Krypton to Metropolis
The planet Krypton had been home to a highly technologically advanced society for hundreds of thousands of years. It had been a utopia until the Clone War almost destroyed it's society. The world that rebuilt itself was perhaps one of the most advanced in this Galaxy, but all creative and original thought was gone. The society was dying in more ways than one. A strange "Green Death" was killing the population. Twenty million had already died before the scientist Jor-El discovered that the cause was the side-effect of an aborted detonation of a doomsday device during the Clone War. The native elements of the planet were fusing together to form a new radioactive element called Kryptonium. The pressures created by this reaction were causing earthquakes and would eventually result in the destruction of the planet.
Jor-El was a man of ideas and ideals in an age where they were an unknown (he was greatly influenced by an encounter with a time lost Starman VII who taught him about Earth). He had been selected by computer to be the father of a new child (after the death of another had left an opening in the Register of Citizens) with the lady Lara. Ever since he had first seen her image Jor-El had been smitten by her and used every chance to hear news of her. Genetic material was taken from Jor-El and Lara and placed in an artificial womb called a Birthing Matrix. Jor-El knew that the only way for Krypton to evolve would be to take to the stars. He had already designed a prototype Hyperdrive and had removed the genetic flaw from his child (introduced by into the Kryptonian race by Kem-L) that stopped them from leaving the planet.
The three month investigation into the "Green Death" concluded before the birth from the Matrix of the child Kal-El. The pieces were in place. Jor-El knew that neither he nor Lara could survive away from Krypton, but their unborn son shielded from the Kryptonium radiation in his Matrix might have a chance. With little time left Jor-El attacked the Matrix to his Hyper-Drive. This aroused the notice of Lara who confronted Jor-El over his actions (this was the first time that they had actually met). He managed to convince her of the impending doom of Krypton and together they launched the Matrix into space. As Krypton died Jor-El told Lara that he loved her, an emotion alien to that world.
The Matrix took a hyper-light journey covering the fifty light-years that separated Krypton and Earth in just under twenty years. However due to time dilation effects the occupant had only just reached the end of the gestation period when he exited hyperspace close to Earth. The Manhunters knew that a Kryptonian raised under Earth conditions would be vastly powerful. They sent a ship to intercept the Matrix, but were delayed by a contingent from the Green Lantern Corps giving the Matrix enough time to crash land. The crash site was found by Jonathan and Martha Kent. When inspected the Matrix opened (effectively giving birth to Kal-El). Believing the child to be part of an Earth space programme they decided to keep him rather than hand him over to the heartless authorities than had sent him into space. Naming him Clark after Martha's maiden name they took him back to their farm just as the largest blizzard of the century hit Smallville cutting them off for five months. The blizzard had been created by the Manhunters to stop anybody reaching the crash site before them. After failing twice to capture the Matrix occupant the Manhunters decided drastic actions was required to monitor Kal-El. They replaced the Smallville doctor with a disguised Manhunter and implanted every child born from then on in the town with a mind control device.
At first young Clark Kent seemed a perfectly normal baby boy. His new parents were able to announce him to the world as their own natural born son. By kindergarten age he had already formed a strong friendship with best friends Lana Lang and Pete Ross. It was only at the age of eight that things began to change. Clark was using a neighbours field as a shortcut when his father saw him charged down by a bull. Jonathan ran to the spot where his son had gone down expecting to find a bloody mess. To his surprise Clark was untouched. Unbeknownst to the Kents Clark's Kryptonian cells were storing solar energy and converting it into superpowers. The invulnerability developed first followed by strength, speed, stamina, all his senses and in his final year of collage he discovered he had the power of flight as well.
A natural sportsman Clark found success on the football field with the Smallville Giants. While no where near his adult power levels Clark still outstripped every opponent. Most, such as his team-mates and coach, just saw Clark as an amazing athlete, but for others living in the shadow of Clark Kent feeling of jealousy were never far from the surface. Kenny Braverman was born the same day as Clark Kent, his metagene was activated by Kryptonium radiation from a fragment of Kryptonite embedded in the tail fin of Clark's Hyperdrive. The side effect made him suffer an on-off radiation sickness. When fit he always came second to Clark Kent. The final straw came when Kenny asked Lana out to the school dance only to find out that she had accepted Clark's invitation. He would carry a grudge against Clark for the rest of his life eventually becoming the supervillain Conduit.
Clark's parents realised that with great power comes great responsibility. A philosophy that Clark learned the hard way. Two incidents really drove home Clark's responsibilities. The first occurred when he was involved in a car crash on the way home from a party. The driver, Scott Brubaker, had been drinking and was left in a vegetative state. Clark had offered to drive but Scott insisted. It taught Clark that he might be superhuman but the people around him were all to moral. The second incident happened after Clark had practically won the final game of his last collage season single-handedly. His father confronted him over the use of his powers and revealed to him that he had been adopted, showing him the rocket ship that had brought him to Earth. For the first time Clark saw himself in the larger picture.
The growing realisation of his responsibilities to less gifted people and the revelation of his adoption left Clark with some hard thinking to do. He had to help people secretly because if his identity was ever revealed he would never live a normal life again. Before he left Smallville Clark revealed his abilities to Lana. She had been hoping that Clark was going to propose marriage, but he explained why he had to help other people. Lana was initially devastated by the news because she knew that Clark saw her more as a sister that a sweetheart. In time she would come to see Clark's trust as an honour and would marry Pete Ross.
After leaving Smallville Clark travelled around the world aiding the flood relief in India, earthquakes in Asia and even raising the odd headline sunken ship . After the world tour Clark returned to the US and enrolled in Metropolis University. While there he worked in Balducci's Restaurant as a short order chef. A waitress there called Ruby introduced Clark to the city and turned a young country boy into a city dweller. At U.Met Clark majored in journalism and took minors in almost any diverse course he could. It was on one of these courses that he first met Lori Lemaris. Clark had seen Lana and Ruby as friends and sometime girlfriends, but Lori was different from first sight. He fell in love with her. Eventually Clark proposed marriage to her. She declined and broke off the relationship. Clark later learned that she was a mermaid from Tritonis and had left because she knew a relationship between a surface dweller and an Atlantian could never work despite her feelings for him.
After graduating Clark went overseas wandering around Europe before being taken under the wing of Parisian journalist Simone DeNeige. Clark decided on a career in journalist because it allowed him to keep track of potential disasters and to compete on a level playing field with other people. Simone was beautiful, worldly and taught Clark how to network and make contacts. After Clark left Paris he returned to Metropolis, applied to the Daily Planet and Managing Editor Perry White agreed to give him an interview a few days later. While killing time Clark decided to attend the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary celebrations of the founding of the city. The main event was to be the landing at Metropolis International of the experimental NASA space plane Constitution.
Clark was among the watching crowd when a civilian light aircraft breached the secure airspace and collided with the Constitution. The two planes locked together and began to tumble out of the sky. There was no way to stop the media seeing him, but Clark knew he had to save the Constitution. Leaping into the air he moved with superspeed (so that nobody could get a good look at him) and caught the Constitution lowering it to the runway. Before he could make a getaway he was cornered by the reporter Lois Lane who had been on the Constitution. That moment was enough for the watching crowd to descend on them, each of them wanting something, a favour, a promotion, a sales opportunity. In fright Clark took to the air and only stopped when he reached Tibet. There on a remote mountain peak he sat and shook with fear of the emotions that he had unleashed in people. They knew of him now and his world could never be the same again.
Superman: The Early Years
Media carried the news of the Constitution rescue around the world. Not since the Second World War had the public seen such a sight. The Daily Planet carried the story on its front page with Lois Lane dubbing him a "mysterious superman." With all the pressure from the media Clark returned in secret to Smallville. Eventually it was Jonathan Kent that came up with the solution. He remembered the mystery men of the JSA and how in later years several of them revealed in books that had secret identities. He combined this with the name created by Lois Lane and together with Martha and Clark he created an heroic identity for Clark.
Clark would wear no masked in his "Superman" identity so that people would think that he had nothing to hide. Instead as Clark Kent he adopted a different hair style, costume glasses and different body language. Nobody yet knew Clark Kent at the Daily Planet and it was years since his Smallville friends had seen him so nobody would notice the change. With red and blue costume in place Superman made his first appearance in the skies above Metropolis. Almost constantly for the next few days Superman stopped every mugging, robbery and crime that he could find.
The effect of Superman's actions against the criminal element caused a major down turn in crime rates but neither the police nor Lois Lane could get any firm details on him. Threatened by Superman the Metropolis crime syndicates formed a single organisation under the hand of Ugly Mannheim who had been trained on Apokolips. He unified the gangs into Intergang and hit back at Superman with Darkseid's son Kalibak. The incident caused a response from the still officially neutral police with the formation of the Special Crimes Unit. Closer tires between Superman and the police were formed when Clark used a carefully managed "interview" to scoop a job at the Daily Planet. His sudden appearance with the story of the decade would earn him the enmity of Lois for a number of years. Lois had delivered a similar story onto Perry's desk (without knowing about Clark) which she had obtained by deliberately putting herself in danger to lure Superman to her.
The appearance of Superman was a revelation to the world and to the superpowered defenders who operated in the shadows. His appearance ignited a second heroic age with the appearance of second generation heroes such as Green Lantern II (Hal Jordan), Flash II (Barry Allen) and Atom II (Ray Palmer) and the appearance of new heroes such as the Martian Manhunter and Metamorpho. Five of the new heroes banded together to form the Justice League of America after they battled six alien invaders (Superman finished off the seventh without realising they were watching). The new JLA was an instant success with the media and discussed at length if they should offer Superman membership. They got their chance when Superman helped them defeat Xotar the Weapons Master. To their disappointment Superman had to decline because he felt that he did not have enough time to devote to a group but he helped them numerous times over the years including during the New Genesis-Apokolips War.
It was one of the new heroes that appeared in the weeks after Superman that caused him the most problems. In Gotham City a mysterious vigilante called the Batman was operating outside of the law. Superman feeling in part responsible for the new wave of heroes confronted the Batman in Gotham with the intention of handing him over to the local police. However the Batman via cunning and manipulation showed Superman the true face of Gotham and how only a hero that operated outside of the law could hope to tame it. The two heroes agreed to disagree on methods and over the years they would grow to respect but not fully trust each other. In later years he would give Batman a sample of Kryptonite as an insurance policy so that if he ever became a threat it would be Batman's duty to kill Superman.
When Superman first appeared Metropolis was a city controlled by one man Lex Luthor. Luthor had been the childhood friend of Perry White in Suicide Slum. Since then he had built a company on his aircraft designs and then a multinational empire called Lex Corp. with holdings in almost every major industry across the planet. Rumour had it that he was the second or third richest man in the world and directly or indirectly employed two thirds of the people in Metropolis. With such a power base Luthor was the most powerful man in Metropolis and he did not let people forget it with charitable donations and civic schemes all carefully arranged to keep the image of Luthor as the benevolent businessman always in peoples minds. Behind the scenes was a different matter Luthor controlled the Mayors Office and often used his own security army to strong arm opponents into shady and illegal deals. Of course carefully faked documents and a legal web made sure no evidence could ever be pinned on Luthor. He was never arrested until he tried to ensnare Superman in his web.
>Luthor was overseas for most of Superman's early career and upon returning to Metropolis he found that he had been eclipsed in power by this intriguing outsider. Luthor was determined to bring Superman on to his pay roll. He staged a high society party on his private yacht knowing that it was targeted by an overseas terrorist faction. When the terrorists attacked Luthor deliberately held his security back to draw Superman into the open. When Superman did intervene and rounded the terrorists up he found himself on the receiving end of a twenty five thousand dollar check from Luthor. Out raged the Mayor appointed Superman a special deputy and ordered him to arrest Luthor on charges of reckless endangerment. Superman rejected the check and took Luthor into custody. Luthor was booked and charged like any common criminal but his lawyers saw that it never came to court. It was the start of a bitter war between Superman and Luthor. Luthor started a massive surveillance project on Superman and was eventually able to gain a DNA scan of him. From this Luthor discovered that Superman was an alien. When he tried to clone his own Superman Luthor discovered that there was an unknown factor to Kryptonian DNA and the process created the first Bizarro.
Clark Kent and Superman continued making names for themselves. Superman battled villains such as the body hoping U.L.T.R.A Humanite, the inventor Thaddeus Killgrave and the numerous plans of Lex Luthor. He gained more friends with Metropolis' other defenders such as the Thorn II, the Guardian and the Cadmus Project and the police officers of the Special Crimes Units. However always at the back of his mind was the question of his own origin. All he knew was that the Kents had found his capsule after it crash landed on their farm (he even searched UFO reports for sightings that night). Others found out his origin as the sole survivor of Krypton. Some like Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) decided to keep quite because of they feared how Superman would take the news but others such as Professor Emmett Vale sought to use it against him.
Vale had observed the crash landing of Superman's rocket ship and had spent years studying both Clark and Superman from a far. His work had progressed as far as it could from mere observation and he was forced to actually steal the Birthing Matrix to learn further information. The action of moving the Matrix activated psionic recording devices planted there by Jor-El. They started to reach out to Superman's mind and manifested as holograms and memory implants. They started as simple hallucinations and then full blown projections of Jor-El. As the phantom Jor-El touched his son thousands of images began relaying into Clark's mind. In and instant he knew his origins on Krypton, its history, culture, language and heritage. The information did not stop there as it tried to "reprogram" him, turning him into a perfect Krypton. Fortunately the project was interrupted by Jonathan Kent and Clark was left with only cold information. For the first time he knew he was Kal-El of Krypton but he also found that this information made no difference to him. As far as Superman was concerned he was born and raised on Earth and thought of himself as an Earthman.
Superman: The Last Sons of Krypton
Meanwhile Professor Vale had concluded from his study of the Matrix that Superman was an alien invader who was the scout for a larger invasion force. He decided that it was his duty of stop Superman and used the badly injured body of con-man John Corben to create the cyborg Metallo. Metallo killed Vale and then went up against Superman with his Kryptonite power-core. His first exposure to Kryptonite weakened Superman and would have killed him if Lex Luthor had not stepped in and spirited Metallo away. Luthor removed the Kryptonite and had a small sample cut, polished and mounted in a signet ring. For months the Kryptonite Ring kept Superman at a safe difference from Luthor. Ultimately the Kryptonite radiation from the ring would not prove harmless to humans and would result in Luthor first loosing him hand and then almost dying from cancer. Other enemies that Superman faced were the imp Mister Mxyzptlk, the mentalist Brainiac and the web of Intergang employed inventors such as the Toyman and Killgrave.
Ever since Lois Lane had met Clark Kent she had harboured a certain level of anger at him for scooping her on the big story of Superman. However over the years she had began to weaken in her attitude towards him. Shortly after Smallville was freed from the grip of the Manhunter's Lois decided to investigate the town and the Manhunter connection. To her surprise she discovered Superman and Lana Lang together. Never slow on the up take Lois arrived at the conclusion that Superman and Clark Kent was one and the same person. Her suspicions were deflected when Jonathan Kent mislead her by claiming that Superman's rocket ship had crash landed on their land and that they had raised Kal-El and Clark as brothers. This enraged Lois as she thought that Superman and Clark had been in a conspiracy to keep her out of Superman related stories. However she did agree to keep the secret to protect the Kents. Lois was hurt by the Smallville incident and it would be sometime before she trusted either Clark or Superman again.
At one stage Superman found himself thrown into a Pocket Universe where a duplicate of himself called Superboy existed. This pocket-dimension was created by a being called the Time Trapper in his manipulations of the Legion of Superheroes until he encountered a superpowered woman dressed in a version of his uniform. This Supergirl had been sent to our world from that Earth to get Superman's help. Shortly after Superman had left the pocket dimension Superboy had disappeared and while investigating his laboratory that universe's Lex Luthor (a benevolent rather than a malevolent figure) had accidentally released three Kryptonian criminals from that universe's Phantom Zone.
General Zod, Quex-Ul and Zaora easily conquered the alternate-Earth leaving it a barren wasteland. The last remaining humans on that world were holed up in Smallville and the alternate Luthor had sent Supergirl (an artificial shape shifting lifeform) to get Superman's help. When Superman arrived he found the final battle in process. Supergirl was knocked out and the last remaining humans were killed as Superman found himself overpowered by the three criminals. He realised that there was no way he could stop them and if they ever managed to get to his own Earth then not even the JLA could stop them. Superman reluctantly found that the only way to stop the three and to spare the lives of billions of people was for him to kill them. Using alternate-Kryptonite he executed the three criminals. The experience so shook Superman to the core that he swore never to take a life again.
The lingering guilt over the death of the Kryptonians left Superman in a weakened state. Brainiac launched a mental attack on Superman that caused him to have a mental brake down. Superman began masquerading as Gangbuster II for a time until this was exposed by Dubbliex. Superman realised that any future mental problems could put people in danger and he exiled himself from Earth. Wandering the stars he was captured by the slavers of Warworld and was forced to fight in the games. Superman beat the reining champion Draaga but refused to kill him due to his earlier oath. This caused a revolution on Warworld that overthrew the ruler Mongul. While in the prisons of Warworld Superman encountered the alien Cleric who had once lived on Krypton. The Cleric gave Superman the Eradicator because it was one of the last artefacts from Krypton.
Superman used the Eradicator to return to Earth in an instant and kept it in Clark Kent's apartment. This proved to be a mistake as the intelligence and energies of the Eradicator began to reach out. It caused Jimmy Olsen to turn into a strange human-elastic band for a while and began to alter Clark's personality so that he slowly became the prefect Kryptonian. The change in personality estranged Clark from his friends (Jimmy in particular) and he left the Daily Planet to become editor of News Time. The Eradicator also began to emit sudden energy bursts. One such burst killed a private detective who had been hired by a former employee of Lex Luthor. She had discovered that Clark Kent and Superman were one and the same person, but Luthor didn't believe her and fired her. She was killed in a random act of street violence in Gotham City. The resulting investigation by Batman led to him and Superman discovering each others true identities.
Clark began to notice the effects of the Eradicator and moved it to the Antarctic. The distance did not diminish its power and it began pulling materials and technology from the Phantom Zone to construct a fortress around itself. At the same time its manipulations of Superman reached a peak and Superman found himself becoming the Krypton Man totally devoid of any trace of humanity. It was only the help of the Kents that allowed Superman to overthrow the domination of the Eradicator. In the aftermath Superman was left with a perfect working Kryptonian Fortress of Solitude to use as a secret hideaway. To be finally rid of the Eradicator Superman threw it into the Sun. The device was destroyed but it's energies combined with those of the Sun's and it returned in a humanoid form before Professor Hamilton used the soul gem of Mister Z to dissipate its energies.
Continued good natured pressure from Clark on Lois began to crack the emotional shell that she had erected around herself. Slowly at first they began to become closer and eventually she agreed to go out with him. Clark proposed to Lois after his powers had been robbed from him for a time by Red Kryptonite (which had been created by Mxyzptlk). Shortly after she had accepted his proposal he revealed his double identity to her. Initially Lois was confused but before they could talk it through Superman was hurled through time by one of the Linear Men who was hunting Booster Gold. After what had seemed months in the timestream bouncing back and forth to an alternate 30th century Superman returned to the present to find only a night locally had passed. The separation made Lois and Clark realise that what ever happens they wanted to be together.
For years Superman had refused membership of the Justice League and had declined as much as possible to be the leader of the superhero community. All that changed when Brainiac took over Warworld from Mongul, he then allied himself with Maxima, Draaga and a mind controlled Supergirl. With a force such as that Superman was forced to call on the New Gods, Justice League and many solo superheroes to help him defend the planet. During the fight Maxima and Supergirl switched sides and Draaga gave himself to save the Earth. Brainiac was eventually defeated when Maxima scrambled his mind. Shortly afterwards the Justice League disbanded and Superman was responsible in part for its reformation becoming the leader of the American branch. This often put him in conflict with Maxwell Lord and the head strong Guy Gardner. He also had to deal with Maxima and hero worship from Ice.
Superman: Death and Rebirth
The creature know as Doomsday was a by product of the research that would eventually lead to the Kryptonians mastery of genetic engineering and clone technology. Over hundreds of thousands of years he had bounced from planet to planet fighting Khunds, the Green Lantern Corps and even killing one of the Guardians of the Universe. He was eventually "killed" by Radiant of Calaton and was buried at space bound in a metal cage so his spirit could not escape (as was their tradition). That "tomb" made planet fall on Earth and was embedded deep in the planet for hundreds of years. Reawakened by the presence of Superman (who Doomsday sensed was Kryptonian - one of his old tormentors), he went on the rampage killing dozens and scattering the JLA as he made a straight line for Metropolis. Superman confronted the monster in an all out brawl that raised buildings and shook the foundations of the city. Neither combatant would give in and in an inevitable conclusion Superman gave his life to seemingly stop Doomsday.
While Lois Lane and the planet were shocked by Superman's death it did not take his old enemies long to make gain from the situation. Lex Luthor (back in a younger cloned body and posing as his own son) used the situation to prove his "civic minded pride" by organising much of the funeral and remembrance proceedings. Paul Westfield of the Cadmus Project stole Superman's body under an executive order that allowed him to collect the bodies of any dead aliens for study, but when he was exposed by reporters the President rescinded the order in Superman's case. With a world wide audience Superman was laid to rest in Centennial Park.
No sooner was he laid to rest that Superman's body disappeared from the tomb. There was stories of him rising from the dead or of Cadmus stealing the body. Shortly afterwards four pretenders appeared in Metropolis claiming each of them was Superman. The body had actually been taken by the Eradicator who was using it to convert solar radiation to energy that he could absorb. Then perhaps due to some lingering connection between the two the Eradicator began masquerading as Superman meeting out his own violent form of justice. He was joined by Superboy who thought himself a clone of Superman and Steel III who designed his power armour in homage to the man who had saved his life. The fourth and most mysterious of the four "supermen" became known as the Cyborg. He was actually a mentally unstable scientist who blamed Superman for turning him into a freak.
Determined to destroy Superman's reputation after he was dead the Cyborg convinced many people (and the Whitehouse) that he was actually Superman brought back to life and repaired by Kryptonian technology. The Cyborg was working with Mongul and together they decided to turn Earth into the second Warworld. They started by destroying Coast City (killing seven million people in the process) and turning it into a giant rocket engine. Because of the unique nature of his death, the technology of the Fortress of Solitude and the efforts of the Eradicator Superman breathed once more but was without his superpowers. He returned to Metropolis and with the help of Superboy, Supergirl, Steel and Green Lantern II managed to defeat Mongul and thwart the destruction of Metropolis. The Cyborg had one last trick up his sleeve and exposed Superman to a huge asteroid of pure Kryptonite. The radiation would have killed him in minutes if the Eradicator had not suddenly arrived and placed himself between the radiation and Superman. His energies switched the polarity of the Kryptonite radiation repowering rather than harming Superman. Once again at full power Superman defeated the Cyborg.
The aftermath of being dead was complicated. Clark Kent was assumed to be one of those killed in Doomsday's rampage. He was saved by Superman from under rubble. This was accomplished with the help of the shape shifting Supergirl who posed as Clark so that Superman could rescue her. There were other concerns, Clark returned to the Planet to find that his desk had been given to new reporter Ron Troupe and that his apartment had been relet. After staying with Jimmy for a short time Clark moved into a new apartment and tried to get back into the normal pattern of life. This was further complicated when Conduit tried to kill Clark Kent and his family, if that wasn't enough Brainiac seeking revenge tried to make people believe that Superman's body was still in the tomb.
Superman: Superman Red / Superman Blue
Investigations by Professor Hamilton had shown that Superman's powers were derived from solar energy and if not replenished then his powers would slowly become depleted. This is exactly what happened when the Sun Eater attached itself to the Sun. Removed from the source of his power and fast using up his existing energy supply saving people from related disaster it was not long before Superman found himself powerless. The problems continued after the Sun Eater had been vanquished by Parallax (Hal Jordan) when Clark found that his powers did not return. This coincided with the end of a rocky patch in Lois and Clark's relationship when they almost split up for good. However they managed to work through their problems and were married. The honeymoon in Hawaii was interrupted by a kidnapping but that's what you get when you marry a superhero.
The quest to regain Superman's powers took a number of twists and turns. The origin of the problem was tracked down in part by the robots of the Fortress of Solitude who registered Clark as fully human and not Kryptonian. This stemmed from the side effects of the battle with an alien sorcerer called Tolos in which Superman received the Bottle City of Kandor. The city exists in an extra-dimensional pocket so when Tolos tried to draw Superman forcibly across the dimensional gap it left him "out of phase" with the normal world. It was this phase shift that stopped Superman's normal Kryptonian abilities repowering. In a desperate gamble to regain his powers Superman with the help of the New Gods opened a Boom Tube into the heart of the Sun. The sudden exposure to such enormous amounts of solar energy jumped started his powers and seemingly returned Superman to normal. Shortly afterwards Superman joined new Justice League of America during their battled with Known Man.
The effect of the phase shift and the sudden repowering were not evident at first, but over time Superman began to notice sudden electrical surges in his presence and at one stage he even became intangible. Eventually it reached a point where he had become a literal energy being with little form or mass. Troubles with his new abilities started when he started causing power cuts in Metropolis as he blew power lines by accident but more serious problems arose when it became evident that this new form was not stable and that he was beginning to discorporate. STAR Labs and Professor Hamilton used technology from one of the Fortress robots and a special fabric provided by the new C.E.O of Lex Corp. Contessa Erica Alexandra to construct a containment suit for Superman. Bonding with the suit gave Superman physical form and help from the second Ray began to teach him about his new powers. He could also alter the phase shift created by Tolos. When fully out of phase with normal reality he was the electric-Superman and when he was fully in phase with reality he was normal powerless human Clark Kent.
The new energy powers were readily accepted by his comrades in the Justice League, but he forced them to put him through the standard membership tests because of doubts over how well he could control his new powers. The powers were also the cause a of strain in his relationship with Jimmy Olsen as Superman and as Clark Kent. Jimmy at the time had been working in TV as a high profile ratings grabbing action reporter and had used information that Professor Hamilton had given him in good faith in a news report. The detailed analysis of Superman's new abilities almost allowed Metallo to defeat him. Jimmy's next stunt was even worse as he revealed that he was going to expose Superman's secret identity on live television. Jimmy drew up a short list that he discussed on air, but when the crunch came he bottled out of revealing who he thought Superman was. Clark Kent was on the short list that Jimmy drew up and it remains to be seen if any new evidence will jog Jimmy's mind towards the truth.
Lois and Clark had handled the new form of Superman well living as a normal couple for once, but things began to get strained when the Toyman and Cyborg split the energy Superman into two near identical Supermen. The two different Supermen could not have been more different, the Red Superman was quick to jump into a situation and was over confident while the Blue Superman was took too long to assess a situation and lacked confidence. Lois was confused as both claimed to be the real Clark Kent but neither was the man she had married. Blue and Red got in each others way as they would both try to use the same tactics in an emergency unaware that the other was there. The twin Supermen had little time to despair on their situation as the Millennium Giants appeared across the globe. The JLA and other heroes were powerless to stop the three Giants from absorbing ley line energy and according to legend purging the Earth of all ills. Various claims were made linking the twin Superman to saviours from Hawaiian legends and that Superman's current unnatural forms were responsible for awaking the Giants, but no hard facts were ever established. The Supermen stopped the Giants. In the aftermath it was revealed that the Giants were a symbolic part of the Earths renewal and the twin Supermen were forced to expend all their energies to do the task that the Giants existed to do. A side effect was to remove the phase shift that Tolos introduced leaving Superman whole and back to his normal Kryptonian self.
There are other worlds and universes that mirror the history and development of our own. The infinitely evolving continuum of theses "Hyperzone" exist within a self-consistent scheme called Hypertime. The existence of this continuum was unknown to the heroes of Earth until events from a parallel hyperzone of Earth-Kingdom spilled over onto Earth-Zero. The Superman of Earth-Kingdom had retired some years before, but had been called out of solitude by a new generation of rampant metahumans that threatened to destroy the world. A nuclear explosion in the heart of Kansas had precipitated a near apokolips before that universe's Captain Marvel gave his life to demonstrate to everybody the error of their ways. One of the few survivors of the Kansas Tragedy was a child called Matthew. Twenty years later he became that Superman's most devoted disciple and literally worshipped him. Awkwardly that Superman was forced to explain that he wasn't a god and Matthew really should do something else with his life.
Matthew was shattered and was easy prey for a quintet of cosmic being called the Quintessence who sought to transform him into their agent. They gave Matthew knowledge and power so that he couple precipitate the Kansas Tragedy early and they could then turn the event to their own ends. Unfortunately the power only unhinged his mind further and transformed him into a monster called <Gog. He set out across time and killed a future version of Superman, he then journeyed back a day and killed another Superman. He rampaged across Hypertime killed consecutively earlier and earlier Supermen until he reached Earth-Kingdom and discovered that this Superman had had a child by Wonder Woman. He kidnapped the child and journeyed to Earth-Zero where he hoped to create an identical explosion to the Kansas Incident in our era. It took the Superman, Wonder Woman and the Batman from both Earth-Zero and Earth-Kingdom to stop Gog and free the child with the help of Rip Hunter and the grown Jonathan Kent II (the kidnapped child). For the first time the heroes of both Earths realised that there were other Earths out there.
Connections with other apparent Earths would grow as Superman found himself caught up in a war between cosmic beings. For sometime Superman had had dealings with the entity called Kismet. She was a being that existed between the Lords of Order and Chaos, titled the Illuminator of the Ways, it is her job to show people the different paths that their actions may lead, the patterns that their destiny could form if they choose certain courses. She had previously appeared to Superman and Jonathan Kent.However she had a mysterious rival called Dominus who sought to replace her. Knowing her connection with Superman he put Superman into four different time periods modelled after the second world war, the 1950s, the 1970s and the far future. In each era Clark Kent became Superman and faced versions of his old foes.
Kismet intervened to stop the manipulations and was attacked by Dominus. She reverted to a healing state in a cocoon but Superman managed to break free. While Superman distracted Dominus Waverider took the dormant Kismet back into time and hid her in the body of Sharon Vance (a childhood friend of Clark who would have otherwise died in a playground accident had she note been joined with Kismet). Thwarted Dominus released Superman and vanished. In the meantime the Daily Planet had been under serious financial strain as circulation dropped. In its weakened state it was easy prey for a Lexcorp buy out. Luthor fired the majority of the staff including Clark Kent and Perry White while retaining Simone DeNeige, Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane and Dirk Armstrong. They were transferred to a new entity called LexCom, a free on-line news source updated around the clock operating primarily on the internet.
With just his syndicated column and his novel contract Clark began to spend more and more time as Superman. He also began to suffer from horrific dreams of disasters and destruction which began to come true. He began acting on his dreams stopping the disasters that he dreamed and even stopped sleeping to escape the nightmares. Pushed by those dreams he became more proactive and spent more and more time as Superman. What nobody knew was that the dreams were being manipulated by Dominus as he toyed with Superman for revenge. Clark's personality also began to shift under the manipulations as he lost the more reserved human side and became ruthlessly efficient. He even began interfering in the internal operations of countries as he deposed a dictator in a third world country starting a civil war.
As Superman became more and more active the world's media began to take notice and the United Nations even began to watch him more closely. Pushing himself further and further be found himself butting in everywhere. He even dumped his Clark Kent identity prompting Lois Lane to contact Batman and the Justice League to talk some sense into him. After an argument Clark warned the League to stay out of his way. Later Steel, Supergirl and Superboy tried to do the same thing but met the same reception. As Superman solved every problem on the Earth he effectively made himself a super-guardian over riding national boundaries and international law. To further extend his influence he created a army of robots in his image that turned the Earth into a police state with his as the controller. His absence from Metropolis
opened up space for Luthor to launch a youth movement called the Supermen of America that received Superman's tacit support. Led by an elite brigade they mirrored Superman's actions and became a world wide vigilante organisation under Luthor's control.
All the time Superman was driven by his nightmares to make the world a crime free utopia, but at the same time he began to loose the humanity that had always held his actions in check. With no other option the Department of Extranormal Operations and Lexcorp used a trap with synthetic Kryptonite to try and kill him. It failed and Superman responded by destroying the Lexcorp skyscraper and putting the upper portion of it (containing the Kryptonite experiments) into orbit. Shortly afterwards he confiscated the world's nuclear weapons and threw them into the Sun. That was the last straw and the UN authorised lethal force against Superman. In a battle royal the JLA, Steel, Superboy, and Supergirl faced off against Superman, the robots and the Supermen of America Elite Brigade. Superman left the robots and returned to the Fortress where he was confronted by Lois. Her pleas began to crack the illusions that Dominus had been using to control Superman. Before she could finish her pleas Luthor used the building the Superman had placed in orbit as a Kryptonite missile crashing it into the Fortress of Solitude.
Amid the devastation Superman regained his full senses and saw what Dominus had made him do. No longer needing him Dominus threw Superman into the Phantom Zone and would have killed Lois Lane had she not been saved by one of the Superman Robots. Drifting in the Phantom Zone Clark slept for the first time in months with out the nightmares fed to him by Dominus. In the Zone he encountered a trio of aliens who revealed to him that Dominus was once the lover of Kismet when they were both mortal. They were all priests together and one of they was to become the Illuminator of the Ways, Kismet was chosen over Dominus. This angered him so he swore to replace her. He sought out ancient magic and in the process destroyed his mortal form. To save him Kismet transferred him to the Phantom Zone where he found the holographic spectre of Kem-El (a descendant of Kem-L, the Kryptonian that had first used the zone).
Thinking Dominus a friend Kem-El equipped him with Kryptonian technology to give him corporal form. Dominus escaped from the Zone when the Eradicator first created the Fortress and started in his pursuit of Kismet. The aliens told Superman that Dominus could only alter reality with images from people's waking minds. Forewarned Superman returned to normal reality with the help of Kem-El and was captured by Dominus. Dominus then hid Superman and began impersonating him. He convinced the JLA and UN that Superman's actions had been caused by Dominus and manipulated then into making him head of the search for the villain. In this guise Dominus made the image of Superman effectively King of the World as leader of the search for himself. In reality he was using the searches to look for Kismet. Lois Lane and Lex Luthor teamed up with Outburst to penetrate the citadel that Dominus had created in Metropolis. Once inside they found the real Superman hidden in the basement.
While he had been imprisoned Superman had used the time to perfect an ancient Kryptonian technique that allowed him to control his brain waves allowing for him to go into a Theta State where his mind was so calm that Dominus could not pull images from it to manipulate. In the final battle Luthor and Lois managed to broadcast the struggle to the world showing Superman to by innocent. To capture Dominus Superman allowed him access to images of Krypton. He then kept changing the versions of Krypton over and over again meaning the Dominus became overloaded within his own realities. Kal-El then used a phantom zone projector from one of those realities to trap Dominus. Trapped in a phantom zone in an artificial reality of his own design Dominus was removed from all waking minds and his powers neutralised. Instantly Lois, Luthor and Superman found themselves back in normal reality.
Once the smoke had cleared Superman was back as Clark Kent, Lois and Jimmy were back at the Planet and Luthor was an enemy once more. However the trust that the world had in Superman was severally damaged. While relations with Wonder Woman and the League were easy to repair only continued good deeds and actions on his part would rebuild the trust that the world had in Superman.