Kal-El was born on the doomed planet Krypton to Jor-El and Lara. Although Jor-El had hoped to send his pregnant wife away from the planet in a test rocket and avoid its destruction, Kal-El was born earlier than expected, and the life support systems could only support one. Therefore, the baby was sent alone to Earth, the last son of Krypton.
The baby's spaceship landed in Sutton Field near Smallville, Kansas, where he was found by Jonathan and Martha Kent, who raised him as their son, Clark Kent. As he grew older, he began exhibiting extraordinary powers, including super-strength and flight.
His friends in Smallville included Pete Ross and Lana Lang who continued to remain friends with Kent into their adult lives as shown when Ross became Vice President during Luthor's Presidency.
As Clark plays football game with Pete and a few other teenage boys. However, his powers lead to Pete breaking his arm, and destroying the football. Guilt-ridden, Clark rides home with his farmer. Next day at school, when Pete asks Clark to sign his cast, Clark's powers let him see the break in Pete's arm, and he runs away. Lana , follows him, as they talk about the day they discovered Clark's power when he saved her from the blades of a combine harvester. When Clark responds that he's afraid to touch people, Lana kisses him. However, this leads to Clark's heat vision activating, and he accidentally burns down the gym. Clark wonders what's wrong with him.
That night, Jonathan decides to tell Clark the whole story of how he joined the family. They always knew he was special. Not just for who he is, or for his uncanny abilities. They knew because he dropped out of the sky in a silver rocket, and answered their prayers. Clark is initially overjoyed, until the rocket begins playing a recorded message from Jor-El. The Kryptonian scientist introduces himself as the father of Kal-El, last son of Krypton. He says that his powers will protect him in the environment of the planet Earth, but that he is not one of the Earthlings. Clark reacts with rage and blasts the shipw with his heat vision, but the ship is resistant to his powers. Clark runs across the field and breaks down crying. John catches up to him, and the two embrace.
The next day, the Kents have an idea: since the rocket is immune to Clark's powers, they make him a set of glasses from some of its crystals to block the heat vision. Martha Kent thinks it makes him look clever. Going back to the rocket, Martha sees some of the disasters that befell Krypton before its destruction, as well as catching a glimpse of day-to-day Kryptonian wear.
Clark avoids playing football with the other boys, for fear of hurting someone else. Lana suggests that he get better at lying, then asks him to help her set up her aunt's stall at the county fair. There, Clark meets a young red-headed man: Lex Luthor, who is selling off his books so he can get a ticket out of Smallville. Clark is interested in a book about aliens, but when Lex pulls out the green rock he found earlier, Clark faints, knocking over Lex and smashing the jar with the rock in it.
A tornado brews from nowhere, and although everyone else gets to safety, Lana is swept up. Reacting, Clark runs to her and jumps... and goes on jumping. He flies to her, rescuing her from the tornado. When she asks how he is flying, his power fails him and he falls to earth. The two land in a stream, and Lana kisses him. The glasses, he notes afterwords, contain the effects of the heat vision.
Clark is happy that he has found a positive use for his condition, but Martha is firm that he should wear something else if he is going to use his powers, or he will swiftly be without clothes. Using some sketches based on the Kryptonian clothing in the hologram, and the blanket he came wrapped in, she plans to make a suit for him to wear, but she needs his heat vision to help her sew it (since the impervious nature of the suit has so far resisted five pairs of scissors, a sewing machine and Jonathan Kent's chainsaw.
Once the suit is made, Clark comes down wearing it. Martha and John are impressed, but Clark is firm in the belief that he will never wear something this silly again.
Wearing his suit, Clark engages in several heroic activities across Smallville. Clark saves Lionel Luthor from falling off a cliff. Clark comes back home by slipping through a secret underground tunnel. He tells his parents that he has been staying out of sight, mostly out of embarrassment about his uniform.
Clark looks to the skies with Joanthan, sees into distant galaxies, and wonders if he's alone. He studies Dr. Erdel's book the next day, and Lex interrupts him in the process of researching Metropolis for the building Lex plans on constructing in the city. After Lex tells Clark of his grand plan, Clark offers to hang out with Lex some time. Lex sneers at the idea.
Lana tries to console Clark over the fact that most of the kids are not hanging out with him, or that he's pushing them away. When Lana kisses him on the cheek his eyes begin to flare, and inadvertently he tells Lana that he only wants to be friends, and sends her off upset as well.
He hears the other kids poking fun at him, and is soon interrupted by three members of the Legion of Superheroes.
The Legion bend the rules to take him to the future. They fight a group of human supremacists. Brainiac 5 interrupts their revelry to remind them of the consequences of their actions. They return Clark to the present and promise future adventures.
As Clark describes the future to Pa, a rocket approaches the house. Clark stops it, revealing the test rocket with Krypto.
While Clark was still a youngster, the amnesic Daxamite Lar Gand arrived in Smallville, Clark was excited to find someone like himself, even theorizing that he was his older brother and naming "Mon-El". However, after accidentally exposing the Daxamite to lead, his memories returned. Clark sent him to the Phantom Zone until a core for his lead poisoning could be found.
During his earliest time as a private super-hero, Clark continued to be visited by the Legion of Super-Heroes, who continue to bring him to their time and induct him into their membership, and share many adventures with Clark during his youth. Clark occasionally traveled between this future and his own native time, before permanently returning to his own native time. His memories of his visits would be erased by Saturn Girl, so as not to pollute the timeline. Clark mostly remembers these events as vague dream-like memories.
After he graduated from high school, Clark then decided to travel the world for a number of years, learning about it's cultures, languages, and customs. He would secretly help people when he could, although he never had a costume or a superhero identity.
He briefly stayed in Paris, where he met a renown journalist named Simone. He also started dating a young woman named Rosie. Shortly after he started dating her, he ran into an old friend of his from high school, Kenny Braverman, who "stole" Rosie away from Clark. The two had a whirlwind courtship and soon became engaged, but shortly before the wedding was supposed to occur, they broke it off. Clark never learned why.
He spent some time in Australia, where he met and had a brief romance with Callie Llewellyn.
While in college, Clark met Lori Lemaris and the two became briefly involved, until he learned her secret. After graduating college, Clark later moved to Metropolis.
As Clark walks around Metropolis, awestruck, he encounters a citizenry that lives fast, cheap, and out of control. He comes up to the Daily Planet, a dilapidated building laced with graffiti. Inside he makes a point of catching his briefcase and spilling it in a subtle way. In the elevator he meets Rudy Jones, a janitor who says he has forgotten his lunch. Taking Clark for a country rube, Jones talks him into handing over his lunch.
At the main floor he encounters Ron Troupe, Steve Lombard, Cat Grant, and Jimmy Olsen. He is mistaken for a bill collector and eventually makes his way to the Planet office, where Lois Lane and Perry White debate the merits of a story. Perry cites the fact that going after Luthor has nearly killed the Planet, and Lois fights back with the nobility of idealism.
Perry introduces Lois and Clark, and Lois offers to take Clark on a tour, which surprises Perry. She takes Clark to the Lexcorp building for the unveiling of a piece of technology, and sneaks in wearing a blonde wig by duping Clark to distract the guards.
At the top Luthor unveils his Metallo body suit, which Lois observes with interest as a potential machine of war. Security catches her, she flees, and then she trips and falls off the building.
Clark, hearing the ruckus, sneaks into an alley, changes into his suit, and saves her. People grab at him and he flees, fearing he's done the wrong thing unveiling himself to the world.
Lois and Perry debate the story about the flying man, while the other reporters look on in interest. Luthor goons show and demand that Lois go with them, and they ask for Clark to come as well. Lois agrees, given the opportunity to finally quiz Luthor.
Lois and Clark wait for Luthor, who appears as they're talking about his wealth. Lois lights into him with questions. While they talk, Rudy Jones has mutated into the Parasite and attacks Luthorcorp employees.
Clark hears Parasite's rampage, tries to make an excuse to leave, but as he does, the Parasite bursts in, having smelled him. Clark appears and takes Parasite out of the building. As he does, Parasite's teeth grow outward, and he sucks on Clark's neck, stealing power. They crash on street level.
Clark musters strength and punches the Parasite. He hits Parasite with heat vision, then freezes him in place. The people around seem afraid of Clark and thankful. Luthor appears, and tries to foster the fear. Clark leaves.
On the roof of the Daily Planet, he sees Jimmy on the ledge. Thinking him about to commit suicide, Clark stops him. They talk about feeling ostracized in the big city, and how Jimmy is thinking of leaving. Superman persuades him not to, given that Jimmy is his only friend in the city. Jimmy asks if he can take a picture of Superman, and Superman allows it. Jimmy has him put his hands on his hips.
The issue runs with Lois' story and Jimmy's picture, identifying the flying man as "Superman." This infuriates Luthor, causing him to declare personal war on Perry White.
A fire in the Daily Planet's main warehouse almost takes a fatal turn that night, but people are saved by Superman. Public opinion slowly turns to Superman's favor, thanks in large part to the Daily Planet, the only Metropolis newspaper that portrays Superman in a positive way. As he is about to fly away, he meets Lois and Jimmy, who get some information for a story. The three voice the opinion that the fire is the work of a milicious. Jimmy wonders who it could be...
At the Daily Planet, things are looking up. Lois is about to get to work, when she is greeted by Sgt John Corben, her father's choice for her future husband. Lois truies to break away, but John refuses to go away... unitl he is met by Clark Kent. Corben tries to bull Kent aside, but through a combination of oafish good humour and a grip like a steel vice, he sends Corben packing. Clark offers to buy lunch for Lois Lane, and she takes him up on it.
Over lunch, Lois Lane tells Clark about John Corben, who works for her father and whom he favours over Lois and her sister. Lane always wanted a son. Lois also reveals that she cannot remember her mother. When Clark tries to comfort her, she points out that Clark constantly shifts between two personae, one a bumbling fool and one a supremely confident man. An explosion on a skyscraper leads to Clark leaving complaining of an inner ear infection.
Flying to the scene as Superman, he meets General Lane, who asks him for an interview. Lane points out that while there have been previous reports of humans gaining extraordinary abilities, his office believes that Superman is not human. Superman explains that he grew up on Earth, considers himself an American, and wants to use his powers to be a productive member of society. Lane abandons the pretext that this is an interview, and demands to know what Superman can do, and what his interest in Lois is. Superman turns to leave, telling Lane that he is no-one's enemy.
Outside, Superman is accosted by soldiers, who fail to make any impact. However, the soldiers are soon backed up by Corben, who manages to weaken Superman in a pitched battle. As Corben reveals the glowing rock, Superman is weakened, but a ricocheting bullet hits the rock, creating an explosion which cripples Corben and his battlesuit.
Superman escapes through the sewers as the soldiers rush to save Corben. General Lane and his forces arrive at the Daily Planet to shut the newspaper down, until they get some answers about Superman.
And in the sewers below Metropolis, Superman sits wounded.
Soldiers find Superman in the sewers. They battle him as he pleads with them to stand down, for the safety of the bystanders. Metallo enters the fight, and he begins to attack his own soldiers in order to get to Superman.
Lois arrives to warn him about the kryptonite and tell him to flee, but he refuses to give up. Metallo attacks him with a kryptonite ray, threatening the bystanders, but Superman melts a manhole cover over the kryptonite and flies Metallo into space until the lack of oxygen knocks him out.
Sam arrives and orders Superman and Lois arrested. The crowd turns on the Army, and Superman orders the crowd to stop, telling them that they, not the Army, not Lex Luthor, nor himself, are meant to be Metropolis's saviors.
Superman meets with Lex and tells him Metropolis doesn't belong to him: "You don't own us." Lex objects, since Superman isn't from Earth. Superman replies, "This is my home," and leaves.
Superman visits Lois atop the Daily Planet building and thanks her for making him feel like he belongs there. He starts the Planet�s rusty globe spinning again. Lois asks, "Are you a man or an alien?" His response is, "I'm Superman."
Superman and Batman meet each other for the first time. Batman is on the trail of the criminal known as Magpie. He is interrupted in a lead by Superman who regards him as an outlaw. Rather than risk capture, Batman informs Superman that should the latter make any attempts to come near him, a signal will be activated that will trigger a bomb and kill a person somewhere in the city. The two are forced to work together and eventually capture Magpie. In the end, Batman reveals to Superman that the endangered person is Batman himself. Superman departs cautioning Batman against crossing any further lines. Batman admits to himself of a respect for Superman�s innate goodness and wonders if, in a different reality, they could have been friends.
In keeping up his secret identity, Clark Kent misses the train to take him to work, something he does three times a week. A gunshot is heard from that train and Clark appears as Superman and finds the victim: the train's driver. As the train speeds up uncontrollably, Superman tries to grab the side of the train but it already plummets off the curve toward the ground. But Superman manages to catch it, before it hits the ground. Superman tracks the trajectory of the bullet that killed the driver, but finds nothing. In the distance, shadowy figures track his movements, and later that night, those figures break into S.T.A.R. Labs. They make sure Superman is not around to stop them, but a shadow appears and stops them anyway. The media believes Superman was the one who stopped the thieves, but wonders why he decided to leave them hogtied. In Antarctica, other shadowy figures track down and dig out a creature created by Lex Luthor: Bizarro. Clark receives a tip from an old friend, and he meets him in his limousine. Bruce was the one who captured the S.T.A.R. Labs thieves, as he explains that he has been on the trail of an exclusive cartel that can obtain any type of weapon calling themselves "the Purge". The thieves were after kryptonite, and Bruce needs his help in the decryption of a LexCorp disc, where the thieves will steal next.
An Amazon woman, who calls herself "Diana", passes her "audition" by fighting several shadowy figures. A man from the shadows offers her a position with The Purge. Clark breaks the code on the disk and discovers that The Purge was after something called "Project Replica". He knows what it means, and goes to one of the locations to see it gone. Covered in heavy, thick chains, Bizarro sits as the shadowy man enters: Ra's Al Ghul. Calling Bizarro his "friend", he talks him into joining the Purge and adds that no one will ever harm him again. He is unlocked, and is given a medallion that says "Bizarro #1". In the Batcave, Batman informs Superman that the man behind The Purge is Ra's Al Ghul, an eco-terrorist. Bats once had connections inside Ghul's network, but they disappeared. He knows whatever he's doing, it's big. Bizarro steals a nuclear sub, when he is attacked. He shakes the sub and kills all the soldiers, with one of the missiles launched and detonated near Themyscira. Above the Daily Planet, Superman is greeted by Princess Diana aka Wonder Woman. She has come to talk about the missile that fell, whom the Amazon believe that Superman did it himself. When it is revealed that Bizarro did it, someone who wears something similar to Superman's costume, Diana feels embarrassed that they thought it was Superman. They decide to take down the sub, and Superman and Wonder Woman take a ride in her invisible jet.
Tracking the sub down at the Sahara Desert, they find a camp where they investigate an underground facility. Soon, the two heroes get attacked, but Diana is already fast enough to be deflecting the bullets. The commander orders Unit A to fall back and Unit B to advance. Realizing Unit B are suicide bombers, Superman can do nothing but shield Diana as they all explode. The dust settles, and after Superman takes care of the nerve gas, they go to the commander who has locked himself in a vault. Inside, the commander activates a bomb and kills himself just as Superman and Diana burst in. With no time left, Superman gets Diana out as he spins at incredible speed to get the bomb underground as it explodes. As she leaves, Diana sees a knot on a crate that is an Amazonian Bridle Knot. Diana tries to find Superman as his hand breaks through. With Diana mentioning the crate to Gotham City, Superman knows who to ask for help.
"Diana" and members of The Purge meet with a street gang in Gotham. Inspect the "merchandise", Batman takes down the Purge, and soon does the same with the gang. When he goes after "Diana", Batman is able to fend off most, but not all, of her attacks. Finally, "Diana" knocks him out and escapes. Recovered, Batman uses one of the Purge members to get answers. Not able to get anything, a golden lasso wraps around the man and he starts spilling his guts. Diana doesn't approve of Batman's aggressive methods, but he isn't seeking approval. Superman tries to play peacemaker while he introduces one to another, and why they are here. After bringing him up to speed, Batman gives the two heroes a psychological sketch of Ra's and wants to question the Purge member further, using Wonder Woman's lasso. She agrees, if he doesn't brutalize the suspect. After getting the man's name, rank and serial number, the three learn the missile is in Gotham, but doesn't know the location. When they're finished, Batman breaks the man's jaw.
Batman and Wonder Woman get at each other's throats over Batman's brutality toward the man they question. Diana is taken aback, though, when Batman reveals the "Diana" wearing an eagle crest like Diana's. Batman departs, leaving Wonder Woman to question how Superman could consider such a man a friend. Before she leaves, she hands him one of her ear rings that is also a transmitter. Below Gotham, Ra's enters his Lazarus Pit, where "Diana" learns he is much older. Ra's learns from her that she is from Themyscira, and her name is Artemis. In the Batcave, Batman explains to Superman that the total of missiles are half a dozen, meaning there is four left. He is also informed that in twenty-four hours, 95% of the world's communication satellites will pass within in five cubic miles of each other. Something no one, except Ra's, is aware of. If Ra's detonates a missile in the center, the world will be thrown into a communications blackout. As Superman goes out to take care of the missile in Bulgaria; Batman reveals something he didn't tell him: the location of Ra's Al Ghul.
In her jet, Wonder Woman sits impatiently until she picks off a signal: Bizarro. Following him to Ra's lair, she learns that the missile is still prepped and ready, so she reveals herself. As she gets to Ra's, Bizarro appears and gets the upper hand, even breaking Diana's lasso, before completely beating her. Superman reaches the silo in Bulgaria and plans to stop the missile as it launches. Grabbing the warhead, he throws it into deep space as it explodes. Wonder Woman awakens in the same chains that held Bizarro with Ra's next to her. Exchanging words, Ra's reveals that one of the missiles will destroy Gotham, while the others will give something bigger for Superman to worry about: all part of his plan to save Earth from man. Seeing a group of guards out cold, Artemis is attacked by Batman, and finally gets the upper hand against her. Just as Bizarro is about to kill Diana, Batman appears and hurts Bizzaro with an explosive that hurts his eyes. Blinded, he files off as Batman fights Ra's and beats him. Until, Ubu surprises Batman in order for Ra's to escape. Freeing Diana, Batman and Wonder Woman make their way deep into the complex until Diana gets weakened from the fumes of the Lazarus Pit. Batman goes to work on the missile as one of Ra's followers, Sybil, attacks him. Diana, still weak, fights her but is stabbed. Batman cries for the Amazon, just as Sybil falls to her death and Batman stops the missile. Diana enters the Pit just as Superman arrives. When she emerges, the fact that the Pit causes anyone to go insane at first leads Diana to go out against Superman and Batman just as she leaves.
Worried about her, Superman and Batman travel to Themyscira to see how Diana is doing. Breaking off the harness and gliding down, Batman finds Diana after taking her bath. Overcome by her beauty he rushes forward and kisses her, but Diana, surprised, decks the Dark Knight. Suddenly, Amazonian soldiers surround Batman, but Superman descends before a fight can break out. Diana informs them that these men are here to speak to her, and they need to do so in private. On the atoll, Diana apologizes for her hasty departure from Gotham and assumes the Purge is still active. Batman is quick to realize that Ra's will have to change his plans. Superman is go find Bizarro and Diana will try to find anything she can. In the Gobi, Artemis learns that Ra's new plan is to find a new remote location as their headquarters: Themyscira. Diana asks her mother, Hippolyta, about the rogue Amazon, and she reveals a group of Amazons known as the Bana-Mighdall. Superman finds out where Bizarro is when Batman's tracking device is being interfered by extreme cold. Wonder Woman meets Batman, as Bruce Wayne, indicating that she knew who he really was. And it is with him that she figures that with a rogue Amazon as his ally, Themyscira would be the perfect target as Ra's new location.
At Ra's headquarters, Superman comes out of nowhere and fights Bizarro and buries Bizarro into a mountain side. Ra's meets with Superman and tells him of two airplanes that are about to be destroy in Metropolis. Not wanting to believe him, Superman leaves to make sure things are well in his city. Ra's and Bizarro resume prepping their forces to invade Themyscira. Superman arrives in Metropolis in time to see two airplanes preparing to crash into the Lexcorp building. He grabs one plane and manages to maneuver it into the second one and the two planes crash into the lake. Superman takes off once more. Ra's forces reach Themyscira, and the Amazons prepare for battle. A sonic device knocks Bizarro out as Wonder Woman and Batman descend onto the scene. As Batman battles Bizarro, and Wonder Woman and Ra's duel, Artemis leads the attack against Themyscira. However, she can't fight her own people, so she fights against Ra's forces. Soon, Superman comes in and disables all the helicopters and finds Artemis. Wonder Woman finally defeats Ra's and helps Batman against Bizarro until Superman comes in, burns Bizarro's hand off, and punches off several times into a volcano. The battle ends when the three disable all the remaining weapons and send all to the bottom of the water.
Returning to their homes, Superman can't believe how they almost had a disaster, as Wonder Woman can't find the rogue Amazon, and Batman knows Ra's Al Ghul will return as it has happened before. But all of them agree that without each of them meeting the others, would it have happened differently. Each of them consider the others friends. In an epilogue, Ra's Al Ghul's body is found by his daughter, Talia Al Ghul. Artemis begins her journey home after spending a few months on the other side of Themyscira aka Paradise Island. And below the ocean, the severed hand of Bizarro glows an eerie red, becoming red kryptonite.
Involvement with the JLA
The JLA was formed by Superman (Clark Kent), Batman (Bruce Wayne), Wonder Woman (Diana Prince), The Flash (Barry Allen), Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Aquaman, and Martian Manhunter after Applaxians attacked Earth. Superman became one of the first members of the team, along with Batman and Wonder Woman, after the team was first formed afterwards.
The Modern Adventures
In his first year (after the Lost Years), Superman would have his first encounters with Metallo, Darkseid, Arathaza, Bloodsport, the Circle, the Fearsome Five, Chemo, Rampage, Mister Mxyzptlk, and the Silver Banshee as well as the Legion of Super-Heroes.
In those first early adventures, Superman would often go against Lex Luthor, who had vowed to destroy the hated "alien" and reclaim his place as the First Son of Metropolis. Superman would also encounter his Achilles' Heel, Kryptonite, in his first battle against the cyborg Metallo. Lex Luthor retrieves the Kryptonite from Metallo and has part of it fashioned into a ring which he wears at all times, forcing Superman to keep his distance. Luthor also dismisses the suggestion that Clark Kent and Superman are one in the same, rationalizing that no one who had the power of Superman would ever pretend to be a mere human like Clark Kent. Superman also has his first encounter with the New God Darkseid, who teleported him to Apokolips. Superman remained on Apokolips for some time, eventually rallying the lowlies in a resistance against their despotic ruler, but the revolution is unsuccessful and Superman is returned to Earth.
Superman and Wonder Woman met during the Legends event, and Superman was surprised to find that she was in his thoughts a lot. Eventually the two came together, discussing their mutual attraction, but after a crisis involving Darkseid and the Olympian gods was resolved, they decided they were not right for each other and would just remain friends. Howver, Superman did trust Diana enough to reveal his secret identity to her.
Superman was shocked to meet a being calling herself Supergirl, someone who first appeared similar to Lana Lang. Supergirl explained that she was from the Time Trapper's Pocket Universe and pleaded with Superman to come back there with her. Superman agrees and meets the Lex Luthor of that universe, a benevolent scientist responsible for creating the Matrix Supergirl. He explains that ten years have passed since Superman's visit, and that the Pocket Universe exists solely so that the Legion of Super-Heroes could come there from the future. Superboy had already left for the 30th Century and Luthor accidentally released General Zod, Faora, and Quex-Ul, three Kryptonian criminals, from the Phantom Zone. The Kryptonians proceeded to destroy the atmosphere of the Pocket Earth, killing everyone on the planet, save for a handful that Lex protected in Smallville. Superman was unable to stop them from killing the rest and badly injuring Supergirl. Superman exposes the criminals to gold Kryptonite, taking away their powers, and then, taking on the role of judge, jury and executioner, decides that they must be punished for their crimes--he exposes them to green Kryptonite, killing them. He then takes Supergirl and leaves the dead world.
The guilt of taking life weighs heavily upon Superman. He has a minor psychotic break, which manifests itself in the form of him blacking out and fighting crime in the guise of Gangbuster. Guardian discovers this after a brief fight. Superman decides after what he's done that he has to leave Earth--after seeing to a few things and saying good-bye to his parents, Superman uses a breathing mask and a teleporter to begin a self-imposed exile into space. When Matrix fully recovers physically, she shapeshifts into Clark's image, briefly posing as him.
After several adventures in outer space, Superman is captured by Warworld and confronts Mongul for the first time. He meets the Cleric and encounters the Eradicator for the first time. Superman is pitted against Draaga in Warwold's arena, and when he refuses to kill Draaga, Mongul attacks Superman. Superman is saved from Mongul by the Cleric, who teleports him away. Superman accepts the Eradicator device from the Cleric, who dies shortly thereafter, and deposes Mongul as the ruler of Warworld. Draaga becomes the leader of Warworld, but is humiliated by his defeat at Superman's hands. Having found peace over executing the three criminals in the Pocket Universe, Superman returns to Earth.
He finds Matrix living in his apartment, still locked into the form of Clark Kent, and Jimmy takes a photo of the two of them. Still confused, the Matrix actually attacks Superman in Smallville before realizing what she has done. Still locked in Superman's shape, she takes off into space in an exile of her own.
Superman soon learns that the Eradicator, more sentient than he initially thought, has a mind link to him and is attempting to impose its own designs on Earth. He decides to bury it in the Antarctic, but a subsequent visit reveals that the artifact has built a vast underground fortress--the Fortress of Solitude. Superman learns the whole history of Kem-L, his ancestor, and how he built the Eradicator and what its purpose truly is. The Eradicator begins to melt some of the polar ice cap, but after a communication with holographic forms of Jor-El, Lara, and Kem-L, Superman manages to shut it down. Clark, recently fired from the Daily Planet, accepts the Managing Editor position at Newstime from Collin Thornton. The Eradicator begins to exert its influence over him again, forcing him to change into the so-called Krypton Man. He battles Draaga again on the Moon, almost killing him in the process. Only an intervention by the Kents at the Fortress itself is enough to snap Superman out of the programming the Eradicator has him under. He takes the Eradicator artifact and his Krypton Man costume and hurls them into the sun.
Luthor's kryptonite ring is eventually stolen from him by a former employee, Amanda McCoy. With some help from Batman, Superman manages to recover the ring. He decides to entrust the ring to Batman for safe keeping, telling the Dark Knight to use it against him if he would ever lose control and need to be put down.
Mister Mxyzptlk decided to have some fun with Superman through Lex Luthor for a change. He gave Lex a piece of red kryptonite, which removed Superman's powers. It would work so long as Luthor did not tell Superman about it. When Luthor told Clark Kent, he inadvertently broke the spell and restored Superman's powers. Clark proposed to Lois Lane at this time and she accepted. Dying of cancer, Lex Luthor decides to fake his death in a plane crash. On the day of Luthor's flight, Jimmy Olsen decides to throw Lois and Clark an engagement party at the Daily Planet. Clark ducks out so that Superman can investigate the remains of the crashed jets. He finds a mangled body, complete with Luthor's prosthetic hand, and it's enough to convince him (and the world) that Lex Luthor is dead.
Superman eventually discloses to Lois the secret of his double life. Immediately afterwards, Superman is swept away in an adventure across time--Time and Time Again--which takes him from the ancient past to the distant future. When he finally returns to the present, only a few hours have passed. Shortly thereafter, there was a strike at the Daily Planet.
The Eradicator then reemerges, this time in a humanoid form. He sets out to remake the Earth into a new Krypton, but Superman battles against him yet again, seemingly destroying him for good.
After a couple weeks of knowing his secret, Lois found that she was a little peeved to think that Clark had been using his role as Superman to gain an advantage over her as a reporter for all those years. After Clark beat her to the punch on a story involving the Parasite, Lois was determined to one up him. The strike organizer was a man named Jeb Friedman, a southern "good ol' boy" who took a strong interest in Lois, despite her engagement to Clark. Lois was initially only interested in Jeb for any Intergang connections he might have. She then challenges Clark to scoop her on a story without using any of his powers. Lois went home to her parents, her mother almost completely recovered, where her father was attacked by Angstrom. Lois managed to hold him at bay until Superman, tipped off to Angstrom's escape and his intent by Emil Hamilton, could turn up and subdue him. Lois offered to call off the bet, but Clark insisted on keeping it. Lois promised to tell Angstrom's story, but the true facts were lost when he was cured at STAR and they sold the story to Newstime. Despite his obvious intentions, Lois and Jeb actually became friends, although it made Clark more than a little jealous.
A young man named Lex Luthor II, the alleged son of the late Lex Luthor, turns up in Metropolis and lays claim to his father's empire. Superman helps investigate the man's claims and he appears to be the genuine article--no one suspects that it is really the elder Luthor in a cloned new body!
From The Pit Below to Beyond the Stars
Superman's enemies would include both the supernatural and the science fictional.
When Perry White's son, Jerry White, is shot, Superman is forced to literally go to Hell to try to rescue both Jerry and Jimmy from the demonic Blaze. Superman is able to rescue Jimmy--but not Jerry, though Jerry's soul does escape hell through his sacrifice. Superman later joins forces with Blaze's brother, Lord Satanus, but she ultimately proves the victor in the war against her brother. In the aftermath, Superman meets the being Kismet, who tries to help Superman find some peace by going over the choices he's made and by offering him a glimpse at several possible futures (including one involving Lois and a child).
Arguably Superman's greatest foe, however, apart from Lex Luthor is Brainiac. Brainiac was originally a Coluan scientist named Vril Dox whose body was destroyed and who sought refuge in the body of a human illusionist, Milton Fine "The Amazing Brainiac." He attacked Superman, but Fine was able to temporarily overcome Brainiac's control. Brainiac was subsequently captured by Luthor and experimented upon, resulting in his appearance changing to more closely match his original body, before he escapes and battles Superman again. Superman is unable to defeat him, and Brainiac escapes into space aboard a custom made "brain ship.
Brainiac would eventually return to Earth at the helm of Warworld. Having recruited Maxima to his cause, Brainiac captured Metron and brainwashed Supergirl (Matrix) and Draaga into serving him as he prepared his invasion of Earth. Brainiac has his head ship come to earth as part of a punitive first engagement--an arrogant boast of his impending invasion. Realizing that this is not an invasion that should be dealt with after it arrives, Superman rallies most of the world's heroes in Metropolis to plan a preemptive counterstrike. With Dubbilex's help (using Metron's Mobius Chair), the heroes are able to reprogram Brainiac's headship and meet Warworld on its way to Earth. Superman leads the invasion of Warworld while Batman stays in charge of some heroes on Earth to deal with any other preemptive attacks. Superman manages to get Draaga and Supergirl to shake off their programming and join him in the fight. After some desperate fighting, Brainiac is defeated--Maxima changed sides in the fighting and lobotomizes Brainiac, but Superman prevents her from killing him. The New Gods used a Boom Tube to transport the heroes from Warworld back to Earth, right into the middle of downtown Metropolis. Lex Luthor II was already organizing a victory parade. Superman then decided to join the newly reformed Justice League on a full time basis.
Not only did Superman fight demons, but also vampires--the vampire Ruthven to be specific. (see Babe)
A group called the Sons of Liberty was busted up by Superman. In exchange for his protection, a Major Holcroft agreed to testify before a Senate hearing. Superman was on scene at the Capitol, making sure no one was trying to slip a weapon inside the chamber. He neglected to scan Senator Pete Ross, however, assuming that could trust him. Pete was being blackmailed, however, by the Sons of Liberty and did sneak a handgun inside to kill Holcroft. Pete couldn't go through with it, but unfortunately the Sons had backup. Another of their operatives grabbed Ross' gun and shot Holcroft. Superman had to let the assassin go and rush the Major to the hospital. Before he passed out, Holcroft told Superman that the Sons were responsible for the death of Senator Caldwell. Superman went to visit Pete in his jail cell, but Pete was too afraid to talk to him with Lana's life at stake. Pete was brought before Judge Kramer, who was actually a member of the Sons of Liberty. Agent Liberty was supposed to assassinate Pete in the courtroom, but he refused to do it, turning against the organization. While Superman took apart most of the rest of the unit, Liberty got leverage on the judge and sent it into Clark Kent. Lana was freed and Pete confessed to everything, which meant that the murder charges were dropped (but not the others).
Death and Return
Not long after the event commonly referred to as Panic in the Sky, a monstrous alien beast called Doomsday emerged in eastern Ohio and began to march towards Metropolis. The beast single handedly defeated the Justice League when the team rallied to stop it (the lineup consisted of Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Bloodwynd, Maxima, Fire, Ice, and Guy Gardner). Superman battled the creature across several states, eventually drawing the line in Metropolis itself. After a desperate battle, Superman managed to put down the monster--but collapsed as he did so, dying in Lois's arms.
All attempts to revive Superman fail, and he is pronounced dead--while Clark is discovered to be MIA as well (one of several hundred people missing and presumed dead in Doomsday's rampage). Superman was buried with full honors with hundreds of heads of state and several hundred thousand onlookers beneath a large statue in Centennial Park. The Justice League and other heroes marched behind the casket, following their leader (official or not) one last time. Lois, Lana, and the Kents were all devastated. The family decided to keep the secret that Superman and Clark Kent were one and the same while Cadmus steals the body from out of the tomb. Supergirl retrieves the body from Cadmus, prompting Lex Luthor to gloat that while he may not have killed Superman, by providing the tomb, he at least "buried him." Jonathan Kent, suffering from a heart attack, is rushed to the hospital in Smallville where he is remains in critical condition. Jonathan recovers after having a near-death experience where his soul, guided by Kismet, met with Superman's spirit (which was being plagued by demons) and convinced him to fight his way back to the land of the living. Even as Jonathan awakes and tells Lois and Martha Superman has returned, sightings of four different beings, all claiming to be Superman, emerge in Metropolis: "The Man of Tomorrow," "The Last Son of Krypton," "The Man of Steel," and "The Metropolis Kid." A trip to the tomb itself reveals it to be empty.
While the first two actually claimed to be Superman (and provided circumstantial evidence that this was true), the latter two did not actually claim to be the original Superman. The young Superboy claimed to be a clone of the original Superman (in fact, he told it to everyone who would listen, soaking up the limelight as much as possible) and the Man of Steel was alleged (by a psychic named Rosie) to have Superman's soul.
Cults begin to spring up in Metropolis, worshiping any one of the new four (the visored Superman or the Cyborg primarily) as a messiah. President Clinton is saved by the Cyborg, and officially endorses him as the real Superman. Lois feels that of all of them, Steel is the closest to how Superman would have acted.
It is eventually revealed that none of the four are the real deal. The Eradicator, rendered incorporeal after his last battle with Superman, went to the tomb to try to use Superman's body as a new vessel. Sensing Superman's soul was still lingering, he fashioned a new body from concrete in Superman's image and placed Kal-El's body in a regeneration matrix that was bombarded with sunlight. The Eradicator's body could not absorb sunlight the way Kal-El's could, so he used Kal-El's body to power his own until Superman was successfully revived. His memory had been hazy, however, and he briefly believed that he was actually Superman. He also struggled with the new, human emotions he felt in his new body.
When Superman was finally revived in the Fortress, he was weak and powerless, so he used a Kryptonian battle suit to get to Metropolis. The war suit arrives in Metropolis and is met by Lex Luthor II, Lois, and others, who are shocked when a black-suited Superman emerges and tells them all that he is the real deal. Upon learning that Coast City has just been destroyed by the Cyborg Superman (and that he plans to obliterate Metropolis next), he joins with Superboy, Supergirl, and Steel and heads for the site, which is now the location of Engine City. Before they leave, he has a brief talk with Lois, who becomes mostly convinced that this man is the original one she fell in love with.
The assault on Engine City is hard, but Superman is soon joined first by Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), who manages to defeat Mongul after Superman and Supergirl could not, and then the Eradicator, who explains that it was he who was responsible for Superman's revival--and that it cannot happen a second time. Superman also learns that the Cyborg is really Hank Henshaw, who was so desperate for revenge against Superman that he decided he would assume his identity and have the universe blame him when Earth was destroyed. During the fight, Superman's powers are restored through a self-sacrifice by the Eradicator and the Cyborg is stopped.
Superman returns to Metropolis--and to Lois, who no longer has any doubts he is the real thing. Superman gets right back into action, quickly convincing Lex Luthor and Maggie Sawyer that he is the genuine article as well. Unfortunately, he still has to "reacquire" the rights to the name and symbol "Superman," but after helping the young Superboy comes to terms with his origins and accept the "Superboy" name, the kid graciously returns the rights to the Man of Steel.
Superman, with the help of the shapeshifting Supergirl, manages to come up with a plausible way of "resurrecting" Clark Kent, who had not been seen since Superman's death (one of several hundred people unaccounted for because of Doomsday's rampage). Supergirl takes Clark's form and Superman "finds" Clark in the rubble of a destroyed building. Jimmy gets another picture of Superman and Clark side-by-side. Doctor Occult visits Superman and Lois, explaining to them how his revival occurred before taking them to Kansas to see his overjoyed parents.
Superman also learns that the Fortress of Solitude has been destroyed; he buries what is left of it in the ice and does his best to stop the cults that have sprung up worshiping him. He also discovers that the Eradicator has been healed, seemingly after his body was merged with the mind of a scientist named David Conner.
Clark is welcomed back to a chorus of cheers at the Daily Planet and Superman is thrown a party by Lex Luthor II aboard a blimp (the party is thrown in his honor), but the scene gets ugly when Underworlders attack the blimp, trying to kill Paul Westfield. Fortunately, the Man of Steel saves the day (and both Westfield and Luthor). Superman leaps back into the good fight with renewed vigor--he barely stops to rest in the first few weeks after his return. He fought a new team, Nuclear Waste, and said good-bye to John Henry Irons, who had decided to give up being a superhero (his armor being mostly destroyed in Engine City) and was relocating to Washington D.C.
He also takes time to be with Lois--which has some tragic results when the two decide to go to Paris and are therefore not present in Metropolis when the Toyman kidnaps Adam Grant and subsequently murders him. Superman is able to track down the Toyman and bring him in with minor trouble. Superman also has to deal with a new villain called Bloodthirst, who has a new Bloodsport, and a revamped Hi-Tech engage in a killing spree, known as "Spilled Blood," in Hob's Heights, all to create more chaos in the city. Bloodsport and Hi-Tech both attempt to murder Jimmy Olsen, but Superman is able to save his pal and finally stop the killing. Bloodthirst, before fleeing, hints that Luthor's presence in the city will truly lead to chaos.
Shortly after the Toyman is brought in, Superman gets into a fight with Lobo which lands him stranded in outer space for a couple of weeks While in space, he meets Auron (who at first did not believe he was the real Superman, since Auron had been created to protect Superman's legacy) and encounters Massacre for the first time. Massacre kills Auron and withdraws, promising to come after Superman sooner or later. Superman finally gets some help that sends him back to Earth.
Superman got a rematch with Doomsday after the monster turned up alive and well on Apokolips(the Cyborg Superman was there as well). Superman had been troubled by nightmares about the creature, worried about what had happened to it, and Waverider tipped him off to go to Apokolips where the monster was alive and well. Not even Darkseid could stop the monster's rampage. After working with Darkseid to defeat the Cyborg, Superman pursued Doomsday to the planet Calaton and fought the beast to a standstill. Luckily, with some help from Waverider, Superman was able to teleport Doomsday into the distant future--just before the universe came to an end. This allowed him to find a little piece of mind, although he regretted the creature's apparent death.