- "All this time I've been living my life the way my father saw it. Righting wrongs for a ghost, thinking I'm here to do good."
- —Kal-El to Lois Lane
Kal-El (1980 - 2015) was an Alien from the planet Krypton and a reporter for the Daily Planet. As a Kryptonian, Kal-El has special abilities when in the star system of a Yellow Sun and one of the last surviving members of his race.
Sent away from his planet Krypton as a small baby by parents Jor-El and Lara to Earth, he was found by Jonathan Kent and his wife Martha in the rural town of Smallville who took in the alien as their own and raised him, renaming the boy Clark Kent. Growing up discovering his powers, his adoptive parents helped him learn to use his powers in secret but a growing desire led him on a path to search for his origin. When his father's nemesis General Dru-Zod came to Earth with his followers in search of Kal-El, he proudly protected his adopted home from Zod's wrath as a hero who became known as Superman.
In the years after announcing himself to the world, Superman aided in disasters across the world, no matter how big or small and became a reporter at the Daily Planet in disguise as Clark Kent. During this time, the world was divided opinion on Superman, some blaming him for the Black Zero Event and others hailing him a God. He soon came into the cross hairs of Batman, who blamed Superman for the deaths of thousands in Metropolis. Manipulated into conflict against Batman by Lex Luthor, Superman dueled Batman in a showdown to the death, until Batman realized they were on the same side. Lex Luthor then proceeded to release Doomsday, whom Superman battled, before being joined by Batman, and later Wonder Woman. In the end, Superman managed to impale Doomsday with a Kryptonite Spear and was in turn impaled by Doomsday, with both of them seemingly killed. Superman was subsequently buried in Heroes Park, while Clark Kent was buried in Smallville Cemetery.
- "Can't I just keep pretending I'm your son?"
- —Clark to Jonathan Kent
Kal-El was born on the distant planet Krypton to Jor-El and Lara Lor-Van, the first naturally-born Kryptonian in centuries on a world where children are genetically engineered to be more efficient beings. When Krypton was about to explode, his parents sent him away in a small ship to Earth, where Kal-El would look identical to the planet's natives yet grow up with extraordinary abilities. His ship landed undetected in Smallville, Kansas where he was found by Jonathan and Martha Kent, a local farming couple who illegally adopted him, renaming him "Clark" after Martha's maiden name.
Clark was accepted into the Weisinger Primary School when he was young. When he was 9, his body began to change in a way that would define his life forever. When Clark's Super Hearing and X-Ray Vision first developed and all the noises he could hear manifested at once, it was troublesome for the young Kryptonian to handle. He ran out of class and into a closet, where he unwittingly used Heat Vision to heat the doorknob, preventing his teacher from entering. Martha was called to the school, and she helped Clark control his new abilities.
When Clark was 13, whilst traveling on a school bus with his class, the bus crashed into a river. He then used his Super Strength to push the bus to safety. Several children saw Clark do this, including Lana Lang and Pete Ross, the latter of whom had bullied Clark. Later, at the Kent Farm, Pete's mother confronted Martha and Jonathan, but they defended Clark, claiming there was nothing special about him.
A troubled Clark, meanwhile, sat out in the back of a pickup truck, gazing into the fields. Jonathan came out of the house and tried to tell him that he had to hide his abilities if he was to be safe because not everybody would be as understanding as he and Martha were, but Clark argued that he shouldn't hide if he can help people. Jonathan then decided to reveal to Clark how he came to Earth. In the barn under the floor, Jonathan revealed Clark's ship to him, along with the House of El Key, confirming that Clark was an alien. Shocked and afraid, Clark asked if he could still pretend to be Jonathan's son, to which Jonathan simply hugged his adoptive son and said he would always be his son. Jonathan then said that Clark must, in time, find out the reason he was sent to Earth.
When Clark was 17, he was out with Jonathan and Martha, stuck in a traffic jam on a highway. He argued with his father about leaving the farm and ended up rejecting his adoptive parents as simply the people who found him in a field. Jonathan conceded that Clark had a point, but before he could explain further, a tornado swept through the region and people began evacuating their vehicles. Jonathan told Clark to get Martha to safety while he went to help other people. After getting his mother to a nearby bridge, Clark took a little girl to safety. In the ensuing chaos, Jonathan was momentarily stuck inside his truck after rescuing his trapped dog, but got out with an injured ankle. Clark prepared to rescue his father and risk exposing his powers, but Jonathan silently signaled him not to. Clark then watched in grief as Jonathan was swept away by the tornado.
Shortly after this traumatic episode, Clark, filled with guilt, heeded his father's wishes and left Smallville on a quest to discover the reason he was sent to Earth.
Quest For KnowledgeEdit
- "I have so many questions. Where do I come from? Why did you send me here?"
- —Kal-El to Jor-El
After leaving Smallville, Clark existed on the fringes of society so he could easily melt into the shadows if anyone got too nosy. He also slowly discovered more and more about his powers.
In 2013, he was working on a crab boat, the Debbie Sue. One day, Clark saw a huge Oil Rig ablaze in the distance and jumped overboard to swim over so he could try and help anybody on the rig. Finding people below deck, he helped them to the helipad where the Coast Guard was arriving to transport people to safety. Clark guided the people to the helipad and ushered them aboard the chopper when a piece of rigging began to fall on the helipad. He then held it up long enough for the chopper to get clear before a huge explosion sent Clark flying into the water unconscious. Regaining consciousness shortly afterward, he swam ashore and stole some clothes before skipping town.
Clark then got a job as a bartender at the Cassidy Pub, where he overheard some men talking about the US Military looking for a possible Alien spaceship buried under the ice of Ellesmere Island. When a customer, Ludlow, began to grope a waitress, Christie, Clark stepped in and asked him to stop. Ludlow poured his drink over Clark and shoved him to no effect. Clark then quietly walked out of the bar and took out his anger on Ludlow's lorry before departing to find the alien ship.
Using the alias "Joe," Clark then got a job working for Arctic Cargo, a chopper company near to the crash site, and carried the bags of Lois Lane, who was there to report on the ship for the Daily Planet. That night, he went to the site himself and used Heat Vision to melt the ice and create a path to the enormous scout ship, which he then boarded. He found a port to plug the command key in, but was attacked by the ship's defenses until he completely inserted the key. He then heard a strange voice and saw a man, whom he followed, finding pods, one of which was empty.
When Lois, who followed Clark aboard the ship, was attacked by the ship's defenses, Clark saved her, revealing his powers to her and using heat vision to cauterize her wound. He then took her back to the surface and returned to the ship, which activated after thousands of years of being dormant and took off.
Once the ship settled on a mountaintop elsewhere, Clark was greeted by an interactive holographic projection of Jor-El and learned of his true name and the history of his long-dead homeworld. He was then told that he was sent to Earth by his parents to guide humanity so they wouldn't make the same mistakes that Kryptonians made. Clark was then shown a suit bearing the House of El's crest and told by Jor-El that he must test the limitations of his powers.
Donning the suit, Clark exited the ship and began testing his powers, trying many times to fly before taking off and soaring high into the sky.
Arrival of ZodEdit
- "You're a monster, Zod... and I'm going to stop you."
- —Kal-El to General Zod
Clark returned to Smallville and found Lois at the Smallville Cemetery, standing at the grave of his adoptive father; there, he revealed the reason Jonathan died to protect him from the world, convincing Lois to not publish a story revealing him to the world as Clark Kent.
Clark then returned to the Kent Farm, where he greeted his mother with a hug after many years away. He then explained to her the travels he went on and that he found the answers he was looking for.
Later, Clark was watching a game on TV when the lights began to flicker before going out. Venturing outside, he used his super-vision to see the Black Zero in Earth's orbit. Clark and his mother then watched Zod's message to humanity ordering them to hand over Kal-El or suffer the consequences. Realizing he couldn't put people in harm's way after a discussion with Father Daniel Leone, Clark, wearing his Kryptonian suit, confronted the military and agreed to turn himself in in exchange for Lois's freedom. He was then taken into custody and talked with Lois, explaining he was surrendering to humanity rather than Zod. He then turned his attention to the military personnel and assured General Calvin Swanwick that he wasn't their enemy. When Swanwick informed him that his orders are to hand him over to Zod, Clark allowed him to do so.
A short time later, Clark stood with Lois, waiting for Zod to arrive. He thanked Lois for believing in him, then heard the Kryptonians' ship approaching and firmly urged Lois to go. Faora Hu-Ul then arrived in a Kryptonian dropship for Kal-El and demanded that Lois accompany them, much to Clark's shock. Lois assented, and so she and Clark boarded the dropship, which took off into the sky. On the way to the Black Zero, Clark surreptitiously handed Lois his command key.
Aboard the Black Zero, Clark came face-to-face with Zod, who greeted him genially. He then began to suffer ill effects from the Black Zero's atmosphere, which was replicating Krypton's environment, and collapsed to the floor before falling unconscious. Zod then subjected him to a mental simulation where he explained his intentions to use a World Engine to transform Earth into a new Krypton before questioning Clark about the whereabouts of the Codex, which Jor-El sent to Earth with Kal-El. Clark asked Zod what would happen to the humans if Earth was terra-formed, and was shaken to see all of humanity wiped out by the world engine's effects. He then refused to aid Zod in his genocidal plot and began to sink into a pit of human skulls as Zod taunted him about not belonging to either Earth or Krypton.
Clark then awoke from the simulation to find himself tied down to an examination table, virtually powerless. He was deeply shocked to discover that Zod killed Jor-El years earlier. After Zod left to retrieve the Codex, Clark reacted in pain as Jax-Ur took some of his blood.
Jor-El, uploaded into the Black Zero's systems by Lois using the command key, changed the atmosphere for Clark to regain some strength to break free from his bounds as Jax-Ur retreated in fear. Punching a hole in the ship for sun rays to get through, Clark regained full strength and had final words with his Kryptonian father, who encouraged him to save humanity, starting with Lois, who was falling to Earth in a damaged escape pod. He then flew after Lois, catching her just before the pod exploded in a cornfield.
As he and Lois shared a tender moment, Clark's super-hearing allowed him to hear Zod at the Kent Farm, where the general and his soldiers were threatening Martha. Clark flew off to the farm, where he tackled Zod mid-flight and punched him multiple times in a rage before crashing through a Smallville petrol garage. As Zod reacted in pain and confusion as he was exposed to Earth's atmosphere and began developing superpowers, Clark taunted him about his overloaded senses. The dropship arrived and fired an energy blast at Clark, sending him flying into a vehicle. An overwhelmed Zod was taken aboard the dropship, which took off, leaving Faora and Nam-Ek to confront Clark.
Clark faced off against Faora and Nam-Ek in a destructive battle, with the incoming military dealing damage to the nearby area. Near the end of the fight, Clark took on Nam-Ek one-on-one, sending him crashing into a train yard, then tackled Faora as she was about to kill Colonel Nathan Hardy. He was then hit by a train thrown by Nam-Ek and went crashing into a nearby Sears. After Nam-Ek retreated to the Black Zero with an unconscious Faora, Clark emerged from the wreckage and stood before Hardy and others. He thanked the colonel after he declared that he was not their enemy, then flew home to check on Martha.
Clark arrived home and told his mother about Zod's plans. Lois arrived to pass along instructions from Jor-El on how to stop Zod and his men. Clark and Lois returned to the military base, where Clark, now called "Superman," gave the military his spaceship so they could use it to create a singularity that would send the Kryptonian invaders back to the Phantom Zone. Superman then flew off to the Indian Ocean to destroy the Terraforming Generator that Zod had unleashed. He fought against the Kryptonian environment being produced by the Generator and its defensive tentacles before managing to destroy it.
After regaining strength from the sun, Superman flew to Metropolis to stop Zod, who had unleashed the Black Zero upon the city. He crashed into the scout ship that Zod was piloting to attack the military plane carrying Kal-El's ship and prepared to use heat vision to destroy the scout ship. When Zod yelled for him to stop and told him that destroying the scout ship would end any chance of reviving Krypton, Superman hesitated before declaring that Krypton had its chance and using heat vision to destroy the Genesis Chamber, causing the scout ship to crash in the middle of Metropolis.
Moments later, after Hardy successfully crashed the plane into the Black Zero and created a singularity that started to suck everything near into a black hole, Superman emerged from the wreckage of the scout ship to spot Lois falling to the ground. After flying up and catching Lois, he struggled to fly away from the singularity before it closed. Once free of the singularity, he landed with Lois several feet away from Perry White, Steve Lombard, and Jenny Jarwich. In a moment of adrenaline, Lois kissed Superman, who reciprocated.
Hearing Zod emerge from what remained of the scout ship, Superman flew over to him and listened somberly as an enraged Zod lamented the loss of his chance to ensure Krypton's survival. He was then struck by Zod and sent flying several feet away. As Zod advanced on him declaring his intentions to kill the humans one by one as revenge against him, Superman rose into the air and vowed to stop Zod before commencing an intense and very destructive battle across Metropolis, destroying buildings, cars, and almost the entire city.
Superman and Zod eventually crash-landed in Metropolis Central Station, where Zod unleashed his heat vision at a nearby family. Superman grabbed Zod's neck, trying to divert his heat vision away before having no choice but to snap Zod's neck, killing him. Shocked at what he had to do, he let out a bellowing scream of pain as Lois arrived and consoled him as he lay on her.
Sometime later, after realizing that the military were spying on him using drones, Superman grabbed one and slammed it into the ground in front of Swanwick's car before telling him to convince Washington D.C. to trust him and that he was on their side but on his own terms.
Returning home to Smallville after saving his adopted planet, Clark was consoled by his mother as the two thought back to Clark playing as a child in the farm's garden with a red sheet as cape. Clark then got a job at the Daily Planet. Arriving on his first day, he decided to wear glasses to conceal his identity as "Superman" before being welcomed to "the Planet" by Lois.
Becoming a HeroEdit
Clark took a school class from Metropolis on a school trip to S.T.A.R. Labs' Metropolis branch. They went to watch the S.T.A.R. Labs team display their Tachyon Transfer technology that could send innate objects vast distances across space. They opened the portal, but alien creatures called the Ko'erst came through. They were controlling Dr. Forsythe to keep it open so they could invade Earth. Changing into Superman, Clark managed to overpower the Ko'erst and tied them up before they were sent back through to their homeworld.
As Metropolis Middle School was on a visiting tour of Wayne Enterprises R&D Facility, criminals using Kryptonian weapons left over from the Black Zero Event broke into the facility to steal from the vault. Superman heard the break-in and confronted the criminals as they made their escape. They used the Kryptonian weapons on Superman which seemed to have an effect on him and he couldn't get near them. Bruce Wayne, who was being held inside, used a Kryptonian Signal Jammer to create a high-pitched noise that effected everybody, including Superman who, recovering quicker than anybody else, used the opportunity to take out the criminals and hand them over to the Metropolis Police Department. Superman then destroyed the Kryptonian weapons.
Taking Down the BatEdit
After Lois and photographer Jimmy Olsen were sent on assignment to Nairomi, Africa to interview General Amajagh, Jimmy was exposed as a CIA operative undercover by Anatoli Knyazev. Knyazev killed Amajagh's men and fled while Amajagh himself took Lois captive. Superman soon arrived, bursting through the ceiling before taking out Amajagh and saving Lois.
Back at their apartment, Clark arrived with flowers and food for dinner as Lois was in the bath. She told Clark about the hearing held by Senator June Finch on the Nairomi incident, but Clark told her he doesn't care what they think about his actions when her life was in danger. He then jumped in the bath with her and kissed her fully clothed.
The next morning, Clark was watching on the news showing criminal trafficker Cesar Santos who had been captured and handed over to the Gotham City Police Department by the Batman, who had branded him as well, something considered a death sentence for people going to prison, as Batman only brands the worst kind of criminals.
At the Daily Planet in a daily briefing, Clark asks Perry if he can report on the crime in Gotham City. A sarcastic Perry shoots Clark down as crime in Gotham is something common and not worth reporting on.
At work, Perry gives Clark the story of Gotham City University Football team's recent glory hopes dashed. Clark asks Perry if he can cover a story on the Batman and his victims, but Perry insists that he stay on sports. On the news, Wallace Keefe is shown being arrested for spray painting 'False God' onto the Superman Statue as a deflated Clark looks on.
Clark is sent to cover Alexander Luthor, Jr. party he is hosting at the Metropolis Library. As Luthor begins his speech, Clark's Super Hearing begins to hear somebody with an earpiece on talking about stealing files from Lex, and detects it as Bruce Wayne. Clark makes a B line for Bruce and introduces himself to him and begins asking Bruce about his views on the Bat vigilnate in Gotham, deducing that Bruce himself is Batman. Bruce smugly shrugs off his question, instead turning it on it's head pointing at the hypocrisy of the Daily Planet and their editorials on Superman. They are both interrupted by Luthor who introduces himself before being ushered away by his assistant Mercedes Graves. Clark then follows Bruce down the stairs as he makes his way to retrieve his hacker he placed to steal Lex's files. As he does, he sees on the news a disaster unfolding at the Day of the Dead celebration in Mexico and quickly leaves the party as Superman. Flying to Mexico, Superman enters a huge fire burning building to find Carmen, a girl trapped in the fire. He finds her and safely gets her out of the building, flying her to her mother as most of the people at the celebration gather around Superman to touch him.
Undeterred, Clark continues to investigate into the Batman's criminal activities and proceeds to write up a piece for it at work. When Perry checks Clark's dropbox for his write up on the Football, he confronts Clark about it. Clark says that the Press needs to be doing the right thing and exposing the Batman for the criminal that he is but Perry shoots Clark's pleas down.
Caught up in Luthor's SchemesEdit
Clark/Kal-El is a humanoid alien, standing above 6 feet tall with black hair and hazy blue eyes. He resembles a Caucasian Human and is very muscular in build which has naturally grown with his exposure to Earth's Yellow Sun.
As Clark Kent, he wears fairly simple clothing during his youth such as chequer shirts and plain shirts with jeans and boots. As he grew and later traveled the world, he continued to wear simple clothing and sported a heavy beard. When he moved to Metropolis, he got rid of his beard and dressed more professionally for his work habits matching his farmer roots with a formal worker gear and also began wearing glasses to distance himself from his super-heroic persona so that he could blend in and not be noticed as Superman and live a normal life.
See Also: Kryptonian
- Super Strength
- Super Speed
- Super Stamina
- Super Hearing
- Heat Vision
- Telescopic Vision
- X-Ray Vision
- Accelerated Healing
- Super Dexterity
As a Kryptonian, Clark has special abilities that enhance his physical attributes whilst under the rays of a Yellow Sun. His physical strength, speed, stamina, and reflexes are superhumanly faster.
He also has separate abilities such as flight and super vision which has different lenses that can depict far distances like a telescope and can see through things like an x-ray.
He is also able to heal at an accelerated rate, while his cells have solar power. While under direct exposure to the sun, he can instantly regenerate seemingly fatal wounds. This cell regeneration extends his life and keeps him young, as long as it is powered by solar energy.
Although appearing to be virtually invulnerable and potentially immortal under the rays of a yellow sun, Clark/Kal-El still has weaknesses.
Kal-El's main weakness is Kryptonite, a radiactive xenomineral leftover from the Black Zero and World Engine which transformed normal rock into lethal Kryptonian killing deterrents. A large enough piece of Kryptonite could kill Kal-El, whereas when it is concentrated into a gas form, it has lasting effects for a few minutes before wearing off.
He is vulnerable to other super-powered beings, such as other Kryptonians, with strength that is enough to challenge his own; although it may not kill him, it can still affect him.
The radiation of a Red Sun totally nullifies those he gains from a yellow sun, making him vulnerable to harm. Because Kal-El grew up on Earth, when he first experienced a red sun environment, he was severely weakened and fell unconscious until his body adjusted.
Nuclear weapons have shown to be powerful enough to injure him as long as he is separated from yellow sun radiation.
Growing up as the only person of his kind and very different and alienated by his peers, Clark grew up a very confused, lonely, and lost person. Instilled with moral values by his parents, he grew up to care for other people and to do the right thing. Realizing he could help others with his powers, he went against his father's wishes to help others.
With the passing of his adopted father, Clark went on a journey of self-discovery in which he had to control his pent-up anger; instead of releasing his awesome power on mere humans, he instead found a different means, like wrecking a truck instead. He also showed impressive anger when Zod threatened Martha, tackling him and releasing incredible rage upon him. His anger was again shown when Zod threatened innocent bystanders and had to snap his neck to prevent his madness from continuing any longer. After committing murder, Clark screamed out in tears at what he had to do, fully remorseful of the necessary act he had to commit. After this, he became fully willing to kill, as he tackled an African warlord through a wall at super-speed when he held Lois hostage, though she nodded to him approvingly to act. He also killed Doomsday with a Kryptonite spear, slowing impaling the creature. He even came close to burning Lex Luthor away with heat vision when he learned that the latter had his mother hostage and showed pictures of her in captivity while threatening to burn her to death.
Whilst in Lois's presence, Clark seems to enjoy life a bit more, with her spunky and sometimes flirty personality having a kind effect on Clark. Despite having felt isolated from humanity for most of his life due to his powers, when he learned about Zod's plans to restore Krypton, Clark immediately chose to protect humanity over Krypton, refusing to sacrifice his adopted people for the sake of a planet that had died long ago.
After meeting his biological father Jor-El and learning the truth about his Kryptonian heritage, Clark was instilled with hope and confidence that he could protect mankind and strive to create a better world than his destroyed homeworld. Fully aware of his race's mistakes which ultimately led to Krypton's destruction, Clark was determined to prevent Zod and his followers from terraforming Earth into a new Krypton, refusing to let another world suffer a similar fate.
- In Earth translation, Kal-El's name means "Star-Child." It also resembles the Hebrew words ×§×œ-××œ, which could be interpreted as "voice of God."
- Brandon Routh and Tom Welling expressed interest in the role, who played Superman in the film Superman Returns and in the TV series Smallville, respectively.
- Henry Cavill is the first non-American actor to play Superman.
- Before Henry Cavill was chosen, Joe Manganiello, Armie Hammer, and Mattew Goode were considered for the role before Hammer was given to the role of Batman and after that Goode starred in Snyder's Watchmen as Ozymandias.
- Henry Cavill previously was attached as Superman to McG's failed Superman movie before Bryan Singer took over as director.
- For the first time in Superman media, it is visually explained what happens when Superman flies (gravity is manipulated around him with bits of snow and gravel in a gravitational pull around him before he takes off).
- The Superman costume is considered underwear on his home planet, Krypton, which is ironic given this is the first portrayal of the character in a film without his famous red trunks.
- The actors that portray Kal-El's birth father, Jor-El (Russell Crowe), and adopted father, Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner), both played Robin Hood in the feature films Robin Hood and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, respectively.
- Cavill wore a replica version of Christopher Reeve's Superman suit in his audition for the role.
|Media||Man of Steel | Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice | Untitled Superman film|
|Characters||Clark Kent/Superman | Lois Lane | Perry White | Jonathan Kent | Martha Kent | Jor-El | Lara Lor-Van | Emil Hamilton | Nathan Hardy | Steven Lombard | Jenny Jurwich | Lana Lang | General Swanwick | Peter Ross | Bibbo Bibbowski | Kara Zor-El | Bruce Wayne/Batman | Diana/Wonder Woman | Jimmy Olsen|
|Enemies||Lex Luthor | General Zod | Faora-Ul | Doomsday | Mercy Graves | Jax-Ur | Nam-Ek | Tor-An | Car-Vex | Dev-Em | Nadira|
|Miscellaneous||Metropolis | Daily Planet | Smallville | Krypton | Metropolis Police Department | Kryptonite | LexCorp | Super Suit | Kent Farm | Fortress of Solitude | Black Zero | Kryptonian | Command Key | Kal-El's Starcraft | Phantom Zone | Superman film series|