SUPERMAN

Real Name: Clark Kent (his native Kryptonian name was Kal-El)

Occupation: Adventurer, newspaper reporter, columnist, novelist, former editor

Legal Status: Citizen of the United States of America

Identity: Secret

Other Aliases: None

Place of Birth: Krypton, Rao Star-System, Xeno Galaxy    

Marital Status: Married

Known Relatives: Jor-El (father; deceased); Lara (mother; deceased); Kara Zor-El (cousin, alias Supergirl, deceased), Zor-El (uncle-deceased), Jonathan Kent (adoptive father), Martha Clark Kent (adoptive mother); Lois Lane (wife); Lucy Lane (sister-in-law), Samuel Lane (father-in-law), Harry Kent (adoptive uncle); Sarah Kent (adoptive aunt)

Group Affiliations: Justice League of America, reserve member of Justice League International

Base of Operations: Metropolis, Delaware, Smallville, Kansas and the Fortress of Solitude, located somewhere in the Arctic Circle

First Appearance: Action Comics #1

Origin: Man of Steel #1

History: Superman is the last living survivor of a race of extra-rerrestrails native to the planet Krypton. For eons the Kryptonian civilization had evolved from humble beginnings, through vast planetary wars and a flowering of both cultural and scientific thought to become one of the most technologically advanced cultures in their galaxy. However there was a price to pay for this Utopian world. As their technology grew and they achieved near immortality via medicine their society lost the human aspect, they shut themselves away in ivory towers fearing unprocessed soil and individual thought.

It was in to this dying society that the scientist Jor-El was to come. One of Krypton's greatest thinkers for generations it was he who finally diagnosed the strange "Green Death" that was killing the population. He discovered that the ancient wars had taken a toll on the structure of the planet unleashing tremendous forces that were fusing the native elements into a new a radioactive compound. It was the radiation from this Kryptonite that was killing his people. However the ruling body would not believe Jor-El's prediction that the continuing synthesis of Kryptonite would cause a chain reaction that would destroy the planet.

Knowing that the end was near for his planet Jor-El removed his son still in his artificial womb from the traditional chambers and placed him in an experimental spacecraft. Jor-El and his partner Lara launched the craft as Krypton began to die. In their last moments together Jor-El declared his love for Lara, an act that was totally alien to that cold, dead society.

The craft that carried Jor-El's son was programmed to head to Earth where it finally crashed landed on the backwater Kansas farm of Martha and Jonathan Kent. Finding the child in the capsule they rescued him and due to a freak snowstorm were able to announce the child, young Clark Kent, to the world as their natural born son.

Clark was not like the other normal children in Smallville, the differences were not immediate to start with, but as he grew he found that he possessed powers and abilities that were far beyond those of his fellow mortal men. Upon graduating from high school he revealed his abilities to his childhood sweet heart Lana Lang and left to explore the world. He roamed the world, helping in secret, developing contacts and sources that would stand him in good stead for a future career in journalism.

Upon reaching Metropolis, Clark entered Metropolis University where he majored in Journalism completing the course in a fraction of the time that it took most students. While there, he fell in love with Lori Lemaris only to lose her after discovering that she was from the Atlantean city of Tritonis.

With an interview lined up for a position of the Daily Planet, Clark was waiting around in Metropolis enjoying the two hundredth anniversary celebrations and went down to the airport to watch the new NASA space plane come into land. Near tragedy struck when a small plane crashed into the Space Plane. In an instant Clark knew what he had to do. Using his superpowers to catch the falling plane he at last revealed his existence to a watching world. Moving at super speed he was able to save the plane and make a get away barring a brief encounter with the news reporter Lois Lane.

Clark returned to his parents in Smallville to seek their advice over what to do next. The world had seen him as a superhero but had not yet made the connection to Clark Kent. It was Jonathan Kent who came up with the idea of a costumed identity of Superman modeled on those of the mystery men from the wartime agency known as the Justice Society.

Disguised himself while as Clark Kent, he returned to Metropolis where he was able to deliver to Perry White the inside scoop on Superman beating Lois to the story in the process which was something that she did not easily forgive him. With Perry, Lois and club photographer Jimmy Olsen, Clark was able to build up for himself a second family in Metropolis. All the while Superman patrolled overhead fighting the forces of evil that threatened the world and the city.

As Superman he became the focus for the superhuman activity on Earth, his appearance prompted J'onn J'onzz to go public and many other superhumans to use their abilities for the greater good. He worked closely with the Justice League and grew to be the spokesperson for the superhuman community.

At some point in his life, Clark met another survivor from Krypton, his cousin Kara, who had survived the planetís destruction by devices her father had created to preserve the city in another dimension. He kept her existence secret from the public for several years and she was eventually adopted under the name of Linda Lee by a couple known as the Danvers. Linda was the costumed character Supergirl beside Superman, but she lost her life in the Crisis of Infinite Earths. After the struggle to save the earth, the timeline was seemingly recreated and much of Clarkís life changed and was altered as a result, but somehow he remembered Supergirl even though very few of his family and closest friends knew she had ever existed.

Over the course of his life, Clark cultivated his circle of friends including the dock worker and later bar owner Bibbo, the absent minded Professor Hamilton, Jose Delgado who became the Gangbuster, Guardian and the genetic specialists from the Cadmus Project, fellow reporter Cat Grant and the otherworldly Supergirl, a clone of Lana Lang from a decimated alternate reality of Earth. At the same time he also made numerous enemies including the billionaire Lex Luthor, the super android Brainiac, Mr. Mxyzptlk, The Atomic Skull and the Apokolips sponsored crime cartel of Intergang. Clark also fell in love with Lois and over time she grew to love him to the extent that they agreed to be married. At some point, she had deduced his dual identity and had kept it a secret from him although he did actually reveal that he was secretly Superman to her.

Superman eventually met his match in the form of Doomsday, an alien powerhouse trapped for millennia deep beneath the Earth. Freed, Doomsday caused a trail to destruction that headed straight for Metropolis. In a grandstand battle, Superman was able to defeat Doomsday, but in the process both combatants lost their lives. In the vacuum left by Superman's death four would be heroes emerged Superboy, a clone created by Project: Cadmus (not to be confused with the Superboy of the Time Trapperís Earth), Steel, an engineer who designed battle amour to rid the city of a weapon of his own design now being used by the street gangs, the Last Son of Krypton, later to be revealed to be the Eradicator, and the mysterious Cyborg who actually claimed to be the reanimated corpse of Superman.

Brought back from the other side by a combination of advanced Kryptonian medicine and a near death experience by his father, Jonathan Kent, Superman was not in time to stop the Cyborg, who turned out to be a vengeful former enemy, and the alien tyrant Mongul from destroying Coast City. With the help of his allies, Supergirl and Green Lantern Hal Jordan he was able to defeat Cyborg.

The time that he had been dead caused a number of problems, including competition at the Daily Planet from new reporter Ron Troupe. An old figure from his past nearly caused him to lose his cover identity and he obtained the bottled city of Kandor to look after. However he was to face another challenge when the Sun Eater blotted out the sun. Without the Sun's energy Superman quickly lost his powers and was left powerless. It was a condition that did not improve when Parallax gave his life to destroy the Sun Eater.

Superman was able to regain his superpowers with the help of the New Gods however not everything was the same as it had been. Kent slowly started noticing an ongoing mutation in his powers and physical existence in a process that came to a head when he mutated totally into an energy based being. It was only Professor Hamilton using Kryptonian circuitry and Lex Corp. experimental cloth that saved Superman by creating a containment suit that allowed Kent to control his new powers. Shortly afterwards he was split into two different beings by the Cyborg into the impulsive Superman Red and the more thoughtful Superman Blue. In an interesting development, when he was Clark Kent he was totally human. As an energy being, he was later split in two, and for a while there were two Supermen, Superman Red and Superman Blue. Following his selfless sacrifice for the universe during the Millennium Giants crisis, both halves were remerged and he was returned back to normal.

Height: 6'3"
Weight: 225 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Black

Strength Level: Superman possesses Class 100 level strength enabling him to lift (press) in excess of one hundred tons.

Known Superhuman Powers: Superman possesses superhuman strength, invincibility and stamina spawned from his solar-energy enhanced cellular structure. His Kryptonian physiology under a yellow sun has become supercharged via solar radiation, effectively heightening every normal human ability hundreds of times over to have the resilience and durability of steel. This means that he is one of the strongest and fastest people on the planet. A natural bioelectric aura accounts for his invulnerability acting like a natural force field mere millimeters from his skin, however, when this aura is overtaxed, it becomes weakened, exhausting it and allowing damage to his clothing. Because his cape extends beyond this aura, it can be damaged. (Previous accounts erroneously claimed Supermanís costume was created from Kryptonian fabric that like Superman became impervious under yellow solar energy). The accentuation of normal abilities also applies to his senses allowing his the ability to see most of the EM spectrum, extreme detail and to literally focus past normal matter (a.k.a. X-ray vision). His highly efficient physiology renders him immune to terrestrial disease.

All of Supermanís physical activities have been amplified as a result of his strength and stamina. He can run at incredible speeds approaching the Flash, who can run at the speed of light 9186,272 miles per hour). Before his powers of flight became obvious, Superman could make a standing broad jump over a mile or at least a high jump more than 150 feet into the air. His ability to fly enables him to cover far more distance.

Supermanís senses are far in excess of any other superhuman except for perhaps Daredevil and Wolverine. He can observe minute details from over fifty yards and focus his vision into the atomic scale as well into ultra-violet and infrared proportions of the light spectrum, enabling him to see extreme heart or cold. By tapping the x-ray wavelength of solar energy in his body, he can peer through most solid objects one level at a time. Lead is the only substance his x-ray vision is impervious against. His hearing is also sensitive; he can detect somewhere between 25,000 to 30,000 vibrations per second. His attention to sound is so particular that he can center on a single ultrasonic signal across several miles. He also has acute senses of smell, taste and touch allowing him to detect minute traces of poison in the area around him. In addition, his extra sensitive nerve structure allows him a near-clairvoyant ability to sense events on a scale close to Spiderman.

Perhaps the most notable of Supermanís powers is his ability to fly by some form of self-telekinesis that also applies to any heavy object he was carrying. Because the Earthís gravity is lesser than that of Krypton, he can conjure a field of energy around him strong enough to push against the gravity of the earth and carry him near infinite distances. Quasi-psionic in nature, this field allows him to levitate and then by mentally pushing forward and possibly emitting propulsion he can fly the length of the planet. He can reach orbits above the earth above 6,500 feet and attain casual speeds of 750 miles per hour. (Greater speeds while in the Earthís atmosphere would cause sonic booms resulting in damage around him.) At great speeds, his Kryptonian physiology protects him from detrimental effects such as friction and dizziness.

His heat vision is generated by tapping his bodyís solar energy reserves and expelling the energy via his eyes as a form of "heat ray" vision nearly identical to a laser. By contracting or expanding his irises, he can generate a blast small enough to burn a hole smaller than the size of a dime or an explosive blast enough to knock Thor or the Hulk to his feet. He can cause fires or sear through concrete with the laser-like efficiency. It is unknown as to how long he could use his heat-vision before his solar energies were completely depleted, but since his cellular structure constantly processes solar energy, he might be able to use his heat-vision consecutively for up to several hours. Superman also has superhuman lung efficiency and by expelling all the carbon dioxide out of his body at once, he can generate freezing temperatures nearly identical to a fire extinguisher.

Supermanís also has exceptional mental and recall ability able to learn almost anything faster than normal people. For example, he has memorized the complete Metropolis phone book and the files at the Daily Planet. He can pick up languages foreign and alien at will and mentally solve long mathematical algorithms unconsciously.

During the time when Superman was turned into an energy being where he was able to alter his density from intangible to tangible forms similar to the Vision or Martian Manhunter. In this state, he could split from Clark to two identical beings with the same memories and become Clark once more with the combined memories of his two halves. In his human state, he possessed no powers and was no more powerful that the average human male, however, this might be indicative of his conscious and unconscious will to do so. The nature of his energy matrix meant that he could control all forms of energy such as magnetism, gravitational forces, radiation and electricity. As a energy being, he could travel as a bolt of lightning landing with a jolt where ever he landed. He displayed some other abilities including the ability to link with electronic systems such as computers, see in vastly expanded and different radiation spectra, emit electrical blasts and to produce a "solid field" that allowed him too physical interact with objects. He was also able to control the shape and size of this field. However, because he always reunited to become Clark, the existence of his two halves might have been a side effect of something else unknown and possibly incompatible with his Kryptonian physique.

Limitations: Supermanís major source of weakness is Kryptonite. When Krypton exploded, the substance at the planetís core transformed into a deadly radioactive isotope called Kryptonite. This new element is one of few with a high atomic weight that is reasonably unstable. It can be deadly to Superman, but harmless to human beings in small doses. While Kryptonite isotopes have half-lives of several years, even centuries, it can degrade into iron just as radium degrades into lead. However, it is frictionless and many chunks have reached the Earth through the warp in the wake of the rocket, which brought Kal-El to Earth.

Kryptonite was first discovered by Johnathan Kent, who discovered a piece of it near the rocket that brought Kal-El to Earth. Not guessing its effects, he placed it in Clarkís rock collection and it gradually began to weaken Clark. Since learning to avoid it, Superman has learned that Kryptonite radiation tends to fill his cellular structure driving out his stored solar energies and poisoning him. Sustained exposure to Kryptonite radiation gives Superman a green hue to his skin, however, the effects are not cumulative and he will gain his full health and power once he is separated from the radiation or protected by lead. Like all radioactive substances, Kryptonite radiation can be counteracted by lead to the point that Superman can handle it directly. Prolonged exposure can be deadly and kill virtually anything, even human beings, and even induce cancer as it did to Lex Luthorís original body. 

Kryptonite can be found in several forms (stone, metal, crystallineÖ) and several isotopes (one isotope appears only in crystalline form). Kryptonite can be melted or vaporized although K-gas dissipates quickly unless contained. K-energy also has been used to power lasers and Metalloís metal body.  Of the several isotopes of Kryptonite, three appear only in green while the others have specific hues. Red-K has powerful properties which rather than killing him can mutate him in any sort of unpredictable way, but only once in twenty-four to forty-eight hours, but it is still unpredictable so there have been exceptions. Gold-K can permanently rob Superman of his powers, as it did the Kryptonian villain Quex-Ul. It has yet to be used against Superman. The other forms of Kryptonite have lesser effects against Superman. Anti-K can only poison non-powered Kryptonians. The original Supergirl while trying to find a cure for Kryptonite poisoning accidentally created X-K. Blue-K only seems to affect clones of Superman, such as Bizarro, who are immune to Green-K. Blue-K in a few incidents have given powers identical to Superman to normal human beings, such as Lucy Lane in one alternate reality. It has also been shown once as a cure for the long-lasting mutation effects of Red-K. White-K only kills plant-life, regardless if it came from Krypton or not and Jewel-K can be used as a medium for Kryptonians trapped on astral planes, such as The Phantom Zone. However, most of these extraneous forms of Kryptonite were wiped out of existence during the Crisis of Infinite Earths and forgotten in the restored timeline.

Despite his power, Superman is immune to magic and items of mystical potential. He can be hypnotized, but not to the point he will reveal his true identity. Several creatures conjured by magic have been used to do him harm and he has felt harm from lightning controlled by Thorís hammer. He is also immune to harm in the presence of red solar energy which eradicates the yellow solar energy within his body and renders him with the normal strength, stamina and endurance of a normal human being..

Base of Operations: Supermanís Fortress of Solitude is a stronghold holding the last remnants of Krypton as well as a headquarters containing weapons at his disposal. The alien Eradicator created the underground labyrinth of rooms and chambers in its plans to transform the Earth into a new Krypton (previous accounts that Superman built the sanctuary under the tutelage of Jor-Elís ghost are erroneous). Since defeating and overcoming the sentient artifact, Superman has turned the location into a repository for preserving Kryptonian culture and relics as well as objects of personal wealth to himself, storing Kryptonite away from the unscrupulous parties that would use it and as a personal retreat for himself. Containing living quarters for guests, it has also been used as a base for the JLA. Maintained by Kelex, a faithful and near-sentient robot assistant, the fortress is also maintained by computers on par with the Batcave and protected by weapons capable of distressing even the Silver Surfer. The entire location is powered on Kryptonian power crystals, which provide an endless stream of clean fissionable energy on par with a nuclear reactor.  

Comments: Created by Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, revamped by John Byrne