Superman's supporting cast is detailed here.
Superman's earliest and most iconic love interestnote , 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...You can find out more about her in her own article.
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, which was written and illustrated in the '70s by none other than Jack Kirby, and was notable for two things: introducing Darkseid and being really flippin' weird. You can find out more about him in his own article.
- "Becoming a reporter isn't hard, Kent. Staying a reporter, that's hard... It's the job, Kent. Like any great truth, what we do is very simple. Find out what other people are doing that nobody else knows about. That they don't want the rest of us to know about. Then come back here, square your shoulders and prove it. That's what you have to do now that you're with the Planet, Kent. Unless you want to end up behind glass: shiny, self-important, and like all of yesterday's news — forgotten by tomorrow afternoon."
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.
- Benevolent Boss: Despite his tough-mindedness and grouchy personality, he has always been a kind and fair boss.
- Berserk Button: As every employee of the Daily Planet can tell you, he hates being called "Chief".
- Canon Immigrant: The name "Perry White" was first used in the radio show.
- Catchphrase: "Great Caesar's ghost!" and "Don't call me 'chief'!". In the 90's, he also experimented with "Great shades of Elvis!"note
- Cigar Chomper: Perry has shown a fondness for cigars over the years.
- Da Editor: His strength and integrity have led him to be one of the world's greatest journalists, and underneath his leadership the Planet hasn't missed a single issue through crisis after crisis.
- Decomposite Character / Early Installment Weirdness: In the very beginning, Clark's boss at the newspaper (the Daily Star) was named George Taylor. The radio show renamed him Perry White, and the name carried over to the comics. When Earth-2 was introduced in the 60's as the setting of the old Golden Age stories, Earth-2 Clark's boss was declared to be George Taylor, editor of the Daily Star.
- Honorary Uncle: Is one to Clark and Lois' son Jon as of DC Rebirth, with Jon affectionately calling his godfather "Uncle Perry".
- Intrepid Reporter: In his youth.
- Out of Focus: Despite being part of Superman's supporting cast for a long time, he rarely gets focus in more recent comics as Superman's exploits shifted away from Metropolis.
- Pointy-Haired Boss: Sometimes.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He can be demanding and rude, but he is always kind and respectful to his reporters and seeks the highest levels of journalistic work ethic and integrity, being well-liked by pretty much everyone under his employ. He also lets Lois and Clark, his two ace reporters, take up a sabbatical once he realizes that their exposes on corruption worldwide are endangering them and their then-unborn son.
- Secret Secret-Keeper: While never outright stated, it's been implied Perry knows Clark Kent is Superman. He's found Clark's civilian garb stuffed in a storage closet right after Superman showed up and seems conscious of Clark stealing away at times. Batman even cites Perry, a former very talented investigative reporter, is too sharp to have not picked up on something.
- Smoking Is Not Cool: While later writers would return him to the habit, during the 1990s, a subplot had Perry forced to give up smoking after contracting lung cancer and undergoing treatment.
- "Sooperman was a pal o' mine. An' none o' these fancy-pants is Sooperman in my book!"
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.
- Badass Bystander: While he may not see himself as a superhero, he's definitely this.
- Good Old Fisticuffs: The dude actually managed to land a punch on Superman's jaw, and made him stagger a bit.
- Not to mention that time he roughed up the Joker.
- I Fight for the Strongest Side: When Lobo had the upper hand in a fight against Superman, Bibbo cheered for him. He went back to cheering for Superman when he won.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He may be a little rough on the edges, but he's got a big heart.
- Canon Immigrant: From The Adventures of Superman via the George Reeves TV show.
- Decomposite Character: After Superman: The Animated Series depicted Inspector Henderson as a black man, the comics introduced Mike Henderson.
- Demoted to Extra: Since John Byrne's 1986 Man of Steel miniseries, his role has been reduced somewhat in favor of newer characters like Dan Turpin and Maggie Sawyer.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Bill is an honest and sensible police officer, and he gets along well with Superman.
- All Love Is Unrequited: Cat is instantly attracted to Clark Kent. They become fast friends, and even become romantically involved for a time, but eventually this ends, as Clark really loves Lois Lane, and seems more interested in helping Cat fix up her life than dating her. Jimmy Olsen in turn is attracted to Cat, but she seems to either not notice or not care.
- Breast Expansion: She has her breasts surgically augmented. In Action Comics #868, Supergirl meets her and accidentally reveals that her boobs are fake when she naively says out loud that "My X-ray vision is picking up some weird plastics in your —"
- Broken Bird: Recently divorced from Joe Morgan, a white collar criminal husband who had driven her to drink before and after the divorce, Cat was initially a single mother with a young son named Adam Morgan, trying to get a fresh start and stay sober while suffering pressures of sexual harassment from her bosses and personal dysfunctions. She had a stressful life as a single mother due to her poor parenting skills and exposing her son to various dysfunctional boyfriends before her son was killed during a kidnapping attempt by Toyman. After going through a full Despair Event Horizon, she left for the West Coast to reinvent herself and returned as an excessively flirty Alpha Bitch to hide her personal demons.
- The Bus Came Back: After not been seen since the early nineties, reappears in the Superman: Brainiac arc and becomes again a permanent supporting character.
- Canon Immigrant: Not Cat herself, but her new job as head of a major media corporation is adapted from the Supergirl TV series.
- Driven by Envy: Catherine Grant hatred towards Supergirl stemmed to a great extent from jealousy. As Lois Lane bluntly put, "She doesn't like someone half her age flying through Metropolis and turning heads".
- Entitled Bastard: Cat launched a smear campaign against Supergirl with the intention of driving her away Metropolis. Cat called Supergirl a reckless, out-of-control teenager. Cat accused her from spearheading a Kryptonian Alien Invasion. Cat complained about her out-of-fashion dress and the length of her skirt. During one year she told over and again that the world doesn't need a Supergirl. And then she ran into troubles and blackmailed Kara into helping her because she couldn't find Superman. And as they teamed up, Cat kept insulting her.Supergirl: "The hero the world doesn't need," Cat wrote about me. Some days, though, it sure feels like it does. Though, if there weren't three kids missing, I'm not sure I'd help her. You can't say those kinds of things about a person then expect them to just fly up and give you a hand.
- Flanderization: She was introduced as sort of a Good Bad Girl Broken Bird. Someone who had a bit of an immoral past that she was trying to move beyond, and was looking for a good man like Clark Kent to be her anchor. Nowadays she's portrayed as a Lovable Sex Maniac at best and just Really Gets Around at worst. It's been mentioned that this is a facade Cat is using because of the pain of losing her son so many years ago.
- Head-Turning Beauty: The Daily Planet's male employees are obsessed with her.
- Hopeless Suitor: She still carries a torch for Clark and thinks she actually has some chance, although Clark is Happily Married to Lois.
- I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: Once she tries to seduce Clark by shoving her breasts on his face. However Clark's eyes never stray from her face, making her angry.
- Intrepid Reporter: Not exactly to the degree as Lois Lane, but still. In an occasion, Cat goes undercover at Galaxy Broadcasting to help Clark expose Morgan Edge's links to Intergang.
- Loves My Alter Ego: Actually, she's only attracted to Clark, not Superman.
- Ms. Fanservice: Especially in the '00s where she dresses more provocatively (with looks) and acts more flirtatious than she ever has.
- Plastic Bitch: Getting breast implants. She's shown flaunting her new figure and trying to seduce Clark, who just ignores her. However, she is given some sympathy, as it's suggested the surgery is part of her coping with the loss of her son.
- Sour Outside, Sad Inside: Cat is pretty unpleasant. Clark and Lois suspect that she is trying to hide her pain -she lost her son- behind a mask.Lois: The way she's acting...
Clark: Cat left the planet after her son died. Everything she's wearing right now, everything she's pretending to be, she's using it to cover up. I don't need X-Ray Vision to tell me when someone's hiding behind a disguise.
- The Tease: During a conversation with Clark, she openly flirts with him and implies that she has had breast implants. However, Clark ignores her advances.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: With Supergirl in Sterling Gates' last story arc. Due to Supergirl carelessness in a fight with a group of Metahumans, Cat was slightly wounded. Cat runs a slander campaign against the would be super heroine causing a large portion of Metropolis' population to turn against Kara. But her relationship with Supergirl got better when Kara saved Cat from the Dollmaker.
- The Vamp: Tries to be this after she returned to the Daily Planet, though not in a whorish or vapid kind of way.
- Cop: "No, but it dates you, sarge!! You're just hanging onto old times!!! — When you took the tommy guns away from the gangs!!"Turpin: "Well, I've got news for you, junior!! Those old times are back!! They just look a little weirder, that's all!!"
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, though the extended version makes it clear he survives the ordeal.
- Badass Normal: He takes on Kalibak, son of Darkseid, with a machine gun, getting beaten within an inch of his life, and then gives the signal to channel all the electrical power in Metropolis straight into Kalibak, knocking him out and arresting him!
- Catchphrase: Calling super-powered hooligans "weirdies."
- Cool Old Guy: He's still strong and tough as nails, but Dan is not a young man.
- Expy: In The Animated Series, his appearance was based on his creator, Jack Kirby.
- Foil: To Harvey Bullock. Both are no-nonsense, gruff, and burly. However, Bullock's been depicted as a Dirty Cop from time to time, and always suspicious of Batman. Turpin's a straight cop, and despite his skepticism of Superman, it's more of a "I don't need him to get the job done" attitude.
- Nice Hat: His signature brown derby (bowler).
- Platonic Life-Partners: Formed this kind of relationship with Maggie Sawyer while working together, even after she turned down his marriage proposal.
- 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: "I implore you — Build thousands of great space ships like my model! If the lives of all Kryptonians are to be saved, they must travel to the planet Earth — for Krypton is doomed — doomed!"
- Adaptational Badass: Man of Steel has the most actionized version of the characters, mostly Jor-El.
- Adaptation Name Change: They were named Jor-L and Lora in the Golden Age.
- Adaptational Villainy: In the Elseworld, Superman: The Dark Side Jor-El intends Kal-El to conquer the universe in Krypton's name using the Anti-Life Equation.
- Aerith and Bob: Lara is a human name, Jor-El isn't.
- Age Lift: Originally, both were young, about the same age as Clark. The movies cast middle-aged actors due to Rule of Perception (even if they both died as Kal-El was a baby, makes sense them being older than him in the present), and the comics follow suit at the times◊.
- Arranged Marriage: In some versions, their marriage appear to be this. In the post-Crisis/pre-Superman: Birthright continuity, Jor-El's father Seyg-El and Lara's grandmother Lady Nara set up their union, for the sole purpose of giving birth to a child who will take the place of a recently deceased Kryptonian.
- Back from the Dead: DC Rebirth established that Jor-El was saved from Krypton's destruction by Dr Manhattan and has been on Earth, though still apart from Clark.
- Canon Immigrant: Superman: The Movie came up with the idea of having him as a hologram in the Fortress of Solitude.
- Cassandra Truth: In nearly every version of Superman's origin. The classic story is that he tells the Kryptonian High Council (or something like that) that Krypton is doomed and they must evacuate, but nobody believes him, so he's forced to send his infant son to Earth in a small rocket.
- Cultural Rebel:
- Jor-El was this in the post-Crisis/pre-Birthright continuity, as he favored Krypton's less-sterile, more emotional time period. He was considered a "throwback" as a result. This inspired Brainiac 13's plan of creating a fake Krypton in the Phantom Zone specifically based on Jor-El's favorite period, which also resembles the Silver Age Krypton.
- The DCEU versions of Jor-El and Lara are both this, since Lara naturally gives birth to Kal-El, the first time in millennia on Krypton, with Jor-El delivering.
- Death By Child Birth: An early draft of John Byrne's Man of Steel would have had a pregnant Lara being sent to Earth but dying in childbirth thanks to a piece of kryptonite embedded in the ship's hull.
- Death by Origin Story: Jor-El and Lara died, of course, when Krypton blew up.
- Expansion Pack Past: In the earliest stories, even Superman himself knew little about his parents (though later retcons would establish that his super-memory remembered his toddlerhood quite well). Flashback stories revealed more and more details of the couple's lives, culminating in the limited series (usually held up as the first comic book limited series) World of Krypton, collecting many of these stories into a single definitive biography of Pre-Crisis Jor-El.
- Fling a Light into the Future: They sent their only son in a rocket to Earth.
- Happily Married
- Huge Holographic Head: How Jor-El's hologram usually appears but some comics and Man of Steel give him a full body.
- Identical Grandson: Pre-crisis Jor-El looks identical to Superman.
- Depending on what comic you're reading, Post-crisis Jor-El still looks pretty much identical to Superman.
- Some media shake things up by having Superman be more similar to Lara instead.
- I Gave My Word: The only reason they didn't leave Krypton is because they promised the Kryptonian council that they wouldn't. They didn't mention their son though.
- Ignored Expert: Jor-El is the former trope namer, in fact.
- Some versions subvert this by having Zod actually believing him and trying to take over Krypton as to try to save it from its destruction.
- Pre-Crisis (and in a recent Supergirl origin version), Jor-El's brother Zor-El did believe his predictions, and (depending on continuity) eventually sent his own child Kara to Earth.
- Mr. Exposition: Their holograms in the Fortress of Solitude exist mainly to explain things.
- No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: They only seem to have one spaceship that can reach Earth, though in early continuities this was a prototype and Jor-El couldn't get the time or the funding to build more rockets.
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Pre-Crisis Jor-El seems to have invented half the things on Krypton.
- Posthumous Character
- Robot Buddy: Jor-El has one called Kelex. The Man of Steel movie gave Lara one called Kelor, who was also Jor-El's in the comics.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Though it seems Jor-El's the only one at the time of Krypton's destruction. Some tellings of the origin story alternately suggest Jor-El's findings aren't conclusive.
- Remake Cameo: In Smallville, Jor-El's played by Terrance Stamp, who played General Zod in the first two movies.
- Science Hero: Jor-El in the Silver Age.
- Spared by the Adaptation: The Elseworld, Last Family of Krypton has the two of them travel to Earth with their son.
- Straw Conservative: Jor-El became one in For the Man Who Has Everything, Superman's trapped in a Lotus-Eater Machine where Krypton never exploded. Due to being disgraced after being wrong about Krypton's destruction in this reality.
- Virtual Ghost: Jor-El gets this treatment through recordings. Lara (and others) get this too sometimes.
- "You believe Kent is here, J.C. And I believe Kent is here. It's my stomach that's skeptical!"
The director of the 6 O'Clock News at WGBS during the years when Clark was a TV news anchor, making him Clark's immediate boss. Clark's penchant for suddenly disappearing and reappearing at a moment's notice was a source of endless stress for the poor guy.
- Benevolent Boss: While he's certainly not above yelling at Clark (with reason!), he knows Clark always does a reliably excellent job despite everything, which is why he puts up with it. Still, Clark never developed the kind of casual rapport with him that he'd had with Perry.
- Running Gag: Taking antacids for his ulcer.
- "Great stars! That's a city of Krypton, my home world! Brainiac must have imprisoned it inside his bottle years before Krypton met doom!"
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, and the whole Kandorian population settled in the planet Rokyn.
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.
- Innocent Aliens: The Kandorians like the people on Krypton are peaceful and good-hearted so they want to live in peace most of the time except in Post-Crisis as they do not get along with the humans on Earth which leads them to be killed in the end.
- Lilliputians: They are shrank to small size so they live in Kandor which is at the same size as them.
- Last of Their Kind: They along with Superman, Supergirl, those from Argo City, the ones imprisoned in the Phantom Zone and the House of El are the only ones who escaped Krypton's destruction thanks to Brainiac taking them as his collection before the planet exploded.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Despite their small size they can gain powers while under the yellow sun so like insects such as bees or wasps they will attack anyone who intends to harm them or save Superman or anyone else who are in danger.
- "The young master is... unlike other Kryptonians, Number 3. His... heart is great."
Jor-El's loyal robot butler and lab assistant. Superman eventually winds up with his own version of the robot, also named Kelex, who looks after the Fortress of Solitude for him when he's away.
- Bizarre Alien Limbs: His arms have joints in odd places.
- Breakout Character: He was originally a very minor character in flashback scenes to Jor-El and Krypton, but he has such a memorable look that writers and artists kept bringing him back. These days, he's one of the few elements of the John Byrne version of Krypton that's still canon.
- The Faceless: Just blank glass instead of a face.
- Hover Bot: He has no legs, and floats.
- Legacy Character: He's not the original Kelex, who blew up with the rest of Krypton, but a new robot built in his image.
- Robot Buddy: A loyal robot assistant.
- Totally Radical: The modern Kelex, in the Fortress, sometimes tries to imitate vernacular, slangy speech. Awkwardly.
- "Look, Mary! It's a child!""The poor thing! — It's been abandoned!"
First appearing in Superman #1, Jonathan and Martha Kent (or John and Mary, depending on the version) were 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. Lately, Jonathan has passed away, leaving Martha and Clark behind. In The New 52 Universe they both died before Clark became Superman once again. However with DC Rebirth, they are brought back to life as supporting characters for Clark again.
- Almighty Mom: Martha's word is law on the Kent farm.Jonathan: [while Martha is trying to make Clark's superhero uniform] Your mother went through a lot of trouble for this, Clark. She broke five pairs of scissors, her sewing machine, and my chainsaw. You help her and try it on.Clark: But pa...Jonathan: You don't want to disappoint your mother, do you?Clark: [sighs] That gets me every time, you know?Jonathan: [ruffling Clark's hair] I know.
- Badass Family: The limited series The Kents chronicled the adventures of Jonathan's ancestors back when Kansas was still part of the Wild West.
- Badass Normal: Some portrayals of Jonathan will have him as a veteran, and will cross the line into this.
- Boring, but Practical: The glasses they fashion for Clark go a long way towards helping him control his heat vision even though he disliked how big they were. Martha's decision to create the Superman costume saved them a lot of money on torn up shirts and jeans from Clark's exploits, even though Clark found it embarrassing to wear at first.
- Death by Origin Story: Originally they both died shortly after Clark's high school graduation, marking the passage between Superboy and Superman.
- Averted in post-Crisis Superman, where both of them are alive in the main continuity as supporting characters until Pa Kent's death during an attack by the supervillain Brainiac. Every adaptation have follow this since, though recent adaptations often have Pa Kent die before Clark becomes Superman.
- Played straight again in the New 52 where both she and her husband are deceased having been killed by a drunk driver. Carried on into DC Rebirth, where it's revealed that they died on Clark's prom night, just as they were discussing how they won't always be there for him, with Martha worrying that someone will finally manage to hurt him. Clark's Super-Hearing meant that he heard every second of it. It's undone post-Doomsday Clock, with Superboy preventing their deaths right before they crash. The two are now alive again in the present, with the additional bonus of undoing Jonathan's death in Superman: Brainiac.
- Eagleland: A rare Type 1 example.
- Fangirl: Martha turns out is a fan of the original Green Lantern in the Post-Crisis continuity.
- Good Parents: The best considering they took an alien orphan could have become an Evil Overlord with his sheer physical power and raised him to become the ultimate Cape. Taking in Connor Kent is partially what changed him from an arrogant Hot-Blooded, Casanova Wannabe Smug Super into a much more compassionate, humble and friendly young man.
- Granny Classic: Martha is not a grandmother, but she certainly fits the image and personality; loving and supportive, loves to cook, and designed Clark's costume.
- Happily Married: Her relationship with her husband is probably the most stable in all of comics.
- Megane/Meganekko: In some depictions, either or both of them wear glasses.
- Muggle Foster Parents: No powers of their own, but they did their best to help their superpowered adoptive child live a relatively normal life and use his powers for good, and it shows.
- Parental Substitutes: The Ur-Example in comics. While Kal-El would always have powers by virtue of being Kryptonian by birth, the comics stress repeatedly that it was the Kents' values that made Superman the hero he is. Lampshaded in the "Reign of the Supermen" series with regard to the Jerkass Superboy clone:Jonathan Kent: "No son of ours would act like that, powers or no!"
- Ironically though they would later become this to Connor as well and they are part of the reason he becomes much a nicer person.
- 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 Doomed by Canon. 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).
- Small Role, Big Impact: Nearly all iterations of the two have them as nothing more than a couple of farmers who took in and raised a baby Clark as their own. Of course, it's precisely because they were such Good Parents that he would go on to become the Big Good of the DC universe.
- Sudden Name Change: During the Silver Age (at least on a novel), they were named Eben and Sarah.
- Upbringing Makes the Hero: It is a major theme in the Superman mythos how their upbringing of Clark, and the values they have instilled into him are instrumental in shaping him into who he is.
- Aliens Are Bastards: Some of them such as Zod look down on those who are not from Krypton so they naturally do not care about non kryptonian life.
- Human Aliens: They look like the humans from Earth but they do have a different biology as their bodies gains powers and abilities from the yellow sun that surrounds Earth.
- Innocent Aliens: Most of them live peaceful lives and they are caring, compassionate, good-hearted and kind people to those who are not kryptonians with the House of El being the most prominent about it with two of its members Kal-El and his cousin Kara Zor-El being Earth's protectors and superheroes as well.
- Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: All of them live under the red sun which makes them like the humans on Earth living with no powers or abilities until they go to Earth that lives under the yellow sun which gives them powers and abilities.
- Sufficiently Advanced Alien: They were one of the most advanced technology races in the universe until their home planet ends up exploding but remnants of it end up surviving as the rockets survived the planet's destruction along with their passengers.
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. You can find out more about her in her own article.
- Lori: "You don't have to tell me, Clark — I've known from the very beginning that you are Superman!"Clark: "Y-You knew? But how...?"Lori: "That's not important! What is important is that although I love you, I can never marry you!"
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 they remain friends. She also knows Clark's secret.
- Alliterative Name: Lori Lemaris.
- Amicable Exes: They stay friends after their breakup, although years pass before they see each other again.
- Glamour Failure: She cannot maintain human form if she gets wet.
- Interspecies Romance: Though she appreciated how he felt about her, she wasn't willing to engage in one with Clark. In Pre-Crisis days, she ironically did eventually marry an alien, though — an alien merman doctor named Ronal who had saved her life from a deadly illness.
- New Old Flame: How she was introduced in the Silver Age, with Clark reminiscing sadly about their brief courtship when he was in college.
- Our Mermaids Are Different: Lori is a descendant of the people of Atlantis that would evolve into the people of Tritonis, a sect of undersea humans whom adapted to have fish like tails. Pre-Crisis, she always had her tail, and went about on land in a wheelchair with a wrapped blanket concealing her lower half. Post-Crisis, Lori would develop human legs on land and the lower half of a fish when in water.
- Seashell Bra: Averted in the original version. Played in post-Crisis.
- Ship Sinking: When she met and married Ronal. Clark was understandably upset, but he got over it.
- Telepathy: As a telepath, she realized Superman and Clark were the same person as soon as she met them, but didn't tell him she'd known until he chose to tell her himself.
- Unlucky Childhood Friend: In this case, the unlucky childhood friend is Superman.
Lois's younger sister. She was Jimmy Olsen's on-again-off-again love interest all through the Silver Age, but faded into the background in the Bronze Age. Post-Crisis, Jimmy was again infatuated with her, but she ended up dating and ultimately marrying Ron Troupe. She later gained powers and briefly became the new Superwoman, but it didn't go well for her, leaving her sort-of-dead for a while and then coming back crazy; the New52 reboot retcons this away.
- Daddy Issues: Understandable; her father General Sam Lane is listed on the villains page, after all.
- Nervous Wreck: Post-Crisis, she's pretty neurotic.
- Sexy Stewardess: A stewardess in the Silver Age and an air traffic controller, Post-Crisis.
- Status Quo Is God: A Silver Age story had Jimmy and Lucy actually get married, and this was intended to be a permanent change, but editor Mort Weisinger nixed it and had the ending rewritten at the last minute.
- Super Powers for a Day: Became Superwoman for a while. It ended poorly.
- Temporary Blindness: When she debuted Post-Crisis, she had lost her sight, and with it her job as an air traffic controller, leaving her suicidal. The first Post-Crisis Bizarro sacrificed his life to restore her sight.
- They Do: She marries Ron Troupe. Later stories imply they may have gotten divorced, but it isn't clear.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Believes her father always favored Lois, and eventually enters the military because she believes it's what he would have wanted.
- "I don't like you, Luthor. I never have. You're a user, and users make my skin crawl. So from now on I'm gonna be watching every move you make. Keep a close eye on your butt, big man. Sooner or later I'm gonna hand it to you!"
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. Though there were initial tensions, Maggie became a central member of the GCPD and eventually entered a committed relationship with Kate Kane, unaware at first that Kate is actually Batwoman.
- Badass Normal: In Metropolis, she joined the Special Crimes Unit, working in situations that would normally require Superman but without the assistance of the Man of Steel.
- Butch Lesbian: She often shifts back and forth between this and Bifauxnen Depending on the Artist.
- Incompatible Orientation: She was married to a man for a brief time, but pretty quickly realized that she was lesbian and that it just wasn't going to work out. Dan Turpin later proposed to her without knowing about her sexual orientation, but they continued working together as Maggie made it clear she wouldn't accept his resignation.
- Lesbian Jock: Which was rather impressive for a character to be when it was revealed in 1988.
- Platonic Life-Partners: With Dan Turpin; even after he proposed to her and she turned him down, she refused to accept his resignation.
- 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.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: She was already an existing character in her own right, but many fans noted that she was slotted into Batwoman's story after Renee Montoya, Kate's previous badass lesbian cop girlfriend, was Put on a Bus.
- Team Mom: Sometimes takes this role for the GCPD.
- Tacky Tuxedo: A downplayed variation. At the GCPD Gala in Batwoman: Elegy, Maggie wears what is on first glance a sharp-looking white tie ensemble. However, she's both overdressed for the occasion (based on what everyone else is wearing, the event is black tie optional), and dressed inappropriately for the standards of white tie (such as wearing a red tie and cummerbund, and having trousers with the wrong number of stripes).
- Transplant: Used to be a Superman supporting character, but became a firmly Batman character for a long time, particularly because of her high-profile (out of universe) association with Batwoman. As of DC Rebirth, she went back to Metropolis and appears in the Superman books once again.
- Scrapper Jr.: "The Newsboy Legion is a foist rate outfit — just as it was durin' da forties!... We're just carryin' on for our Dads!"
The original, 1940's Newsboy Legion was a quartet of orphaned inner city kids who became the wards of police officer Jim Harper, the original Guardian (see below), and they bravely combatted local injustices in Metropolis's Suicide Slum in the The Golden Age of Comic Books. Their Generation Xerox children, however (with the addition of SCUBA diver Flippa Dippa), became the sidekicks of Jimmy Olsen, and helped Jimmy and Superman deal with the likes of Darkseid, Victor Volcanum, and the Hairies from the Mountain of Judgement. Post-Crisis, their uncanny resemblance to their fathers was explained by declaring them to be clones, like the modern Guardian. Created by Jack Kirby, they were mainstays of his run on Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen. For more info on the Post-Crisis version of the team, see Connor Kent's Characters Page.
- Baker Street Regular — Probably the most prominent exemplars of the trope in comics.
- The Big Guy: Scrapper fills this role, despite actually being fairly short.
- Cloning Blues: In Post-Crisis stories.
- Generation Xerox: In the Bronze Age, they were the natural children of the original Golden Age team.
- Kid Hero: A team of them.
- Legacy Character: Carrying on the legacy of the Golden Age team.
- Secret Chaser: The original Golden Age team were pretty danged sure their surrogate dad Jim Harper was the Guardian, but they could never actually prove it.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Big Words talks like this, hence his nickname.
- The Smart Guy: Big Words.
- Standardized Leader: Tommy, in the Golden Age. With Jimmy Olsen filling the leader role in the Bronze Age incarnation of the team, Tommy was pretty well Demoted to Extra.
- We Help the Helpless: In the Golden Age, they were general purpose do-gooders in a poor and crime-ridden neighborhood. The Guardian could step in to save them whenever they got in over their heads.
- Wrong Side of the Tracks: Suicide Slum.
- "So Clark is Superboy, just as some people have suspected! But I'll never betray him nor even tell Clark I know! He mustn't be disturbed or hampered in any way by my knowledge!"
In Pre-Crisis days, Pete Ross was a childhood friend of Clark's who accidentally discovered Clark was Superboy, but didn't tell him he knew, figuring it would just be one more problem for Superboy to know his identity had been compromised. He covertly helped Clark cover up any slip-ups that might have revealed his identity to others, but didn't reveal to Clark that he'd always known until they were adults.
In Post-Crisis stories, Pete was 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.
- Childhood Friend: One of Clark's best friends back in Smallville.
- Locked Out of the Loop: His Post-Crisis version was oblivious to Clark's secret until recently.
- Secret Secret-Keeper: In the Silver/Bronze Age, this was his defining trait.
- Unwitting Pawn: He was pretty much just a tool for Luthor. Also, while President, he inadvertently funded Project 7734, the anti-Kryptonian conspiracy.
- Youthful Freckles: He's depicted with freckles as a kid.
- "I knew what my story had to be. Now all I had to do was find a way to get it."
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.
- Audience Surrogate: An easy-to-relate-to character who gives as a ground-level point of view for some of the craziness of life in Metropolis, and actually takes note of Elephants in the Living Room such as Superman and Lois clearly having some sort of connection even after Lois has married Clark.
- Foil: To Steve Lombard, the Planet's sports writer. Ron is a quiet and introverted liberal, while Steve is a loud and outgoing conservative.
- Friendly Rival: To Jimmy. He gets a job that Jimmy had wanted, and even winds up dating and then marrying Jimmy's ex-girlfriend Lucy, but the two manage to stay friends.
- Intrepid Reporter: Like Clark and Lois. Perhaps most notably, the Cyborg Superman's debut issue takes the form of the article Ron wrote about witnessing the incident firsthand, at considerably personal risk.
- Nerd Glasses: Not that he's really all that nerdy, but he has the signature glasses that make him look like a serious, intellectual person.
- Romance Arc: With Lois's sister Lucy, who had previously been Jimmy's love interest.
- Straight Man: He's arguably the most "normal" person on the Daily Planet.
- "Clarkie? He's the third door on the left — but what's a cute chick like you want with that clod when you have Steve Lombard to play with?"
A former pro football player 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: He makes many unwelcome advances against his female co-workers.
- Fanboy: Of Booster Gold, as Action Comics reveals that his office is plastered from ceiling to floor with Booster Gold paraphernalia. He tries to get Jon to appreciate it, but the boy isn't interested.
- Foil: To Ron Troupe. Ron is a quiet and introverted liberal, while Steve is a loud and outgoing conservative.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: He's well known as a boorish jerk with a very self-centered attitude, although this is often played for comedy. His many pranks around the office frequently target Kent, although he considers Clark one of his closest friends. Even Clark's son Jon, who at least has a working relationship with Damian Wayne, a former assassin who kidnapped him in the past, can't stand being in the same room as Lombard for very long. Still, it counts for something that when Mongul made his debut by kidnapping Superman's friends, Steve was among them, and this fact was not played for irony.
- Jerk Jock: A former one, now a jerk sports columnist.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Clark's inner monologue talks about what lies beneath his tough guy exterior. Basically it's the exact same thing, only worse.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Recent portrayals have depicted him as having a prickly exterior, but still caring about his co-workers. Superman Reborn showed he enjoyed activities like bowling with Clark and Perry.
- For that matter, in Pre-Crisis days, he was obnoxious (mostly manifesting as a compulsive need to pull stupid practical jokes that only he thought were funny; and thanks to Clark's powers, they tended to backfire on him), but not really a bad person. Around the office, he was basically The Friend Nobody Likes.
- 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.
- Miles Gloriosus: Lombard loves to brag about his skills in a fistfight and frequently shows off his well-built physique, but during The Oz Effect, he tries to take on a terrorist working for Mr. Oz, only to get shot and left whimpering in pain afterwards.
- The Prankster: Much to his coworkers' annoyance.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
A French Journalist who acted as one of Clark's mentors (as well as a girlfriend.) She returned years later to work at the Planet, bringing her into conflict with Lois
- French Jerk: She's a French Journalist who's also a grade A
- Hot for Student: She was one of Clark's teachers....and had an affair with him when he was out of college.
- Informed Ability: Addressed in universe. Apparently she WAS a serious journalist back in the day but by the time she and Clark meet again she's more into sensationalism.
- Jerkass: She's....rather obnoxious. Flirts with Clark even when she KNOWS he and Lois are Happily Married.
- The Missus and the Ex: Why she and Lois don't get along. Lois in particular is annoyed by the fact that Simone so blatantly flirts with Clark.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Has this with Lois, on account of being sensationalist AND flirting with Clark despite KNOWING that's he married
- Future Badass: A Flash Forward revealed her standing alongside Batman (Damian Wayne) and Superman (Jon Kent) when she's older.
- Girl Next Door: For Jon. She literally lives next door.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: A sweet and kind girl with blonde hair who is Jon's best friend in Hamilton and deeply cares for all of the animals on her farm. Her kindness helped lead her to turn on Manchester Black after he was clearly hurting Jon and especially after he murdered her grandfather.
- Mind over Matter: Her most used power. It's strong enough that she can effortlessly deflect Jon's heat vision.
- Only Friend: She's Jon's only friend for a long time. Then Damian Wayne came along.
- Rubber-Forehead Aliens: She has green skin, and that's the only thing that separates her from humanity, visually.
- Secret Keeper: For Jonathan, as she knows about his powers after seeing him kill Goldie. That said, she doesn't know everything, as she's still in the dark as to why he has his powers in the first place, or why he has incredible strength and durability, the former of which he passes off as simply working out with his dad. Though it's later revealed that she knew the whole time, being a member of Manchester Black's "New Elite" as part of Black's plans to undermine Superman and bend Jon to his will. She ultimately comes around and saves Jon after Black callously murders her grandfather.
- Ship Tease: A precocious romance between her and Jonathan seems to be brewing.
- Telepathy: Her other power, although it's strong enough to compete with Manchester Black. She also uses it to appear human, although her true appearance is basically her human appearance but with green skin.
- Youthful Freckles: Her strongest feature. A Flash Forward reveals that she loses them by the time she's an adult, or they become Facial Markings.
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.
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 they had a son, Alexander Luthor, 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.
In the New 52's Forever Evil, another version of Alexander was introduced. This one, however, despite claiming to be a hero was every bit as villainous as the Crime Syndicate. Since he has yet to encounter Superman, tropes about him should go on the page for Forever Evil.
- Antagonist in Mourning: Inverted. Pre-Crisis Alexander was very upset and aghast when Superwomen died, noting that while they had fought many times, he never wanted her to die like that.
- Archenemy: Of the Crime Syndicate and Ultraman in particular.
- Badass Beard: Pre-Crisis.
- Badass Moustache: Also Pre-Crisis.
- Badass Normal: An unpowered human who fights all five members of the Crime Syndicate (the evil counterparts of Superman, Batman, The Flash, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern) all by himself and who wins more often than not. For a minor character he is an immense badass.
- Bald of Awesome: Both versions
- Beard of Evil: Inverted! Pre-Crisis Alexander has a sinister looking goatee, but is the hero of the story.
- Big Good: On Earth-3 and in the Antimatter universe, in much the same way that Superman is in the regular timeline.
- Brought to You by the Letter "S": Had a giant "L" on his chest Pre-Crisis.
- The Cape: Hilariously yes. Pre-Crisis Alexander Luthor was a genuinely heroic, humble guy, who was channeling our Superman for all that he was worth.
- Clothes Make the Superman: Pre-Crisis Alexander derived all his powers from his costume. Post-Crisis Alexander also made physical alterations to himself, but was still reliant on his armour to do most things.
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Averted Pre-Crisis. Alexander was well-known as a brilliant inventor and scientist, who avoided Reed Richards Is Useless.
- Enemy Mine: Pre-Crisis Alexander formed one with Ultraman in an attempt at saving their world from the Antimonitor.
- Energy Weapon: Pre-Crisis Alexander's raygun.
- Gadgeteer Genius
- Genius Bruiser: Post-Crisis, when his Powered Armour and physical modifications gave him strength and durability to match that of Ultraman.
- Good Is Dumb: Completely averted. Alexander may actually be the smartest version of Luthor out there, given his ability to outmaneuver not only the entire Crime Syndicate, but both his Evil Twins.
- Good Twin: Of Earth-1's Lex Luthor and Earth-2's Alexei Luthor.
- Guile Hero: As a good counterpoint to Luthor this should be expected
- Happily Married: Pre-Crisis Alexander and Earth-3 Lois Lane
- Intangible Man: Pre-Crisis Alexander had a supersuit that allowed him to turn intangible.
- Mr. Vice Guy: As mentioned, Anti-Matter Luthor is unambiguously good, but very vain.
- Non-Action Guy: Toyed with and subverted Pre-Crisis. Alexander is a terrible fighter and has an average physique but his technological prowess helped him fight the likes of Ultraman on an even footing.
- Powered Armor: Anti-Matter Alexander Luthor (who is, truth be told, very similar to Iron Man) features a version of our Luthor's purple and green battlesuit. Earth-3 Luthor never had the full suit but he did have a jetpack and raygun, as well as the ability to become an Intangible Man.
- RetGone: The Crisis removed the original Alexander Luthor from history and we have yet to see him return in the new Earth-3.
- Science Hero: In contrast to the usual Mad Scientist portrayal of Luthor, Alexander uses his scientific brilliance to defend his world from the Crime Syndicate.
- Super Intelligence: And unlike Lex and Alexei, Alexander actually put that IQ to work for the good of his world.
- Super Strength: Post-Crisis Alexander modified his body to give himself superstrength.
Ambush Bug is the Cloudcuckoolander secret identity of Irwin Schwab, a man raised solely on TV who one day discovered a green teleportation suit that was sent within a capsule from a doomed planet (or so he claims). He started out as a rather inept supervillain who made a habit of annoying Superman, then went straight and became a rather inept superhero who made a habit of annoying Superman. You can find out more about all of this in his own article.
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.
- Becoming the Mask: During the time the Eradicator's consciousness acted as the 'Last Son of Krypton', it came to adopt some of Superman's philosophies, with at least part of its programming taking steps to become a hero.
- Cult of Personality: When he first appears in Metropolis, he steadily builds up a cult of hero-worshippers who believe he is the reincarnation of Superman (despite his noticeably more ruthless methods).
- Darker and Edgier: When acting as 'Superman' after the original's death, the Eradicator was a far more ruthless hero, killing a rapist and brutally breaking the hands of a safecracker.
- Emergent Human: Started out without even a humanoid body, let alone a human mindset or morality. Has gradually become more human in his behavior since taking on human form.
- Fantastic Racism: A good description of the Eradicator's motives, as it seeks to rebuild Krypton at the cost of the human race.
- Foil: In his initial arc, he can be viewed as one to Cyborg Superman. Both of them are cybernetic beings directly impersonating Superman and both form large cult followings of civilians who perceive them to be the real deal. Eradicator is initially trigger-happy and violent while Cyborg Superman manages to more accurately emulate Superman's moral code for the press. However, Cyborg Superman turns out to have originally been a human who stole a cyborg-Kryptonian body and has been completely evil the whole time, whereas Eradicator is a robot who gradually learns to adopt Superman's morality to become a true hero.
- HeelFace Turn: In The Death of Superman. From villain to '90s Anti-Hero to just hero.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Made one at the end of Reign of Doomsday, possessing the original Doomsday and using him to knock the Doomslayer into another dimension.
- Spanner in the Works: The Eradicator proves to be the biggest unforeseeable intrusion for Hank Henshaw/Cyborg Superman's plans due to the Contrived Coincidence of their simultaneous appearance. Both Eradicator and Cyborg Superman try to impersonate Superman and form large cult followings in Metropolis, but they have completely different goals despite their superficial similarities. Neither Superboy or Steel resemble Superman and are much less powerful so are more nuisances. Cyborg Superman quickly has to speed-chess his way into somehow using Eradicator's presence to his advantage.
- Spiritual Successor: Although The New 52's H'el was apparently intended as an update of Bizarro, he and his agenda really bear more resemblance to the early, villainous version of the Eradicator.
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 Bette Kane, a former member of the Batman family (she was Bat-Girl - with a dash - before Barbara Gordon was Batgirl - without a dash).
- Captain Ersatz: Of Jean Grey and the Phoenix Force.
- Combo Platter Powers: Thanks to the Flamebird entity, she has the option of using fire if she is stunned by kryptonite or red sunlight.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: It doesn't help that Chris gets mobbed by fangirls for being so hot.
- Culture Clash: Having grown up her whole life on Kandor, Chris helps her adjust to life on Earth.
- Defector from Decadence: She sides with Earth over the Kandorians.
- Heroic Sacrifice: She cast herself into the dying sun to reignite it, but was seemingly vaporized in the process.
- Legacy Character: In the Silver Age, Superman and Jimmy Olsen occasionally operated as a Batman and Robin-style duo named Nightwing and Flamebird in the Bottle City of Kandor (where Superman had no powers).
- Superpowered Evil Side: When the Flamebird decides to control her directly. It isn't evil, but it doesn't have a problem with killing and has an even nastier temper than her.
- Superpower Lottery: Under the effects of a "yellow" sun, Thara possesses the same potential powers as an average Kryptonian. Plus..
- Playing with Fire: She possess and undefined connection to the mythic Flamebird entity that gave her pyrokinesis power.
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.
- Badass Teacher: He went into teaching and ended up as a high school teacher in Metropolis.
- Boxing Battler: He is a skilled boxer.
- Deal with the Devil: When Jose was crippled on duty as the Gangbuster he was forced to accept Lex Luthor's agreement and treatment to return the function of his legs to him. However, Luthor's cybernetic components also allowed him to control Jose's movement if necessary.
- Over Shadowed By Awesome: He found himself a little out of his depth in the Crisis Crossover Trinity, but kept going and helped saved the day anyway, since his girlfriend was in danger.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: He packs a lot of non-lethal weapons, like nunchaku and guns with rubber bullets.
The original Guardian was a Golden Age crime fighter and policeman. As Guardian he joined the All-Star Squadron and as Jim Harper he became the legal guardian of the quartet of street urchins known as the Newsboy Legion.
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 a shield. The Cadmus clone was sent to help capture Superboy and after Superman made it clear he wouldn't allow Cadmus to kidnap the kid he eventually became a mentor for the kid. For more info on the clone of this character who heads Cadmus security see Superboy (1994).
- Badass Normal: The original Guardian has no superpower, but possesses exceptional combat and tactical skills.
- Cloning Blues: In Post-Crisis, Harper is cloned by Project Cadmus, and several other clones are made from the genetic material of either Harper or his clone.
- Cool Bike: Guardian rode a custom motorcycle that was fitted with a slot at the front that could store his shield.
- Cool Helmet: He wears a golden helmet.
- Legacy Character: Other people who took the Guardian alias are Mal Duncan in the Silver Age and Jake Jordan, the Manhattan Guardian.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: He carries a golden heater shield on his wrist.
- Parental Substitute: Jim became the legal guardian of the original Newsboy Legion.
- Proto-Superhero: Pre-Crisis, the original Guardian was this in-universe. In those days, it was tacitly accepted that Clark's debut as Superboy was the beginning of Earth-1's Age of Super-Heroes, but he did have a small handful of predecessors like Zatanna's dad Zatara the Magician, Air-Wave, and the Guardian. (In real life, of course, all these characters debuted in print after Superman, but Comic-Book Time has odd effects.)
- Shield Bash: Uses his small shields for combat.
- Stock Superhero Day Jobs: Jim Harper was a police officer outside of his Guardian costume.
- Tangled Family Tree: In addition to the several individuals descended from his siblings and the fact that one of them was adopted by Oliver Queen where do his multiple clones even go on a family tree? His grandniece Jamie then somehow had a kid with the time-traveling Daxamite Lar Gand (also known as Mon-El).
- Throwing Your Shield Always Works: He can use his shield as a projectile although he usually keeps hold of it to use for defense and bashing.
- "I'm not going to let you hurt my little brother Superman!"
The prototypical "long lost brother of Superman" who debuted a few years before Mon-El/Lar Gand. As he first appeared at the tail-end of the Golden Age, his only appearance is largely considered to be part of the Earth-Two continuity. Hailing from planet Thoron, which is in the same solar system as Krypton, Halk Kar was found on Earth by Superman in a crashed rocket with a vague note from Jor-L about his person. Initially amnesiac about his past, Superman naturally assumed that Halk was his big brother, but was surprised to discover that Halk was much weaker than himself. After recovering his memory thanks to an electric shock, Halk Kar explained how he is actually connected to Superman's father and set out to find his home planet.
He later appears as a charter member of the United Planets Superwatch, a precursor to the main governing body seen in the 30th Century Legion Of Superheroes comics.
- Acquired Situational Narcissism: Thanks to Superman constantly faking all of Halk's feats of strength, Halk gains quite an unwarranted ego as he wholeheartedly believes that all of his achievements are true. He even begins hitting on Lois Lane, much to Superman's chagrin. Because of this, the revelation of Halk's true identity doesn't exactly tear Clark up too badly.
- The Big Guy: Played With. Halk Kar is taller and beefier than Superman, but due to his differing biology, he is actually a lot weaker. Anticipating Halk to be a potent ally in his crime-fighting, Superman instead finds Halk to be something of a burden and throughout the story has to cover for his assumed brother in order to save him from potential embarrassment. Nevertheless, Halk is still far stronger than any ordinary human.
- The Bus Came Back: Recently back into modern continuity via a cameo in The Green Lantern (2019) by who else but Grant Morrison as a member of Superwatch, a space-patrolling team composed entirely of long-forgotten Golden and Silver Age characters, mostly from Superman's history. After a half-century absence, no less.
- The Cape: Strives to be this as a member of the United Planets Superwatch. He's unfortunately hampered by not being as powerful as Superman.
- Identical Stranger: As previously mentioned, he looks very similar to Mon-El (complete with a colour-swapped mirror of Superman's costume) and his storyline has an almost identical premise.
- "Yip! Yip! Arf!"
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.
- "Long live the Legion!"
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.
- Artifact Alias: Mon-El's superhero identity was the Kryptonian name that Superboy gave him when he was suffering from amnesia. His actual name, as he recalled later, is Lar Gand, but he continues to be known as Mon-El.
- Coming-of-Age Story: The "Man of Valor" subplot in the "New Krypton" storyline.
- Continuity Nod: The "New Krypton" storyline combined elements of his Preboot and Postboot character arcs.
- Continuity Snarl: Like a lot of Superman characters, Mon-El was written out of existence with Crisis on Infinite Earths. He was reintroduced in an early-'90s Crisis Crossover without any connection to Superman. "New Krypton" (or more properly, the stories leading up to it) restored his first origin... but the '90s version still exists as an alternate-universe character somehow. And so does a third Mon-El from the Threeboot Legion of Super-Heroes. In short, his history is a mess.
- Expy: Mon-El was Retconed to fill the same role as Superboy in the Legion after Crisis on Infinite Earths retconned the latter out of existence.
- Flying Brick: Like any Daxamite or Kryptonian who spends much time under a yellow sun.
- God Guise: In the "Postboot" Legion continuity, he was worshipped as a god called Valor by many of the humanoid Planets of Hats he founded in the 20th century—which caused problems when word leaked that the Legion was freeing him from the Phantom Zone. Understandably, he was very uncomfortable with this, and he and the Legion worked to keep his actual identity a secret; here, "M'onel" (an alien word meaning "wanderer") was a new alias he invented to hide his identity.
- Kryptonite Factor:
- Unlike Kryptonians, whose super-powers are driven from them by the radioactive remnants of their home world, a Daxamite's major weakness is his vulnerability to lead, which does not exist on their planet. Another difference is that, while Green Kryptonite can eventually kill Kryptonians after prolonged exposure, once it is removed the pain eases and the Kryptonian's strength and powers eventually return to him/her. For Mon-El, any exposure to lead causes pain and weakness permanently, even after he is taken to safety.
- But, like Kryptonians, Mon-El has no invulnerability magic or psychic powers.
- Long-Lost Relative: Subverted. In Pre-Crisis continuity, Lar arrived on Earth with amnesia. Since he had Kryptonian-style powers, Superboy supposed he might be a long-lost brother or some such whom Jor-El was also able to save, and dubbed him "Mon-El." His memory returned when he became stricken from exposure to lead, which of course would have been harmless to a Kryptonian. Superboy sent him to the Phantom Zone to save his life, and when Lar was released and cured in the far future and joined the Legion, he kept the "Mon-El" name as his superhero guise.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Daxamites tend to be xenophobic jerks, but Lar certainly isn't.
- The Power of the Sun: As a Daxamite, his cells function like a super battery, hyper metabolizing specific wavelengths of radiation as fuel to enable living functions and/or superhuman abilities. Different wavelengths of radiation have different effects on Lar Gand's physiology and well being, but his cells cannot absorb or utilize all types of radiation.
- Recycled Premise: Mon-El's debut story was recycled from a Superman story published eight years earlier (where the above-mentioned Halk Kar debuted) with some modifications.
- Secret Identity: In "New Krypton" he tries to blend in by posing as Science Police officer Jonathan Kent.
- Sealed Good in a Can: Lar was stuck in the Phantom Zone awaiting a cure for his lead poisoning for a thousand years.
- Star-Spangled Spandex: His post-Zero Hour costume.
- Superpower Lottery: Lar has got powers that are native to all Daxamites if they where in a solar system with a yellow sun, similar to Kryptonians complete of Eye Beams, Flying Brick, Super Breath, Super Speed and Super Strength.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: In issue #18, Kenan becomes the embodiment of Yin and Yang.
- Attention Whore: He publicly outs himself as the New Super-Man in issue #2, and reveals the existence of the Justice League of China when a camera crew is put in front of him.
- Book Dumb: Despite frequently slacking in his studies, Kenan displays several moments of ingenuity. He even impresses Bat-Man!
- Butt-Monkey: Much of the humor in this series comes from the various ways Kenan falls on his face.
- Casanova Wannabe: Kenan flirts with almost every woman he sees. It never works.
- The Chew Toy: Kenan's many injuries are played for laughs.
- Empowered Badass Normal: Kenan was already a brave young man willing to stand up to supervillains. Now, he has superpowers to help him.
- Expy: Of both the American Superman and Sun Wu Kong.
- Flying Brick: Has all the powers of Superman.
- Iron Butt-Monkey: Takes his shockings, beatings, and laser-shots to the face in stride.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Kenan is a cocky, belligerent bully who nevertheless is brave and goes out of his way to save others.
- Ki Manipulation: Kenan acquired his Kryptonian powers by being infused with Superman's qi.
- Missing Mom: Kenan's mother died in an airplane accident when he was twelve, something which haunts him to this day.
- Small Name, Big Ego: His opening pages have him describing himself as being "broad-shouldered, handsome like a movie star, and tall (but not in a freaky, Yao Ming kind of a way)." He is not broad-shouldered nor tall nor particularly handsome.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: At the end of the day, Kenan just wants his father to notice him.
- Yin-Yang Bomb: As the embodiment of Yin and Yang, Kenan has control over light and darkness.
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, Dick Grayson, the original Robin who adopted the Nightwing name after hearing the stories of said Kryptonian hero from Superman. Later, he becomes the host of the mysterious Nightwing entity, granting him powers over darkness and allowing him to truly be Flamebird's partner.
- Abusive Parents: His biological parents, not Lois and Clark.
- Adaptational Villainy: After years of absence, he returns as a prisoner of the Phantom Zone who is loyal to his biological father, General Zod, with virtually all of his positive aspects erased.
- Bishōnen: In his teenage-adult years.
- Blessed with Suck: While his Plot-Relevant Age-Up was quite useful, he now has to wear a device to keep himself from continuing to age or else he will turn into an old man in a matter of days.
- Calling the Old Man Out: His actions against Zod and Ursa can qualify this.
- Canon Immigrant / Expy: Chris Kent first appeared a year or two after Superman Returns in which Superman was revealed to have a 5 year old son. Chris was about the same age when first introduced and had a similar hairdo but had a different origin.
- Chick Magnet: As an adult, to his girlfriend's chagrin.
- Combo Platter Powers: He has tactile telekinesis, darkness manipulation, and Kryptonian powers.
- Defusing the Tyke Bomb: Clark Kent and Lois Lane acted this way toward him. Everyone else -including his abusive birth parents, Lex Luthor and the USA Government- wanted to capture him and control him. Lois and Clark adopted him and raised him. Chris eventually became a hero and fought alongside his adoptive father and his cousin Supergirl.
- Happily Adopted: By Clark and Lois, to the point that he considers them his real parents are refuses to acknowledge his Kryptonian name.
- Heroic Sacrifice: On two occasions, he allowed himself to be trapped in the Phantom Zone to prevent General Zod from escaping.
- Kryptonite Factor: Zigazgged. He does not feel the effects of kryptonite exposure as severely as other Kryptonians and can withstand its effects for much longer periods of time, an ability he has used offensively and defensively in combat. It is not known if prolonged exposure to kryptonite would eventually kill him or not.
- Legacy Character: The Nightwing persona is used by Dick Grayson, who got it from Superman, who got it from Kryptonian legends.
- In the Silver Age, Superman and Jimmy Olsen occasionally operated as a Batman and Robin-style duo named Nightwing and Flamebird in the Bottle City of Kandor (where Superman had no powers). Again, this is where Pre-Crisis Dick Grayson took the name from.
- Likes Older Women: Well, he's still chronologically a boy and seeing an adult (Thara).
- Luke, I Am Your Father: He is General Zod and Ursa's son.
- Mind over Matter: He is able to dismantle objects similarly to Conner Kent. He also displays the skill in a more traditional sense, such as moving objects without actually touching them. While this is considered base telekinesis, he seems to manifest this power through hand gestures instead of this ability emanating from pure thought.
- Power Limiter: He used to wear a red sunlight-emitting watch, to help him practice controlling his powers and doing things the old fashioned way.
- Plot-Relevant Age-Up: He became an adult due to the strange effects of the Phantom Zone.
- Inverted at the end of War of the Supermen arc. In the final confrontation between Superman and Zod, Chris pushes Zod back into the Phantom Zone. Once back in the Zone, Chris returns to being a young boy.
- Sealed Good in a Can: Both he and the Nightwing entity were trapped in the Phantom Zone for a while.
- Superpower Lottery: Chris has developed some of Superman's powers. His abilities are less powerful than those of the average Kryptonian, but the limits have not been measured. As Nightwing, he has also demonstrated additional abilities due to his birth in the Phantom Zone. His merging with the Nightwing entity has granted him further abilities which include:
- Casting a Shadow / Living Shadow: Chris displays this ability in the most rudimentary form, creating dark creatures, shadow shields, etc. His exact limitations are also unknown.
- Shadow Walker: He is able to merge with shadows and cross distances. The exact distance he can teleport remains unknown, but he was able to teleport or absorb a faulty artificial sun into the Phantom Zone.
- You're Not My Father: He considers Lois and Clark to be his real parents, since they raised him with kindness and understanding, while Zod and Ursa are total douches and only care about the strong. He insists that he be addressed as Chris, and not Lor-Zod.
Superman's cousin and Kara's alternate self on Earth 2.
Kara Zor-L's parents sent their baby daughter to Earth before Krypton's destruction, but because her Symbioship was considerably slower than Kal-L's she spent several decades in suspended animation until her ship finally landed on Earth and she met her cousin. She was adopted by Clark Kent and Lois Lane and eventually joined the Justice Society of America.
After Crisis on Infinite Earths, 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.
She is also Most Common Superpower incarnate.
A scientist whose experiment was sabotaged by a jealous co-worker, transforming her into an oranged-skinned, muscular superhuman whose continuously feeds off the sun to provide her extra strength. As a head scientist at S.T.A.R. labs she has provided assistance to Superman under both her normal identity as well as her super-strong alter-ego.
- Alternate Company Equivalent: Of both The Incredible Hulk and She-Hulk. See HULK MASH!-Up below.
- Ambiguously Bi: She had a relationship with the Will Payton version of Starman. Later on, during Peter David's run on Supergirl in the mid-to-late 1990's, it's hinted that she had a relationship with Christine Bruckner, who stole some funds and tried to frame up Kitty for it.
- Fiery Redhead: In her Rampage form she's red-headed and very hot-tempered.
- Freak Lab Accident: She got her powers from an explosion of a device she created at S.T.A.R. Labs: a machine that used algae to generate energy.
- Hulking Out: She can transform at will between her normal self and her Rampage identity, but more often than not it's because someone makes the mistake of ticking her off.
- HULK MASH!-Up: A combined version of Hulk and She-Hulk: Her origin is similar to Hulk's: Like Bruce Banner, she is brilliant scientist caught in the explosion of a device created by herself, caused by the interference of a nasty coworker (Dr. Thomas Moyers, a stand-in for Igor Drenkov in Hulk's origin). She also tried to save somebody else (Lois Lane, in Rick Jones's role) from the explosion, which is the origin of her powers. On the other hand, she has elements of She-Hulk, like her gender and personality, lacking Banner's identity disorder, keeping her intellect while transformed (except for her first transformation) and transforming at will (once again, the first time being an exception).
- Voluntary Shapeshifter: She can transform at will thanks to a regulator collar. As mentioned above, her first transformation was an exception.
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.
- Celestial Body: On her own, Kismet sometimes looks like she's made of stars.
- Childhood Friends: Sharon is from Smallville, and she and Clark knew each other growing up.
- Cosmic Being: Kismet is this, as opposed to Sharon. According to JLA/Avengers, she is the DCU's counterpart to Marvel's character Eternity, making her a very powerful cosmic entity indeed.note
- Energy Being: She's made of electromagnetic energy. That outfit she wears basically helps her hold herself together.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Strange Visitor would ultimately sacrifice her life in the Imperiex War when she gave all of her powers to Superman. He defeated Imperiex Prime by cracking his armor and draining his energy, an act which resulted in Strange Visitor's death, but opened the way for Superman to vanquish Imperiex and saving the universe. Kismet apparently survived, however.
- Legacy Character: After Sharon's death, when fellow blue-haired electrical person Livewire made her HeelFace Turn, she was given Sharon's old containment suit to help her control her powers.
- Lightning Can Do Anything: Her plane was struck by lightning. She was the only survivor, and got superpowers.
- Mythology Gag: Her name is an allusion to Superman's old tagline as a "strange visitor from another planet."
- Shock and Awe: Sharon initially seemed to merely have electromagnetic powers similar to the ones Superman briefly possessed when his powers had been altered. To help her control them, she took to wearing a protective suit modeled on the one Superman had worn during that time.
- Two Beings, One Body: Sharon got merged with Kismet.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Well, just look at it!
A clone with powers adapted from limited scientific understanding of Superman's genome in a Cadmus experiment overseen by Dr. Paul Westfield. 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 rather than being the modified clone of Dr. Westfield as he had long thought and been told he is half-Kryptonian, and the human half of his DNA came from Luthor.
- Arch-Enemy: An ingenious but hulking brute from her own era named King Kosmos.
- Canon Immigrant: Both Kristen herself, and the Miracle Monday holiday which we learn in Superman #400 will indeed be celebrated for centuries afterward.
- Demonic Possession: In her debut, she gets possessed by the demonic C.W. Saturn, her status as an outsider making her vulnerable. Superman saves her, of course.
- Flying Brick: Has the standard strength-flight-invulnerability package.
- It Was with You All Along: Her quest to learn the time-lost secret of Superwoman's identity reveals... that it's her.
- Kid from the Future: She's Jimmy Olsen's descendant. She's never told him. He thinks she's cute; for obvious reasons, she has not reciprocated.
- Meaningful Name: A time traveler whose last name is Wells.
- Name's the Same: Don't mix her up with Wonder Woman's evil counterpart from the antimatter universe.
- Spiritual Successor: Booster Gold is later introduced as a visitor from the future who uses then-commonplace tech to be a superhero in the present.
- A Post-Crisis version of Superwoman was briefly introduced — a morally dubious Kryptonian named Karsta Wor-Ul, who used the alias Kristen Wells. She left Earth and hasn't been heard from in a while.
- Lucy Lane's brief stint as Superwoman saw her wearing a costume similar to Kristen's.
- Thinking Up Portals: She can open space warps at will.
- Time Travel: She's from the future.
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.
- Abhorrent Admirer: Towards Power Girl. Its not that he is ugly, but she is repulsed by his attitude. His infatuation with her persists even after she rebukes him and he went as far as marrying an alternate universe version of her.
- Achilles' Heel: His energy can be siphoned off.
- Always Someone Better: Pre-Crisis, his strength, speed, vision, hearing, etc were all superior to Superman's. Post-Crisis, they are roughly equal.
- Badass Moustache: In the Post-Crisis even his spaceship, that loooks like a human head, has big moustache.
- Boisterous Bruiser
- Conflict Ball: He and Superman are friends, they have great respect for each other as heroes, and... one way or another, any time he shows up, you know they're gonna get in a fight.
- Carpet of Virility
- Casanova Wannabe: Post-Crisis.
- Chivalrous Pervert: He really likes the ladies, but he's not a total jerk about it.
- Fan Disservice: In-Universe, when he wore a sexy outfit to seduce Power Girl, but all he ended up doing was disturbing her.
- The First Cut Is the Deepest: While trying to woo Power Girl, he clarifies that he's not looking for love. His wife died and she can never be replaced.
- Flanderization: Before the Crisis, he was treated as a serious character. Post-Crisis, the writers played up his very 1970's look to turn him into the epitome of a disco era lounge lizard. The results are... well, frankly hysterical, but it came at the cost of every drop of the poor guy's dignity.
- Friendly Rival
- Idiot Hero: However, despite his bluntness and lack of common sense, he is a Genius Bruiser and an expert when it comes to science and engineering.
- Invincible Hero
- Iron Woobie: Pre-Crisis, he first lost his wife. Then he and Lana fell in love but learned they could never be together. Then his planet exploded. Then (at least in the unofficial canon of Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?) Lana died. Add in all the times the poor guy got mind controlled over the years... yeesh. In Pre-Crisis days, life was not not kind to this man. But he always kept on going.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Deep down, he is a true hero.
- Ladykiller in Love: Though he grieves for the death of his wife and was first looking to repopulate his planet with Power Girl to save his people, its clear that sleeps around which tends to cause problems (he brought to Earth a fight with a angry alien warlord whose wife Vartox seduced). He is also very attracted towards Power Girl and keeps trying to impress her, much to her displeasure.
- Large Ham
- Lightning Bruiser: Especially Pre-Crisis, where his strength and speed are greater than Superman's.
- Lovable Sex Maniac
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: Like being able to manipulate matter at a subatomic level, being able to turn intangible, etc.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Vartox was originally based on the Sean Connery, with his appearance taken from the movie Zardoz and his over-the-top machismo from Connery himself.
- Post-Crisis, he flies around in a spaceship based on the giant flying stone head from Zardoz.
- Older Than They Look: He's been battling evil ever since Superman was a little tot.
- Porn Stache: Played entirely serious in the character's first appearances, back when he was introduced to cash in on the popularity of... Sean Connery in Zardoz.
- Rated M for Manly
- Refuge in Audacity: Post-Crisis. The planet Valeron is ruled by the sexy superstud Vartox, assisted by Chancellor Groovicus Mellow, and Vartox wields his mighty moustache from his happening pad while fending off Yeti pirates. All in one issue!
- Secret Identity: Pre-Crisis. After his planet Valeron was destroyed and he had to start his life over, Clark helped him set up a new identity on Earth as "Vernon O'Valeron." Hey, it's as good a name as any.
- Story-Breaker Power
- Super Empowering: Can transfer a portion of his energy to others, temporarily giving them his powers.
- Superpower Lottery:
- The Pre-Crisis version of Vartox is described as a Hyper-man, possessing Hyper-powers. The origin of these powers is never revealed but Vartox did state he "acquired" his Hyper-powers as a young man.
- An Ice Person: He can generate hyper-frost to freeze a target. He can use this to freeze a person solid; this condition wears off within the hour leaving the subject unharmed.
- Energy Blasts: Vartox can emit a range of energy powers from his hands, eyes and in one case his foot. These have taken the forms of hyper-charges, which are capable of killing or rendering a target unconscious, the extremely powerful hyper-obliteration charge, as well as hyper-disintegration beams.
- Flying Brick: Vartox is capable of unaided intergalactic flight.
- Hyper Speed
- Hyper Strength
- Hyper Senses: These take at least two forms, though there are possibly more. Hyper-Vision, evidenced as analogous to telescopic vision, microscopic vision (at least to a molecular level) and the X-Ray Vision (unlike Superman's own X-ray vision which cannot see through lead). He also has some form of super-hearing as he was able to hear Jimmy Olsen's ultra-sonic signal watch and listen to a conversation taking place thousands of miles away.
- Hyper Breath: On one occasion.
- Mind over Matter: He possesses a very powerful form of telekinesis which he has used in many ways, to manipulate his environment, to rain "remote-control blows" on an enemy from a distance, to shape water into tidal waves, to choke Superman with his own cape and to repair a shredded parachute, amongst others.
- Nigh-Invulnerable: Has no Kryptonite Factor and can shrug off magic attacks.
- Playing with Fire
- Psychic Powers: They are possibly the source of his other abilities.
- The Post-Crisis Vartox seems to be of a much lower power level. He possesses powers of flight, some degree of invulnerability and super-strength and hyperspeed a little below the Post-Crisis Superman.
- The Pre-Crisis version of Vartox is described as a Hyper-man, possessing Hyper-powers. The origin of these powers is never revealed but Vartox did state he "acquired" his Hyper-powers as a young man.
- Supreme Chef
- Third-Person Person: Lampshaded by Power Girl, who thought it was annoying.
- Underwear of Power: He doesn't shave his legs.
- World's Strongest Man
Other versions of Superman
Superman has been imagined in a number of different incarnations over the years. Here are the notable ones.
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 from The Golden Age of Comic Books.
- Cosmic Retcon: One of the most high-profile victims. His universe suffered a Ret-Gone, yet he survived. No wonder he went along with Alex Luthor Jr.'s plan.
- Decomposite Character: In the 1960's, it was established that Superman's Golden Age stories were actually set on Earth-2, an alternate universe with its own Superman.
- Determinator: He literally punched his way back into reality, at the beginning of Infinite Crisis, even though it takes him hours and splits his knuckles.
- Driven to Suicide: During Crisis of Infinite Earths, when he and Kal-El investigate where Earth-2 should be, he feels compelled to fly into the void. Later on, when fighting the Anti-Monitor for the last time, he tells his counterpart that with his wife dead and his world gone, he's got nothing left to live for, so he might as well sacrifice himself.
- Famous Last Words: "Lois..."
- 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.
- Heel Realization: In Infinite Crisis, when he realizes that the Superboy he condemned was a hero willing to die for others while the Superboy he supported became a murdering psycho.
- Informed Ability: An additional ability that actual Golden Age Superman possessed, which his modern counterpart does not, is an ability to "mold" his face to disguise himself, as chronicled in several Golden Age tales. This ability was never specifically ascribed to the specific Earth-Two Superman or shown in any specific Earth-Two Superman story, but was mentioned only in Golden Age stories.
- 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.
- His past was removed from the timeline along with his universe.
- A Silver Age comic featuring Superboy had the Boy of Steel travelling to this Superman's youth and training him in crime-fighting which likely erased his earlier, more brutal days as Superman.
- Skunk Stripe: This Superman is almost exclusively depicted as having grey hair on the sides of his head.
- Together in Death: He and Lois at the end of Infinite Crisis.
- Trauma Conga Line: Put simply, everything between Crisis and Infinite Crisis. First, his universe gets destroyed and his beloved wife apparently killed, leaving him an un-person. Then Alex Luthor reveals Lois is alive, so they get a happy ending, yay! ... and then they, and Alex, watch as the Dark Age of Comic Books sets in, disenheartening him. Then, Lois starts dying of old age, and while she's okay with that, he emphatically isn't. Which Alex uses to manipulate him into helping Alex recreate the multiverse. Then Lois dies anyway. Agreeing to stop Alex, Kal-L and Earth-0 Superman fight against Superboy-Prime, which ends with Kal-L being beaten to death. Yay?
Introduced briefly during Final Crisis as one of the Supermen of the restored multiverse. In this universe, things are a little different. For one, by day, Superman operates as Calvin Ellis, good-natured President of the United States. And he's black.
- A Day in the Limelight: Grant Morrison's Action Comics gives him a two-part story focusing on him fighting the other-dimensional menace of Superdoom.
- Clark Kenting: Obviously, he has a different system than other Supermen. He has an army of robots subbing in for him while he's off playing superhero, and covers by claiming he's taking power naps.
- For Want of a Nail: In his universe, Jor-El and Lara were inhabitants of Valtho Island. Baby Kal's rocket landed on Hawaii, and he was adopted by the Ellises. Also, there's apparently no Lois Lane around. About the only thing that's the same for this Superman and "our" Superman is Lex Luthor.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Absolutely no resemblance to any American presidents we could name. None whatsoever. Nuh-uh.
- Palette Swap: His costume is exactly the same as regular Superman's, save the colors of the S shield are inverted (yellow on red, rather than red on yellow).
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. 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.
- All for Nothing: Part of the reason he went into exile. Joker killed everyone at the Daily Planet, Lois included, but she lasted long enough to make Clark promise to take him in alive. He did, but at the trial Joker was murdered by Magog, who was acquitted.
- Anti-Hero: He's a bit rougher than New Earth's Superman, though he's still Superman.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Or at least, Earn Your Bittersweet Ending. After he learns his Earth survived, he's sent back... and sees Power Woman died in the nuke attempt. Only Norman McCay's intervention delaying him long enough to learn some of his fellow superheroes survived prevents him from going on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge. But after that, he manages to rebuild his world, start a family, and lives long enough to see the beginning of the Legion of Super-Heroes.
- 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. And while on Earth-0, he's not bothered because kryptonite doesn't work on Kryptonians from different realities.
- Miniature Senior Citizen: By the time he reaches a thousand years old, he's old and wizened.
- Paint It Black: The shield of his costume is painted black. To honor the victims of the nuclear holocaust in Kansas.
- 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.
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.
- Adaptation Species Change: Is actually a future human.
- Bullet Catch: Does it when Pyotr tries to shoot himself.
- Faster-Than-Light Travel: Can move at ten times the speed of sound and does his best thinking when approaching translight velocities.
- Kryptonite Factor: Like his mainstream counterpart, Batman could depower him with red solar energy and Brainiac was able to hurt him with a green ray that was probably kryptonite.
- Related in the Adaptation:. Is a descendant of Lex Luthor.
- Super-Speed Reading: Various medical books when Stallin is dying.
- Transhuman: Is an evolved human from the future.
- 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.
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.
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.
- Chest Insignia: Rather than an S shield it's three vertically aligned oblongs of incongruous size.
- Home Field Advantage: Only has powers under the super-sun of his native solar system and time period.
- Kryptonite Factor: Immune to kryptonite, but now wholly dependent on his native super-sun in his current time period for his powers. This means his powers fade if he leaves either the space or time its light exists.
- Super Intelligence: He has a twelfth level intellect.
- Superpowerful Genetics: Has a long pedigree of superpowered beings, at one point dipping into Fifth-dimensional heritage, that give him a rather ludicrous amount of powers far beyond Clark.
- Super Senses: Up to Eleven; His 5th dimensional ancestry gives him 5D senses that allow him to sense across dimensions. He can tell when he's in a time loop and pull his consciousness out of it to escape.
- Psychic Powers: Has access to telepathy.