The infant Kal-El was sent to Earth by his parents, Jor-El and Lara, prior to the destruction of their home planet of Krypton. Kal-El's capsule landed near Smallville, Kansas where he was found by Jonathan and Martha Kent. The Kents adopted the young Kryptonian naming him Clark Kent. Clark was Martha's maiden name and he took on the last name Kent due to obvious reasons.
Clark began to discover his powers while growing up in Smallville, and was sometimes frustrated by his need to hide them from the public.
When Clark encountered members of the future superhero team, the Legion of Super-Heroes, he did not use his powers very much. During this incident he aided the team in stopping Brainiac (from the 30th Century) from preventing Clark to became Superman. However, after he said his goodbyes to the team, they removed all memory on the events of that period from his mind. Nevertheless, this incident depicted all the strength and courage Clark would imbue as Superman.
Hero of Metropolis
Striking out on his own, Clark moved to Metropolis and found employment as a reporter for the Daily Planet. An early appearance in costume, saving a young girl, attracted the attention of Lois Lane--as the story replaced one of her own. It was Lois that subsequently gave Clark's costumed persona the name "Superman". Superman gave Lois an exclusive interview, his motivation being to alleviate public fears by ensuring that people knew where he came from and why he was here--or, as his adoptive mother put it, so that people wouldn't think he was like "that nut from Gotham City"
Shortly after his arrival in Metropolis, Superman met Lex Luthor, who would become one of his greatest and most persistent adversaries. In the following months, a variety of costumed criminals--some with metahuman abilities--began to appear in Metropolis to oppose the Man of Steel. A by-no-means-complete list would include the Toyman, the Parasite, Live Wire, Metallo, Bizarro, Volcana, and Luminus. Superman would also encounter various beings who, like himself, hailed from other worlds--such as the renowned bounty hunter Lobo and the warrior queen Maxima--or even other dimensions, like the mischievous imp Mxyzptlk. He would even meet a few fellow survivors of Krypton: the Phantom Zone-exiled Jax-Ur and Mala, and--most chillingly--the artificial intelligence known as Brainiac.
Even as his roster of enemies continued to swell, Superman would also encounter many individuals whom he would come to consider staunch allies: the Flash, Batman, Dr. Fate, Steel, Aquaman, Robin, and the Green Lantern Kyle Rayner. He also discovered, on Krypton's sister world Argos, a young woman who would become not only a loyal ally but also a new (if adoptive) family member--Supergirl.
In time, Superman would also come into periodic contact with beings from the planet Apokolips, the realm of the malevolent entity who would become another of the Man of Tomorrow's most dangerous opponents: Darkseid. It was the diabolical Lord of Apokolips who would deal Superman one of his most humbling defeats, when he brainwashed the Man of Steel and manipulated him into leading an assault on Earth. Although Superman recovered himself and defeated Darkseid, the immense damage to his reputation with Earth's populace was harder to repair. It would be some time before Superman could regain the people's trust entirely. In spite of this, he would continue his never-ending battle for truth and justice--although he would soon find that he would not need to continue it alone.
Protector of Earth and Other Worlds
After responding to the Imperium invasion, Superman joined with Batman, Green Lantern, Flash, Wonder Woman, Hawkgirl and J'onn J'onzz to form the Justice League. During this time, Superman and the JL would face off once more against Darkseid, who this time was seemingly destroyed by Superman.
After the Thanagarian invasion, Superman and the other founding members (minus Hawkgirl) would reorganize the League and recruit the majority of the Earth's costumed heroes, in what became loosely known as Justice League Unlimited.
After a failed U.S. Presidential bid by Lex Luthor, Superman and the Justice League found themselves at odds with Project Cadmus. Cadmus was formed after the brainwashed Superman's invasion of Earth, and claimed its only goal was the defense of humanity. However, several members of Cadmus would have their own personal agendas separated from the alleged greater goal.
Lex Luthor became obsessed with resurrecting the destroyed Brainiac, going so far as to overthrow Gorilla Grodd as the leader a virtual army of supervillains that Luthor would now use as his pawns. Brainiac's thought patterns were now intermingled with Luthor's, tempting the obsessed human with their knowledge and power. In his mad quest to resurrect Brainiac, Luthor would instead bring Darkseid back to life by accident. Darkseid launched a final massive attack against Earth which required the mobilization of the Justice League's entire extended roster. After an incredible fist-fight, Darkseid resorted to a secret weapon to disable Superman, but before Darkseid could complete his victory, he was diverted by Lex Luthor who had found the prized Anti-Life Equation. Superman's two greatest enemies disappeared in a flash of brilliant light, and have yet to be seen again in the present day.
The Later Adventures
Superman was captured by an alien who collected creatures that were the last of their species. Superman managed to escape and brought the creatures he was imprisioned with to his Fortress of Solitude. One of these creatures, a starfish-like parasite, seized control over Superman in the 2050s and held sway over him for several years.
Controlled by the parasite, Superman attempted to destroy the Justice League Unlimited and take over the Earth. However, through the efforts of Bruce Wayne, Terry McGinnis and the League, the parasite was defeated and Superman regained control of himself. Terry McGinnis told Superman that he declined his offer to join the Justice League. Proud of Terry, Superman told Terry that he is like Bruce Wayne.
The older Bruce Wayne made comments that suggested Superman's Kryptonian DNA had slowed his aging. Whether this had detrimental effects on Superman's relationship with Lois Lane or upon his Clark Kent identity is unknown.
Powers & Weaknesses
Superman possesses the powers of flight, superhuman strength, x-ray vision, heat vision, cold breath, super-speed, enhanced hearing, and nigh-invulnerability. While Superman is immensely strong both in terms of muscle power and ability to take physical punishment, he is not all-powerful. He can be injured, bleed, and conceivably be killed, and sometimes been known to strain and sweat when performing superhuman feats of strength, as demonstrated in "Apokolips Now!" when he is ambushed by Darkseid while catching his breath after using his own body to drill several holes in the the ground to vent the magma from a volcano. In the JLU series finale Superman finally cuts loose for the first time in a long while, revealing to Darkseid that the world is like cardboard and tissue paper to him, Superman is shown to be more powerful with his full power, to the extent that he is shown to be physically equal or superior to the resurrected Darkseid. In the Superman episode "Little Girl Lost", Superman was able to hurl a huge comet through space to stop it from hitting earth. In addition he never used all his powers to the full extension. The Superman episode "Legacy" The main wall of the defender's fortress disintegrates under Supermans heat vision when wearing battle armor; and his face hidden by a war helmet, and he makes the building explode with his heat vision, Superman killed a whole army of parademons with a huge blast of his heat vision.
Superman derives his power from the yellow sun of Earth. Forced under a red sun akin to the red sun of his native homeworld of Krypton, or exposed to red sun radiation, Superman rapidly loses his powers, reverting to the stature of a normal human. (S:TAS - The Main Man, Part II; S:TAS - Solar Power; S:TAS - Legacy, Part II)
Aside from red sun radiation, Superman's main weakness is Kryptonite, radioactive shards of his former home planet. Exposure to Kryptonite will rob Superman of his power, and with prolonged exposure, will kill him. (S:TAS - A Little Piece of Home)
Superman's only other known weakness is magic, which can injure him as easily it can as any other being. In fact, Superman seems even more vulnerable to magic than an average human. (S:TAS - The Hand of Fate; JL - The Terror Beyond)
|Members of the Justice League|
|Batman • The Flash • The Green Lantern • Hawkgirl • J'onn J'onzz • Superman • Wonder Woman|
|Aquaman • The Atom • Atom-Smasher • Aztek • B'wana Beast • Black Canary • Blue Devil • Booster Gold • Captain Atom • Captain Marvel • Commander Steel • The Creeper • The Crimson Avenger • Crimson Fox • Dove • Dr. Fate • Dr. Light • Dr. Mid-Nite • Elongated Man • Etrigan • Fire • Green Arrow • Gypsy • Hawk • Hourman • Huntress • Ice • Long Shadow • Metamorpho • Mr. Terrific • Nemesis • Obsidian • Orion • Plastic Man • Question • The Ray • Red Tornado • Rocket Red • Sand • Shining Knight • Speedy • Stargirl • Starman • Steel • S.T.R.I.P.E. • Supergirl • Johnny Thunder • Thunderbolt • Vibe • Vigilante • Vixen • Waverider • Wildcat • Zatanna|
|Members of the Justice League Unlimited|
|Aquagirl • Batman (Terry McGinnis) • Big Barda • Green Lantern (Kai-Ro) • Micron • Static • Superman • Warhawk|