This section provides information on the variation of character interpretations both pre-Crisis and in iterations since Crisis. Focus is on characters defined by their given name (Alan Scott, Jay Garrick, etc.) rather than code name (Green Lantern, Flash). Emphasis is on interpretations where the character had a major role versus a cameo or non-essential story role to minimize clutter.
The Golden Age Superman
The Superman of Earth-One has a similar origin as his
Earth-Two counterpart, shifting roughly twenty years in the future. Kal-El (rather than Kal-L) is known to have grown up in Smallville before moving to Metropolis to start a reporting career. Differences from Kal-L include a childhood relationship with Lex Luthor, who becomes his greatest foe when he accidentally ruins an experiment and renders Lex bald (Adventure Comics #271). Friends in Smallville include Lana Lang (who left the town before meeting Clark) and Pete Ross. The largest difference in the early career of the Superman of Earth-One is starting his costumed career as Superboy (More Fun Comics #101) and joining the Legion of Super-Heroes (Adventure Comics #247). After the deaths of his parents, he moves to Metropolis, joins the Daily Planet, not Star, and works for Perry White, not George Taylor. He is founding member of the Justice League of America and encounters similar foes as his Earth-One counterpart - The Toyman, The Prankster, Metallo and Mr. Mxyzptlk. His maintains a Fortress of Solitude in the Arctic, rather than surrounding mountains. Of import, the Superman of this timeline is by far the only survivor of Krypton. In addition to his cousin Kara, who adopted a career as Supergirl (Action Comics #252), Argo City of Krypton survived the planet's destruction intact and now floats in space, the entire city of Kandor was taken by the alien conqueror Brainiac and now resides in a bottle in the Fortress and a Phantom Zone exists, filled with criminals from Krypton's history, condemned for capital crimes. that escape from time. Additional individual survivors include Nam-Ek, an immortal human/rondor hybrid who blown into space by Krypton's death throes and super-pets Krypto and Beppo. Superman was active up until Crisis though his final fate in the Earth-One timeline is unknown.
The Superman of the Post-Crisis timeline Earth has an identical appearance to his counterparts on several worlds but differs in several respects. The Kal-El of this timeline comes from a sterile world of Krypton were intimacy is minimal. He arrives in Smallville but has no career has Superboy and his adoptive parents, Jonathan and Martha, live into old age and are a source of comfort and refuge to their son. He has no relationship with Lex Luthor, a ruthless billionaire in this timeline, until he has him arrested for a minor offense, earning him Luthor's eternal enmity(The Man of Steel LS #1-6). . Like Kal-L, he eventually marries Lois Lane (Superman the Wedding Album #1). A key important event is his death and resurrection at the hands of Doomsday, a surviving Kryptonian monster (Superman Vol. 2 #75).
The Kal-El of this Earth has a similar origin to his other Kryptonian counterparts, tho in this timeline Krypton is destroyed by the Dhernonians, an alien race with whom they have been at war when the traitor Zod-El betrayed his people. Other than Zod, Kal-El is thought to be the sole survivor of Krypton. He arrives on Earth at the end of the 20th Century and is raised by the Kents but only Martha survives into his adulthood. He finds employment at the Daily Planet, encounters a version of the Parasite and Lex Luthor and establishes a relationship with Lisa Lasalle. Lois Lane is a reporter who acts a political conscience, which he needs when the world has a mixed reaction of awe and fear of his exploits (Superman:Earth One #1-3).
The Superman of this Earth is thought to have a somewhat similar history to his other counterparts, surviving Krypton along with his cousin Kara. He is married to Lois Lane Kent, who is killed when Darkseid attacked Earth and Metropolis destroyed. Superman appears to lose his life when he, Batman and Wonder Woman attack Darkseid's forces (Earth-2 #1) but is actually captured and used to fuel a clone factory until he is liberated and sacrifices himself to destroy it (Earth-2: World's End #15). His role is assumed by his cousin Val-Zod.
In this timeline, Kal-Il, son of maniacal Jor-Il, who jettison's his son while Krypton was destroyed. Arriving on Earth, the infant Kryptonian was raised by the equally dysfunctional John and Martha Kent, growing into a conqueror who is the greatest criminal on Earth and a founder of the Crime Syndicate of America (Justice League of America Vol. 1 #29, Justice League Vol. 2 #23)
Kal-Lof the Earth-10 timeline survived the explosion of Krypton and landed in Czechoslovakia in 1938. There he was found by Nazi forces and raised to be Overman, supreme defender of the Reich. He defeated American forces and led to the Nazi forces to rule most of the world. With an conquered peace, he left Earth to explore his heritage, only to return to see the Nazi Holocaust in full bloom. He became increasingly disillusioned with the Nazi regime and when the terrorist organization destroyed Metropolis, he again fled to the stars. His current whereabouts are unknown (Multiversity: Mastermen #1, Freedom Fighters Vol. 3 #5-6).
The best known survivor of Krypton in the Earth-11 timeline is female and adopts the name Superwoman, where she is a founding member of the Justice Guild (Countdown: The Search for Ray Palmer: Superwoman and Batwoman). She is married and has a daughter, Supergirl, who is also a costumed adventurer (DC Very Merry Multiverse #1).
The history of Superman in this timeline is largely similar to his Earth-0 counterpart. By the mid-21st century, he is an elder statesman among Earth's Super-hero population and has outlived his wife, Lois Kent. He abandons the Clark Kent identity at some point and his adopts a new one as a firefighter. He remains active with his version of the Justice League (Superman Beyond #1-20)
Little is known of the Superman of this timeline, save his has fallen in battle against Lex Luthor and is survived by a son, Chris Kent (Multiversity: The Just).
A journalist named Clark Kent lived in the 19th century of this timeline but his Kryptonian heritage, if any, is unknown (The Justice Riders LS).
The Kal-L of the Earth-21 timeline has a largely similar pre-1950 history to his Earth-Two counterpart. On this Earth, the US government became increasingly more paranoid of it's costumed protectors, enacting more authoritarian policies until an alien force known as the Center lead to the banding together of a new group of heroes who became the Justice League of this timeline (DC New Frontier LS).
The Superman of Earth-22 arrived on Earth in later 20th century and became one of the leading protectors of Mankind. Around the turn of the century, the Joker attacked the Daily Planet, killing everyone inside including Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane. Vowing that despite his personal losses, justice would prevail, Superman was appalled when a new hero, Magog, murdered the Joker with impunity and public acclaim. Feeling he was not the hero for the times, he went to solitude until the action of next-generation vigilantes resulted in the destruction of Kansas. The now-elder stateman of the superhero community reformed the Justice League to restore order but the ensuing violence convinced world governments to attempt to destroy them all with a nuclear assault as they battled each other. Superman survived the explosion with a number of others and resolved to form a more healthy relationship with normal humans. He married Wonder Woman, beginning a long dynasty of heroes (Kingdom Come LS). It was later revealed that the explosion in Kansas knocked him into the Earth-0 timeline where he had series of adventures with the Justice Society before returning to the explosion aftermath on Earth-22 (Justice Society of America Vol. 3 #9-22). While he is thought to be extremely long-lived, his ultimate fate in this timeline is unknown.