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Kal-El (Earth-One)

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Quote1 "But I need being Clark-- I need a private life just like anyone! In the past, I've tried assuming other identities-- But it just didn't work! Clark Kent is as much a part of who I am as Kal-El of Krypton is! Ma and Pa Kent... The way they raised me... My boyhood in Smallville-- They made me what I am-- And I'd sooner die than give it up!" Quote2
-- Superman src

Superman is Earth’s premiere superhero and the stalwart protector of Metropolis. Born Kal-El on the distant planet Krypton, he was sent to Earth as a child to survive Krypton's destruction. Raised with high moral ideals, he uses his extraordinary superpowers to fight evil and protect the innocent. In his civilian identity he is Clark Kent, a mild-mannered reporter working for the Daily Planet in Metropolis.

Last Son of Krypton

Kal-El was born to the highly decorated scientific genius Jor-El and his wife Lara, a former astronaut on their home planet of Krypton. Like all Kryptonians, Kal-El had no superhuman powers or abilities on Krypton, but was, like his father, a very astute and intelligent boy who learned to speak and read in his native language by the time he was three years old.

About the same time, Jor-El learned that Krypton was doomed to explode, and he brought this to the attention of Krypton's ruling leaders, "the Science Council." Fearing the worst for his planet, Jor-El advised the Council to build a fleet of space rockets to carry the population farther away from the dying planet.

Disbelieving Jor-El's prediction, the ruling council refused to warn their fellow Kryptonians and forbade Jor-El to do so. Lara pledged to remain with her husband when Jor-El tried to force her to leave along with her son so that the escape rocket would have a better chance of surviving the trip. Knowing that Krypton was soon to explode, Jor-El launched the ship to Earth, knowing that Earth's lower gravity and the yellow sun would give his son incredible powers.

Adopted by the Kents

The rocket crash-landed on Earth in an open field outside of Smallville, Kansas. It was there that the rocket and the young Kal-El were discovered by small land farmers Jonathan and Martha Kent. Upon finding the young boy, Martha became attached to Kal-El while Jonathan elected to have the child's true family found. Martha persuades Jonathan to keep the boy as their adopted child, naming him Clark. [2]

The Kents fashioned a set of clothes for their "Superbaby" from the now-virtually indestructible red, blue and yellow blankets in the rocket. This same material was later used to create the costume Kal-El would wear as Superboy and Superman.

Jonathan and Martha instill in him a good sense of right and wrong but also a good appreciation to try to fit into society as a positive being using his talents for good. The young Clark takes the advice to heart and starts helping out local people as the eight-year-old Superboy. It is as the heroic Superboy that Clark begins to find his true calling even trying to fit in as the normal "Clark Kent". But Superboy never forgets his Kryptonian heritage which at times leads to some frustrating moments between him and his foster parents such as when Krypto (Kal-El's now superpowered puppy from Krypton) first arrives in Smallville. Though there are several mishaps in Superboy's life on Earth, they never really lead to the troubles of teenage rebellion. Deciding to support his public actions, Martha unravels Clark's blankets and reweaves them into the familiar costume. Clark continues to use Martha's design throughout all of his costume career.


As Clark grows up on Earth, he is mindful of obeying the laws of humanity working directly with Police Chief Parker and other law enforcement agencies which lead to Superboy direct acceptance as a hero which differs from the early vigilante status of the Earth-Two Superman. In fact by the time Clark is around 12 or so the town officially recognizes their most popular citizen with a billboard that publicly announces "Welcome to Smallville - the home of Superboy".


It is this public notification of Smallville being Superboy's home that brings the young Lex Luthor into Superboy's life and will result in their life-long battle. Lex Luthor had a massive talent for scientific inventiveness which had asserted itself from Lex's earliest days. Lex became highly interested in the public exploits of Superboy to the point of almost obsessive behavior, forcing his parents to move to Smallville so he could be closer to his idol. It was Lex's hope that he could aid Superboy in his exploits. Some argue perhaps to become as famous as his hero, other argue merely for the sake of helping his hero. Lex focused on all of his considerable scientific skills to finding out some way to achieve his goal and found it when he discovered Superboy's weakness to Kryptonite. Deciding on a cure to the meteorite's effects on Superboy, Lex began to experiment with various exotic materials many of which were dangerous and explosive. The chemicals reacted badly and exploded in Lex's lab filling the room with various poisonous gasses. Superboy reacting to the explosion arrived to find Lex in threat of death but was unable to enter the room directly because of the Kryptonite. Superboy stood outside of the room and blew the Kryptonite and gasses out of the room saving Lex's life. But an unforeseen accident of the exhaust was that Superboy blew the chemicals over Lex, which resulted in permanently removing all the hair from Lex's uncovered head. Lex's face was spared the removal effect of the gasses. Lex was shocked and stunned to see his perfect idol do such a blunderous save. Superboy explained the situation needed an immediate reaction, but Lex was inconsolable upon his disfigurement which he decided was deliberate on Superboy's part. He took the partially completed Kryptonite cure and destroyed it in front of Superboy, pledging then and there that he would dedicate his life to proving that he was superior to Superboy, later Superman, by any and all means.[3].

It would be this interpretation that would allow Lex to act between the extremes of trying to kill Kal-El and merely trying to humiliate Kal-El which Lex Luthor would later do in becoming a recognized hero of the planet renamed in his honor, Lexor unlike his Earth-Two counterpart Alexei Luthor who only wants to kill Superman.

While Lex would grow up to become Superboy's primary foe, many of Superboy's Smallville friends would become the support of his life, mostly focusing on his classmate Pete Ross who would independently discover Clark's secret identity and Lana Lang who would become his first love interest, to all of whom would provide a basis when Superboy faced his most troubling personal loss, his foster parents' death.

Death of the Kents

During Clark's teenage years on Earth, the Kents had sold their farm and became shopkeepers in Smallville and settled into a more modern lifestyle supporting Clark's day to day life as well as his superhero activities. But they grew elderly and eventually died of a tropical fever, when in a voyage. Even with all his abilities and science, Clark could not save them. Before dying, Johnathan Kent reminded Clark to continue doing good deeds and not lose sight of who he was.


With the death of his foster parents, Clark left Smallville and resettled in Metropolis deciding to continue his costume career as a public hero. It would be here that Clark would become a staff reporter of the Daily Planet and meet his core set of friends, Lois Lane, cub reporter Jimmy Olsen and editor Perry White. Clark would report on various criminal activities around the planet on his civilian identity, which he would foil as Superman for the Daily Planet until the paper was sold to Morgan Edge and Clark was transferred to newscasting. The major difference from most of the other interpretations of the Superman legend is that Lois Lane is usually considered to make the first public report on Superman's exploits where on Earth-One, Superman is very well-known and respected long before meeting Lois Lane or settling in Metropolis.

Superman was pivotal in inspiring many Earth-based heroes, resulting in the creation of the Justice League and teaming up with Batman whom he considered to be a close personal friend, as well as with his cousin Kara, who would become Supergirl. And as he gathered more and more allies and friends, he would gather more and more enemies as he became more and more extensive beyond the confines of Earth-One.

World's Finest

Batman and Superman switch identities

Batman and Superman switch identities
Early on in their careers, Batman and Superman met each other during a case when they would attempt to protect each other from the danger posed by a gang of Kryptonite smugglers. This would end with the Dynamic Duo and Superman working together for the first time to stop the gang.[4] Soon, Batman and Superman learned each other’s secret identities, but promised to keep them a secret and they subsequently started working on several cases together.[5][6] When Superman rescued Batman and Robin from a mob attack, he would accidentally reveal his secret identity to Lois Lane, prompting Batman and Robin help stage an elaborate hoax in order to once more protect Superman's identity.[7] When Clark Kent and Lois Lane were captured by criminals who used heavy artillery in their crimes, Batman and Robin were led to their hideout thanks to Superman's secret aid and they captured the thugs.[8] Sometime later, Batman and Superman came up with an elaborate hoax wherein Batman poses as a swami and needs Superman’s assistance in order to capture a group of crooks.[9] When Batman was exposed to a lethal gas by the Purple Mask Mob that would've killed the Dark Knight should he be physically active, Superman and Robin made Batman believe that he had a broken leg to keep him out of action until the poison wore off.[10]

Batman and Superman started a competition to define in which of their cities would a science convention should be held, but the heroes were equal and the science convention took place on both cities.[11] Batman and Superman worked together to stop the evil Professor Pender, who used a machine to swap powers between them. Using their respective abilities, Super-Batman and Normal Superman managed to defeat Pender and return to their normal forms.[12] Next, Superman summons Batman and Robin to Metropolis to try and figure out who is trying to reveal Superman's secret identity. This all turns out to be a ruse to keep the Dynamic Duo preoccupied while Superman travels out to Gotham City to capture the Varrel Mob.[13] Superman and Batman stopped the Mole Gang, while also working on their civilian identities as temporarily reporters in order to report the epic gang battle and save the Gotham Gazette from bankruptcy.[14]

When Superman went missing, Batman and Robin were asked to track down the Man of Steel and help him expose yet another empty threat from a criminal attempting to expose Superman's secret identity. This case would bring the earliest meeting between Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent.[15] Sometime later, Batman and Superman investigated the mysterious case of the deaths of Robin and Jimmy Olsen, learned about a purposeful deception and captured an important gang in the process.[16] After this, they confronted the menace of the Composite Superman, who vanished away after creating serious havoc.[17] Next, the Batman and Superman team almost disappeared as a grudge grew between the heroes, but after working together to save Kandor, they moved past their disagreements.[18] Following this, the heroes stopped the double threat of Braniac and Clayface with help from their sidekicks Robin and Jimmy.[19] Batman and Superman later pulled a hoax on Doctor Zodiac, a notorious con-artist and captured him along with several other gangsters.[20] Eventually, the Composite Superman made a comeback, and he almost defeated the heroes. However, he sacrificed himself to prevent another alien from killing them and afterwards. Batman and Superman created a memorial in honor of Joseph Meach.[21] Some time later, Batman and Superman worked together to stop Dr. Light from killing Superman with a magical staff he created.[22]

Batman and Superman then worked with Metamorpho after he gained their powers and together they captured an international criminal.[23]

The End

Superman would continue to try to protect the universe directly from various forces throughout all of his career up until the time of the "Crisis on Infinite Earths". It would be during this conflict that Kal-El would once again lose a member of his extended family. He would not recover from the loss of Supergirl to the multiverse domination schemes of the Anti-Monitor.

Like his Earth-Two counterpart, Superman would decide to sacrifice his life in order to stop the Anti-Monitor but was stopped by a somewhat underhanded sneak blow by the elder Kal-L who decided the younger and more powerful Kryptonian would have a better chance at stopping the Anti-Monitor later if Kal-L's direct attack against the Anti-Monitor failed.

Kal-L's attack, along with the assistance of Superboy-Prime, succeeded and the single surviving universe was saved. The Superman of Earth-One returned to the singular Earth and continued to be active as Superman until such time where he was recreated as a new individual with a restructured history. When he and those connected to him were recreated, the people of the new singular Earth lost all memories of Superman but would go on to know the new individual as "Superman".


  • Kryptonian Physiology: Under the rays of a yellow sun, Superman, like all Kryptonians and some species of extraterrestrial lifeforms with similar physiology, gained enormous power to wield as he sees fit. The below covers his variegated power set.
  • Solar Energy Absorption: As a product of his Kryptonian physiology, Superman absorbs solar radiation and stores it within his cells to survive.[24]The rays of a white sun could amplify Superman's strength beyond normal limits, while the rays of an orange sun reduced Superman's strength and invulnerability to levels at which collisions with small meteoroids could stun him. According to some sources, the rays of an orange sun could also render Superman blind as well as at half-power. The rays of a red sun, while sufficient to sustain his life functions by providing his cells solar radiation, nonetheless negated all of his powers instantaneously and made him the equivalent of a human man with a well-trained, albeit vulnerable, body. It also seemed that red sun radiation could strip Superman of his abilities even in environments which existed primarily under a yellow sun.
  • Superhuman Strength: Superman possesses a truly extraordinary strength level, by no means capable of being precisely measured but certainly well within the range of being able to press or lift from millions to sextillions of tons. Although early Silver Age appearances portrayed Superman as being so strong he could yank several small planets through space by an absurdly large chain and throw white dwarf star matter light years away effortlessly, later appearances showed Superman's physical might, though still incredible to say the least, to possess veritable and somewhat tamer limits. In the Bronze Age, Superman could still move individual planets around the Earth's size and lift neutron star matter, though he would have to struggle and strain in the process, while these feats were presented at the time as if the uppermost bounds of his ability. This de-powering may have been the by-product of the Kryptonite Nevermore saga, in which Superman's power was reduced by 25-33% permanently by the Sand Superman. Afterwards, as Superman once lamented when tasked with shifting the tectonic plates of the Earth with brute strength, "Superman, who could once juggle planets with one hand, can't even manipulate one puny continent!"[25]
  • Invulnerability: Superman's body was virtually invulnerable to all forms of mundane and ordinary harm. Neither bullets nor bazookas could even faze the nigh-invincible Man of Steel. Superman could even withstand the explosion of an atomic bomb at ground zero unfazed, and even the force and heat of planetary-level explosions and supernovas only had the power to stun Superman momentarily. Superman even withstood the heat, light, and gravity of the Big Bang for a few moments before ultimately succumbing to it. However, while it might be said that it was next to impossible to defeat Superman in one-on-one combat, it was still just that: next to impossible. Indeed, there were a number of reliable ways to damage Superman's highly durable form. The one that springs to mind most quickly, and is most often employed, is Kryptonite, radioactive soil from Superman's home-planet. In addition to the radiation emitted by Krypton's crystalline remnants, magic and high-frequency red sun radiation could also negate Superman's invulnerability and potentially do him real harm. Superman was also vulnerable to psionic attack and could be incapacitated psychically, although the effect of the attack would have to be quick. Otherwise, Superman could use his super-concentration to fight off the mental intrusion. Lastly, the most difficult means of dealing harm to Superman physically was simply to apply a force or energy so potent and intense that it could rival force within Superman's own capacity to exert. This could be managed through a level of brute strength comparable to Superman's, or even exceeding it, or it could be accomplished through the utilization of an extremely powerful energy projection attack. Examples of those who could use attacks capable of harming Superman without exploitation of his weaknesses included the Superman of Earth-Two, Ultraman, the Phantom Zoners, Mon-El, Martian Manhunter, Darkseid, Mongul, Ultra Boy, Validus, Vartox, Bizarro, Gorilla Grodd, Atomic Skull, Galactic Golem, Karb-Brak, Blackrock, Amazo, Lex Luthor in his Lexorian warsuit, Composite Superman, Parasite, Amalak, the Earth-Two and Earth-One versions of Solomon Grundy, etc. It should also be noted that Superman was seemingly capable of increasing his base durability against an energy attack by simply preparing himself for it. Some villains have utilized energy attacks which affected Superman while he was unprepared for the attack's intensity yet used the same attack to no avail once Superman had sufficiently readied himself to withstand the force and discomfort.
  • Longevity: Superman can live almost indefinitely if he resides under continuous exposure to Earth's sunlight or that of another yellow star/sun.
  • Self-Sustenance: He does not need to eat or sleep (but is still capable of doing so) and doesn't require oxygen to breathe, enabling him to travel in space and underwater unprotected.
  • Superhuman Stamina: He has the ability to maintain continuous physical activity for an undefined period. Although not unlimited, Superman's stamina is indeed considerable. His resilience in the face of perils that could potentially annihilate planets, galaxies, universes, and even him is tremendous.
  • Flight: Superman is capable of defying gravity as a result of Krypton's greater atmospheric pressure and its demands on Kryptonian physiology. Combining his superspeed with this power, Superman can fly at unbelievable speeds, even exceeding the speed of light. Once Superman does break this seemingly impenetrable barrier, Superman can travel through time and traverse dimensions. In spite of pain from mounting physical strain, Superman can fly at speeds multiple times faster than light and, when motivated, has been shown to even be capable of shattering the bounds of infinity, requiring the Spectre to intervene to stop him from laying witness to reality's final secret. On another occasion, he used this ability to escape a black hole, although the gravity well dislocated his leg in the process.
  • Superhuman Speed: He is capable of moving, reacting, running, and flying at superhuman speeds. While not as fast as the Flash, Superman is considered one of the swiftest beings in the universe. He can use this power to disarm opponents, catch bullets or shrapnel, cross vast distances in seconds, and move himself and other objects at speeds exceeding the speed of light itself. Combining his flight with this power, Superman can fly at unbelievable speeds, even exceeding the speed of light. Once Superman does break this seemingly impenetrable barrier, Superman can travel through time and traverse dimensions. In spite of pain from mounting physical strain, Superman can fly at speeds multiple times faster than light and, when motivated, has been shown to even be capable of shattering the bounds of infinity, requiring the Spectre to intervene to stop him from laying witness to reality's final secret. On another occasion, he used this ability to escape a black hole, although the gravity well dislocated his leg in the process.
  • Superhuman Hearing: Superman has vastly increased auditory sensitivity to even the slightest changes in sound and pitch, allowing him to pick up noises from across the globe. He has shown enough control to block out ambient sounds to focus on a specific source/frequency.
  • Super-Breath: Superman can create hurricane force winds by blowing, and also exhale supercooled gas to freeze a target. He can also breathe in large amounts of air to dispel clouds of gas by exhaling it.
  • Heat Vision: Superman can fire beams of intense heat from his eyes, a product of his capacity for optical release of electromagnetic radiation along a range of wavelengths. One time, when he was Superboy, he used heat vision to reignite the Sun, which had been drained by a Sun-Eater. Even still, some enemies were powerful enough to stand up to it and not even wince, such as Brainiac, whose Ultra-Force Shield Belt protected him from harm on a level even greater than Superman's invincibility, and Mongul, who withstood the full intensity of Superman's heat vision after being hit with it point-blank.
  • Super Vision: Superman also possessed telescopic vision, enabling him to see objects from great distances away, and X-ray vision, which enabled Superman to see through objects via the emission of X-ray radiation optically.
  • Telescopic Vision: The ability to focus his vision to see something at a great distance, without violating the laws of physics.
  • Microscopic Vision: The ability to see extremely small objects and images down to the sub-atomic level.
  • X-Ray Vision: The ability to see through anything except lead. Since it is passive, this ability would not generate harmful radiation in the same manner as a focused projection of hard X-rays.
  • Super-Ventriloquism: He could project his voice without visibly moving his mouth or lips across large distances.
  • Super-Hypnotism: A passive and low-level ability amplified to a meaningful degree by the material of the lenses in Clark Kent's glasses, Superman's eyes emitted hypnotic waves which impressed Superman's desire not to allow other people to discover his secret identity subconsciously onto the perceptions of others. As long as Clark Kent wore glasses and Superman didn't, no one made the connection. Superman, however, was also trained in how to artificially mesmerize others using light effects and used his skill in hypnotism on one occasion to convince his WGBS and Daily Planet friends that he had been selected for an assignment when he had not been.
  • Genius Level Intellect
  • Photographic Memory: He could learn surgery in minutes by reading the appropriate books, and re-build an exploded computer by recalling where each component was. Superman's data processing speed is equivalent to a TRS-80.[26]



  • Vulnerability to Kryptonite: There existed various kinds of Kryptonite, most of which affected Superman in a particular and invariably negative way. Green Kryptonite, of both real and synthetic varieties, could strip Superman gradually of his strength and superpowers and drain the solar radiation from his cells, physically weakening him to the point of incapacitation. If exposed to Green K radiation over a prolonged period of time, it could even kill him. Red Kryptonite, on the other hand, emitted radiation that would mutate Superman in unpredictable ways for a time span of up to 3 days. No two samples of Red K would have the same effect on Superman, while any given Red K chunk could only affect Superman or any other Kryptonian once through exposure. Gold Kryptonite simply had the power to rob Superman permanently of his superpowers. While other varieties of Kryptonite, typically synthetic, existed, these three main varieties were the most commonly found in nature and impacted Superman each in their own unique, detrimental way.
  • Vulnerability to Magic: Due to a lack of the innate resonance with magical forces that became adaptive in humans over thousands of years, the Kryptonian species, Superman included, were not only bereft of the human disposition towards magical mastery (though a secret cult of Kryptonian wizards did exist), but were also more acutely vulnerable to the effects of magic than normal humans. This applies even to Superman, whose physiology is enhanced in numerous ways by Earth's environment to be immune to most natural forces. Superman thus has no special invincibility to harm inflicted through mystical means, and so not only was anyone well versed in the mystic arts a very real danger to Superman but also more likely than not invulnerable to the effects of most of Superman's powers. Indeed, in a fight against a supernatural creature like the Spawn of Frankenstein or Caitiff, Superman was no more formidable than a normal man of his age and build, if not actually less so. While human spell-casters, like Lord Satanis and Syrene, were not innately immune to Superman's powers like monsters of a magical nature, they could likely easily negate them with the abilities at their disposal. Some magical entities, like Mr. Mxyzptlk and the Spectre, were virtually omnipotent and thus could treat Superman like their helpless toy if they so desired. Strangely enough, the Marvel Family, Black Adam, Solomon Grundy, and Captain Thunder, despite deriving their powers from their supernatural origins, were depicted as having been capable of battling Superman on equal terms, and vice versa, because of their comparable strength, stamina, and invulnerability, not their magic nature. Indeed, given the fact that the aforementioned examples were individually as strong or almost as strong as Superman, Superman's crippling inability to contend with the forces of magic should have logically made their encounters with him extremely heavily tipped in their favor.
  • Vulnerability to Red Sun Radiation: When exposed to the electromagnetic radiation emitted by a red sun, either naturally or artifically generated, Superman lost all his superpowers and became, for all intents and purposes, equivalent to a normal human man of his age and build. Even when residing in environments that exist under yellow suns, the projection of red sun radiation could render him imminently powerless. However, unlike Kryptonite radiation, red sun radiation is still sufficient to meet Superman's physiological demands and sustain him indefinitely, just not empower him in the way that the radiation from differently-colored suns could.
  • Vulnerability to Psionics: Superman could be totally disabled and incapacitated by a psychic intrusion if the source of the attack was capable of working quickly enough to subvert all of Superman's mental defenses before Superman's willpower overcame the foreign psionic presence. Potentially, a talented psychic could quickly render Superman unconscious or place him under mind-control if Superman were not given the opportunity to respond.


  • Superman Uniform: Originally just the normal Kryptonian cloth that infant Kal-El was swaddled with during his flight to Earth, Superman's costume becomes just as invulnerable as he himself is, if not actually more so, under the radiation of a yellow sun. Evidence of the possibility that Superman's costume becomes more durable than himself on Earth includes the fact that fights with various enemies capable of physically harming Superman still fail to tear or rip his costume. As a result, Superman's costume provides some measure of protection even when Superman is stripped of his superpowers, as it can resist the effects of drastic temperature change and physical abuse, though this says nothing about the ability or lack thereof of its wearer to sustain this type of damage under circumstances of powerlessness. Superman's costume is also known to be able to shield its wearer (or anything wrapped in its cape) from the effects of friction.
  • Kryptonian Lenses: Clark Kent can use glasses with lenses from his Kryptonian spaceship to project his heat vision without melting them. Clark's glasses are also used to enhance his low-grade subconscious hypnotic ability and create the illusion that he is an older and weaker person while wearing them. This illusion can somehow remain projected onto images of Clark Kent seen in photographs and video recordings and even remain around Clark for a 48-hour time span after he removes his glasses.
  • Superman Robots: Android facsimiles of the Man of Steel imbued with inferior duplicates of Superman's main power set and used to stand in for him on occasions when it is necessary that Superman and Clark Kent be seen together in order to deflect suspicion or to defend Metropolis when their creator is unable to for a variety of reasons. Special Superman Robots have even been created to pose as Clark Kent in his civilian identity.
  • Fortress of Solitude Supercomputer: Superman's highly advanced supercomputer, located in the Fortress of Solitude.
  • Various technological artifacts from Krypton and other alien world Superman has visited in the past, usually contained within the Fortress of Solitude.


  • Usually just flies under his own power, but occasionally made use of a Supermobile to compensate for temporary loss of powers or for protection against non-yellow sun systems in which Superman would often lose his powers or find them diminished. During his time in Kandor as Nightwing, Kal-El utilized a rocket belt to give him the ability to fly as he would be able to under Earth's yellow sun.


  • Phantom Zone Projector
  • Various weapons collected from past interstellar adventures, usually contained the Fortress of Solitude's armory.
  • This version of Superman, 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.


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