In the pages of Superman, Superman continues to battle H'el as H'el prepares to travel to the past, however, he is thrown aside. As H'el prepares to enter the ship, he is tricked by Supergirl who stabs him with Kryptonite shard and both are poisoned by it. The time portal collapses, H'el falls through, and Superman takes Kara to the Fortress for medical attention. In the aftermath, an entity encountered by Superman known as the Oracle is aware that what had happened would have serious consequences for Superman and every universe in the future and it is shown in Krypton's past, a young Jor-El encounters a wounded H'el. In the pages of Justice League and Aquaman, Superman and Wonder Woman continue to develop their kindling relationship meanwhile the forces of Atlantis attack the surface world. Despite fierce resistance, the League (excluding Cyborg) are captured by the Ocean Master, King of Atlantis. They are taken as prisoners under the sea until they are rescued by Cyborg and Mera, and begin to ascend up to the surface to confront Ocean Master. Joining the reserves called in by Cyborg, the Justice League fight off the Atlanteans until the true antagonist is revealed to them to be Vulko - the Justice League and the Atlanteans team up against the Trench and end up victorious.
Although Superman's origin has been retold many times, the story has remained somewhat consistent throughout. Superman's story tells of his birth as Kal-El to renowned scientist Jor-El and his wife Lara on the alien planet Krypton. When Jor-El discovers that the planet is going to explode, he puts Kal-El in a spaceship heading to the planet Earth, which crashes in a field in the state of Kansas. The ship and its occupant are found by Jonathan and Martha Kent, a farming family, who take him in as their own. As he grows, so do his strength and his strange and awesome abilities, fueled by Earth's yellow sun. As an adult, he moves to the bustling City of Tomorrow, Metropolis, becoming a field reporter for the Daily Planet newspaper, and donning the identity of Superman.
Superman was created by American writer Jerry Siegel and Canadian-born American artist Joe Shuster in 1933. Contrary to his current incarnation, he first appeared as a bald, telepathic villain bent on dominating the world. He was called "Super-Man" in the short science fiction fanzine "The Reign of the Super-Man" which was published by the duo in 1933. Siegel and Shuster decided to re-write the character as a hero and took out the hyphen, renaming him Superman and re-imagining him with no resemblance to his earlier incarnation. Their early attempts to sell the concept of the character were notably unsuccessful. For instance, Siegel attempted to sell the story to Tip Top Comics but it was rejected as too fanciful and not what comic book readers would be interested in. They drew inspiration from heroes across myth and history such as Samson, Hercules, Moses and other, at that time, modern heroic figures including Doc Savage and Buck Rogers. They also changed his motivations from trying to conquer the world to trying to make it a better place, fighting against the injustices like Hitler and Stalin in addition to everyday crime. Shuster and Siegel intended to make the character as colorful and distinctive as they could, drawing inspiration from the outfits worn by space characters in pulp magazines as well as the traditional outfit worn by circus strong-men, which informed the look of almost every superhero thereafter. Being avid movie fans, Siegel and Shuster gave the character the civilian name of Clark Kent, combining the names of actors Clark Gable and Kent Taylor and partly basing the character on Harold Lloyd. It has also been stated that Shuster based Superman's looks upon actor Douglass Fairbanks. The pair decided to feature Superman in the then dominant comic-strip format and were finally able sell their creation to Detective Comics, later known as DC comics where they would produce comic books featuring him for several years. In June of 1938, Superman made his debut in Action Comics #1 and since then he has become not only one of the most famous and iconic super-heroes of all time but also one of the most popular fictional characters ever.
Many comics historians and various scholars have also noted various influences on the Superman character and mythology. Siegel and Shuster were avid fans of science fiction and work such as the John Carter series bare a resemblance to early Superman, as do elements from Jewish mythology (Siegel and Shuster being the sons of Jewish immigrants) such as Moses, and the guardian creature of Jewish folklore, the Golem. Superman was based on 3 people,either mythological or fiction, Buck Rogers, Moses and Hercules. Early in his publication history, Superman, like many heroic characters of the time, was used by the United States government as a tool of propaganda during World War II. It was then that he was first presented as a being who embodied the American ideals of Truth, Justice and Liberty.
In the Golden Age of Superman, Jor-L, a scientist of the planet Krypton, discovers that his planet is about to explode. He attempts to warn his fellow scientists of this impending catastrophe, but is dismissed as a crack-pot and laughed out of the scientific community. As a last-resort, he and his wife Lara place their infant son in a ship and rocket him into space where he drifts for an unknown amount of time before crash-landing to Earth and is discovered by Jonathan and Mary Kent. At first they intend to place to him in an orphanage, but relent at the last moment and decide to raise him as their own, naming him “Clark” and treating him as their son. As he matures, great powers began to manifest and before his parents’ deaths, they dub him Superman and urge him to use his powers for the forces of justice. His parents pass on and he moves to Metropolis to begin his career at the Daily Star (later known as the Daily Planet) so that he could hear about trouble as it’s happening. Superman’s time as a hero had him getting directly involved in World War II, carrying Stalin and Hitler to the UN to face a trial for their human rights violations. He also becomes the protector of Metropolis, but unlike his later incarnations he’s extremely aggressive and vicious, often murdering his powerless foes, and having little regard for the collateral damage he inflicts. This attitude lasted until the end of the 1940's when new editor Whitney Ellsworth banned the character from killing, even having Superman vowing to never kill anyone ever again and if he did he would retire. Several of the series's supporting characters were introduced in this age, most notably Lois Lane, a fellow reporter who would be Superman's love interest and eventually his wife, and Lex Luthor, the the archenemy of Superman.
During the Silver Age, DC Comics decided to create two Supermen instead of just updating the Golden Age Superman. To that end, they introduced Superboy, who was a younger version of Kal-El and travels to the future to help the Legion of Superheroes fight evil across the year 3000. Additionally: Supergirl is first introduced as Superman’s cousin during the late 1950s and serves the role of kid sidekick along with the menagerie of super-animals (including Krypto, Beppo, Streaky and Comet). Many of Superman’s most iconic villains are introduced in this era, and most of them take on a science fiction theme, including Brainiac and Bizarro. Superman also helps found the Justice League of America, marking one of the first pan-label crossover teams in comic book history. During the 1960s, his origin is revealed: Superman was born on Krypton, to Jor-El (a slight change from the Golden Age Jor-L) by Lara Lor-Van. Rejected by the Science Council, Jor-El labors to build a vessel that can transport his family away from the impending catastrophe. The planet’s destruction begins before Jor-El predicted, however, and he can only send his son.
Kal-El’s ship lands in Smallville and is discovered by Jonathan and Martha Kent (an earlier version identified them as Ethan and Sara Kent), who adopt the boy and raise him as their own, naming him Clark (which was Martha's maiden name). Clark discovers his powers while still a baby (See Superbaby) and learns to control them as he matures. Clark convinces his mother to sew him a costume and fights evil as Superboy in Smallville while also becoming a member of the Legion Of Super-Heroes in the year 3000. He is assisted by his pet, Krypto the Superdog, who also escaped Krypton in a prototype rocket launched by Jor-El, and thus had similar powers to the Boy of Steel. Childhood friends, Lana Lang and Pete Ross, round out his supporting cast and give him a connection to Earth beyond his parents. When Jonathan and Martha Kent both die of a disease for which even Superboy cannot cure, Clark moves to Metropolis and attends Metropolis University, continuing his adventuring throughout his college career. He eventually changes his name to Superman upon graduating with a degree in journalism and gets a job at the Daily Planet soon after ward. Silver Age Superman is famous for being incredibly powerful and for his ability to gain new powers that Superman had never had before.
Superman’s Bronze Age origin essentially lines up with and is a continuation of his Silver Age story with the only a few tweaks including a reduction in Superman's power (which proved to be temporary).
Writer/ artist John Byrne rebooted Superman's origins following DC's 1985 "Crisis on Infinite Earths" maxi-series which eliminated the DC Multiverse by combining all of their many alternate realities into one mainstream DC Universe. Krypton was reinterpreted as a sterile society in which the populace no longer engages in skin to skin contact. Kal-El was conceived with machines and his fetus was housed in a birthing matrix until his arrival on Earth, making it so he was actually born on his new home planet. John and Martha survived into Clark's adulthood and helped keep him grounded. It was not unusual for Clark to visit them at the Kent Farm regularly. Lex Luthor was imagined as a business man who committed crimes through third parties and made it impossible to trace his evil doing back to him. But, most importantly, it was established that Clark Kent is the dominant persona, while Superman is more of them 'mask.' Prior to this, Clark was only a facade that Superman utilized in order to find out about potential disasters; the new Clark was assertive and capable, not just a milquetoast. The origin of Superman is retold in Superman: Birthright by Mark Waid. The story incorporates several classic iconic elements, but updates them. Once again, Clark Kent is used only as a tool for Superman's crusade. It's explained that he changes the pitch of his voice, slouches his shoulders and wears baggy clothes to hide his muscles, all while pretending to be clumsy and refraining from socializing with other staff members of the Daily Planet. Lex Luthor is said to have spent time in Smallville, similar to the show of the same name and the retroactive continuity first described in the pages of Superboy. John and Martha are depicted as being younger than usual, something that is also borrowed from the Smallville television show and some of it is retconned. After Infinite Crisis, more is added to Superman's origin in Superman: Secret Origins.
Major Story Arcs
For The Man Who Has Everything
On Superman's birthday, Batman, Robin (Jason Todd) and Wonder Woman arrive at the Fortress of Solitude to give him their gifts. However, they find Superman to be in a vegetative state induced by a plant named Black Mercy which had been sent to Superman disguised as a gift by Mongul - who then reveals himself as Batman and Wonder Woman theorize the origin of the plant. Mongul and Wonder Woman fight each other while Batman and Robin try and work out a way of reviving Superman.
Meanwhile, in Superman's subconscious he is living the life he might have led had Krypton not been destroyed. He is happily married with kids and good relations with everyone but his father, Jor-EL. The fact that Jor-El was incorrect about the destruction of Krypton lost him his place on the science council and ridiculed him in front of the scientific community. In an attempt to restore Krypton to what it once was, Jor-El teams up with a group of political extremists and shortly after Kal-El discovers this he realizes it isn't real and awakes.
Livid at what Mongul did to him, Superman starts to attacking. As he starts to lose his advantage, Robin dropps the Black Mercy onto Mongul, making him believe himself to be the conqueror of the world. Wonder Woman and Batman are then able to finally give Superman their gifts. A replica of the Bottled City of Kandor from Wonder Woman and a now squashed flower named the Krypton from Batman.
The Death of Superman
A mysterious creature crash-lands on Earth. It burrows slowly to the surface and begins a homicidal rampage across the rural area outside Metropolis killing everything in its path. The Justice League, minus Superman, arrive but the creature easily defeats them, severely wounding most members, with literally one arm tied behind its back. The Man of Steel arrives to engage the creature in battle, but finds they are equal in strength and unable to stop the beast, now dubbed ‘ Doomsday,’ from reaching downtown Metropolis. The two gladiators clash, finally killing one another with an incredibly strong pair of death blows delivered simultaneously. This incident brought sorrow to all who loved and cared for their hero Superman.
The Return of Superman
Superman is laid to rest in a secure casket after a funeral ceremony attended by almost every hero in the DC Universe, but his legacy wouldn't die. Four entities arise, all claiming the legacy of the Last Kryptonian: the youthful Superboy, the vicious Eradicator, the mysterious Cyborg and the determined Steel. It quickly comes to light, however, that Superman isn’t truly dead and returns at a fraction of his power, but still determined to battle evil. After the Cyborg shows his true nature as a genocidal maniac, the Eradicator joins with Superman, thus returning his powers and allowing him to triumph.
A Meteor is about to crash in Metropolis and Superman stops it only to discover
that its actually a pod carrying a young boy. The Department of Metahuman Affairs meets with Superman about the boy, whom he learns is Kryptonian. Superman takes a personal interest in the child, and is concerned over what the government might do to him. His concerns are proved justified when the boy is transferred without Superman's knowledge. Enraged, Superman disguises himself to grab the kid from a moving van and goes to the Kent Farm in Smallville, Kansas.
Finding no answers in the Fortress, Superman discusses with Lois about adopting the boy, but she initially feels uncomfortable, but then the boy appears to talk in english. News breaks out of the young kryptonian's disappearance. At a press conference, where Superman announces that Clark Kent and Lois Lane will take care of the Kryptonian child, Bizarro arrives and attacks him. The fight threatens the city around the conference location, and Superman finally uses super-breath to throw him away. Superman defeats Bizarro, but somwhere else Zod, Non and Ursa appear.
As the three enter the Fortress, Zod activates the A.I. and is angered by the information it holds on him. Later on, he attacks Superman in the Daily Planet, revealing that the boy's name is Lor-Zod and that he is Zod's son, whom Clark and Lois rename Chris. Zod then proceeds to trap Superman in the Phantom Zone. Superman manages to get out with the help of Mon-El, only to find that Earth is under siege of the kryptonians. With the help of Lex Luthor, Superman is able to send the kryptonians back to the Phantom Zone, but Chris must go back to the Zone to close it.
Superman discovers, and destroys, a drone sent by Brainiac to seek out the Man of Steel. He examines it in his Fortress, he finds evidence that all his previous encounters with Brainiac were merely battles against probes controlled remotely by the real AI. Upon hearing the name, Supergirl confides in her cousin that she was on Krypton when the interstellar supercomputer attacked the city of Kandor, shrinking and stealing it. Superman blasts into space to intercept the living computer before he reaches Earth, but encounters him in a distant galaxy abducting another city before setting off a super nova, knocking out the Kryptonian. Superman awakens inside Brainiac’s ship and begins to investigate, stumbling across an entire room filled with bottled cities, including Kandor, where he speaks to some of his living relatives.
Brainiac reveals his mission to collect cities from inhabited planets and then destroy the planets by triggering a supernova and Earth is, of course, his next target. The Justice League battle Brainiac’s forces and Supergirl stops the missile that would have exploded the Earth’s sun. Sadly for Superman, Brainiac has learned his identity and sends a missile to the Kent farm. Though no one is injured, Johnathan Kent, Clark’s father, suffers a fatal heart attack. Superman is left to deal with one of the only times he couldn’t save a life.
Released as the "official" replacement for the previous "Man of Steel" mini-series origin story by John Byrne, which had served as Superman's origin story since 1986. While maintaining the most common elements of Superman origin, slight additions and changes were introduced and addressed. Instead of leaving Smallville and directly heading to Metropolis, Clark at the age of 18, headed out to travel the world working as a freelance reporter after receiving several University degree's. At the age of 25, Clark finds himself in West Africa, reporting instances of people standing up against corrupt officials and there he learns after a friend's unfortunate death, that he has a true calling to help people as an altruistic protector and defender.
When he returned home, Clark decided to create a new identity to fight "crime" and protect the world as Superman. His adopted parents, Martha and Jonathan Kent, help him meld together an entirely new version of himself, changing everything from his posture, stance, clothing, and even speech to throw off any suspicion people might have as to his alter ego. An immensely different aspect about Birthright is that instead of being instantly welcomed among the people of Metropolis, Superman became alienated and mistrusted due to the schemes of Lex Luthor. Luthor attempted to frame Superman after discovering his heritage and translating lost transmissions from Clark's Kryptonian birth parents from Krpyton. Luthor created a faux army consisting of invading "Kryptonians" whom were presented as attempting to invade, conquer and colonize Earth all in his effort to prove to the people of Metropolis, and the world, that Superman was not a savior but the first of an invasion force.
With the help of Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen, Superman broke the barrier around Metropolis which restricted his powers and stopped Luthor's army, revealing that it was indeed Luthor who was behind the entire attack. Superman then became accepted as a hero in both Metropolis and the world over. Clark then landed a job as a journalist reporting for the Daily Planet and working alongside Lois Lane.
The New 52
In The New 52", DC's relaunch of it's entire comicbook line, Superman is still from Krypton, was still raised on a farm in the American Mid-West, is still named Clark Kent and is still a journalist who resides in the city of Metropolis. In fact much of what has been part of Superman's mythos for decades is still true. However, there have been some changes both minor and major. In the New 52 Superman is no longer married to Lois Lane and he has once again been established as one of the Justice League's founding members. Superman's costume has went through what some would consider significant changes. He no longer wears red shorts over his blue pants and his yellow belt has been replaced by a red one with just a bit of yellow as part of his super-symbol buckle. His iconic "Super-symbol" itself has been changed ever so slightly, too. It is now metallic and raised off his shirt. The shape of the "S" within the symbol has also been changed. Like the majority of the other DC superheroes during this relaunch, Superman's costume now has lines/seams all throughout it. Lastly, Superman now has a high collar which goes up his neck and sleeves which end in cuffs that extend part way down the back of his hands ending in a red border.
Written by Grant Morrison and drawn by Rags Morales, Superman is introduced five years in the past before founding the Justice League. Superman is shown wearing a blue t-shirt with his family crest on it with blue jeans, boots, and his Grandfathers cape, which was given to him by his father before the death of Krypton. Superman is shown as a vigilante outlaw as he tries to fight injustice in Metropolis. Following his confrontation with tycoon Glen Glenmorgan, Superman is pursued by Police and then followed by the military, who had actually under the influence of Lex Luthor sabotaged an entire neighborhood of Metropolis to be a death trap. Superman is captured by the military, lead by General Lane, is tortured, and then questioned by Luthor as to who he really is. Luthor asks him if he knows about Krypton and then shows him a skeleton of what appears to be an alien, claiming it to be one of Superman's kind. Superman laughs at this and then breaks free, escaping his room and tries to escape. While running through the halls, he comes into contact with his space ship, which actually begins to speak to him. Superman regrettably leaves the ship behind, although promising to come back, and escapes the compound. Following this it is shown that Luthor had actually been consorting with an unknown individually who had been feeding Luthor his information on Superman. The days following show Superman being seen not just as a nuisance to the police but to the people as well. They turn on him, and Superman is forced to 'retire'. However, Superman is then called into action once again when The Collector of All Worlds, Luthor's contact, strikes the world, using the internet to take control of the technology in Metropolis to 'preserve' it. Among this technology is John Corben, who had just been fused with an experimental war suit following Superman's escape from the compound. Superman, with the help of Steel, who had helped create the war suit, is able to defeat Corben before Metropolis is shrunk by The Collector and placed in his ship, much like he did to Kandor. Superman is forced to go up to The Collector's ship and retrieve Metropolis. Superman then is forced to battle The Collector (along with Corben who had beamed onto the ship prior). During the battle, Superman comes across Kryptonian technology, along with a DNA synchronized war suit, which he puts on to have a better chance of defeating The Collector. He is then able to 'unplug' the Collector by using his shrunken ship, which was inside the shrunken city of Metropolis, throwing it into The Collectors mainframe and shutting it down. Superman is then able put Metropolis back the way it was before the shrink was permanent and The Collectors ship became his first Fortress.
Superman's adventures then continue by jumping forward to the point after The Justice League is formed. Superman is shown to being hunted down by Nimrod, a hunter who has to his account killed everything. Nimrod tries to hunt down Superman by finding a place where he is most vulnerable, even going on to discover Superman's secret identity. However before Nimrod is able to make the kill, Clark Kent 'dies' in an explosion caused by an ex-employee of the now incarcerated Glen Glenmorgan. This then allows for Superman to catch Nimrod of off balance and the result ends with Nimrod getting put in the hospital after a battle with Superman. Following this Superman is forced to create for himself another secret identity Johnny Clark, a firefighter. However this allows for no peace when Superman is forced to do battle with "The First Superman". This is shown to be the new-52 version of Captain Comet, who is also known as the Blake Farm Ghost. Going by Adam, he explains that he's there to stop the end of Earth, his home-world, by taking another "neo sapien" with him, Susie Lane, Lois Lane's niece. Adam tries to force Susie to come along with him to his spaceship, coaxing her with his stories of outer-space. However, when an alien attacks Metropolis during this time and hurts Lois Susie begs Adam to help her, which he does not. Superman then battles Adam, trying to help both Susie and Lois at the same time. He is able to defeat Adam in time and then brings Lois to the hospital where he himself operates after learning as much as he can about her condition at the library.
After this another villain is introduced to the New-52, Xa-Du. On Halloween night Superman, while working in The Fortress (his current one), is visited by Xa-Du, wearing a suit to allow him to interact with Earth while in the Phantom Zone. Xa-Du is able to trick Superman into going into the Phantom Zone and is left with the world for his to rule, or so he thinks. Inside the Zone, while being attacked by fellow Zone dwellers, is helped by Krypto, who before Krypton's destruction had jumped into the Zone, and The Phantom Stranger, who had also been tricked into the Zone. Superman is able to manipulate Xa-Du from the Zone and is able to get inside the suit and frees himself as well as Krypto later (The Stranger having already left).
The next event occurs when Superman travels to Mars to help a group of astronauts battle Metalek, an alien machine bent on recreating its home world. Superman is able to make peace with it, but not before The Multitude, a group of what appears to be parasite like angles, attack the planet. Superman deduces that based on their appearance, they are from a different dimension and can be defeated by a blast that is similar to their own dimension. Superman's plan works but not minutes after that he is attack by the little man.
After this attack, Superman is pulled back into reality. It's revealed that the events of Xa-Du and the Multitude have not happened yet and that they were images shown to him by his landlord Mrs. Nyxly, who is in fact a resident of the 5th dimension. She explains that her father's old court magician, Vyndktvx, has been targeting Superman because of his role with hurting him when he attacked the King-thing Brpxz and that what she's been showing him has been to show him she is telling the truth and that Vyndktvx can strike at any moment in time, all for the purpose of hurting Superman. Before Nyxly can act and help Superman, she is shot by Nimrod, and Superman is now cornered.
In the New 52, Morgan Edge, CEO of Galaxy Communications, buys out the Daily Planet, setting into motion the paper going into a more modern age, now coexisting with the broadcasting company, Lois becoming the new executive producer of the networks nightly news, and the destruction of the old Daily Planet building. During the opening of the new Daily Planet building, Superman, while stopping a terrorist attack, is interrupted by an attack by an unknown fire based alien creature. Speaking an unknown language, the alien attacks Superman, endangering the lives of Metropolis in the process. Superman is able to defeat the creature before anyone else is hurt, including the news helicopter that was following him during the fight, by pushing the creature into space, taking away its oxygen. Days later another creature attacks, this time one that has become invisible only to Superman, giving itself an edge during the entire fight. Thankfully though, news crews followed the attack the entire time, projecting the monster on the screens to let Superman see them. However, during the fight, the monster fades away from the cameras, leaving Superman to himself. Just as before, another monster attacks Superman in Metropolis, this time one with the powers of ice, freezing anything it uses it's powers on into ice. Superman is able to take care of the monster, this time using his heat vision directly on the reporter Heather Kelley, who seemed to be the reason behind the attack. Once the monster disappears, so does Heather. Later on that day, Heather appears beside the other two people responsible for the monsters, a guard from the Metropolis Astrodome and a homeless man from the sewers, they enter into a conversation and although the language cannot be understood, they all say Clark Kent, and Superman. Days later Heather reappears, going on TV to talk about what had happened during the attack. However, when Clark shows himself to her, she appears in the ice alien's form and teleports herself and Clark to the site of his old apartment building, where the other aliens await. Superman battles them, but with their combined powers they over take him. During their dialogue throughout the fight the aliens repeatedly tell Superman that what they do now they were created to do, when Superman asks them who created them, they all say, "you." Following this, Superman awakens after being covered in the essence of the three aliens, leaving their human hosts unconscious. Superman gives the bodies to the paramedics for attention, and then goes out to 'save the city'. However, the behavior that Superman exempts following does not appear like him. He begins to kill all of his past enemies, including parts from a robot, the gorilla Titano, and the Sky Raiders. People around Metropolis have no idea what is going on with their hero and it all comes to a climax after Superman attacks the reporter William McCoy, a reporter who has throughout that time been bashing Superman and his motives. Lois, who is in such a great despair over what Superman is doing, tries to call Clark, who has been missing for days now. Her yells, which Clark is able to hear, awaken him from some sort of sleep outside in space just as Superman throws McCoy over the Daily Planet building. Its revealed that the one that has been posing as Superman during those few days was actually a bug like alien machine, which five years ago had clung to Superman's suit during the Collector's attack. It's some type of alien nanite, one that had once connected its home planet in a symbiotic partnership. After its release from the Collector, it began to take note of Superman's powers, such as he's heat vision, he's optic and auditory powers, and his ice breath. After it threw McCoy off of the Daily Planet, Supergirl came in and rescued him, soon followed by the real Superman. Not allowing for Metropolis to be a battlefield, Superman takes the imposter to the arctic, where he finally puts an end to its menace.
The next story line deals with broadening Superman's rogues gallery. Helspont, after escaping from Stormwatch HQ, takes up base in a Daemonite outpost on Earth, sending his robotic minions to challenge Superman, hoping that doing so would lead the Kryptonian to him, which it does. Battling the robot, Superman is teleported away to the outpost, meeting the Daemonite for the first time. Helspont tries to talk to Superman, however because of Superman's almost impatience tone with the alien, Helspont knocks him out, placing Superman into a dream like state, showing him the apparent future Superman will face, one where Earth has turned against him. Helspont explains to Superman that he wants him to join him in retaining his home world and reestablish the Daemonite empire to its once glory, in return, Helspont would leave Earth under Superman's domain. Superman, over course, refuses, and attacks Helspont, however during the battle he discovers that the alien is more than a match for him, and tries to go for a new approach. Superman destroys the Daemonite outpost, leaving Helspont without a home or armory. However, once Superman turns once again to take on the Daemonite, he's disappeared.
The next story follows Superman going against the metahuman Anguish, a woman possessing the powers of both super-strength and intangibility, making her impossible to touch. Following rescuing a Russian sub from getting stuck inside the ocean, Superman returns to Metropolis to find Anguish breaking into a safe deposit box at a bank, claiming to own the contents inside. During the fight that follows, inside the Daily Planet a new story is being broken after blogger Victor Barnes gives proof to Superman's secret identity, however it being false. Whichever the way, Barnes goes all the way to the top with his story after getting pushed off by Lois Lane. Giving it to Morgan Edge, Edge approves it, and green lights the story, airing it just when the battle starts to close. During the battle, Anguish, while still not hurt, drops the locket that she had obtained from the box and it ends up getting crushed, which angers her deeply. Thanks to the story of Superman's secret identity, Anguish leaves the fights and tracks down the man that has been said to be Superman and his family, looking to take care of a little revenge for the destruction of the locket. Thankfully though, Superman is able to stop her from hurting anyone, calming her down enough to stop the fight and pose in front of the camera with the man people claimed to be him, destroying the proof of Barnes' story. Superman then gives Anguish back her locket, fixing it for her, she thanks him for this, and then disappears into the rain.
Following the story of the sub Superman had saved, Superman investigates exactly why it was down in the ocean anyway. Finding his way to a science station in Russia, he discovers the remains of butchered scientists and a metal capsule containing organic material inside. Allying himself with Russian 'security', and finds where the killer went, a small town next to a nuclear reactor. Superman follows the trail, finding that the people of the town are all but dead. The creature inside the pod attacks, showing itself to be faster than Superman, actually knocking several blows on him before capturing him with its equipment. Following this, Superman wakes up inside a cocoon like substance that the alien trapped him inside. Superman is able to break free and attacks the alien, tearing off its mask, which had allowed it to breathe. Superman gives it back and the alien explains that the Russians had captured him and had wanted him to be their own Superman, of which it had no desire to be. The alien attacks once again, using a portal it opened up to allow for an alien of its home world to come through and subdue him. However, Superman is able to take out the creature just in time to escape a war head fired at the base by the Russians. The alien, of course, is not seen again.
Once again, Helspont appears, this time with an entire army to back him up in his self powered ship. Superman confronts Helspont just as his followers attack the heroes of Earth, trying to win them over to their cause, but to know avail. Helspont tells Superman that centuries ago he had traveled to Earth with his army and had personally seen to the creation of the metagene, hoping that as it grew it would raise a greater army for himself, leaving Superman with this knowledge and the job to make sure that he still tends to his 'fields'. Once he's left, Superman doesn't know what to do next.
H'el on Earth
After facing a reborn Kryptonian dinosaur in Metropolis, Superman learns through his cousin Supergirl that a creation of possible Kryptonian origin named H'el has come to help them 'save' Krypton. H'el, however, proves not to be the hero Kara believed him to be after he tries to kill Superboy, Superman's clone, in front of the two. Superman and H'el fight, but H'el proves to be more than a match and best Superman and Supergirl (having posing as Superman during the battle and beating her). Once the battle is over, Superman takes Superboy, who is slowly being destroyed on a molecular level, to The Fortress of Solitude where he is forced to give him his Kryptonian suit, which proves to be helpful in stopping the molecular breakdown. Before the duo is able to establish a plan to take down H'el, the villain appears and throws them out of the Fortress and locks it from the inside. Forced from his home, Superman sees no other option but to go to Lex Luthor for help. Meeting at the prison designed by Luthor himself, Lex explains that the only way to time travel back to when Krypton still stood would mean taking the power source that powers Kandor (H'el and Supergirl, who believes in his cause, have already done) and create a reverse big bang that destroys Earth's solar system to create a force field powerful enough to survive the time travel. Lex, just as well, identifies that Superman already knew this when H'el forced him from the Fortress and that the only way to stop this menace, is to kill him. Superman and Superboy leave and are joined by the Justice League, who are ready to take on H'el.
- Height: 6'3" (192cm)
- Weight: 235 lbs. (106.594kg)
- Eye Color: Blue
- Hair Color: Black
- Skin Color: White
- Identity: Secret
- Place of Birth: Krypton
- Citizenship: Kryptonian, American
- Base: Metropolis, Fortress of Solitude
- Occupation: Super Hero/ Journalist
- Known Relatives: Jor-El (biological father, deceased), Lara Lor-Van (biological mother, deceased), Kara Zor-El (cousin), Zor-El (uncle, deceased), Alura In-Ze (aunt. deceased), Jonathan "Pa" Kent (adoptive father, deceased), Martha "Ma" Kent (adoptive mother, deceased).
Seen as preposterous by disenters and genius by fans, Superman's "disguise" has had several explanations throughout the years. While some heroes wear masks or hoods or are physically
changed when they don their superhero identity, Superman does nothing of the kind. He presents his smiling face in broad daylight. So how does he get away with having a secret identity when he appears to have nothing to hide?
It all starts with that fact, exactly. Wearing no mask, he appears to have nothing to hide. Why would a being too grand and powerful as Superman live a normal daily life among the people he protects? In short, the general public believes Superman to simply be a strange being from another planet, no more. He has no secret identity to protect and lives as Superman all the time of every day.
He does add another layer however. We as readers understand that Clark Kent becomes Superman in his heroic exploits, but the Clark Kent that he allows the world to see is an elaborate act. He creates a character so bumbling and oafish that the very last thought anybody would ever have about him is that he is the all-powerful, ever perfect Superman.
While many misunderstand Kent's glasses as the entirety of his disguise, they are in fact just icing on the cake. While he is Clark Kent, in public, he wears his glasses, stutters, raises his voice an octave and slouches, drawing attention to several personal details that would detract from thoughts of anything "super."
Powers & Abilities
As a Kryptonian, Kal-El possesses the ability to absorb the solar energy from yellow stars. His Kryptonian body is constantly absorbing and storing energy from Earth's yellow sun (allowing him to retain energy under roofed structures and even at night) which in turn grants him incredible powers, including superhuman strength, enhanced senses, impenetrable skin, and the ability to defy gravity.
His body is also able to absorb the energy of a blue sun, which also grants him increased strength and various other powers (although not to the same degree as under a yellow sun). Superman has also been shown to be able to absorb anti sunlight as during the World War III storyline, Superman drained Mageddon's core by absorbing the anti sunlight radiation, defeating Mageddon in the process.
Superman has the ability to physically lift impossibly massive amounts of weight. Superman's strength easily surpasses the Class 100 strength level (this is the ability to lift over 100 tons under normal conditions) which is the ability to lift in excess of 100 tons with absolutely no effort at all, and has no known limit. Superman's strength is aided in lifting/supporting the most massive objects--especially when flying--by the bio-electric force field his body produces.
The upper limits of Superman's strength have not been determined in "The New 52" reboot. Previous incarnations have shown Superman capable of moving planets out of orbit without too much difficulty but at a later point in time he once needed Lois Lane to encourage him to achieve a similar feat. During the World War III storyline, Superman was chained to the endless wheels of the Mageddon machine and forced to move the gears of a weapon that dwarfed the combined size of the Earth and the Moon.
In The New 52 he has displayed the ability to lift a submarine with ease and while seeking to measure his strength and determine it's limits, was able to bench press weight equivalent to that of the Earth itself for five days straight (it was stated the Earth weighs over 5 sextillion tons) while being deprived of sunlight, thus rendered unable to replenish or build his strength during this test/feat of strength.
Superman has the ability to move and fly incredibly fast. He shows the ability to achieve speeds faster than light. His exact limit is unknown, but it is shown that he is not as fast as Flash. He has flown to the Moon in less than two minutes as well as flying to the Sun in less than 8 minutes which is how long light takes to travel from the Earth to the sun, demonstrating that Superman is capable of traveling at faster than light speeds.
In the New 52 during Action Comics, it's stated he's never been recorded past 600 MPH. Nevertheless, he accelerates to a speed of 25,000 MPH in order to break through Earth's atmosphere and reach Brainiac's ship in space.
We can assume he's only gotten faster as time has progressed saying that 6 seconds is all he needs to shower,shave and get to work
Kal-El is able to see over great distances and perceive even the smallest of objects. This vision also allows him to see through the atomic structure of an object, though he is unable to see through lead.
Superman’s physiology can convert stored solar energy into beams of highly concentrated thermal energy which can reach temperatures comparable to those produced by stars. The two beams of energy which are released from his eyes are bright red in color, but at lower temperatures can be made invisible, allowing him to work undetected.
Kal-El has the super human ability to hear all sounds at any volume or pitch and across any distance, presumably as long as there is atmosphere to carry the sonic vibrations.
Superman’s Kryptonian physiology allows him exert himself to physical peak for an undetermined amount of time. When Kal-El is under a star with a yellow spectrum he is constantly replenishing his solar reserves. When Kal-El is under a G type dwarf star with a yellow spectrum his solar energies are constantly being replenished.
In the New 52 it is shown that Superman's younger self was not entirely invulnerable. Continuous electric shocks hurt him but rest will heal him. A bullet train going 200 mph colliding with him was shown to pop his eardrums and gave him a nosebleed. As Superman grew older his powers increased and he is much more resistant to harm. His "suit" acts as an armor that increases his protection against damage. Superman has been seen to withstand conflicts from various alien life forms that have caused massive damage. The limits of his invulnerability are still unknown. Superman has been shown as being able to survive Darkseid's Omega Beams in the New 52 (while wearing his indestructible armor), but, they were capable of knocking him unconscious.
In the new 52 it is shown that in the early days of Superman could only leaps tall building and didn't have the ability of flight yet much like Golden Age Superman. While Superman's body is charged with solar energy he is able to emit a gravitational field that enables him to defy gravity. Kal-El has extreme mobility while he is in flight allowing him to fight, change course, and also carry great weights. While in Earth's atmosphere Kal-El is able to move at supersonic speed; while in space, he can move at superluminal speeds. Kal-El tends to avoid moving at FTL speeds while in a planet’s atmosphere so that he does not harm the area around him. Kal-El has been seen flying from the Earth to the moon in mere seconds.
Super Breath / Freeze Breath
Kal-El has the ability to suck in a large amount of air into his lungs and either hold it within him for a long period of time or create strong forces of wind with it. Kal-El also has the ability to freeze his enemies using his breath. He is able to control the temperature with which he expels this power. Superman's ability to chill the large intake of air comes from his lungs compressing the inhaled air and then upon its exhalation, the sudden increase in the volume of gas causes its temperature to drop dramatically. Superman has so far not shown this ability in the New 52.
In some interpretations, yellow sun-powered Kryptonians have been shown to live almost indefinitely.
Kal-El has the ability to instantly recall events that he pays specific attention to or that hold great emotional significance to him. When he has absorbed solar energy he has the ability to solve problems with superhuman speed. Kal-El has shown this ability in the New 52 and was able to read and understand every medical book in 5 minutes
Superman is shown to have knowledge in hand to hand combat, the most basic being Boxing (trained with Muhammed Ali and Wildcat) and Wrestling.
In Pre-Crisis, Superman knew a Kryptonian martial art called Klurkor, which he taught Lois Lane. Post Crisis, Superman was trained in Torquasm-Rao and Torquasm-Vo, 2 styles of Kryptonian Martial arts. Rao is more physical and offensive, while Vo is more meditative, fluid, and spiritual (the latter can produce a psychic or astral projection aspect, which Superman used to fight the Eradicator and psychic entities like Dominus).
He also displays a knowledge of pressure points, which even dates back to his Golden Age appearance, he claims he was taught this technique by Earth's greatest expert (possibly Batman). It is unknown if he still posesses these skills in the New 52 but Captain Comet has said that Superman's brawling skills are formidable
Superman is still a mortal and is, as such, still as vulnerable to the workings of magic, in all its forms, as anyone else. Wonder Woman's Tiara is magical and can therefore be used to injure Superman, for he is susceptible to magic.
When Krypton exploded, its fragments crossed through a radiation belt that irradiated them, making the rocks extremely toxic to anyone with Kryptonian physiology, but mostly harmless to anyone else. The mineral causes Superman to lose his powers and experience extraordinary pain and eventually death. If from suffering Kryptonite poisoning, he can recover if he gets away from the Kryptonite and exposes himself to yellow sun radiation, thus fueling his healing factor. Kryptonite has been known to cause harm such as cancer to humans after prolonged exposure to its radiation. (Most notably, Lex Luthor who had to have his hand amputated after wearing a kryptonite ring for an extended period of time during John Byrne's rebiit of Superman after Crisis of the Infinite Earths.) There are several types of Kryptonite and all have different effects on him.
In New 52 appearances, the Kryptonite is again referred to as being rare, is shown that can be used as an energy source . The mineral doesn't take away the Superman's powers, but is able to decrease it . It is unknown if has effects on humans.
In his Pre-52 appearances, there have been instances when Superman has had to physically exert himself for extended periods of time. Due to this, his body has little time to rest and recover and thus fails to absorb a sufficient amount of solar energy to continuously power his body. The best example of this was when Superman fought Doomsday which lead to his death.
It is unknown if this still affects Superman in the New 52, but as of yet, Superman has never been forced to physically exert himself and considering his powers still stem from solar absorption, it's safe to assume that it's still possible.
Superman cannot see through lead.
Red Sun Radiation
Superman is weakened when exposed to red solar energy similar to that of his home planet's sun, Rao. Superman will lose his Kryptonian abilities when exposed to red sun energy and must be recharged by yellow sun energy in order to regain them.
An alternate timeline consisting of a "what-if?", or better referred to as an Elseworlds, possibility that Superman's spaceship landed in Soviet Russia after World War 2 instead of Kansas, U.S.A. Instead of being raised to fight for "Truth, Justice, and the American Way", Kal-El fights for Stalin and for Socialism. He is referred to as the Champion of the common folk. During the arms race between U.S.A. and and the Soviet Union during the 1950's, Superman is revealed to the world as the Soviet secret weapon who is destined to turn the tide. The American government in fear, hires Lex Luthor to destroy Superman. As in classic fashion, Superman and Lex become mortal enemies and after each failed attempt at defeating Superman, Luthor grows more and more tiresome of the "invader". After Stalin's death by the the work of cyanide poisoning, Superman refuses to take his place and instead vows to bring peace to not only the Soviet Union, but to the rest of the world as well.
Within years, Superman expands the Soviet Union into most parts of the world calling it the "Global Soviet Union". The only places remained untouched are those belonging the the United States of America. Superman began to instil "mind control devices" onto subjects who would misbehave and the world began to take action. After shrinking Moscow and being unable to repair the damages, Superman takes full responsibility for the actions of Brainiac and Luthor. Brainiac reveals that he was never under Superman's control. Superman engages the East Coast, battling all his former villains and creations of Luthor and even his old teammate and possible lover, Wonder Woman. After Brainiac's ship collapses and threaten's the entire Earth, Superman flies it out into space where it goes off.
With Superman believed dead from the explosion, the Soviet Union falls apart and Luthor revolutionizes the world and mankind with peace and stability. A unifying government is formed, Luthor cures all disease, the entire solar system becomes colonized and humanities life-span becomes increased drastically. Lex Luthor dies at an age numbered near two thousand years old. At the funeral, Superman appears to have survived and is revealed to be able to live almost indefinitely. He takes the guise of a man similar to what he appears like in the main continuity and lives among the humans until the the Sun becomes a Red Giant.
Countless years in the future, Earth becomes threatened by the collapse of the Solar System's now Red Sun. Lex Luthor's far future descendant, Jor-L decides to send his son, Kal-L, back in time just before the planet explodes. It is then shown that Kal-L's ship lands in a Soviet controlled Ukraine back in 1938.
The Prime Superman: the founder of the Superman Dynasty, the father of them all, The wielder of the lost green power ring, his powers glean from the very edge of time and space.
In the year 85,271 AD, after spending one hundred centuries in the core of the Sun, Superman has evolved into this godlike being. After emerging from the sun, He crushes Solaris in one panel, creates his wife out of a sample of DNA from Solaris, takes a fragment of a doomed planet and transforms it into a full blown living world. He has been stated to have circumnavigated the Universe, wrestled evil Gods, and fought battles unimaginable. This being is something you can’t put into words.
In “The Divided Self," the Atom was on the frontier of a whole new, living universe, just as the super-string equations had predicted. And this intricate, breathing jewel of diversity and wonder began to strain at its boundaries, eager to unfold. But the poor, undernourished little universe of rational science and common people had just encountered a monster from the top of the food chain; something stronger, faster, better than them had been born. They could no more stop its progress than the neanderthals could hold back the rise of Cro-Magnon man. Atom tried to reach his loved one and tell her that he’d find her again even if he had to search every inch of infinite... That is when the universe ate his. Nothing should have survived the explosive flowering of the singularity, but somehow, caught as he was between too realities...He finds himself at the Universal Gates where Superman Prime telling him he knows what he is feeling, and to try not to panic, Atom appears to have survived a dimensional collapse. He welcomes Atom to his universe and tells him that things happened so fast, even He couldn’t preserve Atom’s reality in time...Superman tells Atom that if there’s one thing he’s learned, it’s that nothing is lost forever. He tells Atom he is welcome to stay while Atom searches for the people he loves.
In All Star Superman, he is seen as the Leader of the Superman Squad, he hands All Star Superman an Indestructible Flower from New Krypton in remembrance of all that they are and all that will be. The Ultra-Sphinx also says that he had completed 12 super challenges, the stuff of legend. It also said that Superman had created life, escaped from the underverse, overthrew the tyrant sun (Solaris), and had answered the unanswerable question.
Superman saves a space station that had studying and exploring the when it was sabotaged by Lex Luthor. Luthor did this as a ploy get Superman to close to the sun and. thus, overload his cellular structure with massive, excessive amounts of solar radiation which amplifies his already vast powers and also causes him to gain new powers. Shortly after returning to Earth, Superman finds out that he is dying from an overdose of solar radiation. He is told he only has one year to live. His plot yet to be revealed, Lex Luthor is arrested for his sabotage, not the attempted murder of Superman. Realizing his time is short, Superman reveals his secret identity to his longtime love interest Lois Lane as he decides he wants to spend his remaining time with her. He takes her to his Fortress of Solitude for dinner and then lets Lois looks around the fortress but he tells her not to go in one particular room which causes Lois to become caution as she thinks Superman is out to get her. She goes to his weapons room and picks up a Kryptonite Gun however when she fires it at him, it causes him no harm as his new powers have rendered him immune to Kryptonite. Superman finally lets Lois in the room and shows her what he has been working on, a serum that will give Lois Superman's powers for the next 24 hours.
During that time Superman & Lois stop a monster attack on Metropolis however they encounter two time travellers Atlas & Samson. They ask Superman for his help to face the Ultra-Sphinx and tell him of how he will complete 12 challenges before his dead, so he agreed to help on the condition they leave Lois alone. Superman beats the Ultra-Sphinx by answering the ultimate question.
Lex Luthor is found guilty of crimes against humanity and is sentenced to death by the electric chair. Clark Kent goes to Stryker's Islandto give Lex his last interview and learns that Lex knows that Superman is dying. A fight ensures in the prison as Parasite breaks out as he see's the overwhelming amount of Solar Energy in Clark body however he is stopped by Clark who trapped Parasite under some bricks and rubble.
Superman completes various other tasks such as liberating Kandor, saving earth from Bizarro-World, returning from the Underverse, creating life. Lex Luthor survived his execution as he has created a serum similar to the one Superman gave Lois, Superman finds out that Lex had an ally, Solaris who has tampered with Earth's sun. Superman and his robots engages Solaris in a battle and with the help of Superman's baby Sun-Eater they think Solaris is defeated however Solaris kills the Sun-Eater which infuriates Superman, who then punches Solaris down to Earth with the last of his strength and kills it. Superman rushes back to Daily Planet to submit the article he had more before about Superman being dead, he however falls dead to the ground and then Luthor breaks through the walls, Superman then fires a Gravity Gun at Luthor and a fight ensures. Afterwards, Luthor comes out dragging Superman beaten body announcing he is going to be the president. Lex then begins to weep as he begins to see everything how Superman see's it, he realizes that his 24 hours of powers are now gone but he tells Superman 'I saw how to save the world, I could of made everyone see, I could of saved the world if it wasn't for you!' Superman knocks Luthor out and replies saying 'You could have saved the world years ago if it mattered to you, Luthor'. Lois then runs over to Superman and he tells her no one can fix the sun but him and his body is now turning into pure energy, Lois & Superman share one final kiss and tell of there love for each other before Superman flies into heart of the sun to repair it.
In this "what-if ?" Elseworlds story, baby Kal-El's ship lands outside of Gotham City instead of Smallville. He is discovered and raised by Thomas and Martha Wayne who decide to name him Bruce. One night, his parents are gunned down by a mugger. Bruce incinerates the mugger with his heat vision and discovers his superpowers, but it is too late to save his parents. He decides to hide his powers due to the guilt and shame of not being able to save them.
Years later, he begins to strike back at Gotham city's criminals as Batman. Meanwhile, criminal Lex Luthor is on the run and has a horribly disfiguring accident. Lex goes insane and becomes the clown prince of crime The Joker.
Injustice: Gods Among Us
When Superman hears to heartbeats coming from Lois Lane, he immediately realizes that she is pregnant. The first person he goes to when Lois goes to investigate a tip-off for the Daily Planet is Batman, whom Superman asks to be the child's godfather. However, while Superman and Batman converse, Lois and Jimmy Olsen are confronted by the Joker and Harley Quinn at the tip-off point - Joker immediately kills Jimmy and kidnaps Lois. When Superman discovers Jimmy to be dead and Lois missing, he gets the entire Justice League to help look for her. Eventually, they find Joker, Harley and Lois in a submarine. Superman immediately rips it open to find Joker and Harley operating on Lois and is confronted by Doomsday. Superman grabs Doomsday and flies straight up into space only to find that Joker had used a combination of Scarecrow's fear gas and kryptonite to make it appear that Lois was Doomsday - effectively making Superman Lois' killer. As well as this, Joker has attached a trigger to Lois' heart so that when she died, a nuclear bomb detonated in Metropolis, destroying the city.
After spending a while grieving over Lois and his unborn child at ground zero of the detonation, Superman gives Lois' body to Wonder Woman and flies to meet Green Lantern from whom he discovers where the Joker is being held prisoner. In an attempt to stop Superman from doing something he will regret, Green Lantern encases him in a ball. However, Superman easily breaks free and snatches the power ring from Lantern's finger. He then flies straight to Gotham Prison where he locates Joker (who is under interrogation from Batman) and shoves his arm straight through Joker's body, killing him. Deciding that enough is enough, Superman starts a self-enforced, global cease-fire by deposing a cruel dictator and announcing it to the world in addition to his secret identity at a press event alongside Wonder Woman.
Unhappy with Superman taking charge, the US Military captures Martha and Jonathon Kent and Mirror Master traps them inside a mirror, threatening to kill them if Superman doesn't relinquish his cease-fire. However, with the aid of various other super heroes, Superman is able to locate where Mirror Master is holding his parents and save them before their execution.
Radio and Other Audio
The Adventures of Superman (1940's), starring Bud Collyer and Joan Alexander with Agnes Moorhead portraying Kal-El's mother Lara in the first episode. In these radio programs, Superman grows to adulthood on his space voyage from Krypton to earth, and emerges with his powers. There is no mention of Smallville or the Kent family. The first people he rescues suggest both the name 'Clark Kent' and that he should seek a job as a reporter in a big city to him.
The Adventures of Superman (1966)
Vinyl LP featuring Bob Holiday as The Man of Steel
You can find a full list of Superman's movies here.
A 15 part serial in which the origin is explained as well as his fight with Lady Spider. Kirk Alyn and Noel Neill star. Atom Man vs. Superman (1950) Another 15 part serial in which Superman battles Lex Luthor and Atom Man. Kirk Alyn, Noel Neill, and Lyle Talbot star. Superman and the Mole Men (1951) starred George Reeves and Noel Neil. Stamp Day for Superman(1954) was a short film promoting Stamp Day for the U.S. Treasury. Starring George Reeves and Noel Neil.
For further details read Superman on comicvine's sister site Screened.
Adventures of Superman (1952-1958)
Starring George Reeves as Superman/Clark Kent with Phyllis Coates as Lois Lane in season one before being replaced by Noel Neill for the remainder of the series. From 1952-1953 the show was shot in black and white, and every season after was shot in color. The series follows Superman's Adventures against mobsters, mad scientists and thugs, as well as dangers that do not pertain to humans such as asteroids and machines that went haywire. It also shows the transition he goes through as Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter and Superman, the people's champion. Lex Luthor and Brainiac did not make an appearance in the series.
For further details read Adventures of Superman on comicvine's sister site screened.
George Reeves makes a cameo appearance as Superman in the episode entitled "Lucy and Superman".
The Adventures of Superboy (1961)
In 1961, following the success of the television series 'The Adventures of Superman' starring George Reeves and developed between 1953 and 1957, the producers also tried to make a series called 'The Adventures of Superboy', starring Johnny Rockwell as a young Clark Kent . Whitney Ellsworth, the editor of National Periodical Publications, now DC Comics, collaborated on the scripts of many episodes starring . He tried to continue the success of 'The Adventures of Superman' in the new series 'The Adventures of Superboy'. As in the comics, the main story was the youth of Kal-El/Clark Kent in Smallville.
However, of the 13 episodes that were ever written for television, only one was shot, the pilot, and it was never aired.
Anyway, Superman fans have not missed that stories, because the written scripts of the 13 episodes were published in a book, along with the first full episode, with all the dialogues and many photographs of the shooting, and even of the behind the scenes. The book was written by Chuck Harter.
It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Superman! (1975)
A televised version of the Broadway play, starring David Wilson and Leslie Ann Warren.
The Adventures of Superboy (1988-1992)
For further details read The Adventures of Superboy on comicvine's sister site screened.
Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1994-1997)
Starring Dean Cain as Clark Kent/Superman and Teri Hatcher as Lois Lane. The series followed the concept of Clark Kent in the spotlight, and focuses on the relationship between Lois and Clark. The series starts in 1966 with Jonathan and Martha Kent finding the baby Kal-El in a Kansas corn field and bringing him up their own son. Clark’s parents are much more prominent in this show than previous ones, as they’re shown visiting him often in Metropolis. Clark is around 27-30 when he comes to Metropolis and gets a job with the world-famous Daily Planet run by Perry White (Lane Smith). At the start of the series Lois views Clark as a pest when they are partnered, but Clark is smitten from the first and endures her jibes and taunts as well as the overtures of Lex Luthor, who appears in the first season and begins to court Ms. Lane, who is drawn to the charming businessman. Lex Luthor also wages his personal war against Superman, trapping the Man of Tomorrow with a Kryptonite trap, but Superman escapes and battles Luthor, who apparently falls to his death.
In season 2, Lois and Clark begin to date. Though they are constantly pulled in different directions and face various dangers, Lois soon finds out Clark's secret identity and in the season finale, Clark proposes to Lois, but she must know who is asking: Clark Kent or Superman? Lois is unsure because of how long Clark kept his double-life secret from her, so she is unsure that the marriage can work. This was also a device to delay the in-show wedding as it was meant to coincide with the marriage in the comics, which was delayed. In the final season, Clark is confronted with a colony of Kryptonians, who want to force Kal-El to journey to their colony and help them survive. The series ends on a cliffhanger as Lois and Clark discover a child with a note attached on their doorstep. The note explains that the child is theirs.
For further details read Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman comicvine's sister site screened.
For further details read Smallville on comicvine's sister site screened.
This animated series marks the Man of Steel's first film appearance. Max and Dave Fleischer (of Fleischer Studios) created this series primarily under the direction of Paramount Studios. It should be noted that Dave Fleischer, the animation lead on the project, actually collaborated with Joe Shuster on the look of Superman, thus seamlessly blending in Superman's original comic book look with the Fleischer's unique and beautiful brand of animation. It is difficult to underestimate just how important this serial has been on the rest of Superman mythology, print and visual culture. For example, this serial gave birth to many Superman stock phrases such as "faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound...", "this looks like a job for Superman!" and "look, up in the sky! Its a bird! Its a plane! Its Superman!" On a similar note, it has been mentioned that in the 1938 comics Superman was only able to leap tall buildings. It is in this series, in fact, where Superman learns to fly. For example, in the earlier 1941 cartoons Superman is seen getting a running start before taking off, a reference to its extension of his jumping ability, whereas by 1943 he had gained full control. The decision to transition from leaping to flying was made by the Fleischer brothers, who decided that leaping did not look right on film, whereas flying was much more visually appealing, being perfectly suited to the freedom that animation provided (Superman's flight effect looked so good in animation that it continued on into the live action 1948/1950 Kirk Alyn Superman serials for Columbia, where whenever Superman flies he is animated, and whenever he lands he conveniently ducks behind cover and emerges as the live action Alyn). Shortly after the introduction of flight in the animated serial the print Superman also gained the ability.
Super Friends (1973)
The All-New Super Friends Hour (1977)
Challenge Of The Super Friends (1978)
The World's Greatest Super Friends (1979)
Super Friends (1980)
Super Friends "lost episodes" (1983)
Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show (1984)
The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians (1985)
From 1973-1986, Superman was a member of the Super Friends, a kid-friendly version of the JLA. He was voiced in all the incarnations of the Super Friends by Danny Dark.
Ruby-Spears produced this cartoon, which was based off of John Byrne's overhaul in the comic books. This version of the cartoon was created in part to celebrate Superman's 50th anniversary and also to serve as a companion to the live-action Superboy show. Beau Weaver provided the voice for Superman.
Superman: The Animated Series (1996-2000)
After the success of Batman: The Animated Series, Bruce Timm expanded the newly forming DCAU with Superman: The Animated Series (1996-2000). It also has a slightly different twist to things with Brainiac being shown as a Kryptonian "machine" as opposed to being from Colu and that it was him that caused the destruction of Krypton, we also see Kyle Rayner become the first Green Lantern (with some help from Superman of course) instead of Hal Jordan. The series has appearances from villains such as Metallo, Darkseid, Brainiac, Bizarro, Kalibak, Livewire, Bruno Mannheim, Toyman and even some of Batman's rogues gallery. There were also appearances from the Legion of Super-Heroes, Steel, Aquaman, the Flash (presumed Barry Allen) and Supergirl (though not portrayed as a biological cousin, often wears Linda Danver's white uniform rather than the traditional red and blue). Also making a cameo was Batman, who from this respawned the series, the New Batman Adventures, with Robin making a cameo later on in the series. Tim Daly and Dana Delany voiced Clark Kent/Superman and Lois Lane respectively, Clancy Brown voiced Lex Luthor.
In the two part episode "The Call", Superman is older and recruits the new Batman, but it turns out the Man of Steel is brainwashed and is attempting to destroy the Justice League. It falls to the new Batman to take him down using Bruce Wayne’s Kryptonite sample.
Features Superman as a founding member of the League voiced by George Newbern.
Makes a cameo in the episode "Toys in the Hood" voiced by Justice League actor George Newbern. The episode is a continuation from the Superman: The Animated Series episode "Obsession"
Voiced by Michael Dangerfield in the pilot episode.
Featured in the Season 5 opener ("The Batman/Superman Story") which is two parts as well as the season/series finale which is also a two parter ("Lost Heroes")
In the newest Batman cartoon series which focuses on Silver Age characters teaming up with Batman, Superman has a cameo in the episode "Sidekicks Assemble!" along with Martian Manhunter and Wonder Woman (though their backs are turned and they have no dialogue). Superman cameos a second time in his Clark Kent persona in the episode "Knights of Tomorrow!" as a guest during the wedding of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle.
In season three, Batman and Superman finally team up in the episode "Battle of the Superheroes," after Lex Luthor exposes Superman to Red Kryptonite. This causes Superman to become evil and leads to Batman donning his "Dark Knight Returns" armor to take him down. Later in the episode Batman and Superman change places in order to expose Luthor's evil plan.
In this series, Superman is visibly disturbed by the introduction of Superboy and goes to great lengths to avoid his clone, placing responsibility for him on Batman and Red Tornado. When Batman tries to tell him that Superboy needs a father, Superman angrily replies that he's not Superboy's father, but Batman believes that in time, Superman will come to accept Superboy. During the season one finale Superman talks to Superboy telling him that he did good works and reveals that he is happy Superboy chose the name Connor Kent as it seems right.
In the second season of Young Justice: Invasion, it's shown that Superman has in fact accepted Connor or "Kon-El" as not only his clone, but he refers to him as his brother. It is unsure of what has occurred over the 5 year gap between seasons.
Justice League: Doom (2012)
The film revolves around Vandal Savage's plot to exterminate the greater part of the human population and start a new civilization. To ensure that the Justice League is unable to stop him, Savage hires Mirror Master, who hacks into the Batcomputer using a device made by LexCorp and steals contingency plans devised by Batman to incapacitate his League teammates should they ever go rogue. Savage assembles a group of supervillains with personal vendettas against the heroes and pays them richly to simultaneously attack the members of the League using these plans, albeit altered to be lethal.
In this series, Superman is lured to the roof of the Daily Planet by a disillusioned former employee named Henry Ackerson, who aims to commit suicide by either jumping off or shooting himself. Superman tries to talk him out of it, and appears to have succeeded, when Ackerson unexpectedly shoots the hero instead. It is then revealed that the suicide ploy was meant to trick Superman into lowering his guard, that the former employee was being impersonated by Metallo, and that the bullet was made of Kryptonite, the only material that can harm Kryptonians. A fatally wounded Superman falls from the top of the building.
Superman Vs. The Elite (2012)
Superman's effectiveness as a super hero comes into question when a new group of super powerful crusaders, known as "The Elite" appear on the scene, led by British public-identity hero Manchester Black. As super heroes, the Elite know no bounds, and are more than willing to kill, even on a massive scale, to stop villainy—putting them on a collision course with the Man of Steel, who refuses to kill as a matter of principle.
Superman: Unbound (2013)
The adaptation of the original 2008 comic book story "Superman: Brainiac," written by Geoff Johns. The script was written by Bob Goodman and directed by James Tucker. It was released on May 7, 2013.
Superman: Man of Steel (2013)
Henry Cavill stars in the 2013 film directed by Zack Snyder. It's release date is June 13th, 2013, and it is being filmed in Canada, the United States and the UK. The film is 148 minutes long.
Superman has appeared in numerous games either as the main character with the story focusing on him or as part of a larger party where he is a main character.
Superman Returns is an open-world tie-in to the film. Which features story missions based on saving the city of Metropolis, and 80 sq. miles of free roaming gameplay. It also has the unusual mechanic of not having Superman dealing with a lifebar, but with Metropolis dealing with one instead. Superman’s battles damage the city more and more, so caution must be taken to avoid collateral damage. Being based on the movie, Brandon Routh, Kevin Spacey and Kate Bosworth all reprised their roles for the movie-tie in game.
Justice League Heroes is an Action-RPG that allows you to play as members of the Justice League of America as they work together to take down the various villains in the game.
The game is based on the famous team, and Superman is a main character, with his Earth-Two version as an unlockable costume. Crispen Freeman voices the Last Son of Krypton.
Superman was one of the first DC characters announced for the game along with Batman. The game starts with Superman stopping Darkseid's invasion by blasting Darkseid with his heat vision as he enters a boom tube. Superman’s immense power is dealt with through the introduction of Kombat Rage, which makes the strength of the Kombatants fluctuate wildly. Christopher Corey Smith was the voice actor chosen to portray Superman.
DC Universe Online (2011)
Superman (voiced by Adam Baldwin) is one of the player-character's mentors if following the meta-human path. He will appear throughout the game to guide the player-character and provide opportunities to fight alongside each other.
When you reach a high level Superman will ask you to come to the Daily Planet and assist him against Lex Luthor, and infiltrate as the mission progresses.
LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (2012)
From the LEGO series comes LEGO Batman 2, a sequel to the first that launched in 2008. The game hosts an open world city which alienates itself from the traditional level-based design of LEGO games. Superman is a main character that fights alongside Batman and is also playable, as are multiple other heroes such as Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern and Robin. Voice acting made it's debut as a first in the LEGO series, and Travis Willingham was chosen to voice the Man of Steel in this latest installment in the LEGO Batman series.
Injustice: Gods Among Us
Superman appears as one of the playable fighters in this title.
Game creators have a plot-induced reason that Superman is not able to defeat his less powerful opponents simply.
3 exclusive DLCs modeled on the new 52 have been released (PS3 and Xbox 360).
This video game ties in with a series of prequel comics; for the plot summary see Injustice: Gods Among Us in the Alternate Versions section.