I don’t know about you, but I have been ready for the Justice League movie since the old cartoon series. Seeing some of the biggest DC characters on screen at the same time makes the little kid in me light up. But, some of you may not know a whole lot about these characters. So, we are here to give you a little bit of that information. Let’s get started!
“Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…” and if you can’t finish this sentence, then you need to keep reading! For those of you who don’t know, Superman first debuted in “Action Comics #1” in 1938. When he isn’t saving people around the world, he is doing what we all do: working! Clark Kent is a farm boy turned mild-mannered reporter for the Daily Planet, a newspaper company in Metropolis. But, he isn’t human. He is the last son of the destroyed planet Krypton, sent to Earth by his parents to survive. Most consider Superman to be the first superhero ever! Let’s take a closer look at his abilities, his latest origin story, and what he is currently up to in the comics.
Powers, Abilities, and Weaknesses
Strap in, because this list is about to get long! So, let’s get started. Superman’s famous array of powers include flight, super-strength, invulnerability (except to magic), super-speed, vision powers (X-Ray vision, infra-red, microscopic, and heat-emitting), super-hearing, and super-breath (which gives him the ability to blow air out at freezing temperatures). Now, all of these powers help Superman in many, and arguably any, situation. These abilities make him a powerful force in the Justice League, but also a main target for attacks.
Where do these amazing powers come from? Superman’s Kryptonian DNA allows him to absorb energy from a yellow sun, giving him these amazing abilities. However, while on Krypton, this wouldn’t be possible. Krypton’s native star, Rao, is a red star. Red stars do not give these abilities to Kryptonians. So, Superman is basically a god while under the influence of Earth’s yellow sun.
Superman does have a couple of vulnerabilities, however. Kryptonite, mineral debris from his home planet turned radioactive, nullifies Superman’s powers and can even immobilize him. If exposed to Green Kryptonite for a prolonged period of time, it could kill him. Superman is also vulnerable to magic. Magic is able to do real damage to the Man of Steel. When we see villains challenge Superman, we usually see one of these two things used to try and take him down.
New 52/Rebirth Origin Story
Superman has changed a bit in the DC Universe during the last two relaunches. In 2011, the New 52 relaunch of the DC Universe happened. During this time, his backstory changed a bit. Clark’s parents on Earth were killed by a drunk driver when he was a teenager, he never married Lois Lane, and Lex Luthor tortured him early in his career to test his powers. However, in 2016, another relaunch of the DC Universe known as Rebirth occurred. This brought back the pre-New 52 Superman. He is married to Lois Lane, has a biological son known as Jonathan Kent, and is trying to blend into this new universe. But, something brings these two together.
The story arc “Superman Reborn” sorts out all of this confusion in a pretty magnificent way. Mister Mxyzptlk, a famous Superman villain, explains that when the New 52 universe was created, it caused Superman to be separated into these two different versions. Jon, Superman’s son, merges the two Supermen together into one complete Superman. Doing this rearranges and combines their respective history into one, single history that fits into the restored DC Universe. Check out Superman #18 and #19 as well as Action Comics #975 through #978 if you want to read it for yourself.
Currently in the Comics
Superman is currently dealing with a battle on Apokolips, but the battle is to rule the dreaded world. The lords of Apokolips are battling each other to claim its rule. Lex Luthor is summoned back to the planet, and asks for Superman’s help to reclaim the crown (which, he didn’t ask for), but there are some other things going on here. Lois is confronted by the Female Furies, and may even be turned into a warrior herself. Jon is being enlisted by Steppenwolf, the field general of Apokolips. Steppenwolf places Jon into his Canine Calvary to stop Superman from helping Lex reclaim the throne that was once held by Darkseid. Check out this story arc, known as “Imperius Lex” by reading Superman Rebirth #33.
Superman, an Icon
Superman has been standing for “Truth, Justice, and the American Way” for a very long time. Even though he is a fictional character, his “S” is a symbol of hope for all. He’s the most recognizable DC character, and likely the most recognizable superhero. Honestly, I have just started reading Superman comics after the launch of Rebirth, and it has some of the best stories that I have read! Seeing him become a husband and a father in the comics is refreshing. He’s raising his son to be a good person, which is great to see! So, I can’t wait to see Superman join the Justice League on-screen. Besides, the rest of the League knows, “You can’t save the world alone.”
Be sure to check out some of the other articles on the website. Want to read about the other justice league members? Check out the history of the Dark Knight, Batman, right here! Or, why not start with the Princess of the Amazons, Wonder Woman? You could always try the Scarlet Speedster, also known as the Flash, here. How about the King of Atlantis, Aquaman? Cyborg, the new kid on the block, is also super cool, so check him out here.