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Solar Powered Super Hero

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: Clark Kent 

  • On Krypton: Kal-El 

  • History: Came to Earth from the planet Krypton 

  • Superpowers: 

    • Faster than a speeding bullet

    • Superhuman strength 

    • Leaps tall buildings in a single bound 

    • Invulnerability

    • X-ray vision 

    • Heat Vision

    • Ability to Fly

  • Arch enemy: Lex Luther 

  • Weakness: Exposure to Kryptonite disables his powers and can kill him 


 Superman first appeared in Action Comics #1, June 1938.

Superman The 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 the sun. 

Superhuman strength 

From Krypton's size and mass, and a few equations, its gravity works out to be at least ten times as strong as Earth’s.

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. It’s 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 Earth’s gravitational field. So the Moon’s weaker gravity (one sixth the strength of Earth’s) doesn’t pull them back towards the surface as much.

Why is Superman like a plant? 

How does Superman trap the Sun’s energy? While animals have to eat plants (or each other) to survive, plants can harvest their energy directly from the Sun’s 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 – he’s 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.

8-14-2006 - 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.



Credit: DC Comics, The BBC , United States Department of Energy, Warner Brothers