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Kal-El (Earth-One)

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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]

After adopting Clark as their son, 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.

Superboy

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".

Luthor

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.

Metropolis/Superman

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".

Powers

  • 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 granted Superman lower-grade versions of his powers comparable to those wielded by his Earth-Two counterpart at the beginning of his career. 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 normal human man. 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. 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 the radiation of a red sun 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.
  • Longevity: Superman can live almost indefinitely if he resides under continuous exposure to Earth's sunlight.
  • 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 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.
  • 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 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 brushed off an incinerating burst of heat vision without effort.
  • 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 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.
  • 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]

Abilities

Weaknesses

  • Vulnerability to Kryptonite: There existed various kinds of Kryptonite, each one affecting Superman in a particular and invariably negative way.
  • Vulnerability to Magic: This vulnerability varies from writer to writer; in a common way, his invulnerability doesn't protect him against magical attacks, or common attacks from a supernatural being. Superman also can't use directly his powers against enchanted objects or supernatural beings, being almost a common human being in a fight against a vampire, for example.

Equipment

  • Super Uniform: when just a normal cloth under Krypton's red sun, the super uniform is indestructible under our yellow sun; but being malleable, it offers little protection to Superman while he is powerless; it could support extreme heat and cold (protecting anything wrapped in its cape against heat friction), but no very against impacts, exactly as a bulletproof vest could protect a user from penetrating bullets, but not the impact itself.
  • Kryptonian Lenses: Superman can use this glasses to project his Heat Vision without melting them. Also used to create an illusion of seems an older and weaker person while in his Clark Kent persona. This illusion can be recorded by videos and photos. Until when far from the glasses, the illusion can last 48 hours.
  • Superman Robots
  • Super-computer: located in Fortress of Solitude
  • Various super science devices to aid him in analyzing and protecting the universe that was based on his native Kryptonian heritage from super-powered android duplicates to interdimensional transporters.

Transportation

  • Usually just flies under his own power, but occasionally made use of a Supermobile to compensate for the loss of powers or for protection against non-Yellow Sun systems (mostly red sun) whereby Kal-EL would lose all of his powers. 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.

Weapons

  • This version of Superman, including all history and corresponding appearances, was erased from existence following the collapse of the original Multiverse in the 1985-86 Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series. Even though versions of the character may have since appeared, this information does not apply to those versions.

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Footnotes


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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.

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