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"He's everything you want him to be and more."
James Olsen speaking to Kara Danvers about Superman[src]


Clark Kent (born 1979 as Kal-El) is the son of scientists Jor-El and Lara Van-El, the best friend of James Olsen and the boyfriend of Lois Lane. After being rocketed to Earth as a baby from the dying planet of Krypton alongside his older cousin Kara Zor-El, who remained stuck in the Phantom Zone - thus arriving un-aged two decades later - he was discovered by the Kents, a family of kindly humans who raised him as their son in a small town of Kansas. In his secret identity, he works as a reporter at the Daily Planet in the city of Metropolis, while secretly operating as one of the planet's greatest protectors; the world-famous superhero known as Superman, stylized as the "Man of Steel", the "Man of Tomorrow" and the "Last Son of Krypton".

Biography

Arrival to Earth

Baby Kal-El being held by his parents

Kal prior to be rocketed away from the dying planet of Krypton.

Kal-El was born in 1979 on the planet Krypton to the prestigious House of El. His parents were scientists Jor-El and Lara Van-El. Shortly after his birth he was rocketed to Earth alongside his cousin Kara Zor-El as his planet was on the brink of destruction.[1] Making it to Earth safely, he was discovered by the Kents, a kindly human couple who raised him in Kansas[2] as their son "Clark Kent".[1] His upbringing and the lessons of his adopted parents provided him with strong moral values, so he decided to use the fantastic powers he gained on Earth from its yellow sun to do good, fighting evil and protecting the innocent.[1] He begins his crime-fighting activities in early youth, solving various mysteries with the help of his life-long friend Chloe.[3]

Clark remains proud of his dual heritage, taking seriously both his humanity and his Kryptonian legacy. So, over the years, to preserve the memory of his home planet and provide him rest from his adventurous life, he maintains a Fortress of Solitude at the North Pole.[4][5]

At some point in his life, he met Jeremiah and Eliza Danvers, a couple of married scientists who helped him understand his own powers.[1]

Early years as Superman

As an adult, Clark moved to Metropolis and, after saving a plane from crashing,[1] he became a superhero publicly known worldwide as Superman.
1st photo of Superman

The first photo of Superman.

In his secret identity,[4] he began working as a reporter for the Daily Planet, where he met Lois Lane, with whom he fell in love at first sight, Cat Grant, who developed romantic feelings for him, Perry White, his irascible but fair-minded boss, and James Olsen, a young photographer he had previously saved under the guise of Superman[6] and with whom he became close friends, eventually entrusting him with his super-heroic secret, giving him a special signal watch so that he would be able to contact him in case he ever got into trouble,[7] and allowing him to take the first photo of Superman, that went on to win a Pulitzer Prize.[1]

During his career he came head to head with numerous supervillains such as General Zod, a Kryptonian criminal whom he considered his most feared nemesis,[8] or Ben Krull/Reactron, one of his most persistent enemies as neither one was able to defeat the other, resulting in several encounters over the years. Despite the stalemate, Clark was nearly killed by Reactron at one time.[7] Superman also went on adventures such as a journey to Warworld.[8]

In his early days as Superman, he also had made a few mistakes that made some people of Metropolis annoyed by his antics; however, with time he became extremely loved by both the citizens and the world.[4] However, despite his heroic acts, many of the public are, openly or secretly, terrified of Superman, not because he has god-like powers, but because they are afraid of what he might do if he ever lost control of his temper.[9]

Under undisclosed circumstances, Superman has worked with a "masked vigilante with tons of gadgets and lots of demons" who has a habit of frightening the very people he's trying to protect and is considered a "nut" by many, but eventually became one of his closest friends (or a sort of frenemy).[10][11] Superman also befriended the brilliant billionaire industrialist Lex Luthor, CEO of Luthor Corp. Initially the two decided to work together to end the threat of alien invasions, but Lex's methods were far crueler than Superman's and, although he tried hard to trust his friend, defending him against accusations of others and continuing to give him several chances to atoning his wrong deeds,[12] once Superman realized Lex's true nature - this ultimately resulted in a falling out between the pair. Shortly after this, Lex came to believe that Superman himself was the cause of alien terrorism, as his presence attracted them and declared war on his former friend becoming his greatest enemy.[2][10] One of these duels involved Superman thwarting an attempt on Lex's part to trigger a fault line in California with an "earthquake machine".[2]

At some point, Superman had at least one encounter with J'onn J'onzz/Martian Manhunter - whether or not this encounter ended up in a fight is unknown, but it was enough for him to call J'onn "the most powerful being on Earth". He also became aware of his deception, posing as Hank Henshaw.[13][14] Later on, Clark helped the D.E.O. uncover an alien asteroid, composed of an emerald-green Kryptonian xeno-mineral. J'onn nicknamed it "Kryptonite" and resolved to store it in the D.E.O. as a contingency, which enraged Clark, thus leading to the pair falling out.[2] Despite this, he still kept his secret identity posing as Henshaw a secret for his sake. According to J'onn, Clark was the only other person on Earth besides himself who knew of his identity for many years.[2][13]

Over the years Clark began a steady romantic relationship with Lois Lane.[2]

Discovering Kara

Superman's shadow

Superman found Kara.

Twenty-four years after Krypton's destruction, and thus his arrival on Earth, a Kryptonian pod crash-landed on Earth. Superman eventually tracked down the ship and discovered his older cousin Kara Zor-El, scared and alone inside of it. As Kara was trapped in stasis inside the Phantom Zone for 24 years she did not age resulting in her still being physically 13 years old. As he felt that Kara should learn how to be a human and that she needed a family that could be with her at all times like the adoptive family that took him, Superman left her with the Danvers, knowing that they would have helped her to understand her powers as they had done with him.[1]

Over the next years, he kept in touch with his cousin and invited her to see the Fortress of Solitude several times, though she rejected the offers as she thought it would remind her of Krypton.[5]

Sending James to National City

Twelve years later Superman asked James Olsen, who he knew wanted to broaden his own horizons, to go to National City to keep an eye on Kara, and to deliver her the blanket he was wrapped in as a baby, so she could use it as a cape.[1] After Supergirl appeared in National City Clark, along with Lois, was said to furiously be working on getting an exclusive with her.[4]

Superman saves Supergirl from Reactron

Superman shields Supergirl from Reactron's attack.

Shortly after he came to National City to save his cousin from Reactron after he was called by James via his signal watch, but departs a few minutes later as he needed to help deal with a natural disaster. The following day he apologized via chat with Kara for having interfered and told her that he is proud of what she is doing.[7]

Meanwhile, Maxima, queen of the planet Almerac, visited Earth to pursue him as he is the only man worthy to be her mate but, after Superman rejected her, she went on a rampage forcing him to take her down and lock her at the D.E.O. headquarters.[15]

Myriad

Superman arrives to help with Myriad

Superman arrives in National City to help Supergirl deal with Myriad.

After Non and Indigo activated Myriad, Superman head to National City to help Kara deal with them but, upon his arrival, he was also affected to the amazement of Cat Grant and the same of Kara. Maxwell Lord theorized that since Superman had grown up on Earth since early childhood, gaining powers from the yellow sun longer than Kara, that made him more affected by Myriad than she was.[15] After Supergirl freed National City from Myriad, Superman remained inactive and was taken into the D.E.O. headquarters during his recovery, later heading back to Metropolis, briefly chatting with Kara to thank her.[16]

Arresting Lex Luthor

After several years and various brutal encounters resulting in numerous fatalities, Superman was able to defeat Lex when he successfully exposes the latter's crimes to the public and he was incarcerated for thirty-seven consecutive life sentences in prison. As a result, Superman came to distrust the Luthor family including Lex's mother Lillian and adopted sister Lena.[2][10]

Visiting National City

The Adventures of Supergirl

Supergirl and Superman after their first team-up.

When the suborbital spacecraft Venture mysteriously begins to fall due to engine failure shortly after its launch, Superman went to the rescue. At the accident site he met Supergirl, and together they prevent catastrophe, to cushion the fall of the shuttle. Then Kara said she has long waited for the occasion to work alongside him and led him to the D.E.O. headquarters to meet her co-worker and friends, as well as to show him the comatose alien they had found into the pod the previous night and ask his opinion about him. Despite his strained relationship with J'onn, Clark decides to stay in National City and join the investigations on the fall of the shuttle and offers to go to CatCo with Kara. There, Clark met James and Cat Grant, who were both glad to see him again.
Lena interviewed by Clark and Kara

Lena interviewed by Clark Kent and Kara Danvers.

After this Kara and Clark go to the Luthor Corp, to talk with Lena Luthor, who explains that she refused at the last moment to flight on the Venture due to an emergency meetings on the renaming of the company and is not related to the accident, to prove it she gave Clark a flash drive with information on the Venture's destroyed oscillator that a subsidiary of her company had manufactured. Later that day Lena's helicopter was attacked by drones, but Supergirl and Superman saved her, destroying them, realizing someone wants to kill the woman. Later, J'onn tried to talk with Superman who, however, claim they have nothing to say to each other as he feels he can't trust the martian since, although he knew J'onn would not allow the Kryptonite in his possession to be used to kill him or Kara, Clark also knew that an order may come from above. During Lena Luthor's speech the international assassin-for-hire John Corben attacked her, detonating explosives he had planted beneath a plaque at the businesswoman's ceremony to rename her company and in the Luthor Corp building; however, Supergirl managed to save her while Superman support a building from collapsing on a square full of people.

The following day, Clark and Kara came back to the renamed "L-Corp", where Lena Luthor thanked Clark for his kind words about her in his article for the Daily Planet. Shortly after, at the D.E.O., Clark told Kara that he decided to stay in National City a little longer to spend time with her.[2]

Supergirl and Superman flying together

Supergirl and Superman flying together in National City.

In the next few days Superman and Supergirl prevent various accidents and crimes together in National City but, one night at her apartment, Clark told Kara that it was time for him to return to Metropolis, leaving her visibly upset. At this point, the news reported about a man who is about to jump down a bridge, so Superman and Supergirl arrive at the site only to discover this person is John Corben, who is now a Kryptonite-powered cyborg dubbed Metallo. He struck Kara whit a Kryptonite beam and she lost consciousness, but before he can kill her, Superman threw him off the bridge and brought Kara to the D.E.O.; there he blames J'onn for what happened, the Martian said that only D.E.O. have access to the Kryptonite, but a sample of their stock was stolen four months ago and they could not find it. After they listen to Cadmus' declaration of war on all aliens, Superman and J'onn went together to the Fortress of Solitude to find information about the metal that composes the cyborg's body so that Winn can make an Anti-Kryptonite Devices of said metal for Clark and Kara. Meanwhile, the D.E.O. managed to locate Metallo but as Superman and Supergirl approach him, he says there was another cyborg in Metropolis so they flew to the city finding Krypton Park completely destroyed.

Superman and Martian Manhunter vs Gilcrist

Superman and Martian Manhunter defeat Gilcrist together.

A mournful Superman commented he should have supposed to be there. After that, as the Anti-Kryptonite Devices to counteract Metallos' Kryptonite beams were completed, Superman returned to Metropolis to draw out the second Metallo and, while Supergirl and Alex fought with Corben in National City, he and the Martian Manhunter dealt with Dr. Gilcrist, the other cyborg, in Metropolis, successfully managing to overcome him together. This partnership restored the relationship between Clark and J'onn who,
Clark Kent back in Metropolis

Clark back in Metropolis.

in the evening of the same day, at the D.E.O., gave him the entire stock of Kryptonite in his possession sealed in lead. Superman said goodbye to everyone and flew back to Metropolis, taking the Kryptonite with him. After he arrived, Clark briefly chatted with Kara to tell her he already misses her before receiving a call from Perry White, who scolds him for having to be absent from work for so long.[17]

Daxamite Invasion

When the Daxamites started to attack National City, Kara tried to call Clark for his help but she couldn't reach him on the Daily Planet or at the Fortress. She hoped he was making his way to the city or already fighting the Daxamites on the streets.
Superman is poisoned with Silver Kryptonite

Superman is poisoned with Silver Kryptonite.

Clark had actually gone to confront Rhea personally but she had been prepared for him and then poisoned him with Silver Kryptonite. This caused him to hallucinate that it wasn't the Daxamites invading but General Zod.[8] When Alex and Maggie Sawyer were about to fire the Positron Cannon at Rhea's spaceship, they were shocked when it was knocked out, unknowingly by heat vision. When Kara went to confront Rhea to convince her to stop as she had now lost, she was surprised by a new attacker. She looked up right to Clark who was staring down at her with a blank look on his face.[18]
Supergirl vs Superman

Clark fighting against Kara under the influence of Silver Kryptonite.

Clark, under the influence of the Silver Kryptonite, believed that Kara was actually Zod and started to attack him with the intention to stop him once and for all. He was blind and deaf to all of Kara's words as they began to fight and took it to the streets of National City. Eventually, Kara was able to knock Clark out, however, the strain of the fight made her collapse in exhaustion. They were found by Alex who took them to the fortress to heal and recuperate.
Supergirl, Superman and Alex at the Fortress of Solitude

Supergirl, Superman, and Alex at the Fortress of Solitude.

When Clark was freed from the Silver Kryptonite, he apologized to Kara and explained what happened. They decided to look into the fortress' records in order to find a weakness to the Daxamites and found an old custom that mirrored Trial by Combat.
Clark meets his cousin's boyfriend Mon-El

Clark meets Mon-El, Kara's boyfriend.

Clark and Kara returned to the D.E.O. where they found that Winn and the rest of the agents had cleared out the Daxamites. Clark met Mon-El, who tried to assure him that he wasn't like the rest of the Daxamites attacking the city. Clark told Mon-El that if Kara was dating him, then he must be a nice guy. The cousins told everyone that they found a way to stop Rhea and went to immediately make contact with her. Clark then watched as Kara immediately challenged her to trial by combat. Mon-El was immediately against it and asked why it had to be her and not Clark. Clark told him that Kara beat him which made her the official champion of Earth.

Clark and Kara has a meeting with Cat Grant

Clark and Kara has a meeting with Cat Grant.

Clark and Kara then saw that the challenge was being publicized and went to Cat Grant to try and tone it down to avoid innocent people moving to watch it and get caught in the crossfire. They were then contacted by Lena and Lillian Luthor about a new weapon and went to L-Corp to meet with them. They found that the weapon was a device Lex had been building to infuse the atmosphere with Kryptonite to make the planet uninhabitable for Kryptonians. Lena was able to modify it release lead instead to make the Earth toxic to the Daxamites. However, Clark and Kara knew that meant that Mon-El would be forced to leave Earth or he would die. With the stress of the challenge and the possibility of losing Mon-El, Kara asked Clark to train with her in order to help her prepare. He thought Kara was doing well though he could sense that something was still bothering her. She told him that she was starting to have everything she could want with her job, friends, being a superhero, and Mon-El and if she beat Rhea then she would keep all of that but she wasn't sure she could.
Superman watches as the Daxamites leaves Earth

Superman watches as the Daxamites leaves Earth.

Clark told her that it was possible because she had earned all of that. He told her that every time he fought, he was fighting for Lois and she would fight to keep what she held precious with her. He then told her it was time. When Kara was fighting Rhea, she called for her troops to attack the city, violating the rules, and Clark moved to stop as many of the Daxamites as he could. J'onn joined him in the streets, along with Mon-El and later M'gann M'orzz and her White Martian allies.
Clark and Kara say goodbye

Clark comforts his cousin before leaving to return to Metropolis.

Kara was then forced to activate the device to release the lead which caused the Daxamites to flee and killed Rhea. Mon-El was then forced to leave Earth through the use of his old spaceship. Before Clark left to go back to Metropolis, he went to Kara and told her that if he was in her position and had to choose between the Earth and Lois he didn't think he could make that decision. He told her that she was stronger than he could ever be.[8]

Encountering Zod again

At some point in 2018, Superman had encountered General Zod again, however, this time, he didn't spare the rogue Kryptonian's life, likely finding himself in the position of being forced to kill his enemy.[19]

Saving Madagascar

During the terraformation of the Earth at the hands of the Children of Juru, Superman saved the epicenter of it, Madagascar, from the cataclysmic events which it provoked. His deeds were followed with a live report.[20]

Off-world and visiting Argo City

At some point after the battle against the Worldkillers, Clark decided to take a sabbatical from Earth to visit Argo City, leaving Kara in charge of the planet full-time.[21]

Potential future

In a potential future, Superman confronted Eobard Thawne/Reverse-Flash, having to race him. However, the Man of Steel wasn't fast enough to stop him. Although the time traveling speedster from Earth One implied that Superman has lost the battle, the exact details of the confrontation are unknown.[22][23]

Personality

Clark Kent

Clark in his civilian persona.

In his civilian persona, Clark portrays a very meek and clumsy demeanor with an old-fashioned and mild-mannered attitude. Because he has to constantly pretend to be a klutz, he has noted sometimes those klutzy moments were real. Clark's timid demeanor was developed as a means of ensuring that no one would suspect any connection between him and his alter-ego and is helped by the fact that nobody thinks there's a hero among them.

Clark sees his job as a journalist as an extension of his Superman responsibilities - bringing truth to the forefront and fighting for the little guy. He believes that everybody has the right to know what is going on in the world, regardless of who is involved. Other motivations for Clark's professional writing were his love for both the art and mysteries.

There have been times where traces of Clark's real personality are displayed. One example was when Lena accused him of suspecting her of being behind an explosion because she was a Luthor, which Clark confirms without the slightest hesitation.

Superman

Clark as Superman.

Clark is described by James to Kara as "everything you want him to be, and more"; he is kind, caring, brave, charismatic, selfless, has a sense of justice, honor and good morals, he is known by even beyond the planet Earth as the world's greatest superhero, with over a decade of experience battling human and extraterrestrial threats. He has a strong moral code and tries not to kill his enemies. Although he is an alien to the planet Earth, he heavily values his humanity, and fights with conviction for truth, justice, and the American way, while still prizing his Kryptonian heritage, learning all he can regarding the culture via archives in his Fortress of Solitude, and becoming fluid in the common Kryptonian tongue. He is protective of his cousin Kara Danvers, as he asked James to keep an eye on her while he is off saving the world. When donning his "Clark Kent" persona, he appears very meek, old-fashioned and clumsy, although at least some of this is not an act on his part - he does occasionally bump into others genuinely by accident, and as a matter of principle does not drink alcohol shortly before flying despite being immune to intoxication, showing a strong dislike for alcohol.

According to James Olsen, Clark is very stubborn, while Kara notes he can be independent to the point of refusing help. He can be cold to those he dislikes or distrusts, breaking through his mild-mannered reporter persona when interviewing Lena Luthor due to his bad experiences with the Luthor family. He can even be short-tempered to the point of being hostile when sufficiently provoked - when he and Kara were almost killed by the green Kryptonite-powered cyborg John Corben, and learned that the D.E.O. had a spy from Project Cadmus who stole the Kryptonite from their organization, Clark yelled at J'onn for putting Kara's life in danger. According to James, Clark doesn't work with the government because of their secret experiments on alien life, which has also caused him to distrust the government itself; this also extended to J'onn J'onzz, whom he originally had a good relationship with until the latter resolved to store Kryptonite in the D.E.O. as a contingency, which enraged Clark, thus leading to the pair falling out, as Clark believed that the Kryptonite the D.E.O. had could fall into the wrong hands, and would eventually be used against him or his cousin Kara. This fear of his proved to be correct, although the situation was resolved when all the D.E.O.'s Kryptonite was entrusted to him and J'onn and Clark's friendship was repaired.

Kara has jokingly described him as a "big nerd" because of his habit to give a name to all of their Kryptonian abilities and related phenomena. Despite his success as a superhero, unlike most Kryptonians, Clark is polite, humble, modest and respectful, evidenced by the fact that he keeps his civilian identity a secret from the public and does not abuse his powers; as he lacks the arrogant and self-righteous traits that many of his people possessed, which ultimately led to their near-extinction, he also does not have a dislike for Daxamites, despite the fact they were invading National City, evidenced by the fact how he treated Mon-El warmly, who was dating his cousin, Kara.

Although Clark values his humanity, he also accepts the fact that he is a Kryptonian and never will be human, something that his cousin, Kara initially was unable to accept.

Clark (under the guise of Superman) was once best friends with Lex Luthor, as the two initially tried to work together to repel the threat of alien invasions, but Lex's methods were far crueler than Clark's, although the latter tried hard to trust his friend, defending him against accusations of others and continuing to give him several chances to atone for his wrong deeds; however, Clark's own intelligence eventually proved to be too much for even Lex's exceptional deception abilities and he was ultimately able to see through Lex's true nature - this consequently resulted in a falling out between the pair, and while Clark at first only put an end to their partnership and did not attempt to put down or expose Lex and seemed to be reluctant to combat Lex even after Lex himself declared war on him due to believing that Superman's presence attracted the aliens, as Lex committed unspeakable crimes and even went as far as to cause an earthquake in California, any feelings of companionship that Clark had for Lex has vanished due to Clark being furious that Lex would put innocent lives in danger for the explicit purpose of taking him down.

In fact, their enmity eventually escalated to the point that both Clark and Lex considered the other to be their greatest enemy, although unlike Lex, Clark prioritised saving innocent lives instead of taking Lex down, despite this, he was determined to stop Lex. Although Clark did not kill Lex after he eventually defeated him, he still did not hesitate to expose his crimes to the public to incarcerate Lex so he can do no more harm. As a result of Lex's actions, Clark has difficulty trusting most members of the Luthor family; however, his distrust is based out of logic, not prejudice.

Despite his pride, Clark is not above apologizing or admitting when he is wrong, like when he apologized to Lena for his initial distrust towards her, when he believed she was behind sabotaging the Venture; due to his bad experience with Lex, as Clark realized that he should have given Lena the benefit of the doubt, not just the because of her last name.

Powers and abilities

Powers

  • Kryptonian physiology: Normally, like all Kryptonians, Clark's capabilities are no greater than a normal human of his physical conditioning. However, once charged by the energy spectrum of a yellow sun, he becomes able to perform various inhuman feats. While generic for his race, having grown up essentially his entire life with these powers have allowed him to store up energy in greater quantities and metabolize it into his body with greater efficiency; this combined with a lifetime of experience and practice with these abilities allows him to use them with far greater control and an equally greater levels of raw power compared to other Kryptonians. Overall, Clark is an incredibly powerful being, with his cousin Kara even referring to him as "the most powerful man in the universe"; making him one of the most, if not the most powerful being in the entire multiverse. In addition to holding far greater control over his powers and an equally high level of power than average Kryptonians, Clark's level of skill and power can even surpass that of some of the most extensively trained Kryptonians, as he managed to not only go toe-to-toe with Zod, a highly trained Kryptonian general, but he also eventually defeated him in both their altercations, killing him in their final fight.
    • Solar energy absorption: While Clark's powers are dependent on the energy spectrum from a yellow sun, the stored up energy allows him to use his powers without constant exposure to the solar radiation until finally depleted. Yet, as his body is near-constantly exposed to such energy and able to passively absorb it, this essentially keeps his reserves fully charged near-constantly. Direct exposure to sunlight will also accelerate his recovery from any injuries he does manage to sustain.
      • Accelerated healing factor: Clark's solar charged metabolism accelerates his healing and allows him to burn calories at a fast rate, making him resilient to weight gain. Upon being struck by a Green Kryptonite beam and a series of punches by a cyborg, after few minutes he healed instantly.
      • Self-sustenance: Due to the effects of a yellow sun, Clark's physical needs are greatly reduced or completely removed, as he does not need to eat or sleep unless he has to. This extends to him being able to survive in harsher environments such as outer space and underwater, able to withstand the conditions.
      • Atmospheric adaption: While Clark does not require oxygen, his physicality allows him to survive while inhaling more harsh forms of it.
      • Contaminant immunity: Clark has an immunity to all forms of disease and contaminants on Earth. However, despite being unable to be inebriated or intoxicated by drugs or alcohol from Earth, he does not drink and has a strong dislike for alcohol.[17]
      • Flight: Clark is able to manipulate his own gravitational field to generate thrust and propel himself through the air at tremendous hyper-sonic speeds, much faster than he can travel by foot. As such, he is able to levitate and fly past Earth's atmosphere and near the planet's orbit.
        • Sleep flight: Clark has the ability to float in the air, thanks to his ability of flying, while he sleeps, or as a voluntary act.
        • Levitation: Clark can levitate using his flight abilities.
        • Super jumping/leaping: Clark is able to jump several feet off the ground and leap several stories in a single bound without having to fly. He is known to be able to "leap tall buildings in a single bound", and usually, when he has to fly, he jump upwards before shooting skyward.
      • Heat vision: By concentrating every solar energy reserve he has in his body, Clark can emit blue energy beams of variable intensity from his eyes. Due to his control over the beams, he has demonstrated being capable of burning through stone and welding metal, causing small explosions and fires, and physically repelling or potentially damaging enemies with similar durability, making it useful in combat. However, he has personally utilized it for more mundane uses, such as heating up beverages and cooking food.
      • Invulnerability: With his cells supercharged with solar energy, Clark's bodily durability is considerably stronger than even the densest of Earth's metals such as steel. This has earned him the moniker of "Man of Steel" as he is both seemingly invincible to injury as well as courageous in battle. Due to his lifelong time in the young sun, Clark's durability is noticeably stronger than his cousin, Kara, as well as other Kryptonians who've appeared on Earth. Despite this, their similar momentum of strength and durability allow them to potentially injure Clark in combat.
      • Longevity: As a Kryptonian, Clark's lifespan is considerably longer than a normal human and likewise ages much slower. Despite being physically older than Kara by over 10 years, his still appears and performs as a man well within his prime.
      • Super breath: Clark is able to exhale powerful gusts of air from his mouth. He can also cause the temperature of his breath to drop to sub-zero levels, therefore able to freeze nearly anything instantly.
      • Super hearing: Clark has super-sensitive ears that can perfectly pick up sounds from miles away and even through structures.
      • Super speed: Similar to his super strength, the solar energy within Clark's cells enable him to propel himself at super-sonic speeds as well as accelerate his movements and reactions to velocities sufficient to catch a speeding bullet in his bare hands and perceive the world in slowed motion. As he doesn't derive his speed from the Speed Force, he seemingly cannot reach the speed of light, nor can he match the speed of a speedster. This was explained when Eobard Thawne mentioned that he raced Superman sometime in the 31st Century - stating, "He is fast... I'm faster".
        • Accelerated perception: While using her super speed, Clark sees everything much slower allowing him to move with precision and accuracy within very fast moments.
      • Super strength: The greatest display of Superman's abilities lies in his super strength - his chief superpower. With his muscles empowered by Earth's yellow sun coupled with the raw energy this conditioning causes to surge throughout his physiology, Clark's full strength is virtually incalculable. Clark was first shown to balance the Venture space-shuttle, albeit with the help of Supergirl. Later, he supported the weight of a falling building while Kara stabilized the foundation. Superman's muscle is such that he can challenge and overpower even seasoned Kryptonian soldiers such as Zod, who he was able to kill off in their last fight.
        • Thunderclap: When Clark uses his super strength to clap his hands together, it creates a powerful shockwave that throws enemies back. It also destroy's glass, pushes objects away from him and disorients anyone nearby.
      • Super stamina: Clark can run, fight or fly for long periods of time, without getting tired.
        • Super reflexes: Clark's reflexes are so fast, he can respond to attacks within seconds.
      • Telepathy immunity: Clark is immune to immune to most forms of telepathic powers, even from someone as powerful as J'onn J'onzz.
      • X-ray vision: Clark is able to see through solid objects; except for lead.

Abilities

  • Genius-level intellect/Skilled tactician/Leader: Clark holds exceptional levels of intellectual genius, even to the point of being at computational levels; his mind works sharply and with extreme speed far surpassing most humans. His intelligence is so great that he appears to be clever enough to rival and seemingly even ultimately outsmart Lex Luthor, who was considered to be nearly unrivalled in intelligence and among the most intelligent members of the Luthor Family, as he was able to stalemate his former best friend/ arch nemesis when Lex declared war on him, thwarting his unspeakable crimes and countering Lex's sophisticated attacks on him many times and eventually managed to prevail over Lex, exposing his crimes to the public, although not without immense difficulty and only after years of standstill. He is extremely sharp and intuitive, able to quickly analyze the situation before him to understand the true nature before him, and had enough intuition that he was eventually able to figure out Lex's true nature, which had eluded the whole world, although it took him several years before he finally saw through it fully. Clark also is able to accurately calculate the level of power needed to defeat his enemies without kill anyone or destroying anything. Clark can inspire the people to be the best that they can be and sometimes inspire criminals to do the right thing without resorting to violence.
    • Expert investigator: As among the best reporters in Daily Planet, Clark is an exceptional investigator, as he follows every lead and rumor to discover the truth behind any story. He also uses his talents as an investigator to a great effect as a superhero, having solved many mysteries alongside Chloe and he was even skilled enough to be capable of exposing Lex Luthor's crimes to the public, which were so carefully coordinated and hidden that the whole world never even suspected Lex was a criminal.
    • Multilingual: Clark is capable of fluently speaking English and Kryptonese.
  • Indomitable will/High pain tolerance: Clark has a powerful spirit, free of corruption and temptation. Having been raised by a kindly Kansas farmer and his wife, he was taught to protect life and help others. He is very optimistic and never gives up, even when things look bad. He has an incredible tolerance for pain, even when weakened by Green Kryptonite, he was able to resist and keep fighting Metallo.
  • Intimidation: Throughout his career as Superman, Clark commands an intimidating presence to the point where most humans fear him, he is also feared by most aliens, even by someone as powerful as J'onn J'onzz and many fugitives from Fort Rozz.
  • Expert combatant: Clark has proven himself to be an exceptional hand-to-hand combatant. His skills in martial arts are even sufficient enough to be able to not only fight evenly with other very physically powerful experts of hand-to-hand combat, but also even defeat them single-handedly, as seen when he was able to take down and imprison Maxima, an expert unarmed fighter in her own right who was able to restrain and almost beat Supergirl even after she had become more proficient in unarmed combat, stalemate Lex Luthor wearing his Lexosuit repeatedly and eventually defeat him, and even ultimately best Zod, a highly trained Kryptonian general in both of their altercations, killing him in their final fight. He is able to effectively use his opponent's own momentum against them and can easily keep up with the highly proficient Martian Manhunter. His skills can even be still effectively used while he was in a weakened state or having deep hallucinations that made him not focused and much more brutal, as while weakened by Green Kryptonite, Clark was still capable of fighting off a superpowered cyborg and defeating him, allowing him to escape along with Kara; even while affected with Silver Kryptonite and not focused due to his rage of general Zod, he managed to match Kara for a prolonged period of time, only being barely beaten and managing to exhaust her as well.

Weaknesses

  • Kryptonite: Like all Kryptonians, even while empowered, Clark is vulnerable to the exposure of Kryptonite, a radioactive mineral from his home planet Krypton. Depending on the nature of the said Kryptonite, it will cause a different adverse effect on him;
    • Green Kryptonite: Green Kryptonite not only physically hurts Clark, but weakens his physical attributes, leaving him vulnerable to weapons and anything in general that can kill a normal human, but if he is exposed to it for too long, it will kill him. However, possibly due to a long lifetime of constant exposure to yellow solar radiation, Clark has demonstrated a certain level of resilience to green kryptonite. When directly exposed to it by John Corben, despite being physically weakened, he was still retained noticeable superhuman might and sent the cyborg flying several feet away; unlike his cousin Kara, who is always powerless when she is exposed to green kryptonite.
    • Red Kryptonite: If exposed to Red Kryptonite, it gradually destroys Clark's inhibitions and turns him into a corrupt version of himself. Left without morality, compassion, rationality, or any cares whatsoever, Clark will become malevolent and prone to hostility and aggression, making him a danger to everyone around him.
    • Silver Kryptonite: If exposed to Silver Kryptonite, it will cause him to go in a deep and frightful hallucination where nothing from the outside world can stir him out of it until it leaves his system. When Rhea poisoned Clark with Silver Kryptonite, Clark was convinced that Supergirl was actually his greatest enemy, General Zod, who constantly taunted him and made him enraged, thus allowing Kara to use his rage against him and defeat Clark, even though he is more powerful and experienced than her.
  • Extreme energy: Extreme amounts of energy, such as the energy from the Reactron suit, can be enough to kill Clark.[7]
  • Red sun energy: Clark is powerless when exposed to the energy of a red sun.
  • Blue sun energy: Clark is powerless when exposed to the energy of a blue sun, it's radiation is also fatal to him as well as all males.
  • Solar energy depletion: Using his powers to its maximum for an extended period can significantly drain his solar energy to the point where Clark loses all of his powers and is rendered more human-like for at least a day. This renders him as weak as a human, allowing Clark to get injured and killed as easy as killing a human.
  • Solar energy overload: If Clark absorbs too much solar energy, it will act as a poison and kill him.
  • Lead: Even with his X-ray vision; Clark cannot see through lead.
  • High-frequencies: Although considered a strength, Clark's hearing does have its disadvantages. Since his hearing is more sensitive than a normal human's, higher pitch noises (sonic screams, etc.) can disorient him and cause pain in his ears, leaving him vulnerable in a fight. Therefore, enemies with sound-based powers, like Silver Banshee can potentially be powerful enough to cause Clark's ears to bleed.
  • Sound-dampening technology: The D.E.O. designed frequencies to block super-hearing and cause Clark slight pain when trying to use it in areas protected by the technology.
  • Myriad: Clark's brain is more human than other Kryptonians who spent much of their lives on Krypton. This means he is vulnerable to Myriad's mind control function, unlike his cousin and Non.

Equipment

  • Superman suit: Clark wears a protective suit as his super-hero alter-ego, Superman, to hide his identity from his enemies, when he goes out fighting crime. The suit is mostly blue, with a red belt, along with a red cape and boots, featuring a red and yellow House of El emblem on the chest;[2] though the original version also included a pair of leggings that resembled pants with underwear worn over them.[3] It's unknown what materials the suit is made from, however, it is just as durable as a Kryptonian. Clark notably is able to change into his suit in seconds with his speed, usually keeping it underneath his civilian clothing.[2]

Appearances

Supergirl

Season 1

Season 2

Season 3

Season 4


DC's Legends of Tomorrow

Season 1

Season 2

The Flash

Season 3

  • "Duet(mentioned)

Season 4

Comics

Adventures of Supergirl

Gallery

Promotional images

Supergirl

Season 2

Trivia

  • According to Kara, Clark loves mysteries, with his favorite mystery authors being Agatha Christie, Jim Thompson and Dashiell Hammett. He states that growing up reading their books is half the reason he became a reporter.[24]
  • Given that Kara was trapped in the Phantom Zone for 24 years after Krypton's destruction before arriving on Earth, where she has been living for 12 years since then, it's safe to assume that as of Season 1, Clark is in his mid-to-late 30s and has been acting as Superman publicly for over 12 years.[1]
  • It was hinted that, at some point before the musical crossover between Supergirl and The Flash, Barry could have met Superman as, while singing "Super Friend" he, according to Kara, did "a really good impression" of him.[25]
  • According to James and Kara, Clark has previously worked with a vigilante with "tons of gadgets and lots of demons", hinting at Batman, a vigilante superhero known to often work with Superman.
    • Winn later went to clarify that he thinks the two of them more as "frenemies", further hinting at the likelihood that this is not only the Dark Knight, but that the pair also share a rivalry known throughout the comics, which peaked in the 2016 film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
  • As mentioned in "Midvale", Superman wore red underwear over his clothes at least until 2007. This is a reference to his classic costume.
    • This also references the TV series Smallville, which shows Clark having red underwear on his Superman outfit in the series finale when he became Superman, but he had it removed during the comic book series, which took place after the series ended.
  • In "Crisis on Earth-X, Part 3" was hinted that Eobard Thawne/Reverse-Flash met and confronted Clark at some point in the future; this was previously mentioned in "The Flash Is Born", where Eobard nicknamed Tony Woodward a "Man of Steel", which was Clark's infamous title on his Earth, and spoke as though having encountered such an adversary before.
  • The third season of Supergirl is the only season in which Superman didn't appear, though he was mentioned several times and a picture of him was shown on a news program.
    • In addition, he did not make his formal debut until season 2 because he was only shown as a silhouette in season 1.

Behind the scenes

  • Kal-El debuted in Action Comics #1 (June, 1938) by creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster; his native universe of Earth Thirty-Eight is named in honor of the year of this first appearance.
  • Supergirl marks Kal-El's eighth live-action television appearance; previously appearing in Adventures of Superman, I Love Lucy, The Adventures of Superboy, It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's Superman, Superboy, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and Smallville.
  • According to James Olsen, Superman refers to the event of a Kryptonian being depleted of his powers as "Solar Flare". In Superman #38, part of The New 52, it is revealed that Superman's heat vision is a precursor to a power also called a "Super Flare", in which Superman release a large explosive force of his solar energy from his entire body, which leaves him depleted and the equivalent of a human for 24 hours.
  • Up until his first physical appearance in the second season, despite being physically seen only 5 times in the first season, Clark was mentioned in just about every episode so far. Additionally, Kara had online chats with him four times, suggesting that, even though Kara hid her powers for twelve years prior to the series, they still kept in touch with each other.
    • In the first season of Supergirl, most of Superman's appearances were rendered in CG animation and body doubles along with camera tricks to hide his face.

References