Superman is born Kal-El on the alien planet Krypton. His parents, Jor-El and Lara become aware of Krypton's impending destruction and Jor-El begins constructing a spacecraft that would carry Kal-El to Earth. During Krypton's last moments, Jor-El places young Kal-El in the spacecraft and launches it. Jor-El and Lara die as the spacecraft barely escapes Krypton's fate. The explosion transforms planetary debris into kryptonite, a radioactive substance that is lethal to superpowered (as by Earth's yellow sun) Kryptonians.
The spacecraft lands in the rural United States, where it is found by a passing motorist. Jonathan and Martha Kent adopt Kal-El and name him Clark Kent. As Clark grows up on Earth, he and his adoptive parents discover that he has superhuman powers. The Kents teach Clark to use these powers responsibly to help others and fight crime.
Clark keeps his powers secret in order to protect his family and friends, who might be endangered by his criminal enemies. In order to use his powers to help humanity, Clark creates the alter ego of Superman. A number of elements are added to each identity to keep them distinct enough to prevent the casual observer from matching them. Superman wears a characteristic red and blue costume with a letter "S" emblem and a cape. Clark Kent takes to wearing glasses, styling his hair differently, changing his body language, significantly altering his voice, and wearing looser clothing and suits that hide his physique.
Clark Kent moves to Metropolis and takes a job as a reporter at the Daily Planet, where he meets his friends and co-workers, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and Editor Perry White.
Superman becomes the subject of frequent headline stories written by Lois, and the two become romantically attracted to each other.