obtaining superhuman power.[86] The mastermind behind those attacks and Superman’s power loss was actually Vandal Savage, who hijacks the Stormwatch space carrier and captures to Justice League.[87] To stop Savage, Steel provides Superman with a Kryptonite-powered suit of armor. Using the suit and gaining support from the Justice League United, Superman storms the Watchtower and saves Wonder Woman but Vandal captures the other heroes and tears the Fortress of Solitude off the ground in his plan to gain power from the comet that made him immortal in the first place.[88] Vandal uses the comet’s power to give superpowers to the thousands of illegitimate children he has fathered across the millennia, turning them into an army he can throw at Superman and his allies.[89]

Superman leads Earth’s remaining superheroes into attacking the Stormwatch carrier and freeing the Justice League. Vandal and his family set the carrier to self-destruct and board a shuttle to reach the comet. Superman attempts to follow him but Vandal injures him and throws him into the Fortress of Solitude, which finally acknowledges him as Kal-El of Krypton, heals his body and restores his uniform.[90] As the Justice League is attacked by Vandal’s children, Superman attempts to stop the fight, as Vandal manipulated his children into exposing themselves to the comet to make the powers were not harmful to him. Unfortunately, Superman’s pleas fall on deaf ears, as Vandal’s children continue their attack until their bodies collapse from the power they had absorbed.[91] Superman follows Vandal into space, as the comet reaches Earth’s orbit. Vandal offers him to join his side and rule Earth, but Superman refuses and breaks the comet off Earth’s orbit, throwing it and Vandal into deep space.[92]

Final Days of Superman

 

After his last fight with Vandal Savage in his depowered state, the events of the Darkseid War, and his fight with the Kryptonian god Rao, Superman learned that he was dying and asked for Batman's help to find him a successor.[93] As part of his legacy, Superman told the whole truth to Lois Lane and asked her to publish everything in the Daily Planet in order to have his history and identity revealed to the world before his death.[94] Superman told the truth to Diana, and they shared a moment before they were needed back in Metropolis, where the "Energy Superman" they had caught days earlier had escaped Stryker Island and was destroying everything.[95]

Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman together tried to stop the Energy Superman and, while doing so, were assisted by the mysterious "Black Superman", who chose to remain unidentified for the time being. Superman took the Energy Superman to space, where he used his solar flare power to finish the threat and the Energy Superman evaporated in the cosmos. Superman's body fell down to Earth and as he was surrounded by his friends, he asked the "Black Superman" to take his mantle and become the New Superman of Earth. After this, Superman's body died and turned to ashes.[96]

Rebirth

Superman Reborn

 
Main article: DC Rebirth

In order to escape Mister Oz, Mr. Mxyzptlk brainwashed himself into thinking he was Clark Kent.[97] He harassed the New Earth Superman and when he was found out, kidnapped Jon Kent and made his parents forget about him. Trapping all of them inside the Fifth Dimension, Mxyzptlk revealed that both the New Earth and Prime Earth Supermen were actually two halves of the true, complete Superman, who was split into two separate people during the Flashpoint incident. The same was true for Lois.[98] Out of love for Jon, Clark and Lois merged with the essences of the other two and each became single, complete Prime Earth version; fixing their conflicting histories and bringing the world back to normal.[99]

Afterwards, Clark felt the need to investigate the changes to his past[100] and reach his cousin out to warn her about his unknown enemy, Mister Oz, and ask her help to fight him.[101]

Revenge

 
Main article: Superman: Revenge

As Clark and Lois get ready to move back to Metropolis, Hank Henshaw puts together a new Superman Revenge Squad.[102] Stealing a mystical item from Superman's Himalayan backup Fortress, Henshaw turns himself back into Cyborg Superman and allies himself with Metallo, Blanque, Eradicator, Mongul and Zod. Superman tries to stop them, but exposure to the energies of Belle Reve's Black Vault has rendered him blind.[103]

Superman is forced to retreat, taking Lois, Jon and Krypto to the Fortress of Solitude. The group of villains assaults his Fortress before he can come up with a plan, but the Superman Family -Kara Zor-El, Lana Lang, John Irons, Kong Kenan- and Lex Luthor turn up, ready to help him.[104] During the ensuing brawl, Zod manages to send most of Superman's allies to the Phantom Zone and frees his wife Ursa and their son Lor-Zod. The trio leaves Earth for the present time. Superman and his family -Supergirl, Lois, Superboy and Krypto- defeat the rest of the Squad and free Superman's friends. However Cyborg Superman got stuck in the Zone, and Superman decides against getting him out of there.[105]

The Oz Effect and Time Travel

After addressing several emergencies all over the world, Superman finds the perpetrator of these disasters in Logamba, Mr. Oz, who teleports Superman to the Fortress of Solitude and reveals himself to be Superman's father, Jor-El.[106] Superman cannot believe what he is seeing and accuses Oz of lying, but Jor-El tells him about his arrival to Earth, about how a mysterious entity took him away from Krypton's dying moments and took him to Earth and forced him to experience humanity's darkest impulses. Horrified by these atrocities, Jor-El became Mr. Oz and has decided to take Superman and his family away from Earth.[107] Superman refuses to abandon humanity and stands by his mission to help whenever he is needed. The Man of Steel attempts to address as many emergencies and save as many as he can, even destroying the nuclear weapons of a country in the middle of a civil war.[108]

Superman returns to Metropolis and ends a plot by Oz's forces to unleash a chemical weapon on the city, but is forced to confront his father, who has become acquainted with Lois and Jon, asking them to leave Earth with him and leave humanity to their fate.[109] Jor-El teleports Superman to his base of operations, where father and son have a violent confrontation. Superman discovers that Jor-El must be under some kind of mind control thanks to his staff. Upon shattering his staff, Superman manages to return Jor-El to his senses, but the mysterious entity that took Jor-El all those years ago takes him away again, but not before Jor-El begs his son to save his family. Although Mr. Oz's threat has been dealt with, Superman has lost his father again.[110]

Saddened by these recent events, Superman attempts to discover whether or not Mr. Oz was really Jor-El, leading him to make the difficult to decision to take the Flash's Cosmic Treadmill and travel to Krypton's past.[111] Superman reaches Krypton,where he stumbles upon Booster Gold and Skeets, who inform the Man of Steel that they have travelled to a parallel timeline where the Kryptonians are making preparations to evacuate their dying planet.[112] Booster believes their presence in Krypton is distorting the timeline and asks Superman to leave Krypton, but Superman insists on staying and figuring out what happens to Jor-El. Booster attempts to forcibly return Superman to his original timeline, but one of Krypton's Eradicators damages his time sphere and they are dropped in 25th Gotham City, Booster's birthplace.[113]

As Superman disables the Eradicator, Booster is captured by Gotham City's Security Bureau and Skeets asks Superman's help in releasing Booster. Superman initially refuses, as the Security Bureau is a law enforcement agency and they must have arrested Booster for being a criminal, until Skeets explains that Booster only broke the law to help his ailing mother. Relenting, Superman saves Booster and visits his mother, telling her that Booster is a trusted friend and ally. As they activate the time sphere, Booster thinks they can visit Krypton without risking further damage to the timeline, but the Eradicator damages the time sphere, and they crash-land into a mysterious planet that worships General Zod.[114] With the time sphere badly damaged, Superman and Booster set out to repair it using material found within the planet's mines. They attempt to infiltrate the city but they are discovered and captured by General Zod's forces.[115]

Action Comics Vol 1 997 Textless

Superman and Booster Gold face a future ruled by General Zod.

Superman and Booster are sentenced to a public execution by Zod and his family, who also destroy Skeets to prevent them from escaping. The villains attempt to kill Superman and Booster with their heat vision, but Booster uses his suit's force field to protect them. The protection will not last long, however, and Superman knows he only has seconds to formulate an escape plan.[116] Fortunately, salvation comes in the form of Skeets, who was able to transfer his mind into an Eradicator android. Skeets extends his hacking skills into the rest of the Eradicator's android army, giving Superman and Booster the opening they need to escape and fight back. Zod's prisoners are inspired to overthrow their captors, especially after Superman defends them from Lor and Ursa, but before Superman can help the slaves, Booster tells him they must return to their original time.

Skeets reconstructs the time sphere and Superman convinces Booster to let him see the final moments of Krypton. Booster reluctantly agrees, and Superman watches as a mysterious blue light takes Jor-El away from Krypton's destruction, confirming that he is indeed Mr. Oz. Upon returning home, Skeets tells Superman that his family is being attacked by Logamban forces, so Superman flies to Logamba to save them. What he doesn't know, however, is that by the time he arrives, Lois and Jon will be dead; so Booster uses the time sphere to rewind time and give Superman the time he needs to save his family.[117]

Upon hearing that Lois' father, Sam, is visiting the Kent apartment, he helps patch things him between father and daughter. Although Superman is still mortified by Jor-El's predicament, he can still take comfort on the fact that his family is safe.[118]

Coming of Rogol Zaar, Battle in the Phantom Zone and Space Wars

Shortly after the city of Metropolis paid him a tribute for years of heroism,[119] Superman found someone was burning down Metropolis, one building at a time.[120]

The Kent family also receives an unexpected visit from Jor-El, who asks the Kents to let him take Jon in a journey across the galaxy so he can learn how to be a proper Kryptonian. Clark refuses, but Jon insists he wants to go and Lois agrees to stay at Jon's side so she can look out for him. Clark is reluctant to see his family go, but nevertheless accepts their decision.[121]

Superman was in the process of tracking down the mysterious arsonist when someone broke into his Fortress, leveled the place and, worst of all, smashed down the Bottle City of Kandor.[122] Both Superman and Supergirl tracked the mass-murderer -an unknown alien called Rogol Zaar who intended to cleanse the universe from Kryptonians after destroying their birth planet- all the way back to Metropolis, but their combined might wasn't enough to bring down Rogol Zaar.[123] Superman engaged Rogol in the Moon but was defeated. Rescued by his cousin and healed by the Justice League, Superman figured out if Rogol intended to cleanse the Kryptonian "plague", he was also going to blow Earth up.[124]

Superman and Supergirl work together to defeat Rogol, with Superman confiscating the explosive device Rogol was going to destroy Earth with, and Supergirl trapping Rogol inside the Phantom Zone. Unfortunately, with the Fortress destroyed, Superman cannot communicate with his family and make sure they are safe. Supergirl has also decided to leave Earth in order to find out where Rogol came from, but not before the remaining Kryptonians and the Justice League hold a memorial service for the murdered Kandorians.[121]

After constructing a new Fortress of Solitude in the Bermuda Triangle, Superman has a conversation with Martian Manhunter, who tells Superman to consider the possibility of becoming a leader to the global community, so he can lead Earth and humanity to a better tomorrow. Superman cannot consider this notion for too long, however, as he realizes that, for some reason, the Earth has been trapped inside the Phantom Zone.[125] Superman attempts to save as many as he people as he can, all the while formulating a plan with this fellow superheroes on how to get the planet outside the Phantom Zone.[126] He also discovers that the planet was swallowed up by the Phantom Zone because of an accident in S.T.A.R. Labs. Unfortunately, this grabs the attention of Rogol Zaar, who uses this opportunity to gather an army and invade Earth, forcing Superman to conform him yet again.[127]

Superman Vol 5 5 Textless

Superman and General Zod stand together.

As Superman keeps Rogol's forces occupied, the Justice League and S.T.A.R. Labs theorize a plan that could help pull the planet outside the Phantom Zone: it involves the Atom miniaturizing the entire planet, making it small enough for the Flash to pass it through the Phantom Zone projector. The plan succeeds and the Earth is returned to its rightful place in the Solar System, but Superman is left to fight Rogol alone in the Phantom Zone.[128] With no solar energy to replenish his powers, Superman finds himself badly outmached, until help comes in the form of General Zod, who has come to take revenge in the name of Krypton.[129] The two Kryptonians fight Rogol together, with Superman revealing that Rogol destroyed Kandor in an effort to motivate Zod to fight harder and angrier than ever. Superman cannot help Zod for long, though, as his allies from Earth pull him out of the Phantom Zone and ask him to help in the relief efforts. Although disappointed that he lost his only chance to discover Rogol's motives, Superman chooses not to return to the Phantom Zone and stay on Earth.[130]

Around that time, Superman reunited with Lois[131] and Jon, who had become a teenager after travelling with Jor-El for seven years.[130] After listening to his wife and son's tales about their journeys[132], Superman decides to confront Jor-El. Superman and Superboy use special technology on Superboy's new suit to teleport into deep space[133], where they reunite with Supergirl and Krypto and defend Jor-El from an alien armada led by Rogol Zaar. Superman battles General Zod, who admits he needs Superman's help in defeating Rogol[134]. As they reach a parting of ways, Superman returns to his family. Superboy, Supergirl and Krypto leave to fight Empress Gandelo of the Trilium Collective, leaving Superman to go with Jor-El to the ruins of Krypton, where he might find some answers.[135]

Jor-El tells his son he was a member of the Circle, a secret cabal of intergalactic rulers that controlled the galaxy from the shadows. After helping the Circle ensure their dominance across the galaxy, Jor-El expected the Circle to help him save Krypton, but they refused. Superman is disappointed that his father worked with such disreputable people[136], but cannot dwell on these feelings for too long as Rogol and his forces resume their attack. Fortunately, Zod betrays Rogol, giving the House of El the opportunity they need to incapacitate Rogol before a Thanagarian fleet arrives, informing them that the galaxy has been plunged into war. To defuse hostilities, Superboy suggests the creation of a system that gives freedom and equality to all people in the galaxy: the United Planets. Suddenly, the Legion of Super-Heroes arrives from the 31st century and asks for Jon's membership.[137]

As Jon considers joining the Legion, Superman is informed by Adam Strange that the nations of the galaxy have forcibly returned Jor-El to his original time, where he will die at Krypton's explosion. Although Superman is nervous at the thought of losing his son yet again, he chooses to respect Jon's decision. For now, however, Jon wants to think about it and the House of El returns to Earth, but not before Zod and his family inform them of their decision to create a "New Krypton" in order to save their race and the House of El is welcome to join them if they so desire.[138]

Powers

  • 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.
    • Super Flare: Superman's last resort power that he'd discovered through his heat vision, was the ability to immediately expel all of his stored solar energy in one gigantic burst of explosive force. This Solar Flare utilizes all the stored energy within his cells at once, allowing for an all out AoE attack.[139] He cannot use it more than once or twice however, as it drains him of all his powers until he can recharge his cells with solar energy. Give or take 24 hours, in that expanse of time, he is rendered virtually human and vulnerable.[140][141][142] Luckily for Superman, thanks to the training he received from the Justice League, he learned to keep his flares smaller and more contained, so that it doesn't take as long for his powers to come back. [143][144][145]

Abilities

  • Expert Combatant: Due to having superpowers all his life and constantly engaging in battle with various foes, Superman has over time become an excellent hand-to-hand fighter utilizing a fighting style that directly complements his superpowers. Superman's combat versatility allows him to adapt to any foe and beat them. Additionally, Superman has been trained in boxing,[149] according to Captain Comet his brawling skills are formidable,[150] Wonder Woman in Amazonian combat,[151][152] bested and regarded as a natural hunter by Artemis herself,[153] and even learned some advanced martial arts techniques from Batman.[154]
  • Genius Level Intellect: He has shown incredible intelligence and computational abilities; his mind works sharply and with extreme speed relative to earth-humans. Superman's analytical powers enable him to read information directly from machines (and, with careful usage of his heat vision, he can even reprogram machines).
  • 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. Superman has learned how to place mental inhibitors on his own power so that he doesn't accidentally "flex and cause the tectonic plates to shift." To him, they are the barriers that allow him to feel human enough to live a healthy life, and he only ever releases one of them when fighting a particularly powerful opponent or performing a difficult task.
    • Torquasm Vo: Torquasm Vo is a Kryptonian discipline that Superman uses sometimes. It is basically a means of focusing ones mental discipline to help fight adverse effects such as mental domination. It can be used to manipulate someone's mind. Superman used that ability during his fight against the Eradicator. It was used to create an illusion to let Superman enter inside the Eradicator.
    • Torquasm Rao: A heavy-hitting martial art from Krypton. Allows him to tap into his instincts and separate himself from his body. Makes him able to prevent others from manipulating his mind and allows him to fight on the astral plane. [citation needed]
  • Meditation[155]
  • Investigation: Both as a superhero and as a journalist, Superman is an expert at gathering evidence from all kinds of sources.
  • Journalism: Clark is one of the best reporters on the Daily Planet, rivaled only by his wife Lois Lane. He gained a Pulitzer Prize at least in one occasion.
  • Leadership: Superman has proven many times over his ability to command respect and inspire others with his charisma, ardor, and idealism. He often serves as the primus inter pares of the Justice League.
  • Intimidation

Weaknesses

  • Solar Energy Dependency: Kryptonian abilities will eventually weaken without replenishing their energy reserves with normal (yellow) sun radiation. When exposed to the same red solar radiation as Krypton's red sun Rao, it causes Kryptonians to lose their powers within a large amount of exposure until exposure to yellow sunlight reverses this effect.
  • Sensory Overload: With his extremely acute senses, Superman can be overtaxed to the point of pain when encountered by extreme external stimuli such as hypersonics (hearing), balance, sight (flash bang).


Weapons

  • Yellow Power Ring(Formerly): While a part of the Sinestro Corps, Superman earned a ring for his ability to inspire great fear in others.[156]

Related

Footnotes

  1. Action Comics (Volume 2) #5
  2. Action Comics (Volume 2) #5
  3. Superman (Volume 3) #20
  4. Action Comics (Volume 2) #6 (backup)
  5. Batman/Superman #3
  6. Action Comics (Volume 2) #0
  7. Action Comics (Volume 2) #1
  8. Action Comics (Volume 2) #2
  9. Action Comics (Volume 2) #7
  10. Action Comics (Volume 2) #8
  11. Batman/Superman #1
  12. Justice League (Volume 2) #1
  13. Justice League (Volume 2) #2
  14. Justice League (Volume 2) #3
  15. Justice League (Volume 2) #4
  16. Justice League (Volume 2) #5
  17. Justice League (Volume 2) #6
  18. Action Comics (Volume 2) #12
  19. 19.0 19.1 Action Comics (Volume 2) #15
  20. Action Comics (Volume 2) #18
  21. Superman (Volume 3) #1
  22. Superman (Volume 3) #15 - Superman (Volume 3) #17
  23. Superman Unchained #3
  24. Superman Unchained #8
  25. Superman Unchained #9
  26. Superman (Volume 3) #18
  27. Superman (Volume 3) #19
  28. Superman (Volume 3) #20
  29. Superman (Volume 3) #21
  30. Superman Annual (Volume 3) #2
  31. Superman (Volume 3) #22
  32. Superman (Volume 3) #23
  33. Action Comics (Volume 2) #24
  34. Superman (Volume 3) #24
  35. Superman (Volume 3) #20 - Action Comics (Volume 2) #24
  36. Action Comics Annual (Volume 2) #2
  37. Superboy (Volume 6) #25
  38. Supergirl (Volume 6) #25
  39. Superman (Volume 3) #25
  40. Trinity of Sin: Pandora #1
  41. Trinity War
  42. Justice League (Volume 2) #22
  43. Justice League of America (Volume 3) #6
  44. Justice League (Volume 2) #23
  45. Forever Evil #7
  46. Superman: Doomed #1
  47. Action Comics (Volume 2) #31
  48. Superman/Wonder Woman #8
  49. Batman/Superman #11
  50. Superman (Volume 3) #31
  51. Action Comics (Volume 2) #32
  52. Superman/Wonder Woman #9
  53. Action Comics (Volume 2) #33
  54. Superman/Wonder Woman #10
  55. Superman/Wonder Woman Annual #1
  56. Action Comics Annual (Volume 2) #3
  57. Superman/Wonder Woman #11
  58. Superman: Doomed #2
  59. Action Comics (Volume 2) #35
  60. Superman/Wonder Woman #12
  61. Superman (Volume 3) #32
  62. Superman (Volume 3) #33
  63. Superman (Volume 3) #34
  64. Superman (Volume 3) #35
  65. Superman (Volume 3) #36
  66. Superman (Volume 3) #37
  67. Superman (Volume 3) #38
  68. Justice League (Volume 2) #33
  69. Justice League (Volume 2) #41
  70. Justice League (Volume 2) #42
  71. Justice League (Volume 2) #43
  72. Justice League (Volume 2) #44
  73. Justice League (Volume 2) #45
  74. Justice League: The Darkseid War: Superman #1
  75. Justice League (Volume 2) #48
  76. Justice League (Volume 2) #47
  77. Justice League (Volume 2) #48
  78. Justice League (Volume 2) #49
  79. Justice League (Volume 2) #50
  80. Superman #41
  81. Superman #42
  82. Superman #43
  83. Superman #44
  84. Action Comics #47
  85. Batman/Superman #24
  86. Superman/Wonder Woman #24
  87. Superman #43
  88. Superman/Wonder Woman #26
  89. Superman #49
  90. Action Comics (Volume 2) #50
  91. Superman/Wonder Woman #27
  92. Superman (Volume 3) #50
  93. Batman/Superman #31
  94. Superman (Volume 3) #51
  95. Superman/Wonder Woman #29
  96. Superman (Volume 3) #52
  97. Action Comics #975
  98. Superman (Volume 4) #19
  99. Action Comics #976
  100. Action Comics #977
  101. Supergirl (Volume 7) #8
  102. Action Comics #979
  103. Action Comics #982
  104. Action Comics #983
  105. Action Comics #984
  106. Action Comics #987
  107. Action Comics #988
  108. Action Comics #989
  109. Action Comics #990
  110. Action Comics #991
  111. Action Comics #992
  112. Action Comics #993
  113. Action Comics #994
  114. Action Comics #995
  115. Action Comics #996
  116. Action Comics #997
  117. Action Comics #998
  118. Action Comics #999
  119. Action Comics #1000
  120. The Man of Steel (Volume 2) #1
  121. 121.0 121.1 The Man of Steel (Volume 2) #6
  122. The Man of Steel (Volume 2) #3
  123. The Man of Steel (Volume 2) #4
  124. The Man of Steel (Volume 2) #5
  125. Superman (Volume 4) #1
  126. Superman (Volume 4) #2
  127. Superman (Volume 4) #3
  128. Superman (Volume 4) #4
  129. Superman (Volume 4) #5
  130. 130.0 130.1 Superman (Volume 5) #6
  131. Action Comics #1004
  132. Superman (Volume 4) #7
  133. Superman (Volume 4) #10
  134. Superman (Volume 4) #11
  135. Superman (Volume 5) #12
  136. Superman (Volume 5) #13
  137. Superman (Volume 5) #14
  138. Superman (Volume 5) #15
  139. Superman (Volume 3) #38
  140. Batman/Superman Annual #2
  141. Superman/Wonder Woman Annual #2
  142. Superman (Volume 3) #39
  143. Superman (Volume 3) #40
  144. Superman (Volume 3) #41
  145. The Man of Steel (Volume 2) #4
  146. Superman (Volume 3) #43
  147. Superman (Volume 3) #49
  148. Superman (Volume 4) #29-Superman Vol 4 30
  149. Action Comics (Volume 2) #16
  150. Action Comics (Volume 2) #11
  151. Wonder Woman (Volume 4) #37
  152. Superman Unchained #8
  153. Superman/Wonder Woman #25
  154. Superman Unchained #8
  155. Justice League (Volume 4) #23
  156. Sinestro #18
  157. Batman/Superman #3




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