Superman (Earth-One) (DC Comics)

Publication information

Publisher: DC Comics
First appearance: acknowledged origin (definite costumed Superbaby origin) Superman #145 (1961), (contended) Action Comics #241 (June 1958)
Last appearance: Action Comics #583 (Sept. 1986) accredited as Imaginary Tale, "Whatever happened to the Man of Tomorrow?"
Created by: Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster

In-story information

Alter ego: Kal-El/Clark Joseph Kent 
Phonetic: súpərmæn
Notable aliases: Gangbuster, Nightwing, Jordan Elliot, Supernova, Superboy, Superman Prime, Superbaby, Boy of Steel, Andy Lang, Kirk Brent, Professor Milo, The Nova, Mike Benson, Lightning-Man, Last Son of Krypton, Man of Steel, Man of Tomorrow, the Metropolis Marvel, Silver Age Superman, Clarkie, Tag-Along, Tigerman

Relatives: Jor-El, (father deceased); Lara Lor-Van, (mother deceased); Kara Zor-El aka Supergirl, (cousin deceased); Zor-El, (uncle deceased); Alura In-Ze (aunt deceased); Lois Lane (girlfriend); Linda Danvers(wife); Ariella Kent(daughter)

Team affiliations: The Daily Planet, Founding member of the Justice League of America of Earth-One
Abilities: Superhuman strength, speed, stamina, senses, intelligence, regeneration, and longevity; super breath, heat vision, x-ray vision,
invulnerability and flight
Base Of Operations: Formerly Smallville Kansas, later primarily Metropolis on Earth-One, though he operated throughout the entire cosmos mostly from the Justice League Satellite as well from the re-established New Kandor settlement and other bases


Alignment: Good
Identity Secret: Secret
Race: Kryptonian
Citizenship: American
Marital Status: Single
Occupation: Former reporter for the Daily Planet; Former officer in the United States Army (honorably discharged); Anchorman for WGBS News


Height: 193.04 cm
Weight: 102 kg
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Black
Unusual Features:


Origin: Rocketed from the dying planet Krypton, raised by the Kents, he became the greatest hero on Earth -- Superman
Universe: Earth-One 
Place of origin: Krypton


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 the rocket and the young Kal-El was discovered by small land farmers Jonathan and Martha Kent. Upon finding the young boy Martha becomes attached to Kal-El while Jonathan elects 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 advise 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. 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 until such time where he and all the other members of the Earth were replaced with the current versions of themselves.

Powers and Abilities


Known Powers: Truly infinite power levels of Flight, Invulnerability, Strength and Speed (faster than light) which were all based on his body's ability to absorb, process and store yellow sun radiation in some way to allow him to do these feats[3]. He would lose all of his powers under the presence of a red sun such as his native Krypton star in short period of time, but as show in other stories, under an orange sun he retains all powers at half levels and under a blue sun his power levels are doubled and more. It was noted in one story that a blue sun would give an earthling the same solar based powers as Kal-El. 
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.
The Earth-One Superman's physical abilities included Heat Vision, Telescopic Vision, Microscopic Vision, X-Ray Vision, Super Breath, Super Ventriloquism, Super Hypnotism. All of these powers were infinitely powered as well, as noted in a story published in Feb 1961, one of his super sneezes literally destroys an entire distant solar system. 
As long as the Earth-One Superman is charged under a yellow sun, he doesn't need to eat, breathe, or sleep. He is also impervious to extreme heat and cold. Able to survive indefinitely in a vacuum in a yellow sun system.
The only true limitations to his power levels were Kryptonite and powerful magics. 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.


Brilliant scientist and inventor, especially in robotics. Appears to speak every known language on Earth as well as several alien languages. Photographic memory.

Strength level

"More powerful than a locomotive" doesn't begin to cover it. He has been known to easily move planets from one solar system to another barehanded, to other times he has thrown planets to vast distances of the universe, outmuscle black holes, and once in a battle with one of his descendants altered the course of the time stream continuum. He was capable of moving 11 planets with his own strength. He can exceed one million tons effortlessly.


Kryptonite, Magic, Red Sun



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.


Phantom Zone Projector