Superman Supporting Cast
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The List of supporting characters in Superman is the cast of characters secondary to the main character of Superman in the Superman comics, television programs, cartoons, and movies. Almost all versions reference the source material of the comic book version and therefore the various iterations in all forms of media share an overlapping set of characters.
List of supporting characters
Many of these characters underwent significant revisions during DC Comics' Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline published in 1985 in addition the natural evolution of fictional characters over their multi-decade publication history.
- Lois Lane: Superman's love interest, who is traditionally portrayed as being indifferent to Clark, but in love with Superman; in current comics, Clark and Lois are married. Actresses portraying Lois have included Noel Neill, Phyllis Coates, Margot Kidder, Teri Hatcher, Dana Delany, Erica Durance, and Kate Bosworth.
- Jimmy Olsen: Daily Planet photographer who often works with Lois and Clark, and has become a good friend to both. Jimmy is also known to have associated with Superman, earning him the nickname "Superman's Pal."
- Perry White: Editor-in-chief of the Daily Planet. Is noted for his trademark cigars and gruff, but caring demeanor with his staff.
- Lana Lang: Clark Kent's childhood friend from Smallville. Pre-Crisis, Lana often suspected Clark of being Superboy; post-Crisis, Clark told Lana about his powers in high school before leaving Smallville. Later, Lana married Pete Ross, and had a son named Clark; Lana and Pete later divorced. At one time, pre-crisis Lana gained super powers and had several adventures as the Insect Queen. During the 1970s, Lang was also a co-worker with Clark Kent during his time as a television reporter for WGBS.
- Pete Ross: Clark Kent's childhood friend from Smallville. Pre-Crisis, Pete accidentally discovered Clark was really Superboy, but kept the knowledge a secret from Clark. Post-Crisis, he didn't learn Clark's secret until much later, and had married Lana Lang, with whom he had a son named Clark; Lana and Pete later divorced. Pete Ross was recently thought to be a villain named Ruin but was cleared of suspicion in Adventures of Superman #646.
- Lori Lemaris: A mermaid who Clark Kent dated while attending Metropolis University, and was the first person he proposed marriage to (though Lori turned him down). Lori returned to current comic continuity as a prelude to Clark and Lois's short-lived breakup in a 1996 storyline.
- Jonathan and Martha Kent: Superman's foster parents who adopted and raised him after he landed on Earth. Often referred to as Ma and Pa Kent. Pre-Crisis they died shortly after Clark's high school graduation; post-Crisis, they have not yet died.
- Chris Kent: Introduced in 2006, Chris Kent is the foster son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, and the natural son of Kryptonian super-villains General Zod and Ursa. Chris possesses at least some of Superman's powers.
- Professor Phineas Potter: Pre-Crisis, Professor Potter was an eccentric scientist who used his talents to sometimes assist Superboy or Superman. Potter was depicted in Superboy stories as Lana Lang's maternal uncle.
- Professor Emil Hamilton: Post-Crisis, Professor Hamilton fills the role that Professor Potter did pre-Crisis, as a STAR Labs scientist who lends his assistance as needed to Superman.
- Police Chief Douglas Parker: The chief of Smallville's police department; Chief Parker mainly appeared in Silver Age Superboy stories, but has been little seen in recent years.
- The Justice League of America: a team of superheroes of which Superman is a member and often the leader. Other notable JLA members include Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Arrow, and Green Lantern.
- Kelex: In post-Crisis stories, a Kryptonian robot who originally served Jor-El on Krypton. Kelex currently maintains Superman's Fortress of Solitude.
- Inspector Henderson: One of Metropolis' top police officers introduced on Adventures of Superman television series, he was adapted into the comics in the 1980s and appeared on Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.
- Sgt Maggie Sawyer: Introduced in the Post-Crisis comics, Sawyer was a member of Metropolis' Special Crimes Unit (SCU).
- Morgan Edge, media tycoon and owner of the WGBS television station, where Clark and Lana Lang worked during the 1970s era of the Superman comic books. Later became a villain.
- Steve Lombard, blowhard sports reporter for WGBS who was a recurring character (and occasional romantic nemesis) for Clark Kent during the mid-1970s era. Lombard makes an appearance in All Star Superman #9 (2007).
- Catherine "Cat" Grant, gossip columnist for The Daily Planet, introduced in post-Crisis comics as a potential love interest for Clark. A divorcée and single mother, she became the focus of a tragic storyline that saw her son Adam murdered by the Toyman. Later, she became press secretary for President Lex Luthor.
Although Superman is often called the Last Son of Krypton, a number of other superpowered heroes, either directly Kryptonian, partially Kryptonian, or non-Kryptonian but with some association to Superman, have appeared across his long history. Some of these are:
- Supergirl: Pre-Crisis, Supergirl is Kara Zor-El, Superman's cousin from Argo City, a city that for a time had survived the destruction of Krypton until its residents died of kryptonite radiation. Her parents send her to Earth, where Superman guides her in her development as a superhero. Post-Crisis, several versions of Supergirl have been introduced. The most significant of these are Matrix and Linda Danvers, who had a complicated relationship to one another. In 2004, a new version of Kara Zor-El was introduced in issues of Superman/Batman, arriving on Earth as a teen like the original Kara.
- Superboy: Pre-Crisis, Superboy is Superman's first costumed identity, which he assumes at age 8 and retains until he becomes Superman at age 21. Post-Crisis, Superboy is a clone, originally thought to have been of Superman, that is created after Superman dies during the Death of Superman storyline. Superboy later finds out that he is actually a hybrid of human and Kryptonian DNA. At first, he believes his human DNA comes from Paul Westfield, director of Project Cadmus. Later, in Teen Titans, he discovers that his human DNA comes from Lex Luthor. Some months later, Superboy dies saving the world during Infinite Crisis. Superboy's Kryptonian name is Kon-El, and his secret identity is Conner Kent, cousin of Clark.
- Lar Gand aka Mon-El: From Daxamite, a planet similar to Krypton, Lar stops on Krypton just prior to its destruction. He eventually makes it to Earth and befriends Clark Kent (originally Superboy), who gives him the name Mon-El and puts him in the Phantom Zone when he receives a fatal dose of lead poisoning. After a thousand years, Lar is cured and freed by the Legion of Super-Heroes. In the main DC continuities extant from 1990-2004, Lar Gand has a different history as the hero Valor.
- Steel: An engineer genius named John Henry Irons who creates a high-tech, mechanized suit of armor to fight crime in, after Superman's death in the Death of Superman storyline, and still serves as a superhero today. His niece Natasha Irons has also fought crime as Steel.
- Eradicator: Originally a strange Kryptonian device recovered by Superman, the Eradicator creates the Fortress of Solitude as part of an attempt to establish Kryptonian civilization on Earth. Later, it gains more sentience, and has since become a hero in its own right. His current (2008) status is unknown.
- Superwoman: Several versions of a Superwoman have appeared; often, she is Lois Lane, temporarily granted superpowers. Shortly before the Crisis, Kristin Wells, a descendant of Jimmy Olsen from the future, assumed the identity of Superwoman.
- Power Girl: A version of Kara Zor-El (Supergirl) from Earth-Two and the cousin of Superman (Kal-L).
- Ariella Kent: The daughter of an alternate timeline version of Superman and Supergirl (Linda Danvers). She operates in the 853rd century.
- Strange Visitor: A childhood friend of Clark Kent's from Smallville, who gained Superman's electrical powers and wore his old containment suit from the period when he was an electrical being. She was later revealed to be the cosmic entity, Kismet.
- Krypto the Superdog: Pre-Crisis, Krypto is the El family's pet dog on Krypton, who eventually wound up on Earth and gained superpowers like Superman's. Post-Crisis, Krypto was not reintroduced until the early 2000s, but has since been a regular supporting character in Superman comics as the faithful companion of both Superman and Superboy (Kon-El). His current origin resembles his original one.
- Comet, the Superhorse: Supergirl's flying horse, originally a Centaur, but cursed to live as a full horse. At various times he has had romantic feelings for Supergirl. Post-Crisis, he was given a different, stranger history.
- Streaky the Supercat: Supergirl's normal household cat, accidentally given superpowers by a new type of Kryptonite. Streaky regularly fights alongside Krypto in the animated series Krypto, the Superdog.
- Whizzy: 30th century descendant of Streaky, the Supercat.
Characters specific to other media
There have been a number of characters who appeared in Superman television shows, movies, and radio dramas that never made their way to the comics. Among them are:
- Chloe Sullivan: Clark's friend at high school in the 2000s television series Smallville. In this series, Chloe runs Smallville High School's student newspaper, the Torch, and looks into weird and kryptonite-generated phenomena in the town. She has a romantic interest in Clark, and can be considered a proto-Lois Lane character, although in later seasons, Lois was introduced to the show as her cousin. Recently, Chloe is shown getting a job with the Daily Planet and dating Jimmy Olsen.
- Lionel Luthor: Lex Luthor's father from the Smallville television series. While Luthor's father has been depicted prior to the debut of Smallville in the comics, he was never a prominent figure, unlike this series. Smallville characterizes him as very similar to the adult post-Crisis Lex, as a corrupt, powerful businessman with sinister tendencies.
- Willi Berg: An early boyfriend of Lois Lane who later becomes Clark's friend and ally when he first leaves Smallville. Willi is a photographer, and by the end of the story gets a job with the Daily Planet. Only appears in Tom DeHaven's novel, "It's Superman!"
- T.J. White: Clark's college roommate in the 1990s television series Superboy and the nephew of Perry White. In the series, he works with Clark on their university's student newspaper.
- Richard White: Lois Lane's fiance and Perry White's nephew in the movie Superman Returns.
- Jason White: In the movie Superman Returns, Jason is Lois Lane's son. Though he is also presented as Richard's son, Lois reveals to Superman that the boy is actually Superman's child. Jason apparently shares some of his father's superpowers.