Who is Superman?

"A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles." --Christopher Reeve. A short bio on "The Last Son of Krypton". Versions of the character in the mainstream continuity. Actors who have worn the S-Shield.

Request made by:

"you should do super man....if you already haave then disregard this comment lol"

- [that request sounds dirty lol. -pollmaster]


Great research, I would like to see the others,… Superman Costumes"

Who is Superman?
Born Kal-El of Krypton, as an infant he was sent to Earth by his parents to escape their doomed planet. On earth he was taken in by a lovely couple who raised him as their son, Clark Kent. They instilled in him good values and high morals. Moving from his smalltown roots to the big city of Metropolis, where Kal-El would become one of Earth's greatest heroes known as Superman.

What are Superman's Powers and Abilities?
Note: Due to the nature of comicbooks being an on-going tale, Superman's powers along with his appearance, is in a constant state of flux. Below is a list of powers and abilities Superman had, whether this is still true in his present incarnation in any media remains to be seen.

Kryptonian Physiology: Superman's cellular structure is more dense, resilient and biologically more effective than human tissue. Strangely enough, he does not seem to possess superhuman strength levels despite his enhanced cellular ability without his cellular structure charged with yellow solar energy. Without such charging, his strength seems on par for a human of his height and weight who engages in regular physical activity. As an alien he possesses several organs whose functions are not yet disclosed or understood but are believed to be part of and perhaps even the source of his biomatrix force field and reclamation aura. Superman's body also stores energy actively within his bio-cellular matrix as an energy pattern that is linked to his body's electromagnetic field. This energy powers most of Superman's electromagnetic capabilities such as flight and heat vision.

Solar Energy Absorption: Technically, this is the main source of Superman's powers. Because Superman's powers are greatly due to exposure to Earth's yellow sun, his powers have been affected by extreme absorptions of solar power, whether voluntary or involuntary. However, Superman has used this to his advantage in battle in many instances, and to his detriment at certain times.

Superhuman Strength: The exact magnitude of Superman's strength is unknown. This is because Superman's strength, like his other powers, has fluctuated over time but his strength should effortlessly range into the multi-megaton level at the very least. While the exact magnitude of Superman's strength is unknown, it is generally accepted that his strength easily surpasses the capacity to lift 1,000,000 tons, but how much more is not known exactly. Arguably the strongest being on the planet and one of the strongest beings in the Universe.

Invulnerability: Superman's body is nigh-invulnerable. This ability's levels have changed over time. He has taken a blast equivalent to a million nuclear war heads point blank and remained conscious. In addition, his immune system protects him from all toxins and diseases. The most common explanations for his invulnerability are Superman having a super-dense molecular structure and/or a supercharged bio electric "aura" which acts as an invisible "force field" around his body within a few millimeters from his skin, and presumably within his body as well. The proximity of this field to his skin means that loose clothes, for example, may be burned off of him, while cloth that is close to his body is protected by the "aura;" This phenomenon is sometimes cited as Superman's reason for wearing a skin-tight bodysuit. It is sometimes implied that he can unconsciously extend this field to an undetermined extent to protect a greater area, allowing him to carry huge objects within the Earth's atmosphere and without gravity or inertia tearing them apart around his human-sized hands.

Longevity: Superman can live almost indefinitely.

Superhuman Stamina: Superman has the ability to maintain continuous strenuous physical action for an undefined period. Theoretically, most incarnations of the character has unlimited stamina as his enhanced nourishment is produced from the solar energy his cells process. Superman like other Kryptonians does not get tired and does not need to eat or sleep and can be sustained on Solar energy alone. He can also hold his breath for an undefined duration.

Flight: Under one Earth gravity Superman is capable of flying at faster than light speeds. He tends to fly at speeds of Mach 10 in the atmosphere. His control of his flight is perfect and he can perform aerobatic feats such as hovering, flying backwards and even lifting great weights while flying. Superman can fly at speeds many times faster than light. Superman has the ability to fly in outer space. He has been seen to fly to the moon in minutes so we can assume that he can fly faster than that outside of atmospheric interference.

Superhuman Speed: Superman is capable of enhanced reflex action and the ability to move at incredible speeds by sheer force of will. Superman can move at speeds much faster than light and is one of the fastest beings in the Universe.

Superhuman Hearing: The ability to hear any sound at any volume or pitch. The only Earth creature who can detect sounds at the frequency he can is a blue whale (0.01-200,000 Hz). He has shown enough control to block out ambient sounds to focus on a specific source/frequency. He can hear every single heartbeat, as well as the blood pumping through everyone's veins, hear every foot step, every cell phone signal as it lances through the air and more. He can identify a person by their heartbeat, or pick out a single voice in an entire world.

Super Smell: On various occasions, Superman has demonstrated that his sense of smell is significantly enhanced to the point he can smell odours across the entire planet without any problem.

Super Scream: Superman was shown to have the ability to project a "super scream" from his vocal cords. He used this ability to cancel out the impending threat of an already exploding nuclear detonation.

Self-Sufficiency: Doesn't need to eat and sleep so long as he's under the effects of yellow sun radiation. His body stores the energy necessary to negate eating and sleeping for an indefinite period.

Healing Factor: In the extreme event that Superman is harmed, either by an alien matching his own strength or other occurence, he has been shown to have the ability to heal almost instantaneously from any wound, assuming that the process is not impeded from some outside factor. This "healing factor" is supplemented by his stores of solar energy and also seems to be an unconscious ability, as Superman does not seem to have the ability to control when he heals and when he doesn't. Much like a human has no control over their immune system.

Super Breath: The ability to create hurricane force winds by blowing, and to chill his breath in order to freeze a target (this latter ability has also been called "freeze breath" and "arctic breath"). Superman can also breathe in large amounts of air, an ability used when dealing with and disposing things like clouds of poison gas.

Heat Vision: The ability to fire beams of intense heat at a target by looking at it with the conscious act of activating this power. Visually, the power is typically depicted as two beams of red light firing from his eyes. These beams can be made invisible, allowing Superman to work undetected. The area of effect can be consciously determined by Superman, down to the microscopic level.

Super Vision: He also possess a superior sensory arrangement of microscopic, telescopic, infrared and ultraviolet visual capabilities. He is able to see the entire spectrum.

Electro-magnetic Spectrum Vision: Superman can see into all of the EM Spectrum. He can see and identify radio/television and any and all broadcast/transmitted frequencies, allowing him to avoid detection through radar or satellite monitoring methods. Superman can see the aura that every living thing generates.

Telescopic Vision: The ability to focus his vision to see something at a great distance, without violating the laws of physics.

Microscopic Vision: The ability to see extremely small objects and images down to the sub atomic level.

X-Ray Vision: The ability to see through anything except lead. Opponents sometimes used lead-lined constructs in an attempt to hide things from Superman. He can see things behind a wall as if the wall were not there, or can "peel back" layer after layer of matter in his mind. Kal-El is able to focus his vision past layers of matter, literally seeing "through" them -- possibly perceiving x-rays, cosmic rays or other forms of energy invisible to normal human vision which pass through Earth's atmosphere (and solid objects) after emission from stars. Since it is passive, this ability would not generate harmful radiation in the same manner as a focused projection of hard X-rays.

Master Combatant: He has been trained by both Wildcat, and Mongul in the fighting arts. Superman has fought and learned from Wonder Woman. He has also learned more advanced martial arts techniques from Batman.

Genius-Level Intellect: Superman has shown incredible intelligence and computational abilities; his mind works sharply and with extreme speed relative to earth-humans. His analytical powers are impressive — he is able to use his senses to read information directly from machines.

Torquasm Vo: is a Kryptonian discipline that Superman uses sometimes. It is basically a means of focusing ones mental discipline to help fight adverse effects such as mental domination. It can be used to manipulate someone's mind.

Torquasm Rao: Kryptonian discipline that allows him to tap into his instincts and seperate himself from his body.

Superman through the years (main continuity)
1. Kal-L

Kal-L is the version of Superman retconned in the 1960s as the primary separate incarnation who was active during the Golden Age (roughly 1938-1951) to explain how Superman could have been active as a young man in the 1930s when later stories show Superman still youthful in the 1960s. Kal-L is the first primary superhero of Earth-Two and emerges before World War II.

2. Silver Age Kal-El

The most significant difference between the Golden Age version, Kal-L of Earth-Two and the Silver Age version, Kal-El of Earth-One, is the fact that the Silver Age Kal-El begins his public, costumed career as Superboy at the age of eight, more than a decade before nearly all other Earth-One heroes. The Silver Age Superman also has greatly enhanced powers compared to Kal-L. In the aftermath of the Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series (1985–1986), which depicts all existing Earths collapsing into one in an event that changes DC Universe history, Superman's backstory was heavily revised and many Silver Age elements, such as his career as Superboy, were removed. The Silver Age Superman was given a send-off in the Alan Moore-penned imaginary non-canonical story Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? (1986).

3a. Superman Red/Superman Blue

The Silver Age version of the tale was an "imaginary story" in which Superman splits into two beings, one which marries Lois Lane, and the other marries Lana Lang, and both are happy.

3b. Superman Red/Superman Blue

Superman Blue and later Superman Red reappeared in a controversial storyline in which Superman develops energy-based powers while losing his original powers, and gets a corresponding new costume.

4. Ultraman

an evil version of Superman and a prominent member of the Crime Syndicate of America. Ultraman originally appears as a super-villain from Earth-Three, a world where the counterparts of super-heroes are villains, and the counterpart of the super-villain Lex Luthor is the only surviving super-hero. Earth-Three is destroyed during the Crisis on Infinite Earths.

5. Superboy-Prime/Superman-Prime

is the superhero turned supervillain from Earth-Prime. This version of Clark Kent is from a world without other super-powered beings, where he grows to adolescence reading about DC superheroes in comic books. During the Crisis on Infinite Earths, he gains powers like those of the Silver Age Superboy and helps to defeat the Anti-Monitor. But his own world is destroyed and Superboy himself is confined to limbo. From limbo, he watches events unfold on the post-Crisis Earth; manipulated by Alexander Luthor, he comes to regard the post-Crisis Earth and its heroes as imperfect. When he escapes limbo during the Infinite Crisis, Superboy-Prime sets himself the task of recreating a "perfect Earth", and kills repeatedly in pursuit of his goal.

6. Kal-El

The modern Superman. The history of Superman was modified after the Crisis on Infinite Earths in The Man of Steel (1986) miniseries by John Byrne, and later revised in Superman: Birthright (2003) by Mark Waid. Superman's backstory was further modified following the events of Infinite Crisis (2006). Many of the Silver Age elements of Superman's biography removed in The Man of Steel have been restored in the continuity changes of the last few years. Nonetheless, many of the elements added in the Man of Steel revamp remain in place. Superman's backstory is explored again in the Superman: Secret Origin six issue mini-series, which debuted in September 2009.

There's definitely more versions of Superman especially the alternate universe depictions. That I guess will be another article. Or you could post below what are your favorite Elseworld's Superman.

The actors who have worn the S-Shield of Superman
1. Kirk Alyn

seen in:
1948: Superman a serial in 15 chapters recounts the Man of Steel's origin story; then fights the Spider Lady.1950: Atom Man vs. Superman serial pits the Last Son of Krypton with Atom Man / Lex Luthor.

2. George Reeves

seen in:
1951: Superman and the Mole Men teaches revolves around a story of acceptance1954: Stamp Day for Superman promotes Stamp Day for the U.S. Treasury.
1952 - 1958: Adventures of Superman TV series

3. Christopher Reeve

seen in:
1978: Superman: The Movie, recounts his origin again, and pits him with his archenemy Lex Luthor.1981: Superman II, sees Superman fighting against fellow Kryptonians led by General Zod.1983: Superman III, has the Man of Steel facing technological terrors.
1987: Superman IV: The Quest For Peace. Superman had the daunting task of cleaning the world of their nuclear weapon. Unfortunately a new nemesis was born out of this nuclear clean-up, the Nuclear Man.

4. Dean Cain

seen in:
1993 - 1997: Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman television series. Sees a more confident Clark Kent.

5. Tom Welling

seen in:
2001 - 2011: Smallville television series, Sees the early adventures of Clark Kent in Smallville, he will Superman only on the last episode.

6. Brandon Routh

seen in:
2006: Superman Returns. The story revolves around Superman returning to earth after years of being absent, and seeing the different reactions the people around from his return.

7. Henry Cavill

will be seen:
on the new Superman movie on 2012, possibly titled "The Man of Steel".

There are others who have worn the shield: Superboys, Supergirls and Steel. Again possible topic for another article.

sources: http://superherouniverse.com/wiki/Alternate_versions_of_Superman/?title=Alternate_versions_of_Superman : http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Superman_(Clark_Kent) : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternative_versions_of_Superman

Well all I can say is - "Up, Up and Away!"

This is the 8th article in my Ask a Geek series. Any requests and suggestions for an article for this series write it down in the comment section BELOW.

Note: Any error in the article above, if any, just blame it on my age, humanity and ignorance. Just be sure to check the comment section for the corrections, any error I made will surely be pointed out and corrected by much bigger geeks (because there will always be a bigger geek out there).

-This has been PollMaster inviting you to the geekside.

The one that we are glad that got away! =)

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