Superman Family

Superman might be the most famous comic book character in history, along with Batman. By now, it seems that everyone knows about the Bat-Family. There are so many amazing members that it’s almost impossible to forget them. Yet the Superman family is pretty cool too, and it definitely deserves to be remembered.

We felt the best possible thing to go over would not be the family members we know well. Everyone’s familiar with his cousin Kara Zor-El and his parents from Krypton. One could even consider Lois Lane as part of this grouping. Considering she’s been his love interest throughout most of their history.

We know of the Kara Zor-El version of Supergirl, but who else is in the family? In this article, we plan to go over some connected family members you’re going to freak out over.

The Matrix in the Superman Family

Superman Family
Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

We already made reference to Kara, his well-known cousin. Yet she isn’t the only Supergirl in the Superman family. Rather, he’s met a ton of similar characters throughout the years. A number of these women first encountered Superman in a variety of ways. For example, the Supergirl Matrix became a family member by way of a complicated cloning process.

Matrix was a creation of a Lex Luthor from an alternate reality. She took Kara’s place after her death in the main timeline for DC for years. Matrix was quite interesting in that she was artificial, so she didn’t have all the same weaknesses as Superman. She also had more powers than he did, such as invisibility, telekinesis, shape-shifting, and energy blasts.

Matrix DNA’s came from Lana Lang, which gave her somewhat of a connection to the Superman Family outside her codename. Although Matrix wasn’t technically his cousin, she presented herself as such. Thus, readers accepted it. She remained at the main Supergirl for over a decade (1988-2002) before a revamped Kara Zor-El retook her title.

The Power Girl Dynamic

Superman Family
Power Girl is the Kara Zor-El of another Earth. Image courtesy DC Entertainment.

Power Girl, also known as Karen Starr, is the Supergirl of Earth-2. She’s so popular that DC eventually brought her into the main DCU after CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS. She has even made appearances in DC’s animated shows or movies. Due to Power Girl and Supergirl being similar, it’s often odd to see them in the same story arc.

However, they differ not only in looks but also in powers. At one point, the writers didn’t really know what to do with her. After 1986, there was a weird recon where she was the daughter of an Atlantean sorcerer. Today she’s back to being an Earth-2 Kryptonian. Something interesting happened to her as a result of INFINITE CRISIS. All Kryptonians are now only vulnerable to the kryptonite of their own reality. This means Power Girl isn’t vulnerable to the Earth-1 version.

She does still have trouble with magic in all realities. However, her lack of kryptonite weakness on Earth-1 has made her quite formidable, considering other Kryptonians can’t handle it. Power Girl has continued to remain a popular figure in the DCU. Because of this, it wouldn’t shock anyone if she’s given a bigger role down the line.

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Superman’s Love Interests

We all know by now that Superman’s most popular love interest tends to be Lois Lane. She’s a terrific character in her own right, as she is a journalist who has broken various stories. She’s at the center almost everything and has even gotten herself into war zones. This lady is the definitive representation of a badass if there ever was one.

We, of course, know about other major love interests like Lana Lang. However, the second most popular figure he’s been in a relationship with is Wonder Woman. The idea of them being together has been explored off and on for years. Yet it was the New 52 that went the distance with the idea. Yet people didn’t care for it.

The relationship with Wonder Woman lasted until Superman’s death in the New 52. The DC Rebirth saga of comics would then return to the original Clark Kent and Lois Lane romance.

The Spawns of Superman

Superman Family
Kon-El is the iconic Superboy, but he’s no longer part of the main DCU. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

It seems almost comical by now that Superman has children. Why? Because it seems that no matter how great they are, they’ll never be what their dad is. Clark’s “daughter” Ariella, however, is a little more complicated. Linda Danvers would get “busy” with the Superman of another world. The result was Ariella, who’s essentially the future Supergirl.

Perhaps the most notable of his “children” is Superboy. Connor Kent was a clone of Superman and Lex Luthor created by Cadmus. He’s been a member of the Young Justice and the Teen Titans. A clone of Superman, born from Superman and Lex Luthor’s DNA. He’s likely the most popular Superboy in the DCU.

Cadmus is responsible for this Superboy’s creation. He’s supposed to be a replacement for, or weapon against, Superman. He’s considered a bit less mature than the real Superman early on. Perhaps it’s due to being too cocky or arrogant in his early years. However, the New 52 Superboy seems a lot more like Superman.

Another famous son of Clark’s is Lor-Zod, also known as Chris Kent. Chris is the son of General Zod, one of Clark’s greatest enemies. However, Superman and Lois Lane raise him as their own. He even becomes the third Nightwing for a period of time.

The Ballad of Jimmy Olsen

Superman Family
Jimmy Olsen is one of Superman’s best friends and biggest fans. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Jimmy Olsen must be considered part of the Superman Family. They’ve been partners during their careers at the Daily Planet. He often assists Lois Lane on reports too. Jimmy is even responsible for the first appearance of a “Super-Girl” decades ago, due to a wish he made.

Olsen is also one of the few close friends that Clark had where he could truly be himself, alien and all. Olsen was there for him even when Lois wasn’t. When you talk about friends as close as brothers, these guys fit that well.

Jimmy has seen his role change in the CW’s Arrowverse lately, becoming the Guardian in their universe. Yet playing the part of a superhero is nothing new to Olsen. He’s been, for limited periods of time: Radioactive, super-fast, super-intelligent, and switched minds with a gorilla. He even took on heroic identities like Elastic-Lad. Because of all of this (and sometimes in spite of it), he’s proven a reliable pal to Superman.

Not Your Typical Hero

Superman Family
Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

We also couldn’t have a list complete without Bizarro, one of Clark’s oldest foes and strangest allies. Bizarro is what Superman isn’t, literally his opposite. In the DC Rebirth storylines, Bizzaro saw quite a weird change. Working alongside people like Jason Todd (AKA Red Hood), Bizarro is no longer the dumb clone many think him to be.

The one known as Eradicator, who would come from THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN storyline, is pretty amazing part of the Superman Family too. Eradicator was built by an ancestor of Superman’s named Kem-L as a literal weapon. The idea behind his creation originally was to alter the genes of Kryptonians and bind them to their planet Krypton. The Eradicator also originally built Superman’s Fortress of Solitude. There are newer additions, but the overall structure is Eradicator’s design.

Eradicator started out as a bad guy, but he’s clearly someone you want on your good side. He could originally bestow powers on others and even travel to the past to get technology from Krypton. If that wasn’t enough, he could reshape entire planets and alter the weather. He greatest heroic turn was in the REIGN OF DOOMSDAY story arc. It’s here that he sacrifices his life to save the world.

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The More “Bizarre” Superman Family Members

Superman family
Though Bizarro might be one of the most notable, there have been several attempted clones of Superman. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

We’ve already spoken about Superboy, as well as the other “sons” of Superman. However, there’s far more to his family than these few. We’ve yet to go over the various heroes that came about after the DEATH OF SUPERMAN. This includes the likes of Steel, who is probably one of the most notable of the figures who took Superman’s symbol after his death. Steel happens to be an engineer by the name of John Henry Irons. His impressive intellect allowed him to design a really cool high-tech suit of armor that he fights crime in.

Even after the DEATH OF SUPERMAN, Steel would remain a major part of the Superman Family. Another interesting person that has fought by the Man of Steel’s side is Lar Gand, also known as Mon-El. He happens to be similar to Superman due to coming from Krypton’s sister planet, Daxam.

Like the Kryptonians, the Earth’s sun gives him similar powers to theirs. Mon-El helps Superman with most matters concerning the Phantom Zone in the comics. However, he’s a notable hero in his own right even outside of his work with Superman. He eventually becomes a character known as Valor and joins the Legion of Super-Heroes. Most of this happens in the future, yet he still frequently returned to the past to help Superman.

Partnerships Of Interest

Superman Family
Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

We spoke already about how Jimmy Olsen is the Arrowverse’s version of Guardian. This isn’t random, as the character works with Superman a lot in the comics. Except normally the man under the costume has been a man by the name of Jim Harper. Guardian only needs his shield and pure fighting skill to get the job done. In many ways, he’s the Captain America of the DCU.

Another few interesting members of the Superman Family are the Strange Visitor and Gangbuster. Strange Visitor has the ability to manipulate electromagnetic energies and mess with Earth’s geomagnetic fields. She can even walk through solid matter and read an object’s magnetic field, as well as fly at light speeds.

Jose Delgato, also known as Gangbuster, is similar to Guardian in several ways. However, while he is a skilled fighter without any powers, he also has something Guardian doesn’t. Apparently, he was given cybernetic legs from Lex Luthor after being crippled on the job as Gangbuster. Although he’s probably the most minor character thus far, Delgato will fight beside Superman or Guardian any day.

Behind Every Superman is a Superwoman

There have been several women that have had the title of Superwoman and been part of the Superman Family. One of the most prominent would likely be Superman’s own sister-in-law, Lucy Lane. However, the most recent Superwoman in the comics is Lana Lang. It’s likely one of the most complicated and odd stories regarding Superwoman.

When the New 52 Superman dies, both Lois and Lana absorb his energy, which gives them his powers. When Lois dies, Lana becomes the only Superwoman. She recently lost her powers at the end of the SUPERWOMAN series, but who’s to say there won’t be another Superwoman in the near future?

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Superman is a Loner Even Still

Superman Family
Superman is almost a god, so he doesn’t usually need much help. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

One of the main things we know about Superman is that he’s not like Batman at all. When we think of “families” in comics, it’s really easy to picture Batman. After all, just look at the various partners and children he has. However, Superman isn’t human and doesn’t need a partner. Few possess what he has available to him. No matter how many people are in the Superman Family… it actually seems Clark likes doing things alone.

This could be why he pushes Supergirl away initially. He tells her — in old school storylines — not to give away that she has powers. He then struggles to accept her initially and has her do her own thing away from his city. Could it be that Clark has trouble accepting help because his pride doesn’t let him? Or does he feel that his near god-like status means he must do things on his own?

Regardless of the reason, he has accepted help here and there. His alliance with the various members of the Justice League proves this. However, his need for partners seems to be minimal in most cases. Perhaps, it is his love for others that keeps him from wanting the rest of the Superman Family to get involved. He is Superman, however, so he’s known to do what others believe to be impossible.

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