The Earth-2 Superman's origin is quite similar to that of Kal-El. When Kal-L's Father, a renowned scientist named Jor-L, discovered that their homeworld of Krypton was about to explode he desperately attempted to convince his fellow Kryptonians of the danger their people was facing but they refused to believe him. Nevertheless Jor-L built a starship for his infant son Kal-L and though it pained both Jor-L and his wife Lora to send their only child away they both knew it was for the best. Shortly after his rocket was launched into space, Krypton exploded killing Jor-L and Lora and sent a "meteor shower" of irradiated chunks of the Krypton flying across the Universe.
Most of which traveled alongside Kal-L's ship before it inevitably came to crash in a cornfield near Smallville, Kansas during World War I where the infant Kal-L, who had miraculously survived both the destruction of Krypton, the hazards of outer space and exposure to the large chunks of irradiated "Kryptonite" which joined his ship on it's journey to Earth, was found by John and Mary Kent who had been passing by when Kal-L's ship crashed to Earth.
Taking Kal-L in as their own, he was given the name Clark Kent and was raised on the Kent Farm for years without even knowing of his true origins until one day he began to slowly discover that he had extraordinary superhuman abilities that defied all the laws of physics but still remained unaware of his Kryptonian origins. In time John and Mary passed away and Clark decided to use his newly-found powers for the good of the world. He moved to the city of Metropolis in order to properly start his career as a superhero as well as becoming a reporter for Metropolis' local newspaper: The Daily Star.
Near the end of the Golden Age of Comics, the superhero genre declined in popularity and DC only continued to publish their most popular characters. However, in the early 60s, when superheroes began to become more popular, DC decided to integrate their Golden Age heroes back into continuity. To do this, the company introduced the concept of a parallel universe called Earth-Two, where many of the Golden Age characters lived, while the Silver Age stories would be established as having happened on Earth-One. This allowed characters like Alan Scot, Jay Garrick and Black Canary (along with many others) to interact with more modern characters.
However, since DC had continually published Superman stories since 1938, it was not originally clear whether the Man of Steel's Golden Age stories were intended to have taken place on Earth-1 or Earth-2 (this is also true for Batman and Wonder Woman, DC's two other characters whose continuity was not broken during the 1950s). During a Justice League/Justice Society team-up, a continuity error arose which established Superman as having been a member of the Justice Society of America (which only existed on Earth-Two at the time) while also being a member of the Justice League of America (the Silver Age reboot of the JSA (which at the time only existed on Earth-One.)
DC would rectify this mistake in 1969 by establishing that there were two versions of Superman, in Justice League of America #73. Eventually a few minor changes were made to distinguish the two Supermen from one another. The Earth-2 Superman was named "Kal-L" (rather than Kal-El, which would go to Earth-One's Superman) and was raised by John and Mary Kent. His "S-Shield" chest symbol was also adjusted to differentiate it from Earth-One's Superman Finally, Kal-L was given gray hair at the temples in order to make him look older than his Earth-One counterpart.
DC Comics then decided to continue Kal-L's continuity as if it had continued that found in the Golden Age. During the Bronze Age of Comics Kal-L eventually revealed his true identity to his one true love, Lois Lane following his involvement in World War Two (despite the fact that the stories were published during the Bronze Age, they were set during the 1950s in order to keep the flow of time on Earth-Two a naturally progressive one) and the two got married. From there DC centered Kal-L's stories around his and Lois' early life as a married couple as well as showing Kal-L becoming more confident in his abilities, thus resulting in his ascension to Metropolis' one and only protector.
As his confidence grew more and more Kal-L eventually began expanding his horizons and grew from just being the protector of just Metropolis to being a protector of Earth itself. It was also revealed that Kal-L had been a founding member of The Justice Society of America but was given Honorary Member status, as he hardly ever participated in their adventures. Kal-L also built a secret citadel in the mountains near Metropolis that was somewhat similar to The Fortress of Solitude on Earth-One. One major turning point in Kal-L's life was the discovery of more living Kryptonians.
The first encounter being with three brothers named U-Ban, Kizo and Mala who had once been a part of The Kryptonian Science Council until they attempted to conquer the planet which resulted in them being placed in suspended animation and being exiled from Krypton. Mala would go on to create a counterfeit Earth which is where Bizarro would emerge from in the future. The second encountered revolved around the discovery of Kal-L's cousin Kara (who would one day become Power Girl) who had arrived on Earth-Two decades after Kal-L did and had been educated by her ship through a virtual reality simulation.
Major Story Arcs
Crisis on Infinite Earths
In 1985, DC Comics began to realize that there were way too many alternate versions of Earth and it's Heroes which was naturally causing great confusion amongst fans. DC Comics decided to destroy The Multiverse in the Crisis on Infinite Earths maxi-series which redefined the word "retcon" forever. A being of immeasurable power called The Anti-Monitor came from a realm called The Anti-Matter Universe. He began a genocidal sojourn across the Multiverse in an insane quest to make his Universe the only Universe so that he could truly become the Ruler of all Creation.
The Anti-Monitor destroyed almost every single Universe (including Earth-Six, Earth-Three and Earth-Prime)
save for five alternate worlds (the Silver Age/Bronze Age Earth-One, the Golden Age Earth-Two, the Marvel Family's Earth-S or Shazam, the Charlton heroes' Earth-Four and the Freedom Fighters' Earth-X) that were contained in a netherverse created by the death of the Monitor. The heroes of the DC Universe learned that to save these five realities they had to attack the Anti-Monitor at the Dawn of Time before he could change the course of history. The heroes went to the Dawn of Time to attack the Anti-Monitor but failed to defeat him. Instead the Anti-Monitor captured the heroes and absorbed their energies to give him the power to re-create the universe at the Dawn of Time in his own image.
Victory and creation literally in his grasp, the Anti-Monitor suddenly felt an opposing, nearly omnipotent force resist him from the god-like entity known as the Spectre. The Anti-Monitor and the Spectre, fueled by the power of DC's greatest sorcerers and mystics, were locked in a power struggle over the fate of the universe. The clash of power and energies between these two cosmic beings climaxed in an energy backlash that essentially became The Big Bang and a universe was born and only one universe. As a result of the battle with the Anti-Monitor at the Dawn of Time, the multiverse never came into being and the universe was reborn combined with different aspects from the five surviving realities.
Most of the heroes from the five earths then existed on this New Earth while some others never existed at all. For example, most of the Justice Society of America existed as heroes of World War II with the Justice League of America continuing their legacy. Heroes such as Earth-Two's Batman and Robin, the Huntress, Wonder Woman and Kal-L ceased to be in this new timeline. Heroes such as Kal-L were still in this new universe because they were at the Dawn of Time before the rebirth of the new universe. Also, all the heroes at the Dawn of Time were the only beings to remember the events of the Crisis.
The Anti-Monitor continued to be a powerful threat when he shifted the New Earth from the positive matter universe and into the anti-matter universe. The heroes regrouped once again and formulated an intricate plan designed to destroy the Anti-Monitor. When the heroes thought the Anti-Monitor was dead, Alexander Luthor of Earth-Three used much of the anti-matter energy that he drained from the Anti-Monitor to create a portal to transport the New Earth and the heroes back to the positive matter universe. However, the Anti-Monitor was not dead and he attacked the remaining heroes leaving through the portal. The Silver Age Wonder Woman of Earth-One was reduced to her original clay form by the Anti-Monitor's energy blast.
Kal-L stayed behind in the anti-matter universe to fight the Anti-Monitor and forced the remaining heroes (the Bronze Age Superman of Earth-One, Lady Quark of Earth-Six and the Superboy of Earth-Prime) to leave through the portal back to the positive matter universe. Superboy-Prime decided to stay behind as well to help Kal-L in this final battle with the Anti-Monitor. Alexander Luthor of Earth-Three had to remain to close the portal in the anti-matter universe. Kal-L delivered the final, killing blow to the Anti-Monitor and saved the reborn universe. In the end however their victory felt bittersweet, while Alexander teleported the other heroes back to the New Earth, Kal-L, Alexander and Superboy-Prime were trapped in the anti-matter universe.
Shockwaves from the explosive death of the Anti-Monitor was disintegrating everything in its path. Alexander soon revealed that he not only had secured a new home for them but had also saved Kal-L's wife, the Lois Lane of Earth-Two, shortly before it was erased from existence. Together Kal-L, Lois, Superboy-Prime and Alexander Luthor crossed through the threshold to their new home.
As time passed following The First Crisis everything began to go wrong. As New Earth began to descend into chaos and anarchy following the death of that world's Superman at the hands of Doomsday the barriers surrounding their home began to weaken and as New Earth became more and more corrupted something began to happen that caused Lois to fall extremely ill. Kal-L became obsessed with making sure that Lois stayed healthy and alive, Superboy-Prime would not stop watching the "recorded" events of his entire life even all the way up to it's destruction and Alexander Luthor came to the realization that he had made a grave error in judgment by bringing them to The Paradise Dimension.
Luthor learned that during The First Crisis, the villain known as Darkseid was capable of watching everything through his eyes, when he was about to send Kal-L and the others to The Paradise Dimension he was able to see through Darkseid's eyes and watched as he said that Alex was essentially a conduit to all worlds. However Alex instantly forgot this and it became a sort of blip in the timeline, meaning that every time Alex reviewed New Earth's history that moment would not show up.
But eventually he unraveled the blip and learned that Alexander could have taken them to Apokolips, which despite all of the dangers traveling through that world presented had a gateway that led back to Earth. They could have started their new life together on New Earth instead of The Paradise Dimension. As Alexander began plotting to find a way out of The Paradise Dimension, Kal-L became more and more obsessed with keeping Lois alive despite the fact that she was clearly beginning to weaken further and further. He also refused to accept that even though the evidence was right in front of him, Lois' death was an inevitability.
Because of his obsession Kal-L would constantly neglect Superboy-Prime who was beginning to suffer from what you would pretty much call Cabin Fever due to the isolation he felt. Then during a talk with Alexander Luthor, Superboy-Prime started realigning New Earth's history while throwing a temper tantrum, apparently each time he threw his fists at the air he would actually end up shattering the barriers between The Paradise Dimension and New Earth. He would also cause the timeline to unravel and readjust itself as he did so and that is when Alex came up with a plan to escape their imprisonment.
Giving Prime a power boost using his own Anti-Matter abilities, Prime punched his way out of The Paradise Dimension and together with Alexander they secretly began work on the plot to create The Perfect Earth. When the time was right, Alexander manipulated Kal-L into helping him further his plans by promising that they could save Lois by taking New Earth apart and start trying to restore The Multiverse so that they could get Lois back home to Earth-Two where presumably she would be cured. Kal-L became convinced of Luthor's lies and broke open a path out of The Paradise Dimension.
The first thing Kal-L did upon breaking free was help Alexander and Prime partially rebuild his old citadel in the mountains near Metropolis so they could have a base of operations to work from. Once Lois was all situated, Kal-L sought out his cousin Kara (Power Girl) who had been integrated into the New Earth timeline following The First Crisis and brought her back to the citadel in order to restore her memories of Earth-Two, which he did when she touched Lois' hand.
Afterward Kal-L sought out Batman hoping that he would be able to convince him to aid in their cause as well. Things did not go as planned however and Kal-L sadly departed from the Batcave.
When he returned Alexander told him to stay remain with Lois which he did straight up to the very moment in which Alexander recreated The Multiverse which resulted in Kal-L and Lois being teleported to the sidewalk just outside the entrance to The Daily Star on the newly restored Earth-Two. For a moment everything seemed right and then the illness which had infected Lois for so long took her life and she died in Kal-L's arms.
Devastated, Kal-L screamed so loudly that he destroyed all of the windows around him, his screams were heard by the mainstream DC Universe Superman who had also ended up on Earth-Two and came to see what was the problem.
When Kal-L learned of Superman's presence on Earth-Two he flew into a rage, believing that the "corrupted" Superman had killed Lois simply by being there and outright attacked him. Kal-L and Superman fought for a long period of time which resulted in almost the total destruction of Earth-Two's Metropolis, while fighting one another they saw each others lives through their eyes as well as the lives of other versions of themselves.
Their battle was finally ended by New Earth's Wonder Woman who intervened just in time and gave Superman the moments he needed to convince Kal-L that Alexander had been using him. When Alexander's plans failed and New Earth was reformed, Kal-L sought out Alexander while fighting his way through an endless horde of supervillains alongside Superman. He even helped Superman kill Doomsday in no time at all. When Kal-L finally found Alexander and demanded he tell him his reasons for betraying them.
Alexander responded that he was like his Father who was "the only superhero in a world full of villains," before Kal-L could interrogate him any further however their confrontation was interrupted by the now mentally-deranged and somewhat older Superboy-Prime. Prime exclaimed that he wanted Earth-Prime back, that he did not want to be on New Earth anymore, that he did not want to merely take the place of Conner Kent, that he did not want anything Conner had before Prime killed him.
Prime suddenly came to the realization of how he could achieve this feat, he would fly through Oa as fast as he could thus destroying it and the entire Universe in the process which in turn would result in the birth of an entirely new Universe.
Kal-L tried to convince Prime to stop this madness but Prime was far too gone and went on a rampage across the Heavens as he made way for Oa. Kal-L and Superman came up with a plan to take Prime down and so they pursued him into the depths of outer space where Prime had already murdered over 33 Green Lantern Corpsmen.
Together Kal-L and Superman blindsided Prime and flew him straight through Rao, Krypton's Red Sun, which not only depowered all three of them but burned away Prime's unique suit of sunlight harnessing armor. The three crash-landed on Mogo, the sentient Green Lantern Planet who had teleported to Krypton just in the nick of time to keep them all from suffocating in space, and it was there on Mogo's surface that Kal-L and Superman fought a vicious fight with Prime.
Unfortunately because Prime was younger and stronger than him despite being depowered, Kal-L was able to get only a single punch in before Prime viciously beat him to death. Following Prime's defeat and subsequent capture Kara, who along with many of Earth's Heroes and several Green Lanterns including Hal Jordan and Guy Gardner had followed the three all the way to Mogo, rushed to Kal-L's side where he died in her arms a few moments later.
Kal-L would be taken back to Earth for a proper burial, Lois' body was apparently recovered and buried next to him, as for Prime he was imprisoned on Oa and Alexander was murdered by Lex Luthor and The Joker.
As the rings of The Black Lantern Corps descended upon Earth, one forced its way into the grave of Kal-L and revived him as a Black Lantern.
He immediately flew to Smallville and began the slaughter to power the Black Lanterns Corps Central Power Battery.
He murdered Sheriff Hayes, the patrons of a diner and several teenagers at a drive-in theater before heading to the cemetery.
That is where Superman and Superboy found him, after having dug up the grave of Jonathan Kent.
He attacked them both, focusing mostly on Superboy and imploring Conner Kent to rejoin the ranks of the dead.
His hand gripped Superboy's chest just over the heart, but Superman separated them before Kal-L could tear Superboy's heart out.
When Superman and Superboy were able to catch up to Kal-L again, he and his Lois Lane had already taken Ma Kent hostage, as well as the body of Jonathan Kent.
Superman begins fighting Kal-L again while Superboy gets Ma Kent and Pa Kent away from Black Lantern Lois. While Black Lantern Lois goes after Ma Kent, Superboy tries to restore the peace of Smallville when he encounters Psyco-Pirate. He uses his power on Superboy, who then begins to beat up Superman while Kal-L watches.
Superboy then comes to his senses and blasts Kal-L away with his Tactile Telekenisis. Superman recovers and he battles Kal-L again while Superboy takes down the Psyco-Pirate. Superboy takes the Medusa Mask away and uses it to restore peace to Smallville and to remove the ring from Psyco-Pirate. He then goes to Kal-L and uses the mask to remove his ring. Kal-L's ring shatters the mask and Kal-L's body plummets to Earth as a corpse once again.
After that, his and the Psyco-Pirate's bodies are retrieved by the JSA in hopes of discovering how the Black Lanterns work. When the Wesley Dodds, Terry Sloane, and the other dead members of the JSA attack, another black ring goes on to Kal-L's finger. He then starts to fight Power Girl and a few other living members while Mr. Terrific, Doctor Fate, Lightning, and Alan Scott try to build a device to destroy the Black Lanterns. Kal-L was winning the fight and almost destroyed the device, but with a little delay thanks to Power Girl, the device was completed and activated. It ended up destroying all the nearby Black Lanterns, including Kal-L.
Like every version of Superman, each have their own costume, though Kal-L's costume is similar to Kal El's, their were a few differences. Though Kal-L's costume wasn't used as much as Kal El's costume in the media. Though it was used, Kal-L's costume was used in the early Fleischer cartoons. Kal-L's costume next appeared in Super Friends, where the costume strongly resembled Kal-L's costume. Kal-L's costume last appeared in Justice League: The New Frontier. Kal-L's costume has changed over the years, in the early Golden Age Comics his S shield was just in a triangle, but later on it was changed to a diamond shield. Kal-L's costume also had a shorter cape than Kal El's cape. Kal-L continued to wear this costume up until his death.
Powers and Abilities
Kal-L possess Super Strength. The early portrayals of Kal-L show him to be stronger than a locomotive, but as time went by, Kal-L became much Stronger. Kal-L in his Prime could match the Silver Age Superman in strength, this was shown in the 1960s, however, in Infinite Crisis, he could only match New Earth Superman. Kal-L's powers were originally not solar based, however his powers were retconned so that he did get his powers with The Sun, it was shown that his powers grew stronger with age up until a certain point. In Superman: Infinite Crisis, Kal-L was so powerful, that whenever he punched Kal-El, Kal-El would experience his life. Kal-L was shown to have the power of punching through reality, Kal-L and Kal-El were arguably the most powerful beings during the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths.
Kal-L possess super speed, his early portrayals show him to be faster than a speeding bullet, but as time went by, he was capable of time traveling with his speed. Kal-L's speed can be compared to Kal-El's Speed.
Kal-L could not originally fly, he could only jump, but in the later incarnations he was capable of flying, and even flying in space. Also at very fast speeds.
Kal-L like most other incarnations of Superman has the ability to see miniature objects. He used this power mostly in the Golden Age of Comics.
Kal-L possess super durability, he was capable of surviving a blast from the Anti Monitor, fighting Kal-El of the Silver Age, trading blows with Superboy Prime and fighting Kal-El of New Earth.
Kal-L was capable of learning a language by just listening to it. This was shown in the Golden Age.
Kal-L is capable of seeing at long distances.
Kal-L in the late Golden Age stories was capable of hypnotising people, however, he has never again used this ability, due to it being time consuming.
Kal-L is capable of seeing through objects, except led.
Kal-L is capable of blowing powerful winds.
Kal-L has Heat Vision, he gained this ability in the early cartoons.
Kal-L in the early Golden Age stories was violent and beat on criminals and had a loose moral code, and didn't mind killing. Though as time went by his personality was changed to a light-hearted man who helped people, and also had a strong moral code and swore never to kill, he made a promise that if he did kill, he would retire as Superman. Though he did not entirely stick to this promise, during the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, Kal-L finally crossed the line and delivered the final blow to the Anti-Monitor, killing him in the process. It was implied that in Superman: Infinite Crisis, Kal-L was more violent than Kal-El and didn't hold back as much.
- Height: 6''2
- Weight: 222lbs
- Eyes: Blue
- Hair: Black
- Real name: Kal-L
- Occupation: Reporter/Editor of the Daily Star
- Relatives: John and Mary Kent
- Base of operations: Metropolis
Note: Only depictions of Kal-L (not Superman) should appear here. Appearances of Superman during the Golden Age (before Kal-L was created in 1969) should be located in Superman's page.
Justice League: The New Frontier (2008)
Justice League: The New Frontier portrays the Golden Age Superman. Although the film is set in the 50s, some of the characters are based on Golden Age characters, while others such as The Flash are based on the Silver Age versions. The "Golden Age Superman" was used. Kyle MacLachlan plays the voice of Superman/Clark Kent. The plot follows a new generation of superheroes banding together to fight off evil alien forces.
Fleischer Cartoons (1940s)
This 1940s cartoon was produced by Fleischer studios. Consisting of 17 episodes, the first 9 episodes were produced by Fleischer studios while the last 8 were produced by Famous studios. This version of similar is distinctly similar to the early portrayal of the Golden Age Superman. It is clearly set in the early 1940s, visually the Fleischer Superman looks similar to the early Golden Age Superman and Superman is portrayed as less of a boyscout and rougher.