Lois Lane | Jimmy Olsen | Ambush Bug | Steel
Central Rogues Gallery (Alexander "Lex" Luthor, Bizarro, Vril Dox/Brainiac, Cyborg-Superman, Darkseid, Doomsday, Lobo, Mister Mxyzptlk, Mongul, Phantom Zone Criminals [General Zod]) | A-L | M-Z (Superboy-Prime)
Supergirl (Kara Zor-El/Linda Danvers/Supergirl, Supporting Cast, Rogues Gallery) | Power Girl | Superboy (Conner Kent/Kon-El, Jonathan "Jon" Samuel Kent, Supporting Cast, Rogues Gallery) | Legion Of Superheroes (The Founders, Silver Age, Bronze Age, Five Years Later, Postboot, Threeboot, Retroboot, Rebirth, Other Heroes, The Fatal Five, The Legion of Supervillains, Other Villains, Supporting Cast)
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."
- 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-Two was introduced in the 60's as the setting of the old Golden Age stories, Earth-Two 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!"
- 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.
The commissioner of the Metropolis Police. Originally Inspector Henderson, Bill was an occasionally-appearing supporting cast member in The Bronze Age of Comic Books who acted as Superman's liaison with the police. Post-Crisis, he became the city commissioner. He was a mentor and close friend to Maggie Sawyer. His cousin, Mike Henderson, is the head of the Metropolis Metacrimes Division.
- 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.
- Friend on the Force: A high-ranking member of the Metropolis police that Superman gets along with well.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Bill is an honest and sensible police officer, and he gets along well with Superman.
- Signature Headgear: In Pre-Crisis days, he typically sported a fedora, just as he did on the live action series.
In the Post-Crisis era, when Superman allowed more of his hidden qualities to show as Clark Kent, gossip columnist Cat Grant showed up as a rival for Clark's affections. A bit shallow and a shameless flirt, Cat became more serious after her son was murdered by Toyman. In the '00s, she's shown up again in her old job and is cast as a "cougar" having had surgery done to maintain her good looks. She shamelessly hits on the then married Clark in front of his wife. Clark believes she is reinventing herself to mask the pain of her loss. Recently, she's left the Daily Planet and become the head of CatCo Worldwide Media (as per her depiction on Supergirl's TV series).
- 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.
- 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.
- Fake Boobs: 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 —"
- 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… except Clark.
- 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!!"
- 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.
- Demonic Possession: Spent Final Crisis being the host for Darkseid, not remotely by choice.
- 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.
- Platonic Life-Partners: Formed this kind of relationship with Maggie Sawyer while working together, even after she turned down his marriage proposal.
- Retcon: Around 2010, a retcon claimed 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).
- Signature Headgear: His signature brown derby (bowler).
- 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 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.
- Adaptational Wimp: In John Byrne's The Man of Steel and World of Krypton, Lara is portrayed as a librarian and historian who has little to do with Jor-El and sending Kal-El to Earth with her final moments invovling her freaking out while Jor-El saves their son and calms her down. However Pre-Crisis Lara was a trained astronaut, survived several dangerous situations with her husband and when given the chance to survive with her son she chose to die with Jor-El since she loved him and knew her extra weight could cause the ship to fail. Jor-El also suffers this to a lesser extent, as he is a far cry from the Badass Bookworm from the Pre-Crisis continuity.
- Adaptation Name Change: They were named Jor-L and Lora in the Golden Age.
- Aerith and Bob: Lara is a human name, Jor-El isn't. Lara's original Golden Age name however, while more human sounding than her husband's, 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 would have taken 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.
- Broken Pedestal: The New 52 has him pulled from the moment of Krypton's destruction and dropped on Earth. There he receives the worst view on humanity and decides its beyond saving, believing the best thing for his son is to make him see that and convince him to take his family and leave for greener pastures by deliberately stoking people's worst actions and torturing Clark when he refuses. It then comes out that back on Krypton he was a member of a shadow government for the galaxy, after he took Jon on a galactic roadtrip which through a mishap aged him into near-adulthood. At the end Clark is left utterly appalled at the self-justifying manipulator his father is and will eternally resent him for stealing his son's childhood from him, while Jon sees him as someone gripped with insanity from existential despair.
- Cain and Abel: Some more recent incarnations of Jor-El has him have this dynamic with his brother Zor-El, who has been increasingly portrayed as either villainous, or at the very least morally grey.
- Some versions of Jor-El also has this with General Zod, with them having been as close as brothers in their youth, before becoming bitter enemies.
- 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.
- Depending on the Writer: Whether Jor-El is a beloved figure in Kryptonian society or considered some kind of crazy radical for his views on Kryptonian life and the planet's impending destruction is up to the specific era and writer the comic comes from.
- Death by Childbirth: 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.
- Early-Installment Weirdness: In the very first comics, they (along with all Kryptonians), had superpowers even when on Krypton. Their names were also spelled differently, as Jor-L and Lora.
- 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.
- Forbidden Love: In more sterile, dystopian portrayals of Krypton, Jor-El and Lara's genuine romance is considered scandalous, and something they have to hide. The fact that they made Kal-El the old-fashioned way, instead of creating a child through genetic engineering as is the custom on some versions of Krypton is considered outright obscene.
- Fling a Light into the Future: They sent their only son in a rocket to Earth.
- Happily Married: Many version, in particular the Pre-Crisis continuity, made it clear that the two were deeply in love and in versions where Jor-El made enough space on the ship for Lara to survive with Kal-El, she chooses to stay with him instead of living without him.
- Huge Holographic Head: How Jor-El's hologram usually appears but some comics 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: The Pre-Crisis versions of them are usually dead by the time Kal-El ends up on Earth, their appearances typically in either flashbacks during Krypton's past before its destruction or holograms.
- 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.
- Robot Buddy: Jor-El has two called Kelex and Kelor.
- Science Hero: Jor-El in the Silver Age, to the point of making citizens arrests on future Phantom Zone criminals.
- Spared by the Adaptation: Some Elseworlds, such as Last Family of Krypton and Dark Knights of Steel, have 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.
- Trauma Conga Line: The New 52 is not kind to him. He's ripped from his wife in the final moments of Krypton, dropped on an alien planet to be granted the worst view of its people, becomes a global terrorist in a mad attempt to save his son, has the secrets he supported on Krypton come back to tear the galaxy apart and have his son resent him for all his actions, before being sent back in time to die on Krypton. If failing to save Krypton wasn't enough then failing to save anything and having it all blow up in his face in front of his child has to be utterly mortifying.
- Virtual Ghost: Jor-El gets this treatment through recordings, largely inspired by Superman: The Movie. Lara (and others) get this too sometimes.
- We Used to Be Friends: In some versions, Jor-El and Zod used to be close friends, or at least held a great amount of respect for one another, before it eventually turned into bitter hatred, closely mirroring the relationship his son has with Lex Luthor in some versions.
- "You believe Kent is here, J.C. And I believe Kent is here. It's my stomach that's skeptical!"
- 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!"
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.
- Adaptation Species Change: Briefly in Post-Crisis, the Kandorians were non-Kryptonian aliens, and the city was originally a concentration camp until it was taken by the alien wizard Tolos.
- 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.
- Men of Sherwood: The seemingly rotating Emergency Squad of Kandor is made up of citizens who sometimes fly out of the bottled city to help Superman despite their microscopic size. They tend to be helpful and long-lived, sometimes even capturing villains who have defeated Superman.
- 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.
- Vanishing Village: Rokyn, the planet they settled after being enlarged in Pre-Crisis continuity, was like this, only existing in our dimension for intermittant periods. They knew this when they requested Superman take them there for re-enlargement, but Superman was caught off-guard by it. From then on, until the Crisis, the Kandorians were Commuting on a Bus, as the planet would re-appear in our universe periodically but was usually inaccessible.
- "The young master is... unlike other Kryptonians, Number 3. His... heart is great."
- 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: The original Kelex blew up with the rest of Krypton; the modern Kelex is 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.
- Unnecessarily Creepy Robot: He was introduced during John Byrne's run, when Krypton was being portrayed as semi-dystopian, so he was drawn to have a very alien and slightly creepy look. These days he's presented as much more friendly, but his basic look is usually unchanged.
- "Look, Mary! — It's a child!"
"The poor thing! — It's been abandoned!"
- 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. They're also related to one of Hawkman's prior incarnations.
- Badass Normal:
- Some portrayals of Jonathan will have him as a veteran, and will cross the line into this.
- Not that Martha is herself a slouch either. During Blackest Night, she's attacked by the Black Lantern Lois Lane of Earth Two, and gets away unharmed.
- 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.
- Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: Following the success of Smallville, where they had more of a central role than previous Superman media, artists often drew Ma and Pa Kent as aged-up versions of Annette O'Toole and John Schneider.
- Death by Adaptation: The 1978 Superman film and Man of Steel both have Jonathan getting killed off. Though as noted, how long-lived Ma and Pa Kent are varies wildly even in the source material.
- 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.
- 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 purely wholesome "America The Beautiful" type. In many continuities, this is why Superman is such an Ideal Hero: Ma and Pa Kent raised their boy Clark with the best of good, old-fashioned middle American values (honesty, humility, politeness, hard work, help out as you're able).
- 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, who 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. Though she eventually does become a grandma.
- Happily Married: Martha's relationship with her husband is probably the most stable in all of comics.
- 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.
- Nice Guy: They are kind and humble, and they instilled these in their adoptive son so he would become The Cape he is today.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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 in 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: Not most of them usually, but some such as Zod look down on those who are not from Krypton so they naturally do not care about non kryptonian life.
- Crapsaccharine World: In some interpretations, Krypton is portrayed as a beautiful world, basically unrivaled in technology and evolutionary development, and with basically no crime or suffering of any kind, but emotionally sterile, with a populace both completely lacking in free will, and so arrogant and xenophobic that they gave up exploring outside their world, sealing their own doom in the process.
- Darker and Edgier: During the Silver Age, Kryptonian society was a thriving, colorful utopia. Starting with the 1978 movie, and later made canon Post-Crisis, Krypton was portrayed in an increasingly dystopian light, being emotionally dead, and already on the decline due to the arrogance of it's rulers, and the Kryptonians' severe xenophobia.
- Designer Babies: Recent interpretations have gone with the idea that Kryptonians stopped reproducing sexually, instead opting for genetically engineering their young using a "matching" system. The reason why depends, sometimes, it's because Kryptonian society has become so detached and sterile that the act of sexual intercourse is considered obscene, in others, they engineer people based on their pre-selected occupation.
- Early-Installment Weirdness: During the Golden Age, before the idea of the yellow sun powering Superman existed, it was said that Kryptonians were "supermen", with all their powers on Krypton as well.
- During that time, it was also said that the reason for their powers was their planet's heavier gravity, and that they had simply evolved for far longer than humans. Granted, during the first Superman comics, his only powers were increased strength, speed and durability, which actually makes scientific sense, and is the case for real-life humans in low-gravity environments.
- 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.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Because the Kryptonian Science Council were arguably responsible to one degree or another for letting Krypton’s destruction proceed because of their complacency and refusal to listen to Jor-El, you could say they ended up getting what they deserved.
- 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.
- Space Clothes: One of the trope codifiers. Up till the 80's, Kryptonian dress was deeply Raygun Gothic, typically designed to mimic the style of Superman's uniform (form-fitting, often with capes and chest insignias); and all male citizens wore headbands. The movies went a Crystal Spires and Togas route, with white robes predominating. Post-Crisis, John Byrne mostly just tried to make their outfits look strange and alien, with cowled black robes with fluffy piping on the sleeves for men and flared golden headdresses for women. Modern depictions generally try to split the difference between these three versions, incorporating bits from each.
- 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.
Lana Lang is Clark Kent's high school love interest and one of the most prominent supporting characters in the Superman mythos. She was originally created as a teenage Captain Ersatz of Lois Lane to complicate things for Superboy the way her older counterpart complicated the life of the adult Superman.
Lana was first introduced in Superboy #10 (September/October 1950). As Clark's next door neighbour in Smallville she was mostly depicted as equal parts close friend and nuisance, being determined to prove Clark and Superboy were one in the same. In keeping with the tradition set by Lois she was attracted to Superboy but had little time for the timid Clark (romantically anyway.) During the Silver Age Lana would prove nearly as much a Weirdness Magnet as Jimmy Olsen himself, going through many transformations and gaining or losing powers as the plot demanded. After gaining a "bio-genetic" ring from an alien she even had a few adventures as a superheroine using the name "Insect Queen" and ended up a reserve member of the Legion of Super-Heroes.
Meanwhile Lana had started to appear as an adult in Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane (while still appearing as a teenager in Superboy stories). Many Superman tales of the 60s dealt with the Lois/Superman/Lana triangle. Later, in the 70s and 80s she was Clark's co-anchor on WGBS-TV's evening news.
Lana was substantially reinvented for Superman III, her first major role outside the comics, which emphasised her Girl Next Door aspects and her friendship (and romantic interest) with Clark rather than his alter-ego.
Post-Crisis, with Clark's time as Superboy retconned away, Lana's role was altered into being Clark's Unlucky Childhood Friend and Secret-Keeper, largely keeping her characterisation from Superman III. She appeared occasionally in the Superman stories and had a rocky few years, marrying and then divorcing fellow Smallville native Pete Ross and never quite getting over Clark. Later on she returned to prominence as a surrogate mother/big sister figure to Supergirl.
In the New 52, she was re-imagined as an engineer, and became a major supporting character in Action Comics and Superman/Wonder Woman, establishing a long-term relationship with John Henry Irons. Her role as one of the very few people who Superman has confided his real identity in remains secure.
In Superwoman #1, it's revealed that when the New 52 Superman died in The Final Days of Superman, the blast gave both Lois and Lana superpowers, Lois getting Superman's classic powers, Lana getting the energy powers of Superman Red and Blue. Lois convinced Lana to become Superwoman alongside her — only for Lois to apparently die at the end of the issue, leaving Lana as the series' main character.
Outside of comics, Lana's first appearance was in the unsold 1961 pilot The Adventures of Superboy in which she was played by Bunny Henning. Lana played a major role in the TV series The Adventures of Superboy (where she was played by Stacy Haiduk), Superman: The Animated Series (where she was played by Kelley Schmidt as a teenager and Joely Fisher as an adult), Smallville (where she was played by Kristin Kreuk as an adult and Miranda Cosgrove as a child) and the film Superman III (where she was played by Annette O'Toole). Jadin Gould played her at age 13 and Emily Peterson as an adult in the DC Extended Universe. Emily Procter played an Alternate Universe version of Lana who was engaged to Clark in the Lois & Clark episode "Tempus, Anyone?". Emmanuelle Chriqui plays a married Lana in Superman & Lois.
- Affirmative-Action Legacy: For Superman in Superwoman, specifically the Superman Red incarnation from when he was split up into two energy-based beings in the late '90s.
- Alliterative Name: Lana Lang.
- Alternate Company Equivalent: Gwen Stacy from Spider-Man, who was introduced fifteen years after Lana, can be seen as her Marvel equivalent, in that they're both the First Love of the main hero, had a Betty and Veronica style love triangle between them and the character's future wife/more famous love interest (Lois Lane/Mary Jane Watson), playing the Betty in this situation, and could be quite a jerk to the hero despite their affections. Unlike Gwen, Lana at least lived.
- Ascended Extra: Became the protagonist in Superwoman after sixty-odd years as a supporting character.
- Betty and Veronica: Pre-Crisis Lana and Lois were in a long-running triangle over Superman. Broadly speaking Lana was the Betty (as the childhood friend) and Lois the Veronica (as the glamorous big city gal) but they actually had aspects of each in their characters — Lana ended up a TV reporter, making her pretty glamorous too, while Lois frequently showed a softer side to her personality. Post-Crisis Lana is firmly in Unlucky Childhood Friend territory.
- Butt-Monkey: Tied with Jimmy as the unluckiest major character in the Superman mythos. Pre-Crisis it was frequently her own fault when a scheme backfired, post-Crisis not so much.
- Childhood Friend Romance: Blatantly pined after Clark and still tries to win his affection, to no avail.
- Comes Great Responsibility: How Lois convinces her to use the powers she gained from Clark's death and become Superwoman. Lois tells her that she should honor Clark's memory by reminding people what his symbol stands for.
- Depending on the Writer: Depending on the universe, and the adaptation, Lana's relationship with Clark varies widely. In some, they dated quite seriously, in others, Clark pined for her as a teenager, but never went beyond that, and in others, it's Lana who has unrequited feelings for Clark.
- Empowered Badass Normal: In Superwoman.
- Expy: Of Lois. She was originally introduced to be the nosy investigative love interest for a young Clark Kent. For Smallville the creators created a new character (Chloe Sullivan) to fill this role as their version of Lana didn't mesh with that role, resulting in the odd situation where they had both a Lana character and a character who was for all intents and purposes an Expy of the comics version of Lana.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: Gets charcoaled in Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?.
- Fiery Redhead: Iconically red haired but her fieryness tends to vary depending on time period (she was a lot more fiery in the 50s and 60s for instance).
- First Love: She is this to Clark/Superman.
- Friendship Moment: In pre-Crisis continuity Lana was the person who stayed with the Kents during Jonathan and Martha's terminal illness and tried to keep Clark's spirits up.
- Genius Ditz: Overlapping with Guile Heroine. Silver Age Lana was notoriously reckless and lacking in common sense even for the Silver Age but in her quest to prove Superboy was really Clark Kent she could be incredibly cunning and inventive.
- It's All About Me: Her reason for her angst with Superman is based around how he didn't choose to be with Lana during his childhood and broke her heart.
- Loves My Alter Ego: Pre-Crisis Lana was in love with Superman (or Superboy depending on the timeframe of the story). Post-Crisis she was best friends with and interested in Clark.
- Parental Abandonment: In the New 52, her parents died during the events of Superman: Doomed. Superwoman subsequently gave her a deceased brother as well.
- Parental Substitute: Post-Crisis Lana took on this role to Supergirl, taking her under her wing as her adoptive aunt.
- Pet the Dog: The pre-Crisis Lana could be plenty obnoxious at times but on many occasions she showed that beneath her often selfish exterior she was a good person.
- Secret Chaser: Pre-Crisis. That page's image says it all.
- Secret-Keeper: Post-Crisis. Pre-Crisis due to Status Quo Is God the times she learned Clark's secret she either forgot it thanks to some handy plot element or was tricked into thinking she'd misinterpreted things.
- Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: More significant at some points than others, however.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: During the Silver Age, she was one for Lois Lane, being a nosy reporter with the initials "L.L", obsessed with unmasking Superman/Superboy, as well as the main love interest for Clark. Gradually, the reporter element was dropped entirely, and Post-Crisis, Lana and Lois are very different as people.
- Small Name, Big Ego: As a teenager in the Silver Age, with shades of a Know-Nothing Know-It-All.
- Stalker with a Crush: After Clark revealed he had superpowers and left to pursue his journey to become Superman, Lana became heartbroken and alone with the knowledge the man she loved would never be hers and became a stalker, to the extent that Lex Luthor noticed the frequency with which she appeared in the vicinity of Clark in Metropolis and had her tortured in an attempt to gain whatever inside knowledge of Superman she might have.
- Zany Scheme: In the Silver Age, mostly to get Superboy to reveal his real identity. They didn't tend to work out.
- 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!"
- Alliterative Name: Lori Lemaris.
- Amicable Exes: They stay friends after their breakup, although years pass before they see each other again.
- Bathtub Mermaid: Lori Lemaris, whom Clark meets in college. She is in a wheelchair, but secretly she's a mermaid and spends her time at home in the bathtub.
- 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.
- Retcon: She was killed by Shadow Demons during the final battle of Crisis on Infinite Earths. This was eventually undone when she shows up later in Clark's life Post-Crisis, apparently their Silver/Bronze Age encounters since college no longer appear to be canon.
- She was introduced before tight cross-title continuity was really a thing, so her version of Atlantis was different from Aquaman's. It was eventually established that Lori's tailed merfolk live in one area of Atlantis called Tritonis, and Aquaman's Apparently Human Merfolk live in another, called Poseidonis.
- 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 New 52 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.
- Relationship Upgrade: She marries Ron Troupe, and they have a baby. Later stories imply they may have gotten divorced, but it isn't clear.
- 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.
- Superpowers 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.
- "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!"
- 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.
- Boyish Short Hair
- 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 although he attempted to resign out of embarrassment afterwards, Maggie made it clear she wouldn't accept his resignation and they maintained a good working relationship.
- 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.
- 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).
- Team Mom: Sometimes takes this role for the GCPD.
- 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.
- "You're my employee — and you'll do well to remember it! If I say you're working for my television station, you are! Clear?"
A wealthy media mogul and head of Galaxy Broadcasting who purchased the Daily Planet and moved Clark to a job as a TV news anchor during the Bronze Age. The Pre-Crisis version of Edge was arrogant and high-handed, but under his bluster he had a streak of decency, and over time he and Clark developed respect for each other, even if they never became actual friends like Clark and Perry. After the Crisis on Infinite Earths reboot, the rebooted Edge was recast as a villain, and you can read about him under "Intergang" on the villains page.
- Always a Bigger Fish: In the first crossover with Spider-Man, J. Jonah Jameson, for all his wealth and prestige, seems a little intimidated by Edge, who is even richer and more powerful.
- Alternate Company Equivalent: Can be seen as this to Spider-Man's J. Jonah Jameson as a Clark's overbearing boss who isn't Superman's strongest supporter.
- Benevolent Boss: More or less, once he and Clark came to an understanding. Clark actually broke his "mild-mannered" persona to shout the overbearing Edge down a couple of times, and this actually seems to have earned Edge's respect.
- Character Development: In his early days, Edge was pretty solidly a Jerkass most of the time, but he mellowed a bit over the fifteen years between his introduction and the Crisis reboot. One notable Pet the Dog moment was when he refused to cross some strikers' picket line, mentioning that his father had been a union man, startling everyone present.
- Depending on the Writer: He was created by Jack Kirby, who clearly intended him to be revealed as a minion of Darkseid, but by the time this came out, the other writers had been portraying him as obnoxious but clearly not actually evil. The inconsistency was explained by Edge having been temporarily replaced by an evil clone, created by Darkseid. The real Edge was rescued, and he remained as Clark's boss for the next fifteen years in real world time. Post-Crisis, Edge was reintroduced as a true villain.
- Evil Twin: Shortly after his introduction, an evil clone framed Edge as a minion of Darkseid, but the real Edge was proven innocent.
- Rich Bastard: Edge is very proud of his position and wealth.
- Sour Supporter: When all Kryptonite on Earth was rendered harmless, Edge was the first to play devil's advocate and ask the Planet staff if they could still trust Superman if he was now truly indestructible.
- 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!"
- 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 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."
- Audience Surrogate: An easy-to-relate-to character who gives 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 considerable 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.
- His sister Lenda briefly dated the Planet's publisher, Franklin Stern.
- 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?"
- 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
- 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.
- Teacher/Student Romance: She was one of Clark's teachers....and had an affair with him when he was out of college.
The Daily Planet's publisher for most of the Post-Crisis era, he's a former reporter and an old friend of Perry's. He briefly dated Ron Troupe's sister Lenda. He eventually had to sell the Planet, however — which unfortunately led to it eventually getting picked up by Lex Luthor, but it was then thankfully bought out by Bruce Wayne. He was played by James Earl Jones on Lois & Clark.
A girl who lives next door to the "Smiths", and a friend of Jon's.
- 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.
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.
You can find out more about him on the Superboy page or the page for Kon's own series that ran from 1994 to 2002.
A pair of twin Phaelosian children raised as Warzoons on Mongul's Warworld. Osul-Ra and Otho-Ra find themselves admiring Superman when he is placed in the same cell as them by Mongul. After Superman liberates Warworld from Mongul's tyranny, he brings the twins to Earth and takes them in as his own, with them becoming colloquially known as the Super-Twins.
- Big Sister Instinct: Otho is the older of the twins and fiercely protective of him.
- Fantastic Racism: Owing to her horrific upbringing on Warworld, Otho has no love for the Unmade created by Mongul's experiments. She's cold and untrusting toward Metallo because of this, not helped by how he kidnapped her and Osul earlier.
- Came Back Strong: Osul-Ra dies trying to escape Mongul's attempt to coerce Superman into giving away the Fire of Olgrun. Superman saves Osul-Ra by gifting the boy the Fire of Olgrun. This restores Osul-Ra to life and gives him a fragment of the power that can bring even a New God like Desaad to his knees.
- Happily Adopted: Osul and Otho are taken in by Clark and Lois as part of their family following the liberation of Warworld.
- Literal-Minded: Due to learning English recently, they question common English idioms and are confused in card games where seemingly weaker creatures defeat more formidable monsters.Osul: [when John brings up the Butterfly Effect] The idea that small things can have non-linear impacts on a complex system.
Otho: A butterfly flapping its wings and causing a typhoon.
Osul: Of course a butterfly flapping its wings cannot cause a typhoon.
Otho: Of course.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: They're about 12-13 years old, the same age that Jon was when he left with Jor-El. And as Phaelosians they have the full Kryptonian powerset under a yellow sun.
- Sailor's Ponytail: Even after moving to Earth, both Osul and Otho keep their ponytails that they wore on Warworld. While they weren't sailors, it emphasizes that they're still trained warriors ready for adventure and heroism.
The greatest scientific genius of Earth-3, a parallel 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-One and Alexei Luthor of Earth-Two. 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 (2013).
- 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.
- Arch-Enemy: Of the Crime Syndicate and Ultraman in particular.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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-One's Lex Luthor and Earth-Two'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.
- Intangibility: 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.
- Nice Mean And In Between: All three versions of the character fall into this trope with pre-Crisis Alexander being a genuine hero, New 52 Alexander being just as bad as as the villains he fights, and the Antimatter Alexander being arrogant but ultimately a good person.
- 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.
- Ret-Gone: 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.
- Heel–Face 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.
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).
- Playing with Fire: She possess and undefined connection to the mythic Flamebird entity that gave her pyrokinesis power.
- 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.
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.
- Overshadowed 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.
- 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, the original 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!"
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 Super-Heroes 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.
Wait... this is one of those where writing the article as the character just won't work. Unless you can speak animal.
Krypto the Superdog is Superman's pet canine, a white dog of indeterminate breed who like his owner also survived the explosion of Krypton. He was created by Otto Binder and Curt Swan, first appearing in Adventure Comics #210 (March, 1955). In the original Silver Age origin story, Krypto was the El family dog on Krypton, and was used by Jor-El as a test subject for his work on the escape rocket he was building for Kal-El. The experimental rocket Krypto was put in, however, got knocked off-course, and Krypto drifted (presumably in some sort of suspended animation) for years before eventually winding up on Earth, reunited with the now-teenaged Superboy. Being from Krypton, of course, gave Krypto a dog-sized version of Superboy's/Superman's powers and roughly human-level intelligence (albeit with a dog's sense of priorities), which he used to help his owner fight crime.
Krypto was the first major Silver Age addition to the Superman mythos (the succeeding years would see other familiar elements, such as the Fortress of Solitude, the Phantom Zone, and Supergirl added).
He regularly appeared in Superboy stories from 1955 to 1970. In 1959, he was introduced to stories depicting the adult Superman, regularly appearing to 1970. He was then dropped for a few years before being revived in 1974. The '70s were arguably his heyday, with Krypto getting solo stories in the pages of Action Comics, Superman, and Superman Family. The New Adventures of Superboy (1980-1984) at times depicted Krypto alongside Superboy, but this was the end of the original version of the character.
Post-Crisis, Krypto was at first eliminated from continuity, but (after a few short-lived characters with the same name were introduced) was brought back in the early 2000s as Superman's pet dog again, this time described as having come from an alternate-reality version of Krypton. This version needs considerably more maintenance considering he has only a regular canine level intelligence, which means he can be carelessly destructive and in combat, he will instinctively fight with all his strength without regard of the nature of the opponent.
In the New 52 continuity, Krypto (redesigned to be more wolf-like) was the El family dog on Krypton, who was trapped in the Phantom Zone while helping repel an escape attempt by the criminals imprisoned there. Later, when another break-out attempt was staged through a Phantom Zone portal that had ended up in Superman's collection of Kryptonian artifacts on Earth, Superman and Krypto fought it off together and Superman brought Krypto back into the real world with him.
While Krypto's first animated appearance was as Superboy's sidekick in the mid-60s Filmation-animated Superboy cartoons, Krypto received his own animated series in 2005 titled Krypto the Superdog. In this series, Krypto was allowed by Superman to live with a suburban Metropolis boy and his family, and had adventures alongside other characters such as Ace the Bat-Hound and Streaky the Supercat. Krypto would make his first live-action appearance on Titans (2018), as well as starring in DC League of Super-Pets film with Dwayne Johnson voicing him.
- Amplified Animal Aptitude: It's unclear how intelligent his species is naturally, but among the powers yellow sunlight gives Krypto, as mentioned, is roughly human level intelligence.
- Animal Superheroes: He is essentially the canine counterpart of Superman.
- Badass Cape: Sports a copy of Superman's cape attached to his collar.
- Canine Companion: To Superman and Supergirl. In the Silver and Bronze Ages Krypto always followed Clark around when he was Superboy. In Superman vol 1 #149: The Death of Superman! -an imaginary story- he became Kara's pet after Clark's death.
- Flying Brick: He's a Kryptonian dog, so this comes naturally.
- Gratuitous Animal Sidekick: He was introduced as one for Superboy.
- Heroes Love Dogs: Provides the page image.
- Heroic Dog: A superheroic dog with all the same powers as Superman.
- Heroic Sacrifice:
- In Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?, Krypto dies of Kryptonite poisoning after biting Kryptonite Man to save his master.
- Also the Krypto from the Pocket Universe.
- And in the new 52, the first thing Krypto does is dive into the Phantom zone portal to stop the Phantom Zone criminals from dragging in Jor-El, Lara, and infant Kal-El to torture. Also a moment of awesome considering the reactions from the criminals.
- Historical Rap Sheet: In Superman Family #165 we learn that Krypto accidentally caused the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. You can read it here.
- Killer Rabbit: Krypto is a cute white dog in a red cape that hangs around with Superman. He is also extremely dangerous and will tear anything that hurts one of his friends to shreds. Even the likes of Mongul◊.
- Morality Pet: Krypto is one for Bizarro. If you hurt Krypto in front of him, Bizarro will get very happy at you.
- Mythology Gag: Bibbo Bibbowski, a long-standing member of Superman's Post-Crisis supporting cast, rescued a white puppy from drowning (sadly, it was too late for his siblings) and decided to keep him, and he names him "Krypton" after Superman's home planet. However, his dog tag is spelled "Krypto". The guy who sold him the tag tried to charge extra to correct it, but Bibbo decided on keeping it "Krypto". Later, the puppy is given to the Post-Crisis Superboy, but they don't exactly get along like their namesakes did.
- Old Dog: In his first Superman-era appearance in the Silver Age, Krypto had grown so old he blunders his superheroics. Fortunately, Superman discovers a Fountain of Youth in a Kryptonite valley, and it brings Krypto back to his prime.
- Pet the Dog: In Dark Nights: Death Metal: The Secret Origin he ends up being the only one that trusts Superboy-Prime.
- Put on a Bus: The Earth dog Krypto was last seen in Hawaii.
- Reimagining the Artifact: His Post-Crisis incarnation is one of the purer examples.
- Ret-Gone: After Crisis on Infinite Earths, Superboy was retconned out of existence, and with him, his faithful dog. He eventually came back.
- Retcon: Following the Cosmic Retcon of Infinite Crisis, it is now said that the Krypto from the alternate reality Krypton is from the real Krypton, and has been with Clark since his teenage years.
- Superpower Lottery: Has all of Superman's powers, adjusted accordingly for his being a dog. This means, for the record, that his Super-Senses are among the most powerful in the DC Universe.
- Super Team: The Legion of Super-Pets (which included Streaky the Supercat, Comet the Superhorse, Beppo the Supermonkey, and Proty the shapeshifting blob) and the Space Canine Patrol Agents. Also the DC Rebirth Super-Pets (which included Streaky, Titus the Bathound, Bat-Cow, Flexi the Plastic Bird, and Clay Critter the shapeshifting blob. With Detective Chimp as an associate member.)
- This Is My Human: In The Coming of Atlas, Krypto wants to maul Atlas for hurting its human (Superman).Krypto: (Thoughts conveyed by captions) Man—This one hurt Man. Krypto loves Man—Krypto hurt this one. Man loves place. I protect place for Man. Krypto good boy.
- Undying Loyalty: To Superman, Supergirl, Superboy, and the Kents.
- "Long live the Legion!"
For tropes relating to Mon-El, see Legion of Super-Heroes: Silver Age.
Kong Kenan, like Clark Kent, is a young man of humble means, being the son of an auto-mechanic. He's also a selfish, arrogant jerk. However, an act of bravery lands him on the radar of China's Ministry of Self-Reliance, who enlist him to act as China's Super-Man. Together with China's Wonder-Woman and Bat-Man, the three form the Justice League of China as part of a government attempt to curtail the rise of Western-style supercriminals in China. His 2016 series is described here.
- 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. He gets better about this with time.
- 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.
- Character Development: Kenan goes from a belligerent bully with a noble streak to someone worthy of the title of Superman (or Super-Man, as the case may be).
- 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.
- 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. His different abilities are activated by focusing his ki to different body parts related to them.
- Meditation Powerup: His Yin and Yang forms are accessed through meditating on the respective subjects.
- 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.
- Took a Level in Kindness: He gets kinder as his series goes on, and under Superman's influence.
- "Well Done, Son" Guy: At the end of the day, Kenan just wants his father to notice him. This might be why he latches on quite eagerly to Superman.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: His Yin and Yang forms are very powerful, but come with affecting his mindset. His Yang form leans towards being tyrannical, while his Yin form is apathetic to the point of obliviousness to his surroundings.
- 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.
- 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: 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.
- Casting a Shadow: Darkness manipulation is part of his skill set as the avatar of Nightwing.
- 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.
- 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 Shapeshifting: 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, he 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.
You can find out more about him in him own article.
- 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 Entity: 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 Beings: 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. She stayed dead through the rest of the pre-Flashpoint continuity and the entire The New 52 era but returned in the pages of Supergirl (Rebirth).
- I Just Want to Be Special: Her attempt to make a name for herself doesn't go too well when a fight with Gorilla Grodd devolved into an argument with onlookers over when she electrocuted the "monkey", ravaging her self-worth. It gets even worse when Superboy tries to save her from what he thinks is a device draining her power and she is pissed off that he just ruined something she was needed for.
- Legacy Character:
- While not directly sharing the same identities, Strange Visitor's creation was DC's attempt to preserve and reimagine the infamous "Superman Blue" in a more palatable way. Like Superman Blue, Vance became an Energy Being given form in a containment suit that also granted various electromagnetic powers, allowing those concepts to exist while Clark Kent/Superman remained his usual traditional self.
- After Sharon's death, when fellow blue-haired electrical person Livewire made her Heel–Face 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.
- That Man Is Dead: According to Kismet, Sharon Vance was never meant to be alive, with Superman and Waverider's actions to save Kismet effectively averting her death and the lightning strike that damaged her plane basically "killing" her and allowing Kismet to take over.
- Two Beings, One Body: Sharon got merged with Kismet.
- 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.
- Field Trip to the Past: Started out as a time-traveling historian.
- Fish out of Temporal Water: There's a bit of a learning curve, but fortunately she is a historian, so she fits in pretty well.
- Flying Brick: Has the standard strength-flight-invulnerability package.
- Forgot About Her Powers: Appeared alongside other heroes in Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? trying to break through the forcefield surround the Fortress Of Solitude when she can teleport and walk through walls. It's possible that the forcefield could block these as it was created by Mxyzptlk's reality warping.
- 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.
- One-Steve Limit: Don't mix her up with Wonder Woman's evil counterpart from the antimatter universe.
- Thinking Up Portals: She can open space warps at will.
- Time Travel: She's from the future.
- You Will Be Beethoven: She learns Superwoman's time-lost secret identity: herself.
Pre-Crisis, he was a serious and significant recurring character in the Superman books. Post-Crisis, he's been demoted to an occasionally-reappearing humor character in Power Girl's adventures.
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.
- Boisterous Bruiser
- Carpet of Virility: His chest is hairy and exposed.
- Fad Super: His 1970's era outfit hasn't aged well; but remember, this was around the same time that most of the Legion of Super-Heroes was running around in similarly skimpy attire. His current characterization as a 1970's goofball is based mostly on the datedness of his costume.
- 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
- Insistent Terminology: He doesn't have super-powers. He has hyper-powers.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Can be overconfident and self-righteous, but deep down, he is a true hero.
- Large Ham: Even his Pre-Crisis self was not what you'd call subtle.
- Lightning Bruiser: Especially Pre-Crisis, where his strength and speed are greater than Superman's.
- 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.
- 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.
- Underwear of Power: He doesn't shave his legs.
- World's Strongest Man
- 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, and he had a wider array of powers to boot, as well as years more experience using them. Post-Crisis, they are roughly equal.
- 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.
- Friendly Rival: To Superman. Almost explicitly called this in Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?.
- 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, despite being one of the mightiest beings in the cosmos, life was not not kind to this man. But he always kept on going.
- Love Triangle: Between Vartox, Lana, and Superman, before the Crisis.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: Like being able to manipulate matter at a subatomic level, being able to turn intangible, etc.
- Older Than They Look: He's been battling evil ever since Superman was a little tot.
- 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-Invulnerability: 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Flying Brick: His Post-Crisis self's powers are much more clear cut and limited than his predecessor's.
- 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.
- Lovable Sex Maniac
- 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!
- Supreme Chef
- Third-Person Person: Lampshaded by Power Girl, who thought it was annoying.
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-Two'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-Two, 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-Two 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.
- 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.
- Old Superhero: To go along with Earth-Two's timeline, he's older than Earth-One's Superman.
- 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-Two 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.
- 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.
For tropes relating to him, see Justice League Incarnate.
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-Two Superman in the sense that he is an older Superman and is a member of the Justice Society as Earth-Two 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 descendants 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.
- Psychic Powers: Has access to telepathy.
- 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.