List of DC Comics characters named Superman
|First appearance||Action Comics #1 (April 1938)|
|Created by||Jerry Siegel |
|See also||Alternative versions of Superman|
Clark Kent is the main character associated with the Superman alias. There have been several versions of this character of the course of DC's publication history, specifically starting with the distinction between the Earth-One version and Earth-Two's Kal-L.
John Henry Irons
After Superman's demise, 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 impostors, 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 modern Superboy, Kon-El is a clone created from the combined genetic material of the Man of Steel and Lex Luthor. He arrived in Metropolis shortly after Superman's death. Originally, he had no name besides "Superman". When the original Superman returned, he declared that the clone had earned the name "Superboy", much to his dismay. Superboy eventually became a hero is his own right, and Superman came to think of him as family, giving him the Kryptonian name of Kon-El and the human alias Conner Kent, cousin to Clark. Early on they were told by Cadmus that Kon-El had been created from genetically engineered human DNA and made to look like Superman, but eventually this was retconned so that 50% of his DNA actually does come from Superman (despite Cadmus earlier concluding that this was impossible due to the far greater complexity of Kryptonian DNA, which has far more chromosomes than humans). They also learned that the genetically engineered human DNA came from Luthor, rather than Paul Westfield as initially stated by Cadmus. In a future depicted in the Titans Tomorrow story arc, Conner becomes a tyrannical Superman after Kal-El dies again. Although Conner died during the Infinite Crisis (2006), his future self, as Superman, is part of a story arc in Teen Titans, published in late 2007. The second Titans Tomorrow Conner is Tim Drake's clone of the original. The first Conner returned to life during the events of Final Crisis in the story Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds. In September 2011, The New 52 rebooted DC's continuity. In this new timeline, the Jon Lane Kent Superboy (the natural son of Superman and Lois Lane) becomes deathly ill when his hybrid Kryptonian/human physiology proving to be unstable. A time traveler from the 30th century, Harvest, combines genetic samples from Superman, Lois, and Jon to create a clone, who would come to be known as Superboy and "Kon-El", who he hoped to use to find a way to treat Jon's condition.
The Eradicator also emerged as a Superman impostor, "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 body as a power source. He eventually became delusional and believed himself to be Superman, but this taught him humanity. He eventually gave his life to stop the Cyborg Superman and restore Kal-El's powers.
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). He is currently a member of the Sinestro Corps.
- First appearance in Adventures of Superman #500, 1993
- Superman at the DC Database Project