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Kal-El (Earth-One)

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Superman Earth-One 001
Information-silkReal NameKal-El
Information-silkCurrent AliasSuperman
Information-silkAliasesLast Son of Krypton; Man of Steel; Man of Tomorrow; the Metropolis Marvel; Silver Age Superman; Superbaby; Superboy; Boy of Steel; Nightwing; Andy Lang; Kirk Brent; Professor Milo; Mike Benson; Lightning-Man; Clarkie; Tag-Along; Tigerman; Kent Clark; The Alchemist; Jim White; Brad Dexter; Ideal Man
Information-silkRelativesJor-El II, (father, deceased); Lara, (mother, deceased); Kara Zor-El, (cousin, deceased); Zor-El, (uncle, deceased); Allura In-Ze (aunt, deceased); Jor-El I, (grandfather, deceased);
Information-silkAffiliationFounding member of the Justice League of America of Earth-One; Former member of the Legion of Super-Heroes; Former member of the Club of Heroes; (as Clark Kent) Mystery Analysts of Gotham City
Information-silkBase Of OperationsFormerly Smallville, later primarily Metropolis on Earth-One, though he operated throughout the entire cosmos mostly from the Justice League Satellite as well from the Rokyn settlement and other bases
Information-silkIdentitySecret Identity
Information-silkMarital StatusSingle
Information-silkOccupationAnchorman for WGBS News; Reporter for the Daily Planet; Former officer in the United States Army (honorably discharged)
Information-silkHeight6' 4"
Information-silkWeight225 lbs (102 kg)
Information-silkPlace of BirthKryptonopolis, Krypton
Information-silkCreatorsJoe Shuster, Jerry Siegel
First AppearanceLast appearance

Quote1 This looks like a job for Superman! Quote2
-- Superman


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 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. [1]

After adopting Kal-El as their son the parent 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 Kal-El takes the advice to heart and starts helping out local people as the eight year old Superboy. It is as the heroic Superboy that Kal-El begins to finds his true calling even trying to fit in as the normal "Clark Kent". But Kal-El 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 young Kal-El's life on Earth, they never really lead to the troubles of teenage rebellion. Deciding to support his public actions, Martha unravels Kal-El's blankets and reweaves them into the familiar costume. Kal-El continues to use Martha's design throughout all of his costume career.


As Kal-El grows up on Earth, he is mindful to obey the laws of humanity working directly with Police Chief Parker and other law enforcement agencies which leads to Superboy direct acceptance as a hero which differs from the early vigilante status of the Earth-Two Superman. In fact by the time Kal-El 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 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 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 the teenage Kal-El, 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 gases. 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 gases 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 were spared the removal effect of the gases. Lex was shocked and stunned to see his perfect idol do such a blunderous save. Superboy explained the situation needed 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. [2].

It would be this interpretation that would allow Lex to act between the extremes of trying to kill Kal-El and merely trying to humilate 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 Kal-El's primary foe, many of Kal-El's Smallville friends would become the support of his life, mostly focusing on his classmate Pete Ross who would independently discover Kal-El's secret identity and Lana Lang who would become his first love interest, to all of whom would provide a basis when Kal-El faced his most troubling personal loss, his foster parents' death.

Death of the Kents

During Kal-El's teenage years on Earth, the Kents had sold their farm and became shopkeepers in Smallville and settled into a more modern lifestyle supporting Kal-El'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, Kal-El could not save them). Before dying, Johnathan Kent reminded Kal-El to continue doing good deeds and not lose sight of who he was.


With the death of his foster parents, Kal-El left Smallville and resettled in Metropolis deciding to continue his costume career as a public hero. It would be here that as Clark Kent he 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. Kal-El would report on various criminal activities around the planet as Kent which he would foil as Superman for the Daily Planet until the paper was sold to Morgan Edge and Kent 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.

As Superman, Kal-El 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.

The End

Kal-El 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, Kal-El 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. Kal-El 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 and AbilitiesEdit


  • Solar Energy Absorption: Superman derives his powers from a yellow sun.[3]
  • Superhuman Strength: The exact limits of Superman's strength is unknown. Superman's known feats include moving various planets by use a giant chain, and having the strength necessary to transform coals into diamonds. Exposure to a white sun can exceed Superman's "normal" strength level.
  • Invulnerability: Under ordinary circumstances, his body was really invulnerable, suffering damage only when his weaknesses were present (kryptonite, magic and red sun). He could even support to nuclear blasts and assault of other kryptonians. Some rigors could do harm to him (kryptonian level hand-to-hand attacks, the Disintegration Pit in Fortress of Solitude, the Sun, etc). Psionics could also effect him but unless done quickly Superman's superconcentration would overcome most enemies who used mind control techniques on him, same as did magic forms that did not immediately immobilize him whereby he would move out of their range of effectiveness.
  • Longevity: Superman can live almost indefinitely if he resides under continuous exposure of 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 actions for an undefined period. Clark is shown to have unlimited stamina if he is consistently exposed to Earth sunlight.
  • Flight: Superman is capable of flying at faster-than-light speeds while in space, even breaking the time and dimensional barriers. Superman can fly across the universe to distant galaxies and distant planets in other solar systems through space warps and is known to fly across the solar system in no time mostly to get his mind off things.
  • Superhuman Speed: He is capable of moving, reacting, running and flying at superhuman speeds. While not as fast as the Flash on a planet, Superman is considered one of the fastest beings in the universe. He can use this power to disarm opponents, catch bullets or shrapnel and cross vast distances in seconds.
  • Superhuman Hearing: Superman has incredible hearing at extreme variances of sound and pitch frequency, 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 chill his breath 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. One time, when he was Superboy, he used it to reignite the Sun, which had been drained by a Sun-Eater.
  • Super Vision: Superman also possesses a superior sensory arrangement of visual capabilities.
  • 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.
  • Photographic Memory: he could learn surgery in minutes by read the apropriate books, and re-build a blown computer by recall where each component was. Data processing speed is equivalent to a TRS-80.[5]



  • Vulnerability to Kryptonite: On Earth-One, existed various kinds of kryptonite, each one affecting Superman in a particular way.
  • Vulnerability to Magic: the vulnerability varies upon writer to writer; in 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.
  • Power Loss: when exposed to Red Sun radiation; but it doesn't affect his supersenses. Under a Red Sun, he is immune to all kryptonites except Anti-Kryptonite.



  • Super Uniform: when just a normal cloth under Krypton's red sun, the super uniform is indestructible under our yellow sun; but being maleable, it offer few protection to Superman while he is powerless; it could support extreme heat and cold (protecting anything wraped within 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 melt. Also used to create a illusion of seems a more 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 were based on his native Kryptonian heritage from super powered android duplicates to interdimensional transporters.


  • Usually just flies under his own power, but occasionally made use of a Supermobile to compensate for 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.



  • This version of Kal-El (Earth-One), 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.



Discover and Discuss


  1. the 1960s versions of the origin story have the Kents sending Kal-El to an orphanage and adopt him later, while most 1970 versions of the story have the Kents pass Kal-El off as their own distant relative whose birth parents die.
  2. Adventure Comics #271 (1960)
  3. Action Comics #262
  4. Action Comics #541
  5. Superman in The Computers That Saved Metropolis
  6. Action Comics #473
  7. Superman #370

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