Superman (Earth-16) is an instance of the Superman character archetype.
Superman is the original superhero. He was a character Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster had created in the 1930s for an unsold newspaper strip. A few years later DC Comics were desperate for a lead feature for their new comic book and Jerry and Joe need the sale. The individual newspaper strips were cannibalized into a regular comic book saw print as the lead feature in Action Comics #1 (June 1938). What had remained unsold as a newspaper strip became a sensation as a comic book and birthed an entirely new genre of fiction. Since then Superman has had more incarnations than you can shake a stick at, but he always remained the foundation of the DC Universe.
The Superman of the Young Justice universe appears to be a very classic Superman with all the standard powers. He even orders “Apple Pie” at Bibbo’s Diner. It’s been stated a few times (e.g. Ask Greg) that Superman appeared about 10-years ago and started the modern heroic age on Earth-16. Superman’s first full appearance in the series is held off until the end of episode two. We see him briefly in a monitor screen talking to the League to show his presence in “Independence Day”, but it’s not until the end of “Fireworks” that we get the scene where he descends majestically out of the sky. (It’s was Superman’s space in that scene which was used for the Flaming-C’s addition to the cartoon).
Superman is voiced by Nolan North, the same voice actor who voices Superboy.
Superman was the first of the modern heroes. We haven’t seen origin recaps on-screen for any of the characters, but we know that this Superman is definitely a kryptonian, he lives in Metropolis, and he has been active for about a decade. His secret identity is Clark Kent and is known to Batman/Bruce Wayne. Superman protects his anonymity in day-to-day life by disguising himself as the mild mannered reporter Clark Kent. He was one of the founding members of the Justice League. Sometime prior to 16-weeks before the events of “Independence Day” the Light and the Project Cadmus acquired a sample of Superman’s DNA and used it to force grow a clone they called the “Superboy”. This remained hidden beneath Washington DC until Robin, Aqualad, and Kid Flash broke into Cadmus and liberated Superboy.
Superman was taken aback to discover that he had a teenage clone – effectively a “son”. Despite support from his fellow Justice Leaguers Superman was visibly uncertain of how to relate to Superboy and deliberately avoided interacting with him when possible (“Fireworks”). Superboy was looking for validation, even acknowledgement, from his “father”, but Superman referred him to Batman even when directly asked for help in determining the limits of Superboy’s powers. During the Amazo incident Superboy’s behaviour became increasingly erratic and Batman as Bruce Wayne took Clark to task for avoiding him. However, Clark refused to support Bruce’s analysis that he and Superboy were defacto father and son (“Schooled”).
Powers and Abilities
Superman is a kryptonian and gains fantastic super abilities while under Earth’s yellow Sun. He has vast super strength, speed, and invulnerability. He can fly, has heat vision, and can see through solid objects.