Template:Dablink Template:Tone Template:Superherobox The Superman of Earth-Two is a fictional character, a comic book superhero published by DC Comics. The character first appeared in Justice League of America #73 (August 1969). He is a version of the Kryptonian superhero Superman from an alternate reality called Earth-Two. Unlike the more popular Superman, the Earth-Two Superman is portrayed as decades older and is given the birth name of Kal-L.
Fictional character biographyEdit
When the Golden Age of Comic Books came to a close in the 1950s, most of DC Comics' superhero comic books ceased publication. The commencement of the Silver Age saw characters such as the Flash and Green Lantern revamped for more modern times, ignoring or abandoning established continuity and thus creating a clean break between the two eras. It was later established that the Golden Age heroes and Silver Age heroes actually lived on Earth-Two and Earth-One respectively, separate parallel Earths in a single Multiverse.
However, Superman was one of the few exceptions; his stories had been published without interruption since his debut in 1938's Action Comics #1. This caused a continuity problem, specifically that Superman was simultaneously a member of the Justice Society of America on Earth-Two and also member of the Justice League of America on Earth-One. It was eventually established that there were two Supermen. The "current", Silver Age Superman was Kal-El from Earth-One, while the Golden Age Superman was Kal-L from Earth-Two.
Several minor differences between the two Supermen were established to make the distinction clearer. The names "Kal-El", "Jor-El" and "Jonathan and Martha Kent" on Earth-One became "Kal-L", "Jor-L" and "John and Mary Kent" on Earth-Two. Kal-L's S-shield symbol was slightly different. Stories featuring both Supermen also indicated that Kal-L was the older of the two, being depicted as late middle-aged with greying hair at the temples, while his Earth-One counterpart was a youthful man of modern times.
This not only allowed DC Comics to bring Superman's Golden Age stories back into continuity, but also led them to experiment with a Superman who wasn't the mainstream one. Thus, several differences between Kal-L and the more well-known Kal-El were introduced. Kal-L eventually revealed his dual identities of Clark Kent and Superman to the woman he loved, the Lois Lane of Earth-Two, and they got married. Their early marital life was depicted in the feature "Mr. & Mrs. Superman" in DC's Superman Family series.
As Superman, Kal-L was considered to be the first superhero in Earth-Two's history, being the first individual to appear in a colorful costume and display superhuman abilities. Clark received some training from his Earth-One counterpart in his teen years. He fought against evil, at first on a local level in his base of operations, the American city of Metropolis; later in his career, he would consider first the entire United States, and then the whole world under his protection. In November 1940, Superman became a founding member of the Justice Society of America. He was referred to as an "honorary member" along with Batman during the Justice Society's original meeting. He subsequently appeared in two published adventures with this team during the 1940s and aided them on several other occasions retroactively as a member of the World War II organization known as the All-Star Squadron. He built a Secret Citadel in the mountains outside of Metropolis as his headquarters and as shown in Infinite Crisis, Superman eventually built a Fortress of Solitude comparable to that of his Earth-One counterpart.
In later years, he was considered an "elder statesman" of Earth-Two's superhero community, the one that later generations of superheroes looked to as an example and role model. In his secret identity as Clark Kent, Superman also enjoyed success at the Daily Star, of which he was appointed editor-in-chief in the 1950s, replacing George Taylor.
In 1950, Superman encountered three other surviving Kryptonians known as U-Ban, Kizo, and Mala. All three brothers were members of the ruling scientific council exiled from Krypton after they attempted to conquer the planet. Imprisoned in suspended animation tube vessels, they were later freed. Later Superman's lookalike Mala created a counterfeit Earth.
At some point during the Silver Age, Superman's cousin Kara arrived on Earth after a lengthy journey from Krypton. When her father Zor-L discovered that Krypton was about to explode, he placed her in a spacecraft directed towards Earth. Although this occurs at the same time that Kal-L's ship is launched, Kara's ship travels more slowly, and she arrives on Earth decades after her cousin has landed. Kara’s Symbioship is designed to keep her in stasis during the journey and provide her with life experiences and education in the form of a virtual reality. By the time she arrives on Earth, Kara is in her later teens to early twenties.
The Symbioship provided virtual copies of Zor-L, Alura and fellow Kryptonians from within her home city of Kandor. Once removed from the ship, this virtual reality ceases to exist. Only Kara - Power Girl, as she would later be known - was known to interact with this virtual Kryptonian reality.
Crisis on Infinite EarthsEdit
- Main article: Crisis on Infinite Earths
Kal-L was one of the heroes from various Earths who fought to save the Multiverse from destruction during the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths and was present at the battle at the dawn of time in which the five remaining Earths were merged into a single universe. As a result, Kal-L still existed and still remembered the history of his home reality, even though no one in the new reality remembered he had ever existed.
After grieving over the loss of his wife Lois and his friends from Earth-Two, Kal-L joins the remaining heroes for a final battle with the Anti-Monitor in the Anti-Matter Universe, where the Anti-Monitor has asorbed all life in that universe. Kal-L strikes the final blow that kills the Anti-Monitor once and for all.
Alexander Luthor of Earth-Three then reveals to Kal that he saved the Lois Lane of Earth-Two from the collapse of the Multiverse. Alexander then transports Kal-L, the Earth-Two Lois, the Superboy of Earth-Prime and himself into a paradise dimension and sealed themselves off from the universe.
As a tribute to the Earth-Two Superman before the Superman character was recreated by John Byrne in the Man of Steel mini-series, Kal-L's origin was retold in Secret Origins #1 (April 1986), written by Roy Thomas and drawn by former Superman artist Wayne Boring.
In post-Crisis continuity, Kal-L's role in various All-Star Squadron adventures was taken by the character Iron Munro from the Young All-Stars series. Kal-L's roles as the most respected member of the Justice Society of America and the person who found his cousin Power Girl were given to the Golden Age Green Lantern Alan Scott and Kal-El respectively. Lee Travis (the first Crimson Avenger) became the post-Crisis universe's first costumed hero after being shown a vision of Kal-El's future heroism before the start of his career (keeping Superman as the inspiration for Earth's superheroes in the new universe as well).Template:Citation needed
Kal-L later felt that the paradise was more of a prison than a refuge, and eventually discovered a doorway that would allow him to leave the "paradise" dimension without causing the destruction of the universe.
- Main article: Infinite Crisis
Kal was initially content to stay in the "paradise" dimension until Lois began to fall ill. Kal then created a replica of Metropolis and the Daily Star office building in an attempt to help. After the attempt failed, Kal-L began to believe Alexander's claims that the "paradise" dimension they were in was eating away at their souls. Alexander and Superboy used Kal-L's distraction over Lois' health to break out of the "paradise" dimension and start their plan to recreate the Multiverse.
Appalled by the rapidly-deteriorating state of affairs in the world, Kal-L, along with his three companions, decide to emerge from their self-imposed exile to lend their aid. Kal-L batters an exit through the crystalline barrier which has separated them from the rest of reality.
Kal-L then meets up with his cousin Power Girl, explains her true origins to her, (as well as the previous Crisis and the merger of the remaining Earths, with Earth-One being dominant and some of Earth-Two's heroes having been lost), and enlists her help.
After having her memories restored by the Earth-Two Lois' touch, Kal-L then reveals to Power Girl that his plan is to bring back Earth-Two. Kal-L then attempts to enlist Batman's aid by claiming that Batman's distrust of the heroes has been caused by Earth-One’s darker nature, and promises that he will always stand by Bruce when the 'right' Earth returns. Batman, however, asks Kal-L if the Dick Grayson of this Earth is a corrupted version of Kal-L's one, and attempts to use the Kryptonite ring against him. Kal-L destroys the ring and departs.
Power Girl is knocked out and captured by Superboy-Prime after discovering Alexander Luthor Jr.'s tuning fork, which he plans to use to restore the Multiverse in order to search for the perfect Earth. Alexander succeeds in recreating Earth-Two, which causes Kal-L and the Earth-Two Lois, (along with the heroes who originated there), to be sent there.
Soon after their arrival on Earth-Two, the Earth-Two Lois dies after telling Kal-L she was happy to have lived such a long life. Kal-El hears Kal-L's screams of sorrow from the current Earth and investigates. A griefstricken Kal-L angrily attacks Kal-El upon his arrival and blames him for corrupting Earth-Two as he did on his own Earth. During the fight, both Supermen experience lucid visions of the other's life and attempt to change things on the other's Earth for the better. However, they both eventually fail.
After his battle with Kal-El, Kal-L realizes that a perfect Earth doesn’t need a Superman and that Alexander is using him for his own purposes. Kal-L then survives the collapse of the alternate Earths into New Earth and then witnesses the death of Kon-El, which makes him realize he condemned the wrong Superboy.
The two Supermen then team up to take down Superboy-Prime by dragging him into space through Krypton’s red sun Rao (which cause the three of them to lose their powers), and then crash landing on the planet Green Lantern Mogo. Kal-L and Kal-El, without powers, fight Superboy-Prime on Mogo’s surface, where Superboy-Prime savagely beats Kal-L to death.
Kal-El then intervenes and eventually manages to take down Superboy-Prime, who is then imprisoned by several Green Lanterns. Kal-L passes away in Power Girl’s arms after telling her that he’ll always be with her and whispers "Lois" as his last word.
- Main article: Blackest Night
Kal-L and his wife Lois Lane Kent of pre-Crisis Earth-Two return to the DC Universe as soulless Black Lanterns in the midst of the Blackest Night. After killing an unknown number of residents of Smallville, they attack the Kent family by kidnapping Martha to lure his modern counterpart and Conner Kent into a confrontation. Kal-L and Lois have stated their intention, among the scheme of Black Hand and the Black Lantern Corps, is to reunite the family with Jonathan Kent in death. Kal-L proves to be almost unstoppable, until Conner steals the Black Lantern Psycho-Pirate's Medusa Mask, using its emotion-creating powers to draw Kal-L's ring away from his body, returning Kal-L's corpse to its lifeless state once more.
Kal-L's corpse is placed in Justice Society headquarters away from the Black Lanterns, his wife Black Lantern Lois tries to get close enough to her husband's body when Power Girl prevents her. Black Lantern Lois sacrifices herself by removing her ring and giving it to Kal-L to reanimate him once again. During the battle between Kal-L and Power Girl, Mr. Terrific creates a machine powered by Alan Scott's ring, the Helm of Nabu, Lightning's electrical abilities, and Stargirl's cosmic rod, that destroys Black Lanterns. Mr. Terrific activates the machine, which severs the Black Ring's connection to Superman.
Although he was retconned out of existence by the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths and All-Star Squadron #60, he was restored to continuity in The Kingdom #2. He was killed by hero-turned-villain Superboy-Prime in Infinite Crisis #7, but later resurrected as a Black Lanturn, along with his wife Lois.
Action Comics #850 (2007) presents the latest revision of Superman's origin, since the history of the DC Universe was reset in Infinite Crisis. The new timeline is indicated to revise the complicated web of origins in a panel which shows a progression of four to five successive versions of Superman that are viewed by Kara Zor-El, clearly aping the art styles of Joe Shuster, Curt Swan, John Byrne, Dan Jurgens and Leinil Francis Yu.
Written collaboratively by Kurt Busiek, Fabian Nicieza and Geoff Johns, the new version includes details such as Krypto's presence on Krypton, Jor-El's frustrations with the Council of Krypton refusing to evacuate the planet, Clark's awareness of his adopted status from a young age, having interacted with Lex Luthor at a younger age, Clark not being the direct cause of Lex's baldness, his wearing glasses as far back as his early teens in Smallville, and using his powers to help others at a younger age. The new version also supports the portrayal and aesthetic design of Jor-El, now similar to Marlon Brando's portrayal of the role, and Krypton, as featured in the ongoing Richard Donner co-authored arcs of Action Comics (essentially rendering Krypton closer in style to his and Bryan Singer's shared film continuity), as well as the fitting in with the discovery in The Lightning Saga that Clark was a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes during his adolescence and still retains possession of a Legion flight ring. Superman is established as a founding member of the Justice League in Justice League of America (vol. 2) #0.
Superman/Batman 3: Absolute PowerEdit
Batman and Superman are the rulers of the world.A version of Superman,from an alternate reality appears and might the Superman of Earth One."Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?" is a 1986 comic book story featuring the DC Comics character of Superman. The story was published in two parts, in the final issues of the series Superman (Vol. 1) (#423) and Action Comics (#583), both published in September 1986. Written by Alan Moore, pencilled by long-time Superman artist Curt Swan, and inked by George Pérez (Superman) and Kurt Schaffenberger (Action), the tale incorporates the Mort Weisinger-era style but has a distinctly modern twist. The story was intended to close the book on the original character's history subsequent to the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths and in preparation for the following The Man of Steel reboot by John Byrne, and was Swan's final major contribution to the series, though he would later occasionally return for special occasions.Superman (vol. 1) #423
The framing device of Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? is the tale of a Daily Planet reporter, Tim Crane, in the then-future year of 1997, paying a visit to former Planet reporter Lois Lane-Elliot, hoping that she, as the last person to have seen Superman alive, can shed some light on the mystery of the Man of Steel's disappearance ten years previous. The majority of the story is told in flashback, as Lois recounts for Crane the tale of Superman's final days.In After the interview is over and Crane leaves the Elliot residence, it is indirectly revealed that the mechanic Jordan Elliot, Lois' husband, is in fact Superman himself — apparently now without powers and living the life of a typical working-class suburbanite with Lois and their son Jonathan (very likely named after Jonathan Kent) — meaning he did not in fact die in the Arctic, although exactly how he did survive is never revealed. He seems to prefer the life of a normal man, finding great pleasure in his job as a car mechanic and stating, "Superman was overrated. Too wrapped up in himself. Thought the world couldn't get along without him." At his feet, his son Jonathan playfully squeezes the coal in his hand. Opening it he stares gleefully at a large, glimmering diamond. The final image is of Jordan delivering a classic "Superman" wink to the reader, as he and Lois continue to "just live happily ever after." .The elder Superman,in Superman/Batman 3: Absolute Power,maybe either of these other Supermen.The Jordan Elliot Superman is clearly linked to the Elder Superman of Absolute Power by having a similar ending as the previous tale and his costume is somewhat similar to the Golden Age Superman,to the same or a similar version.
.It could be interpreted that that the story is the end of the Earth-One Superman had the Crisis on Infinite Earths never happened is unclear either way.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
- Main article: Powers and abilities of Superman
Superman has super-strength, the power of flight, super-speed, super-breath, arctic breath, super-hearing, super-vision (including X-ray, heat, microscopic and telescopic visions), and invulnerability to any force other than magic, psionics, and Kryptonite. Red sun radiation removes his powers. An additional ability he possessed which his modern day counterpart didn't was an ability to "mold" his face to disguise himself, as chronicled in several Golden Age tales.Template:Citation needed
Originally, he was significantly weaker than the Silver Age Superman of Earth-One or the Modern Age Superman; it was later revealed his powers took longer to develop or be discovered. While he initially could only leap an eighth of a mile, Superman soon gained full-fledged flight by the early 1940s. By the time Kal-L met Kal-El in the late 1960s, the two heroes were almost evenly matched in terms of power levels. However, almost all later renditions of the Earth-Two Kal-L showed him exhibiting his more limited abilities including reliance for a time in his leaping ability while allied with the Justice Society on a case involving his cousin Power Girl and the immortal criminal Vandal Savage.
Based on Superman's first origin and subsequent reference by U-Ban, this Superman came from a race of Kryptonians that inherently possessed superhuman strength, leaping ability, and some visual aptitudes while on that planet to compensate for its greater gravitation pull. Most of the Earth-Two Kal-L origin stories state his powers originated with his Kryptonian heritage and not the energy of a yellow sun (Secret Origins #1 ) and retained his powers in red sun systems (Superman Family #186 and 207). A later conflicted re-interpretation stated Kal-L's powers fluctuated when under a red sun as noted in Infinite Crisis and All-Star Comics.Template:Citation needed
As a Black LanternEdit
- Main article: Power ring (DC Comics)#Black
As a Black Lantern, Kal-L's black power ring needs to be charged by feeding on the hearts of living beings within the emotional spectrum. The ring appears to have given Kal-L's body all of his previous abilities as a Kryptonian under a yellow sun would have, as well as his brain being able to recollect certain aspects of his former life. Wearing the ring, however, places Kal-L under the influences of Nekron and his disciples Scar and Black Hand.
Template:Seealso In the final issue of 52, a new Multiverse is revealed, originally consisting of 52 identical realities. Among the parallel realities shown is one designated "Earth-2". As a result of Mister Mind "eating" aspects of this reality, it takes on visual aspects similar to the pre-Crisis Earth-Two, including an alternate Superman along with other Justice Society of America characters. However, the names of the characters and the team are not mentioned in the panel in which they appear.
This separation was confirmed in Justice Society of America Annual #1 (2008) when during the battle between the JSA and Justice Society Infinity, it is revealed that this universe's Superman has been missing for several years after a major crisis. The Post-Crisis Earth-2 Power Girl was searching for him for years.
It was revealed by Starman that the missing Post-Crisis Earth-2 Superman was still alive (Justice Society of America [second series] #23) despite being lost, unlike Kal-L who is dead.
In other mediaEdit
In the Justice League episode "Legends", the League team up with the "Justice Guild of America", an analogue of the Justice Society. JGA member Tom Turbine is a cross between Kal-L and the Golden Age Atom. He also appears in the video game Justice League Heroes as an alternate costume for Superman.
- ↑ Justice League of America #73 (1969)
- ↑ Action Comics #484, 1978
- ↑ New Adventures of Superboy #15-16
- ↑ DC Special #29, 1977
- ↑ All Star Comics #69, Nov.-Dec. 1977
- ↑ Superman (vol. 1) #65 (Jul/Aug 1950)
- ↑ Action Comics #194 (Jul 1954)
- ↑ Crisis on Infinite Earths #12
- ↑ The Kingdom #4 (1999)
- ↑ Infinite Crisis Secret Files (2006)
- ↑ Infinite Crisis #1 (December 2005)
- ↑ Infinite Crisis #2 (January 2006)
- ↑ Infinite Crisis #3 (February 2006)
- ↑ Infinite Crisis #4 (March 2006)
- ↑ Infinite Crisis #5 (April 2006)
- ↑ Superman: Infinite Crisis trade paperback
- ↑ Infinite Crisis #6 (May 2006)
- ↑ Infinite Crisis #7 (June 2006)
- ↑ Blackest Night: Superman #1 (October 2009)
- ↑ Blackest Night: Superman #2 (November 2009)
- ↑ Blackest Night: Superman #3 (December 2009)
- ↑ Blackest Night: JSA #1 (December 2009)
- ↑ Blackest Night: JSA #2 (Januuary 2010)
- ↑ Blackest Night: JSA #3 (February 2010)
- ↑ Template:Comic book reference
- ↑ 26.0 26.1 Template:Comic book reference
- ↑ Template:Comic book reference
- ↑ Template:Comic book reference
- ↑ Template:Comic book reference
- ↑ Template:Cite web
- ↑ Template:Comic book reference
- ↑ The Justice League Watchtower: The Justice Guild of America
- Superman Through the Ages: Earth-2 Superman
- The Golden Age Superman Site
- JSA Fact File: Superman
- Earth-2 Superman Index
- Supermanica: Superman of Earth-2