The being known as Alter Ego was an artificially created duplicate of DAILY PLANET reporter James Bartholomew Olsen, brought about through the real Olsen's accidental exposure to cosmic radiation. This doppelganger manifested directly from Olsen's own ego, hence the name; it looked exactly like the real Olsen, but had magnified all of the negative traits in his personality while submerging the positive ones. As a result, the Alter Ego being was not completely evil, but could do evil things in its efforts to draw adulation to itself.
The Alter Ego was, at its core an energy being, formed through a combination of the cosmic radiation and Olsen's subconscious mind. At the time of its creation, Olsen was feeling as if he was overshadowed by the exploits of Superman, and thus, the Alter Ego had as its sole desire the drive to humiliate Superman publicly, to show the world that Olsen was more of a hero. Had this motivation been fulfilled, the creature would have more than likely dissolved on its own.
The Alter Ego could fly, had super-human strength, and could unleash cosmic radiation blasts from its hands. Additionally, being a creature of pure ego, it was capable of manifesting other powers as needed. Essentially, Alter Ego would have been able to do anything it thought it should be able to do.
During the time of its existence, Alter Ego clashed repeatedly with Superman. The being was ultimately destroyed in combat with Superman, and has not as yet resurfaced. Whether or not it ever will remains open to question.
Can do anything it thinks it should be able to do, without limits
- This version of Alter Ego (Earth-One), including all history and corresponding appearances, was initially erased from existence following the collapse of the original Multiverse in the 1985–86 Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series. However the ending of Convergence retroactively prevented that collapse, saving all the alternate realities, though in an "evolved" form. Even though versions of the character may have since appeared, this information does not apply to those versions.
- Enemy of Superman
- Appearances of Alter Ego (Earth-One)
- 1 Images featuring Alter Ego (Earth-One)
- Quotations by or about Alter Ego (Earth-One)
- Character Gallery: Alter Ego (Earth-One)
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