The New 52 Superman is dead. The Superman from the pre-New 52 DC Universe has traveled to the New 52 Universe and taken his place, bringing with him his wife Lois and his son Jon. Following a confrontation with a fake Clark Kent, later revealed to be Mr. Mxyzptlk, the two Superman’s histories were combined and the timeline changed to reflect this.
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 from religion 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 religion and 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 Kal-L, 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 League of Nations in Geneva 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’ 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 archenemy of Superman. This early version would be retconed into the Superman of Earth-2.
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 find 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.
The Bronze Age
Superman’s mythos and continuity in the Bronze Age, with the exception of a few minor changers, were essentially congruent to the Silver Age.
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.
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 âDoomsday,’ 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.
Reign of the Supermen
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 somewhere 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 comic book line, Superman is still from Krypton, was still raised on a farm in the American Midwest, 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. This version is portrayed as a younger Superman, about mid-20’s or so. 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.
It was also revealed that both Jonathan and Martha Kent have already passed away due to a car accident and Clark has had to grow into the role as Superman without them. This is a stark difference to the Pre-52 and many other sources where either both parents were still alive or Martha lived on as widow.
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 Grandfather’s 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 his fight with Helspont, Superman asks Dr. Shay Veritas for help in making a training regime to increase his power in case Helspont returns. After a few weeks of exercises in the Block, Dr. Veritas’ scientific complex, Superman returns to Metropolis, knowing that he has ignored his life as Clark Kent. At the Daily Planet, Clark finds out that Lois is planning to move out with her boyfriend. He also grows dissatisfied with his work, knowing that Morgan Edge is manipulating the Daily Planet’s articles, so he quits the Daily Planet. Later, Superman discovers a mysterious alien dragon attacking Metropolis. After a lengthy brawl that leads to Ireland, Superman kills the dragon in an explosion. But in that moment, Supergirl appears to Superman, telling him that the creature he killed was a Kryptonian animal. She says that if a Kryptonian animal is on Earth, then that means Krypton must still be alive.
Later, Lois visits Clark at his apartment, where they talk about Clark’s recent departure from the Daily Planet and Lois’ moving with Jonathan. In that moment, Clark receives a visit from Supergirl. To avoid an awkward moment, Clark gets Lois out of the apartment. Later, Superman and Supergirl go to the Metropolis Centennial Park. Supergirl reveals he has found another Kryptonian, H’el, who introduces himself to Superman. H’el expresses his plan to save Krypton and shows Superman the unconscious body of his clone, Superboy. H’el tries to kill Superboy, but Superman stops him, and the two engage in a fight. Superboy and Supergirl attempt to intervene, but H’el brutally knocks them out. After briefly paralyzing Superman with a vision of his failure to protect the Suicide Slums three years ago, H’el leaves Metropolis, but not before stating that he will save Krypton with Kara’s help, no matter what price Earth has to pay.
Superman brings the wounded Superboy to the Fortress of Solitude in order to help him recover from his injuries. With the help of Cyborg and Dr. Veritas, Superman devises a way to cure Superboy. Detaching his Kryptonian armor, Superman places it on Superboy. Both realize that the armor is the only thing keeping Superboy alive, as H’el caused serious damage to Superboy’s cellular structure. Suddenly, H’el appears and kicks Superman and Superboy out of the Fortress.
After being expelled from the Fortress, Superman tells Superboy that they will need help in recovering it. They travel to a special prison designed to hold only one person: Lex Luthor. There, Superman questions Luthor about H’el’s plans. Superman believes that H’el wants to go back in time to prevent Krypton’s destruction, and Luthor says that it can be done, but to do so, H’el will create an explosion that will destroy the entire solar system. To stop H’el, Superman calls the Justice League and prepares to attack the Fortress.
In the Block, Superman and his allies formulate a plan to stop H’el. Given that H’el has powers beyond Superman’s, the Man of Steel that a shard of Kryptonite hidden in the Fortress might give the Justice League an advantage. When the team assaults the Fortress, however, H’el has already taken the shard to power the machine he is building to facilitate his journey through time. H’el also activates an alien device that traps Superman into perpetual pocket dimensions. Superboy goes into one of the device’s portals in order to save him.
After a journey through several bizarre dimensions, Superman and Superboy return to the Fortress and reunite withe Justice League continue the attack. Eventually, Superman and Superboy reach H’el and Supergirl (who had decided to help H’el complete his plan), but H’el moves the Fortress someplace else, leaving the heroes in the outside. Suddenly, H’el activates his machine, unleashing a large golden beam into the sky.
H’el’s star-chamber begins draining the Sun’s energy. Superman, Superboy and Wonder Woman rally to destroy the machine, but H’el attacks them, ripping the Kryptonian armor off Superboy and reattaching it to Superman, saying that if Superman is going to die, he should with his Kryptonian honor intact. Superman clashes with H’el, telling Wonder Woman to help Superboy destroy the star chamber.
Superman takes a hit from H’el and is launched into outer space. There, he meets the mysterious Oracle, who fills Superman’s mind with memories of Krypton. When Superman attempts to talk to the Oracle, the Oracle simply disappears. Superman returns to Earth to stop H’El. Although Superboy destroys the star chamber, H’el already has enough solar energy to power his ship and travel to the past. However, Supergirl (who had discovered the true extent of H’el’s plan) stabs H’el with a Kryptonite shard. Poisoned by the shard, H’el disappears into a time portal. With the crisis over, Superman takes Supergirl to the Fortress so he can cure her Kryptonite poisoning.
After the battle with H’el, Superman was called to a U.S. Senate hearing to discuss the existence of the Fortress of Solitude. The Senate representatives want to investigate the Fortress in order to secure or remove anything that might be considered a threat to the world. However, Superman refuses, appealing to his right to privacy and the fact that the Fortress contains technology beyond humanity’s control. Clark also becomes a blogger to make ends meet.
Later, Superman is attacked by the New God Orion, who believes him to be a threat to the universe. Fortunately, Wonder Woman stops the confrontation and discovers the reason behind Orion’s attack. Hector Hammond, after falling into a coma, used his telepathy to hide his consciousness within Superman’s memories. Wonder Woman and Orion banish Hammond back to his own body and Orion departs, apologizing for his earlier attack. He also uses his Mother Box to grant Superman protection from telepathic assaults.
Continuing his investigative work, Clark goes to Gotham City, where a mysterious Chinese woman gives him a folder containing info about an urban myth called “The Twenty”. Returning to Metropolis, Superman finds Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and Perry White acting irrationally and displaying aspects of his own personality, which causes Superman to believe someone is trying to attack him mentally. During this series of events, Superman discovers Lois has fallen into a coma and brings her to the hospital.
Later, Clark tells Cat Grant about his findings on the Twenty, believing that a story that big could help bring Clark Catropolis on the map. An earthquake hits Metropolis and Superman discovers the destruction is being caused by metallic tentacles derived from Brainiac’s technology. Before Superman can do anything, however, he is incapacitated by a psychic attack caused by the H.I.V.E. Queen, one of the Twenty.
Recovering from the psychic attack, Superman attempts to stop the Queen, but she has the upper hand. In that moment, Hector Hammond enters the fray and engages the Queen in a mental struggle, using the people of Metropolis as soldiers. As Metropolis is engulfed in chaos, Superman goes to the H.I.V.E headquarters to directly stop the disaster. Upon arriving, he finds the building in ruins. Superman finds the heavily injured Hammond, who says that the Queen is dead. In that moment, a new villain arrives: the Psycho-Pirate, a telepathic who knows about Superman’s secret identity.
The Psycho Pirate leads Superman to the Swarm, a prison for psionic people, explaining that he is also one of the Twenty. The Queen created the Swarm in order to prepare the world for Brainiac’s return. With the Queen dead, the Psycho Pirate wants to release the people trapped in the Swarm, so he traps Superman in an illusionary world in order to absorb his energy.
Lois, having developed psychic powers of her own, frees Superman from the illusions. Knowing they are outmatched against the Psycho Pirate, Superman and Lois join forces with Hammond and the H.I.V.E. Queen, who barely survived the Pirate’s attack. They work together and defeat the Pirate, with Superman destroying his Medusa Mask with his heat vision. During the battle, however, Lois learns of Superman’s secret identity and falls back into a coma. Afterwards, Superman brings Lois’ comatose body back to the hospital, but then, a mysterious force pulls him into outer space.
As he travels in outer space, Superman meets up with Superboy and Supergirl. The three meet the Oracle, who explains them that H’el, who survived their earlier encounter, has managed to bring Krypton back to life. However, H’el also altered the timeline and they must stop him from destroying the universe. With the help of Faora Hu-Ul, the Oracle’s servant, the three heroes travel to different points of Krypton’s history to stop H’el’s plans. Superman travels to Kryptonopolis a few months before Krypton’s destruction, where he meets his mother Lara Lor-Van.
At first, Lara confuses Superman for an intruder and attacks him but stops after seeing the symbol of El in his armor. She also detects yellow sun radiation in his body and says he should wait for Jor-El. Superman watches Lara tell Jor-El that she is pregnant, but then his armor changes back to its usual colors. In that moment, Superman confronts a mysterious person who is aware about his travel in time.
This stranger is in fact Jor-El, who came from one of the alternate futures created by H’el. Realizing he was the one who created H’el, Jor-El has come to the past to stop H’el from conquering Krypton. Superman and Jor-El travel to Krypton’s core and fight H’el. At first, Jor-el wants to kill H’el but Superman instead uses H’el’s own chronal powers against him and freezes him with his super-breath, locking H’el in a state of eternal limbo. As Superman and Supergirl are reunited in the present, the Oracle informs them that Superboy sacrificed his life to stop H’el. Mourning the loss of their friend, Superman and Supergirl return to Earth.
Destroy All Monsters
Later, Clark hears a sound coming from Venezuela. As Superman goes to investigate, he finds a gigantic underground creature attacking Lana Lang and her crew. While Superman attempts to stop the creature, he realizes the creature is sentient. Military forces attempt to intervene and when Superman attempts to stop them, a mysterious soldier attacks him. Superman temporarily incapacitates the soldier and takes the creature to the Fortress of Solitude. There, Clark watches the creature transform into a humanoid child.
Superman and Wonder Woman, having committed to a relationship, enter Kahndaq and save hostages during wartime, causing an international controversy. Batman confronts them about it and reveals that he kept a piece of Kryptonite in the Batcave in case Superman went rogue. However, the Kryptonite has been stolen. In that moment, the Justice League falls from orbit and is about to crash on Earth. Superman is able to stop the Justice League Watchtower. Inside the Watchtower, the Justice League finds an unconscious Despero wearing a ring of Kryptonite, which was obtained from the Batcave. Later, Superman meets Batman at the Batcave. Batman gives Superman a box that contains the only way to take Batman down in case he ever goes rogue. After delivering Despero to Belle Reve Prison, Superman and Wonder Woman talk about their relationship. Suddenly, a mysterious woman named Pandora appears and asks for Superman’s help in opening her box, saying that his purity of heart can eradicate the evils she unknowingly set free. However, when Superman touches the box, the evil forces within it begin to cause him pain. Pandora is shocked that Superman was affected, saying that he is more human than she realized. She shoots him with her guns, but Wonder Woman protects him. As soon as Superman lets go of the box, Pandora disappears, taking the box with her.
As Superman recovers, Batman informs that a new superhuman called Shazam has entered Kahndaq. Superman flies to Kahndaq as Shazam is attacked by the military. As soon Superman attempts to reason with the new superhero, Shazam attacks him. In that moment, the Justice League and the Justice League of America arrive at Kahndaq to defuse the situation. Suddenly, Dr Light loses control of his powers and begins absorbing Superman’s solar energy, unleashing an energy beam at Wonder Woman. In a fit of anger, Superman vaporizes Dr. Light with his heat vision, killing him. Superman becomes horrified at his actions as a fight breaks out between the two Leagues.
Superman stops the League fight, asking to be locked up for murder. Later, he is placed on a cell and asks Batman about the man he killed. Batman proceeds to tell him about Doctor Light and his family, and that Cyborg and Martian Manhunter are doing an autopsy to prove his death was not Superman’s fault. Wonder Woman enters the cell, and tells Batman about what happened with Pandora and her box. Later, Superman, who is getting visibly sick, is visited by a mysterious stranger who asks him if he wants to find out who really killed Dr. Light.
As the Question releases Superman, he also gives him a newspaper clipping that states that Dr. Psycho, a supervillain who can control minds, was present on Kahndaq when Doctor Light was killed. Superman leaves his cell and encounters Cyborg, showing him the newspaper piece. Cyborg is convinced by this, but Director Amanda Waller orders the superheroes under her command to take Superman into custody. However, the heroes are also convinced by Superman’s innocence that they stage an escape. Superman, Martian Manhunter, Cyborg, Element Woman, Green Arrow, the Question, the Atom and Firestorm decide to track Doctor Psycho down and get answers.
Superman, the Question and the others, arrive in Pittsburgh to confront Doctor Psycho. Martian Manhunter looks into his mind and learns that he was sent to Kahndaq by the Secret Society of Super Villains, but did not do anything to control Superman’s mind. Overcome with guilt, the Atom tells Cyborg, Superman, Element Woman and Firestorm the true purpose of the creation of the Justice League of America, and that she was spying on the Justice League, so that is how the JLA end up in Kahndaq. Superman, questioning Waller’s involvement, requests that the group head back to A.R.G.U.S.Upon returning, the A.R.G.U.S. facilities explode.
Element Woman protects the group from the explosion using the strongest materials she could find. Amidst the rubble, the group accuses Director Waller, who also survived the explosion, of framing Superman into killing Dr. Light. She denies the accusations but Firestorm admits Waller made him create Kryptonite as a fail-safe. Superman, still growing weaker from touching the box, requests the group to find survivors amongst the destroyed building and the heroes agree.
Superman and his group arrives at the Temple of Hephaestus, where the box is located. Suddenly, the box infects the assembled heroes with evil thoughts, causing them to fight among each other. Batman acquires the box in the fight, but is attacked by Superman, who feels if he dies, Wonder Woman would become attracted to him. Wonder Woman, hoping to stop Superman from attacking Batman, hits him, causing Batman be knocked back and lose the box. With the box dormant, Wonder Woman sees that Superman is still sick, and wonders why the box is physically affecting him and not others. Firestorm approaches and tells everyone that Superman is emitting Kryptonite. Element Woman goes inside Superman’s blood stream and finds a small sliver in his brain. Atom then tells everyone that she put it there and was the mole. In Kahndaq, she traveled into his brain and planted the Kryptonite, which hit a nerve and triggered his heat vision attack on Dr. Light. In that moment, The Outsider grabs the box and opens a portal to his universe, allowing the Crime Syndicate of America to enter the Justice League’s world.
The Crime Syndicate imprisons the Justice Leagues inside the Firestorm Matrix, which psychologically places them in situations that depict their greatest failures. Superman is placed in a situation in which he attempts to stop Doctor Light’s accidental murder over and over again. Martian Manhunter attempts to break him out but Superman ignores him. Eventually, Superman and the rest of the Justice League members are freed when Batman successfully uses Wonder Woman’s lasso to pull everyone out of the Firestorm matrix. Although he is shown to still be severely weakened to the point of near death by the Kryptonite piece still left in his brain by Atomika. His life is saved by none other than Lex Luthor who manages to remove the piece of Kryptonite from his brain.
Set in the post-Forever Evil world, Doomsday has returned and is hellbent on destruction-already leaving behind a massive path of annihilation. Doomsday is stated to have finally reached its mature form and the Doomsday Superman had known about before was merely just in its larva form and is now more powerful than he is ever been. Superman alone is the one that stands the best chance of defeating Doomsday, let alone survive fighting against it if only for a few minutes. Lex Luthor (now working with the Justice League after the events of Forever Evil) states that Doomsday has come specifically for Superman and the only way to get Doomsday to leave if Superman were to leave as well. Clark reiterates to Batman that he believes Luthor is correct but after reassurance from both Batman and Wonder Woman, Superman heads straight for Doomsday and begins battle. After a massive battle, that pushes the Man of Steel to his limits, Superman is able to defeat Doomsday but he is then seen immediately collapsing after being infected with the Doomsday virus. The virus has caused Superman to become more angry and more prone to violent outbursts. Many of Clark’s friends have begun to notice that he is acting very strangely and uncharacteristically. It is then revealed that the Doomsday virus that Superman had contracted from the fight has begun morphing him into a Doomsday like creature. With the help of Batman and Wonder Woman he attempts to fight off the Doomsday virus from taking over.
Superman is then kept in a prison built by Lex Luthor where the Justice League attempt to quickly find a cure to Superman’s condition but are so far unsuccessful in doing so due to the constant presence of Doomsday particles that have the capability of draining life force. Lois comes to visit Superman and he tells her to write to the world that he might never be trusted ever again. Superman then envisions the Teen Titans in danger and breaks out of the prison to help them, he proceeds to easily crush the enemy they were fighting. The Titans, however, realize that there is something wrong with Superman and attempt to keep there distance from him. Superman flies off saying stating that it’s not that there isn’t something wrong with him, it’s that everything is wrong with him.
Superman begins to turn more and more into a Doomsday like creature and his horrified by what is happening. Superman flies to the Atacama desert in Chile, where Steel finds him and tries to help him. Superman tells him that his mere presence his killing everything around him, even the insects, protozoa, and microbes around him. Steel tells Superman that they can help him, but Superman instead gives him a controller for the phantom zone projector and asks Steel to send him through it should things go wrong. The two shake hands, but Superman suddenly crushes it. Senator Lane sends in both the Atomic Skull and a revived Metallo in to stop Superman, at the protest of Steel who takes down the Atomic Skull. Superman is left to deal with Metallo whom Superman realizes is strapped with Kryptonite bombs, which if detonated, would kill both of them. Superman pleads with him to stop telling him that he will die but Metallo detonates the bombs anyway and kills himself, Superman survives the blast and is left transformed even more into a Doomsday-like creature. The bomb merely weakened the part of Superman that was actually Superman and all that’s left is the the Doom part of him.
Wonder Woman attempts to get the help of Hessia to try and heal Superman but Hessia instead attacks him and states that the only way to protect the world is to kill him. Wonder Woman lifts Superman out of the radius of the Kryptonite bomb and reverts back to his normal state. He tells Wonder Woman that he must leave to find a place where he can’t hurt anyone. However, he is suddenly attacked by a group of Red Lanterns consisting of Guy Gardner, Zox, and Supergirl who attempt to stop him. The three are knocked back down to Earth where Wonder Woman tells them that if they cannot beat him, and if they cannot help him, they should just leave him alone.
Men of Tomorrow
Superman: The Men of Tomorrow could almost be considered a reboot for the Superman series in how it dispels everything that came before it and roots itself firmly Superman’s history. Large pieces of the New 52 era Superman, from personality to current storylines, are cast away and in its place is a more “classic” version of the Man of Steel. This would be great on its own, but writer Geoff Johns also manages to pair it with a uniquely interesting story to boot. The end result is a book that brings readers closer to Superman than ever before by cutting straight to the core of his character and digging up his best and brightest qualities.
The collection starts by telling the origin of its star, Ulysses. Ulysses was sent from Earth, as a child, to a new world where he grew up and developed superpowers. For obvious reasons, he ends up becoming good friends with Superman and the two connect right from the start. Eventually, Ulysses discovers that his parents are still alive on Earth and that he has even more in common with his homeworld than he initially thought.
Eventually, Ulysses discovers how cruel and harsh Earth, and the humans who inhabit it, can be. He questions Superman about this and ponders the nature of humanity and Superman’s role in it. His questions mirror concepts and ideals Superman comics have been working at for decades: Why doesn’t Superman save everyone? Why doesn’t Superman stop all wars? Is humanity even worth saving? Johns is clearly bringing these questions up to reintroduce them to this era of Superman’s life and, thus, also reintroduce them to this era of readers. For new readers, these ideas and concepts will be novel and interesting to see, while old readers will be familiar with and appreciate their return.
On their way to Ulysses’ home planet, there was another confrontation between Superman and Ulysses and the fight was brought to Metropolis, where Superman unleashed a new power he didn’t know he had: a super flare of solar energy, beating Ulysses for good. Unfortunately, the solar flare drained his powers for a day, leaving him as a normal human until they slowly began to come back.
After the Crime Syndicate’s defeat, the Justice League was forced to accept Lex Luthor into their ranks due to the latter’s role in stopping the Crime Syndicate. When Wonder Woman is attacked by Grail, Superman and Lex attempt to help her, they are betrayed by Lex’s sister Lena, who uses a Mother Box to teleport them to Apokolips. Once there, Superman and Lex are forced to work together in order to survive, especially because Apokolips is far away from a yellow sun, meaning that Superman’s powers were depleting fast. As they are surrounded by Parademons, Lex throws Superman into one of Apokolips’ fire pits, thinking its energy will revitalize Superman. Unfortunately, Apokolips’ energy darkens Superman’s body and mind, turning him into the God of Strength. With his new power, the God of Strength destroys the enemies surrounding him and destroys Lex’s armor, leaving him alone in Apokolips while he returns home. Upon returning to Metropolis, Superman confronts and easily defeats an alien invader. He later goes to Melvin’s Diner and demands some apple pie. As he eats his meal, Jimmy enters the diner and asks Superman to stop a mysterious black substance that had been spreading throughout the city. Superman angrily rebukes Jimmy, who still tries to appeal to the Man of Steel’s inner goodness, even when the entire city is consumed by the black substance. Just when the entire city falls silent, Superman briefly frees himself from the God of Strength’s dark energy and freezes, then destroys the black substance with no effort. Although the city rejoices, Superman finds no reason to celebrate and flies away.
Superman attacks Wonder Woman, wanting to test his new strength against her. Fortunately, Wonder Woman is able to use her lasso to bring Superman to his senses, but Batman, the new God of Knowledge, warns that the dark energy of Apokolips has damaged his cellular and is now killing him. Aware of the threat the Mobius, the former Anti-Monitor, poses, the Justice League agree to work together with the Crime Syndicate to stop him, with Superman even providing Ultraman a piece of Kryptonite to replenish his powers. The Justice League, the Crime Syndicate and the Green Lantern Corps attack the Anti-Monitor, who kills Ultraman and several Green Lanterns. Superman himself briefly staggers Mobius by blasting him with all the dark energy in his body, turning himself back to normal. Mobius in unexpectedly killed by Steve Trevor, who had been infected with the Anti-Life Equation by Grail.
The assembled heroes are forced to fight the infected Steve. Lex, powered by the Omega Effect, thinks the only way to end Steve’s threat is by killing him, which leads him into conflict with Superman. Their fight is cut short, however, when Superwoman uses her newborn baby to separate Lex from the Omega Effect and take the Anti-Life Equation from Steve, resurrecting the fallen Darkseid. Grail kills Superwoman and uses the Anti-Life Equation to control Darkseid and attack the heroes, who manage to separate Darkseid from the Anti-Life Equation and finally end the battle. Unfortunately, the power Superman had absorbed from Apokolips has permanently damaged his cellular structure. He is dying.
Truth and Savage Dawn
Condesa tells the Daily Planet team that she is being followed by a criminal organization called HORDR. As the group eludes HORDOR’s forces, Clark is forced to admit to Lois that he is Superman. Deciding they must take down HORDR, the group infiltrate’s HORDRs base of operations and once there, the leader of HORDR, HORDR_ROOT, offers Superman to work with, lest he will reveal his secret identity to the entire world. Superman refuses and uses his solar flare to destroy the HORDR base. During the struggle, however, HORDR infects with a substance that neutralizes his powers. Much later, as Clark recovers, HORDR_ROOT reveals he survived and blackmails Superman into working with him. For now, Clark agrees to play along and goes to a secret facility where HORDR forces him to use his solar flare so HORDR can analyze it. Lois, not wanting Superman to suffer through blackmail, leaks Superman’s secret identity to the world, as well all the information she has on HORDR. Unfortunately, this turns Superman into public enemy #1.
The next few days are not easy for Clark, as he is fired from the Daily Planet by an angry Perry, who felt betrayed that Clark kept such an important secret from him. Despite this decreased powers, Superman still attempts to help the people of Metropolis, such as stopping Wrath and her Shadow Beasts, working alongside the new Batman end a war with Subterranea, and stopping Angelo Bind from obtaining superhuman power. The mastermind behind those attacks and Superman’s power loss was actually Vandal Savage, who hijacks the Stormwatch space carrier and captures to Justice League. To stop Savage, Steel provides Superman with a Kryptonite-powered suit of armor. Using the suit and gaining support from the Justice League United, Superman storms the Watchtower and saves Wonder Woman but Vandal captures the other heroes and tears the Fortress of Solitude off the ground in his plan to gain power from the comet that made him immortal in the first place. Vandal uses the comet’s power to give superpowers to the thousands of illegitimate children he has fathered across the millennia, turning them into an army he can throw at Superman and his allies.
Superman leads Earth’s remaining superheroes into attacking the Stormwatch carrier and freeing the Justice League. Vandal and his family set the carrier to self-destruct and board a shuttle to reach the comet. Superman attempts to follow him but Vandal injures him and throws him into the Fortress of Solitude, which finally acknowledges him as Kal-El of Krypton, heals his body and restores his uniform. As the Justice League is attacked by Vandal’s children, Superman attempts to stop the fight, as Vandal manipulated his children into exposing themselves to the comet to make the powers were not harmful to him. Unfortunately, Superman’s pleas fall on deaf ears, as Vandal’s children continue their attack until their bodies collapse from the power they had absorbed. Superman follows Vandal into space, as the comet reaches Earth’s orbit. Vandal offers him to join his side and rule Earth, but Superman refuses and breaks the comet off Earth’s orbit, throwing it and Vandal into deep space.
Final Days of Superman
After his last fight with Vandal Savage in his depowered state, the events of the Darkseid War, and his fight with the Kryptonian god Rao, Superman learned that he was dying and asked for Batman’s help to find him a successor. As part of his legacy, Superman told the whole truth to Lois Lane and asked her to publish everything in the Daily Planet in order to have his history and identity revealed to the world before his death. Superman told the truth to Diana, and they shared a moment before they were needed back in Metropolis, where the “Energy Superman” they had caught days earlier had escaped Stryker Island and was destroying everything.
Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman together tried to stop the Energy Superman and, while doing so, were assisted by the mysterious “Black Superman”, who chose to remain unidentified for the time being. Superman took the Energy Superman to space, where he used his solar flare power to finish the threat and the Energy Superman evaporated in the cosmos. Superman’s body fell down to Earth and as he was surrounded by his friends, he asked the “Black Superman” to take his mantle and become the New Superman of Earth. After this, Superman’s body died and turned to ashes.
In order to escape Mister Oz, Mr. Mxyzptlk brainwashed himself into thinking he was Clark Kent. He harassed the New Earth Superman and when he was found out, kidnapped Jon Kent and made his parents forget about him. Trapping all of them inside the Fifth Dimension, Mxyzptlk revealed that both the New Earth and Prime Earth Supermen were actually two halves of the true, complete Superman, who was split into two separate people during the Flashpoint incident. The same was true for Lois. Out of love for Jon, Clark and Lois merged with the essences of the other two and each became single, complete Prime Earth version; fixing their conflicting histories and bringing the world back to normal.
Afterwards, Clark felt the need to investigate the changes to his past and reach his cousin out to warn her about his unknown enemy, Mister Oz, and ask her help to fight him.
As Clark and Lois get ready to move back to Metropolis, Hank Henshaw puts together a new Superman Revenge Squad. Stealing a mystical item from Superman’s Himalayan backup Fortress, Henshaw turns himself back into Cyborg Superman and allies himself with Metallo, Blanque, Eradicator, Mongul and Zod. Superman tries to stop them, but exposure to the energies of Belle Reve‘s Black Vault has rendered him blind.
Superman is forced to retreat, taking Lois, Jon and Krypto to the Fortress of Solitude. The group of villains assaults his Fortress before he can come up with a plan, but the Superman Family -Kara Zor-El, Lana Lang, John Irons, Kong Kenan- and Lex Luthor turn up, ready to help him. During the ensuing brawl, Zod manages to send most of Superman’s allies to the Phantom Zone and frees his wife Ursa and their son Lor-Zod. The trio leaves Earth for the present time. Superman and his family -Supergirl, Lois, Superboy and Krypto- defeat the rest of the Squad and free Superman’s friends. However Cyborg Superman got stuck in the Zone, and Superman decides against getting him out of there.
The Oz Effect and Time Travel
After addressing several emergencies all over the world, Superman finds the perpetrator of these disasters in Logamba, Mr. Oz, who teleports Superman to the Fortress of Solitude and reveals himself to be Superman’s father, Jor-El. Superman cannot believe what he is seeing and accuses Oz of lying, but Jor-El tells him about his arrival to Earth, about how a mysterious entity took him away from Krypton’s dying moments and took him to Earth and forced him to experience humanity’s darkest impulses. Horrified by these atrocities, Jor-El became Mr. Oz and has decided to take Superman and his family away from Earth. Superman refuses to abandon humanity and stands by his mission to help whenever he is needed. The Man of Steel attempts to address as many emergencies and save as many as he can, even destroying the nuclear weapons of a country in the middle of a civil war.
Superman returns to Metropolis and ends a plot by Oz’s forces to unleash a chemical weapon on the city, but is forced to confront his father, who has become acquainted with Lois and Jon, asking them to leave Earth with him and leave humanity to their fate. Jor-El teleports Superman to his base of operations, where father and son have a violent confrontation. Superman discovers that Jor-El must be under some kind of mind control thanks to his staff. Upon shattering his staff, Superman manages to return Jor-El to his senses, but the mysterious entity that took Jor-El all those years ago takes him away again, but not before Jor-El begs his son to save his family. Although Mr. Oz’s threat has been dealt with, Superman has lost his father again.
Saddened by these recent events, Superman attempts to discover whether or not Mr. Oz was really Jor-El, leading him to make the difficult to decision to take the Flash’s Cosmic Treadmill and travel to Krypton’s past. Superman reaches Krypton,where he stumbles upon Booster Gold and Skeets, who inform the Man of Steel that they have travelled to a parallel timeline where the Kryptonians are making preparations to evacuate their dying planet. Booster believes their presence in Krypton is distorting the timeline and asks Superman to leave Krypton, but Superman insists on staying and figuring out what happens to Jor-El. Booster attempts to forcibly return Superman to his original timeline, but one of Krypton’s Eradicators damages his time sphere and they are dropped in 25th Gotham City, Booster’s birthplace.
As Superman disables the Eradicator, Booster is captured by Gotham City’s Security Bureau and Skeets asks Superman’s help in releasing Booster. Superman initially refuses, as the Security Bureau is a law enforcement agency and they must have arrested Booster for being a criminal, until Skeets explains that Booster only broke the law to help his ailing mother. Relenting, Superman saves Booster and visits his mother, telling her that Booster is a trusted friend and ally. As they activate the time sphere, Booster thinks they can visit Krypton without risking further damage to the timeline, but the Eradicator damages the time sphere, and they crash-land into a mysterious planet that worships General Zod. With the time sphere badly damaged, Superman and Booster set out to repair it using material found within the planet’s mines. They attempt to infiltrate the city but they are discovered and captured by General Zod’s forces.
Upon hearing that Lois’ father, Sam, is visiting the Kent apartment, he helps patch things him between father and daughter. Although Superman is still mortified by Jor-El’s predicament, he can still take comfort on the fact that his family is safe.
Coming of Rogol Zaar, Battle in the Phantom Zone and Space Wars
Shortly after the city of Metropolis paid him a tribute for years of heroism, Superman found someone was burning down Metropolis, one building at a time.
The Kent family also receives an unexpected visit from Jor-El, who asks the Kents to let him take Jon in a journey across the galaxy so he can learn how to be a proper Kryptonian. Clark refuses, but Jon insists he wants to go and Lois agrees to stay at Jon’s side so she can look out for him. Clark is reluctant to see his family go, but nevertheless accepts their decision.
Superman was in the process of tracking down the mysterious arsonist when someone broke into his Fortress, leveled the place and, worst of all, smashed down the Bottle City of Kandor. Both Superman and Supergirl tracked the mass-murderer -an unknown alien called Rogol Zaar who intended to cleanse the universe from Kryptonians after destroying their birth planet- all the way back to Metropolis, but their combined might wasn’t enough to bring down Rogol Zaar. Superman engaged Rogol in the Moon but was defeated. Rescued by his cousin and healed by the Justice League, Superman figured out if Rogol intended to cleanse the Kryptonian “plague”, he was also going to blow Earth up.
Superman and Supergirl work together to defeat Rogol, with Superman confiscating the explosive device Rogol was going to destroy Earth with, and Supergirl trapping Rogol inside the Phantom Zone. Unfortunately, with the Fortress destroyed, Superman cannot communicate with his family and make sure they are safe. Supergirl has also decided to leave Earth in order to find out where Rogol came from, but not before the remaining Kryptonians and the Justice League hold a memorial service for the murdered Kandorians.
After constructing a new Fortress of Solitude in the Bermuda Triangle, Superman has a conversation with Martian Manhunter, who tells Superman to consider the possibility of becoming a leader to the global community, so he can lead Earth and humanity to a better tomorrow. Superman cannot consider this notion for too long, however, as he realizes that, for some reason, the Earth has been trapped inside the Phantom Zone. Superman attempts to save as many as he people as he can, all the while formulating a plan with this fellow superheroes on how to get the planet outside the Phantom Zone. He also discovers that the planet was swallowed up by the Phantom Zone because of an accident in S.T.A.R. Labs. Unfortunately, this grabs the attention of Rogol Zaar, who uses this opportunity to gather an army and invade Earth, forcing Superman to conform him yet again.
As Superman keeps Rogol’s forces occupied, the Justice League and S.T.A.R. Labs theorize a plan that could help pull the planet outside the Phantom Zone: it involves the Atom miniaturizing the entire planet, making it small enough for the Flash to pass it through the Phantom Zone projector. The plan succeeds and the Earth is returned to its rightful place in the Solar System, but Superman is left to fight Rogol alone in the Phantom Zone. With no solar energy to replenish his powers, Superman finds himself badly outmached, until help comes in the form of General Zod, who has come to take revenge in the name of Krypton. The two Kryptonians fight Rogol together, with Superman revealing that Rogol destroyed Kandor in an effort to motivate Zod to fight harder and angrier than ever. Superman cannot help Zod for long, though, as his allies from Earth pull him out of the Phantom Zone and ask him to help in the relief efforts. Although disappointed that he lost his only chance to discover Rogol’s motives, Superman chooses not to return to the Phantom Zone and stay on Earth.
Around that time, Superman reunited with Lois and Jon, who had become a teenager after travelling with Jor-El for seven years. After listening to his wife and son’s tales about their journeys, Superman decides to confront Jor-El. Superman and Superboy use special technology on Superboy’s new suit to teleport into deep space, where they reunite with Supergirl and Krypto and defend Jor-El from an alien armada led by Rogol Zaar. Superman battles General Zod, who admits he needs Superman’s help in defeating Rogol. As they reach a parting of ways, Superman returns to his family. Superboy, Supergirl and Krypto leave to fight Empress Gandelo of the Trilium Collective, leaving Superman to go with Jor-El to the ruins of Krypton, where he might find some answers.
Jor-El tells his son he was a member of the Circle, a secret cabal of intergalactic rulers that controlled the galaxy from the shadows. After helping the Circle ensure their dominance across the galaxy, Jor-El expected the Circle to help him save Krypton, but they refused. Superman is disappointed that his father worked with such disreputable people, but cannot dwell on these feelings for too long as Rogol and his forces resume their attack. Fortunately, Zod betrays Rogol, giving the House of El the opportunity they need to incapacitate Rogol before a Thanagarian fleet arrives, informing them that the galaxy has been plunged into war. To defuse hostilities, Superboy suggests the creation of a system that gives freedom and equality to all people in the galaxy: the United Planets. Suddenly, the Legion of Super-Heroes arrives from the 31st century and asks for Jon’s membership.
As Jon considers joining the Legion, Superman is informed by Adam Strange that the nations of the galaxy have forcibly returned Jor-El to his original time, where he will die at Krypton’s explosion. Although Superman is nervous at the thought of losing his son yet again, he chooses to respect Jon’s decision. For now, however, Jon wants to think about it and the House of El returns to Earth, but not before Zod and his family inform them of their decision to create a “New Krypton” in order to save their race and the House of El is welcome to join them if they so desire.[
Superman would later learn of Jon’s decision to travel to the 31st century and officially join the Legion’s ranks. Before Superboy departs into the future, however, Saturn Girl gives Superman a special button that can call Superboy back to the present whenever Superman wants. After some conversations with Supergirl and Adam Strange, Superman makes the decision to reveal his secret identity to Perry and Jimmy, Clark’s closest friends. Perry calls for a massive conference, which Superman uses to reveal his identity to the entire world.
- Height: 6’3″
- Weight: 235 lbs.
- 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), Jon Kent(biolofical son), Kara Zor-El (cousin), Zor-El (uncle, deceased), Alura In-Ze (aunt. deceased), Conner Kent/Kon-El (partial clone), Jonathan “Pa” Kent (adoptive father, deceased), Martha “Ma” Kent (adoptive mother, deceased).
Seen as preposterous by dissenters 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 demonstrated the ability to absorb certain other forms of energy, such as the anti-sunlight of Mageddon.
Superman can release the solar energy stored in his body as devastating AoE blast. He can use the same ability to a lesser extent in order to raise his body temperature to incredible levels.
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 little 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.
His strength is usually portrayed the same way as most other characters in the Class 100 tier, but his high-end showings indicate his might may be well in excess of planetary levels. While the limits of Superman’s strength vary from writer to writer, he is commonly considered in-universe to be one of the most powerful beings on Earth, with some even considering him to be the most powerful. The problem is Superman is dependent on solar radiation. If you drain solar radiation his strength drops. He needs to recharge his powers.
Superman has the ability to move and fly incredibly fast. He possesses the ability to achieve speeds faster than light. The upper limits of his speed are not quantified, but he is usually considered to be slower than the Flash.
Superman is also capable of combining speed with dexterity to pull off complicated tasks in a short time frame. In battle, he can move so fast his opponents seem much slower relative to him, creating time to avoid attacks and plan his next action. He can also move his limbs at incredible speeds, allowing him to dish out dozens of strikes in a second or less, in a manner similar to the Flash.
Superman’s mind is similarly accelerated; he can process and understand vast amounts of information nearly instantly. Superman also learned from the Flash how to vibrate at super speed so his molecules can phase through solid objects and vibrate so fast that light does not reflect off him, rendering him invisible. Superman can vibrate his vocal cords to create sounds at different frequencies.
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 can see well into most of the electromagnetic spectrum and make his ‘X-Ray Vision’ emit radiation at gamma wavelengths.
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. Superman’s heat vision can affect objects which are intangible.
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. When concentrating he can use sounds to create an image.
Superman’s Kryptonian physiology allows him exert himself to peak capacity for an undetermined amount of time. When under the light of a yellow star, he is constantly replenishing his solar reserves. In an environment without the light of a yellow star, his solar reserves are gradually expended as he exerts himself.
Superman possesses an immense degree of personal invulnerability, and is able to easily withstand bullets, missiles, bombs and other weapons without a scratch. Those without superhuman strength are more likely to hurt themselves than him by punching Superman, and even most characters who possess superhuman strength are not able to hurt him enough to take him down. Destructive power on a cosmic scale may knock him out, but he has survived such attacks and recovered from them.
Although hurting Superman with simple physical force is not an easy task, characters with sufficient superhuman strength of their own, such as Mongul, Darkseid, Doomsday and Despero, among others, are able to do so. Powerful energy attacks are also capable of hurting 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 superluminal speeds while in a planet’s atmosphere so that he does not harm the area around him.
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. He is able to control the temperature with which he expels this power.
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.
Superman is shown to have knowledge in hand to hand combat, the most basic being Boxing 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 possesses these skills in the New 52 but Captain Comet has said that Superman’s brawling skills are formidable.
Genius Level Intellect/Leadership
Superman is highly intelligent, with a natural IQ higher than humans. He’s able to analyze and solve problems in top speed, due to his super speed. He has shown to be able to reprogram machines and apply science to his fighting. Superman has invented a few things from time to time and has solid knowledge on Kryptonian and Earth technology alike. He is also a fantastic journalist and writer, stated to be second best in the Daily Planet, first being Lois Lane.
Superman is also a strong leader. He serves as a symbol of hope to both superhumans and the common civilian. He sometimes uses a Kryptonian technique called “Torquasm Vo,” which focuses his mental discipline in tough situations. It has sometimes been used to manipulated the minds of others. The technique of Torquasm Rao allows Superman to separate himself from his physical body, giving him the ability to fight on the astral plane and resist mental attacks.
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.
In the New 52 (Action Comics #23), it is said that “magic is something that often counters Superman’s natural abilities” and that “spells often trump the difference between red and yellow suns that are the source of his powers”.
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 retconning 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 thus blocking all of his vision powers. Lead is also known to protect Superman from Kryponite radiation.
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.
This version of Superman appears in the Superman: Earth One graphic novel that was released with Volume 1 in 2010. This version of Superman appears to much younger as he stated to be only 20 years old and the comic seems to be more grounded and portray Superman in a slightly more realistic and modern environment that is free from the mainstream DC Universe continuity in order to introduce the character to potentially new readers.
Previous to Crisis on Infinite Earths, Earth-2 was designated as the Earth on which all the stories for which the Justice Society of America occurred. Golden Age Superman is designated as an Earth-2 inhabitant. In the New 52, the concept was kept very similarly with many of DC’s Golden Age heroes still existing on Earth-2. In the New 52, both the original Wonder Woman and Batman have died in the war against Apokolips. It was believed Superman had survived but later was revealed than it was an impostor under the influence of Darkseid.
A new character named Val-Zod also appears on Earth-2 and appears to have taken up the mantle of Superman.
A version of Superman also exists on Earth-3 named Ultraman. Earth-3, however, was supposedly the Earth from which all of evil originated and a world where morals were almost non-existent. Ultraman contrasts with Superman in many ways as he does not share the same moral character, judgement, and heroic duty that Superman does. Ultraman is powered by green Kryptonite and is harmed by the rays of a yellow sun, a clear opposite of Superman who gets his powers from the sun and is harmed by green Kryptonite.
He was killed at the hands of Mobius during the climax of The Darkseid War.
Stan Lee’ Superman
In the Just Imagine series, Stan Lee reimagined Superman as a space cop called Salden stranded on earth and searching for a criminal of his world. In Multiversity it was revealed than he is from Earth-6.
Alternate version of Superman created by Grant Morrison. The first one was born from a military project in an universe where all superheroes were created by the military forces. The second Overman was inhabitant of Earth-10 and leader of the world in a NAZI ruled earth.
A black version of Superman named Calvin Ellis also appears on Earth-23, this version of Superman appears to be based off of United States President Barack Hussein Obama. This coincides with many of the characters on Earth-23 who appear to be black and even based off of famous black people. This Earth’s version of Wonder Woman is named Nubia and appears to be based off of famous singer Beyoncé Knowles. Earth-23 Superman was teased in the final issue of Final Crisis and makes a full debut in the New 52 Action Comics #9.
In an undefine future a thousand years from the present CADMUS manages to revive many of the classic heroes of the 21st century in order to combat the evils of the day. However all of the members are products of splicing the original heroes genes onto a human host, leaving them with large gaps in their memories, different personlities and sometimes lacking some of their powers.
In this future Superman, is amazingly arrogant about himself and his powers, refusing to be referred to as Clark by the others and often tries to take credit for any action, which is not always a positive one. All in all, acting more like a superstar, than superhero. On top of this, he has lost the ability to fly, but keeps forgetting this, so is often seen leaping out of windows or off ledges only to fall to the ground.
However arrogant and pigheaded he is, Superman has eventually grown fond of Terry who has joined the team as the Flash, because Barry kept getting killed.
Red Son (Earth-30)
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 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.
This Earths version of Superman was given the designation Earth-30 in the post-52 weekly series.
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 is studying and exploring the sun 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 excessive amounts of solar radiation which amplifies his already vast powers and 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 agrees 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 Island to 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 traps Parasite under some bricks and rubble.
Superman completes various other tasks such as liberating Kandor, saving earth from Bizarro-World, returning from the Underverse and 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 about Superman’s being death, 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 their 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.
Due to the events of the Flashpoint, Barry Allen wakes up to find out that the world around him has completely changed. His mother is alive, Atlantis and the Amazons have waged a massive war that has already destroyed much of Western Europe, and many heroes are either completely different or outright missing. One of these missing heroes is Superman, whom Barry tries to locate in an attempt to stop the Atlantis-Amazon war. With the help of Batman (whom in this incarnation is Thomas Wayne) he contacts Cyborg who discovers a secret plan dubbed simply as “Project Superman” the team infiltrate a secret government base, only to find a seemingly pail, weak, and frail man. In this timeline, Kal-El’s rocket was shifted slightly and instead of landing in the Kent’s farm, he landed right in the middle of Metropolis. He was then taken away by government agents and the landing was covered up. He has been kept in a secret facility and been deprived of yellow sun radiation and has had minimal human contact. After the Flash, Batman, and Cyborg free him of his prison, they are met with resistance by government soldiers. Superman uses his heat vision to attack the soldiers, he appears to be shocked by the use of his powers and flies away in horror.
In the final battle, Superman makes a re-appearance and attempts to stop the war, first by landing on Enchantress and then attempting to fight both Wonder Woman and Aquaman. This allows Flash a bit more time and he begins to run back in time to stop the events of Flashpoint from ever happening. Barry’s effects upon the world lead to a reboot of the DC Universe in the New 52.
When Superman hears two 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.
Superman and Lex Luthor have succeeded in creating superhuman technology. Batman and his side go to the Fortress of Solitude to steal it. Superman comes right away, thinking that Batman is there to harm his parents.
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.
Directed by Richard Donner and starring Christopher Reeve as Superman, Margot Kidder as Lois Lane, and Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor. The film serves as an origin story for Superman detailing his birth on the doomed planet Krypton and his subsequent years growing up on Earth with his adoptive parents Jonathan and Martha Kent before discovering his true origins and donning the mantle of Superman. The film revolves around a plan by Lex Luthor to launch a missile to destroy the state of California and Superman’s attempts to stop him. The film was released on December 10, 1978 and was a massive success both financially and critically.
Superman II (1980)
With the success of the first Superman movie, the decision was made to finish and release a sequel to the movie. A good deal of the movie was already completed as much of it had been shot back-to-back with the first Superman movie. Richard Donner ultimately decided not to return to the project citing issues the direction the film was being taken with the films producers. Richard Lester was brought in to the direct the movie instead (Donner would go onto release his own cut version of the film many years later). The film brings back much of the original cast and revolves around Superman stopping the villainous Zod. Zod was shown being imprisoned into the Phantom Zone in the opening scene of the first film but escaped in the second. The film was released on June 19, 1981 and was again a critical and financial success.
Superman III (1983)
Directed by Richard Lester, this film revolves around Superman’s attempt to stop a stop a plan created by a man named Ross Webster to control the worlds oil supply. The film was released June 17, 1983 although was not met with as much success both critically and financially as the first two films.
Superman IV: The Quest For Peace (1987)
In Christopher Reeve’s final film performance as Superman in a feature film, the film revolves around Superman as he must stop a clone of himself named “Nuclear Man” who was created by Lex Luthor. The film was a failure both a financially and critically, and was the last major Superman movie for almost 20 years. The film was released on July 24, 1987.
Superman Returns (2006)
Ignoring the events of both Superman III, and Superman IV: The Quest For Peace, the film was directed by Bryan Singer and stars Brandon Routh as Clark Kent/Superman, Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor, and Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane. The film revolves around Superman as he returns to Earth after a five year trip into space to find the remains of the planet Krypton. Superman comes back to Earth to find that Lois Lane has moved on and has a fiance, as well as a child of theirs, Superman must stop Luthor from completing his plan to destroy both him and the world. The film was released on June 28, 2006.
Man of Steel (2013)
A reboot of the Superman movie franchise, this film once again serves as an origin story for Superman with Henry Cavill starring as the Man of Steel. Directed by Zack Snyder, of 300 and Watchmen fame. Michael Shannon was cast as Superman’s nemesis Zod in the film and Amy Adams was cast as Superman’s love interest and Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane. The script was written by David Goyer and produced by Christopher Nolan, director of The Dark Knight Trilogy. The film was released on June 14, 2013.
A sequel to the 2013 Man of Steel movie. Henry Cavill is set to reprise his role as Superman/Clark Kent alongside Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince. Jesse Eisenberg has been cast as Superman’s arch nemesis Lex Luthor and Amy Adams is also set to reprise her role as Lois Lane. The film was released on March 25th, 2016.
Justice League (2017)
Also a sequel to Man of Steel movie. Henry Cavill as Superman makes a comeback alongside Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince, as well as new characters Ezra Miller as Flash/Barry Allen, Jason Momoa as Aquaman/Arthur Curry, and Ray Fisher as Cyborg/Victor Stone. Ciarán Hinds played the role of Steppenwolf, the main villain of this movie. The film was released on November 17th, 2017.
Superman makes a brief non-speaking cameo in the final scene of the movie, where he arrives to have lunch with Freddy Freeman, who is a huge fan of his. The cameo was portrayed by stuntman Ryan Handley. It was initially written for Henry Cavill, but he did not appear in the movie due to contractual disputes with Warner Brothers.
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.
I Love Lucy (1957)
George Reeves makes a cameo appearance as Superman in the episode entitled “Lucy and Superman”. It is never stated that it is just an actor playing Superman – it is as if the real Superman himself existed in the “I Love Lucy” universe. This is because the network didn’t want to tell the truth to the kids and potentially crush their spirits.
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.
For further details read 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.
Smallville is an American television series by writers/producers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar. The television series was first shown by The WB Television Network (The WB), premiering on October 16, 2001. After Smallville’s fifth season, The WB and UPN merged to form The CW Television Network, which became the broadcaster for the show in the United States. It ended its tenth and final season on May 13, 2011. Smallville chronicles the life of a young Clark Kent (who later will develop the alter ego of Superman) who finds himself dealing with both day to day high school life as well as beckoning superpowers and a number of supervillans. After season five, the show ventured into more adult settings, eventually focusing on his career at the Daily Planet, as well as introducing other DC comic book superheroes and villains.
Superman appears in the Supergirl live-action show, played by Tyler Hoechlin from Season 2 onward. He does not appear in person during Season 1, but is mentioned various times. During the “Elseworlds” and “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossovers, Hoechlin also appeared as Superman in episodes of The Flash, Arrow, Batwoman and Legends of Tomorrow.
“Crisis on Infinite Earth” also featured Brandon Routh as an older version of Superman from an alternate universe, the same one previously seen years earlier in Superman Returns. This version of Superman appeared in episodes of Supergirl, Batwoman, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Arrow and Black Lightning.
Superman and Lois (2021)
Tyler Hoechlin will reprise his role in a spin-off series called Superman and Lois.
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 (who was created specifically for the show), 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.
Batman Beyond (2000)
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. He was voiced by Christopher McDonald.
Justice League / Justice League Unlimited (2000-2006)
Superman appears as a founding member of the League and one of the show’s seven main characters, voiced by George Newbern. Taking place after the events of Superman: The Animated Series, Superman helps form the Justice League after an alien invasion. Throughout the series, various characters and plotlines from S:TAS pop up, including Superman’s old enemies Lex Luthor, Brainiac and Darkseid.
Superman plays a particularly major role in the Cadmus story arc, where his anger and skepticism over Lex Luthor’s presidential campaign is exploited by Lex and Brainiac to help discredit the team.
Static Shock (2004)
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.”
Krypto: the Superdog (2005)
Voiced by Michael Dangerfield in the pilot episode.
Legion of Super Heroes (2006)
A teenage Superman (though not called “Superboy” due to copyright reasons) appears as a main character in the show, voiced by Yuri Lowenthal.
The Batman (2007)
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“). George Newbern reprised his role.
Superman: Doomsday (2007)
Loosely based off the popular Death and Return of Superman story from 1992, this animated film stars Superman as he battles against Doomsday. After the apparent death of Superman after the battle, a more darker clone of Superman appears that is even willing to kill. It is revealed that Lex Luthor is the one behind all the clones and it is up to the real Superman to stop him. The film was released on September 18, 2007. The cast included Adam Baldwin as Superman, Anne Heche as Lois Lane and James Marsters as Lex Luthor.
Batman: The Brave and The Bold (2008-2011)
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. He was voiced by Roger Rose.
Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009)
Based off of the first story arc of the Superman/Batman comic by writer Jeph Loeb, this animated film stars both Superman and Batman. Lex Luthor has been elected as President of the United States and the two heroes must work together to fight off their image as public enemies as well an incoming meteor of Kryptonite that could destroy the planet. The film was released on September 19, 2009. Tim Daly reprises his role.
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (2010)
A sequel to Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, this film was also based off of one of the story arcs from the Superman/Batman comic. This film deals with the arrival of Kara Zor-El/Supergirl on Earth as well as the Darkseid’s interest in making her one his warriors. Wonder Woman also makes an appearance in the film and acts as a mentor to Kara. The film was released on September 28, 2010. Tim Daly reprises his role.
Young Justice (2010)
Superman appears as a recurring character, voiced by Nolan North. 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. Superman, along with most of the Justice League are taken control by Vandal Savage. The team is able to stop Superman when Superboy pins him down while Ronin uses Batman’s Kryptonite to weaken Superman long enough for them to free him from Vandal’s mind control. 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.
Superman is one of the six Justice League members charged with running a terror on the planet Rimbor. Superman visited this planet when he and the five other members were under Vandal Savage’s control and were missing for sixteen hours. Superman along with the other 5 members turn themselves in and are prosecuted for their crimes. The consul finds the 6 league members guilty. It is not until Magan and Superboy arrive that they are able to convince the consul that the league members are free. Superman and the rest of the league are set free.
Superman/Shazam: The Return of Black Adam (2010)
Superman also appears in the DC Showcase animated film short as one of the main characters alongside Captain Marvel/Shazam/Billy Batson (who has just discovered his powers) as they both have to deal with the return of Black Adam and do battle with him. The animated short was released on November 9th, 2010. George Newbern reprises his role.
All-Star Superman (2011)
Based off of the Grant Morrison comic of the same name, this animated film revolves around Superman and his attempts to achieve a variety of different tasks before his impending death due to an overexposure of yellow sun radiation caused by Lex Luthor. The film was released on February 22, 2011. James Denton voices Superman.
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.
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, but is saved by Cyborg.
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 villainyâputting them on a collision course with the Man of Steel, who refuses to kill as a matter of principle. George Newbern reprises his role.
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (2013)
Superman also appears in the animated film based off of the 1985 Frank Miller comic book of the same name. The story follows a much older Bruce Wayne who has retired as Batman, he once again takes up the mantle after the rise of a gang group called the Mutants. Batman must also face off against the Joker, who wakes up after a long spell in a coma. Superman works as an agent for the American government and is asked to stop Batman and his vigilantism. He is voiced by Mark Valley.
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. He was voiced by Matt Bomer.
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013)
The animated movie based on the DC comics event Flashpoint. Superman’s rocket never landed in Kansas and was found by the government first. There, he lived in government custody, never being under the yellow sun. He has a shockingly skinny and frail physique as well as a timid and frightful personality having had little human contact. Superman is voiced by Sam Daly, son of Tim Daly.
Superman appears in the DC animated film alongside other members of the Justice League of America as they attempt to stop Lex Luthor and a time travel ordeal. The film was released on January 21, 2014 on DVD. Peter Jessop voices Superman.
Justice League: War (2014)
Based on the rebooted New 52 origins of the Justice League written by Geoff Johns, Superman also makes an appearance in the movie as one of the Justice League’s founding members in light of Darkseid’s invasion of Earth. The film was released on February 4th, 2014, with Jerry O’Connell voicing Superman.
The Lego Movie (2014)
Superman also appears in this animated film as one of the last remaining Master Builders alongside characters such as Abraham Lincoln, Gandalf, Shaquille O’Neal, and even other DC Comics characters who are apart of the Justice League such as Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and Batman. The master builders have the ability to build almost anything they wish to do so out of Lego pieces, and are the main resistance to Lord Business’s evil plans. The film was released on February 7th, 2014. He was voiced by Channing Tatum, who reprised his role as Superman in The Lego Batman Movie (2017) and The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019).
Superman appears in numerous direct-to-DVD animated Lego films, voiced again by Nolan North.
- Lego Batman: Be-Leagured (2014)
- Justice League vs. Bizarro League (2015)
- Justice League: Cosmic Clash (2016)
- Lego DC Super Heroes: The Flash (2018)
- Aquaman: Rage of Atlantis (2018)
Justice League: Throne of Atlantis (2015)
Superman appears in this animated film, intended as a sequel to Justice League: War. The film will be based off of the New 52 comic book story line of the same name. Jerry O’Connell reprises his role.
Justice League vs. Teen Titans (2016)
Superman appears in the film as a member of the Justice League, voiced again by Jerry O’Connell.
Justice League Action (2017)
Superman appears as a central character in the animated series, voiced by Jason J. Lewis.
The Death of Superman (2018) and Reign of the Supermen (2019)
Superman stars in this two-part adaptation of the Death of Superman, voiced by Jerry O’Connell.
Teen Titans Go! To The Movies (2018)
Superman appears in the film as a member of the Justice League, voiced by Nicolas Cage.
Justice League vs. The Fatal Five (2019)
Superman appears in the film, with George Newbern again reprising his role.
DC Super Hero Girls (2019)
A young Superman appears as a recurring character in the series, voiced by Max Mittelman. He is portrayed as more of an egotistical showboater than usual depictions of the character, and frequently annoys his cousin Kara.
Harley Quinn (2019)
Superman appears as a member of the Justice League, voiced by James Wolk.
Superman: Red Son (2020)
Jason Isaacs stars as a Soviet version of Superman in the animated adaptation of Mark Millar’s Superman: Red Son mini-series.
Justice League Dark: Apokolips War (2020)
Jerry O’Connell reprises his role as Superman in Apokolips War, the final film of the animated New 52 continuity. In it, the Justice League launches an attack on Apokolips, hoping to take down Darkseid. The mission ends up a disaster, with several members of the team killed and the rest taken prisoner. Darkseid brutalizes Superman and strips him of his powers, but spares his life and sends him back to Earth as the ultimate humiliation. Years later, Superman is recruited for one last attempt to free the planet from Darkseid’s rule.
At the end of the film, the universe is erased and rebooted when the Flash goes back in time to reset history, erasing Darkseid’s victory.
Man of Tomorrow (2020)
Darren Criss stars as Superman in the new animated movie, which provides a fresh take on the character’s early years. After growing up isolated in Metropolis and fearing what would happen if anyone ever discovered his alien heritage, young journalist Clark is forced to use his powers out in the open when the alien bounty hunter Lobo attacks him in Metropolis. Things only get even more out of hand when Clark’s friend Rudy Jones is transformed into the ravenous Parasite, threatening all of Metropolis.
The film also stars Zachary Quinto as Lex Luthor, Alexandra Daddario as Lois Lane, Ike Amadi as Martian Manhunter, Brett Dalton as Parasite, Ryan Hurst as Lobo and Neil Flynn as Jonathan Kent.
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 is notoriously “cursed” when it comes to video games, as he has achieved little success in the medium.
Produced by Atari for the Atari 2600 console. It was one of the first video games to feature a comic book hero. Though the graphics were primitive, it featured Superman, Lois Lane and Lex Luthor plus the city of Metropolis and the Daily Planet.
A pinball game.
Superman the Game (1985)
Produced for the Commodore 64, it was personal computer (PC) based game featuring Superman and Darkseid.
An arcade game released by Taito.
Produced by Seika and Kemco for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The game features Superman, Lex Luthor and General Zod.
Produced by Sunsoft for the Sega Genesis.
Produced for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and the Sega Genesis game consoles. Based off the Death of Superman and the Reign of the Supermen story arcs.
A Gameboy edition of Superman.
Often referred to as “Superman 64” due to be released on the Nintendo 64 console system, the video game was met with universally negative reviews and is widely considered to be one of the worst video games of all time, citing it’s difficult controls, lack of stimulating gameplay due to it’s extremely repetitive nature, as well as the games unappealing and bland graphics.
Superman the Man of Steel (1999)
A PC based game.
Superman Shadow of Apokolips (2002)
Produced for the Sony Playstation 2 and the Nintendo GameCube.
Superman the Man of Steel (2002)
Produced exclusively for the XBOX system.
Superman Returns (2006)
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 (2006)
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.
Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe (2008)
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.
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 (2013)
Superman appears as one of the playable fighters in this title, and much of the story mode focuses on his morality, with one Superman being the pure, benevolent hero loved by all, and the other being a cruel dictator who rules the Earth with an iron fist. Superman is voiced by George Newbern, who reprises the role from numerous animated productions.
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.
LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham (2014)
Superman is also set to appear in he sequel to LEGO Batman 2 alongside a large cast of other DC characters. The game is set to be released in fall of 2014.
Infinite Crisis (2015)
Superman will also be featured as one of the characters in the upcoming free-to-play multiplayer online battle arena which will be based on the DC Universe.
Injustice 2 (2017)
George Newbern reprises his role in the sequel. Picking up 5 years after the events of the first game, Superman has been imprisoned for his crimes. Despite this, some of the public still supports him. When Brainiac arrives on Earth, Superman and Batman are forced to work together to him. However, the two become divided again over Brainiac’s fate, with Superman wanting to kill him and Batman wanting to spare him. If Superman wins, the game ends with the Insurgency being captured and Superman resuming his role as a dictatorial ruler of Earth, and if Batman wins, Superman is depowered with Gold Kryptonite and banished to the Phantom Zone.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League (TBA)
Superman will appear in the Suicide Squad video game as an enemy who must be defeated.
Being such an iconic character with nearly a century of appearances, numerous companies have produced merchandise featuring Superman, his supporting cast, and his villains. Listing them all would be nearly impossible, so the following is a brief sampling:
- In the 1970s, Superman was featured in Mego’s World’s Greatest Heroes line of action figures.
- In the 1980s, Superman was featured in Kenner’s DC Super Powers Collection line of action figures.
- In the 90s, Kenner produced a line of action figures called Superman: The Man of Steel.
- In this same decade, Kenner also produced a tie-in figure line for Superman: The Animated Series.
- Superman was featured in Kenner’s Total Justice line.
- Superman was prominently featured in Mattel’s action figure line for Justice League and Justice League Unlimited.
- DC DIrect has produced numerous Superman figures, including ones based on classic and iconic storylines like Kingdom Come, The Death and Return of Superman, All-Star Superman and the New 52 Superman reboot. Toys based on video games like Injustice and the animated New 52 movies were also produced.
- Mattel produced a line of figures for Superman Returns.
- Superman was featured multiple times in Mattel’s DC Superheroes line of figures.
- Superman was featured multiple times in Mattel’s DC Universe Classics line of figures.
- Mattel produced a line of figures for Man of Steel and Batman v Superman.
- The Henry Cavill version of Superman was featured in Mattel’s Movie Masters line.
- Various versions of Superman were featured in Mattel’s DC Multiverse line.
- Hot Toys produced cinematic Superman action figures based on the various movie incarnations of the character, including Christopher Reeve and Henry Cavill.
- Superman was featured in Bandai’s S.H. Figuarts line.
- Medicom’s MAFEX line featured Superman.
- NECA has produced various Superman figures.
- Companies like DC Direct, Prime 1 Studios, Diamond Select, Kotobukiya, Eaglemoss Publications and Iron Studios have produced Superman statues, busts and figurines.
- Superman has been featured multiple times in Funko’s Pop! line of bobbleheads.
- Superman was featured in Hiya’s Injustice 2 line.
- Superman was featured in Storm Collectibles’ Injustice line
- Superman has been featured multiple times in McFarlane Toys’ DC Multiverse line.
- Superman was featured in Mezco’s One:12 line.