Superman (Clark Kent)

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. Batman

Superman (born Kal-El, legal name Clark Kent) is the last son of Krypton, sent as the dying planet's last hope to Earth, where he grew to become its kind, noble 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. He is also a founding member of the Justice League.



New 52 Origin

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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.[3]

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.[3] 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.[4] After their funerals, Clark sold Kent Farm to a neighbour and moved to Metropolis to become a journalist.[5]

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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,[6] 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.[7]

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.[8] 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.[9]

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 spaceship. 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 armor from one of the bottles and promising to protect both.[10] 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.[11]

Following the cosmic upheavals of the Rebirth period, this character's history was revised.

Current Origin

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Superman's new, composite origin

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.


When Clark began his schooling, Martha and Jonothan were at first concerned that he wouldn't fit in with his classmates, a worry that the young Clark shared. Asking his father for advice, Jonathan simply tells Clark to tell jokes and if he gets people to laugh, they'll be his friends. Clark's first day isn't as difficult as he expects and he ends up making many friends at school, until he notices a girl, Samantha, sitting alone in the playground; ostracized for being different.

Clark decided that he wants to befriend the girl, but feared that if he did, he'd lose all the friends he'd made up to that point. Consulting with his parents, they advise him to befriend the girl regardless of his classmates' opinions. He followed through, and his example inspired others in his class to befriend Samantha.[12]

Martha's Cancer

During Clark's childhood, Martha was diagnosed with cancer, and underwent chemotherapy for the affliction; Clark was not told until well into her treatment, when Clark struggled with a new student attending the school, Caleb Withers. Caleb was something of a bully, with misplaced aggression spurred on by his abusive father. Clark struggled with the urge not to respond to Caleb's behavior in kind, something his mother talked him out of, telling him that it was better to help people find the good within themselves rather than correct their behavior by force.

As they were leaving, Caleb kicked a soccer ball into Martha's head, knocking her down and inadvertently removing her wig, revealing to Clark her hair loss. Later that evening, he snuck over to Caleb's house, with the intent to destroy Caleb's bicycle in retribution, only to discover Caleb's drunk father abusing him. As Caleb's father attempted to drive off, he nearly drove into oncoming traffic, with Clark saving his life. He then brought the unconscious man to the local clinic, leaving him there anonymously. Afterward, Clark attempted to cut off his own hair in solidarity with his mother, only to discover that his invulnerability made that impossible at the time. Later, Clark was able to reach Caleb, that he wasn't his father, and that he didn't have to be him.

Caleb eventually apologized to Martha, revealing that he'd cut his own hair in solidarity with Martha as part of his apology. He left to live with his aunt in Metropolis, and one day would grow to run a community center for at-risk youth. [13]

Childhood Friends

Growing up in Smallville, Clark found himself becoming best friends with Lana Lang and Pete Ross. The trio were inseparable and did everything together, including hiding from the young Lex Luthor. The first time Clark flew was on instinct; a tornado hit Smallville, and he acted without thinking in order to save Lana Lang's life.[14]

Krypto the Super-Dog
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Clark Kent and Krypto

One evening, during a family dinner, Clark's enhanced senses noticed an object crashing from space a few miles away. He immediately set off to find it with super-speed, with his parents warning him not to touch it until they arrived. Later, all three converge on the object; a Kryptonian space-pod lodged into a dry creek bed. Clark immediately recognizes it as resembling the pod he arrived in, and, reaching out to it, finds that it recognizes him in turn. It opens, revealing a small dog. The dog playfully jumps on Clark and begins to display the same Kryptonian power-set that Clark possesses.

Clark quickly speeds off to play with the dog, easily bonding with it. As he does, a holographic recording of his birth father, Jor-El, activates, revealing to his parents that the dog was a test subject for a prototype of the pod that eventually would bring Clark to Earth. The recording also reveals the dog's name, given to him by the infant Kal-El: Krypto. Approving of how happy Krypto makes Clark, Jonathan and Martha allow him to keep and raise the dog.[15]

Teenage Years

One particular autumn during Clark's teenage years, the Kent farm suffered a bad harvest; in spite of this, Jonathan Kent decided to share what little they could spare with their neighbors, who had endured worse. The entire community helped each other out, surprising Clark, who had heard that some people disliked each other, and Jonathan explained that people ultimately want to be good, they just need an example to bring out the best side of themselves. Jonathan tells Clark to be that example.[16]

In a previous iteration of history, 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, when the Justice Society of America was restored to its proper place in the timeline, they 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.[17]

Early Career

As an adult, Clark moved to Metropolis, taking a job as a reporter at the Daily Planet where he met Lois Lane. On his first day, Clark saved Lois Lane's life during a helicopter crash, earning the name 'Superman'. Among the first villains he ever faced was the Ultra-Humanite, who developed a lifelong enmity towards him.[18] He also quickly made an enemy of his childhood bully, now grown, Lex Luthor.

During the Zero Year, Clark attempted to personally disperse Hurricane Rene as it bore down on the coastline, still unsure of the upper limits of his powers. His attempt to divert the hurricane was unsuccessful, but he did succeed in rescuing the tanker Jean-Marie, which had at the time been carrying his childhood friend, Lana Lang, as its engineer.[19]

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.[20]

At some point, some of Superman's DNA was collected by the Agenda, Project Cadmus and Lex Luthor, resulting in multiple clones, including Superboy and Bizarro.

Early on in his career, before the founding of the Justice League, Clark was displaced into the early 1960s during an unknown incident. While there, he operated in secret- though not secret enough that he wasn't known to the President of the United States. He met with the President, who requested that he, and others like him, come forward and use their collective abilities to make the world a better place. He offered to protect the president in Dallas; Kennedy declined, insisting that Superman assist with a manned flight to the moon. Shortly afterwards, the president was assassinated while riding in his motorcade in Dallas. Eventually Superman was able to return to his own time; when he returned, he did his best to fufill his promise to the doomed president. [21]

Forming the Justice League

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The Justice League is formed

Superman had his real first encounter with Batman and Green Lantern after they pursued a Parademon to Metropolis.[22] 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.[23] 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.[24]

Their resistance attracted the attention of Darkseid, ruler of Apokolips, who came to fight them personally.[25] 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.[26] 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.[27]

Mongul and the Black Mercy

At some point, he came into conflict with Mongul MDCCXC, an alien tyrant who ruled the vast Warworld. Later, this enemy would infect him with the Black Mercy, an alien flower capable of inducing intense hallucinatory false realities. While imprisoned within the Black Mercy's tendrils, Clark saw a version of Krypton that never exploded. In this world, Kal-El had a life on Krypton- a wife and a son. Though he was eventually freed, the experience affected Clark deeply. He ruminated on it for many years, and in the end, it inspired him to one day make a change and expand his circle of trust.[28]

The Death and Life of Superman

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Superman's death

Over time, Clark and Lois fell in love, and he revealed his secret identity to her. Not long after, Superman was seemingly killed by the alien monster Doomsday. In the wake of his death, four very different contenders arose to his mantle: The Cyborg Hank Henshaw, the erstwhile Steel, the Cadmus-created clone Superboy and the android known as the Eradicator.[29] Eventually, the Cyborg Superman revealed his true colors, participating in the destruction of Coast City. Superman was soon restored to life; Steel and Superboy became lasting allies for the Man of Steel.[30].

Afterwards, Clark and Lois married. At one point, Superman's powers malfunctioned, and he temporarily became Electric Blue Superman before returning to normal.[31]

Shortly after their marriage, Lois became pregnant with a child, and Clark delivered his son Jonathan Samuel Kent in the Fortress of Solitude during an attempted alien invasion.[32]

In New 52 continuity, their son was born in an alternate Batcave, delivered by Batman, during Convergence.[33] This was later retconned by the Superman Reborn crossover.

After Jon's birth, the Kent family moved to a farm upstate, and instead commuted to work in Metropolis. Jon Kent was raised with no knowledge of his father's dual identity as Superman and was largely kept isolated from many of Superman's associates.

At some point, Superman came into conflict with the Elite, a violent and proactive super-team lead by Manchester Black. He developed an instinctive distaste for Manchester as a result; Manchester felt similarly.[34][35]

Over the course of his long career, Superman fought at the side of "one or two" of the historical figures known as King Arthur. In the process, he rescued the famed 'round table' during the Second Fall of Camelot and was entrusted with its safekeeping by Arthur himself.[36]

Superman, Batman, Martian Manhunter, and Wonder Woman would later fight against a team-up of Lex Luthor and Metallo. Diana defeated Metallo, unbeknownst to Lex, allowing Martian Manhunter to assume his shape. Superman then pretended to be affected by 'Metallo's' Kryptonite. Seeing victory ahead, Lex took a moment to gloat; unbeknownst to him, Manhunter's faux-Kryptonite was a recording device, and his admission of attempted murder was enough evidence to send him to prison.[37]

Superman later visited Luthor in prison, seeking to discuss the fact that the welder who would link Lex to Metallo's armor plating had gone missing. Instead, Lex offered to place Chess with Superman, who humored him for a short while- until he was informed that the welder had been found, safe but a little worse for wear. He then left, telling Lex that he wasn't 'playing his game'.[38]

Eventually, Clark introduced his clone Conner Kent to his parents, and Connor lived with them and attended Smallville High School for a time before he was lost in Gemworld.[39]

New 52

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The Man of Tomorrow

After Barry Allen returned from the Flashpoint, Clark adopted a new costume; a suit comprised of Kryptonian nanotech that would construct itself over his clothes when he needed it.

In the original New 52 continuity, Clark found this suit aboard Brainiac's ship during his origin and wore it from then on; however, as the result of successive continuity changes, Superman does not begin wearing this suit until much, much later.

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.[40] 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.[41]

Lord Vyndktvx finally made a play for Superman's life in the present with his assembled Anti-Superman Army.[41] 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.[42]

H'El on Earth

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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.

In a previous iteration of history, Clark then discovered that found out that his longtime crush Lois Lane was now in a serious relationship with another man named John Carroll.[43] However, this event was erased from history when Superman's history was revised.

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.[44]


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.[45]

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.[46] 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.[47]

The 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.[48]

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.[4]

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.[49]

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.[50] 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 an illusionary world in order to absorb his energy.[51]

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.[52]

Following various revisions to history, it is likely this event was erased from continuity (or at least heavily modified), as it no longer aligns with the histories of many of the characters involved, including that of Lois Lane and the Psycho-Pirate.

Krypton Returns

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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.[53][54] Superman witnessed Lara tell Jor-El that she was pregnant, [55] 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.[56]

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.[57] However, this backfired, and the active Justice Leagues took sides, fighting over the "correct" method to open the box.[58]

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.[59] Superman asked to be locked away for his outburst but started getting sick in captivity.[60] 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.[61] 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.[62] For his heroism during the crisis, Lex Luthor was accepted as a member of the Justice League.


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After discovering Doomsday wreaking 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.[63] After recovering, Superman realized that he was slowly turning into a Doomsday-like creature himself.[64] Wonder Woman tried to help him, but the transformation became stronger[65] and Superman had no choice but to turn himself to the authorities.[66] 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.[67]

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.[68] Wonder Woman then took Clark to outer space where he could escape into its depths until they found a way to save him.[69]

While in space, SuperDoom tried to help an alien colony but lost control and attacked their leader.[70] 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.[71] 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.[72][73]

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.[74] 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,[75] returning back to Earth sixty days later.[76]

Men of Tomorrow

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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.[77] With Superman's help, Ulysses found the truth about his past,[78] but they were soon confronted by "The Machinist", a man responsible for creating destructive robots.[79] 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.[80] This lead to a confrontation between Superman and Ulysses, with the latter winning and taking Superman prisoner.[81]

On their way to Ulysses' home planet, there was another confrontation between Superman and Ulysses[82] 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.[83]

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.[84]

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.[85]

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.[86]

Truth and Savage Dawn

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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.[87] 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.[86] 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.[88] 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.[89]

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.[90]

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.[91] 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.[92]

Darkseid War

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Superman as the God of Strength

When the daughter of Darkseid named Grail signaled an impending war between her father and the Anti-Monitor, Superman and Lex Luthor, still a member of the Justice League, attempted to avert the disaster. However, the two men were betrayed by Lex's sister Lena, who used a Mother Box to teleport them to Apokolips.[93] 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.[94] 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.[95] With his new power, the God of Strength destroyed the enemies surrounding him and Lex's armor[96], leaving Luthor alone on Apokolips while he himself returned home.[97][98]

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.[99] As the war between Darkseid and the Anti-Monitor continued to wreak havoc on Earth,[100] 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.[101]

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.[102]

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.[103] 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.[104] 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.[105]

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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.[106]

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.

Following various revisions to history, the in-continuity version of this event was significantly altered; because New Earth and Prime Earth Superman's histories were fused, there would be no 'Black Superman' to encounter, nor a second Lois Lane to absorb the dying Superman's powers. However, some version of this remains in-continuity, as other stories, such as that of Kenan Kong's origin reference it and are reliant upon it.

While the list of confirmed details is short, the presence of Denny Swan as the Energy Superman is confirmed, as is the world at large briefly believing Superman to be dead following his defeat of the Energy Superman using his Solar Flare ability.


Superman Reborn

Not long after, Mr. Mxyzptlk appeared, having been imprisoned by Mr. Oz. He initially appeared as Clark Kent, much to the confusion of all, as it was common knowledge that Superman and Clark Kent were one in the same. He began to harass 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.[107] 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.[32]

Afterwards, memories of this incident were vague. However, Mxyzptlk's impersonation of Clark Kent did have a beneficial side effect; because he told others that the revelation of Superman's secret identity was a farce, a ruse needed to draw out an enemy, and because he was photographed alongside Superman, the public and many others were convinced that Superman was in fact not Clark Kent, restoring Superman's secret identity.


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.[108] 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.[109]

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.[110]

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.[111]

The Oz Effect

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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.[112] 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.[113] Superman refused to abandon humanity though and stood by his mission to help whenever he was needed.[114]

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.[115] Superman, furious at his father's nagging, 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.[116]

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.[117] 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.[118] 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.[119]

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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.[120] 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.[121]

Invasion of the Dark Multiverse

Rampage of Rogol Zaar

Shortly after the city of Metropolis paid him a tribute for years of heroism,[122] 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.[123]

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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.[124] 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.[125] 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.[123]

Earth in the Phantom Zone

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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.[126] 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.[127]

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.[128] With no solar energy to replenish his powers, Superman was badly outmatched, until he was rescued by his enemy General Zod, who agreed to a temporary truce to take revenge on the man who killed Krypton.[129] 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.[130]

Space Wars

Superman's family returned from their space adventure with Oz,[131] but Jon was practically unrecognizable. The science of travelling through space had aged Jon up by seven Earth years, returning as a teenager.[130] Superman listened to his family's adventure stories,[132] 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.[133]

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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.[134]

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.[135] 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.[136]

Truth, Again

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Superman speaks the truth

Once he returned to Earth, Superman talked with Supergirl[137] 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.[138]

Infinite Frontier

Fall of the Golden Age, The Authority & Warworld Saga

In an encounter with aliens from the Breach, Superman was exposed to deadly radiation.[139][140] The resulting radiation sickness caused him to age rapidly and his powers to fade, and so he assembled a team to help protect and improve the world if he were to die or be unable to act as Superman anymore.[141] He called this team The Authority and enlisted the aid of two members, The Enchantress and Manchester Black, to conceal and slow the progression of his condition.[142]

The Authority's first mission became clear when an alien craft carrying refugees from Warworld crashed to Earth. The refugees were part of a long-lost group of Kryptonians called the Phaelosians who had been enslaved on Warworld for generations, and Superman swore to free them.[143] The Phaelosians' ship had also been carrying a powerful energy source known as the Genesis Fragment, which Atlantis laid claim to, heightening tensions with the surface and almost leading to war. Superman confiscated the Fragment and warned both sides against trying to take it, giving the Justice League no choice but to expel him.[144]

Before Superman left for Warworld, Batman asked him for a favor; he had received visions from a wounded and dying Fuginaut trapped in the Dark Multiverse. He asked Superman to bring his new team into the Dark Multiverse and attempt to resolve the situation. Superman agreed, and both entered the Dark Multiverse alongside the Authority in order to combat the Empire of Shadows.[145]

Superman and the Authority journeyed to Warworld, despite warnings that it was almost certainly a trap set by Mongul. Indeed, Mongul was waiting for them and a sorceress working for him reversed the effects of the Enchantress's magic which had been rejuvenating Superman.[142] Superman was forced to fight in the arenas of Warworld, powerless due to the red solar radiation which saturated the world. He asked a veteran Phaelosian gladiator named Kryl-Ux to teach him how to fight without his powers.[146] Superman became a more adept fighter and managed to inspire some of his fellow slaves, but he received a message from Midnighter saying that he was planning to destroy the star forges which generated the red solar radiation. This would restore Superman's powers but also kill millions of people. Kryl-Ux told him there may be another way and led him to an isolated part of Warworld's catacombs made of the same material as the Genesis fragment. Superman was able to absorb the cosmic energy of the rock and restore his powers.[147]

Powers and Abilities


  • 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.
    • Cosmic Energy Absorption: Kal's solar receptors can also absorb solar energy from cosmic energy, such as when he absorbed energy from Starman, gained from the Totality itself.[148][149] So much that he felt like he could crack the Earth in half with a footstep if he wasn't careful.[150] He could also absorb solar energy from "Genesis", a mysterious material found on Warworld, and use it to fuel his powers as a substitute for yellow sunlight.[147]
    • 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. Even when infected with the Anti-Life that was slowly killing him, Clark was strong enough to knock out a restrained Barbatos, who killed the World Forger; with a just a punch.[151][152] When Superman fought against Rogol Zaar inside the Phantom Zone, their fight made the realm tremble and shake, under the weight of their battle.[153]
      • 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.[154]
    • 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.[155] Clark can move so fast that time slows from his perspective, long enough to have an entire conversation in just a few seconds.[156] Kal's speed is so impressive that he was capable of fighting Darkseid and save the lives of others simultaneously, which perplexed even Darkseid himself.[157]
    • 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.[122]
    • 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 superhuman levels, allowing him to perceive the world in far greater detail than the average human.[122]
      • 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 things.
        • 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: By focusing his vision, Superman can see through any volume of matter, except lead. He can see things behind a solid, opaque object as if it were not there and can focus this ability to "peel back" layers of an object, allowing hidden image or inner workings to be observed. Superman's enemies have attempted to use lead to hide things from his vision, mistakenly believing that anything with that material is somehow invisible to him. On the contrary, lead's opaqueness to his X-ray vision makes the material easy to spot with a wide-angle scan and allows Superman to narrow his search to those opaque objects.[160] He can even use intensify his X-Ray vision to the extent that he could use it at a Gamma level to short out a Space Station's electrical engine.[161]
      • 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.
    • 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.[122]
    • 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 uses all the stored energy within his cells at once, allowing for an all-out AoE attack.[83] 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.[162][163][164] 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.[165][84][101][166][167]
    • 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 possibly survive without the aid of technology or protection.[122]
    • 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.[168]


  • Genius Level Intellect: Superman 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).
  • Hand-to-Hand Combat (Advanced): 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 almost any foe and beat them. Additionally, Superman has been trained his father Johathan Kent,[171] in boxing[172] and according to Captain Comet his brawling skills are formidable.[173] He was also trained by Wioska, a former combat instructor of Apokolips,[174] Wonder Woman in Amazonian combat,[175][176] bested and regarded as a natural hunter by Moon herself,[177] and even learned some advanced martial arts techniques from Batman.[178][46] Batman even complimented Clark, by agreeing that he can take care of himself, even without powers.[179] In weakened state, Kal got the upper hand on both Cyborg Superman and the Eradicator, while suffering from blindness.[180] Superman has shown capable of fighting blind while still weakened to an extent, against the Superman Revenge Squad, solo.[181] Even continuing battling blind and weakened against General Zod, for a while.[182] Clark is a very experienced fighter, for he reveals that he has lived multiple different lifetimes/whole lives fighting and failing to defeat the likes of Barbatos, when he and Wonder Woman were trapped on a giant tower in Metropolis.[183] Superman has fought the likes of Black Adam to a stalemate.[184] Kal has engaged in a battle with Grikus the Undefeated for days, a being with the perfect genetics and training combined, to be a champion in combat sport with decades worth of fighting experience.[185] Even when pushed into a near hopeless situation, Clark never gives up and is capable of multitasking, where he's can perform both acts of fighting and saving lives at the same time.[186] Clark has even fought Braniac's Program to a draw, that possessed all the collective information and mindsets of all the Justice League's villains. Including the combat tactics of himself, Batman, Steel and Batwoman.[187][188] While depowered, Clark managed to hold his own and defeat the likes of Owlman (Earth 3), Batzarro (Earth 29) and Batman/Bruce Wayne (Earth 42), nearly simultaneously. Also, even after being wounded with kryptonite based weaponry, he was still able to best his corrupted counterpart, Lord Superman.[189] Superman prefers to end a fight as quick as he can and he's willing to target his opponent's vulnerable spots to gain a quick victory, if it's possible.[46][190] Superman is considered a combat master, for he has been trained by some of the world's greatest warriors. His knowledge helps him to use his skills with precision and avoid unnecessary damage.[191][192]
  • 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 one's 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.
  • Intimidation
  • Investigation: Both as a superhero and as a journalist, Superman is an expert at gathering evidence from all kinds of sources.[199] He's capable of deducing the level of fighting skill that a horde of lizard men had, over the course of a battle; alongside Batman and Wonder Woman.[200]
  • 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.
  • Meditation[201]
  • Multilingualism: Superman speaks Mandarin Chinese.[110]
  • Weaponry[202][203][177][204][205][206][207][208]
  • 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.[209][210] 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.[31]


  • 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. When exposed to orange solar radiation from a different galaxy, Superman's strength and abilities will drastically diminished, eventually weakening him. The radiation also affects his intellectual capacity and reduces his ability to think.[211]
  • 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).
  • Radiation Poisoning: Superman was exposed to deadly radiation during his encounter with the aliens from the Breach, causing him to rapidly age. He slowed the progression of his condition via regular infusions of rejuvanating magic from Enchantress, but this was undone by a sorceress working for Mongul.[142]
    • Power Limitation: Superman's sickness has caused his powers to fade and weaken. Although still significantly stronger than a human he is less powerful than an average healthy Kryptonian.[212]



  • Yellow Power Ring (Formerly): While a part of the Sinestro Corps, Superman earned a ring for his ability to inspire great fear in others.[213]



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