Kal-El/Clark Kent (Superman)

supermanfilmWith another official poster for Man of Steel released, I think it’s time to speak about the first superhero ever, the character who gave birth to the word “superhero” itself: Superman. Superman is one of the most portrayed character in both cinema and television, live action and animation alike, and earned the title of most famous superhero of all times. His most famous portrayals are the ones of George Reeves, who starred in the first movie dedicated to the hero, Christopher Reeve, the protagonist of the four movies started with Richard Donner‘s one, and maybe Tom Welling, who gave his face to the character for ten seasons (!) of Smallville. The latest addition to the long (long long) series of actors is Henry Cavill, who will portray the Man of Steel in the homonymous movie from Zack Snyder. Let’s see where all of those movies and tv series came from.

We all know the history of Superman, even if, of course, it has been retold more than once during the years, changing some details in the process. The fact that in the DC Universe there are many Supermen depending on which reality you’re looking at doesn’t help at all. Anyway, there are some common traits. Everything began on the planet Krypton, a distant world on the verge of disaster (depending itASSMv1 p1-32.qx on natural causes, the intervention of the artificial intelligence Brainiac or the terrorist Black Zero, the fact remains that Krypton was about to explode). Two scientists, man and wife, Jor-El and his beloving Lara Lor-Van, since they failed to convince the Kryptonian council of the approaching catastrophe, went against the pillar traits of their culture (which preached sterility) and conceived a son, Kal-El, who they wanted to save from the end of their world. Jor-El built a rocket for his son, entrusted the on-board computer with the memory of Kryptonian culture and history and digital copies of his personality and his wife’s, and sent the baby in open space, aimed to Earth, a distant and primitive planet. Once on Earth, the radiations from its yellow sun would have granted Kal-El powers unknown to the local population, and would have made him a god among mortals (on Krypton a red sun made everyone like normal “human” beings, apart from intelligence). Kal-El’s rocket landed in SmallvilleKansas, a small rural town: in here, he was found by Jonathan and Martha Kent, an elderly couple (or not so elderly, depending on the continuity you’re reading in) without children
who chose to adopt him, presenting him as their own to other towners. They named him Clark Kent, and raised him teaching him the most human of values, such as compassion, humility, love for every living creature, respect for life. Growing up, the boy developed outstanding powers, that made him one of the most powerful beings on planet. When he was 18, the Kents revealed him his alien origins, and showed him the rocket. Clark acknowledged his origins, and, following his putative parents’ teachings, he decided to use his powers for justice.

He went to Metropolis University, and saved the day in his spare time, always avoiding to be seen. When he was 25, anyway, while saving a falling spacecraft, he made his first public appearance. Believing that his real identity had to remain secret in order to allow him to live among people, understand them and their needs without being recognized as an almost almighty being, Clark decided to create a symbol, a new identity to show in public as the world’s savior. He transformed Clark Kent in a nerdish, clumsy, shortsighted, shy and awkward man, while Martha created a costume for him. A Metropolis young reporter, Lois Lane, who witnessed his debut, nicknamed him supermancomics2Superman, and that remained the official name for the world’s most powerful superhero. While Clark Kent started working at the local newspaper Daily Planet, befriending many colleagues (including Lois), Superman became a world-wide known hero, some sort of benign god who saved everyone who was in need, in every part of the world. More than convinced to be Earth’s guardian angel, Superman founded, along with some other heroes, the Justice League of America, a super team that would have faced treats that were too much for every single one of them alone, including Superman. His amazing powers attracted the attentions of many ill-intentioned people, the first being Lex Luthor, a powerful industrialist who started to hold a personal grudge towards Superman, trying to kill him in many ways (and sometimes succeeding in it) wanting to punish him for not sharing his powers with normal human beings. Kal-El, Last Son of Krypton, began a real double life: while Superman lived in his Fortress of Solitude in the North Pole, Clark Kent lived in Metropolis, coming back to Smallville from time to time; the first one was an always present hero, the second an unreliable absent-minded journalist. Things got easier the moment he revealed his secret identity to Lois Lane, who eventually became his wife: with Lois covering him, he was able to have Clark Kent disappear without raising too many doubts.

Kal-El is easily one of the most powerful beings in the universe: with incredible super strength and speed, invulnerability, the ability to fly, x-ray vision, heat vision, freezing blow, a longevity that could possibly be real immortality, superhuman senses, a healing factor working with sunlight, a genius level intellect, a good training in combat and many other powers and skills, Superman is virtually invincible, his only weaknesses being magic, a force that affects every living being, included gods and aliens, and Kryptonite, a rare mineral composed of the fragments of his destroyed planet, that weakens him to the point of killing him. Kryptonite has various effects on Superman depending on its specific conformation (and color), but it never has pleasurable effects. With right values and solid principles, Superman never uses his powers to dominate over other beings, quite the opposite, he uses them to serve, and sacrifices his own life to protect humanity, just as a god would do with his people. The world’s mightiest hero is also the world’s greatest man, the most human and compassionate person ever lived.

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143 Comments

  1. […] which Maxima, portrayed by Eve Torres. Maxima is an alien queen, who came to Earth to convince Superman to be her mate; rejected, she started destroying everything, until Superman arrested her. The […]

  2. […] with time, trying to prevent the worst events from ever happening (such as when he warned Superman of Doomsday‘s return): nothing, not even the sake of reality, can shake his certainty that […]

  3. […] we start with the DC side of casualgamer‘s request, and we begin with one of Superman‘s most iconic villains: Bizarro, the perfectly imperfect duplicate of the Man of Steel. He […]

  4. […] DC character from casualgamer‘s list is another big bad from Superman‘s rogues gallery: Brainiac, the cybernetic alien. Despite having been rumored to appear in […]

  5. […] wheelchair after the bombing: she finds out the bomb in the chair was covered in lead, so that Superman was unable to see it. In the comics, she’s quite a minor character, who works in S.T.A.R. […]

  6. […] character from casualgamer‘s list is again from Superman‘s rogues gallery: Ursa, the lethal Kryptonian warrior. She first appeared in Superman: The […]

  7. […] to change something in the world, especially in a world already protected by god-like beings like Superman and Wonder Woman. Eventually, following these reflections, Batgirl decided to […]

  8. […] of Isis, and who in the show is an Egyptologist (and the curator of Metropolis Museum) who helps Clark Kent exorcize Isis from Lois’ body. Now, let’s see together who Adrianna Tomaz truly is in […]

  9. […] version: nicknamed simply “Bo“, he’s the one who speaks with Jimmy Olsen and Clark Kent, always at the Ace O’ Clubs. Last but not least, he also appeared in Man of Steel, portrayed […]

  10. […] from super-heroine to super-villain, challenging even the champions of good like Supergirl and Superman. The two entities inhabiting the same body became aware one of the other, and started hating each […]

  11. […] exterior wall, thus killing the many journalists present: he offered to spare their lives, only if Superman took his own life live on tv. An unforseen hindrance appeared as Cat Grant turned out to be […]

  12. […] she inherits his staff and becomes a heroine in her own right, who becomes a recurring ally for Clark Kent and the other heroes of the Justice League. Now, waiting to see what the new version of the […]

  13. […] his suit, he managed to knock out a god like Gog with a single punch, something that not even Superman could do. Gifted with amazing powers, but cut out from any kind of physical contacts with other […]

  14. […] as a villain, loyal to Lex Luthor’s comands, but later she evolves into an ally for Clark Kent and the others. Now, waiting to see what this new incarnation of the character will bring on the […]

  15. […] not a Kryptonian, sorry Kara) is Mon-El, portrayed by Chris Wood, quite a famous name among Superman‘s fans. Mon-El’s presence is a promise to say the least, considering how many other […]

  16. […] appearing in Season 2, 3, 5 and 7, and she even had to deal with a Red Kryptonite-intoxicated Clark Kent. In the comics she’s not a Latin-American as in Supergirl, but neither she looks like […]

  17. […] death. Nobody could match his power…until another alien arrived on Warworld: it was Superman, temporarily away from Earth due to some problems he had had on his adopted homeplanet. As well […]

  18. […] Satine: in the show, she debuts as Aquaman’s wife and queen consort, joining him and Clark in a mission to destroy Slade Wilson‘s prisons for superhumans; she also spends all her […]

  19. […] aliens after her “poor” Lex was “deceived” by the “evil” Superman who made the world see him like a deranged psycho, so she started a crusade to kill all the […]

  20. […] His new weaponry was too much for Sawyer to handle, but at the last time she was saved by Superman, who intervened in the fight just in time to arrest Barrage once again. Sent back to prison, the […]

  21. […] woth Brick89‘s request, today we’re seeing together Superboy! No, not Superman‘s younger self, but rather his clone. As for now, this Superboy only appeared in Smallville […]

  22. […] gain fame as a superhero; boastful and arrogant, he changes his attitude thanks to his meeting with Clark Kent, and even agrees to become the mentor of a young and inexperienced Blue Beetle (whom he helps to […]

  23. […] malicious version of the character, this time human-sized and with no trademark: he trapped Lois, Clark and the rest of the world in a time loop leading to the planet’s destruction, but the two […]

  24. […] trinity” preparing Darkseid’s arrival on Earth, and he constantly tries to corrupt Clark Kent to the Darkness to make him a servant of his master. He fails in his main task, but he manages […]

  25. […] Armek in a ring of fire, while Lantern knocked him out with one of his energy constructs. While Superman told the world the truth about the Hyperclan, Martian Manhunter used his telepathy on Armek and the […]

  26. […] Vibe that the Justice League had already taken care of the situation and that Superman was interrogating Gypsy. Vibe didn’t fall for it, and after yet another pursue he finally […]

  27. […] evil by night continuing the work of her murdered activist mother. The Angel is the first superhero Clark meets, and she continues her war against Luthor Corporation in the web series Vengeance […]

  28. […] villain who’s more or less an anticipation of what his son will become, then an ally to Clark Kent, “cured” by his evil personality by Jor-El himself, then again a villain when his […]

  29. […] and other mystic-empowered villains tried to revive the evil Thaumar Dhai, the Olympian aided Superman (who was vulnerable to their magic) to stop the ceremony and prevent the sorcerer’s […]

  30. […] universe where the Anti-Monitor resided. Since one of his most powerful allies was Kal-L, the Superman from Earth-Two, Alex decided to save his wife, Eart-Two Lois Lane, just before that universe was […]

  31. […] future in which Kandorians conquered Earth, but even this version is killed in a fight with Clark Kent, accidentally impaling herself on her own sword. In the comics, Alia is indeed an alien, but […]

  32. […] in Season 10 episode Fortune. In the show, Amos is the owner of the casino in which both Clark Kent and Lois Lane celebrate their bachelor/bachelorette party, and things get awry when a […]

  33. […] the Black Orchid or team players as the Omega Men, but even popular and well-accepted heroes as Superman; it was thanks to the latter that Blue Devil received an invitation to join the Justice League of […]

  34. […] action appearance so far suggested otherwise: in Smallville, the Legion of Super-Heroes helped Clark exorcise Brainiac out of Chloe Sullivan‘s body, and brought him to the future to be […]

  35. […] powered by the radiations of a red sun. He eventually traced two Kryptonians on a remote planet: Kal El and Kara Zor-El, who had become the heroic Superman and Supergirl. His first efforts failed, as […]

  36. […] his life. While investigating on a case of abducted students, Black Lightning joined forces with Superman, Batman, Black Canary and Green Arrow, and the latter offered him a place in the Justice League […]

  37. […] he is the son of the leader of Intergang, and an old friend of Perry White; he manages to corrupt Superman with Red Kryptonite, but he’s eventually arrested along with his father, both of them […]

  38. […] a couple of episodes: he travels to the past along with Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad to meet Clark Kent, and tells him that his influence as a hero goes beyond time and space; albeit he nearly […]

  39. […] the alias Green Fury. During her career she often helped the Super Friends, but it was meeting Superman that changed her life: although she first battled the Man of Steel since he was mind-controlled […]

  40. […] superhero from Lucy W.‘s list, one of the many who debuted as a replacement for the deceased Superman and who later became a widely popular hero on his own: Steel. This unlucky hero made his live […]

  41. […] officer, he’s a subordinate of Detective John Jones, and he’s partnered with rookie Joe Fordman…actually Clark Kent investigating on some crooked policemen. Turpin is initially a strictly […]

  42. […] the first among these is Krypton, set on the doomed planet Krypton a couple of centuries before Superman arrives on Earth. The protagonist of the series will be Superman’s […]


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