Superman is the most powerful being on planet Earth, an alien immigrant named Kal-El from the planet Krypton who was raised in Smallville, Kansas, to become an American superhero. Raised with high moral ideals, he uses his incredible strength, speed, flight and various other 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. He is a founding member of the Justice League of America and a charter member of the Legion of Super-Heroes in the 30th Century.
The Man of Steel Edit
The planet Krypton was on the brink of destruction, married scientists Jor-El and Lara Lor-Van built a rocket they could use to save their unborn son Kal-El in his gestation chamber. Wanting him to reclaim the fullness in life denied him by the sterility of Kryptonian culture, his parents sent him to Earth, where exposure to the yellow sunlight would charge his cells into living solar batteries and gift him with incredible powers.
Upon landing, the child was discovered by Jonathan and Martha Kent in Smallville, Kansas. The kindly couple decided they would adopt and raise him, naming him Clark Kent. Clark's abilities increased steadily as he grew up, with super-strength and invulnerability manifesting at an early age and the power of flight developing during high school. His adopted parents revealed the rocket and his foreign heritage to their son when he was 18, leading Clark to the decision that he would become a hero in secret and use his powers to protect innocents.
During this time he pursued his education at Metropolis University while seeking out a living to put himself through school. He operated this way for seven years until he was forced to save a space-plane in front of crowds of people, then meeting reporter Lois Lane for the first time at age 25. Deciding that it was time for him to become a public figure, Clark and Jonathan designed a symbol for him to wear while Martha created a costume. In his secret identity, he would drastically change his physical appearance and mannerisms while wearing spectacles so that nobody would suspect he led a double civilian life.
During his first costumed adventures in Metropolis, he was dubbed Superman by Lois Lane. Clark began his new career as a reporter for the Daily Planet working for chief-editor Perry White, alongside Lois and cub reporter Jimmy Olsen, with Superman's first exclusive interview. The media coverage would eventually attract the attention of corrupt business mogul Lex Luthor, who tests Superman and tries to get him on the villain's payroll by withholding support during a terrorist attack. Mayor Frank Berkowitz deputizes Superman so he can arrest Luthor, and Luthor swears his revenge. Repeated attempts to murder Superman eventually led to LexCorp developing an imperfect clone of the Kryptonian named Bizarro.
Jimmy began using a signal watch of his own design to call Superman whenever he was in peril. Returning to Smallville after many years and sorting out childhood best friend Lana Lang's feelings for him, Superman is exposed to the rocket once again. This time he receives a message from his birth parents Jor-El and Lara, learning of Krypton for the first time when Kryptonian technology implants centuries of knowledge in his brain. Superman considers his dual heritage, and decides that no matter where he's from, his life on Earth has made him a human and an American.
This origin was changed in the Superman: Birthright story. Kal-El was born on Krypton as the last son of the House of El, and his parents Jor-El and Lara sent him to Earth as a baby. He grows up in Smallville, alongside his best friends Lana Lang and Lex Luthor. Lex and Clark have a falling out after Luthor Manor burns down with Lex's father inside during an experiment to contact extra-terrestrials.
Clark now has the ability to see the colorful aura of any living creature's soul before it dies, Clark is inspired by the death of a West African revolutionary named Kobe Asuru, who he met during his time as a freelance reporter. Returning to Smallville at the age of 25, he decides that it's time for him to start making a difference in the world, using the Kryptonian symbol of hope given to him by his parents as his heritage. Designing a costume after traditional Kryptonian clothing with no mask so the public might trust him, Clark adopts a shy bespectacled appearance to hide his true identity and decides to move to Metropolis.
Securing a job interview at the Daily Planet with Perry White, he meets Jimmy Olsen for the first time and immediately falls in love with Lois Lane. He is forced to make his first public appearance as Superman, saving both of them when the city is attacked by experimental military helicopters. Lex Luthor is revealed to be responsible in an act of corporate sabotage against Wayne Enterprises, meeting and coming into conflict with Superman for the first time.
Luthor invites Lois and Clark for an interview, refusing to acknowledge his upbringing in Smallville, and announces to the media that he believes Superman is an alien. Testing this theory, he discovers Superman's weakness by exposing him to Green Kryptonite. Luthor begins spreading paranoia by claiming to the public that Superman is an advance alien invader. This climaxes in a staged Kryptonian invasion of Metropolis, using real troops and holograms to discredit him, led by a fictional warlord named Van-Gar.
Lois inspires Superman to fight back through Kryptonite poisoning, and Jimmy rallies the populace to his side with pictures of his heroism during the war. Superman is ultimately able to end the attacks, exposing Luthor's scheme and proving himself as a hero to humanity.