Who's Who in the Superman Comics
Silver Age Superman
If you were to pry into the cosmic legends of the universe, you would know about the Superman of a previous era, a man all but forgotten by reality. The Silver Age Superman shares several similarities to The Man of Steel of today, but his histories was vastly different, as well.
This Superman existed in a more simplistic time, and was still distinguished by his awesome might and mind. The Superman of Earth-1 came from the dying world of Krypton. Dedicated scientist and statesman Jor-El realized that his planet's dying sun would lead to the destruction of his homeworld. In order to save his family, he created a prototype, workable rocketship. Tragically, Jor-El never had the opportunity to complete a final, larger version of the spacecraft, as Krypton's destruction came to pass. Jor-El urged his wife Lara to take their son Kal-El, and go to Earth. Lara refused to leave her husband, and the two placed their infant son onboard the rocket, and Jor-El set its course for Earth. Baby Kal-El rocketed to safety and a new life, while the planet Krypton exploded, killing untold numbers of life...and rendering a thriving planet and its cultures extinct.
The rocketship crashlanded in Smallville, U.S.A. Two citizens - Jonathan and Martha Kent - came across the wreckage, and discovered the baby boy inside. Originally, the middle aged couple thought about giving the baby away to the nearest foster home. But after immediately witnessing the baby's superhuman strength, the couple decided to keep custody - and named their new son Clark. Raised in a proper environment, and with loving and responsible values passed on from his adoptive parents, Clark Kent became an honorable lad. At an early age, he was exposed to his interplanetary origins, and realized he was more than human. Seeking to utilize his powers for the benefit of mankind, young Clark Kent became Superboy - one of the first costumed super-heroes, and gained the experience he would need to become the ultimate champion of justice, later on as an adult.†
As Superboy, Clark Kent brought a level of notoriety to the little town of Smallville. As Clark Kent, he developed a lifelong relationship with Lana Lang, as the two shared romantic feelings for oneanother. Kent also began another famous relationship. He encountered a teenage would-be scientist outside Smallville. Lex Luthor aspired to become the world's greatest scientist. His brilliance impressed Superboy, who helped to create an advanced laboratory for the young Luthor. But one day, while experimenting, a fire broke out in Luthor's lab. Superboy arrived to put out the blaze with his super breath. He succeeded in blowing out the flames...but inavertently blew some of the chemicals onto Luthor. Even though the chemicals proved nonfatal, they did fall on Lex's head and managed to render Luthor totally bald. With his hair completely gone, Lex Luthor vowed to become a lifelong enemy of Superboy's...and would maintain that promise years later.
On a more positive note, Superboy became a member of The Legion of Super-Heroes. Existing in the far future of the 30th Century, the Legion of Super-Heroes was a teenage troop of super-heroes. They came from different planets and inherited super-powers. The organization easily inducted Superboy as a member, and he would go on to become one of their most distinguished numbers.
Tragically, with all this goodness and blissful existence, death would forever alter Clark Kent's path. First, his adoptive mother Martha Kent died of natural causes. Jonathan Kent followed soon after. With the passing of his foster parents, Clark Kent left Smallville and would go on to Metropolis, where he attended college. Upon graduation, Clark landed a job at The Daily Planet - the city's most prominent newspaper, and a leading national rival of The New York Times. Now an adult, Clark Kent became Superman - the world's greatest super hero! Superman would become the major force for justice, saving Metropolis, America, the Earth, and the universe from countless evils. Lex Luthor, Brainiac, The Toyman, Mr. Mxyzptlk, and Bizarro would be at the top of a list of super-villains who would continually challenge Superman's might, and attempt to imperil others. As mild-mannered Clark Kent, our hero would gain the friendship of Editor Perry White; photographer Jimmy Olsen; and reporter Lois Lane. It took Ms. Lane a long time to admire Clark Kent, but she was immediately smitten with Superman...and he with her. In fact, Lois Lane was recognized as Superman's Girlfriend, even moreso than her close rival Lana Lang, or Wonder Woman.
As a Kryptonian, his dead planet's heritage would not go into oblivion. Extensive records saved from the rocketship, and imprinted within his conscience as an infant, would compel the adult Kal-El to always remember his true origin. In fact, his exposure to Krypton's advanced technology would enable Superman to construct androids, many of which would stand in for him, as either Clark Kent or Superman - whenever the need was there. This knowledge also helped Superman to construct The Fortress of Solitude, a massive structure which served as Superman's secret retreat. Within the white mountains and icebergs of the North Pole, The Fortress of Solitude was signified by a titanic steel door. Its key resembled a giant arrow, pointing to sites unknown by whoever would come across both structures. Superman would use his super strength to manipulate the giant key, and unlock his Fortress of Solitude. The secret sanctuary was the holding center of Superman's trophies and keepsakes. It also housed a vast collection of dangerous interplanetary weapons, and a cosmic menagerie of otherworldly pets and animals.
Back on the heroic front, Superman shared a close friendship with Batman. The Caped Crusader of Gotham City was known as the world's second greatest super-hero. Together, he and Superman formed The World's Finest Team. And additionally, both were members of Justice League of America. The JLA consisted of the world's greatest super-heroes, and together, they triumphed over space invaders and super-villains alike. Its membership included Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash, Green Lantern, The Martian Manhunter, The Atom, Green Arrow, Hawkman, and tens of others. In time, Superman would be seen as the leader of the Justice League, and his super powers would prove invaluable to this collective of crimefighters.
At the heart of the Silver Age, Superman encountered Kara Zor-El, a cousin from Krypton! As it turned out, her father and Jor-El brother Zor-El, knew of the planet's impending doom. Zor-El created a weather-proof plastic dome which covered Argo City; so that when Krypton exploded, Argo City remained safe, as it was hurled into the outer regions of space, but remained in existence as a self-contained, artificial planetoid. But in time, the ground beneath it became Anti-Kryptonite, a substance proving deadly to the Kryptonians of Argo City. Knowing all about Superman, Zor-El and Allura created clothing similar to Superman's for their daughter, and rocketed her to Earth. Carving her own life on Earth, Kara as Supergirl started as Superman's secret weapon. Then she blossomed into a super-hero in her own right. As Supergirl, Kara became a member of The Legion of Super-Heroes, and was an honorary member of her cousin's Justice League of America.
Superman's life as Clark Kent became slightly more dramatic when Morgan Edge purchased The Daily Planet. One of the earliest of the mega media moguls, Mr. Edge was also egomaniacal, and known for his obsessive, indulgent tirades and hot temper.
His Galaxy Communications empire featured its cornerstone, Galaxy Broadcasting System television network. The GBS tv network was a national one, and fast becoming America's most popular television network. Edge tapped Clark Kent as his news anchor, and so the one time staff reporter for a major metropolitan newspaper, was now a major anchorman for a national television network. Ironically, Kent would find himself working side-by-side with Lana Lang - much to the lament of Lois Lane.
Superman's world and very existence, were forever altered when the Anti-Monitor, an omniscient being, attempted to destroy the known universe and several dimensions. In the ultimate clash of good and evil, this conflict, referred to as The Crisis on Infinite Earths, would claim the lives of billions of beings...including Supergirl. In one final battle, Superman was among several other heroes who proved instrumental in the ultimated defeat of the Anti-Monitor. To save reality, The Spectre, Dr. Fate, and The Phantom Stranger, along with other mystics and demigods, reshaped our reality. The process recreated Superman and his history... effectively consigning the Silver Age Man of Steel to oblivion.†
While it is true that this particular Superman no longer exists, two people- at least - do recall his exploits: the young woman known as Harbinger, who aided The Monitor, himself an enemy of the Anti-Monitor; and The Psycho-Pirate, a super-villain whom battled Superman as a member of the Secret Society of Super-Villains. Driven insane by his memories, the Psycho-Pirate a.k.a. Roger Hayden, was locked away within the confines of Arkham Asylum.
First Appearance: Superman comic books circa 1951.
Who's Who in the Superman Comics
This is a listing of many of the notable characters and a few places that have appeared in the Superman
comics from the 1986 revamp up until around 2008.
NOTE: A new, and more current version of the Who's Who is currently being worked on and can be accessed by clicking here.
Although Superman often appears in other DC Comics, this text's information is limited mainly to what has occurred in the regular Superman comics.
Many thanks to Scotty V, Derrick Lyle Coleman, Dean Vanek, Genevieve Clemens and Benjamin Grose who all helped out at one time or another with writing and updating these Who's Who descriptions.
The listings are displayed as follows:
- Surname, Firstname - Text describing the character, place, object, etc...
Relevant issues of the Superman comics are listed as such:
- SUP = Superman
- MOS = Man of Steel
- AOS = Adventures of Superman
- ACT = Action Comics
- MOT = Man of Tomorrow
The Issue Number for each of these titles is written in this manner: #000. (e.g. SUP
First Appearance refers to the issue since 1986 unless otherwise noted.