- For other uses, see Superman (disambiguation)
Superman is a superhero published by DC Comics since 1938. An alien named Kal-El from the dead planet Krypton, he was sent to Earth and raised as Clark Kent by human foster parents, Martha and Jonathan Kent. As an adult, Superman became the protector of Metropolis, working at the Daily Planet as Clark Kent along side his partner and wife Lois Lane.
Sent as a baby to Earth from the dying planet Krypton, Kal-El was adopted by Martha and Jonathan Kent of Smallville, Kansas. Growing up as Clark Kent, he devoted his life to helping others with the abilities he developed from Earth's sun. Moving to Metropolis, he became Superman, while still maintaining his secret identity as Clark Kent, who works at the Daily Planet newspaper.
- For detailed biographies by continuity, see:
- Superman's Biography - Superman's biography from the current comics continuity, which began in 2011 with the debut of the New 52.
- Superman's Biography (Modern Age) - Superman's history from the "Modern Age" continuity, which began after the Crisis on Infinite Earths and ended in 2011.
- Superman's Biography (Pre-Crisis) - Superman's history from the old comics continuity which ended with Crisis on Infinite Earths.
In the original Siegel and Shuster stories, Superman's personality is rough and aggressive. He was seen stepping in to stop wife beaters, profiteers, a lynch mob and gangsters, with rather rough edges and a looser moral code than we may be used to today. In later adventures he became, softer, and had more of a sense of idealism and moral code of conduct. Although not as cold-blooded as the early Batman, the Superman featured in the comics of the 1930s is unconcerned about the harm his strength may cause, tossing villainous characters in such a manner that fatalities would presumably occur, although these were seldom shown explicitly on the page. This came to an end when Superman vowed never to take a life.
Superman is an extremely moral person, believing it immoral to kill anyone under any circumstances, and will do whatever he can to avoid it. Clark's upbringing in the Midwest largely contributes to this, as his adoptive parents raised him to do the right thing.
In Superman/Batman #3, Batman says, "It is a remarkable dichotomy. In many ways, Clark is the most human of us all. Then...he shoots fire from the skies, and it is difficult not to think of him as a god. And how fortunate we all are that it does not occur to him."
Superman is also a bit of a loner, in that, for much of his life, he doesn't reveal his true identity and powers to anyone, not even his closest friends. Many times they come close to figuring it out on their own, but often he will arrange an elaborate deception to trick them into believing Clark Kent and Superman are entirely separate. He's known to collect mementos of his adventures and his life in the Fortress of Solitude, and has even been known to have wax statues of all his friends there.
Powers and Abilities
Superman possesses the ability to fly under his own power, incredible strength and near invulnerability, as he can only be harmed by the element Kryptonite. His eyes can emit bursts of heat, while vision ranges from the microscopic to the telescopic. His vision is also capable of a broader spectrum than human eyes, able to see x-rays and radio waves. He can hear faint sounds amongst a bustle of noises by concentrating. His lungs are capable of holding air for long periods of time in environments without oxygen, and the ability to compress this air and exhale it in a freezing capacity.
Superman's powers vary over the years in various forms of media. For a more in-depth view on this range, see Superman's Powers and Abilities.