Superman is Earth's premiere superhero and the stalwart protector of Metropolis. Born Kal-El on the distant planet Krypton, he was sent to Earth as a child to survive Krypton's destruction. Raised with high moral ideals, he uses his extraordinary superpowers to fight evil and protect the innocent. In his civilian identity he is Clark Kent, a mild-mannered reporter working for the Daily Planet in Metropolis.
Kal-El was born on the distant planet Krypton to the scientist Jor-El and his wife Lara Lor-Van in the midst of a planet-wide war. Kal-El was a naturally-born child, which is outlawed on Krypton where all children are genetically engineered to become a more efficient being. When the planet was about to explode and to ensure their son's survival, his parents sent Kal-El away in a ship designed to carry him to safety away from the planet, sending him to Earth, where Jor-El knew of a scout ship sent prior where Kal-El would grow up with extraordinary abilities and where he would look identical to the planet's natives. His ship landed undetected in Smallville, Kansas and he was found by a local farming couple, Jonathan Kent and his wife Martha. They took him in and illegally adopted him renaming him "Clark Kent" after Martha's maiden name.
When Clark was nine years old, his body began to change in a way that would define his life forever. To the shock of Jonathan and Martha, Clark began developing super powered abilities, the extent of which none of them knew. When Clark's super-hearing and x-ray vision first developed and all the noises he could hear manifested at once, it was troublesome for the young Kryptonian to handle. He ran out of class and into a closet. Martha was called to school and helped Clark control his new abilities.
When Clark was thirteen years old, whilst traveling on a school bus with his class, the bus crashed into a river. With the bus overturned, Clark decided that he must use his abilities to save everybody on the bus and using his super-strength pushed the bus to the safety of the river bank. Several children saw Clark do this Lana Lang and two bullies who relentlessly bullied Clark over the years, Whitney Fordham and Pete Ross. Pete's mother, Helen, confronted Martha and Jonathan about the unusual events that occur around Clark, but they defended their son claiming there was nothing special about him.
Jonathan finds Clark sitting on an old broken down truck gazing into the fields and tried to convince him that he had to hide his abilities from the world if he was to be safe because not everybody would be as understanding as they were, but Clark argued that he should not hide if he can help people. Questioning his place in the world, Jonathan decided to reveal to Clark how he came to them. In the barn, under the floor, Jonathan revealed Clark's ship to him along with the House of El Command key confirming that Clark was an alien and came to them from the stars. Shocked and afraid, Clark asked if he could still pretend to be Jonathan's son who simply hugged his adoptive son and said he would always be his son. Jonathan said that Clark must, in time, find the reason he was sent to Earth.
A short while later, a group of kids led by Ken Braverman and a reluctant Pete confronted Clark when he was waiting for his father while reading a book in his their family's pick-up truck. Ken dragged Clark out of the truck and throws him to the ground to try and prove there was nothing special about the quiet young boy. Clark desperately wanted to hit the bully, but managed to stifle the urge by crushing the steel post of the fence behind him. The group of bullies rushed away when they realized Jonathan was a short distance away watching them with the owner of a shop; except for Pete who held his hand out to Clark to help him up and calmly walking away when Jonathan approached. Clark admitted that he wanted to hurt Ken, which Jonathan could not help but agree with; but explained it would accomplish nothing in the end and that one day Clark would change the world.
When Clark was seventeen years old, he was out with Jonathan and Martha, stuck in a traffic jam on a highway, when a tornado swept through the region. People began evacuating their vehicles with Jonathan telling Clark to get Martha to safety. Clark realized he could help people with his abilities but Jonathan told him to to not use them and to keep them secret. As Jonathan was helping other people, Clark came to help, taking a little girl to safety. In the ensuing chaos, Jonathan died filling Clark with guilt. Shortly after this traumatic episode, Clark heeded his fathers wishes and left Smallville on a quest to find the reason he was sent to Earth.
Clark found work on a fishing boat, soon encountering danger as an oil rig exploded. Clark took it upon himself to save the people that were caught in the flames. He then swam to shore and found a new job in a bar. While at work, Chrissy, a waitress, was getting harassed by a local to the bar, Ludlow. Clark stepped in only to have a beer thrown in his face. Clark was tempted to hit the trucker, but Chrissy persuaded him that it was not worth it. Ludlow continued to taunt Clark as he left and destroyed Ludlow's truck by putting several pieces of timber through the vehicle.
At the bar Clark overheard of a military site being set up in the Antarctic. He got a job working near to the site and carried Lois Lane's bags to her living quarters. Clark then went to investigate the artifact for himself, unaware the reporter was following him. Using his heat vision he melted his way through the ice down to a massive alien ship. As he wandered around the enormous ship he finds a port to which fits the Command key, but is attacked by the ship's automated defense system. He uses the key to give himself access to the system. He explored the ship, finding four pods, three containing long dead bodies and the other completely empty.
During Clark's exploration, Lois entered the ship and accidentally activated the defense system, getting injured in the process. Clark saved her by destroying the defense robot and cauterizing her wounds with his heat vision, revealing his existence to her before she passed out. Leaving her outside in an area she would be safe and found quickly by the military, Clark returns to the ship which automatically takes off for a remote area of Antarctica.
An interactive projection of Jor-El appears and greets Clark. Jor-El informed him of his true name Kal-El, his people's history on Krypton and its downfall thanks to Zod. Jor-El shows him technology on the ship, including the Genesis Chamber; a technology Kryptonians used to procreate. Jor-El then showed Clark their family crest, the symbol of "Hope" for the Kryptonian people and Kal's unique nature as the first naturally born child of Krypton in generations, a being who can choose his own purpose. Jor-El finally gives him a suit he had the ship create for Kal-El before imploring his son to keep pushing his limits to be a symbol of hope for the people of Earth.
Clark then began testing his powers, trying many times to fly before taking off and soaring high into orbit of Earth. Clark returned home to Smallville and greeted his mother with a hug. He explained to her the travels he went on and that he found the answers he was looking for. Meanwhile, Lois was investigating her mysterious savior and eventually found her way to the farm with questions about Clark, leading her to the cemetery where Jonathan was buried. Clark found her at the cemetery where he revealed the reason he died to protect Clark from the world, convincing her to not publish a story revealing him to the world as Clark Kent.