Alternate versions of Superman


Alternate versions of Superman

Infobox comics set index


caption=Cover for the hardcover edition of "Mythology: The DC Comics Art Of Alex Ross". Art by Alex Ross.
code_name=Superman
publisher=DC Comics
debut="Action Comics" #1 (1938)
creators=Joe Schuster
Jerry Seigel
characters=Superman (Kal-El)
Superman (Kal-L)
Superboy-Prime
Ultraman
Superboy (Kon-El)
Hank Henshaw
The Eradicator
John Henry Irons
Superman (Kal Kent)
Superman Red/Superman Blue
Bizarro

seealso=
altcat= Alternate versions of comics characters
sortkey = Superman
This is a list of the alternate versions of Superman from all media, including the DC Comics Multiverse, "Elseworlds" imprint stories, and television and film adaptations of the character.

Superman, known variantly as Clark Kent and Kal-El from Krypton, has largely been a continually published character, although following the "Crisis on Infinite Earths", there was a distinctive reboot of the character. To accompany discrepancies in the aging of Superman across several decades, his earliest stories were retroactively portrayed as having taken place on an alternate world called Earth-Two. The Multiverse used to explain these characters later gave way to an "evil" version of Superman from Earth-Three and other "What if?" scenarios, such as the black Superman of Earth-D. The Multiverse system was discarded in the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" miniseries, following which an adaptation of the mainstream "Earth-One" Superman was rebooted in John Byrne's "The Man of Steel" miniseries in 1986. Variations in the character were eventually defined by the varying Superman origin stories, such as the subsequent "" reboot by Mark Waid in 2003.

The single-Earth continuity would still allow for the dichotomy of a good and evil Superman by introducing an alternate version of Superman's Earth-Three double, Ultraman in the Antimatter Universe surviving the Crisis, as presented in "". Alternate Supermen were also depicted using literary devices such as time travel and "Hypertime". The subsequent sequel to "Crisis" titled "Infinite Crisis" would see a brief return of the Golden Age Superman, Kal-L as well as the teenage Superman of a world without heroes who survived the original "Crisis". Due to the events of the sequel, as revealed in the subsequent weekly maxiseries "52", a new Multiverse, consisting of fifty-two alternate Earths, was created with most worlds featuring new alternate depictions of Superman.

In addition to these "official" Supermen, variations of the standard character, a number of characters have assumed the title of Superman in a number of variant stories set in both primary and alternate continuity. Following the "The Death of Superman" storyline and during the subsequent "Reign of the Supermen" storyline, a number of characters claimed the mantle. In addition Bizarro, for instance is an imperfect duplicate of Superman. Other members of Superman's family of characters have borne the "Super-" prefix, including Supergirl and Superdog, and in some instances Superwoman. Outside comics published by DC Comics, the notoriety of the Superman or "Übermensch" archetype makes the character a popular figure to be represented with an analogue in entirely unrelated continuities, for example rival publisher Marvel Comics parodies Superman through the character Hyperion. [cite journal |last= Wolf-Meyer |first= Matthew |year= 2003 |month= January |title=The World Ozymandias Made: Utopias in the Superhero Comic, Subculture, and the Conservation of Difference |journal=The Journal of Popular Culture |volume= 36|issue= 3|pages= 497–517 |id= |url= http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1540-5931.00019 |accessdate= 2008-01-13 |quote= "... will fail to emerge). Hyperion, the Superman-clone of Squadron Supreme,begins the series when he vows, on behalf of the Squadron ... " |doi=10.1111/1540-5931.00019] [cite journal |last=Bainbridge |first=Jason |year= 2007 |title="This is the Authority. This Planet is Under Our Protection" — An Exegesis of Superheroes' Interrogations of Law|journal=Law, Culture and the Humanities |volume= 3|issue= 3|pages= 455–476 |url= http://lch.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/3/3/455 http://lch.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/3/3/455 |accessdate= 2008-01-13 |quote= "The trend begins in 1985 when Mark Gruenwald’s Squadron Supreme (Marvel’s thinly veiled version of DC’s Justice League) takeover their (parallel) Earth implementing a benign dictatorship to usher in..." |doi=10.1177/1743872107081431 ] [Thomas, Roy. Bails, Jerry. "The Justice League Companion" (2003) pp. 72–73. (Roy Thomas discusses the creation of Squadron Supreme, his Justice League parody.]

In mainstream comic continuity

Mainstream and continually published depictions

*Kal-L is the version of Superman retconned in the 1960s as having been the one active during the Golden Age (roughly 1938-1951) to explain how Superman could have been active since the 1930s. He is the first superhero of Earth-Two and emerges before World War II. He is a member of the Justice Society and, during World War II, the All-Star Squadron. As Clark Kent, he works for the Daily Star as a reporter and eventually becomes Editor-in-Chief. Clark eventually marries Lois Lane"Action Comics" #484 (1978)] and settles down with her for several decades, and when Kal-L's long-lost cousin Power Girl arrives on Earth, they become her surrogate parents."Infinite Crisis" #2 (2006)] Kal-L is erased from Earth's history after the events of "Crisis on Infinite Earths", but survives and enters a "paradise" dimension, where he remains until the events of "Infinite Crisis". Shortly after his wife passes away, Kal-L dies at the conclusion of "Infinite Crisis" battling Superboy-Prime."Infinite Crisis" #7]
*The Silver Age Kal-El is most closely associated with the Mort Weisinger era. The most significant difference between the Golden Age version (later equated with Kal-L of Earth-Two) and Silver Age version ("Kal-El" of Earth-One) of Superman is the fact that the Silver Age Kal-El begins his public, costumed career as Superboy at the age of eight,See, for example,"The New Adventures of Superboy" #1 (1980) and #12 (1980)] more than a decade before nearly all other Earth-One heroes. Superboy only finds super-powered peers in the 30th-century Legion of Super-Heroes. Luthor meets Superboy in Smallville when they are teens before they become mortal enemies as adults. As an adult, Clark Kent works at the Daily Planet (rather than the Daily Star like his Earth-Two counterpart) and Superman joins the Justice League of America (rather than the Justice Society). 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."Man of Steel" #1 (1986)] 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).
*Ultraman is an evil version of Superman and a prominent member of the Crime Syndicate. Ultraman originally appears as a super-villain from Earth-Three, a world where the counterparts of super-heroes are villains, and the counterparts of super-villains such as Lex Luthor are heroes. Earth-Three is destroyed during the "Crisis on Infinite Earths".
*Superman Red/Superman Blue was the subject of several storylines. 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. The modern tale was a controversial storyline in which Superman develops energy-based powers while losing his original powers, and gets a corresponding new costume. He eventually splits into two versions of the energy-Superman known as Superman Red and Superman Blue.
*Kal-El is 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 "" (2003) by Mark Waid. Superman's backstory was further modified following the events of "Infinite Crisis" (2006).See, for example, "Action Comics" #850 (2007)] Many of the Silver Age elements of Superman's biography (such as his meeting Lex Luthor at a younger age) removed in "The Man of Steel" have been restored in the continuity changes of the last few years. Nonetheless, much of the "Man of Steel" revamp remains in place.

Alternate universe depictions

*The Pocket Universe Superboy was created as a patch for the history of the Legion of Super-Heroes after "Crisis on Infinite Earths". He is essentially identical to the Silver Age Superboy, the young version of Superman who becomes a Legion member, and he is far more powerful than the post-"Crisis" Superman."Superman" (vol. 2) #8 (1987) and "Action Comics" #591 (1987)] However, this version of Superboy dies saving Earth of the Pocket Universe in "Legion of Super-Heroes" #38 (1987), years before he would have become Superman.
* Another Ultraman later appears in the Antimatter Universe home to Qward. Lt. Clark Kent, an Earth human, is an astronaut who is experimented on during a deep space mission. Due to the experiments, his mind becomes twisted, but his body becomes superhuman after exposure to Anti-Kryptonite. Regular access to Anti-Kryptonite is required to maintain his powers. Another version of Ultraman resides on the new Earth-3 and is a member of the Crime Society of America. This Ultraman and his team are analogues for the Earth-2 Superman and the Justice Society of America respectively.
* The Superman from DC's Tangent Comics imprint is a radically different character from the traditional Superman in appearance, origin and abilities. Due to an experiment conducted on an entire town by the black-ops group Nightwing, Harvey Dent was the lone infant survivor of a failed super-human program that killed hundreds. After growing to adulthood, and falling from a building, his dormant powers activated and he developed advanced physical and psychic abilities. Evolving millions of years past normal humans, he eventually becoming a "modern-day superhero." ["Tangent Comics: The Superman" #1] He is illustrated as a tall, African American man wearing a blue robe, and carrying a staff. This version of Superman has become the most powerful person on the Earth. After attempting to give his wife the same powers he did, through what he thought was a safe version of the experiment, which resulted in her death, Superman decided to protect the entire world by conquering it, as seen in "Tangent: Superman's Reign". This Earth is numbered Earth-9 in the DC Multiverse.
*Earth-10, which is under the control of the Nazi Party, depicts an alternate Superman, usually known as Overman, who supports the Nazi's policy of genetic purity. He is a member of the JL-Axis, a Nazi-themed Justice League. Two conflicting artistic renditions of this Superman have been shown. One is a stereotypical blonde Aryan with a Nazi swastika replacing the S-shield, while the other is a black-haired twin of the standard Superman with an 'S' resembling one from the Schutzstaffel emblem; the latter is portrayed in "Superman: Beyond" as guilt-ridden.
*On the gender-reversed Earth-11, Earth's greatest hero is Superwoman.
*Kingdom Come shows an alternate future in which Superman went into self-imposed exile following the death of Lois Lane. He returned after ten years at the behest of Wonder Woman. This alternate Superman is said to reside on Earth-22. Currently, this Superman is residing on New Earth, and has become a member of the Justice Society of America. This aged Superman is significantly more powerful than his younger mainstream counterpart, as witnessed in a conflict with the god Hercules, who managed to bloody the nose of New Earth Superman and knock him through a building, while a blow of equal force had no effect at all on the elder Superman. This Superman, according to his world's Lex Luthor, is also immune to Kryptonite.
* explores what would have happened if baby Kal-El's ship had crashed in the Soviet Union instead of the United States. This alternate Superman resides on Earth-30.
*Writer Frank Miller's version of Superman who appears in his works, ', its sequel ' and the ongoing prequel series "All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder", is shown to reside on Earth-31 in "" #1. [ [http://www.comicbookresources.com/news/newsitem.cgi?id=12663 Comic Book Resources - CBR News: THE COMMENTARY TRACK: "Countdown: Arena" #4 w/ Keith Champagne ] ] A hyperbolic rendering of the mainstream depiction, this Superman is a parodic boy scout and a fundamentalist "all-American patriot."
* and show Superman being raised by Amish folk instead of the Kents. His Amish upbringing delays Superman revealing himself to the world.

Other characters known as Superman

*Kon-El, the modern Superboy, a clone of the Man of Steel and Lex Luthor, arrives in Metropolis shortly after Superman's death. Originally, he has no name besides "Superboy". [First appearance in "Adventures of Superman" #500, 1993] When the original returns, he tells the clone he had earned the name "Superboy", much to his dismay. He eventually becomes a hero is his own right, and Superman comes to think of him as family, giving him the Kryptonian name of Kon-El and the human alias Conner Kent, cousin to Clark. In a future depicted in the "Titans Tomorrow" story arc, Conner becomes a tyrannical Superman after Kal-El dies again. Although Conner dies during the "Infinite Crisis" (2006), his future self, as Superman, is part of a story arc in "Teen Titans" being published in late 2007. The second "Titans Tomorrow" Conner is Tim Drake's clone of the original.
*Hank Henshaw was one of several to claim the name of Superman, following the original's death. To differentiate him from the others, the press dubbed him the Cyborg Superman. After the Coast City incident, he was referred to simply as the Cyborg (not to be confused with Victor Stone). Currently a member of the Sinestro Corps.
*The Eradicator also emerged as a Superman imposter, "the Last Son of Krypton", during the Reign of the Supermen. No longer able to absorb energy directly from the sun, he used Kal-El's corpse as a power source. He eventually became delusional and believed himself to be Superman, but this taught him humanity, and he eventually gave his life to stop the Cyborg Superman and restore Kal-El's powers.
*John Henry Irons made a suit of armor and cape emblazoned with the Superman-insignia, as tribute to the fallen Man of Steel. Unfortunately, he was lumped in with the other Superman imposters, even though he made no claim to the name. Eventually dubbed "Steel" by the resurrected Superman, he became a close ally and friend to Kal-El.
*The Superman Dynasty is the line of Superman's descendants and successors, featured in "DC One Million". In this story, his first direct successor was his son by Lois Lane, called Superman Secundus. In the 853rd century, Kal Kent is the last scion of the dynasty, and leader of Justice Legion A. ["DC One Million"]
*Superboy-Prime, formerly Superman-Prime, is the superhero turned supervillain from Earth-Prime, a survivor of the original Multiverse which perished in "Crisis on Infinite Earths". During Infinite Crisis, Prime is defeated after a prolonged battle that forces Kal-El to sacrifice his powers and Kal-L to give his life. ["DC Comics Presents" #87]

Bizarros

Bizarro is the imperfect clone of Superman. There have been many incarnations of the character, varyingly portrayed as evil or as well-meaning but destructive. The Bizarros share many of the strengths and weaknesses of Superman, although there are some minor differences relating to kryptonite coloring and certain Kryptonian powers, for instance the Bizarros are also characterized by having heat breath and freeze vision.
*Bizarro Superboy was the first version of Bizarro to appear in comics, making his first (and only) appearance in "Superboy" #68 (1958). Created by accident, Bizarro Superboy is a misunderstood monster who only wants to be accepted, but most residents of Smallville, including Superboy, regard him as a menace. The only friend he makes is a blind girl, and in the end he sacrifices himself to restore her sight.
*The Silver and Bronze Age Bizarro #1 is accidentally created by Lex Luthor's duplicating ray when he uses it against Superman. Not only does he survive his initial encounter with Superman, he eventually gains a cast of supporting characters such as Bizarro versions of Lois, the Daily Planet staff, and the Justice League, and, eventually, Htrae, a cube world filled with Bizarros. His story comes to an end in "" He strives to be the "perfect imperfect clone" of Superman, after being manipulated by Mr. Mxyzptlk. Since Superman "saves" people, he goes on a murder spree. Since Superman is a "survivor" of Krypton, he kills himself.
*"The Man of Steel" mini-series, which rebooted the Superman mythology in 1986, presents the first modern Bizarro, who is originally created by Lex Luthor. Because Luthor is unable to adequately replicate Kryptonian DNA, the clones' bodies would degenerate into a chalky-skinned caricature of the Man of Steel. ["The Man of Steel" #5] This Bizarro, too, sacrificed his life to restore the eyesight of a blind girl, Lucy Lane, that had befriended him.
*Bizarro #1 is the only modern Bizarro that has survived, although he is not created like the others; having stolen the powers of Mr. Mxyzptlk, the Joker creates him (along with a Bizarro version of Batman, named Batzarro). ["Superman: Arkham", "Superman: Emperor Joker", 2001] Unlike the others, Bizarro #1's suit is purple toned and he has a name tag that says "#1."
*In "All-Star Superman" an entire race of Bizarros appear, who are spawned wholesale from a cube-shaped planet which originally belongs in the Underverse, an alternate universe on a different gravitonic plane than our own. Originally opaque, shapeless beings, they take on schewed characteristics of people they encounter. This planet also produced what might be the ultimate Bizarro - Zibarro, a sort of Bizarro Bizarro who is, by our standards, normal and sane - and therefore feared and reviled by his own people.

There is also a 'Bizarro'-Kryptonite, which is blue and does not appear to affect Superman - but is fatal to Bizarros. Adversely, when Bizarro #1 donned a ring containing a small chunk of it, his addled mind became sane and super-intelligent.

Other alternate depictions

Between 1989 and 2004, DC's Elseworlds imprint was used to showcase unofficial alternate universe stories; before 1989, "imaginary stories" served the same purpose. Since 2004, stories outside of the main DC continuity have carried no particular name or imprint. The examples listed below are just a few of the many alternate versions of Superman depicted in these stories.

*All Star Superman is from the comic book of the same name. Writer Grant Morrison has said that for all intents and purposes, he is the Silver Age Superman, or at the very least has a backstory similar to that of the Silver Age version, including powers and continuity. For example, Clark Kent first reveals himself during childhood as Superboy, and Jonathan Kent has died (however, in actual Silver/Bronze Age stories, both Jonathan and Martha Kent died by the time Clark is active as Superman).
*Frank Miller's Superman - The Superman of "All Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder" is not the same as the Superman of "All-Star Superman." The artist of "All-Star Batman", Jim Lee, has said he is based on the Golden Age Superman, ["Wizard" Magazine"] which is why he is shown running on water instead of flying, hinting that he is only able to leap great distances by that time. ["All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder" #4, 2006] However, they make no mention of this in the actual comic. Conversely, Frank Miller's Superman is seen flying in his other comics about Batman, most likely because by the time the characters are around 55 years of age, his power levels have increased. This is notionally the same Superman who will evolve to the jingoistic government agent seen in "The Dark Knight Returns" and "The Dark Knight Strikes Again", at least from Miller's authorial point of view, as there is no official canonical link between the "All Star" and "Dark Knight" continuities as yet.
*"" (1998) - Kal-El's rocket is diverted from Earth to Apokolips, and Superman is raised by Darkseid.
* is a humorous re-imagining of Superman in which the ship crashed in England.
*"" puts Superman in Batman's shoes. Found and adopted by the Waynes and christened Bruce, he sees them murdered in front of him and grows up to be a superpowered Batman. Earlier imaginary stories, such as the stories of "Bruce (Superman) Wayne" told in "Superman" (vol. 1) #353, #358 and #363 (1980-1981), also explored the scenario of the infant Kal-El being adopted by the Waynes.
*"" is a dramatic role reversal for many Superman traditions. In this story, he is Clark Kent, biological son of Jonathan and Martha Kent, who is sent into space to escape the impending destruction of Earth by collision with a space rock. He lands on Krypton and is adopted by Jor-El and Lara as their son, Kal-El, eventually discovering a Oan power ring.
*In "", a teenage boy named Clark Kent in the "real world" (where Superman is a just a comic book character) somehow develops superpowers like those of his namesake. After a brief career as a mysterious, non-costumed "Superboy", Clark dons the fictional character's colors and continues to work in secret as "Superman."
*"" I-III, three limited series which present a unified cohesive history of many elements seen throughout the characters' history, with the characters interacting in real time from the early 20th century onward.
*The "Booster Gold" story arc "52 Pick-Up" briefly depicts a Superman in "Booster Gold" #3, when showing a timeline where Superman was found by Lionel Luthor and raised as "Lionel Jr." alongside Lex Luthor. Lex finds out his brother's secret and ends up killing him a year later.
*The "Hypertension" storyline in "Superboy" #60-64 (1999) shows an alternate version of Kon-El named Black Zero. Black Zero is a clone is grown to adulthood after Superman dies at the hands of Doomsday. For a time, he acts as the new Superman, but he turns to evil after coming to believe that clones are treated unfairly. He is lost in Hypertime at the end of the story and hasn't been seen since.
*In the "Just Imagine..." series, Superman is reimagined as a police officer from Krypton named Salden who is accidentally transported to Earth, and only wishes to go home. He becomes a superhero because he believes Earth's primitive technology is a result of humans squandering their resources fighting crime, corruption, and other ills. He has superhuman strength and speed, and wears a flying harness. This version was created by Stan Lee and John Buscema.
*"Final Crisis: Superman Beyond" features several alternate universe counterparts of Superman, including the anti-matter universe Ultraman and Overman.

Film and television

"See also: Superman in popular culture
*In the Superman cartoons produced by Max Fleischer, Superman is much as he appears in the first issue of "Action Comics", despite changes in his costume. He is said to have been found by "a passing motorist" who brought him to an orphanage. As there is no mention of his foster parents, it is plausible that he grew up there. This version of Superman also lives in and protects Manhattan rather than Metropolis.
*Kirk Alyn starred as Superman in two 15-chapter serials produced by Columbia Pictures, "Superman" (1948) and "Atom Man vs. Superman" (1950). In it, Superman has many of the powers demonstrated in the comics. The origin story is similar to what is described in a 1942 novel about Superman, with his foster parents being named Sarah and Eben.
*"Adventures of Superman" (1952-1958) was a television series that featured George Reeves in the title role, which he first played in the 1951 movie serial "Superman and the Mole Men". This Superman was often portrayed as tough compared to others. While he had many of the powers demonstrated in the comics, the show often featured Superman battling generic gangsters.
*In 1966, Filmation aired "The New Adventures of Superman" which was a television series aimed at younger viewers, and from 1973 to 1986, Hanna Barbera produced different versions of the Justice League influenced "Super Friends", which was also aimed at children. In both cartoons, Superman was a rough variant of his comic book counterpart (by this time, his Earth-One counterpart) and the shows' back stories and character designs are similar enough that they could be considered the same version of the character. In one episode of the "The World's Greatest Superfriends", our good Super Friends battled bad Super Friends from an alternate universe, lead by an evil Superman.
*In "Superman" and its sequels, ["Superman: The Movie, Superman II, Superman III, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace"] Christopher Reeve played Superman, who was depicted as possessing a seemingly endless array of different abilities never before seen in the comics, even by his Silver Age self. He was able to erase Lois' memory of his secret identity with a kiss, restore the Great Wall of China to pristine condition with the use of a blue eye beam, apparently teleport, create illusions of himself (although this may have been caused either by him moving rapidly between several different locations, or more simply through Kryptonian image projection technology in the Fortress of Solitude), among other abilities. Kryptonian foes such as General Zod even demonstrated telekenetic ability. He also displayed Silver Age-level strength when he pushed the Moon to eclipse the sun over Earth.
*In 1988, two years after "Crisis on Infinite Earths", the producers of "Superman: The Movie" produced a syndicated TV series entitled "Superboy" which featured John Haymes Newton in the role for one season before he was fired and replaced by Gerard Christopher. The show concentrated on a college-aged Kal-El as a journalism student at Seigel University. While the show has a cult-following, many legal issues have prevented the series from either reairing in any syndication market or being released on DVD and VHS, with the recent exception of the first season's release on DVD.
*The "Superman (1988 TV series)", produced by Ruby-Spears Productions offered the first animated incarnation of the post-Crisis Superman. Acting as story editor, "Crisis on Infinite Earths" writer Marv Wolfman provided several changes to this Superman that included elements from "The Man of Steel". In this series, Lex Luthor is not a publicly known criminal, but a rich entrepreneur instead. Clark Kent is Superman's alter ego, instead of the other way around. Furthermore, Martha and Jonathan Kent are still alive in Superman's adulthood in this series. This version of Superman was never Superboy as a teenager, although his powers had appeared very early in childhood. Clark Kent is clumsy in this series being likened to the Christopher Reeve version of Clark Kent. However, Clark's confidence in this series is shown when he takes Lana Lang on a date.
*In "", Dean Cain played the first live-action Superman affected by the changes to the character after "Crisis on Infinite Earths" and various elements on the series references the "The Man of Steel" mini-series, which heavily influenced the show. This is the first live-action Superman series that showed Clark Kent as his "real" persona and Superman as somewhat of a facade. As he explained to Lois in the second season episode "Tempus Fugitive", "Superman is what I can do, Clark is who I am." As the title implies, Clark is the main character, while Superman makes more sporadic appearances. The "Lois and Clark" version was also notable for having the reverse of the traditional distinction between Clark Kent and Superman's hairstyles; here it is Superman who has the slicked-back hair and Clark whose fringe falls more naturally, perhaps to reinforce the notion that Kent is the "genuine" personality where as Superman is the artificial disguise. In neither mode does the character feature his trademark spitcurl, making it one of the few depictions of Superman to lack this distinctive feature.
*The of the DC animated universe is a synthesis of Superman's 60-plus year history. At first glance, it appears to be an adaptation of "The Man of Steel", but also took many aspects of the 'Silver Age' and modernized them. In this continuity, Superman was believed to be the only Kryptonian survivor; except for Kara In-Ze (Supergirl) from Krypton's "sister" planet, Argo and the artificial intelligence of Brainiac) until Professor Hamilton found a device with access to the Phantom Zone where two other Kryptonians were found. His arch-enemy is the 'wealthy business tycoon' version of Lex Luthor (though he displays mad-scientist-like genius in some episodes, such as in his interactions with Brainiac). His parents are still alive, and this Superman was never Superboy. [The "Superman" animated series] The Superman on "Justice League Unlimited" is portrayed as slightly older and has a different actor providing the voice (although cast members such as Dana Delany and Clancy Brown re-appeared in guest appearances), but is much the same and the show is usually considered a continuation of it, as well as the various Batman cartoons that preceded it.
*The Clark Kent of the "Smallville" TV series leads his life differently, never becoming Superboy, although he is active in secretly performing heroic deeds when needed. He meets Lois at a younger age, maintains a friendship with Lex Luthor into young adulthood and is romantically interested in Lana Lang. This Clark has discovered the Fortress of Solitude, met Vic Stone, Bart Allen, Aquaman, Green Arrow, the Martian Manhunter, Perry White, Jimmy Olsen, Maggie Sawyer, and Jor-El and has even fought Zod, Brainiac, Mister Mxyzptlk and Bizarro, but still has yet to assume his identity. Clark's best friend in this version is a girl named Chloe Sullivan, who works as a reporter for the Daily Planet. It is strongly hinted that one day he will fulfill his destiny, but the course of his life will take him in a different direction to his comic, movie, and previous television realities.
*In "Superman Returns", Brandon Routh takes over the role of Superman. Director Bryan Singer had stated that this film's continuity is based only loosely on the first two Superman films directed by Richard Donner and Richard Lester, and thus Reeve and Routh's Supermen, though similar in places (even having identical fathers—Jor-El played by Marlon Brando and Jonathan Kent played by Glenn Ford), may not be the exact same individual. For example, the events of the third and fourth films are ignored.
*The animated series "Legion of Super Heroes" features a teenage Superman, who, like the original Superboy, travels to the future to join the Legion. As shown in the first episode of the series, in his own time, the early 21st century, Clark Kent secretly performs heroic deeds, but has not yet donned the Superman costume. In addition to Clark, the second season features a Superman from the 41st Century named Kell-El, who is cloned (in part) from the original. In the second two part second season finale of "Legion of the Superheroes", Saturn Girl fused Kell-El and Superman so they could stay projected in Brainiac 5 mind. This Supreme Superman almost beat Brainiac 1.0.
*The animated series "The Batman" featured Superman in the two-part season 5 episode "The Batman/Superman story". This Superman is not related to previous animated versions of the character and looks younger than his DC Animated Universe counterpartFact|date=April 2008, seemingly suggesting that he's still on the first years of his career.

References


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