The Earth-Two Superman did not actually have a developed Superman robot but did utilize elaborate puppets and dummies to maintain his dual identity, using his super-speed and ventriloquism to make it appear that his stand-ins were the real Superman. Superman did once start deve
Superman has a wide array of Superman Robots that look exactly like him. They can fill in for him as either Superman and Clark Kent.
The Earth-Two Superman did not actually have a developed Superman robot but did utilize elaborate puppets and dummies to maintain his dual identity, using his super-speed and ventriloquism to make it appear that his stand-ins were the real Superman. Superman did once start development on a Superman robot, but when it malfunctioned and tried to take Superman's place while still in the prototype phase, Superman scrapped the project.
In this dimension, Kal-El developed and used advanced robotic duplicates of himself since his childhood. But as Superboy, the Superboy robots were specifically made to be known as separate beings to Superboy, not as substitutes for the real Superboy. It was due to the damage of one Superboy robot that led to Pete Ross discovering Superboy was Clark Kent. Kal-El later refined the robots to be used so that Superboy and Clark Kent could appear in the same place simultaneously, thus protecting Superboy's secret identity. In conjunction, he also designed several Clark Kent robots, which fulfilled similar functions. The robots were also ideal in cases where Superboy found himself embroiled in a case involving Kryptonite. As Kryptonite was lethal to the Kryptonian, the aid of robot duplicates became invaluable.
When Kal-El moved to Metropolis as an adult, he converted his Superboy robots to an adult Superman form and began using them as part of his program to maintain his secret identity. He maintained several Clark Kent robots inside of a secret closet at his apartment on 344 Clinton Street, and he also maintained a large supply at his Fortress of Solitude. It was not uncommon of Superman to make use of one of these doubles whenever reporter, Lois Lane came to close to discovering his secret identity. Invariably, the presence of one of these robots would force her to rethink her suspicions that Clark and Superman may actually be the same person. Superman also used these robots as decoys against certain adversaries. They became particularly useful at keeping the likes of Lex Luthor, Brainiac or the Superman Revenge Squad off of his back.
The Superman Robots eventually started malfunctioning due to pollution damage and Superman decided to stop using his robot doubles. However, one rogue Superboy Robot managed to circumvent the pollution-induced corruption of its internal mechanics and operated as the secret guardian of Smallville in the years since the real Superboy's departure, until a hostile encounter with the adult Superman ended in the robot's self-destruction. Eventually, Superman managed to get one Superman Robot in functional working order again for special duty in his Fortress of Solitude.
To that end, Superman (while he was under the mental control of Dominus) creates the robotic legion of Supermen as a superpowered police force intended to keep humanity safe -- even from itself. After recovering from his mental possession, Superman had all of the Superman robots destroyed except for one who acts as guardian/playmate for Krypto at the Fortress to keep an eye on the non-superintelligent, though superpowered, dog.
The Superman Robots of Earth-One dimension possessed the same set of abilities as Superboy and later Superman. This power set included: flight, super-strength, super speed, invulnerability, heat vision and heightened senses, though usually all at lower power levels than Superman himself to ensure, that if needed, Superman could overwhelm the robots. The robots are exact look-alikes of Superboy/Superman (Even having a power source designed to beat like a human heart and a voice box designed to emit sounds in the voice of the hero). Superman installed several failsafe programs inside of certain robots, to keep them from malfunctioning or developing independent thought. Occasionally, however, one of the robots (ex. Ajax, X-17) would defy his master, and Superman would have to resort to drastic measures in order to safeguard the immediate environment. Although the robots demonstrated the same remarkable abilities as Superman, they were never his equal in terms of strength or speed. In times of crisis, Superman made certain that he could always deactivate a renegade robot should the need arise.
None of the mechanical Supermen were designed to be a replacement for Superman in either power level or intellect, though like the Earth-One versions were capable of limited logical thought and reaction to new situations. However, unlike the Earth-One Superman Robots, none of the New Earth Superman Robots actually were designed to appear to be Superman in appearance. In fact, all of the New Earth Superman Robots were obviously non-human in appearance. In fact, they all looked different to Superman and to each other. Like the New Earth Superman, all of the New Earth Superman Robots were capable of independent flight and possessed superhuman speed and strength.
- The Superman robots were common to the Silver Age and secondary timelines of the Modern Age that are reflective of the Silver Age such as the Pocket Universe Superboy.
- The Superman Robots have been largely discontinued and unused in the Modern era of Superman history as they were mostly written as a means of maintaining his secret identity.
- The Superman robots are not to be confused with the perfect/imperfect duplicate known as Bizarro. Although Bizarro is, in fact, an artificial lifeform, he is physically distinguishable from Superman and operates under am an alternate set of parameters.
- Originally, there were five initial Superboy robots, all of which were coated with a lead lining, and were operated via remote control.
- Unlike true Kryptonians, the Superman robots do not suffer any harmful side effects when exposed to Kryptonite.
- In Titans/Young Justice: Graduation Day, a Superman robot is responsible for killing the super-heroes known as Omen (Lilith Clay) and Donna Troy.
- The last surviving Superman robot is referred to as "Ned", and it has been programmed to take care and watch over Krypto at the Fortress of Solitude. Ned's body is programmed to dispense trace elements of Superman's natural scent so that Krypto will respond favorably to the machine-guardian.
- The first Superman robot was constructed in the likeness of Superboy and named Friday. The name is based on a character originally featured in the 1719 novel, Robinson Crusoe.
- DC Direct released a Superman Robot action figure which also included an action figure of Beppo the Super-Monkey.