- "I'm going to find a job, where I can keep my ear to the ground. Where people won't look twice if I want to go somewhere dangerous, and start asking questions"
- —Kal-El to Martha Kent
Kal-El is 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.
- "Can't I just keep pretending I'm your son?"
- —Clark to Jonathan Kent
Kal-El was born on the distant planet Krypton to the scientist Jor-El and his wife Lara Lor-Van in the midst of a planet wide war. Kal-El was a naturally born child, which is outlawed on Krypton where all children are genetically engineered to become a more efficient being. When the planet was about to explode and to ensure their son's survival, they sent Kal-El away in a small ship design to carry him to safety away from the planet, sending him to Earth, where Jor-El knew of a scout ship sent prior where Kal-El would grow up with extraordinary abilities and where he would look identical to the planet's natives. His ship landed undetected in Smallville, Kansas in the United States of America where he was found by a local farming couple, Jonathan Kent and his wife Martha Kent. They took him in and illegally adopted him renaming him "Clark Kent" after Martha's maiden name.
Clark was accepted into the Weisinger Primary School when he was young. When Clark was 9, his body began to change in a way that would define his life forever. To the shock of Jonathan and Martha, Clark began developing super powered abilities the extent of which none of them knew. 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 Martha was called to school and helped Clark control his new abilities.
When he was 13, whilst travelling on a school bus with his class, the bus crashed into a river. With the bus overturned, Clark decided that he must use his abilities to save everybody on the bus and using his Super Strength pushed the bus to safety of the bank. Several children saw Clark do this including Lana Lang and Pete Ross who relentlessly bullied Clark with their parents confronting Martha and Jonathan, but they defended Clark claiming there was nothing special about him.Back at the Kent Farm, Clark troubled and sat out gazing into the fields where Jonathan tried to tell Clark that he has to hide his abilities from the world if he is to be safe because not everybody will be as understanding as they are, but Clark argued that he shouldn't hide if he can help people. Questioning his place in the world, Jonathan decided to reveal to Clark how he came to them. In the barn under the floor, Jonathan revealed Clark's ship to him along with the House of El Key confirming Clark is an alien and came to them from the stars. Shocked and afraid, Clark asked if he could still pretend to be Jonathan's son who simply hugged his adoptive son and said he will always be his son. Jonathan said that Clark must in time find 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 when a tornado swept through the region. People began evacuating their vehicles with Jonathan telling Clark to get Martha to safety. Clark realized he could help people with his abilities but Jonathan told him to to not use them and to keep them secret. As Jonathan was helping other people, Clark came to help taking a little girl to safety. In the ensuing chaos, Jonathan died filling Clark with guilt.
Shortly after this traumatic episode, Clark heeded his fathers wishes and left Smallville on a quest to find the reason he was sent to Earth.
Quest for Knowledge
- "I have so many questions. Where do I come from? Why did you send me here?"
- —Kal-El to Jor-El
As an adult, Clark left Smallville to travel North America, existing on the fringes of society so he could easily melt into the shadows if anyone got too nosy. On his journey, Clark slowly discovered more and more about his own powers.
Getting a job on a crab boat, one day Clark saw a huge Oil Rig ablaze in the distance and jumped overboard to try and help anybody on board. Finding people below deck, he helped them to the helipad where the Coast Guard was arriving to transport people to safety. Clark raced the people to the helipad and ushered them aboard the chopper when a piece of rigging began to fall on the helipad. Clark using his strength held it up long enough for the chopper to get clear before a huge explosion sent Clark flying into the water unconscious. Awaking, Clark swam ashore and stole some clothes before skipping town.
He got a job in a highway bar where he overheard some men talking about the US Military looking for a possible Alien space ship buried under the ice of Ellesmere Island. Some men began to grope a woman indecently and Clark asked them to stop. The man poured his drink over Clark and punched Clark which had no effect. Clark quietly walked out back and took out his anger on the mans lorry. He then skipped town to go unnoticed intending to go and find this alien ship.He gets a job working for a chopper company near to the site and gets the bags of Lois Lane who is there to report on the ship for the Daily Planet. Clark then goes to the site himself and away from the watching military, Heat Visions through the ice down to the ship before the ships defenses begin attacking Clark. Lois who see's Clark decides to follow him is also attacked by the defenses and Clark sees her and saves her taking her back to the surface revealing to her his special powers. Wandering around the enormous ship he realizes his Command Key is the same technology and finds a port to plug it in. An interactive projection of Jor-El appears and greets Clark. Jor-El informs him of his true name Kal-El, his purpose of why he was sent to Earth and that he must test the limitations of his powers. The ship then activates after thousands of years of being dormant and lands on a mountain top. Jor-El then shows Clark their family crest revealing to him the history of Krypton and the dangers of Zod before a suit which Clark puts on. Kal-El then goes outside and begins testing his powers, trying many times to fly before taking off and soaring high into the sky.
Arrival of Zod
- "Your a monster, Zod, And I am going to stop you."
- —Kal-El to General Zod
Clark found Lois at the Smallville Cemetery and the grave of his Earth father where he revealed the reason he died to protect Clark from the world, convincing her to not publish a story revealing him to the world as Clark Kent. Clark returned home to Smallville and greeted his mother with a hug after many years away. He explained to her the travels he went on and that he found the answers he was looking for before Lois showed up at the farm with questions about Clark.
Whilst in the farm house, General Zod the Kryptonian Military leader from his home world sent a message to the world to hand over Kal-El or suffer the consequences. Realizing he couldn't put people in harms way after a discussion with Smallville's priest, Clark handed himself over to the military in his new suit. Lois arrived shortly after wanting questions from Clark before Faora Hu-Ul arrived in drop ship for Kal-El. Kal-El went, along with Lois who Zod requested as they boarded Zod's flagship in orbit Black Zero.
Aboard Black Zero, Kal-El came face to face with Zod who had Kal-El tied down as the atmosphere aboard Black Zero was replicating Krypton's leaving Kal-El virtually powerless. Jax-Ur took some of Kal-El's blood before Zod subjected him to mental probing and torture of the human race dying at his hands with Kal-El aiding Zod. Lois however, had brought Jor-El's AI aboard Black Zero and it helped her escape using an escape pod before changing the atmosphere for Kal to regain some strength to break free. Punching a hole in the ship for sun rays to get through, Kal regained full strength and had final words with Jor-El who encouraged him that he could save humanity. Kal then raced after Lois in the falling escape pod catching her just before the pod exploded in a corn field.As the two shared a tender moment, Kal's super hearing allowed him to hear Zod already at the Kent Farm and threatening Martha. He flew over and tackled Zod away punching him before crashing through a petrol garage. Zod's visor was damaged and all his senses came at once subduing him on the floor. Faora and Nam-Ek followed in pursuit and confront Kal with the two quickly outnumbering Kal pummeling him to the ground warning him that he can't win. After being thrown though buildings by Faora, Nam-Ek went to deal with the incoming military. As Faora was about to kill Col. Hardy, Kal tackled her and soon subdued the two by clubbing them together. His forces gather their General and retreated back to Black Zero to initiate their plans for Earth while Kal flew home to check on his mother.
Lois then told Kal that the Jor-El AI gave her instructions to use his ship against Black Zero which he handed over to Col. Hardy before going to the pacific ocean to destroy the Terraforming Generator that Zod had unleashed. The Generator had defenses however and attacked Kal with large tentacles and other defenses but Kal eventually overcome the defenses and managed to destroy it. He then flew to Metropolis to stop Zod who had unleashed his Black Zero ship upon the city at the same time.Arriving to find Hardy and Lois under attack from Faora, the warrior threw Lois out of the plane carrying his ship who Kal caught before trying to fly away from the singularity caused by his ship colliding with Black Zero which sucked everything near into a black hole before it closed. He placed Lois beside Perry White and Jenny Jarwich and in a moment of adrenaline, Lois kissed Kal who reciprocated before flying off to confront Zod. He battled Zod in an intense and very destructive battle across the city destroying buildings, cars and almost the entire city. An enraged Zod declared that in revenge for foiling his plans and killing the chances of Krypton's survival, he would kill all the humans before ripping off his armor and controlling his flying ability. The two then fought mid air before crash landing in Metropolis Central Station where Zod opened his heat vision at civilians. Kal grappled Zod 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, Kal let out a bellowing scream of pain as Lois arrived and consoled him as Kal lay on her.
After realising that General Swanwick and the military are spying on him using drones, he grabs one and slams it into the ground in fron of Swanwick's car and tells him to ask Washington D.C. to trust him and that he is on their side but on his own terms.Returning home to his mother in Smallville after saving his adopted planet, he was consoled by his mother as the two thought back to Clark playing as a child in the garden of the farm with a red sheet as cape.
Clark then got a job at the Daily Planet in Metropolis. Arriving on his first day, he decided to wear glasses to conceal his identity as the alien hero who was dubbed 'Superman' before being welcomed to "the Planet" by Lois.
Becoming a hero
Kal-El is a humanoid alien from the planet Krypton with natural black hair and stands above 6 feet tall with 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, Kal-El 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, Kal-El 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.
As Superman, Kal-El wears his Superman costume which originally belonged to an ancestor of his father Jor-El. The suit is a native Kryptonian Garment that has a blue body, sports a red and yellow House of El emblem on the chest and a long red cape, along with red boots.
See Also: Kryptonian
- Super Strength
- Super Speed
- Super Stamina
- Super Hearing
- Heat Vision
- Telescopic Vision
- X-Ray Vision
- Healing Ability
- Super Dexterity
As a Kryptonian, Kal-El 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.
Although appearing to be virtually invulnerable and potentially immortal under the rays of a Yellow sun, Kal-El still has weaknesses. Kal-El is vulnerable to other super powered being with a strength that is enough to challenge his own, although it may not kill him, it can still affect him; such as other Kryptonians and other alien races.
The radiation of a Red Sun totally nullifies those he gains from a Yellow sun making him vulnerable to harm and 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.
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 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 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 off 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.
Whilst in the presence of Lois Lane, 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 he had never known in life.
- Man of Steel Prequel (First appearance)
- Man of Steel
- Man of Steel (Novel)
- Man of Steel: The Early Years
- Man of Steel: The Fate of Krypton
- Man of Steel: Superman Saves Smallville
- Man of Steel: Friends and Foes
- Man of Steel: Superman's Superpowers
- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
- The Justice League Part One
- The Justice League Part Two
- Untitled Superman film
- 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.
- Actor 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.
|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 | Steve Lombard | Jenny Jurwich | Lana Lang | General Swanwick | Pete Ross | Kara Zor-El | Bruce Wayne/Batman | Diana/Wonder Woman|
|Enemies||Lex Luthor | General Zod | Faora-Ul | 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|