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The Trope Codifier of the Superhero, the Man of Steel, the Last Son of Krypton, has amassed quite the large stable of characters over the years.

Superman

Superman / Superboy I

File:Superman image 5241.jpg

 AKA: Clark Kent / Kal-El

Born on the planet Krypton, Kal-El was sent to Earth as a baby shortly before his planet exploded. Discovered and adopted by a couple living in the town of Smallville, Kal-El, now named Clark Kent, discovers his superpowers as he grew up. Learning of his Kryptonian heritage, Clark decides to dedicate his life to truth, justice, and the American way. Clark currently lives a double life in the city of Metropolis, as a mild-mannered reporter for the Daily Planet, and as Superman, the Man of Steel.

From the late Golden Age of Comic Books through The Bronze Age of Comic Books, Superman started his heroic career as Superboy in Smallville. This was Retconned out of history thanks to Crisis on Infinite Earths, and later recanonized after Infinite Crisis in Superman Secret Origin. The current New 52 origin in Superman And The Men Of Steel has decanonized this once again.

Supporting Characters

Lois Lane

File:Lois Lane image 2911.jpg

Superman earliest and most iconic love interest[1], Lois Lane is a skilled and determined reporter for the Daily Planet. Her typical subject of writing is Superman: she reports on his exploits and occasionally tries to puzzle out his real identity, but she's always foiled. She has a hidden crush on Superman, and less so on Clark Kent, creating a Love Triangle out of two people, though she sometimes suspects that they're one and the same...

Jimmy Olsen

File:Jimmy Olsen Image 4876.png

Superman's pal and Clark Kent's co-worker at the Daily Planet, Jimmy is a photographer/cub reporter working his way up the totem pole. He's impulsive, socially awkward, and prone to getting tied up by supervillains. Superman trusts Jimmy enough to give him a wristwatch that emits a supersonic alarm that only Supes can hear. Jimmy is sometimes portrayed in a relationship with Lucy Lane, Lois's younger sister. He had his own series back in the '70s, illustrated by none other than Jack Kirby, which was notable for two things: introducing Darkseid and being really flippin' weird.

Bibbo Bibbowski

A cynical, former boxer, turned bartender of the Ace of Clubs, who was inspired by Superman's example that everyone can make a difference. He donned a Superman T-shirt and patrolled the city, roughing up street punks and similar threats, but he isn't really considered a superhero.

Bill Henderson

The commissioner of the Metropolis Police. Originally Inspector Henderson, Bill was an occasionally-appearing supporting cast member in The Bronze Age of Comic Books who acted as Superman's liaison with the police. Post-Crisis, he became the city commissioner. He was a mentor and close friend to Maggie Sawyer. His cousin, Mike Henderson, is the head of the Metropolis Metacrimes Division.

Cat Grant

In the Post-Crisis era, when Superman allowed more of his hidden qualities to show as Clark Kent, gossip columnist Cat Grant showed up as a rival for Clark's affections. A bit shallow and a shameless flirt, Cat became more serious after her son was murdered by Toyman. In the '00s, she's shown up again in her old job and is cast as a "cougar" having had surgery done to maintain her good looks. She shamelessly hits on the then married Clark in front of his wife. Clark believes she is reinventing herself to mask the pain of her loss.

Dan "Terrible" Turpin

A cop who was initially skeptical of Superman, fearing that he was making the police obsolete, though he eventually came around. He was the partner of Maggie Sawyer, and fell in love with her, but was heartbroken when she came out of the closet. Sadly, during Final Crisis, Darkseid used him as his host body, seemingly killing him.

  • Badass Normal: His Crowning Moment was taking on Kalibak, son of Darkseid, with a machine gun, getting beaten within an inch of his life, and then giving the signal to channel all the electrical power in Metropolis straight into Kalibak, knocking him out and arresting him!
  • Brooklyn Rage
  • Expy: In The Animated Series, his appearance was based on his creator, Jack Kirby.
  • New Gods: The series where he first appeared.
  • Nice Hat
  • Retcon: A recent retcon claims that he is the grown-up version of "Brooklyn" from the Boy Commandos (another Kirby tough guy character with a derby hat and a Brooklyn accent).

Jor-El

Superman's birth father on the planet Krypton. Jor-El was a wise scientist and member of Krypton's ruling council. Convinced of their planet's impending doom, he devised a plan to save his people on a fleet of spaceships, but the council scoffed at his warnings and denied him funding. Left with only his prototype rocket, he and his wife Lara made the fateful decision to save their only child, Kal-El[2], from Krypton's destruction. Jor-El and Lara perished with the rest of Krypton.

Lana Lang

Clark Kent's high-school girlfriend, with whom he still maintains a friendly relationship; Lana is one of the few people who knows that Clark is Superman. In The Silver Age of Comic Books, Lana frequently competed with Lois for Superman's affections, but these days they have a congenial friendship. At one point, she was married to Pete Ross, another one of Clark's childhood friends.

Lori Lemaris

Another of Clark Kent's ex-girlfriends. They broke up when she was revealed to actually be a mermaid, as she considered their differences too great, though she still holds a torch for him. She also knows Clark's secret.

The Kandorians

Shrunken by Brainiac and imprisoned in a bottle, the Kryptonian city Kandor is eventually recovered by Superman. In The Silver Age of Comic Books, Kandor was stuck in this state with Superman able to go back and forth into the city but unable to re-enlarge them for a long time (since Brainiac's technology was not designed to work in reverse.) He finally managed to do it in 1979.

When reintroduced in 2009, Superman recovers Kandor and is able to re-enlarge it near his fortress. Humanity does not take kindly to the arrival of 100,000 people with superior technology and all of Superman's powers, so they pick up and leave to build a planet on the opposite side of Earth's orbit. General Zod and Superman joined them.

Unfortunately, Earth and New Krypton didn't get along so well and the two planets waged a war killing the vast majority of the recovered population while the rest had to be imprisoned in the Phantom Zone by Superman himself. The original Kandor was Supergirl's birthplace.

The Kents

Jonathan and Martha Kent (or John and Mary, depending on the version) were a simple farmers who found a crashed spaceship by the side of the road; examining it, they found a baby alien inside. Raising him as their own (and naming him Clark after Martha's maiden name), they instilled in him their simple virtue and respect for all living things. Their status has varied from decade to decade. In The Golden Age of Comic Books and The Silver Age of Comic Books, they both died before Clark became Superman; Post-Crisis, they were both alive and well. In the current state of the mythos, Jonathan has passed away, leaving Martha and Clark behind.

  • Eagle Land: A rare Type 1 example.
  • Happily Married
  • Muggle Foster Parents
  • Retcon: Saved by a couple of these. Originally they were largely anonymous characters but when Superman was retconned to have been Superboy during his childhood, they got plenty of character development and fans didn't want them to die. So in the Post Crisis reboot, Clark's parents find him much younger and are late middle aged in Superman's adult career (though Pa Kent did eventually die.)

Maggie Sawyer

Dan Turpin's partner. Like him, she feared Superman was making the police look bad, but eventually, she became a valuable ally. She came out of the closet. Sawyer eventually moved to Gotham City, where she became a captain in the GCPD and a sometimes-ally to Batman.

  • Action Girl
  • Badass Normal
  • Lesbian Jock: Which was rather impressive for a character to be when it was revealed in 1988.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: A good example of this was the time Superman's power's were increasing beyond his control leading to a series of accidents. When she arrived just as Superman was about to turn himself in, she cut him off and apologized "for arriving to late to help catch the bad guy" saying that she was "distracted because her friend was sick and needed help." Superman promised her friend would get that help.

Perry White

Once a famous crusading reporter, Perry White is now the editor-in-chief of that great American newspaper, the Daily Planet. A gruff, tough, cigar-chomping curmudgeon, White is nonetheless fair, brave, and honest, fostering close relationships with his employees. He plays a fatherly role to Lois and Clark, but finds Jimmy a constant annoyance.

Pete Ross

Clark's best friend in high-school. He married Lana Lang, but got divorced. He was Vice President for President Lex Luthor; after Luthor went rogue, Ross became President for a few months to finish Luthor's term, but did little of note in office. After his term--and marriage--ended, Ross retired back to Smallville to get away from all the drama and opened a barber shop.

  • Locked Out of the Loop: Until recently, he was oblivious to Clark's secret. (Modern age)
  • Secret Secret Keeper (Silver/Bronze Age)
  • Unwitting Pawn: He was pretty much just a tool for Luthor. Also, while President, he inadvertently funded Project 7734, the anti-Kryptonian conspiracy.

Ron Troupe

Ron is introduced shortly before Superman's "death" and takes a reporting job during Clark's extended absence. He dates Lucy Lane and gets her pregnant leading to a story arc touching on the abortion issue; they were later married, but their relationship seems to have been Retconned away. Ron has been recast more recently as the Daily Planet's intellectual liberal opinion writer.

  • Foil: To Steve Lombard, the Planet's sports writer. Ron is a quiet and introverted liberal, while Steve is a loud and outgoing conservative.
  • Straight Man: He's arguably the most "normal" person on the Daily Planet.

Steve Lombard

A former high school athlete and prankster, he became the Daily Planet's sports writer. He shamelessly flirts with Lois, Cat, and other beautiful women he meets. He enjoys picking on the more bookish Clark, which sometimes comes back and bites him in the ass if Clark is feeling mischievous with his superpowers.

  • Casanova Wannabe
  • Foil: To Ron Troupe.
  • Jerk Jock: A former one, now a jerk sports columnist.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Subverted when Clark's inner monologue talks about what lies beneath his tough guy exterior. Basically it's the exact same thing, only worse.
  • Meaningful Name: Steve played football in high school, college, and, briefly, the pros; Vince Lombardi is one of the most famous football coaches of all time.
  • Straw Conservative: Should be obvious just from the descriptions. Steve is written as though all the research done by the writers for the character's political positions is based on bumper stickers.

Dirk Armstrong

A character that existed for a few years in the late nineties. A conservative columnist that was basically meant to be an Expy of Rush Limbaugh, same political views, same build and general appearance. At first an annoying unsympathetic character.

  • Big Eater: Frequently seem chomping down junk food, especially donuts. Because that's the only way fat people get fat.
  • Hidden Depths: He is shown to have a blind daughter and his interactions with her help soften the audience and the other characters to Dirk.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: This character was clearly a Rush Limbaugh expy. This was before other similar pundits reached widespread audiences. Though its a bit of a dated Expy. Rush has lost a lot of weight since then and audiences today would find Dirk's physique to be an exaggeration bordering on parody.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Mild version of this seemed to be what they were going for. Dirk is a fat doughnut chomping conservative loudmouth (less obnoxious and more informed than Steve Lombard) but really cares for his daughter, really believes what he's saying and generally praises Superman because of the Man of Steel's effectiveness as a crimefighter until Superman's electric powers kick in and Dirk briefly becomes critical as Superman's lack of control of his powers causes come property damage. As far as Dirk is concerned, he's just telling it like it is and while Superman is irritated with him, he acknowledges that Dirk has a point.


Villains

Lex Luthor

The Super Villain. Luthor is easily the smartest human being in the world (a "10th-level intelligence", according to Brainiac), and uses his incredible brainpower to match the Man of Steel's physical might. In The Silver Age of Comic Books he was a Mad Scientist who spent most of his time behind bars (to the point that his "costume" was a gray prison suit), later adopting a suit of Powered Armor to fight Supes mano a mano. In The Dark Age of Comic Books, he was re-envisioned as a Corrupt Corporate Executive who sold the patents for his fantastic inventions to become incredibly stinking rich. In any incarnation, Luthor is driven by his burning hatred of Superman.

  • Abusive Parents: He killed his dad because of this.
  • Affably Evil: Sometimes.
    • Faux Affably Evil: More often. If he's being nice to you, it's only because he's after something.
  • Alliterative Name
  • Arch Enemy
  • Badass Normal
  • Bald of Evil: Which in some continuities was caused by and experiment Lex botched and blamed on Superman.
  • Big Bad: Of numerous arcs in both Superman and the DC Universe in general. Other supervillains fear The Joker, but they want to be Lex Luthor.
  • Brains Evil Brawn Good
  • Breakout Villain: Luthor only appeared in a few issues early on, but became so popular that he was brought back, eventually assuming the position of Superman's archenemy.
  • Broken Ace: Always.
  • The Chessmaster
  • Civilian Villain: Sometimes.
  • Cloning Blues: After contracting cancer, he arranged to become his own son via cloning. The clone eventually suffered degeneration so he made a deal with the devil to get a healthy youthful body. Around the same time, he arranged for Cadmus to make a hybrid clone of him and Superman, now known as Superboy. (Its a Retcon but people tend to forget that Lex was heavily involved with the project at the time and could easily have done this under the circumstances)
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: When he's not a Mad Scientist[3].
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Subverted. He can cut his own checks, being a Corrupt Corporate Executive and all. It's more of a pride thing that he wastes so much of it trying to kill Superman.
    • Played straight Pre-Crisis.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: Especially in the forties. In the modern era he reverts to this anytime he's lost his company.
  • Driven by Envy
  • Enemy Mine
  • Enfante Terrible: According to Superman:Secret Origins ,he was a bad apple back then.
  • Envy: Why does Luthor hate Superman? Post-Crisis, it's because while Luthor spent decades of hard work becoming Metropolis's favorite son, Superman showed up and stole the spotlight thanks to a quirk of genetics. (Pre-Crisis, it's because Superman made him bald inadvertently ruined his greatest experiment.)
    • One story notes how Luthor spent so much money building his Lex Tower, the highest building in Metropolis, so he could stand on the top floor and look down at everyone. But then he looks up and sees Superman hovering right above him.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Luthor is generally a sociopath, but even he thinks Libra's plan crossed the line. So he killed him.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Does not get why Superman helps people instead of trying to take over the world, just because that is what Luthor would naturally do if he had powers. The best he can do is assume that Superman must be driven by the love of fame and glory, which may make this a case of You're Just Jealous as that is one of Luthor's own primary motivations, so naturally he thinks Superman is stealing from him.
    • Better still, Luthor cannot accept the possibility that Superman and Clark Kent are one and the same. Not because of the glasses or the way Kent slouches his shoulders: it's because Luthor can't believe an all-powerful being would want a normal human life.
  • Evil Genius
  • Foe Yay: With guess who... and Lois. Doesn't help that he has the same initials as all of Clark's major love interests. Though technically he's Alexander Luthor.
  • Freudian Excuse: One origin story, revolving around Abusive Parents.
  • Kryptonite Ring: Although it bit him in the ass by giving him cancer.
    • He got better through the magic of cloning, though.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Half of Conner Kent's DNA was provided by a human donor. That donor was Luthor, of course.
  • Mad Scientist: When he's not a Corrupt Corporate Executive.
  • Manipulative Bastard
  • Morality Pet: His sister usually serves this role
  • Noble Demon: Mostly when Elliot S! Maggin wrote him in The Bronze Age of Comic Books. This is not the case with his modern portrayals at all.
  • Powered Armor: He has a green and purple set for when he needs to deal with superheroes personally.
  • President Evil: From 2000-2004.
  • Pride
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: In Post-Crisis stories, it's mentioned by other characters - and occasionally Superman himself - that Luthor would be better off using all his knowledge and resources to come up with useful things like cancer cures. All this does is make Luthor want to waste even more money and resources so he can defeat Superman.
  • The Resenter: Of Superman.
  • Self-Made Man: How rich a family he came from varies by incarnation, but he's generally depicted as earning his own money through genuine smarts, and a fast and loose attitude towards legality.
  • The Sociopath
  • Villainous Breakdown: Luthor doesn't undergo these frequently, but when he does they are inevitably spectacular.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Provides the Trope page image.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Some versions of the character think they're this. Usually, this just means they are insane.
  • Wrath: Augments his envy and near limitless pride with buckets of this.

Alexander Luthor, Jr.

The son of the greatest hero of Earth-3, Alexander Luthor, and his wife Lois Lane, Alex was the only survivor of Earth-3 in the Crisis on Infinite Earths. He was genetically altered after passing through the barrier to Earth-1, which caused him to age to adulthood in a matter of weeks and develop mysterious space-warping powers. He was helped to adulthood by the mysterious Monitor, under whose tutelage he helped defeat the Anti-Monitor and save The Multiverse. With his world destroyed, he and other heroes without a world--Superman and Lois Lane of Earth-2 and Superboy of Earth-Prime--retired to a pocket dimension to live out their lives in peace.

Or so they thought. Driven mad by the isolation, Alex--who had never really learned morality, having aged so quickly--manipulated Superboy-Prime into helping them escape. He grew to resent the surviving Earth, which he viewed as flawed and imperfect, and in Infinite Crisis set into motion a scheme to Take Over the World. He was foiled by the world's heroes, Lex Luthor, and the unpredictable nature of Superboy-Prime, and was finally killed by Lex and the Joker.

Alexei Luthor of Earth-2

Lex Luthor's counterpart in the Alternate Universe of Earth-2. He vexed the Earth-2 Superman for decades as a Mad Scientist and war profiteer. Unlike Lex, Alexei was from eastern Europe and had a full head of red hair, but was otherwise very similar. In the Crisis on Infinite Earths, he was killed by Brainiac for questioning his plans while Lex smugly looked on.

  • All the Myriad Ways: Possibly invoked, as Lex shows no sympathy when Alexei is killed, which shocks the rest of the assembled villains.
  • Arch Enemy: Of Earth-2's Superman.
  • Diabolical Mastermind
  • Evil Genius
  • Evil Redhead
  • Mad Scientist
  • Retcon: Like Kal-L, Alexei's entire existence was a Retcon. Up until the late 1960s, the comics assumed that there was only one Superman, and all the stories from 1938 to the present were about him. The Superman comics from before around 1950 were then retconned to take place on Earth-2, so there were two Superman and two Luthors.

Anomaly

The clone of a ruthless gangster named Floyd Barstow, he turned to crime, claiming that he inherited Barstow's nature. He has the power to change his physical structure to match whatever he touches.

Atomic Skull I

 AKA: Albert Michaels

A scientist with S.T.A.R. Labs with a rare seizure-inducing nervous disorder, Albert Michaels turned to a criminal syndicate who implanted him with a radioactive device that turned his nervous shorts into atomic blasts. Donning a costume and skull mask, Michaels became a super-villain and took over the syndicate, flying a skull-shaped hovercraft.

Atomic Skull II

 AKA: Joseph Martin

Joseph Martin was an ordinary college student until he was caught in the blast radius of an alien "gene-bomb" that awakened his latent metagene, granting him super-strength and the ability to fire energy blasts, but also causing brain damage, turning his body's soft tissues invisible, and wreathing him head in green flame. Due to his brain injury, Martin believed he was the old movie hero "the Atomic Skull" and that Superman was his archenemy, "Doctor Electron".

Barrage

 AKA: Paul Rooney

A criminal who was taken down by Maggie Sawyer in the past, losing his right arm in the process. Obsessed with revenge, he put on an armored suit and attached a thought-controlled energy cannon to his stump.

Bizarro

Bizarro has had many origins over the decades, but one thing remains consistent: he is an imperfect copy of Superman created by science gone awry. Bizarro has powers similar to Superman but lacks his sense of justice and has difficulty telling right from wrong, often reveling in destruction for its own sake. Still, his deformed features combined with his childlike lack of guile sometimes makes him a sympathetic figure--sort of a modern-day Frankenstein's Monster.

Bizarro World

Bizarro was lonely until the day he discovered that the rays of a blue sun give him one extra superpower, the ability to duplicate himself. He used this to populate a cubic planet with other monsters who are just as logically warped as he is.

Bloodsport

 AKA: Robert DuBois, Alex Trent

A gun-toting mercenary who can pull all kinds of guns out of his pocket thanks to advanced technology. There have been two of these guys so far.

Brainiac

AKA: Vril Dox I
—"I will be everything there ever has been, Kryptonian."

Brainiac has taken a number of incarnations over the decades. He has been a Coluan super scientist named Vril Dox, a series of robots, a human mentalist named Milton Fine, and a holographic energy being from the future. Eventually, these were all revealed to be probes sent by the real Brainiac in search of the last Kryptonian. In most guises, Brainiac is a collector and cataloger who takes samples of things, sometimes destroying what remains. Some of his samples include shrunken cities he keeps in bottles, most notably, the shrunken city of Kandor from Superman's home world.

Now has his own page.

Conduit

 AKA: Kenny Braverman

File:Conduit 3190.jpg

He was one of Clark Kent's friends in high school, but he grew increasingly jealous over Clark always overshadowing him in sports. He was also berated by his father for always coming in second place. He grew up to be a mercenary, and developed the ability to channel energy, including kryptonite radiation. He discovered Clark's secret and kidnapped him, accusing him of using his powers to cheat back when they were kids. Clark protested that he did not have his powers back then, but Kenny refused to listen and challenged him to a fight in an arena full of kryptonite. Clark pushed past the pain and defeated him with his superior fighting skill. Furious, Kenny tried to absorb the electricity powering the arena, but overloaded and died. Despite the hell Kenny had put him through, Clark mourned the loss of his old friend.

Cyborg-Superman / Cyborg II

 AKA: Hank Henshaw

Hank Henshaw and three other astronauts were accidentally exposed to cosmic radiation and given superpowers. Hank was the only one stable enough to survive, an energy being capable of inhabiting machinery. He initially lacked control over his energy form, accidentally wreaking havoc on all machines around his host; he decided to leave Earth by hijacking a small portion of Superman's Kryptoniam birthing matrix/starship. Combining the Kryptonian technology with traces of Superman's DNA from the rocket, he made a Cyborg Superman body. Over time in space, he went mad and blamed Superman for "exiling" him, developing the delusion that Superman had trapped Henshaw in his own birthing matrix and sent it into space believing the machinery too complex for Henshaw to manipulate. He returned to Earth and posed as Superman during his death long enough to prepare for an invasion. His destruction of Coast City was the last straw that drove Hal Jordan mad, making him effectively a nemesis for both heroes.

  • Captain Ersatz: In his first appearance, he and his crew were stand-ins for the Fantastic Four, with Henshaw as Mister Fantastic.
  • Cyborg: Ironically, while his pseudo-mechanical nature would theoretically make him more powerful than Superman, it actually makes him weaker as far as being a Flying Brick is concerned as Kryptonian cybernetics are actually less durable then superpowered Kryptonian flesh-and-blood (in one instance, Green Lantern hit him with an energy blast; it melted some of the mechanical portions of his body while leaving the organic parts intact).
    • His cybernetic parts are more of a Glass Cannon. They were shown to make him stronger during Reign of the Supermen, but even then, they were easily damaged.
  • Death Seeker: Recently, he's allied himself with Sinestro and the Anti-Monitor in the hopes he will die in battle, and the latter promised to kill him if he survived (for which Henshaw thanked him).
    • Sadly for him, it didn't stick.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: After countless times of escaping death, after being one of the most evil and powerful of supervillains, after clashing and allying himself with the some of the greatest powers of the DC universe, both good and evil, how does Hank Henshaw finally die? He makes the mistake of transferring into a character who already has a soul, and then is soul-killed which Word of God says is permanent. What makes it worse is that he is killed by a supporting Green Lantern character who has only made about a dozen appearances total, and while on the astral plane he was just an ordinary human; reflective of his soul. So his end was in a curbstomp fight of a trained warrior killing an elderly man.
  • Flying Brick
  • Rogues Gallery Transplant: Became more associated with Green Lantern.
  • Superpower Lottery: Even more so then Superman. Given that he possesses a cybernetic version of Superman's body, he possesses all of his powers as well as his original Technopath powers and the ability to transplant his consciousness into mechanical devices. More recently, he was given multiple Yellow power rings as a member of the Sinestro Corps.
  • Technopath
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: He really does not, and a lot of his motivation is trying to goad people into destroying him. This is a relatively recent motivation. Prior to the Manhunter arc, he had more generic revenge/world domination-related motives.

Darkseid

 AKA: Uxas

Despotic ruler of Apokolips. This evil god of tyranny often comes in conflict with Superman and other superheroes. You can find out more about him in his own article.

Doomsday

 AKA: The Ultimate

A monster who showed up on Earth one day and started trashing everything for no reason. After tangling with a number of outclassed heroes, he found his match in Superman, with the two battling to the death (giving Superman his only canonical death). Doomsday is incredibly fast, strong, and invulnerable. He is cunning but not intelligent. More importantly, he has the ability to regenerate from any injury, even death, and adapts new defenses in the process so he can't be killed the same way twice. Eventually, it was revealed that Doomsday was engineered on Krypton and meant to be the ultimate life form. In spite of this, Doomsday has suffered Villain Decay. Even though he should be getting more powerful with each fight, Superman has been more and more successful in each rematch.

In Smallville, a very different version showed up. A sleeper agent able to pass as human grows up and becomes Davis Bloom, an EMT, only to discover something isn't right about him. This leads him through a transformation into an Anti-Hero / Serial Killer. In a strange twist Bloom is revealed to still be a monster even after Doomsday is extracted from him leaving him human.

General Sam Lane

Lois Lane's own father, and a high ranking US General. His extreme hatred and racism has led him to head Project 7734, a conspiracy aiming for the destruction of Superman, all other Kryptonians, all other "alien threats", and any sympathizers. Eventually, he committed suicide, turning himself into a martyr for the Anti-Kryptonian cause.

  • Fantastic Racism: He sees all Kryptonians and those similar to them, like Mon-El, as threats to national security. He does not see any difference between bad guys like General Zod or good guys like Flamebird.
  • General Ripper
  • Jerkass
  • Kill Sat: Owns a few.
  • Knight Templar Parent: He doesn't know Clark's secret, but he gave him a hard time when he and Lois announced their engagement. So far as he knew, Lois wasted the best years of her life pining after Superman before settling for some mild-mannered reporter.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Given that he ignores the fact that Superman and friends save the world on a daily basis.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: He wanted Lois to be a boy. Part of the reason Lois is an Action Girl these days.

General Zod II

 AKA: Zed Avruiskin

The iron-fisted ruler of the Balkan republic of Pokolistan, Zed Avruiskin was the son of two Soviet astronauts. While on a mission in space, Zed's mother was exposed to kryptonite radiation which ultimately killed her, but not before she gave birth to her son. Due to the radiation, Zed was born with a bizarre condition: yellow sunlight weakened him, but red sunlight gave him the same powers as a Kryptonian, which made him an ideal tool for the Soviet government. One day, while meditating, he made mental contact with a Kryptonian criminal trapped in the Phantom Zone--General Dru-Zod (see below).

After the USSR fell, Zed--now calling himself General Zod--obtained a suit of armor that filtered red rays from Earth's sun, allowing him use of his powers even outside. He seized control of the tiny republic of Pokolistan and used his position to wage a personal war against Superman, believing that the meteor shower that killed his mother was the one that brought Kal-El to Earth. Zod died in battle against Superman, his powers failing him at a critical moment.

Intergang

A vast criminal syndicate created by Darkseid to carry out his plans on Earth, Intergang supplies criminals with Apokoliptan weaponry and seeks to undermine humanity.

Bruno "Ugly" Mannheim

A truly wicked mob boss, "Ugly" Mannheim is Intergang's leader and Darkseid's chosen apostle on Earth. Mannheim was touched by Darkseid himself and is as close to pure evil as a human can be.

Morgan Edge

A slick Metropolis businessman, president of Galaxy Broadcasting. Pre-Crisis, Edge was ruthless but not really evil; he hired Clark Kent as a newscaster and was generally a good boss. Post-Crisis, Edge was working with Intergang and was a willing servant of Darkseid.

Livewire

 AKA: Leslie Willis

An arrogant radio host who was annoyed by Superman's presence. She gained powers over electricity and decided to take her anger out on him.

  • Absolute Cleavage
  • Attention Whore: Somewhat subverted in the comics. She didn't end up that way until the station she was a Shock Jock at was converted into a country station and her manager fired her for bashing Superman (who had saved his wife once before). The accident that turned her into Livewire was what really pushed her over the edge.
  • Canon Immigrant: She came from Superman: The Animated Series.
  • Dumbass DJ
  • Heel Face Turn: After the events of Superman: Back In Action, where she helped save earth from "The Auctioneer", she agreed to get help, and was taken to S.T.A.R. Labs for treatment. It finally stuck after a minor relapse (Superman #7711, July, 2011), when she was placed in Superman's old containment suit (Superman Blue), which helped to clear her head by regulating her body's energy, bringing her back to her senses. Seeing she was truly sorry for what she had done, Supeman vouched for her testamony and she was re-admitted to the S.T.A.R. Labs reform program under Dr. Sterling Roquette (former member of Project Cadmus). Superman, impressed by her progress, later inducted Leslie into the second incarnation of the Supemen of America.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Lori Petty herself, babies!
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Her comic-book origins are a Shout-Out to Howard Stern, who also lost his job as a DJ in a similar fashion to Leslie.
  • Shock and Awe
  • Shock Jock: Her pre-power career.
  • Vapor Wear
  • Verbal Tic: In the cartoon, she tends to tack the word, "babies", onto the end of almost every other sentence when talking to other people.
  • Villainous Crush: Albiet a minor one. During a story arc in Action Comics (Superman: Back In Action), she had to team up with a group of metahumans to take down a god-like extraterrestrial named "The Auctioneer," one of them being Nightwing. During this partnership, we find out that she finds him very attractive.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Getting her wet shorts her out. Counts as Fridge Brilliance when you remember that he abilities are electrically based.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Because of her ability to become, discharge, and absorb pure energy, her body's own energy levels were in a state of constant flux, affecting her brain-chemistry as well. The more energy she absorbed, the harder it was for her to think straight. This, in combination with environmental stressors was what led to her unstable personality. Thankfully, Superman was able to rectify this by placing her in his old containment suit, returning her to normal.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair

Lobo

This intergalactic bounty hunter crosses paths with Superman every once in a while. Following no code but his own, he is sometimes an enemy, and sometimes a reluctant ally. You can find out more about him in his own article.

Lyla

She grew up on Kandor, discriminated against because she was an Empireth, an alien with Psychic Powers. The only thing that sustained her was the stories told of Superman. Unfortunately, the stories were perverted to portray Superman as a God, and she developed a dream to become one as well.

She mesmerized Superman into believing he was their husband, and erased his memories of Earth and Lois. They lived together for a while, raising a son as ordinary citizens in Kandor. All the while, his spirit was slowly being broken, because although he loved her, life in Kandor is just too depressing. When she was ready, she copied his powers and escaped the bottle city, intending to rule Metropolis as its new God. She was shocked to discover that Superman was simply Metropolis' protector, not its ruler, and angrily tried to destroy him and the city. In the end, she realized that she truly had feelings for him, and seemingly sacrificed herself to save him from another threat. She hasn't been seen since her storyline, Superman: Godfall, but she may come back, one day.

Manchester Black

A snobby Brit with advanced telekinesis and telepathy. He led The Elite, a Captain Ersatz of The Authority. The team went on a crusade, savagely beating and murdering criminals instead of arresting them. They mocked Superman, calling him naive and obsolete for holding on to his morals and refusing to kill. Knowing that their bad example couldn't go on, Superman challenged them to a fight and humiliated them, exposing them as hypocrites in front of the whole world when Black called him out on seemingly murdering his teammates.

Desiring revenge, Black discovered Superman was Clark Kent. He engineered a mass attack on anyone in the entire world who had ever shown Clark Kent one iota of kindness. Superman beat back all the assassins, but Black caught Lois Lane and seemingly murdered her. Despite his rage, The Man Of Steel decided not to kill him, shocking him and allowing him to realize that Superman is a true hero. He dispelled the illusion, revealing that Lois was still alive. He erased the knowledge of Clark's secret from everyone's minds, then killed himself.

Master Jailer

 AKA: Carl Draper

Carl Draper is a prison architect and locksmith who has gone off the deep end and is now obsessed with trapping people. He has a strange ability to summon and control chains, cages, and other restraining paraphernalia.

Maxima

The queen of Planet Almerac. She asked Superman to become her king, and to father her children, but when he refused, she got pissed. At times, she's hit on other powerful men like Captain Atom (he rejected her in favor of Plastique) and Amazing Man (he stated that he wasn't interested in having kids yet). She got some Character Development, switched between being a good guy and bad guy several times, then met her end in the storyline Our Worlds At War.

Metallo

 AKA: John Corben

File:Metallo-Comics 1947.jpg

The Six Million Dollar Man, if he was a petty criminal and his robotic body was powered by Kryptonite. In each incarnation, he starts off after the reconstruction trying to return to his old life but circumstance usually quickly exposes the facade and he doesn't go back. In modern comics, he has had a series of upgrades to try to avert Villain Decay, but he is rarely more than the The Dragon. He is now revamped as a former general.

Mister Mxyzptlk

A magical imp from the land of Zrff in the Fifth Dimension. Mxyzptlk often gets bored on his home dimension and comes to our universe looking for excitement, usually fixating on Superman. With his powers, he could easily defeat Superman in any number of novel and imaginative ways, but that would be too easy. So he sets rules for their encounters that he rigidly adheres to, the most well known being that if Superman can get him to say, spell, write, or otherwise communicate his own name backwards, he leaves and can't return for 90 days. Also has the ability to break the 4th wall (and the 5th).

Mongul I

File:Mongul 7488.jpg

An Interplanetary despot and ruler of WarWorld, an entire planet made into a weapon. Mongul is physically a match for Superman and has the resources to be formidable, though the loss of WarWorld has led to some Villain Decay. He was Cyborg-Superman's ally in the attack on Coast City, making him another Green Lantern nemesis. Mongul was killed in the mid-'90s Crisis Crossover Underworld Unleashed, but his son Mongul the Second turned out to be just as evil and perhaps even more ruthless than his father, to the point where he took over the Sinestro Corps when Sinestro was imprisoned. See the Green Lantern Character Sheet for Mongul II.

Neutron

 AKA: Nathaniel Tyron

File:Neutron 9362.jpg

Nathaniel was a petty thug who was transformed by an accident into a living mass of nuclear energy, needing a containment suit to have a physical form. After murdering the ones responsible, he now does whatever he feels like, putting him in conflict with The Man Of Steel.

Parasite

 AKA: Rudy Jones

A janitor who got doused in radiation or chemicals or whatever. Rudy Jones hungers for life energy which he needs to survive and which kills anyone he touches. Fixates on Superman because the Big Guy is like an All-U-Can-Eat buffet. Rudy gains the vitality, abilities, and memories of those he touches, although the effect is usually temporary. Eventually, he absorbed a second personality that accepted his role as a voice of guidance, making Rudy more dangerous.

In one of his more devious schemes, he used absorbed shapeshifting powers to impersonate Lois, leeching her memories to maintain the facade throwing Superman into emotional turmoil as he was slowly being drained.

  • Mega Manning
  • Power Incontinence: Prevents him from hugging his own wife and children.
  • Power Parasite: It comes with a time limit, so he has to continuously drain a person's power to have it. In keeping with the "doesn't necessarily make them winners" aspect of this trope, he's not that dangerous (being defeatable by simply staying away from him does that) unless paired with other villains to back him up.
  • Powers as Programs: Draining Superman's powers leaves him open to being taken down by kryptonite.
  • Touch of Death: If he holds on to people too long.

Phantom Zone Criminals

Krypton had no system of capital punishment, so instead of execution, the most heinous criminals were imprisoned in the Phantom Zone, a dimension without time or physical substance. Over the years, numerous super-powered Kryptonian criminals have escaped the Zone to bedevil Superman. In addition to the ne'er-do-wells below, there are numerous less prominent Phantom Zone criminals, including Kru-El (Superman's distant cousin), Quex-Ul, Az-Rel, Nadira, Car-Vex, and Jer-Em.

General Zod I

 AKA: Dru-Zod

A Kryptonian general imprisoned after trying to stage a coup against the Council of Elders on his home world. Imprisoned in the Phantom Zone prior to Krypton's destruction, Zod is eventually freed and able to make trouble for Superman. In his current incarnation, Zod is a more complex character regarded as a hero on Krypton. His coup was staged because he believed Non and Jor-El's findings about Krypton's imminent demise and wished to get the planet ready by means of rebuilding their space fleet.

Ursa

Second-in-command to the traitorous General Dru-Zod of Krypton--as well as his lover. Commander Ursa was a loyal soldier in Krypton's elite Black Zero unit, but her failure to stop Brainiac from stealing the city of Kandor and massacring innocent Kryptonians broke her mind, making her dangerously unpredictable. Ursa aided her beloved in his attempt to overthrow the Science Council, but like Zod and their co-conspirator Non, they were stopped by Jor-El and sentenced to eternity in the Phantom Zone. There, Ursa bore a son, Lor-Zod, who would later become the hero Nightwing.

Non

General Zod's loyal left-hand man, Non is a hulking Kryptonian with all of Superman's powers but none of the intelligence and morality. In fact, the only thing that separates Non from Bizarro is Non's unwavering loyalty. Non was once a brilliant scientist, but when he tried to speak out against the Science Council on behalf of Jor-El, the Council's agents lobotomized him, leaving him a dumb brute. Adopted as a soldier by General Zod, Non shared his master's fate in the Phantom Zone.

Faora Hu-Ul

An evil Kryptonian woman. She is a psychopath who kills all men, young and old, for no reason.

Jax-Ur

A doctor and scientist who thought nothing of dissecting living people and whose experiments inadvertently destroyed Krypton's moon colony--which attracted the attention of Brainiac and led to the loss of Kandor. While in the Phantom Zone, Jax-Ur became the host of the Kryptonian deity Vohc-the-Breaker, god of creation and destruction. He was recruited by General Zod to be one of his sleeper agents, but had plans of his own--the destruction of Earth.

Paragon

A Justice League villain with a superiority complex though he's squared off against Superman solo. His power is that he's has heightened versions of the abilities of anyone around him (though he quickly loses these powers when the people he is emulating exit his range.)

Prankster

 AKA: Oswald Loomis

A former children's variety show host who got canned in favor of newer types of children's programming--which drove him over the deep end. Now he makes weapons disguised as or styled after traditional pranks, such as cream pies, joy buzzers, whoopie cushions, runaway refrigerators, etc. Has been able to remain as least a nuisance to Superman over the years through clever tactics and misdirection. Superman can't immediately figure out what he needs to punch, but by the time he's found it, he's usually pretty irritated.

Preus

A fanatical member of the Kandorian Citizen Patrol Corps (CPC) and a fervent worshipper of "The Superman", Preus encountered the Man of Steel when he was trapped in Kandor as "Kal-El." Convinced that Kal-El is a race traitor who preverts The image of the Superman, Preus attempted to kill him, before escaping into the real world where he battled both Superman and Lyra.

Queen of Fables

 AKA: Tsarita

Tsaritsa was the actual evil queen from "Snow White". Awakening in modern times, this cruel tyrant hopes to reawaken her empire.

Riot

 AKA: Fredrick von Frankenstein

A bizarre man with the power to duplicate himself whenever he's struck. He lives only to sow chaos and confusion. He may be a distant relative of the infamous Doctor Victor von Frankenstein.

Ruin

 AKA: Emil Hamilton

Professor Emil Hamilton was once once of Superman's greatest friends. He often used his scientific genius to assist The Man Of Steel in the never ending battle against evil. Unfortunately, his mind eventually snapped. Donning a suit that exploited Superman's weaknesses, allowed him to teleport, and concealed his identity, he began a campaign to destroy him, targeting his friends and loved ones first. Superman was horrified to find his friend under the mask. When Emil tried to justify his actions by claiming that Superman was sucking the Sun dry of its energy, causing mankind's extinction in 4.5 billion years, Superman realized that he was crazy beyond help, and put him away.

Silver Banshee

 AKA: Siobhan McDougal

Siobhan McDougal made a deal with an evil spirit to gain the power to take over her woman-hating Gaelic tribe. Forced to find a certain occult book as payment, she remorselessly kills anyone in her path, forcing Superman to stop her.

Superboy-Prime

File:Superboy-prime-punch-330px BigT 9911.jpg

 AKA: Clark Kent / Kal-El of Earth-Prime

A younger version of Superman from the Alternate Universe of Earth-Prime, where (other than him) the only super-powered beings existed in comic books. Prime's world was destroyed in the Crisis on Infinite Earths and he took refuge in an extradimensional space with the Earth-2 Superman, Earth-2 Lois Lane, and Earth-3 Alex Luthor. Originally a noble and optimistic young hero, years of isolation and Luthor's manipulation turned Prime into a hateful monster who despised the "inferior" heroes of New Earth for being allowed to live while his world died.

After a murderous rampage in Infinite Crisis, Prime participated in the Sinestro Corps War before being sent back, powerless, to the reconstituted Earth-Prime by the Legion of Super-Heroes. He may have been killed by the Black Lanterns in the Blackest Night.

Terra-Man I (Pre Crisis)

A literal space cowboy. The son of an outlaw in the Old West, alien criminals killed his father and abducted him. Growing up in interstellar space, he eventually became a master Space Pirate in his own right—even acquiring a spacefaring alien steed resembling a Pegasus—and decided the time had finally come to return home to Earth. Upon arrival, he found he'd spent so much of his life traveling at relativistic speeds that a whole century had gone by. Moreover, the Earthling populace seemed overly impressed with some consarned alien named Superman. Taking great offense at this, the outlaw named himself Terra-Man and set about making life as miserable for the alien as possible. Superman has lampshaded the fact that Earth is too much of a low-tech backwater to be a worthwhile target for a space pirate; Terra's only real motivation in coming back here is to pick fights with Superman. He talks in very broad cowboy jargon and is usually played at least somewhat for laughs, but his array of alien weaponry makes him one of Supey's more powerful enemies.

Terra-Man II (Post-Crisis)

 AKA: Robias Manning

Tobias Manning was a guy obsessed with protecting the environment, and with cowboys. He went on a crusade to eliminate any perceived threats to Mother Nature, which unfortunately includes all aliens like Superman. He was eventually murdered by Black Adam.

Titano the Super-Ape

A fifty-foot-tall ape with incredible strength, savage intelligence, and the ability to shoot rays of kryptonite radiation from his eyes. Originally a normal chimpanzee, Titano was used as a lab animal by amoral scientists; a Freak Lab Accident turned him into a gigantic monster.

Toyman

 AKA: Winslow Schott

Winslow Schott is a toymaker gone mad. He makes toys now as innocent facades that house dangerous weapons and gadgets. One incarnation of the Toyman was himself a doll, vaguely of the Howdy-Doody variety. In The Dark Age of Comic Books, the idea of a dangerous toyman wasn't taken seriously by readers, so Toyman was recast as a dangerous child-obsessed creep with strong Psychopathic Manchild tendencies. In The Modern Age of Comic Books, though, this Darker and Edgier incarnation doesn't fly, so it was revealed that the psycho-pedophile Toyman was really a defective android created by the real Schott, a former toymaker-turned-vigilante who will do anything to protect children--including murder.

Ultra-Humanite

 AKA: Gerard Shugel

Superman's first Arch Nemesis, before Luthor, was another bald scientist called the Ultra-Humanite. Arguably the first comic book villain with super-powers (in his case, super-intelligence), the Ultra-Humanite quickly became redundant with Luthor, so he was given a new gimmick: he surgically transferred his brain into other people's bodies, most notably actress Dolores Winters. Starting with The Bronze Age of Comic Books, the Ultra-Humanite has exclusively been a villain for the Justice Society of America, and almost never locks horns with the Man of Steel alone.


Other Heroes

Supergirl

 AKA: Linda Lee Danvers / Kara Zor-El (pre-Crisis); Matrix (1st post-Crisis); Linda Danvers (2nd); Cir-El (3rd); Linda Lang / Kara Zor-El (4th)

Superman's cousin. In the Silver Age, her city split off from Krypton but was subsequently doomed leading her to be sent to earth where they knew she'd find Superman. After dying in Crisis on Infinite Earths, she was eventually reintroduced. This time, she left Krypton as a teenager at the same time Superman left, charged with protecting him. Her ship then got knocked off course, and by the time she arrived baby Kal-El was a full grown superhero. In between versions, there was a synthetic being who became a fire angel and adopted the same name. You can find out more about all of this in her own article.

Alexander Luthor, Sr.

The greatest scientific genius of Earth-3, a world ruled by the villainous Ultraman and the rest of the Crime Syndicate. Luthor was inspired to become the world's first super-hero after seeing Ultraman defeated by his good counterparts, the Supermen of Earths-1 and -2. He was also shocked to learn that each of these heroes fought against their own evil versions of himself, Lex Luthor of Earth-1 and Alexei Luthor of Earth-2. Luthor married crusading reporter Lois Lane and together had a son, Alex Junior. Luthor and his wife died in the Crisis on Infinite Earths, but not before they sent their son to safety in a rocket.

There is also a heroic Alexander Luthor in the Anti-Matter Universe. He also fights that world's Ultraman and Crime Syndicate (including Lois Lane, who in this world is the evil Superwoman) and is very similar to the Earth-3 Luthor except for an arrogant streak.

The Eradicator

 AKA: David Connor

A creation from the Byrne era version of Krypton. It was a supercomputer created to preserve the purity of Kryptonian genetics and culture. It somehow ended up off world before the planets destruction only for Superman to find it while he was lost in space. Once awakened, it resumed its mandate trying to recreate Krypton on Earth, building the first Post-Crisis Fortress Of Solitude and slowly exerting a mental influence on Superman to make him more Kryptonian. Superman broke the control with Ma and Pa Kent's help and threw the Eradicator into the sun.

It came back as an energy being, then once again after Superman died, making a Superman-like body and carrying out a cold brutal version of his mission. Now the Eradicator is bonded with the mind of a then-dying scientist and the personality is effectively a hodgepodge of the human scientist and Kryptonian supercomputer, thankfully granting the creature a measure of empathy and making him one of Superman's allies.

Flamebird

 AKA: Thara Ak-Var

A citizen of Kandor and childhood friend of Supergirl. She is the host to the mysterious Flamebird entity, granting her pyrokinesis. She is Chris Kent's partner and girlfriend. The name "Flamebird" has also been used by an ancient Kryptonian hero, Jimmy Olsen, Supergirl, and a member of the Batman family.

Gangbuster

 AKA: Jose Delgado

A former teacher who put on a costume to protect his neighborhood from street gangs and other threats, hence his name. He dated Cat Grant, but they broke up, partially because he couldn't get along with her son, Adam.

The Guardian

 AKA: Jim Harper

The original Guardian was a Golden Age crime fighter and policeman. The modern Jim Harper was one of the early successes of the Cadmus cloning project. Like the original Guardian, he fights with an armored outfit and shield similar to Captain America.

Krypto the Super-Dog

Superman's dog from the planet Krypton, Jor-El sent Krypto to Earth in a rocket as a test flight before sending his son, but the rocket was slower and took longer to arrive. Has the same powers as Superman and is generally shown to have a human level of intelligence thought he is unable to speak. These days, he is Conner Kent's pet. Has his own page.

Mon-El / Valor / M'Onel

 AKA: Lar Gand / Bob Cobb / Jonathan Kent

Lar Gand is a Daxamite, a race with similar powers to Kryptonians, but with a weakness to lead instead of kryptonite. When he crash-landed on Earth, he had amnesia, so Clark nicknamed him "Mon-El", and treated him as his own brother. Unfortunately, he was exposed to lead, and as this is fatal, Clark cast him into the Phantom Zone, where time has no meaning, to save him until a cure could be found. A thousand years later, the Legion of Super-Heroes provided this cure, allowing him join Earth's superheroes.

Nightwing

 AKA: Chris Kent / Lor-Zod

A little boy that Clark and Lois found and adopted. He has developed into a true hero in his own right. Aside from taking their names from the same ancient Kryptonian hero, Chris has no connection with Batman's former protege, Nightwing. Later, he becomes the host of the mysterious Nightwing entity, granting him powers over darkness and allowing him to truly be Flamebird's partner.

Power Girl

 AKA: Karen Starr / Kara Zor-L of Earth-2

Superman's cousin on Earth 2, who eventually joined the Justice Society. After Crisis, there was no Earth 2, and Power Girl's origins and powers were endlessly retooled. Joining the modern Justice Society before Infinite Crisis, the new Crisis revealed that Power Girl is still Superman's cousin from Earth 2 (the Pre-Crisis Earth 2) restoring her memories and stabilizing her powers. You can find out more about her in her own article.She is also Most Common Superpower incarnate.

Steel

 AKA: John Henry Irons

A former weapons engineer who became disenchanted with his work and fled to Metropolis, taking a new identity and a new job as a construction worker where he fell after trying to rescue a coworker and was himself rescued by Superman. After Superman died, he got involved with a gang war where one side was using the same BFGs he designed. In order to fight them, her fashioned a suit of Powered Armor giving him flight, super strength, Rivet guns, and a hammer for good measure. He even took up Superman's "S" in order to honor the hero who saved his life, and was quickly given the term "The Man of Steel" to differentiate him from the other three heroes using Superman's name at the time (Irons himself never claimed to be Superman). When Superman returned, he gave him the name Steel. After Superman's return, Irons moved back to Washington DC to reunite with his family, but was attacked by armored goons sent by his former employers. Steel rebuilt his armor, though he removed the "S" shield as he felt he didn't quite deserve to wear it, especially given that he might have to go outside the law to fight his old employers.

Even without the suit, Irons is a big buff individual with strength to match his brains.

Superboy II

 AKA: Conner Kent / Kon-El

A clone with powers adapted from limited scientific understanding of Superman's genome. Meant to be a replacement when Superman was thought dead, Superboy was liberated from his pod before he could finish growing, leaving him a teenager. His power is tactile telekinesis: telekinetic influence over anything he touches, which allows him to simulate Superman's superstrength, flight and invulnerability but also lets him manipulate objects simply by touching them. Eventually, he started developing Superman's other abilities, and learned that he is only half-Kryptonian, and the human half of his DNA came from Luthor. You can find out more about him in his own article.

Vartox

The mighty defender of the distant planet, Valeron. Vartox occasionally crosses paths with The Man Of Steel. Most of the time, they are friends, though they usually end up fighting because Vartox is brainwashed, trying to steal Clark's girlfriend, or some other reason.

Recently, after the rest of his race was rendered sterile by a villain's "contraceptive bomb", he tried to seduce Power Girl in order to breed the next generation and save his people from extinction. She found him repulsive, but instead worked with him to cure his people's sterility.


Other versions of Superman

Superman has been imagined in a number of different incarnations over the years. Here are the notable ones.

Superman of Earth-2

 AKA: Clark Kent / Kal-L of Earth-2

The original Man of Steel himself, Kal-L was a reserve member of the Justice Society of America. When the Multiverse was destroyed in the Crisis on Infinite Earths, he and Earth-2's Lois Lane survived in a pocket dimension with Earth-3's Alexander Luthor, Jr. and Earth-Prime's Superboy but were forgotten by his teammates because of the Cosmic Retcon. Years later, in Infinite Crisis, he returned, only to be killed by Superboy-Prime. Kal-L had the same powers as "our" Superman, but many details of his life were different: his parents were named John and Mary (not Jonathan and Martha); his cousin was Power Girl (not Supergirl); his base of operations was the Secret Citadel near Metropolis (not the Fortress of Solitude in Antarctica); and he worked at the Daily Star (not the Daily Planet), where he became editor-in-chief after George Taylor's (not Perry White's) retirement.

  • Alternate Universe: The original continuity
  • Badass Grandpa: He fits the age,though isn't a grandfather. However, he still stopped the Anti-Monitor
  • Continuity Snarl: His past was removed from the timeline, along with his universe.
  • Cosmic Retcon: One of the most high-profile victims.
  • The Golden Age of Comic Books: Where his stories draw from.
  • Happily Married: To Lois, decades before mainstream Superman did it. This being a more traditional couple, she actually did change her name to "Lois Kent" and they were featured together in the Superman Family backup. His behavior during Infinite Crisis stemmed from him coping with her dying.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Superman-2 was initially on board with Superboy-Prime and Alex Luthor but eventually realized they were wrong and fought them to the death.
  • Retcon: How he came into existence in the first place. During The Interregnum the original versions of Green Lantern, and The Flash simply disappeared and were replaced with new versions who were explicitly not of the same continuity, yet Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman had remained active. This version of Superman was introduced to officially be the character those early adventures were about. The creation of Earth-2 itself springs from a Flash story.

Superman of Earth-22

Originally introduced in Kingdom Come as a possible future for the current Superman, retcons have since placed him in his own continuity on Earth-22 where the Kingdom Come storyline now canonically takes place. After losing touch with humanity, he left for years, returning from self imposed exile when the new generation of heroes had finally gotten completely out of control. However, his solutions only made the situation worse. Recently in a Justice Society of America story, this Superman was pulled to New Earth at the moment of nuclear detonation. Believing all he loved was dead, he opted for a new beginning with the JSA.

  • Badass Grandpa
  • Kryptonite Factor: Removed, explained as having absorbed too much sunlight to be affected anymore. He's also more powerful than the current New Earth Superman.
  • Second Coming: His return from his self-imposed exile in the first book of Kingdom Come was seen as that at first to Norman McCay, but the visions he has seen indicate that Superman's return would catalyze the coming doom of the metahuman battle, not avert it. The whole series drew heavily on Biblical prophecy for imagery.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To the Earth-2 Superman in the sense that he is an older Superman and is a member of the Justice Society as Earth-2 Superman was on his world. He also seemed to bond with Power Girl as they both needed family.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: During his Kingdom Come phase. His solution to the Darker and Edgier generation was rehabilitation or imprisonment with rehabilitation. This had the effect of consolidating power and escalating conflict, though this is not solely Superman's fault.

Superman of Earth-30

A version of Superman introduced in Superman Red Son. He landed in Russia instead of America becoming a Russian operative at the beginning of the Cold War era and later the ruler of most of the globe. His continuity is now preserved as an official continuity of one of the 52 earths.

  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He successfully spread his revolution peacefully across the globe simply by running the "best" government, till the end when Luthor was able to finally make the U.S. a viable alternative.

Ultraman

There have been two versions so far. The Earth-3 incarnation was essentially evil Superman from Krypton-3. The Anti-Matter Universe variant was a more distinct character--a human astronaut who suffered an accident in space and was rebuilt by aliens who didn't understand human anatomy. Now criminally insane, the terror of steel keeps dominion over earth along with the Crime Syndicate zapping dissenters and taking what he wants.


Superman Kon-El

Connor Kent from a possible future. He has been seen more than once. In this future, the Teen Titans become the Justice League and the ends justify the means. Conner is shown to have pretty much all of Superman's powers and his tactile telekinesis is more developed.


Kal Kent

One of Superman's descendents operating in the 853rd century who has visited the past once and was included in the All Star Superman series. Basically like Superman but even more powerful having a fifth dimensional ancestor.

Notes

  1. In fact his earliest supporting character period - she made her debut in Action Comics #1, the very same issue Superman made his own debut in
  2. and their dog Krypto, and their monkey Beppo...
  3. Or both- actually, both is more common
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