The Last Secrets of Krypton
Jor-El: “You will give the people of Earth an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you, they will stumble, they will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders.”Man of Steel
We all know who Superman is. He’s the archetypal superhero, the Last Son of Krypton, and the most well known superhero on Earth. We know his backstory, his superpowers, his villains and so much more.
There are secrets about Big Blue that DC has hidden over the years, either because they are silly or they never came up again. So what has Superman been hiding all these years? Let’s find out.
#5 Super Menagerie
[an eldritch horror has just saved Superman]
Solaris: “What is that?!”
Superman: “The natural enemy of a living solar computer. Tyrant Sun… meet my pet Sun-Eater!” –All-Star Superman
Superman has a lot of pets. Krypto the Superdog is only the tip of this iceberg. During the 1950s, Superman had a pet monkey named Beppo who had also survived Krypton’s destruction. As you might guess, Beppo gained superpowers and became Super-Monkey. The ’50s were a weird time.
The Fortress of Solitude contains a zoo filled with alien animals. Superman created this zoo to take care of the wayward critters after rescuing them from a fleet of space poachers. This zoo contains everything from the dream-inducing parasite Black Mercy to the monstrous Sun-Eater.
Yes, Superman has a Lovecraftian monster that eats suns as a pet. In the series All-Star Superman, Supes attempted to release it into the wild, but the Sun-Eater returned to rescue him from the Tyrant Sun, Solaris. Despite being its natural prey, Solaris killed the Sun-Eater. As any pet owner can guess, this pissed Superman off so much that he killed Solaris. Don’t screw with Superman’s pets.
#4 Thirty-One Flavors of Kryptonite
Professor Hamilton: [performing an operation] “Hold still, Galatea! You’re invulnerable. This can’t possibly be hurting you.”
Galatea: “Boredom is my kryptonite… Okay, Kryptonite is my kryptonite, but you know what I mean.”
Justice League: Unlimited, “Panic in the Sky” (Season 2, Episode 11)
Kryptonite is one of the most famous weaknesses in fiction, second only to Achilles’ Heel. Fittingly, both have become jargon for a person’s greatest weakness. Green Kryptonite emits radiation that is lethal to Kryptonians and can poison humans. Oh, and there’s a rainbow of other Kryptonites.
Red is the most common variant. It causes a random effect in Kryptonians, like forcing them to speak in sonnets or physically become a super-chicken. Red Kryptonite turns Superman evil in most adaptations. There’s also blue Kryptonite that heals Kryptonians and hurts the Superman clone, Bizarro.
Silver Kryptonite makes its victim suffer hallucinations of their fears. Gold Kryptonite can permanently de-power Kryptonians. There’s even Pink Kryptonite that once turned Superman gay. I’m not even joking.
#3 Superboy’s Other Father
Lex Luthor: “None of that is what really bothers you. Half your DNA is human. Haven’t you wondered who the donor was? Or have you just been afraid to acknowledge the obvious. Face it, son, you have much more in common with me than with Superman.”
Young Justice, “Agendas” (Season 1, Episode 22)
DC created a quartet of replacements following The Death of Superman. The most popular of those four was Superboy, a teenaged combined clone of Superman and human DNA. Superboy was brash and arrogant, but soon learned to be a true hero. But the question remained, where did the human DNA come from?
The question was finally answered in the lead-up to Infinite Crisis. Lex Luthor was the source of Superboy’s human DNA. Luthor created Superboy to be a sleeper agent in the superhero community and unleashed him on the Teen Titans. Despite constantly manipulating his son, it’s been implied that Luthor cares about him.
It’s kind of creepy that Luthor and Superman have a kid considering how much time and effort the former puts into killing the latter. Family dinners are gonna be awkward.
#2 Superman One Million
Superman: “Start again, I’m alive in the 853rd century?! [quietly] in the sun?”
DC One Million
Have you ever wondered what will become of Superman in the future? Wonder no more!
Superman One Million was an ordinary version of Superman who absorbed enough solar energy to become immortal. As centuries passed and his friends aged into dust, a depressed Superman flew off into space to explore the universe, allegedly even venturing to Heaven and Hell.
Superman returned ages later, shaken from what he had seen. He passed along a portion of his enhanced powers to his descendants to create the Superman Dynasty, then flew into the heart of the sun to repair it. He finished in the 853rd century, emerging with reality warping powers that he used to resurrect Lois Lane, Jor-El, and all of Krypton.
Superman One Million is far and away the most powerful version of Superman. Even crazier, he is canon thanks to the event comic DC One Million.
#1 Dual Wielding Captain America’s Shield and Mjolnir
Captain America: “I’ll need you to take the brunt of the attack. But even you aren’t a match for the power Krona can bring to bear. I’ll be in the command ship, coordinating the assault, so [hands Superman his shield] I’d like you to carry this.”JLA/Avengers
Superman: “I’m… I’m honored, Captain. I’ll do my best to wield it well.”
The original superhero wielding two of the most iconic weapons from the Marvel Universe? Sign me up!
The Justice League and The Avengers were manipulated into fighting each other in the series JLA/Avengers. They eventually came to grips with one another and united to face their manipulator, the god-like scientist Krona. Unfortunately for them, Krona had prepared for the heroes’ interference by mind controlling every villain in the DC and Marvel Universes.
The heroes of both worlds formed an army, but required a vanguard. Captain America loaned Superman his indestructible shield, which helped Supes fight his way to Krona’s stronghold. Superman was unable to break through the stronghold’s force field until Thor threw his hammer, Mjolnir, to him. The combination of Mjolnir’s divine power and Superman’s own godlike strength annihilated the field, leading to the final battle.
We’ve already discussed how powerful Superman is in a top 10. Tossing in Thor’s godly powers from Mjolnir and Captain America’s indestructible shield is simply overkill. And damn if it isn’t awesome. Thor even noted that Mjolnir was in good hands while Superman asked Cap where he could get a similar shield.
Didya get all that?
There are some Super-Secrets even glasses can’t hide.
Jared Bounacos has written for Movie Rewind since 2017.