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Kal-El (Prime Earth)

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Superman is the last son of Krypton, sent as the dying planet's last hope to Earth, where he grew to become its protector.

Origin

Baby Kal-El's escape from a dying planet

Baby Kal-El's escape from a dying planet

Kal-El was born on Krypton to Jor-El and Lara. After Jor-El discovered that the planet was doomed to destruction, he attempted to escape with his family into the Phantom Zone but was repelled by the criminals who had been imprisoned there. With no other choice, he and Lara resigned themselves to their fates, placing their son in a prototype evacuation rocket, activating its Brainiac intelligence, and sending it to a place with a yellow sun: Earth.[1]

The crash site was discovered by Jonathan and Martha Kent, who had just learned that they could not have children. Seeing this alien orphan as their chance, they gathered him up and took him home, leaving a stillborn calf in his place in the hopes of throwing the government off their trail.[2] They raised him as Clark Kent in Smallville, Kansas, teaching him their values. Eventually, Jonathan revealed Clark's true parentage to him, but left it to him to decide what it would mean. On the night of his prom, however, Clark's adopted parents were both killed in a car accident.[3] After their funerals, Clark sold Kent Farm to a neighbour and moved to Metropolis to become a journalist.[4]

Becoming Superman

Superman debuts in Metropolis

Superman debuts in Metropolis

Upon moving to Metropolis, Clark took a job at the Daily Star, and prepared himself to act as a vigilante by having several shirts printed with the S-Symbol that had come to Earth with him emblazoned on them. His attempt to rescue a young boy caused him to reveal himself before he expected to, and the city came to know of the superhuman man.[5] Within six months, he had fully revealed himself, and was targeting corrupt businessman Glen Glenmorgan when General Sam Lane and Lex Luthor took an interest in him. They staged several emergencies to trap him, finally succeeding with a train crash that endangered the General's own daughter Lois. [6] In collaboration with the military, Luthor tortured Superman while his Kryptonian Rocket was studied. Upon his escape, Superman discovered it and sealed it away for protection, but too late to prevent its Kryptonian signal from alerting the Collector of Worlds to its location - and unaware that Luthor was complicit in making that happen.[7]

After the district of New Troy had been secretly shrunken down and abducted by the Collector of Worlds, Superman made a giant leap from Metropolis into outer space, catching hold of the retreating space-ship. The Collector tried to force Superman to choose between the lives of those in the city of Kandor and of New Troy, but he refused to choose, instead donning a Kryptonian suit of armour from one of the bottles, and promising to protect both.[8] Defeating the Collector and returning New Troy to its original place, Superman then came out officially to the people of Metroplis as an alien and promised to remain on the side of good.[9]

Superman and Batman met for the first time while Clark was investigating a series of murders in Wayne Enterprises. The two new heroes were unexpectedly whisked to a parrallel reality by Kaiyo the Trickster where they met older and more experienced versions of themselves. When they were returned back to their Earth however, Kaiyo wiped their memories of the whole interaction. [10]

At some point, some of Superman's DNA was collected by both the organization N.O.W.H.E.R.E. and Lex Luthor to produce clones of the Kryptonian, in five years creating Superboy and Bizarro respectively.

Justice League

The Justice League is formed.

The Justice League is formed.

Superman had his real first encounter with Batman and Green Lantern after they'd pursued a Parademon to Metropolis.[11] He assumed they were villains because they had a Father Box, overpowering both of them, even after Green Lantern called the Flash for help.

Batman convinced them all to team up, but they were too late to stop the Father Box opening a Boom Tube to Apokolips.[12] The four of them were forced to battle an army of invading Parademons, but they were fortunate to receive assistance from Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and Cyborg - the last of whom had just assimilated the Father Box technology into his cybernetic body.[13] Their resistance attracted the attention of Darkseid, ruler of Apokolips, who came to fight them personally.[14] Darkseid incapacitated Superman with an Omega Blast, and the Parademons carried him off to Apokolips. Batman followed to rescue him while the rest of the group remained to battle Darkseid.[15] Superman was tortured by Desaad and Steppenwolf until Batman managed to save him. They returned to Earth and Superman punched Darkseid back through the Boom Tube as Cyborg closed it.

The heroes were congratulated by the President for saving the planet, and they decided to become an official team. Historian David Graves would later call them the Justice League.[16]

Death of "Clark Kent" and Fighting Vyndktvx

After faking his death as Clark Kent to shake off someone who was investigating too closely into his secret identity, Clark took the alias of Johnny Clark and joined the fire department. Still he began to regret killing Clark Kent off and sought advice from Batman, who promised to deal with it.

After discovering an alien named Captain Comet who foretold of Earth's extinction by alien attacks, Superman managed to fight him off but, in the process, caused his Johnny Clark identity to be thought dead as well. Luckily, Superman's former landlady, Mrs. Nyxly, who knew of his former secret identity as Clark Kent, revealed to him that she was from the Fifth Dimension and used one of her three wishes she had saved to wipe Clark Kent's death from everyone's minds. Nyxly continued to tell Superman that everything bad that ever happened in his life was the doing of someone else from her home.[17] She explained that Lord Vyndktvx, from her home Dimension had attacked Clark at multiple points in his history, to the point that certain memories he had might have happened otherwise before those attacks. [18]

Lord Vyndktvx finally made a play for Superman's life in the present with his assembled Anti-Superman Army. [18] Finally understanding Vyndktvx's weakness, Superman used a telepathic connection set up by Lois Lane's psychic niece Susie Thompkins to convince everyone in the world to say their own names backwards. The sound of this five-dimensional utterance caused Vyndktvx to retreat to his own dimension, where he was immediately arrested. [19]

H'El on Earth

Superman vs H'el

Superman vs H'el

Soon after, the Daily Planet was bought out by businessman Morgan Edge, initiating a major change in the reporting style of the Planet. Unhappy with the changes, Clark quit working for the paper and, to make matters worse, found out that his love interest Lois Lane was now in a serious relationship with another man named John Carroll. [20]

Later, in his hero identity, Superman was confronted by another Kryptonian called H'el, who wanted to recruit him by force to join his unholy crusade of saving Krypton. After learning that H'el wanted to use the Fortress to go back in time to save Krypton, Superman called in the Justice League and his teenage clone Superboy to fight H'el and prevent the destruction of the solar system.[21]

Unchained

While investigating the shady government group known as Ascension, Superman uncovered the beast known as Wraith, an alien with very similar powers that was captured and trained by the US government to bring down terrorist. After learning about their common purposes, Superman and Wraith agreed to work together to stop Ascension.[22]

Superman and Wraith defeated a small faction of Ascension, but Superman was soon betrayed by Wraith, who sought what was known as an Earthstone. Following a colossal battle, Superman defeated Wraith and not long after this, Lex Luthor informed him that Wraith's species was planning to attack Earth and the only weapon that could used against them would kill Superman.[23] Superman chose not to use the weapon and confronted the aliens without aid, but Wraith soon redeemed himself by using the weapon against his own species, killing himself in the process.[24]

Krypton Returns

Main article: Krypton Returns
Superman and Jor-El

Superman and Jor-El

After battling a group of mentally enhanced psychics known as the Twenty in a sort of "Psi-War" [25], Superman learned that H'El had survived and had managed to bring Krypton back to life. However, H'El also altered the timeline and they had to stop him from destroying the universe. With the help of Faora, Superman traveled to Kryptonopolis a few months before Krypton's destruction, where he meets his mother Lara.[26][27] Superman witnessed Lara telling Jor-El that she was pregnant, but then, Superman was confronted by a mysterious person who was aware about his travel in time.[28]

This stranger was 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 came to the past to stop H'El from conquering Krypton. Superman and Jor-El travelled to Krypton's core and fought H'El. At first, Jor-El wanted to kill H'El but Superman instead used H'El's own chronal powers against him and froze him with his super-breath, locking H'El in a state of eternal limbo. Superman and Supergirl were reunited in the present, but they learned that Superboy sacrificed his life to stop H'El. Mourning the loss of their friend, Superman and Supergirl returned to Earth.[29]

Trinity War and Forever Evil

Main articles: Trinity War and Forever Evil

In the hopes of ridding the world of evil, Pandora tried to have members of the Justice League open her box for her, believing that their virtuousness would prevent the calamity that occurred when she opened it. [30] However, this backfired, and the active Justice Leagues took sides, fighting over the "correct" method to open the box. [31]

While trying to understand the escalating tension of opening the box, Superman and Wonder Woman were ambushed by Dr. Light and, during their fight, Superman accidentally killed Light with his heat vision.[32] Superman asked to be locked away for his outburst but started getting sick in captivity. [33] Upon investigating further, Firestorm, the Atom, and Element Woman discovered that there was Kryptonite in Superman's nervous system, which caused him to attack Dr. Light unintentionally.[34] However, before they could save him, the Crime Syndicate came to Earth from their world and trapped the Justice League inside the Firestorm Matrix.

After being freed by Lex Luthor and his group of rebellious criminals, Superman was eventually saved by Luthor, who was volunteered to remove the Kryptonite from his brain.[35]

Doomed

Main article: Superman: Doomed
SuperDoom

SuperDoom

After discovering Doomsday wrecking havoc and harboring a dangerous toxin within his body, Superman ripped the beast in half and used his super-breath to inhale the toxin to stop it from spreading. [36] After recovering, Superman realized that he was slowly turning into a Doomsday-like creature.[37] Superman's girlfriend, Wonder Woman tried to help him, but the transformation was becoming stronger[38] and Superman had no choice but to turn himself to the authorities.[39] Superman was locked in a special facility but he soon was needed by the Teen Titans to defeat an enemy, which he eliminated ruthlessly. [40]

The military declared Superman an enemy of the state and they sent Metallo and Atomic Skull to eliminate him. Steel tried to help Superman fight the enemies, but, after a suicide attack with kryptonite by Metallo, Superman became weak and his transformation into "SuperDoom" was accelerated.[41] Wonder Woman then took Clark to outer space where he could escape into its depths until they found a way to save him. [42]

While in space, SuperDoom tried to help an alien colony but lost control and attacked their leader.[43] He was then warned about an incoming invasion of Earth by Braniac's forces and he confronted its commander, a cyborg with Superman's appearance.[44] After a brief fight between them, SuperDoom returned to Earth and joined the Justice League to fight Braniac's forces and after their victory, the Justice League remove the kryptonite from Earth's atmosphere, making Superman temporarily change back to normal. [45][46]

When Brainiac's forces returned with reinforcements, Superman attempted to turn back into SuperDoom to fight them. Unfortunately, Superman lost control of his body completely to the virus.[47] Once defeating Brainiac, Lois Lane helped Superman steal Braniac's powers and finally cure Superman of the Doomsday virus. Once free, the hero captured Braniac and took him inside a black hole,[48] returning back to Earth sixty days later. [49] Once back, he was reunited with Wonder Woman, and the two resumed their relationship.[50]

Men of Tomorrow

Superman and Ulysses

Superman and Ulysses

During an alien attack on Metropolis, Superman was assisted by a stranger called Ulysses and together they defeated Klerik, one of the alien soldiers. Superman then learned that Ulysses believed himself to be the last survivor of Earth.[51] With Superman's help, Ulysses found the truth about his past,[52] but they were soon confronted by "The Machinist", a man responsible for creating destructive robots.[53] The criminal managed to escape and shortly afterwards, Ulysses revealed his plan of taking millions of people to his home planet, "The Great World" in order to save mankind from what he believed was Earth's doom.[54] This lead to a confrontation between Superman and Ulysses, with the latter winning and taking Superman prisoner.[55]

On their way to Ulysses' home planet, there was another confrontation between Superman and Ulysses[56] 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. [57]

Truth

Roy Harper Cry for Justice
DC Rebirth Logo

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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. [58] 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.[59] 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.[60]

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.[61]

Related


Footnotes

  1. Action Comics (Volume 2) #5
  2. Action Comics (Volume 2) #5
  3. Superman (Volume 3) #20
  4. Action Comics (Volume 2) #6 (backup)
  5. Action Comics (Volume 2) #0
  6. Action Comics (Volume 2) #1
  7. Action Comics (Volume 2) #2
  8. Action Comics (Volume 2) #7
  9. Action Comics (Volume 2) #8
  10. Batman/Superman #1
  11. Justice League (Volume 2) #1
  12. Justice League (Volume 2) #2
  13. Justice League (Volume 2) #3
  14. Justice League (Volume 2) #4
  15. Justice League (Volume 2) #5
  16. Justice League (Volume 2) #6
  17. Action Comics (Volume 2) #12
  18. 18.0 18.1 Action Comics (Volume 2) #15
  19. Action Comics (Volume 2) #18
  20. Superman (Volume 3) #1
  21. Superman (Volume 3) #15 - Superman (Volume 3) #17
  22. Superman Unchained #3
  23. Superman Unchained #8
  24. Superman Unchained #9
  25. Superman (Volume 3) #20 - Action Comics (Volume 2) #24
  26. Action Comics Annual (Volume 2) #2
  27. Superboy (Volume 6) #25
  28. Supergirl (Volume 6) #25
  29. Superman (Volume 3) #25
  30. Trinity of Sin: Pandora #1
  31. Trinity War
  32. Justice League (Volume 2) #22
  33. Justice League of America (Volume 3) #6
  34. Justice League (Volume 2) #23
  35. Forever Evil #7
  36. Superman: Doomed #1
  37. Action Comics (Volume 2) #31
  38. Superman/Wonder Woman #8
  39. Batman/Superman #11
  40. Superman (Volume 3) #31
  41. Action Comics (Volume 2) #32
  42. Superman/Wonder Woman #9
  43. Action Comics (Volume 2) #33
  44. Superman/Wonder Woman #10
  45. Superman/Wonder Woman Annual #1
  46. Action Comics Annual (Volume 2) #3
  47. Superman/Wonder Woman #11
  48. Superman: Doomed #2
  49. Action Comics (Volume 2) #35
  50. Superman/Wonder Woman #12
  51. Superman (Volume 3) #32
  52. Superman (Volume 3) #33
  53. Superman (Volume 3) #34
  54. Superman (Volume 3) #35
  55. Superman (Volume 3) #36
  56. Superman (Volume 3) #37
  57. Superman (Volume 3) #38
  58. Batman/Superman #31
  59. Superman (Volume 3) #51
  60. Superman/Wonder Woman #29
  61. Superman (Volume 3) #52


Superman Family 0001
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Superman Family member
This character is or was an incarnation of or an ally of Superman, and a member of the Superman Family. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Superman Family members" category.

Justice League 0002
Justice League member
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This character is or was a member of the Justice League of America, or the Justice League in any of its various incarnations, sworn by a duty to act as guardians of America and the world by using their skills and/or superpowers to protect Earth from both interstellar and domestic threats.
This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Justice League of America members" category.