Kal-L of Earth-Two is commonly referred to as the Golden Age Superman, thus being the main Superman that appeared throughout the Golden Age of Comic Books. This wiki follows Superman only throghout the Golden Age.
Superman was born Kal-L of the planet Krypton. His father was the esteemed scientist, Jor-L, and his mother was a librarian named Lora. While Kal-L was still a toddler, his father discovered that the planet Krypton teetered on the brink of absolute destruction. Realizing that there was not enough time to save everyone on the planet, he deposited his son inside of a specially designed rocket ship and launched him into outer space. As Kal-L's rocket broke the atmosphere, the planet Krypton exploded.
After traveling through space for an indeterminate amount of time, his rocket eventually crash-landed in a small farming community named Smallville, on the planet Earth. Though at first placed in an orphanage, Kal-L was soon adopted by the Kents and given the name Clark. Over time he discovered his many powers. During his teen years, Clark met a strange visitor from another universe -- his own counterpart, Superboy of Earth-One! The more experienced Superboy helped train Clark in the use of his powers. During this period, Clark briefly worked as a circus strongman under the identity of the Masked Wonder. Mary (Ma) Kent later died and when John (Pa) Kent was on his death bed, he made Clark promise to use his powers for the good of mankind. Taking the advice to heart, Clark created the identity of Superman.
Clark earned himself a job as a reporter at the Daily Star after turning in a story about Superman's first public act. Despite his honorable intentions, Superman was not initially considered a hero and was in fact regarded as a vigilante working outside and at times against the established legal authorities. Many of his earliest public actions showed Kal-L engaging in aggressive actions against wife beaters, slum lords and various other social criminals which included corrupt politicians and law officials. As time progressed, Kal-L began to fight against larger more direct and obvious criminal organizations which gathered his public identity as a hero most notably against the Earth-Two Alexei Luthor, who unlike the Earth-One Lex Luthor still had his red hair and a far more bloodthirsty nature.
As Clark Kent, he reported on his own costumed adventures and was eventually partnered with Lois Lane, a courageous female reporter who had a crush on Superman but didn't think much of the timid Clark Kent. Lane and Kent would usually butt heads with each other on getting the most adventurous stories, but the two eventually became respectful of each other. Lane would eventually start to suspect that Kent and Superman were one and the same based on Kent's continual absences whenever Superman would appear and Kent's extensive detailed reports before Lane could phone in the story despite being at the scene of the adventure. Lane would eventually confirm her suspicions resulting in her marrying Kent in the 1950s.
Powers and WeaknessesEdit
Kal-L was originally unaware of his powers and his own nature as a Kryptonian, thinking of himself as an advanced human of Earth. Kal-L's superpowers were a result of his Kryptonian heritage, whereby the Kryptonians native to his original universe had known superhuman abilities and powers. As Kal-L aged, his power levels increased. For example, Kal-L was able to progress to actual flight where originally he could only leap about an eighth of a mile. His strength level increased to extensive power levels where he started out merely lifting cars and was later able to lift and throw army tanks. His first clue to his alien nature was discovered when he battled Dan Rivers aka "Swami Riva". The glowing stone Riva wore in his turban was actually Kryptonite. In order to find out why Kryptonite made him weak, Superman went on a voyage of discovery to find out the stone's origins. Superman was able to time travel under his own power to watch his father Jor-L and the events that led to him being sent to Earth. Later he defeated Riva and cast the two known fragments of Kryptonite into a river.
After his return to current time, Kal-L continued to battle an ever increasing amount of advanced villains including the Puzzler, The Archer, Ultra-Humanite, Toyman, Prankster, Funnyface, and many more. During one battle with Funnyface, Superman clashed with a duplicate of his pseudo-criminal identity of the Flying Tiger (possessing powers and weaknesses comparable to his original, not unlike Bizarro).
But while most of these villains were usually operating on scientifically-based equipment, Superman found his most effective villain in the form of the short mostly purple suited mystical imp, Mister Mxyztplk. Mister Mxyztplk exclusively used magic to completely frustrate Kal-L time and time again which were used to interfere with Kal-L's abilities. But because most of Mister Mxyztplk's capers were done more to frustrate and annoy than cause harm and physical death, many of Mister Mxyztplk's pranks had no lasting detrimental effects on Kal-L or the inhabitants of the third dimension unlike the Earth-One version Mister Mxyzptlk who is shown to be far more dangerous even occasionally killing Earth-One inhabitants as part of his exploits.
Kal-L was a formidable presence and helped to establish the Justice Society of America. Due to various personal adventures, Superman was only able to join the Justice Society as an honorary member. He would later join the super team called the All-Star Squadron, which included most of Earth-Two's American superheroes of the World War II era.
After establishing himself as one of the premiere heroes of Earth-Two, Kent later started to focus on his personal life, advancing his own reporter career to become the Lead Investigative Reporter for the Daily Star. Always mindful of his dual persona, Kent kept his ambitions in check and Kent largely remained a retiring persona. This would change in the early 1950s when two of Kal-L's enemies would fight to see which nature was more powerful -- the advanced science of Colonel Future or the ancient mystical powers of the Wizard. After several defeats at the hands of the "Man of Tomorrow", Colonel Future challenged the boasted powers of the Wizard to prove its effectiveness over his own super-science against their greatest threat, Superman.
To prove his superior powers, the Wizard cast a spell to rid the world of Superman. The spell misfired and made Clark merely repress his superhero identity. Freed of his need to repress his more aggressive and assertive persona, Kent acted out his nature but without his costume and his flight abilities. Kent continued to battle evil as an open crusading reporter for some time even directly engaging in hand to hand battles against criminals which of course he would routinely win due to his superhuman strength and bullet proof skin density. Also freed of his self-restrictions, Kent once again expressed his affections for Lois. Without his clumsy acts and disappearing devices, he eventually won the heart of Lois Lane as Kent. The two married, but Lois discovered Clark's secret while on their honeymoon trying to cut Clark's hair which broke the scissors Lane used. Torn between her love of Kent and the world's need for its most noted hero, Lane-Kent tracked down the Wizard and made him reverse the spell. Lois then tried to forsake their marriage but Kent wouldn't let her. Kent decided to confirm their marriage in both Earth and Kryptonian ceremonies.
Later, George Taylor retired as editor-in-chief of the Daily Star and Clark replaced him in that role and promoted Lane as Lead Investigative Reporter though he would usually still follow her in many of her dangerous investigations as Superman.