Faster than a speeding bullet.
More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.
Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird.
It's a plane. It's Superman!
Yes, it's Superman - strange
visitor from another planet who came to Earth with powers and abilities far
beyond those of mortal men. Superman - who can change the course of mighty
rivers, bend steel with his bare hands, and who, disguised as Clark Kent, mild
mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper, fights a never ending
battle for Truth, Justice and the American Way.
AKA On Earth:
On Krypton: Kal-El
History: Came to
Earth from the planet Krypton
Faster than a speeding bullet
Leaps tall buildings
in a single bound
Arch enemy: Lex
Exposure to Kryptonite disables his powers and can kill him
Superman first appeared in
Action Comics #1, June 1938.
Man of Steel derives his super-powers from the lesser gravity of Earth and from
the unique ultra solar rays of Earth's yellow sun that penetrate Earth day and
night. Superman's cells act like solar batteries: they absorb solar energy from
From Krypton's size and mass, and
a few equations, its gravity works out to be at least ten times as strong as
Since lifting an object on Earth
would take ten times less effort than on Krypton, Superman could lift a car as
easily as we lift a wheelbarrow. Itís the same reason astronauts on the Moon
can take 25 metre jumps and lift huge objects with ease. Their muscles have
adapted to work in the Earthís gravitational field. So the Moonís weaker
gravity (one sixth the strength of Earthís) doesnít pull them back towards
the surface as much.
Why is Superman
like a plant?
How does Superman trap the Sunís
energy? While animals have to eat plants (or each other) to survive, plants can
harvest their energy directly from the Sunís light by photosynthesis.
This is a chemical reaction that
converts carbon dioxide and water into glucose (a type of sugar) and oxygen.
Plants are full of a chemical
called chlorophyll that speeds this reaction up. It is perhaps the most
important molecule in the world, because it traps all of the energy we need to
live. The solar energy is stored inside the plant. When we eat it, this energy
is released inside our bodies. All of our coal and oil reserves were once made
of plants, meaning that the energy we get from gasoline to run our cars originally
came from the Sun.
So perhaps Superman is using some
form of photosynthesis to build up the tremendous reserves of energy that he
needs for his superhuman feats of strength. One things for sure Ė heís not
using chlorophyll, because it would turn him bright green!
Superman is born on The Planet
Krypton as Kal-El, the son of Jor-El (a leader-scientist) and Lara. When Kal-El
is two or three years-old, Jor-El learns that Krypton is doomed to explode. He
brings this warning to the Science Council, Krypton's rulers. The Science
Council refuses to warn their fellow Kryptonians and forbids Jor-El to do so.
Jor-El immediately begins work on a rocket that will allow the whole family to
escape the coming disaster; however, events move too quickly, and only a small
model is completed by the time of the final quakes. Lara stays by her husband's
side rather than accompany Kal-El to Earth so that his ship will have a better
chance of surviving the trip. Knowing that Earth's lower gravity and yellow sun
will give the boy extraordinary powers, Jor-El launches Kal-El's rocketship
toward Earth moments before Krypton explodes.
Kal-El's ship lands in a field
near the town of Smallville and is discovered by Jonathan and Martha Kent. They
name the child Clark after Martha's maiden name. After formally adopting him,
the Kents raise him. The Kents discover his amazing powers and train their
adopted son to use his powers constructively. At the age of eight, Clark adopts
the superhero identity "Superboy" and fights crime, both in the
present and in the far future as a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes. After
his graduation from high school and the death of his adoptive parents, Clark
moves to Metropolis to attend Metropolis University. During his junior year,
Clark changes his superhero name to "Superman". After graduating with
a degree in journalism, Clark is hired by the Daily Planet.
Kryptonite is a an element,
having been created from the remains of Superman's native planet of Krypton,
generally has detrimental effects on Superman.
Since the destruction of Krypton,
its remains (rendered radioactive by the explosion) have been spreading
throughout the universe as kryptonite, a crystalline substance which has many
variants, which affect Superman in a number of different ways. The first and
most common type is Green Kryptonite, fatal to Kryptonians exposed to it for a
sufficient period of time, and causes immediate intense pain to Kryptonians upon
exposure. Other variants are Red, Blue, Gold, Black and White.
- Following his 50th town hall meeting in Massac County. U.S. Senator Obama
poses in front of the Superman Statue in downtown Metropolis, IL. known as the
home of the DC Comics super hero.
Smallville is an American television
series developed by writers/producers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, based on
the DC Comics character Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The
series follows the adventures of Clark Kent (Tom Welling), who resides in the
fictional town of Smallville, Kansas, during the years before he becomes
Superman. The first four seasons focused on Clark and his friends' high school
years. Since season five, the show has ventured into more adult settings,
eventually focusing on his career at the Daily Planet, as well as introducing
other DC comic book superheroes and villains.
Credit: DC Comics, The BBC ,
United States Department of Energy, Warner Brothers
compiled from The British Antarctic Study, NASA, Environment Canada,
UNEP, EPA and other sources as stated and credited Researched by Charles
Welch-Updated daily This Website is a project of the The Ozone Hole Inc.
a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization http://www.theozonehole.com