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What were Superman's powers?

What is the "Superman Family"?

Superman, a comic book hero who debuted in 1938, was an alien from the planet Krypton. As a baby, Superman was sent to Earth in a rocket by his father, in order to save the infant as their home planet exploded from a radioactive chain reaction.

Originally, Superman's powers were super-human, but nothing spectacular. Eventually, he developed into a full-fledged superhero with a secret identity (reporter Clark Kent) and a host of supernatural powers. Superman's most important powers were:

  • Flying (especially at extreme speeds)
  • Immense strength
  • Invulnerability (he can't be hurt)
  • X-ray vision
  • Heat vision

In addition, Superman has a host of lesser-known abilities such as:

  • Microscopic vision
  • Telescopic vision
  • Super memory
  • Super ventriloquism
  • Super breath
  • Super hearing

The classic Superman had only two weaknesses: kryptonite, a green-colored substance formed in the original explosion of the planet Krypton, and magic.

The Superman saga reached its zenith during the so-called Silver Age of comics (1956-1969). During this time, Superman was given a well-developed mythos, including a large cast of supporting characters, called the Superman Family, some of which had comic books of their own.

The most important members of the Superman Family were:

  • Superman himself, his secret identity Clark Kent, and Superboy (Superman when he was a teenager)
  • Supergirl (his cousin)
  • Jimmy Olsen (his best friend)
  • Lois Lane (his sort-of girlfriend)
  • Perry White (editor of the Daily Planet newspaper where Clark, Jimmy and Lois worked)
  • Lex Luthor (Superman's arch enemy)
  • Jonathan and Martha Kent (his adopted parents)

Lesser characters included:

  • Krypto (Superman's dog)
  • Lucy Lane (Lois' sister)
  • Lana Lang (Superboy's sort-of girlfriend)
  • Pete Ross (Superboy's best friend)
  • Jor-el and Lara (Superman's biological parents)
  • Lori Lemaris (a mermaid from Atlantis)