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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 already 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 planet with a yellow sun: Earth.[1]

The rocket landed in Smallville, Kansas where the Kryptonian baby was discovered by Jonathan and Martha Kent, who had just learned that they could not have children of their own. 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 teaching him their values. Eventually, Jonathan revealed Clark's true parentage to him, but left it to him to decide what it would mean to him.

On the night of his prom, however, because Clark had no superhero role models to make him feel comfortable becoming a hero, Clark was unable to save his adopted parents from dying in a car accident.[3] After their funerals, Clark sold Kent Farm to a neighbour and moved to Metropolis to become a journalist.[4]

Superman's origin would later be revised twice in what would be considered a rebirth for the universe.

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, Clark 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 sealed his birth rocket away for protection but was 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.

Forming the 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 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 give them the name they would officially use: 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 survivor 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 of Solitude to go back in time to save Krypton by extinguishing Earth's sun, 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 to him that was captured and trained by the US government to bring down terrorists. 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 be 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 wanted to investigate the Fortress in order to secure or remove anything that might be considered a threat to the world. However, Superman refused, appealing to his right to privacy and the fact that the Fortress contained technology beyond humanity's control. Clark also became a blogger to make ends meet.[26]

When it was discovered that the villain Hector Hammond, after falling into a coma, used his telepathy to hide his consciousness within Superman's memories, Wonder Woman and Orion team up to banish Hammond back to his own body and save Superman. For the future, Orion used his Mother Box to grant Superman protection from telepathic assaults.[27]

Continuing his investigative work, Clark went to Gotham City, where a mysterious Chinese woman gave him a folder containing info about an urban myth called "the Twenty". However, before he could break the story, Superman was incapacitated by a psychic attack caused by the H.I.V.E. Queen, one of the Twenty.[28]

Superman and Hector Hammond teamed up to stop the Queen, but, upon her defeat and apparent death, a new villain arrived: the Psycho Pirate, a telepath who knew about Superman's secret identity.[29] The Psycho Pirate lead Superman to the Swarm, a prison for psionic people, explaining that he was 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 wanted to release the people trapped in the Swarm, so he trapped Superman in a illusionary world in order to absorb his energy.[30]

Lois, having developed psychic powers of her own, freed Superman from the illusions. Knowing they were outmatched against the Psycho Pirate, Superman and Lois joined forces with Hammond and the H.I.V.E. Queen, who had barely survived the Pirate's attack, and defeated the Psycho-Pirate and destroyed his Medusa Mask.

During the battle, Lois learned Superman's secret identity but conveniently fell into a coma from her new power usage. Superman brought Lois to the hospital to be treated and, when she reawakened, she had forgotten the information and lost her powers.[31]

Krypton Returns

 
Main article: Krypton Returns
Superman and Jor-El

Superman and Jor-El

Superman was dragged into space by a mysterious force called the Oracle that told him that H'El had survived and had managed to bring Krypton back to life by altering the timeline, which threatened the entire universe if they did not go back in time to stop him. With the help of Faora, Superman traveled to Kryptonopolis a few months before Krypton's destruction, where he met his mother Lara.[32][33] Superman witnessed Lara tell Jor-El that she was pregnant, [34] but was soon confronted by a version of his father Jor-El from the dystopian future H'El had created, who had also gone back in time to fix the present.

Superman and Jor-El traveled to Krypton's core and fought H'El, and Superman used H'El's own chronal powers against him by freezing 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.[35]

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, believing that their virtuousness would prevent the calamity that occurred when she opened it.[36] However, this backfired, and the active Justice Leagues took sides, fighting over the "correct" method to open the box.[37]

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.[38] Superman asked to be locked away for his outburst but started getting sick in captivity.[39] 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.[40] 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.[41]

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.[42] After recovering, Superman realized that he was slowly turning into a Doomsday-like creature himself.[43] Superman's girlfriend Wonder Woman tried to help him, but the transformation became stronger[44] and Superman had no choice but to turn himself to the authorities.[45] Superman was locked in a special facility but he soon was needed by the Teen Titans to defeat an enemy, which he eliminated ruthlessly in his increasingly monstrous state.[46]

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.[47] Wonder Woman then took Clark to outer space where he could escape into its depths until they found a way to save him.[48]

While in space, SuperDoom tried to help an alien colony but lost control and attacked their leader.[49] 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.[50] 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 removed the kryptonite from Earth's atmosphere, making Superman temporarily change back to normal.[51][52]

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.[53] 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,[54] returning back to Earth sixty days later.[55] Once back, he was reunited with Wonder Woman, and the two resumed their relationship.[56]

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.[57] With Superman's help, Ulysses found the truth about his past,[58] but they were soon confronted by "The Machinist", a man responsible for creating destructive robots.[59] 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.[60] This lead to a confrontation between Superman and Ulysses, with the latter winning and taking Superman prisoner.[61]

On their way to Ulysses' home planet, there was another confrontation between Superman and Ulysses[62] 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.[63]

Darkseid War

 

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 and new identity as a hero.[64]

Superman as the God of Strength

Superman as the God of Strength

When Wonder Woman was attacked by Grail, signaling an impending war between Darkseid and the Anti-Monitor, Superman and Lex attempted to help her but they were betrayed by Lex's sister Lena, who used a Mother Box to teleport them to Apokolips.[65] Once there, Superman and Lex were forced to work together in order to survive, especially because Apokolips was far away from a yellow sun, meaning that Superman's powers were depleting quickly.[66] As they were surrounded by Parademons, Lex, in a desperate attempt to save the Man of Steel, threw Superman into one of Apokolips' fire pits, thinking its energy would revitalize him.

Unfortunately, Apokolips' energy darkened Superman's body and mind, turning him into the God of Strength.[67] With his new power, the God of Strength destroyed the enemies surrounding him and Lex's armor[68], leaving Luthor alone on Apokolips while he himself returned home.[69][70]

When Superman reunited with the Justice League in his altered state, Wonder Woman was able to use her Lasso of Truth to bring Superman to his senses.[71] As the war between Darkseid and the Anti-Monitor continued to wreck havoc on Earth,[72] Superman joined the fight and briefly staggered the Anti-Monitor by blasting him with all the dark energy in his body, turning himself back to normal. The war was halted when Mobius was unexpectedly killed by Steve Trevor, who had been infected with the Anti-Life Equation by Grail.[73]

In the final fight, Lex and Steve were stripped of their powers to resurrect the fallen Darkseid as a baby. With all the enemy combatants either dead or scattered, the war was over. Unfortunately, despite expelling the Apokoliptian dark energy during the fight, the damage done to Superman's cellular structure was irreversible. According to Batman, Superman was dying.[74]

Blackmailed by HORDR

At the Daily Planet, Clark started to get text messages from an unnamed source that gave him tips on criminal operations that he was able to stop as Superman. Unfortunately, he got more messages from the unnamed source, who revealed they knew Clark's secret identity and forced him to capture a woman called Condesa. Realizing that Condesa knew about the person blackmailing him, Clark chose to team up with her instead.[75]

Condesa told Clark about the organization that had been stalking her called HORDR, whose leader HORDR_ROOT was behind Superman's blackmailing. As Superman went after HORDR, he was forced to reveal his secret identity to Lois Lane and, while using his new solar flare power to destroy the HORDR base, was infected with a substance by their leader that neutralized his powers.[76]

Much later, as Clark recovered, HORDR_ROOT revealed he survived their encounter and further blackmailed Superman into working with him. Clark begrudgingly agreed to play along and went to a secret facility where HORDR forced him to use his solar flare so HORDR could analyze it. Lois, not wanting Superman to suffer through the blackmail any longer, leaked his secret identity as Clark Kent to the world, as well all the information she had on HORDR. Unfortunately, though HORDR_ROOT no longer had any leverage, Superman, still weakened, was turned into public enemy #1.[77]

Truth and Savage Dawn

Public, Depowered, and Dying

Public, Depowered, and Dying

Because of his outed identity, Clark was fired from the Daily Planet by Perry White, who felt betrayed that Clark kept such an important secret from him.[78] And, because he no longer had the powers he usually had, Superman was unable to return to the Fortress of Solitude and his advanced Kryptonian costume didn't recognize him anymore. Clark was forced to change his image - he cut his hair, improvised his signature symbol with a Superman merchandise t-shirt, and tore up his cape to fashion himself knuckle bandages. Superman still attempted to help the people of Metropolis even in his weakened state.

The mastermind behind Superman's power loss was revealed to actually be Vandal Savage, who hijacked the Stormwatch space carrier and captured the Justice League.[79] To stop Savage, Steel provided Superman with a Kryptonite-powered suit of armor. Superman and the Justice League United stormed the Watchtower, but Vandal tore the Fortress of Solitude off the ground in his plan to gain power from the comet that made him immortal in the first place.[80] Vandal used the comet's power to give superpowers to the thousands of illegitimate children he had fathered across the millennia, turning them into an army he could throw at Superman and his allies.[81]

Superman lead Earth's remaining superheroes into attacking the Stormwatch carrier and freed the Justice League. Superman attempted to stop Savage, but the villain threw him into the Fortress of Solitude, which finally acknowledges him as Kal-El of Krypton, healed his body, and restored his uniform.[82]

Fully powered again, Superman attempted to stop the fight, as Vandal manipulated his children into exposing themselves to the comet's dangerous power. Unfortunately, Superman's pleas fell on deaf ears, and their bodies collapsed from the power they had absorbed.[83] Vandal offered for Superman to join his side and rule Earth, but Superman refused and broke the comet off Earth's orbit, throwing it and Vandal into deep space.[84]

Final Days of Superman

 

After being depowered by Vandal Savage, the events of the Darkseid War, and his fight with the Kryptonian god Rao, Superman learned that his death was imminent and asked for Batman's help to find him a successor.[85] 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.[86] 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.[87]

Death of Superman

Death of Superman

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 enemy 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 died and turned to ashes.[88]

Superman's powers would be transferred to both Lana Lang and Lois Lane, who were positioned closest to him when his energy gave out. They would both take the alias Superwoman, but Lana would later lose the powers and Lois would die in action.

Rebirth

Superman Reborn

 
Main article: DC Rebirth

Not long after, Mr. Mxyzptlk returned, having been imprisoned by Mr. Oz, to harass the new Superman and revealed that both the New Earth and Prime Earth Supermen were actually two halves of the true, complete Superman, who was split during the Flashpoint incident. The same was true for Lois.[89] These alternates versions of Clark and Lois merged with the deceased essences of their Prime Earth counterparts and each became single, complete Prime Earth versions - fixing their conflicting histories and bringing the world back to normal.[90]

New Origin

Superman's new, composite origin

Superman's new, composite origin

Following the merging of pre and post-Flashpoint Supermen, Clark's origin was revised to include elements of both their pasts.

Kal-El, the Last Son of Krypton born to scientists Jor-El and Lara Lor-Van, was sent in a rocket to Earth as their home planet was destroyed. Kal's rocket landed in Smallville, Kansas, where he was discovered by Jonathan and Martha Kent. He was given the name "Clark Kent" and adopted as their son.

Clark learned of his alien origin as he grew up and learned to use his powers in secret. On the night of his senior prom, because his adoptive parents discouraged Clark from becoming a superhero for fear what it could do to him, he failed to save Jonathan and Martha from dying in a car accident.

However, in a further revision to Superman's origin over one year later, Doctor Manhattan went through time and saved Alan Scott from dying in a train accident, allowing him to become the first Green Lantern and assemble the Justice Society of America in the 1900s and set a good example for superheroes to come in the future. With role models to look up to and no reason to stay in hiding, on the night of his senior prom, Clark saved his adoptive parents from dying in a car accident. [91]

As an adult, Clark moved to Metropolis and adopted the name "Superman". He started a job as a reporter at the Daily Planet where he met Lois Lane. The two fell in love, and he revealed his secret identity to her. Sometime after, Superman was seemingly killed by Doomsday and returned to life. Afterwards, Clark and Lois got married. At one point, Superman's powers malfunctioned and he temporarily became Electric Blue Superman before returning to normal. [92]

Later, Lois became pregnant with a child, and Clark delivered his son Jonathan Samuel Kent in the Fortress of Solitude. [93]

Revenge

 
Main article: Superman: Revenge

As Clark and Lois got ready to move back to Metropolis from their rural home in the country, the new Hank Henshaw put together a new Superman Revenge Squad.[94] Stealing a mystical item from Superman's Himalayan backup Fortress, Henshaw turned himself back into Cyborg Superman and allied himself with Superman's greatest foes to finally destroy him. [95]

Superman was forced to retreat, taking his family to the Fortress of Solitude. The group of villains assaulted the Fortress before he had time to come up with a plan, but the Superman Family - Supergirl, Superwoman, Steel, Super-Man, and Lex Luthor (also Superman) arrived, ready to help him.[96]

During the ensuing brawl, Zod managed to send most of Superman's allies to the Phantom Zone and freed his wife Ursa and their son Lor-Zod. Superman and his family successfully defeated the rest of the Squad and freed Superman's friends. As punishment, Superman left the defeated Cyborg Superman in the Phantom Zone.[97]

The Oz Effect

The truth of Mr. Oz

The truth of Mr. Oz

After addressing several emergencies all over the world, Superman found the perpetrator of these disasters to be the mysterious force that had been watching him for years - Mr. Oz, who teleported Superman to the Fortress of Solitude and revealed himself to be Superman's Kryptonian father Jor-El.[98] Jor-El told his son about how he had survived - a mysterious entity rescued him from Krypton moments before it exploded and brought him to Earth to witness humanity's darkest impulses. Horrified by these atrocities, Jor-El became Mr. Oz and vowed to correct the decision he had made when Kal was a baby and escort him to a better planet to live.[99] Superman refused to abandon humanity though and stood by his mission to help whenever he was needed. [100]

Oz set his sights on Superman's family and made contact with Lois and Jon, hoping that, by convincing them to rebuke humanity, Kal would too.[101] Superman, furious at his father's negging, physically fought him and shattered the man's staff, which had been mind-controlling him to do his evil actions. Back to his senses, Jor-El begged his son to do the right thing before being teleported away by the same entity that saved him before. [102]

Back to Krypton's Past

Saddened by these recent events, Superman investigated if Mr. Oz was really his father by using the Flash's Cosmic Treadmill to travel back in time to Krypton's past.[103] Superman reached Krypton, where he stumbled upon time-traveler Booster Gold and Skeets, who informed the Man of Steel that his presence had distorted the timeline so that the Kryptonians began properly making preparations to evacuate their dying planet.[104] Booster attempted to forcibly return Superman to his original timeline, but one of Krypton's Eradicators damaged his time sphere, and they became trapped in 25th Century Gotham City, Booster's birthplace.[105]

Altering Krypton's history with time travel

Altering Krypton's history with time travel

Gaining access to a Time Sphere, Booster theorized they could now visit Krypton without risking further damage to the timeline. However, the Eradicator then, coincidentally, also damaged the time sphere, and they crash-landed and were captured on a mysterious planet that worshiped General Zod.[106] The heroes were sentenced to be executed but, before Zod and his family got the chance, Superman, Booster, and Skeets caused an uprising of slaves on the planet that allowed them to escape.

Skeets reconstructed the time sphere, giving them the chance to return to the present. Before they did though, Superman convinced Booster to let him see the final moments of Krypton and, upon their arrival, watched as a mysterious blue light took Jor-El away, confirming that he was indeed Mr. Oz.

The heroes returned to the present where, in Superman's absence, his family would have died, but Booster Gold secretly rewound time to give Superman enough time to save them. [107]

Rampage of Rogol Zaar

Shortly after the city of Metropolis paid him a tribute for years of heroism,[108] the Kent family received an unexpected visit from Mr. Oz, who asked the Kents to let him take their son Jon on a journey across the galaxy so he could learn about his Kryptonian heritage. Clark initially refused, but Jon insisted he wanted to go. Lois, supporting her son, also agreed to stay at Jon's side for the journey so she could look after him. Clark was reluctant to see his family go, but nevertheless accepted their decision.[109]

Against the man that killed Krypton

Against the man that killed Krypton

Afterwards, a mysterious villain broke into the Fortress while Superman wasn't there, leveled the place and, most heinously, smashed the Bottle City of Kandor.[110] Superman and Supergirl tracked the murderer down and discovered his identity to be an alien named Rogol Zaar, who claimed to have been the one to destroy Krypton and wanted to finish his mission of killing all Kryptonians. Superman engaged Rogol all the way to 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", his next move would be to blow up the Earth.[111] Superman and Supergirl worked together to defeat Rogol and trapped him inside the Phantom Zone.

Unfortunately, with the Fortress destroyed, Superman could not communicate with his family and make sure they were safe. Supergirl also decided to leave Earth in order to find out more about Rogol Zaar's origins, and the Justice League held a memorial service for the murdered Kandorians.[109]

Earth in the Phantom Zone

On the other side of the projector

On the other side of the projector

After constructing a new Fortress of Solitude in the Bermuda Triangle, Superman had a conversation with Martian Manhunter, who told Superman to consider the possibility of becoming a leader to the global community, so he could lead Earth and humanity to a better tomorrow. However, before he could think on the idea, Clark realized the Earth had somehow been teleported into the Phantom Zone.[112] He later learned the ordeal was an accident caused by scientists at S.T.A.R. Labs, but, unfortunately, the opportunity allowed Rogol Zaar to attack the Earth yet again. [113]

S.T.A.R. Labs initiated a plan to restore the Earth, which involved the Atom miniaturizing the entire planet to make it small enough for the Flash to pass it through the Phantom Zone projector. The plan succeeded and the Earth was returned to its rightful place in the Solar System, but Superman was left behind to fight Rogol alone in the Phantom Zone.[114] With no solar energy to replenish his powers, Superman was badly outmached, until he was rescued by his enemy General Zod, who agreed to a temporary truce to take revenge on the man who killed Krypton.[115] The two Kryptonians fought the villain together until Superman was abruptly beamed out of the Phantom Zone by his allies, leaving Zod and Rogol Zaar to finish their match alone.[116]

Space Wars

Superman's family returned from their space adventure with Oz,[117] but Jon was practically unrecognizable. The science of travelling through space had aged Jon up by seven Earth years, returning as a teenager.[116] Superman listened to his family's adventure stories,[118] but, before long - would you believe it - Rogol Zaar returned again, this time working with General Zod. Superman and his Kryptonian family formed a team to finally take down Rogol Zaar once and for all, with Kal and his father going to the ruins of Krypton to look for clues about the villain.[119]

Kryptonians united

Kryptonians united

While on their trip, Jor-El told his son, while on Krypton, 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 from its imminent destruction, but they refused. Superman was disappointed by his father's morally gray past. [120]

Rogol Zaar ambushed the heroes, but, fortunately, Zod betrayed Rogol and gave the Family of Steel the opportunity they need to incapacitate Rogol.

When the battle was finished, Superboy, wishing there was better peacekeeping throughout the galaxy, was visited by the Legion of Super-Heroes from the 31st century, who asked for his membership.[121] Although Superman was nervous at the thought of losing his son yet again, he chose to respect Jon's decision, no matter what it was. Jon deferred the decision for some time, until he decided he would accept the offer and go to the future.

Superman was also informed by Adam Strange that, due to his past crimes and instigation of the time steam, the nations of the galaxy had ruled that Jor-El was to be sent back in time to die on Krypton like he was supposed to. Kal was devastated, but the sentence was already carried out and there was nothing he could do. Jor-El was returned to Krypton, moments before destruction, where he saw his younger self send Kal on his mission of hope across the cosmos, whispering to himself assuredly, that his son 'did it'.

In the aftermath, Zod and his family informed the Kents of their decision to create a "New Krypton" in order to save their race and formally invited the House of El to join them if they ever desired.[122]

Truth, Again

Superman speaks the truth

Superman speaks the truth

Once he returned to Earth, Superman talked with Supergirl[123] and Adam Strange and decided to reveal his secret identity to Perry White and Jimmy Olsen, Clark's closest friends. Superman then called a press conference and revealed his identity to the entire world.[124]

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.
    • 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.
      • Shock Wave Projection: Superman is strong enough to create powerful sonic booms with just the clap of his hands. These sonic claps are powerful enough to be heard across states.[125]
    • 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. Superman was even fast enough to keep up with Wally West on foot, though he is still slower.[126]
      • Molecular Acceleration: Superman can vibrate his molecular structure at various levels to achieve various effects.[127]
      • Time Travel: Superman was fast enough to jump into the timestream and travel throughout it, with the aid of the Cosmic Treadmill.[128]
      • Vortex Creations: Superman can use his speed to manipulate airflow for various purposes. He was able to use his flight speed to funnel a toxic chemical out of the atmosphere and into space.[129]
    • Superhuman Agility: Superman's agility, balance, and bodily coordination are enhanced to superhuman levels. This allows him to easily make sharp turns and easily maneuver while flying and moving at superhuman speed.
    • Superhuman Reflexes: Superman possesses reflexes far greater than any normal human being. This allows him to easily react to danger and events, and perceive the world in slow motion. His mind is able to process information at such speeds that he can perceive femtoseconds and attoseconds.[130]
    • 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 Senses: All of Superman's senses are enhanced to immense superhuman levels, allowing him to perceive the world in far greater detail than the senses the average human possesses.[130]
      • 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.
      • Super-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.
        • Infrared Vision: Superman can see with better acuity in darkness, and to a degree in total darkness.
        • Microscopic Vision: This is the ability to see extremely small objects and images down to the atomic level.
        • 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.
    • 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. He capable of flying at above supersonic and hypersonic speeds.[130]
    • 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 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.[131] 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.[132][133][134] 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.[135][136][137][138]
    • Interstellar Travel: Superman is immune to the nature of space and is not inhibited by its lack of gravity. He can travel the reaches of space where no human body could probably be without the aid of technology or protection.[130]
    • 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.
    • Longevity: Superman can live longer than regular humans, remaining at his prime as long as he was under the exposure of the "yellow" sun.
    • 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.
    • Self-Sustenance: Superman doesn't need to eat or sleep so long as he has enough solar energy (but is still capable of doing so), and doesn't require oxygen to breathe.[139]

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[143] and according to Captain Comet his brawling skills are formidable.[144] He was also trained by Wonder Woman in Amazonian combat,[145][146] bested and regarded as a natural hunter by Moon herself,[147] and even learned some advanced martial arts techniques from Batman.[148]Batman even complimented Clark, by agreeing that he can take care of himself, even without powers.[149]
  • 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[150]
  • Weaponry[151][152][153][154][155][156][157]
  • Chi Manipulation: Superman learned the art of Bagua under the instruction of I-Ching. He learned how to manipulate his Chi or Qi to help him gain a better control over his powers. Superman recommended to Supergirl that she should go train with I-Ching herself. Just so that she could regain proper control over her powers, after her fight with the Fatal Five.[158] [159] When going over his lost memories after the merging of the essences of both his Pre-Flashpoint and Post-Flashpoint selves, he remembered Super-Man that happened in his past, as a reference to his training.[160]
  • 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
  • Multilingualism: Superman speaks Mandarin Chinese.[161]

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.[162]

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) #20
  28. Superman (Volume 3) #22
  29. Superman (Volume 3) #23
  30. Action Comics (Volume 2) #24
  31. Superman (Volume 3) #24
  32. Action Comics Annual (Volume 2) #2
  33. Superboy (Volume 6) #25
  34. Supergirl (Volume 6) #25
  35. Superman (Volume 3) #25
  36. Trinity of Sin: Pandora #1
  37. Trinity War
  38. Justice League (Volume 2) #22
  39. Justice League of America (Volume 3) #6
  40. Justice League (Volume 2) #23
  41. Forever Evil #7
  42. Superman: Doomed #1
  43. Action Comics (Volume 2) #31
  44. Superman/Wonder Woman #8
  45. Batman/Superman #11
  46. Superman (Volume 3) #31
  47. Action Comics (Volume 2) #32
  48. Superman/Wonder Woman #9
  49. Action Comics (Volume 2) #33
  50. Superman/Wonder Woman #10
  51. Superman/Wonder Woman Annual #1
  52. Action Comics Annual (Volume 2) #3
  53. Superman/Wonder Woman #11
  54. Superman: Doomed #2
  55. Action Comics (Volume 2) #35
  56. Superman/Wonder Woman #12
  57. Superman (Volume 3) #32
  58. Superman (Volume 3) #33
  59. Superman (Volume 3) #34
  60. Superman (Volume 3) #35
  61. Superman (Volume 3) #36
  62. Superman (Volume 3) #37
  63. Superman (Volume 3) #38
  64. Justice League (Volume 2) #33
  65. Justice League (Volume 2) #41
  66. Justice League (Volume 2) #42
  67. Justice League (Volume 2) #43
  68. Justice League (Volume 2) #44
  69. Justice League (Volume 2) #45
  70. Justice League: The Darkseid War: Superman #1
  71. Justice League (Volume 2) #47
  72. Justice League (Volume 2) #48
  73. Justice League (Volume 2) #49
  74. Justice League (Volume 2) #50
  75. Superman (Volume 3) #41
  76. Superman (Volume 3) #42
  77. Superman (Volume 3) #43
  78. Superman (Volume 2) #44
  79. Superman #43
  80. Superman/Wonder Woman #26
  81. Superman #49
  82. Action Comics (Volume 2) #50
  83. Superman/Wonder Woman #27
  84. Superman (Volume 3) #50
  85. Batman/Superman #31
  86. Superman (Volume 3) #51
  87. Superman/Wonder Woman #29
  88. Superman (Volume 3) #52
  89. Superman (Volume 4) #19
  90. Action Comics #976
  91. Doomsday Clock #12
  92. Action Comics #978
  93. Action Comics #976
  94. Action Comics #979
  95. Action Comics #982
  96. Action Comics #983
  97. Action Comics #984
  98. Action Comics #987
  99. Action Comics #988
  100. Action Comics #989
  101. Action Comics #990
  102. Action Comics #991
  103. Action Comics #992
  104. Action Comics #993
  105. Action Comics #994
  106. Action Comics #995 - Action Comics #996
  107. Action Comics #998
  108. Action Comics #1000
  109. 109.0 109.1 The Man of Steel (Volume 2) #6
  110. The Man of Steel (Volume 2) #3
  111. The Man of Steel (Volume 2) #5
  112. Superman (Volume 4) #1
  113. Superman (Volume 4) #3
  114. Superman (Volume 4) #4
  115. Superman (Volume 4) #5
  116. 116.0 116.1 Superman (Volume 5) #6
  117. Action Comics #1004
  118. Superman (Volume 4) #7
  119. Superman (Volume 5) #12
  120. Superman (Volume 5) #13
  121. Superman (Volume 5) #14
  122. Superman (Volume 5) #15
  123. Superman (Volume 5) #17
  124. Superman (Volume 5) #18
  125. Justice League/Aquaman: Drowned Earth #1
  126. Titans (Volume 3) #7
  127. Action Comics #1016
  128. Action Comics #992
  129. Action Comics #990
  130. 130.0 130.1 130.2 130.3 Action Comics #1000
  131. Superman (Volume 3) #38
  132. Batman/Superman Annual #2
  133. Superman/Wonder Woman Annual #2
  134. Superman (Volume 3) #39
  135. Superman (Volume 3) #40
  136. Superman (Volume 3) #41
  137. Justice League (Volume 2) #49
  138. The Man of Steel (Volume 2) #4
  139. The DC Comics Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Characters of the DC Universe
  140. Superman (Volume 3) #43
  141. Superman (Volume 3) #49
  142. Superman (Volume 4) #29-Superman Vol 4 30
  143. Action Comics (Volume 2) #16
  144. Action Comics (Volume 2) #11
  145. Wonder Woman (Volume 4) #37
  146. Superman Unchained #8
  147. Superman/Wonder Woman #25
  148. Superman Unchained #8
  149. Batman/Superman Annual #2
  150. Justice League (Volume 4) #23
  151. Action Comics (Volume 2) #23
  152. Superman Unchained #7
  153. Superman/Wonder Woman #25
  154. Dark Nights: Metal #1
  155. Trinity (Volume 2) #17
  156. Trinity (Volume 2) #18
  157. Batman/Superman Annual #2
  158. Supergirl (Volume 7) #13
  159. Supergirl (Volume 7) #14
  160. Action Comics #978
  161. Action Comics #983
  162. Sinestro #18
  163. Batman/Superman #3
  164. Detective Comics #1017


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