- NOTE: This article is about the incarnation of Superman from the DC Extended Universe. The mainstream version can be found here: Superman (DC).
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|“||My father believed that if the world found out who I really was, they'd reject me…out of fear. I let my father die because I trusted him. Because he was convinced that I had to wait, that the world was not ready. What do you think?||„|
|~ Superman to Steppenwolf.|
Kal-El, also known as Clark Joseph Kent and Superman, is a superhero and one of the main characters of the DC Extended Universe, appearing as the titular main protagonist of Man of Steel, one of the two titular main protagonists (alongside Batman) of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the deuteragonist of the 2017 film Justice League and its 2021 director's cut Zack Snyder's Justice League, and a cameo character in Shazam!.
Born to Jor-El of Krypton, Kal-El was evacuated to Earth by his parents in an attempt to save him before Krypton's destruction. He was found in the village of Smallvile by Martha and Jonathan Kent, who raised him as his own and renamed him Clark Kent. As an adult and journalist, he discovered his powers and came into conflict with General Zod, one of his father's enemies, and the Sword of Rao, eventually destroying him in a devastating battle in Metropolis and falling in love with his fellow colleague Lois Lane.
A year later, Clark was now famous as a crime-fighting hero and given the nickname Superman. Lex Luthor, a villainous maniac, drove the violent vigilante Batman into a battle against Superman and kidnapped Martha. Batman got the upper hand against him with Kryptonite, but Superman revealed that Luthor was the real villain. After saving Martha, they fought the powerful monster created by Luthor, Doomsday, alongside Wonder Woman. Eventually, Superman sacrificed himself to destroy the creature.
The whole world mourned Superman, unarguably their greatest hero, and convinced Batman and Wonder Woman to form the superhero team known as "the Justice League". When Earth was invaded by the New God Steppenwolf, the Justice League resurrected Superman to combat the threat using a Mother Box. Initially unaware of who he was, Superman gained his memories in time to defeat Steppenwolf. Superman then joined the League and reunited with Lois and Martha, returning to his life of heroism. A year after Steppenwolf's invasion, Superman narrowly survived an attempt made on his life by Bloodsport, an assassin who shot him with a kryptonite bullet.
In by the late Japanese version, he was voiced by Takanori Hoshino.
Kal-El was born on the planet Krypton, the first Kryptonian conceived naturally in over a thousand years. Before his homeworld was destroyed, his parents Jor-El and Lara Lor-Van placed him inside an escape boat that would take him through space to Earth, a suitable planet where he could survive. Kal-El landed in Smallville, Kansas, where he was discovered by Jonathan and Martha Kent, a couple of farmers who adopted him and called him "Clark."
When Clark was 8 years old, his body began to change due to exposure to the yellow rays of the Earth's sun. One day at school, his vision fluctuated to the point where he could see through solid objects. Moments later, he was able to burn things just by looking at them. Clark's mother came and helped him focus his vision through meditation.
When Clark was 13 years old, the school bus fell off a bridge into a deep river and used his superhuman strength to push the bus back to the mainland. His act of heroism was witnessed by everyone, and Clark's parents had to hide what had happened. Jonathan revealed that Clark was an extraterrestrial showing him the spacecraft he reached the Earth. Clark often had to endure the torment of the thugs, and his father encouraged him not to counterattack because, with his powers, he should defend those weaker than himself, without hurting them.
When Clark was 17, he had grown frustrated with having to hide his powers and expressed a desire to go out and see the world, which caused some tension with his parents. As the Kents were driving along a freeway, a tornado appeared. No one could drive away due to a traffic jam, so they ran for shelter. Jonathan stayed behind to rescue their dog but realized he couldn't outrun the tornado. Clark desperately wanted to save his father, but even in his dying moments, Jonathan forbade him from showing his powers to the world.
Man of Steel
Clark spent his adult years traveling the country in the hopes of finding out more about himself. Along the way, he took up various menial jobs under aliases which allowed him to help people out without drawing any attention to himself.
When he was 33 years old, Clark joined a military expedition on Ellesmere Island to uncover some unknown object buried beneath the ice. Clark found out that the object was a Kryptonian spaceship from long ago. The spaceship was infiltrated by a reporter named Lois Lane who was attacked by a Kryptonian security droid. Clark cauterized her wound with his heat vision and brought her back to camp. Lois then resolved to find out more about her mysterious rescuer.
As Clark ventured deeper into the spaceship, he was greeted by a hologram of his birth father Jor-El, who told Clark all about their home planet and how it was destroyed from within due to over-mining and neglect. Jor-El then gestured towards their family crest and told Clark it was a symbol of hope and that for Clark to learn even more about himself, he should push his limits.
Later, Clark stepped out of the ship wearing an old Kryptonian suit he had found with his family crest on it, and began to test the limit of his powers. He leaped into the air, gliding over mountains in a single bound. It occurred to Clark that he could go even higher just by using willpower, and he taught himself how to fly.
As Clark returned to Smallville, he encountered Lois, who had managed to track him down via his heroic deeds over the years. Lois offered to tell the world Clark's story so that he could gain some good publicity and not have to hide anymore, but Clark told her how his father died to protect his secret, which moved Lois to the point that she scrapped her story. Clark came home, telling his mother all about his alien heritage.
Later, Earth received a transmission from a Kryptonian UFO by General Zod, who demanded that Kal-El be handed to him or he would wreak havoc on Earth. After much pondering, Clark, wearing his costume, surrendered himself to the U.S. military. While in custody, he spoke with Lois, who told him that his family crest resembled an "S" and that he should call himself "Superman".
As Faora, one of Zod's soldiers arrived to collect Superman, she demanded that Lois come with them. Lois willingly joined, but was made to wear a breathing device as the Kryptonian atmosphere on Zod's ship isn't suitable for humans. Superman met Zod and learned more about their planet's history, along with the fact that Zod had murdered Jor-El back on Krypton. Zod probed Superman's mind and tracked down his adoptive mother.
Superman got free; as he did so, he noticed Lois leave the ship in an escape pod that was quickly burning up. He went to rescue her, then tackled Zod after he threatened Martha, sending the Kryptonian general flying into the middle of Smallville. When Superman broke Zod's helmet, Zod's senses went haywire from exposure to Earth's oxygen, forcing him to retreat. Faora and a muscle-bound Kryptonian arrived and engaged Superman in a violent battle in the streets of Smallville. Superman was able to defeat the two.
Zod had his remaining henchmen position their ship, the Black Zero, and a world engine on opposite ends of Earth in order to terra-form it into a new Krypton, with the Black Zero positioned right above Metropolis. The ship's engines caused untold havoc across the world which would kill every living thing. While the U.S. military dealt with the Black Zero in Metropolis, Superman fought the world engine in the Indian Ocean. Even though his powers were weakened by the world engine's polluting fumes, Superman persisted and he eventually managed to destroy the world engine, saving Earth for the first time.
Zod, meanwhile, found the Kryptonian scout ship in the Arctic which contained a birthing chamber that was required for artificially engineering Kryptonians. He piloted the ship over Metropolis, but Superman arrived to stop him. Zod protested that if Superman destroyed the scout ship, he would destroy Krypton's last hope of being reborn. Remembering how Jor-El told him about all the mistakes his people made which led to their demise, Superman declared "Krypton had its chance!" and destroyed the scout ship. After saving Lois' life one more time, they shared a kiss.
As the dust settled, Zod emerged from the wreckage of the scout ship and attacked Superman in a rage, destroying several buildings and figuring out how to fly whilst doing so. Superman got Zod in a headlock, but Zod used his newly-mastered heat vision to try and kill a nearby family, and Superman was forced to kill Zod in order to protect them. Faced with how he'd killed one of his own and made himself the last Kryptonian, Superman cried in anguish.
As Metropolis rebuilt itself, Superman destroyed a spy satellite and told the military that, while he would help them, he wouldn't be their weapon. Later, Clark and his mother talked about what he planned to do now that he was world-famous. Clark said he was taking up a job that allowed him to gain information without drawing attention to himself so he could be a better hero. Clark was then shown as an employee of the Daily Planet along with Lois. The Daily Planet is like his police scanner and knows when Clark will be needed.
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice
He has just been Superman for 18 months, some people are praised by him and some are afraid of him. Bruce Wayne thought of Superman as a threat. He is been investigating Superman when Superman and Zod fought together. Clark has been investigating on Bruce himself. He thought of Batman as a scary vigilante or criminal. Lex Luthor has been playing both sides on them, turn them against each other. Batman was that close to killing him, Superman didn't want to fight him because he is the good guy. Superman mentions Martha, Batman stopped. Bruce's mother Martha was killed by a mugger. Batman and Superman realize, they were both played by Lex Luthor and Superman wasn't a threat. They both teamed up with Diana Prince who is Wonder Woman to bring Luthor who framed Superman for the bombing of the capital. Lex created Doomsday to finish off Superman. Doomsday and Superman were both defeated and dead.
But Luthor is in prison since Lois has evidence to put him away and clear Superman of any wrongdoing. They both had two funerals one for Superman that is a state memorial. His body is not on the casket. His body on the casket is buried in Smallville where Clark had his funeral with a lot of people who mourn him. Bruce, Diana, Martha, and Lois were all their. Bruce and Diana decide to form a team to prevent alien abductions like Zod and Doomsday. As Lois is putting dirt on his casket its shown that she is wearing the engagement ring that he bought for her, making her his unofficial fiancée.
Justice League (Whedon cut)
Feeling guilty about Clark's death and knowing that they need him to defeat their newest enemy, Steppenwolf, the Justice League brings him back to life. although at first Clark doesn't remember anything and starts to attack the team. But knowing that Lois will jog his memories Bruce calls Alfred to bring the "big guns" with them being Lois.
Clark sees her and takes her back to his old farm house. Now remembering everything and seeing her wearing the ring he takes her answer being "yes" to the unasked but obvious marriage proposal. Lois sends him to help the team and they defeat Steppenwolf. Clark and Lois resume their lives together.
Justice League (Snyder cut)
Superman's death-cry is what activates the MotherBoxes, who detect that the powerful and unpredictable Kryptonian race has now gone extinct. Some time after Superman's passing, the New God Steppenwolf comes to retrieve the MotherBoxes. Steppenwolf proves to be too powerful for the other superheroes, so they decide to use one of the boxes to resurrect Superman.
Before Superman is resurrected, Cyborg has a vision, and sees that Superman crying in the Batcave with Lois's corpse, and at that moment Darkseid takes control of him, and watches as the world turned apocalyptic, with the deaths of Wonder Woman and Aquaman, and the chaos caused by Darkseid and Superman.
Clark is brought back to life in a disoriented state, attacking the Justice League on sight. He very nearly kills Batman until Lois shows up and begs him to stop. Clark flies off with Lois, arriving at his childhood home where he recollects himself. It occurs to Clark that the League wanted him back for a reason, so he returns to the Kryptonian scout ship and is fitted with a new suit. With the words of his Kryptonian father Jor-El and his Earth father John Kent guiding him from beyond the grave, Superman takes flight with renewed vigour.
After getting information from Alfred, Superman arrives at the site where the Justice League are fighting Steppenwolf. He saves Cyborg from a fatal attack, then beats up Steppenwolf with the aid of Wonder Woman and Aquaman. Unfortunately, Superman was unablt to stop the three MotherBoxes from synchronising, which causes a planetary explosion that destroys him. It isn't until the Flash reverses time and assists Cyborg in disrupting the MotherBoxes that Superman is brought back a second time and sends Steppenwolf back to Apokolips.
Superman was mentioned by Freedy when he compared him to Shazam, stating that Shazam is almost comparable to Superman. He finally appears in the post-credit scenes when contacted by Shazam to help him restore Freddy Freeman's reputation in Fawcett's central school and eat lunch with Billy's foster family. For unknown reasons, Superman agreed, though it is quite likely that Superman, having most likely learned about Shazam's abilities, wished to recruit him to the Justice League, and came to the school cafetaria with a tray of food, standing next to Shazam and Freddy.
Superman is exceptionally kind-hearted, possessing a strong sense of justice, honor, empathy, honesty, patriotism, and innate selfless benevolence. Indeed, Jor-El correctly foresaw that his son would become "an ideal" for humanity to strive towards, and even Batman, who had initially had his doubts, later claimed that Superman is a "beacon to the world," one who doesn't just save people, but also "made them see the best parts of themselves." Also, despite being an alien from Krypton by birth, Superman is utterly human in personality, with Batman admitting that Superman's personality and values make Superman more human than he is.
In addition, Superman, being the son of Krypton's most prominent Thinker Guild genius Jor-El, and having been a nerdy, bookish wunderkind as a teenager, is himself a highly prolific and eclectic genius, notably becoming a brilliant Daily Planet reporter as an adult (often labelled a "nerd" by Perry White), to the point of almost rivaling the far more experienced Lois Lane herself. He was able to instinctively tell that General Zod couldn't be trusted, and even able to deduce Batman's secret identity. Despite being a highly prominent eclectic genius, however, Superman was still in many ways considerably intellectually surpassed by supergenius Lex Luthor, who easily successfully manipulated Superman as a pawn in his grand scheme, successfully killing him in the end with Doomsday.
Growing up as the only person of his kind, thus being very different and alienated by his peers, Clark grew up a very confused, lonely, and lost person. Hence, this, as well as his inability to understand his superhuman powers, made Clark subconsciously suppress them, with him unable to reach his full potential for many years (until he finally met Jor-El). Instilled by his parents, he grew up to selflessly care for other people and to do the right thing. Realizing that he could help others with his powers, Clark went against his father's (Jonathan) wishes to help others. Clark would even go out of his way to save Peter Ross, a boy that had relentlessly bullied him not long ago. This selflessness and faith in others show that even before meeting Jor-El, Clark already strived to uphold what the House of El had always stood for.
With the passing of his adopted father Jonathan Kent, Clark went on a long journey of discovery, in which he eventually discovered his true name, and true purpose on Earth, going out of his way to always selflessly save people in need along the way, if it that meant exposing his alien superpowers and losing an acquired job, such as when Clark promptly abandoned his job on the Debbie Sue in order to rescue workers trapped in a collapsing oil rig. While he initially tended to be quite serious and sometimes even brooding, when Clark meets Lois Lane and receives empathy from her upon revealing himself as an alien (while also revealing his lingering guilt about heeding Jonathan Kent's request not to save him from death), Clark begins to enjoy life a bit more, with her spunky and sometimes flirty personality having a gradual effect on Clark. Lois, in turn, was so smitten with his selfless heroics, that she decided to drop what could have been the biggest story in human history for him.
Due to still not understanding his alien powers and heritage, however, Clark subconsciously suppressed his superpowers, and while still incredibly powerful, this mental block considerably limited Clark relative to his full potential and prohibited him from mastering the power of flight. However, once Clark finally meet the AI projection of his birth father Jor-El and learned of his Kryptonian heritage and true name (Kal-El), Clark finally permanently overcame this weakness and gained his full potential, becoming not only much more powerful than ever before, but also finally unlocking his power of flight, in addition to becoming more optimistic and confident as Kal-El. He now resolves to uphold what the House of El stands for: hope.
As he matured, Clark learned early on how to stay calm and collected in tough situations, to control his pent-up anger and instead of impulsively releasing his incredible alien power on mere humans, he instead found different means, like secretly crushing a metal pipe when aggressively dared by Ken Braverman to fight, and wrecking the truck of Ludlow when the latter insulted Clark and indecently groped Clark's female co-worker. As a result, Superman grew accustomed to and highly skilled at holding back his incredible strength and powers quite a bit unless absolutely necessary, which is evident when Superman expressed his intention of taking in Lex Luthor "without breaking" him, and when Superman greatly held back while fighting the far weaker Batman. More notable instances of Clark holding himself together in angering situations are when he calmly confronts the obnoxious Ludlow (even when the latter insults and pours been over Clark's face), when he doesn't react to Byrne's insulting reprimanding (as the latter had just attempted to save his life), when he expertly interviews Bruce Wayne and answers the latter's accusations regarding Superman with calm objective statements (ignoring Bruce's condescending manner of addressing the younger reporter), when he calmly debates with his frustrated boss Perry White about the necessity of exposing Batman through the press (despite Perry being somewhat condescending), and when he does not get insulted when people (such as Perry and Kahina Ziri's neighbor) mistake him for a meek pushover (when he's disguised as a human) and advise him to be careful. Despite this, however, Superman is capable of terrifying displays of rage when provoked, shown when General Zod and Lex Luthor threatened his adopted mother Martha, with Superman promptly releasing his incredible rage upon and temporarily beating Zod into submission, and Superman seemingly threatening to destroy Lex with his heat vision, until told that his mother would die if he were to kill Lex.
Due to his indomitable will, great power, selfless morality, and natural birth, Jonathan Kent believed that his adopted son would one day "stand proudly in front of the human race" and ultimately "change the world," while Jor-El believed in his son's ability to represent "the best" of both Earth and Krypton, and to one day give the people of Earth "an ideal to strive towards," helping humanity "accomplish wonders," especially since Kal-El Krypton's Growth Codex within his cells. Both of Kal's fathers are ultimately proven right, since despite having felt isolated from humanity for most of his life due to his alien superpowers, when Kal-El heard General Zod's menacing message to Earth, he immediately chose to protect humanity by finally revealing himself to them, even allowing himself to be handcuffed before he is brought before Zod. Upon hearing of General Zod's plans to restore Krypton on Earth, however, Kal-El is horrified and chooses to protect humanity over Krypton, absolutely refusing General Zod's offer to help the Sword of Rao sacrifice Kal-El's adopted people for the sake of a planet that had already been destroyed decades ago. Kal-El thus agreed with his father Jor-El that "Krypton had had its chance," and that its time had long since passed, so Kal-El did not hesitate long before destroying Zod's Genesis Chamber.
Due to Kal-El being the first (and last) Kryptonian of natural birth in centuries, he is somewhat looked down upon by his fellow Kryptonians of the Sword of Rao (who were all genetically engineered in Genesis Chambers and assigned to their respective Guilds), as the orthodox General Zod views Kal-El's method of coming into existence as a "heresy," and Faora is quick to mock Kal-El for his sense of morality, since she believes that trait makes him weak and unconfident, giving the genetically engineered Faora (who was specifically bred to be incapable of empathy an "evolutionary advantage" over him. Ultimately, however, Kal-El's natural birth actually grants him several advantages over them, since, having not been genetically engineered and bred with a specific purpose, Kal-El has a far better grasp at free will (the lack of which on High Eminence Lor-Em's part also contributed to Kryptonians' near extinction), and is far less prone to tunnel vision, while his sense of morality allows Kal-El to coexist on Earth among humanity (as their hero "Superman") instead of, like Zod and Faora, alienating humanity away with the arrogant preconceived notion of the physically weaker human race being inferior. Finally, Kal-El's natural birth makes him far less likely than General Zod to lose the will to live - the latter being utterly devastated and genetically unable to move on with his life after his "life's purpose" (restoring and protecting Krypton) is taken away, while Kal-El, despite being utterly mortified after much of the world forsakes him (due to Lex Luthor's manipulations), is ultimately still willing to unconditionally carry out his life's purpose (protecting and saving Earth) regardless, as he returned to save Lois Lane from Lex, and then gave up his life to save the ungrateful and forsaking world from Doomsday.
It was ultimately Kal-El's indomitable willpower, loyalty and refusal to give up even under seemingly insurmountable odds (most notably when he faced the combined might of Faora-Ul and Nam-Ek, both much more skilled combatants, without hesitation, persisting against them until he finally gained the upper hand and forced them to retreat) that allows Nathan Hardy to trust the alien superhero, and respect him as an ally. In admiration of his tremendous superpowers, perseverance, willpower, and heroism, the US Armed Forces nickname Kal-El "Superman." Upon learning of Jor-El's plan to defeat General Zod's invasion, Superman promptly flies off to destroy the World Engine, despite knowing that being in proximity to it might potentially kill him, and successfully does so. He returns to Metropolis just in time to save Lois Lane, stubbornly flying against the tremendous force of the Phantom Zone singularity to do so. When General Zod is revealed to have survived and voices his plans to wipe out the entire human race in retribution against Superman, the two mighty aliens engage in a duel of epic proportions, with Superman's tremendous fortitude and perseverance allowing him to ultimately defeat the more experienced and skilled Zod. However, when General Zod expresses his refusal to stop and threatens to burn alive a cornered family, Superman is forced to kill him, making an incredibly hard choice that greatly conflicts with his morality. Hence, despite his victory, Superman screams out agony and tears at what he had to do, fully remorseful of the murder. After the invasion, however, Superman resolves to continue operating openly as Earth's superhero protector, and he trusts General Swanwick to persuade Washington DC of the selflessness of his intentions.
In order to successfully maintain his double identity as a human reporter of the Daily Planet (during the time that he isn't protecting and saving others as Superman), Clark tries to be as small and invisible as possible, in order to attract little attention to himself and to avoid inducing anyone into thinking that he could possibly be the mighty godlike Superman. As a result, Perry White appears to think of Clark as somewhat of a meek pushover, shown when he goes out of his way to advise Clark to watch himself in Gotham City, due to the city's high crime rate.
Shortly after Superman's debut to the world, a huge statue of him is built in Heroes Park, Metropolis, and online message boards are created, which numerous people from all over the world use as a means to ask Superman for help. However, during the next two years, despite the world's majority having a positive response to Superman, due to the extraordinary heroics he demonstrated when defeating General Zod, there are many who are more than slow to accept the supremely powerful godlike alien with unrestrained power, since as Jonathan Kent had warned Clark, that "Superman" would change the whole world, ranging from beliefs to "notions of what it means to be human," and Jor-El had warned him that while the people of Earth would eventually "join [him] in the sun," they would initially "stumble" and "fall" while "racing behind him." Hence, while Vikram Gandhi and Senator Finch express openly positive views (that Superman, as a representation of the Messianic savior figure found in all religions, is "just a guy trying to do the right thing," and that only actions carried out unilaterally by Superman are problematic), astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is worried about the paradigm shift that Superman's very existence, as an alien on Earth, has in challenging humanity's sense of priority in the Universe (much like how Copernican Heliocentrism and Darwinian Evolution had done before), while Glen Woodburn and Andrew Sullivan are extremely skeptical, bringing up humanity's horrible track record of following people with great power in the past (down paths that led to huge human monstrosities), as well as questioning the moral constraints on Superman, since International Law renders every one of Superman's acts as a political one. Even more skeptical are Batman and Lex Luthor as the former fears the possibility of Superman becoming malevolently corrupted (having seen many seemingly benevolent individuals become corrupted during his long career), while the latter, due to his intense misotheism and deluded godlike self-image, sees Superman's very existence as a "sin." Hence, both of them, for their own respective reasons, resolve to kill Superman.
Despite Superman making a point to stay out of potentially controversial political disputes (such as wars between the nations of Earth), he is eventually forced get involved in the Nairomian Civil War in order to rescue Lois Lane from Amajagh, and in the process, is superbly framed by Lex Luthor and Kahina Ziri for the murder of many Nairomians. Despite the horrific incident, Clark and Lois are determined to make their burgeoning romance work, with Clark being romantic, flirty, and affectionate towards her, enough that Clark could get into a tub with Lois, while he himself was fully clothed. However, Clark refuses to ignore the incident, so shortly thereafter, he initially attempts to talk to Kahina Ziri and help resolve her issues with him following Nairomi, and when that proves unsuccessful, he resolves to cooperate with Senator Finch as Superman, and attend a Capitol hearing on the Nairomian incident.
Due to his own unwavering selfless morality, Superman is initially disgusted by Batman and the latter's morally gray methods of dealing with crime in Gotham City (which Superman distastefully called a "one-man reign of terror"), as the latter had a penchant for ruthlessly torturing, branding, and even killing certain criminals, with those branded by him being murdered in jail by other inmates (notably Cesar Santos, though those murders are later revealed to be secretly orchestrated by Lex Luthor, who intended to pit the two superheroes against one another), and the general public fearing Batman. As such, while Clark initially intends to expose Batman through the press, he soon doubts the effectiveness of this method after learning that the GCPD is actually helping Batman, quarreling with Perry White, who considers Clark's views on morality somewhat outdated (claiming that "American conscious died with Robert, Martin and John"), and hearing from Adriana Santos (whose son was now orphaned following Cesar's murder) that words from Clark's pen cannot stop Batman, as the only method to actually do so is "a fist," implying that only severe punishment is an effective deterrent against Batman. Hence, an infuriated Clark decides to take a more direct approach to dealing with Batman, this time as Superman. His anger and frustration with Batman render Superman somewhat darker than usual - he abruptly confronts the Dark Knight, ordering Batman to give up his crusade, to ignore the Bat-Signal the next time it lights up, and to consider this warning from him mercy, with Superman tearing off the Batmobile's doors for good measure. As he turned to depart, Batman counters with a threat of his own, expressing his determination to make Superman "bleed." Not impressed with Batman's threat, Superman flies off.
While there are notably quite a few anti-Superman protesters gathered before the Capitol on the day of the Nairomi hearing (with banners labelled "SuperDeath," "Thanks for the "Help"!," "Earth Belongs to Humans," "God Hates Aliens" and "Aliens Doom Nations," a House of El glyph with a Nazi swastika, as well as an alien-shaped head on a pole), Lois stands there as well, for additional support. However, after Lex Luthor orchestrates a devastating bombing during that hearing (via hidden explosives in Wallace Keefe's wheelchair), Superman is speculated by the media to have been somehow involved, so a mob of protesters assembles outside the Capitol building's wreckage, burning a large ragdoll of Superman, while chanting in outrage. Superman is utterly mortified by the incident, with him claiming that he hadn't been able to prevent the bombing only because he hadn't been looking for a potential bomb with his X-ray vision in the first place (not knowing that Lex Luthor had lined the wheelchair's interior with lead). Devastated at how his actions had so far consistently lead to horrible consequences, Superman claims that the whole idea of "Superman" had never even been real in the first place, with it only ever being "the dream of a farmer from Kansas," with him coming to doubt that he could ever represent "the best of both worlds" and be "an ideal to strive towards" if humanity is so self-destructive in nature, no matter what he does. When Lois insists that that this "dream" is all that most people have to give them hope, pointing out that his House of El glyph still means something. However, Superman sadly replies that while it did on Krypton, that world no longer exists, and he then promptly flies off, into self-imposed exile.
While in exile, however, Superman recalls how Jonathan Kent had once told him how the latter, at the age of 12, had believed himself to be a hero after saving his farm from a flood, yet inadvertently thereby flooding the Langs' farm. Jonathan reminds Clark that every action has consequences and that it is imperative to accept them whether they are beneficial or catastrophic. Jonathan also mentions how meeting Martha Kent allowed him to recover from the guilt of flooding the Lang farm and kept him grounded. Encouraged, Clark promptly returns to Metropolis but not before he says to his father that he misses him dearly. Lex, however, promptly forces a malevolent ultimatum upon a returned Superman - to fly to Gotham City and kill Batman in a vicious duel to the death, and subsequently bring the vigilante's head to Lex, all in order to save the life of his kidnapped mother Martha Kent. Superman is shaken up by the power Lex's ultimatum holds over him, since despite his disapproval of Batman's morally gray methods, Superman recognizes him as a good (albeit mislead and unnecessarily brutal) man, so this conflicts with his morality even more than the murder of General Zod. Hence, Superman, sadly remarking that "no one stays good in this world," instead resolves to reason with and persuade Batman to help him escape this ultimatum and rescue his mother from Luthor. Hence, despite Superman's ability to effortlessly kill Batman, he holds back while fighting the latter, determined to get through to him, though Batman's sudden implementation of kryptonite gas grenades make that extremely difficult. In the end, however, when weakened and pinned down by Batman who intends to kill him, Superman desperately implores him to help him save his mother Martha, which allowed Batman to finally realize that Superman is in fact a truly selfless person. The fact that both of their mothers share the same name ("Martha") enables Batman to see Superman as being fundamentally just as human as himself, despite his alien heritage and superpowers, so Batman renounces his former brutal murderous methods with disgust (seeing just how far gone he had become due to them), hurls aside his kryptonite spear, and agrees to team up with Superman against Luthor.
Trusting his new ally to save his mother, Superman flies back to confront and bring in Lex Luthor, but the latter unexpectedly unleashes the bloodthirsty monster Doomsday upon him. Despite the malevolent manipulations and horrific ultimatum than Lex had just put him through, Superman once again showcases his exceptional benevolence by blocking a punch from Doomsday (who was too bloodthirsty too distinguish between friend or foe) aimed at Lex, saving the latter's life. Superman then once more demonstrates his indomitable will by persisting against his seemingly unstoppable opponent, endangering himself in order to ensure that a nuke hit Doomsday. When that proves ineffective, Superman defiantly teams up with Batman and Wonder Woman against the unstoppable monster and continues fighting. Eventually, Superman sees that the only way to stop Doomsday will end up putting his life at risk (since brute force alone had been proven ineffective), so, despite much of the world having forsaken him, Superman is still willing to sacrifice himself in order to save it, so he takes hold of the kryptonite spear and charges, with Superman's tremendous willpower and determination being enough to temporarily bypass the kryptonite's weakening and superpower negation effects just long enough for him to pierce the monster. Despite the dying Doomsday managing to mortally wound Superman, the latter ignores the incredible pain of his impending death and persists defiantly up until his own dying breath (to further plunge his weapon into Doomsday), much to Batman and Wonder Woman's admiration, respect, and astonishment. Indeed, Wonder Woman was astounded to have finally, after 100 years, meet a person who had both the phenomenal godly might of Ares, and the self-sacrificing morality of Steve Trevor, and she was therefore equally saddened at Superman's death.
Hence, despite much of the world having forsaken Superman at the time of his death ("stumble" and "fall" while "racing behind him," as Jor-El had put it), all of those who doubted and harshly criticized him (except for Lex Luthor who was exuberant and gleeful at his arch-nemesis' death) would come to mourn his passing in guilt-ridden fashion, finally coming to posthumously see, admire, and look up to Superman as Earth's greatest superhero (a "national hero," as Admiral Olsen claimed), and an "ideal to strive towards," with the words "If you seek his monument, look around you" being written upon his tomb, emphasizing how Superman's heroic sacrifice had guaranteed that the entire world and humanity are still around, saved from Doomsday's unstoppable bloodthirsty rampage of apocalyptic proportions. In addition, Superman's heroic death would inspire Batman and Wonder Woman to establish the Justice League, posthumously honoring him, with Batman determined not to fail Superman in death. Also, Superman's noble sacrifice seems to have finally given Batman a more optimistic and hopeful outlook, since he says to Wonder Woman that despite their many flaws, "men are still good," and that they do in fact have the potential in them to rebuild and improve (a crucial House of El-based belief held by Superman himself in life). Even the extremely amoral and manipulative Amanda Waller posthumously respects Superman (fondly saying how he had shared humanity's ideals), while also noting that quite a few metahumans were also inspired by Superman's selfless sacrifice, which induced them to finally come out into the open and reveal themselves to the world as well, with a notable one of them being the speedster superhero Flash. Even villainous metahumans, like Enchantress, and Incubus would be similarly inspired.
Another consistent trait in Superman, as Batman put it, was to make others "see the best parts of themselves." This is what allowed Superman to inspire Pete Ross (who had previously bullied him) to become a good man, to inspire Lois Lane to do the right thing (despite her previously just wanting to publish the alien's story), to gain the trust and respect of General Swanwick and Colonel Hardy (despite them initially being gruff, fearful, xenophobic, and not even seeing him as human), to inspire Dr. Hamilton to risk his life to defeat the Kryptonian invasion (despite him usually being shy and soft-spoken), to inspire Perry White to risk his life saving his DP employees (despite him usually being gruff and controlling), to inspire Steve Lombard to risk his life saving Jenny Jurwich (despite him usually being sleazy and unfriendly), to gain the respect of the US Armed Forces and inspire them to give his superhero nickname (despite them initially being hostile, fearful, and xenophobic towards him), to inspire the brutal fallen Batman to snap out of his rage and once again become a selfless superhero (despite him having initially wanted to kill the alien), and also to inspire the cynical and almost hopeless Wonder Woman to finally become a full-time superhero again (despite her having stepped away 100 years ago). Indeed, the only time Superman ever failed to inspire a flawed individual to "see the best parts of himself" and do a heroic deed was when he saved Lex Luthor from Doomsday, since despite this disproving Lex's main reason for hating God and Superman, Lex was already too far gone and too malevolent an individual to change his ways.
Despite Superman's inspirational selfless benevolence and exceptionally strong willed personality, however, Batman's original fears were not entirely unfounded, as Superman is ultimately not completely incorruptible, as evidenced by the vision of a possible future shown to Batman by that future's Flash. In this future, when either Martha Kent or Lois Lane were brutally murdered, Superman's devastation and incredible grief would greatly unhinge him, inducing him to become dark and malevolent, going so far as to take over the Earth (with a newly founded army of Regime Stormtroopers) as its tyrant totalitarian ruler, forming an alliance with Darkseid's Parademons in the process. This version of Superman wore a permanent sinister scowl, and was able to kill Insurgency enemies to his Regime in the most ruthless and brutal of ways, allowing him to burn his Insurgency prisoners into ash with heat vision, and to murder that future's Batman by ripping out the latter's heart, all without any reluctance or remorse. This evil version of Superman was so dark, hardcore, and fearsome, that even Batman himself showed visible signs of fear when Superman confronted the imprisoned vigilante, holding the latter at his mercy. Thankfully though, the present day's Batman seems to have successfully altered that timeline, as he heeded the advice of that future's Flash - to find and assemble the Justice League.
After being forcibly resurrected by Batman, Flash and Cyborg with a Mother Box, Superman temporarily lost all memories of his past life and appeared to have also lost much of his emotion. As a result of his memory loss, Superman (after Cyborg accidentally provoked him) developed a cold and sinister persona, similar to the one he had in Batman's vision of a possible future, with Superman sneering and mocking Batman with the threat the latter had once said to him. As amnesiac Superman swiftly overpowered the combined might of the Justice League and prepared to kill Batman, Lois Lane saved them all by arriving on the scene, since seeing the love of his life again made Superman start to recall his identity and past life. After spending a day with Lois on the Kent Farm and reuniting with his mother Martha, Superman's memories were fully restored, with him even having a more optimistic attitude than ever before. As he officially joined the Justice League and personally defeated Steppenwolf, Superman swiftly struck up friendships with his teammates - thanking Batman for everything the latter had done for him thus far (beginning a close friendship with him), developing a close mutual respect with Wonder Woman (who was the most reluctant to resurrect him out of morality, the first to express optimism when he was resurrected, the most compassionate and persistent towards him while he was amnesiac, and the first to admit her joy that he didn't miss out on the team's victory over Steppenwolf), sharing a laugh with Cyborg (after they successfully pry apart the 3 Mother Boxes), and developing a friendly rivalry with Flash (even agreeing to the latter's challenge of a race to the Pacific coast, to see which one of them was truly faster).
Powers & Abilities
- Kryptonian Physiology: As a Kryptonian, Superman possesses abilities his father Jor-El deemed god-like compared to humans. On a planet near a red star, Superman would have physical attributes nearly identical to those of humans, but while on a planet near a star that is younger or bighter than Krypton's, he is granted many new abilities and powers that surpass the capabilities of humans and metahumans alike, making him the Justice League's most powerful member. His cells store the solar energy he's exposed to, allowing him to retain his powers under roofed structures or even at night, although he eventually needs to recharge after a while or when using his powers extensively, like during the Showdown in Gotham Port. However, due to being on Earth for years and having adapted to Earth's environment, Superman exceeds any Kryptonian that has immediate exposure in terms of both raw power and skill in the application of said powers, which allowed him to outclass their considerably greater fighting experience. Direct exposure can allow him to recover and heal almost instantly from most damage, including those inflicted by Kryptonite, giving him powerful regenerative capabilities. His father Jor-El stated that he'd grown more powerful than he'd previously imagined, and the only way to know just how powerful was to keep testing his limits. Bruce Wayne has even stated that Superman is capable of single-handedly wiping out the entire human race should he choose to, likening him as being stronger than a planet, and Amanda Waller spearheaded the creation of Task Force X in order to have a team capable of combating an opponent of Superman's power. His resurrection has increased his powers, allowing him to single-handedly overpower the combined might of the Justice League and Steppenwolf, an ancient New God, with relative ease. He has surpassed the might of Doomsday and it seemed that only the likes of Zeus and Darkseid could surpass Superman's new level of power.
- Superhuman Strength: Superman possesses a tremendous level of strength that is virtually incalculable, as he is able to carry and exert over millions of tons of force. As a teenager, he was able to push a school bus out of a river and warp a fence post by squeezing. Even while limited by his internal struggles, Clark was still incredibly strong enough to swiftly destroy a trucker's rig with lumber, to crush a Kryptonian android, and hold up an oil rig's collapsing drilling derrick, though the latter visibly strained him. After reaching his full potential, he became considerably stronger, with his punches being powerful enough to generate shock waves during combat. He's capable of effortlessly hurling semi-trucks across extreme distances, destroying mountaintops, towing a massive steamship through the Arctic, shifting an entire tectonic plate, and even flying against the opposing force of a World Engine's gravity beam. His superhuman strength, due to his prolonged exposure to the radiation of Earth's sun, surpassed that of the Sword of Rao members, giving him an edge over them during his battles with them: This was shown when he surprised Zod, he quickly grounded himby the waist and hit him several times in the face without Zod being able to react and later on was able to ultimately overpower Zod, throwing him away with powerful blows, notably producing greater impact and effect than Zod's blow had on him, restraining him by the neck and smashing him into a building and hitting him three times hard enough to stun him so Clark can restrain him, eventually, though not without a considerable amount of effort and force, snap Zod's neck and even overpowered both Faora and Nam-Ek, knocking her down twice even while being beaten by Nam-Ek, as well as subduing the latter by throwing him against a train car, before punching Faora hard enough to break her visor. Superman was also able to lift part of a train to save the people inside it. During their second encounter, even while holding back, Superman still had the strength to considerably surpass the heavily armored Batman, sending him flying with light blows and even lifting and throwing him a great distance away, even claiming that he could easily kill Batman despite the armor. Indeed, though when he was holding back, Clark, despite being initially dominant, didn't do much damage on his foe or his suit as Batman was swiftly able to recover and expose him to Kryptonite gas to overwhelm him, when he was finally frustrated upon seeing how relentless Batman was being and decided to use more force, he effortlessly flung him so hard to crack his armored helmet and temporarily stunned him. Even while not fully recovered from inhaling Kryptonite gas, Superman was strong enough to block a kick from the armored Batman and toss him through a concrete wall. Superman was even able to hold his own in a prolonged ferocious battle with the stronger Doomsday, capable of sending him flying with his punches and even at one point restraining the colossal juggernaut long enough to have both of them hit by a megaton nuke and despite having been mortally wounded by being stabbed by Doomsday's spiky hand, still able to fully pierce his skin with the Kryptonite Spear to finally bring him down, although at the cost of his own life. After his resurrection, Superman's strength has grew to surpass that of Doomsday and he easily overpowered the combined might of the Justice League, launching Aquaman flying and out of the fight for a time with a single mighty punch, punching Wonder Woman a great distance away even when she blocked his attack with his shield, yanking himself free of the Lasso of Hestia and pulling Wonder Woman to him, keeping her restrained with a single hand while easily remaining firm when the other Justice Leaguers tried to flank him before easily tossing them away and knocking out the Flash with a single glancing blow. He was subsequently able to down Wonder Woman with two mighty headbutts and effortlessly swat Batman away with enough force to severely bruise him later on enough to require treatment from Wonder Woman. He later overpowered Steppenwolf with ease, a feat the other Leaguers had been struggling (and failing) to do, with each of his punches dealing considerable damage to the New God. While evacuating nearby civilians, he carried an entire apartment building away with the occupants still inside and, with the help of Cyborg, was able to separate the Mother Boxes before they could activate, although not without considerable difficulty.
- Superhuman Stamina: Superman almost never seems to grow tired. He is able to survive flying at high speeds into outer space and underwater. After reaching his full potential, Superman hardly showed signs of fatigue, notably towing a gigantic tanker ship by its chain through ice without any resistance. While he was severely weakened from the effort of destroying a World Engine, Superman was able to recover almost instantly under direct sunlight and fly back to Metropolis. He could resist the pull of a Phantom Zone singularity and fight General Zod shortly after. Even during his ferocious battle with the stronger Doomsday, Superman never slowed down.
- Superhuman Speed / Reflexes: Superman can run and fly at tremendous hypersonic speeds as well as react at equally fast speeds. During his first flight, Superman traveled all the way from the Arctic to the savannahs of Kenya and then to the Monument Valley in Utah, all in a matter of minutes. He was able to fly through the World Engine's gravity beam to destroy it. Later, Superman was able to tackle Amajagh away from Lois Lane before he managed to use his gun to shoot her. Superman is fast enough to escape the gravitational pull of a Phantom Zone singularity. In addition, due to his greater speed, Clark was able to compensate for his lack of experience to effectively combat and defeat the Kryptonians that invaded Earth, as shown when he moved so fast to catch both Faora and Zod completely off-guard to pummel them and later was able to dodge and punish Zod's attacks with heavy blows of his own before eventually catching him off-guard and restraining him. After his revival, his speed is easily capable of surpassing that of Aquaman and Wonder Woman, as he easily reacted to Arthur's attempt to stab him even when he had the advantage of having super-jumped and was close to doing so and managed to move faster than the clashing motion Wonder Woman was about to made to activate her bracelets with ease and simultaneously expose her to land a head-butt before successfully knocking her down with yet another attack before she could react, although Wonder Woman seemed to be able to keep up just enough to land a single blow on her own, and while his strength and durability was inferior to Doomsday, his speed was the only thing superior to the monstrous juggernaut, allowing Superman to hold his ground despite the advantage the mutated Kryptonian had and restrain him. In addition, Superman proved able to easily surpass Steppenwolf's speed, dodging his blows with virtually no effort and at one point completely catching him off-guard to knock down and pummel him. Superman is even capable of moving at a level of speed close to the Flash, as when the Flash attempted to freeze him in place, Superman was not effected and was able to closely pursue the Flash, with the latter barely able to dodge most of Superman's blows, before finally knocking him out with a glancing blow. Days later, Flash challenged him to a race to settle on which one of them was fastest.
- Superhuman Senses: Superman has incredibly acute olfactory senses, as he was able to detect the distinct saline odor of the Genesis Chamber on Scout Ship 0344, despite the very thick barrier that separated him from it.
- X-ray Vision: Superman can focus his vision past layers of matter to see through them. He was able to clearly see through the one-way glass in the interrogation room to read Emil Hamilton's ID badge in the latter's pocket, and simultaneously see through walls to identify the squad of soldiers nearby.
- Superhuman Hearing: Kal-El was able to listen into Bruce sneaking around & talking to Alfred via phone wihle hiding from him a few feet away. He even managed to hear Lois drowning in Gotham, while she was trying to retrieve the "Kryptonite Spear".
- Telescopic Vision: Superman has the ability to focus his vision to see great distances. Hence, he was able to see the Black Zero in low orbit from his parent's farm, and later saw Lois Lane within a falling drop pod.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: Superman's body is virtually indestructible. Hence, Superman could withstand the extreme heat of an oil rig conflagration, the extreme cold of the Arctic, exposure to the vacuum of outer space, falls from great heights, and a high-speed collision with a mountaintop. High caliber bullets bounce off of him, and artillery, including anti-tank depleted uranium rounds and Maverick missiles, have no effect. Superman was completely unaffected by the explosion caused at the US Capitol Building. Though plasma bolts from Kryptonian weapons and tendrils of Service Robots can still harm him, he can take them without much damage. He's withstood tremendous blows from Doomsday and attacks from other Kryptonians and quickly rebounded to keep fighting, and was able to withstand the full force of a World Engine's colossal gravity beam and the singularity from the Black Zero's Phantom Drive exploding. He was even able to withstand the full force of a World Engine's gravity beam as well as the destructive electrical shock waves and thermal blasts from Doomsday. Even having not fully recovered from Kryptonite, he survived a nuclear bomb, though weakened to near-death, long enough to be exposed to the sun. Later, Superman was able to endure a direct hit from Cyborg's plasma cannon with no effect, and, although briefly dazed by a mighty head-butt from Wonder Woman which was strong enough to generate a shockwave, he suffered no injury at all from the attack. He was able to withstand the blast from separating three Mother Boxes unscathed but still suffered enough pain that Superman joked he wished he was still dead. The only substance capable of negating Superman's invulnerability is Kryptonite, which Batman used during their duel in Gotham. Even while still affected by Kryptonite, he was still durable enough to be able to take multiple harsh blows from the armored Batman despite being visibly rattled without any noteworthy injuries and as he recovered, Batman's punches could barely turn his head over and he soon became completely unaffected. Superman's body also maintained its invulnerability after his death, as the lack of cellular decay allowed the Justice League to resurrect him.
- Accelerated Healing: Superman is shown to heal at incredible rates when exposed to the solar radiation of a yellow sun. He was able to quickly recover from the stress of battling the World Engine once exposed to sunlight, and later a wound on his face inflicted by Kryptonite healed upon exposure to the sun. After being hit by a megaton nuke, Superman barely survived the explosion, having become greatly weakened into a desiccated corpse-like state, though he was able to recover moments after being exposed to the sun.
- Superhuman Longevity: Superman is practically an ageless immortal.
- Flight: Clark can fly via manipulations to his own gravitational field, taking advantage of Earth's weaker gravity to propel himself through the skies and even beyond the planet's atmosphere. Upon mastering this technique, Superman can fly at hypersonic speeds that allow him to circle the globe in moments. Further practice with this power has allowed him to extend it to others, most notably Lois Lane, so that they don't experience the negative effects of traveling at high speeds.
- Heat Vision: Superman possesses the ability to emit beams of intense heat from his eyes. Visually, the power manifests as two laser-like beams of fiery energy being released from his eyes, with the surrounding areas being outlined as the energy builds. These beams can be made less intense to the point of being invisible, allowing Clark to work undetected. Clark has developed extremely fine control of this ability, as he was able to cauterize Lois Lane's wound, and previously cut a tunnel into layers of thick ice in the Arctic to reach the alien vessel hidden within. At full power, Clark can utilize his heat vision to dismember Humans, quickly melt a thick steel beam, and momentarily stun other Kryptonians. He was able to destroy the helm of Scout Ship 0344's bridge and the automated machine gun turrets used by Batman in their fight.
- Superhuman Breath: Superman is capable of surviving prolonged periods without oxygen, allowing him to walk through a burning oil rig, travel at tremendous hypersonic speeds, and even remain underwater or within the vacuum of space without adverse effects. After his resurrection, Clark gained the power to significantly focus the intensity of his breath to the point of freezing targets by blowing on them. This ability was powerful enough to weaken Steppenwolf's Electro Axe to the point that is was shattered by Wonder Woman with a single strike.
- Master Combatant: Despite not having any formal combat training, in addition to his tremendous physical powers making him far more than a match than most opponents, Clark quickly managed to acquire considerable combat skills even at the early times of his superhero career, proving himself to be a natural and effective improvised brawler. When fighting Faora and Nam-Ek, although no match for the former, only lasting briefly in a straight fight and being easily overwhelmed by their combined might, Clark, after being briefly pressured by Nam-Ek, quickly adapted to eventually outfight him rather swiftly, knocking him out. By the end of the Kryptonian Invasion, Superman had became skillful enough to stand reasonably even in combat with General Zod, the most skilled fighter in the Kryptonian Warrior Guild, able to block a fair share of the General's blows and land his own, persistently and closely keeping up before ultimately managing to expose Zod's brief loss of focus to best him. After only two years, Clark's skills grew to where he could single-handedly contend with and even overwhelm the stronger but completely berserk monstrous juggernaut Doomsday to restrain him in order to have both of them hit by a megaton nuke, and after his revival, use his superior godly physical abilities to overpower the Justice League with only mediocre effort, launching Aquaman off the fight with a single mighty blow before he could attack him and swiftly pushing back Wonder Woman armed with her shield before proceeding to repel her attempts to restrain him with the Lasso of Hestia and pull her to him while also easily blocking an attempted flank attempt from Aquaman and Cyborg and despite the Flash's slightly greater speed, Superman was able to quickly overwhelm and knock him out after proving impervious to his attempts to freeze him and pushing aside the other members of the Justice League, glancingly hitting him after the Flash barely dodged his previous attacks before proceeding to fight with Wonder Woman, although he did have a bit more difficulty fighting her, having been headbutted after landing a similar blow to her upon intercepting her attempt to clasp her Bracelets of Submission, he quickly grounded her with a single attack before easily tossing aside and restraining Batman with a single hand, and would have eventually killed them had Lois not stopped him. During the battle with Steppenwolf, Superman was the only member of the Justice League able to overpower him and did so with ease, easily dodging his blows and swiftly responding with his own punishing blows that quickly beat the New God to submission. Even while weakened by Kryptonite against the extremely skilled Batman, Superman was still skilled enough to briefly trade blows with the far more experienced vigilante and block some of his blows and once regaining enough of his powers, he was able to temporarily dominate the Dark Knight, ultimately holding out long enough for his powers to return.
- Genius-Level Intellect: Clark Kent is an extremely intelligent individual, inheriting the profilic intelligence of his father Jor-El, having been a wunderkind prodigy since childhood, as shown when Clark won a science fair at age 9 and later could be seen reading The Republic by Plato, a highly complex piece of Socratic dialogue concerning philosophy and political science, when he was 13. This later on aided him in his superhero and reporter career, his talents in the latter earning him great praise even from Perry White and proving capable of using his intelligence to skillfully solve problems he couldn't with sheer force alone. In an alternate future where he became corrupted, it was shown that Superman had the potential to surpass Batman, an extremely intelligent ecletic polymath genius, in terms of intelligence, as he was able to defeat Batman in the long Injustice War.
- Expert Leader: Due to Superman’s personality, he has an incredible talent for being a leader, having lead a school trip to S.T.A.R Labs with ease. Even the much more experienced Batman, despite his experience still currently making him a superior leader, openly admitted to Alfred that he may be more adept in tactical leadership, but Superman definitely surpassed him in terms of charisma and talent Superman would have done a better job bringing the Justice League together than he ever could. This proved true, as the remaining Leaguers looked up to Superman when he arrived on the scene of the final battle against Steppenwolf and taking up the leadership position from Batman. Superman's evil version indeed proved to be an exceptional leader, even greater than Batman, having been able to found and lead his Regime to victory in the lengthy war against Batman's Insurgency, inspiring fierce loyalty in them to the point that the Regime Stormtroopers would always reverently kneel when their leader arrived.
- Master Strategist: Superman has proven himself a very capable tactician, even while inexperienced. For 13 years, he was able to successfully live in hiding while exploring the world and gain the resources needed for a living, getting into and quitting jobs without leaving any traces and even stealing sometimes without getting caught, to the point that the extremely smart reporter Lois Lane needed weeks to track him down. He later quickly proved himself to be an exceptional combat strategist, capable of outwitting even the far more experienced and skilled members of the Sword of Rao, as when facing off with the far more skilled and experienced Faora-Ul and Nam-Ek, he took advantage of the powers he had mastered, that they had yet to develop (flight and heat vision primarily), and ultimately defeated Faora when taking her by surprise and destroying her solar visor to expose her to a sensory overload, rendering her helpless. During his battle with General Zod, aware the latter's intentions to kill the entire human race, Superman successfully kept him away from innocent bystanders - knocking Zod up to into an unoccupied construction site, keeping him airborne and above the city with repeated strikes, grappling and tossing him into outer space, and ultimately restraining him in a headlock, though Zod forced Superman to kill him. Superman even thought his way out of the sophisticated ultimatum of supergenius Lex Luthor by purposefully holding back to not kill Batman to reason with him and eventually letting himself be overpowered by Batman so he could appeal to him by asking him to save his mother and not spare his life, successfully causing Batman to hesitate and buying Lois the time needed to approach Batman and tell him Superman only wanted to rescue Martha, thus reasoning with him and avoiding having to kill Batman while rescuing his mother. When battling Doomsday, after taking the monster into outer space, Superman immediately recognized the nuclear missile shot at them, and took the opportunity to hold the monster into place so that it could be destroyed by the weapon and when that failed, Superman recalled the kryptonite spear's deadly effects on Kryptonian physiology (with that allowing Batman to beat him in their recent fight) and successfully utilized it to kill Doomsday after realizing that brute force alone wasn't enough to defeat the ever-evolving monstrous juggernaut, although he also lost his life in the process. Following his revival, Superman helped the Justice League defeat Steppenwolf, by personally freezing the New God's Electro Axe with his Arctic Breath in order to render it brittle, before allowing Wonder Woman to swiftly shatter it into pieces with her Sword of Athena, thus effectively depriving the New God of his weapon, leaving him defenseless. Superman's evil version displayed great strategical warfare abilities, to the point where he successfully overwhelmed and eventually crushed Batman's Insurgency with his Regime in their lengthy war.
- Master Social Intuit: Superman has great social confidence and remarkable ability to intuitively determine how to interact with others, gain their respect and get his point across with calmness, eloquence, and charisma as well as tremendous emotional control to suppress his rage even when peaked. Even while inexperienced, Clark was talented enough to be able to gain many jobs during his years of soul-searching, intuitively mastering how to appeal to potential employers and coworkers, with his social intuition making him well-liked by his fellow employees and employers even despite his lack of talent in the job, and displaying sufficient talent to avoid getting angry in the open, as shown by how he secretly crushed a metal pipe when aggressively dared by Ken Braverman to fight, and wrecking the truck of Ludlow when the latter insulted Clark and indecently groped Clark's female co-worker instead of directly confronting them immediately. As an illustrious Daily Planet reporter, gaining full social experience, Clark fully mastered social intuition, and was soon able enough to succesfully lead a school field trip to S.T.A.R. Labs, to remain calm in the face of Perry White’s condescending demeanor and refusal to allow him to undermine Batman through the press diplomatically interview Kahina Ziri's neighbors, and later Adriana Santos with objective non-confrontational questions, controlling his dismay and rage regarding what he was trying to learn and remaining calm even as they insulted and made clear their lack of faith in him. Indeed, Clark could even not only maintain his diplomatic composure when interviewing billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne himself but also steadily angering and annoying the also extremely socially experienced and skilled man, ignoring his condescending demeanor and appealing to the state of Gotham’s citizens leaving in fear over the terror and intimidating figure of Batman, which nearly caused a rise out of Bruce as unbeknownst to Superman, he was Batman, and supressing his anger and annoyance at Bruce over his counter, slightly colder due to Superman luring Bruce successfully and distasteful remarks about Superman and countering with how most of the world doesn’t share his opinion, finally beginning to crack Bruce’s socially nice, if condescending, demeanor, causing him to even compare Superman to Joker. As Superman, he showed an uncommon amount of calm confidence with General Swanwick, succesfully convincing him to let him help against the Sword of Rao, confidently tried to get through the enraged Batman, which he ultimately did by holding himself back to allow himself to be overpowered and then not begging for his own life but for the life of Martha when about to be killed, which succesfully caused Batman to hesitate, allowing Lois to reach him, and even in his ability to address the US government and convince everyone of his selfless intentions, which even supergenius Lex Luthor himself believed would have worked had he not sabotaged it himself.
- Master Journalist: Clark was always commendably insightful and deductive, as he was able to effortlessly tell right away that Zod couldn’t be trusted, seeing through his polite facade, based on his past criminal actions during the Krypton Civil War. This talent later on lead to him highly excelling as a reporter for the very famous and respected Daily Planet newspaper, quickly becoming an exceptionally skilled investigative reporter with skills nearly rivalling that of Lois Lane, displaying remarkable insight and investigative skills right away after getting hired as a junior reporter, quickly climbing through the ranks, being considered a nerd by Perry White, as after only a year, Clark had already twice earned the Elliot Prize for Investigative Journalism (the first of any of the Planet's reporters to earn such prestige so quickly), and his abilities as a reporter were enough to lead a school field trip to S.T.A.R. Labs, and to expertly interview Bruce Wayne, Kahina Ziri's neighbors, and Adriana Santos with objective non-confrontational questions. Indeed, Clark's prowess led him to believe that he could successfully undermine the vigilante Batman through the press, and was notably able to quickly deduce that Batman often targets poorer areas in Gotham, and that he is aided by the city's police in his anti-crime crusade.
- Armie Hammer, Matt Bomer, Zac Efron, Matthew Goode, Joe Manganiello and Colin O'Donoghue were all considered for the role before Henry Cavill was cast.
- Brandon Routh, who previously played the character in Superman Returns, was interested in reprising the role even with it being a reboot.
- Henry Cavill's casting was very controversial, as many questioned the appropriateness of a British actor playing an American icon like Superman. However, defenders of the casting pointed out that Christian Bale who was portraying Batman at the time, is Welsh.
- Henry Cavill was considered for the role of Batman in Batman Begins.
- Henry Cavill refused to take steroids to muscle up for the role. He also refused any digital touch-ups or enhancement to his body in his shirtless scenes. He said it would have been dishonest of him to use trickery while playing Superman, and he wanted to push his body to the limits, to develop his physique into one that was worthy of the character.
- Henry Cavill is the first non American actor to play Superman.