While Tyler Hoechlin’s Superman may not be coming back to the Supergirl TV show anytime soon, there are plenty of characters in the Super-mythos that the show can dip into. Here, we take a look at some of the most obscure characters from Superman’s universe, both friend, and foe, that we would like to see make a resurgence, be it on Supergirl or in the comics.
As her name implies, Lucy Lane is in fact related to the Lois Lane. The younger of the Lane sisters, Lucy classically served as a romantic interest for Superman’s best pal, Jimmy Olsen. In modern iterations of the character, she has followed in her father’s footsteps and gone into the military. Eventually enlisted by her father into a top secret project that granted her super powers, Lucy became Superwoman, on a mission involved in a conspiracy to kill Superman. All of this was part of the New Krypton crossover going on in the Supergirl series which has been collected into a trade.
While the alias of two different characters, Albert Michaels and Joseph Martin, the idea is that some sort of horrific scientific accident causes them to become super strong, emit beams of radiation, and… have a cool looking glowing skull for a head.
The Kryptonite Man is less of a proper villain than he is a recurring pain in Superman’s side, regularly showing up in a different form or capacity every time he rears his ugly, poisonous head. Occasionally a being of pure green radiation, mostly a man infused with said radiation’s energy, the Kryptonite Man is a sure fire way to get Superman beat up. The most recent version of the character, Clay Ramsay, appeared in the New 52 Action Comics Annual #1, where his origin is told and available here.
Lori Lemaris is one of those novel concepts that never really made her way out of the Silver Age that she was created in, which is a shame. A mermaid from the city Tritonis, a division of Atlantis, Lori first appeared way back in Superman #129 in 1959, as a college girlfriend of Clark Kent’s. Hiding her… mer-legs… mer-fin?… tail in the disguise of a wheelchair, Lori eventually had to return to Atlantis, revealing to Clark that not only was she not human, but that she knew his secret identity due to her telepathy. She has since appeared in a few modern stories, but nothing of note since a 2007 arc of Superman : Confidential.
The long lost, Phantom Zone-baby of General Zod, Christopher Kent came to earth in a rocket and was found by Lois Lane and Clark Kent. Raising the child as their own, they quickly learned of Christopher’s heritage as Zod came to Earth looking for his child. After spending some time in the Phantom Zone, Christopher emerged rapidly aged, now as a young man, and began fighting crime as the Kryptonian version of the hero Nightwing.
A Daxamite, which is essentially a Kryptonian that is weak to lead as opposed to kryptonite, Lar-Gand landed on Earth with amnesia and was found by a young Clark Kent. Naming him “Mon-El”, and assuming him to be his own older brother, Clark eventually accidentally exposes him to lead and sends him to the Phantom Zone to save his life. The Legion of Superheroes in the 31st century eventually retrieve and cure him, where he becomes a valued member of the team. A great introduction to the Mon-El, the Legion, and the mythology of all of them is the Final Crisis : Legion of 3 Worlds storyline from 2009, which has since been collected here.
Professor Emil Hamilton was a longtime ally of Superman, constantly aiding him in any problem that was super-science involved. Eventually discovering that Superman’s powers were not just utilizing yellow sunlight, but absorbing it, he deemed that Superman was doing more harm than good, and became a supervillain. Going by the code name of Ruin, he began targeting Superman’s friends and family.
Kenny Braverman was born on the same night that Clark Kent’s rocket ship landed on earth. As the rocket passed over the car that Kenny was born in, it exposed baby Kenny to radiation. Infused with Kryptonite-like radiation, Kenny was a sickly child, constantly feeling overshadowed by his classmate Clark Kent. Eventually, he realized what he was, and what he could do with his new power, and he became the villain Conduit.
In the same story line that re-introduced Lucy Lane as Superwoman, it was revealed that General Sam Lane was responsible for many attacks on Superman. One of the most effective was Atlas, an old creation of Jack Kirby, who is a magically powered being with superb strength. Despite Superman’s weakness to magic, Atlas did not defeat him, but not until after one of the most epic fights in comic books. This story has since been made available online for purchase, which you can find here.
Superman’s descendant from the 853rd century, Kal Kent is the Superman of his era. First appearing during the DC One Million event in the 1990’s, Kal has gone on to make appearances in many DC stories, even in Morrison’s own All-Star Superman series. His appearance in All-Star hints at a greater role in the history of Superman, and it has since been collected into a trade paperback, available here.