This page may contain some of the same content as the DC Database article. A more complete and current article is at the DC Comics Database Kal-El (Earth-31).
- I'm a detective. I'm not mighter than the pounding surf. I can't leap tall buildings with a single bound. But I'm smart. One hell of a lot smarter than you'll ever be.
- -- Batman
After his past fifty-year career as a superhero, Superman became a pawn to the United States Government and had been used as a participating covert agent during the Cold War. Concerned for his old friend, Batman returning back to crime-fighting and being targeted by the media, Superman visited Gotham City, and talked Batman into keeping a low profile.
Kal-El was later sent by his government to the South American country of Corto Maltese in support of the island nation's resistance against communist influence. In response to Superman's actions, the Soviet Union launched a nuclear warhead called Coldbringer into the United States. Superman manages to divert the missile to an uninhabited desert area before it detonates, but damage is done nonetheless as the warhead was designed to disrupt all electronics and communications in the Western Hemisphere as well as throw millions of tons of dust and debris into the atmosphere. Deprived of the sunlight that gives him his powers, Superman nearly dies, but somehow manages to use the solar energy stored in plant life to revive himself.
In the aftermath of the nuclear attack, the government then sent Superman in apprehending Batman for undermining their authority and to the actual extent, embarrassing them for ensuring Gotham City as one of the best-fed and restored city in America. Soon Superman and Batman became embroiled in a powerful battle, and, when Oliver Queen shoots Superman using an arrowhead loaded with Batman's synthetic Kryptonite, Batman emerges the winner. However, Batman dies of a heart attack shortly thereafter. Superman later attends Batman's funeral as Clark Kent, ravaged with guilt and sadness. Just as he turns to leave, however; he hears a faint heartbeat coming from Bruce's interred coffin, revealing that he faked his heart attack. Clark then winks to Bruce's protege Carrie Kelley in approving Bruce's charade and leaves.
Superman was abducted by the Monarch during one of his missions for the U.S. President. It was also observed that he was extremely anti-communist, actually talking down his Soviet counterpart from Earth-30. The conflicts between the Supermen are often peacefully defused by the more clearheaded Superman of Earth-16, Christopher Kent.
Deciding that Monarch is too dangerous a threat to allow to remain unchecked, the Earth-31 Superman decides to rally the assembled superpowered beings to directly confront the Monarch rather than comply with the selection process. However, Monarch proved himself too powerful for all the combined heroes and villains, including the Supermen, to fight against. When Breach was able to escape to the Multiverse in order to recruit the other Captain Atom counterparts against Monarch, the Supermen provided a distraction for Monarch from noticing Breach's absence.
Eventually, Superman was forced to battle his counterparts. After Superman and his Soviet counterpart were knocked out from absorbing the radiation after breaching the walls of the Arena, Christopher saves them and plans with the Supermen into allowing himself to combat Monarch by distracting him long enough for Christopher to be strong enough to defeat Monarch. Following the death of Christopher and the arrival of the Captain Atom Brigade, Earth-31 Superman was given the transporter rig by Breach who had managed to free himself from Monarch's control, and uses it to free Monarch's surviving prisoners, and escape, but not before carving his signature "S" emblem on Monarch's prison with his heat vision to spite the villain.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
- Kryptonian Physiology: Under the effects of a "yellow" sun, Superman possesses the same potential powers as an average Kryptonian. These include:
- Solar Energy Absorption: Under optimal conditions, this is the main source of Superman's super powers as they are contingent upon exposure to solar radiation from a yellow sun star system. His biological make up includes a number of organs which lack analogues in humans and whose functions are unknown. It is believed that between one or more of these and his bio-cellular matrix, "yellow" solar energy is stored for later use. This allows for the use of these powers to fade when yellow solar radiation is not available instead of immediate failure.
- Heat Vision: Superman can, as a conscious act, fire beams of heat at a target by looking at it.
- Super-Hearing: Superman' hearing a little more sensitive than that of a normal human. How far he can hear is unclear, but it's probably not that far. With skill and concentration, he can block out ambient sounds to focus on a specific source or frequency.
- X-Ray Vision: This is the ability to see through any volume of matter except lead. Superman's can see things behind a solid, opaque object as if it were not there. He can focus this ability to "peel back" layers of an object, allowing hidden image or inner workings to be observed. The exact type of energy perceived - such as x-rays, cosmic rays, or some other energy invisible to normal humans - is unclear. this ability perceives an ambient energy source though, it does not involve the eye projecting a concentrated, possibly toxic, beam to be reflected back from objects.
- Flight: Superman is able to manipulate graviton particles to defy the forces of gravity and achieve flight. This ranges from hovering to moving in any posture, in any direction.
- Superhuman Durability:: Superman is more resistant than a human, but can easily be hurt by Earthly objects and weaponry.
- Superhuman Strength: Superman's strength is augmented by yellow solar radiation interacting with the greater than human density, resilience and biological efficiency of his musculature. His strength is more an act of conscious will on energy fields than actual physical strength. It is this act of conscious will that enables him to perform physical feats that are beyond the mere application force, such as moving a mountain top without said rock crumbling under its own mass. However, Batman, with his suit, was able to easily keep up with Superman, proving Superman's not that strong.
- Superhuman Speed:: Superman is able to move at incredible speed by sheer force of will. This extends to his perceptions and allows for feats such as catching bullets in mid flight as well as covering vast distances in little or no time.
- Writer Keith Champagne has stated that the Superman of Earth-31 featured in Countdown: Arena is the Superman that appeared in Frank Miller's critically acclaimed series Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. 
Appearances in Other MediaEdit
- 14 Appearances of Kal-El (Earth-31)
- Images featuring Kal-El (Earth-31)
- Quotations by or about Kal-El (Earth-31)
- Character Gallery: Kal-El (Earth-31)
- ↑ Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #3
- ↑ Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #4
- ↑ Countdown: Arena #1
- ↑ Countdown: Arena #3
- ↑ Countdown: Arena #4
- ↑ Augie De Blieck Jr. (December 28th, 2007). "The Commentary Track: "Countdown: Arena" #4 w/ Keith Champagne". Comic Book Resources. http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=12229. Retrieved October 15 2008.