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Characters: Man of Steel

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This page lists the Superman characters of the DC Cinematic Universe, appearing in Man of Steel.



Superman / Clark Kent / Kal-El

"You're scared because you can't control me. You don't, and you never will. But that doesn't mean I'm your enemy."

Portrayed by: Henry Cavill

A child of Krypton sent to Earth as a baby to escape the destruction of his homeworld. He is the son of Jor-El and Lara, and the first naturally-born Kryptonian in centuries.
  • Badass: He's Superman, after all.
    • Badass Armfold: He calmly folds his arms while telling the military that he will not allow them to learn his secret identity.
    • Badass Baritone: As Superman, he can make his voice incredibly deep.
    • Badass Cape: So badass that, like the New 52 version, the cape seems to be even more resistant than Superman himself. While he gets bruised and wounded during the battles against Zod's army, the cape is unscathed.
  • Beard of Sorrow: The usually clean-shaven Clark grows a beard during his years Walking the Earth seeking his purpose in life, before becoming Superman. Arguably, he looks better with it.
  • Beneath the Mask: As Superman, he seems to really take to playing the aloof-but-benevolent alien diplomat, being very confident and flawlessly composed. Beneath it, as we've seen, he's wracked with indecision and can come off as awkward from restraining himself so much.
  • Berserk Button: Threatening his human mom. Zod gets speared through two silos and a gas station while receiving a Punctuated Pounding that damages his armor.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: He's an extremely nice guy, but pissing him off isn't a good idea, as seen by the bullying trucker and Zod threatening his mother.
  • Blessed with Suck: Growing up in an alien environment, he underwent a painful adaptation process that involved spending years being unable to control the stimuli his senses encountered. He could see every layer of everything at all times and he could hear everything all together to the point of having a flip-out and running away from class to hide in a closet. It was paralleled with sensory over-stimulation and reactions of children with autism. Martha eventually coached him in tuning out the excess.
  • Carpet of Virility: Seen during his Walk the Earth time.
  • Chick Magnet: Thanks to his Samaritan Syndrome, women tend to see Clark as more of a "guardian angel" than a threat. His handsome features are definitely a plus, as well.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Clark can never leave well enough alone, even though it goes against Jonathan's wishes for prudence. The only time he doesn't jump in is when a tornado engulfs Jonathan, and even then it was only because Jonathan insisted he stand down, despite the consequences for both of them.
  • Civvie Spandex: His suit seems to be some sort of Kryptonian formal wear, either a scout uniform or, considering the ceremonial cape, some kind of diplomatic dress. The "S" symbol is the House of El crest standing for "hope." He wears it unaltered throughout the film.
  • Clark Kenting: Clark is shown disguising himself with nothing but a pair of glasses, as he joins the crew at the Daily Planet in the film's conclusion. For this movie, both Clark and Superman are the "real person" wearing different clothes, neither being a disguise. The issue of a disguise persona isn't dealt with until the end. It probably helps that no one at the Planet outside of Lois has ever seen him up close, and he spent the last several years keeping a low profile, jumping from odd job to odd job in places of low population and changing his name frequently.
  • Classical Anti-Hero: Probably the fundamental difference between this film and previous ones is that Superman isn't an Ideal Hero yet, being more of this instead. From a young age, Clark has to deal with insecurity about being accepted by the world in spite of his powers. Despite this, he has a sense of duty to use his powers for good. So as an adult, he's unable to settle down in a civilian job for long, since he skips town whenever his cover is blown. This ends when he becomes Superman and finally gets a job at the Daily Planet.
  • Comic Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: Only called "Superman" by a few soldiers.
  • Deadpan Snarker: "Wouldn't be much of a surrender if I resisted."
  • Destructive Savior: Though he's fighting to protect humanity, his battles with Zod's soldiers and later Zod himself cause LOTS of damage to nearby buildings.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Saving the crew of a burning oil rig.
  • Fake American: In-Universe, being an alien and all. He even invoked this at the end, stating that "I'm about as American as it can get."
  • Farm Boy: Raised on a farm in Kansas.
  • Fish out of Water: The main conflict of the film, as Clark's abilities alienate him from society.
  • Flying Brick: It's friggin' Superman.
  • Foil: To General Zod, another surviving member of Krypton with designs on being the messiah of their lost civilization. However, whereas Zod is a ruthless elitist, Kal-El is compassionate and altruistic. In this manner, Kal embodies all the hopes and aspirations of Krypton's people for a better future while Zod personifies the authoritarianism and social darwinism that drove Krypton to ruin in the first place.
  • Genius Bruiser: Closer to his comics counterpart, this Clark is established as being quite intelligent, knowing how to treat wounds, maintaining a high degree of control over his powers, being a pretty good tactician and being knowledgeable about science.
  • Genre Savvy: He correctly anticipates that Zod has no intention of keeping his promise to spare the human race if Clark surrenders and warns the military officials accordingly.
  • Good Is Not Soft: He levels devastating blows on villains (who are a match for him, so it's give-and-take). As Superman, he does not visibly hold back at any point, which is usually a major facet in his combat ability.
  • Happily Adopted: As usual. Clark may be an alien, but he and his adopted parents are closer than blood. Flashbacks make the relationship more nuanced; he went through a phase of rejecting Martha and Jonathan as just the people who found him. Though he seems to have gotten over it for the most part, he does refer to Jor-El as his father pretty consistently, which hits Martha pretty hard.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: He shares many affectionate moments with his dog.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Because Lois is a redhead in this adaptation.
  • Heroic Build: Justified. Spending years and years Walking the Earth and working in all kinds of jobs that require great physical effort tend to do that to you.
  • Hidden Depths: He displays some medical and scientific knowledge throughout the film, which is unexpected for someone we've mostly seen as a vagabond. He's also seen reading philosophy texts as a kid.
  • Hope Bringer: He tells Lois that the "S" on his chest is the Kryptonian symbol for "hope." Thus, Kryptonians would see someone with this crest flying towards them as "hope is coming."
  • How Do I Shot Web?: He took years honing his natural gifts (with a lot of help from his foster parents) and even took a hard crash on his first flight.
  • Hunk: Handsome, check. Manly, check. Jawline, check. Big arms, check. Large torso, check. Pronounced muscles, check. Body hair, check. There's no doubt, this version of Superman is a perfect example of Hunk.
  • Hurting Hero: While Superman has oftentimes been shown lifting a globe (the Daily Planet's), this is one version that shows how much just feeling one has to bear the weight of the world on one's shoulders can do to a guy with Superman's powers. Even before he finds the suit, just because he's a good person at heart.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Clark's reaction after finding out he's a superpowered alien. As an adult, he moves from place to place trying to live a quiet life. But both as a child and an adult, he's compelled to be a Heroic Bystander until he finally becomes Superman.
  • Ill Boy: Martha mentions that it was hard for him to breathe as a child. Explained to be because Krypton's atmosphere is near, but not quite, Earth composition, and he needed to adjust. It also supports the Kryptonite Factor.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Of the heroic and idealistic variety.
  • Last of His Kind: The only survivor of Krypton until the reveal that Zod and his minions survived. And then they all die or get banished again.
  • Living MacGuffin: Prior to launching Kal-El to Earth, Jor-El imbued his cells with the Codex, which holds the genetic potential of the entire Kryptonian species.
  • Mr. Fanservice: A certified Hunk with at least one Shirtless Scene to show it off. Lampshaded when Captain Carrie Farris of the Air Force is completely Distracted by the Sexy when near him (and admits it to her commanding officer).
  • Nice Guy: Despite being met with hostility from all sides, he's almost never less than courteous and helpful. At one point, he saves one of the soldiers that had been firing on him as well as on Zod's troops, and as he puts him down, he asks him sincerely and without any rancor if he's alright before heading back; this seems to dumbfound the soldier.
  • One-Man Army: Downplayed; though individually he is much more effective against General Zod's army than the human Armed Forces, he wouldn't stand any chance of stopping it by himself, without their involvement.
  • The Paragon: Surprisingly, not quite. He has more than potential for it in him, that much is for sure, and both his fathers understood this. However, throughout the film, he's mostly trying to discover what direction to take his powers in, settling on being the alien mediator and representative. So while Jor-El tells him to be "an ideal to strive towards," he is not his usual Ideal Hero self yet. (He also doesn't have the benefit of 12 years' training through Neural Implanting that Jor-El's avatar subjected him to in Superman The Movie. In this movie, he spends the corresponding amount of time doing odd jobs.)
  • Power Floats: A very rare example of floating horizontally rather than vertically in the final battle against Zod.
  • Primary-Color Champion: A darker example, but still counts.
  • Samaritan Syndrome: As a boy, he saves his classmates from drowning. As an adult Walking the Earth, this is what enables Lois to track him down. Lois' obsession even stems from Clark using his powers to save her when she was investigating an alien crash-site.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Invoked by Zod when they're the only two living Kryptonians left after the rest got sent back to the Phantom Zone, as Superman destroys the last working ship (his, actually) that could have been used to breed new Kryptonians. Its Genesis Chamber is empty, though, as it needs Superman's DNA to work. Of course, Superman himself makes it perfectly clear that his people went down their self-destructive path of their own free will, and he doesn't want a repeat of that.
    • Also Zod himself is killed by Superman shortly after.
  • Shirtless Scene: He's had a few to show off Cavill's impressive physique. And hairy chest.
  • Shoot the Dog: Killing Zod to save an innocent family. He's visibly upset that it had to come to that. So much, even, that it may have caused him to adopt his familiar Thou Shalt Not Kill code.
  • The Stoic: Superman takes pains to control his emotions, mindful of accidentally killing people and/or exposing his powers.
    • Not So Stoic: And it all goes out of the window when lives are in danger. He spent an entire lifetime holding his anger in, and then Zod threatened his mom...
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Though he always avoided killing at all costs, it's finding no other way to save a family but killing Zod that pushes Superman firmly into this rule. He knows what it feels like to take a life, all that comes with it, and that is what makes him decide, once and for all, not to do it.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Played with. He's only unskilled in that he isn't a trained warrior compared to the very well-trained elite Kryptonian soldiers he has to face off with for his first real outing. Note, for the brief time they were on Earth, Zod manages to overcome his Power Incontinence and need for a breather apparatus, and Faora manages to outright master Super Speed on second contact. All of which took Clark much longer to hone, and even then, he's never had a chance to test himself to the limits. However, since he has been exposed to the yellow sun for 33 years, he was able to match them on raw power, but it became a problem when Zod caught up.
    • It's also shown in the fight scenes that his style of hand-to-hand combat, while understandably not on par with the soldiers, is still more advanced that we've ever seen him display on screen where he often relies solely on his devastating power rather than technique.
  • When He Smiles: Given all the trauma he goes through, it's nice to see him when he's happy. Hell, just watch him when he achieves flight for the first time. He's like a kid in a candy store.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Only because he is forced to defend his adopted homeworld against a fanatical band of Kryptonian super-soldiers whose ranks happen to include women that are just as skilled and deadly as their male counterparts.

    Lois Lane 

Lois Lane

"Welcome to the Planet."

Portrayed by: Amy Adams

A reporter who tries to investigate an anomaly in Canada (and the American military outpost studying it), who is nearly killed by a Kryptonian security system and is saved by Clark.
  • Action Survivor: Lois visibly has trouble wielding a Kryptonian handgun and only escapes the Kryptonian warship with the help of Jor-El's Virtual Ghost.
  • Adaptational Badass: Unlike other versions of this supposed hard-nosed Intrepid Reporter, this version is never fooled by Clark; she's in on his secrets from the beginning, considering she tracked him down right to his foster family's farm in Smallville and interviewed his mother. Downplayed in regards to her combat ability. Whereas Post-Crisis versions have a degree of military training, this one doesn't seem to; as noted above, she's really only effective in escaping the Kryptonian warship due to Jor-El's Virtual Ghost's assistance, though she does seem to be pretty handy with the Kryptonian sidearm she gets her hands on.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: The usually black-haired Lois retains her actress Amy Adams' reddish locks. Though it bears mentioning that Lois was a redhead for the entirety of the 1990s, the same era that made her a Military Brat and had her learn Superman's identity and marry him.
  • Damsel out of Distress: She is Lois Lane, after all; kicking ass while in trouble is what she does for a living.
  • Deadpan Snarker: She's always got a good quip or two up her sleeve.
  • Guile Hero: Lois doesn't shy away from doing what she thinks is right, even if that means using some underhanded methods. This is clearly shown, for instance, when she "leaks" her "Superhuman Walking the Earth" story that had been vetoed by Perry due to its possible controversy, because she really does think people deserve to and should know.
  • The Heart: She helps motivate Clark to graduate from Heroic Bystander to Super Hero.
  • Hot Scoop: Par for the course for Lois.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Climbs around an ice shelf to follow a mysterious man into an alien spaceship, tries to photograph the small flying robot she runs into, and later travels across America chasing local legends to track down the Human Alien who saved her. But while she leaks her Antarctica story to a tabloid when her editor won't run it, she drops the story after actually finding Clark because telling anyone would put him in danger.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Played with when Lois starts out. When we first see her, she has forced her way onto a classified base, has the military helping her in with her bags, calls out the commander on the fact that he doesn't want her there and literally asks him to put his ruler (you know what ruler) away (some would say for no reason, but he did subtly start it by refusing to even shake her hand), and then she subverts their attempts to keep her safe in order to satisfy her curiosity (she ignores all safety precautions in order to sneak around an unstable glacier shelf at night and nearly gets herself killed following Clark with no equipment, no back-up and telling no one where she's gone). After we see more of her character, it turns out that although she is quite adept at manipulating people when necessary in her line of work, she doesn't do it maliciously, just out of pure curiosity and her need to know and spread the truth, and becomes more a Guile Hero than anything else. When she realizes something will do more damage that good, she takes herself out of the equation and refuses to out Clark Kent as Kal-El in the press or to the military.
  • Secret Keeper: She knew about Clark quite early in the film and instantly recognized him with his glasses on.


    General Zod 

General Dru-Zod

Portrayed by: Michael Shannon
Appearances: Man of Steel

The Leader of Krypton's military and a former longtime friend of Jor-El. Zod believes Jor-El's warnings about the state of Krypton and launches a coup after concluding the Council is incapable of saving their race. When the coup fails, the Council has him and his followers imprisoned within the Phantom Zone, a decision which ironically spares them the fate of their home planet. After arriving on Earth in search of Kal-El, he initiates a war of annihilation against its population for the sake of building a new Krypton.


Sub-Commander Faora-Ul

"That you possess a sense of morality and we do not is your weakness. It gives us an evolutionary advantage. And if history has proven anything, it is that evolution always wins."

Portrayed by: Antje Traue
Appearances: Man of Steel

General Zod's second-in-command, and the most dangerous warrior of his crew. She is physically brutal, and combines Kryptonian enhanced strength and speed with lethal martial arts.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: She's very dismissive towards everyone except her allies, and is an Emotionless Girl to boot.
  • Badass Boast: When Superman rescues a few soldiers from a crashing chopper.
  • The Baroness: The "Sexpot" variety given her nature as a beautiful yet sadistic Super Soldier fanatically loyal to Zod's cause, although her beauty/gender never otherwise come into play.
  • Berserk Button: While appearing calm and reserved on the surface, she is fiercely proud of her caste and fanatically devoted to its leader, General Zod. This is evidenced when she becomes noticeably irritated after Kal-El neglects to address Zod as "General" out of respect for his military service. Similarly, after witnessing Superman incapacitate her commander after catching him off-guard, she takes visible pleasure putting him in his place by subjecting him to a brutal beatdown while derisively enumerating why he will always be inferior to their kind.
  • Bridal Carry: After she's knocked unconscious during a battle, one of her subordinates cradles her like this as they carry her to safety.
  • Composite Character: Like most adaptational versions of Faora, she combines the comic book Faora's martial arts skills with the Number Two position and loyalty to Zod of Ursa from Superman II.
  • Colonel Badass: Her rank of "Sub-Commander" seems to be roughly analogous to "Colonel," and she's very badass.
  • Creepy Monotone: Never raises her voice, no matter the provocation.
  • Dark Action Girl: Very, very dark. Most human deaths occur off-screen or are somewhat obscured by the clash and din of battle, but when Faora engages human soldiers in combat, we see and hear every brutal impact and shattering spine.
  • Dark Is Evil: Wears black armor like the rest of Zod's forces.
  • The Dragon: Acts as Zod's Number Two and primary enforcer, and is the most efficient and effective combatant among the Kryptonian invaders save for Zod himself.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: Downplayed. When she first meets Superman face-to-face, she gives him a very satisfied once-over from top to bottom.
  • Emotionless Girl: Despite her capacity for violence, she maintains a cool and impassive demeanor throughout. A single tear shed for her lost homeworld, and a faint haughty satisfaction at the fear she generates in her human opponents are about the extent of her emotional displays. In marked contrast to Kal-El or Zod, she never once screams or loses her composure in battle, not even at the end, when coming face-to-face with a fairly epic Oh Crap moment.
  • Excessive Evil Eyeshadow: Opinions vary on whether it's truly excessive, but her eye make-up is smokey, dark and definitely more lavishly-applied than that of any other female in the film.
  • Expy: This incarnation of Faora is closer to Ursa than the man-hating Faora from the comics. Recursive, as Ursa herself was a loose Expy of Faora.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Colonel Hardy sends all of the Kryptonians into the Phantom Zone where Faora will either slowly starve to death or live forever in a barren landscape. Somewhat karmic as she is denied the death of a warrior in the heat of battle.
  • Faux Affably Evil: She may seem civilized upon the first meeting, but she'll kill you with a song in her heart at the first opportunity.
  • Flash Step: While fighting human soldiers, she exploits this power ruthlessly, sometimes taking down several in rapid-fire succession.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: Made all the more striking by her dark eye-shadow.
  • In a Single Bound: She never quite masters flight, but makes up for it with astonishing leaps.
  • Ironic Echo: Faora compliments Colonel Hardy's spirit to continue fighting her by saying "A good death is its own reward." When she fails to stop the US Military from activating Superman's spaceship that will send her and Zod's men back to the Phantom Zone, Hardy's last words are to repeat what she said to him.
  • Lady of War: She's icily polite to Kal-El (at least in their first meeting) and, unlike Ursa, she doesn't go out of her way to hurt or belittle Lois, either. With all the raw power that comes with being a Kryptonian, it's hard to imagine one of them managing to fight in a truly elegant or ladylike way. That said, Faora makes a credible effort, favoring precision over grandiose displays of brute power.
  • Lightning Bruiser: She's the only Kryptonian to fully exploit her super-speed in combat and, despite the size difference, she manages to hold her own against Kal-El thanks to her superior speed, agility and martial arts skills.
  • Never Found the Body: Her ultimate fate is left unresolved. She was injured by sufficiently powerful Earth weapons earlier in the film, so it's entirely possible the impact of Kal's ship and the Kryptonian vessel could have killed her, but given the nearly limitless durability of her Kryptonian body, maybe not. Either way, subsequent events make it impossible to know for certain.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Blue to Zod's Red. In contrast to her Hot-Blooded and combative superior, she possesses a cool and calculating personality and likewise employs a fighting style that favors precision over brute force.
  • The Social Darwinist: Gives a speech to Superman about how only the strongest and most evolved creature wins, and that she is stronger than him because she lacks "weaknesses" such as compassion.
  • Speed Blitz: Due to Flash Step, it becomes this pretty much every time she engages in battle.
  • The Stoic: She almost always remains calm and composed.
    • Not So Stoic: Upon witnessing Krypton's destruction, Faora is visibly grief-stricken.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Zod, whom she firmly believes to be her race's messiah.
  • The Unfettered: She remains stoic and glacial even when it comes to annihilate an entire population in order to take a planet away from them.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: To her commander, General Zod. While the extent of their relationship is never made clear, she has hardly any patience for those who disrespect her leader and targets all those who threaten him with extreme prejudice.
  • You Got Spunk:
    Faora: A good death is its own reward.
    • Even before that, she seems pretty impressed that he stood up to her when attempting to take Lois to the ship.
    Faora: Should I tell the General you are unwilling to comply?
    Hardy: I don't care what you tell him.


Jor-El (Russell Crowe)

"That's what this symbol means. The symbol of the House of El means 'hope.'"

Krypton's greatest scientist, he warned the Council about the dangers of interfering with their planet's core—and when they did it anyway, warned them about the imminent implosion. He was ignored again, so he sent his natural-born son to Earth with the Kryptonian Codex.
  • Action Dad: Exchanges blows with Zod to defend his newborn son.
  • Badass: Quite possibly the most badass character in the film. He's so badass that his Virtual Ghost is pretty awesome as well.
    Jor-El: (to Zod) My son is twice the man you were.
    • Badass Bookworm: He was genetically designed to be a scientist, not a fighter; despite that, he does a great job battling Zod and his forces.
  • Big Good: Jor-El sent Kal-El to Earth along with the Codex so Kal could re-build Krypton's civilization with humans and Kryptonians coexisting peacefully on Earth, counterbalancing Zod's intentions to re-build the long-dead Krypton by wiping the humans out.
  • Bling of War: While Zod and his army sport Power Armor that looks more utilitarian and intimidating, Jor-El's personal Power Armor looks like it was created by an artisan.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: Though his primary concern is his son's survival, he's not ignorant of the implications Kal-El's superpowers will have on Earth, so he or his avatar tells him to live in humanity's service. Though Clark was already helping people of his own accord, but not yet as a career.
  • Death by Adaptation: While he dies during the destruction of Krypton in many adaptations, he gets killed by Zod before the destruction of Krypton, leaving his wife Lara to die alone.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: The feeling is mutual between him and Zod. Jor-El thought that Zod wasn't as good as he was back in the day, while Zod felt betrayed for Jor-El not helping him in the rebellion.
  • Genius Bruiser: Incredibly smart and more than able to hold his own against Zod, as seen by the beatdown he delivers to him.
  • Ignored Expert: It wouldn't be the Superman mythos without Jor-El's apocalyptic portents being curtly ignored. Every single fallacy Jor-El finds in Krypton is real. Especially the big one.
  • Papa Wolf: Jor-El, a man who was engineered to be a scientist by Krypton's geneticists, is the first father of a natural-born baby in eons, and he armors up to take on General Zod.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Jor-El's holographic avatar explains to an adult Clark that both he and Lara felt responsible for Krypton's decline to accompany their son to Earth.
  • Virtual Ghost: An imprint of his consciousness is on the key he sent to Earth with his son.

    Lara Lor-Van 

Lara Lor-Van (Ayelet Zurer)

"Make a better world than ours, Kal."

Kal-El's mother, and Jor-El's wife.
  • The Beautiful Elite: Given her ability to preside over Zod's sentencing with Krypton's ruling High Council, she and her husband clearly belonged to one of the most highly-ranked castes in her civilization, and she herself had the looks to match it.
  • Face Death with Dignity: As Krypton exploded, she didn't panic or futilely try to seek shelter.
  • Happily Married: To Jor-El.
  • Nerves of Steel: While she occasionally sheds a tear or two, she remains almost perpetually unflappable even when staring down a ruthless, insane Super Soldier like Zod.
  • Redemption Equals Death: According to Jor-El, they both decided they bore too much responsibility for the crimes of Krypton's totalitarian society to escape its fate.
  • Satellite Character: To Jor-El.
  • Science Heroine: Along with her husband Jor-El. They secretly give birth to Krypton's first naturally conceived child in centuries and organize his exodus so that he can usher in a new beginning for their race in harmony with the Earthlings.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: She's kind and caring, but doesn't back down when threatened by Zod.
  • Undying Loyalty: To her husband Jor-El.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: She only appears in a flashback of Krypton's destruction and is rarely spoken of afterward.


Tor-An (Richard Cetrone)

One of Zod's officers (of unspecified rank), he is mostly seen beside Faora-Ul.
  • All There in the Manual: His name and backstory are only revealed in the novelization.
  • Blinded by the Light: Kelex uses an impromptu flash attack on Tor-An to give Jor-El the time to kick butt.
  • Expy: He is an enormously tall and silent Kryptonian who double-teams Superman alongside Faora, so he may be styled after Non.
  • Genius Bruiser: Identified the signal from Kal-El's re-activation of the scout ship and deployed as a field commander on Krypton.
  • Mook Lieutenant: Leads the three-man squad that Zod orders to arrest Jor-El.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Doesn't realize the type of man Jor-El is until the older Kryptonian is punching him in the face.



The gigantic and imposing behemoth of Zod's crew. Complements Faora's speed with brute strength.
  • The Brute: A hulking behemoth who depends on his size and strength to support Faora.
  • Combat Pragmatist: After being punched to a train yard by Superman, Nam-Ek rejoined the fray by throwing a train at him.
  • Dark Is Evil: His armor's all black.
  • Expy: A huge, non-verbal bruiser distinguished by his incredible strength and loyalty to Zod? He's this film's stand-in for Non.
  • Genetic Engineering is the New Nuke: The most obviously modified soldier from Krypton, with rumors circulating that some kind of dinosaur blood was used to make him.
  • Serkis Folk: His impossible height and physique are the result of motion capture, though we never glimpse his face that clearly.
  • Shout-Out: His name is a throwback to a Kryptonian adversary from the comics.
  • The Voiceless: Never speaks a single word; he only grunts and roars.


Jax-Ur (Mackenzie Gray)

A Kryptonian scientist on Zod's ship.


Car-Vex (Samantha Jo)

A minor officer under Zod's command.
  • Dark Chick: Serves this role in Zod's army.
  • Shout-Out: Her name is a throwback to a Phantom Zone criminal character in the comics.

    Kara Zor-El 

Kara Zor-El

The pride of the House of El who departs Krypton to participate in a campaign of expansion by terraforming a foreign planet and introducing a Kryptonian population. However, in an attempt to cover up his lack of an execution, Kryptonian councilors smuggle the insane murderer Dev-Em onto her ship; he kills her crew during their cryogenic sleep and diverts the ship toward the Sol system. Kara wakes up from cold sleep ten years after departing and ends up fighting Dev-Em. The damage sustained by the ship from the battle between the two newly-empowered Kryptonians causes it to crash somewhere in Canada, where it is buried under the ice over the course of thousands of years. And sometime during Clark's adulthood, the ship begins emitting a distress signal...
  • All There in the Manual: The only medium to show her so far is the prequel comic book released by Wal-Mart.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: She has a dream of flying before waking up in the Sol system.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: She was a badass before ever coming into contact with yellow sunlight, as she demonstrates during her two fights with Dev-Em.
  • Good-Looking Privates: She's quite attractive, to say the least.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: The murder of her lover Kell-Ur at the hands of Dev-Em seems to just serve as character building, demonstrating her strong sense of hope and her dedication to his memory.
  • Walking Spoiler: Due to not even showing up in the movie proper, it can be hard to talk about her without spoilers.


    Jonathan Kent 

Jonathan Kent

"You have to decide what kind of man you want to grow up to be. Whoever that man is, good character or bad...he's gonna change the world."

Portrayed by: Kevin Costner
Appearances: Man of Steel

Clark's adoptive father, and the one most responsible for teaching him morality.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: Jonathan tells young Clark that he has to decide what kind of man he wants to be since, with his powers, he can change the world.
  • The Cynic: Gets shades of this. He realizes how Clark can be a force for good, but tells him as a boy that The World Is Not Ready to receive him, so maybe it would be better for him to hide his powers until he feels the time is right. This attitude is borne out of love and concern for Clark, but it saddles Clark with emotional baggage.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Calmly accepts that he's screwed.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Allows himself to be killed by a tornado in order to allow Clark to continue concealing his powers.
  • Master of the Mixed Message: He keeps alternating between telling Clark he has a profound destiny and that he should keep his powers secret.
  • Muggle Foster Parents: One half with Martha.
  • Posthumous Character: Only appears in flashbacks.
  • Upbringing Makes the Hero: He and Martha raised Clark to be a good person and ultimately that's why he tries to do good in the world. But Jonathan also raises Clark to believe the world would reject him because of his powers (and the people of Smallville prove him right at least). So Clark doesn't embrace his full potential until he gets the Superman suit as an adult, though prior to that, he still saves people when the need arises.

    Martha Kent 

Martha Kent

"What are you going to do when you are not saving the world?"

Portrayed by: Diane Lane

Clark's adoptive mother.

    Perry White 

Perry White

Portrayed by: Laurence Fishburne

The pragmatic chief editor of the Daily Planet, and Lois' direct superior. He initially refuses to run a story about aliens.
  • Benevolent Boss: When the Daily Planet is in danger, he organizes the evacuation and personally tries to free Jenny from the rubble, despite the approaching superweapon. When he can't, he refuses to leave her alone.
  • Da Editor: He's in charge of the Daily Planet.
  • Expy: Fishburne based his Perry on 60 Minutes member Ed Bradley. Both even have a pierced ear.
  • Large and in Charge: Thanks to Laurence Fishburne's bulky figure.
  • Race Lift: Perry White, who's Caucasian in the comics, is played by the African-American Laurence Fishburne.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He may be somewhat stern, but he's not unreasonable.

    Jenny Jurwich 

Jenny Jurwich

Portrayed by: Rebecca Buller
Appearances: Man of Steel

An intern at the Daily Planet.
  • Canon Foreigner: Hasn't appeared in anything Superman-related before this film.
  • Expy: She was rumored to be a gender-flipped Jimmy Olsen, but the movie reveals her surname is "Jurwich" by the end (and high-resolution publicity shots showing her ID card will reveal this, too). Confusingly, a tie-in book does name her as "Jenny Olsen."

    Steve Lombard 

Steve Lombard

Portrayed by: Michael Kelly
Appearances: Man of Steel

A somewhat lecherous reporter at the Daily Planet.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: To Lois and Jenny. Downplayed, as they react to his flirtations with more amused exasperation than outright disgust.
  • Adaptational Badass: In most versions of the mythos, Lombard's a would-be Sitcom Arch-Nemesis to Clark. Here, he's a brave, if annoying, employee and friend of the staff at the Planet.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Hits on Lois and Jenny in quick succession with no success.
  • Conscience Makes You Go Back: He didn't bolt yet, but you could tell he was considering it when he exclaimed "Dammit" when Perry called for his help in extricating Jenny during the terraforming.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He may be a jerk who's always hitting on Lois and Jenny, but when it comes down it, conscience compels him to help Perry dig Jenny out of the wreckage as the terraforming wave approaches.

    General Swanick 

General Swanwick

Portrayed by: Harry Lennix

The American general in charge of taking custody of Kal-El, and dealing with the Kryptonians as a whole.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: He tries to find out where Superman lives by sending out drones. It fails.
  • The Brigadier: Skeptical of Superman's intentions at first. When he realizes that he's the only chance Earth has, he trusts him.
  • Canon Foreigner: Doesn't exist in the comics. However, he could be:
    • Expy: One for General Sam Lane (Lois' father), who has a prominent role in one of this film's sources, Superman: Secret Origin. It can be said that Swanwick is basically Sam Lane with a Race Lift his family ties to Lois Lane removed.
  • Large and in Charge: He's even taller than Superman.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Pretty much everything he says and does is exactly what a real military official would do when faced with an alien.

    Colonel Hardy 

Colonel Nathan Hardy

Portrayed by: Christopher Meloni
Appearances: Man of Steel

An American colonel initially introduced overseeing the study of an anomaly in Canada.

    Dr. Emil Hamilton 

Dr. Emil Hamilton

Portrayed by: Richard Schiff
Appearances: Man of Steel

A scientist studying the anomaly buried deep in the Canadian ice.
  • Badass Bookworm: Even though he's a Non-Action Guy, Hamilton doesn't back down from helping Superman and the army against the attacking Kyptonians. Nor does he back down from dying for the cause if it comes to it.
  • Badass Beard: While he doesn't do anything particularly badass, he gets points for sheer brains.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Helps activate Kal-El's ship and stays on Colonel Hardy's plane with it as it crashes into the Kryptonian mothership.
  • Non-Action Guy: Doesn't display any physical abilities, helping solely with his knowledge.
  • The Smart Guy: Why else would a scientist be with a bunch of army commandos to study a humanoid alien life-form?

The Maltese FalconCharacterSheets/Live-Action FilmsThe Man Who Saves the World

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