Since his creation over 75 years ago, Superman has gained a reputation for being one of the most over-powered characters in fiction. After his alien parents jettisoned him to Earth from their exploding world, our planet's yellow sun nourished his developing body, ensuring he had all of the powers of an average Kryptonian. Average to a Kryptonian, but awe-inspiring to us ordinary humans. Superman's body functions like a solar-powered battery; when charged up with radiation he possesses superhuman strength, speed, stamina and reflexes. All of his senses are greatly enhanced, especially his vision, allowing him to see telescopically and microscopically, as well in X-Ray, infrared, and into the electromagnetic spectrum. He can also use some of his senses offensively in the form of his heat vision and super breath.
Superman is also invulnerable to everything but magic and the multicolored, radioactive chunks of his destroyed home-world: Kryptonite. Even without his superpowers, Clark Kent is the perfect balance of brains and brawn. He's been expertly trained in a variety of fighting styles by his fellow Justice Leaguers like Wild Cat, Wonder Woman, and Batman, and— partly thanks to his brain's super speedy processing power— he's a great intellect, too. Perhaps his most impressive skill, however, is the mental discipline he's mastered to maintain his status as an incorruptible force for good, not only keeping probing forces out but keeping his own grip on his phenomenal powers in check. In short, Kal-El is one tough cookie. But, some of his super offspring have some tricks up their spandex sleeves that even their progenitor can't pull off.
The ability to move things with your mind is an enviable one for most superheroes, and at least two of Superman's sons can boast that they're able to do it. Jonathan Lane Kent is the son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane in a future timeline, first appearing in 2013's Superboy, Vol. 6 #19. He took up the Superboy mantle after Kon-El's passing.
Jon's telekinetic powers are considerable. With it, he can focus his energy into a psychic energy blast, move objects the size of mountains, disable complex devices, and even pull an enemy limb from limb. Lor-Zod, the biological son of General Zod raised by Superman, is also telekinetic, but his grasp on the power is far less advanced than Jon's.
As well as telekinesis, Jonathan Lane Kent is also a proficient telepath. Jon's half-human, half-alien body is an unstable one, and his molecular disharmony means the full extent of some of his powers aren't known. What we do know about his mind probing powers are that they aren't as well developed as his telekinetic ones.
Still, Jon proved himself capable of at least being able to enter and pull information from an undefended mind in Superboy, Vol. 6 #27 when he teamed up with his fellow Teen Titan— and more experienced psychic— Raven. (Their unholy union was ominously billed as a "match made in Hell.")
Instant transportation from one place to another seems a bit much when you can move as fast as those in the Superman family can. But, hey— why not have the luxury of choosing? Lor-Zod made his debut in 2006's Action Comics #844 as the son of General Zod and Ursa, born in their Phantom Zone prison. Mimicking Superman's origin, Zod found a way to extradite his son to Earth.
After landing in Metropolis, the child was raised by none other than Clark Kent and Lois Lane and given a human name: Chris. As well as his Kryptonian powers, Chris Kent developed a special kind of teleportation enabling him to not only instantly transport his body, but to take others along for the ride.
12 RED SUN BURST
If needs be, Superman is able to unleash all of his stored-up solar energy in one, devastating blast akin to a solar flare. His "daughter," Cir-El is also capable of performing a similar attack but hers— as the name suggests— projects the energy of a red sun rather than a yellow one.
Despite having many of Kal-El's abilities, Cir-El isn't really a Kryptonian at all. She was born to human parents but carries Superman's genetic blueprint, which is why some of her powers are a close but not exact copy of the Man of Steel's. Instead of flying, for instance, she does a super jump— very much like Superman's early incarnation.
11 META-HUMAN POWER ABSORPTION
The source of Superman's incredible powers is his sponge-like ability to soak up energy from yellow suns. But, one of his super kids can do one better. Jonathan Lane Kent suffered from a debilitating illness early in his life that robbed him of his Kryptonian powers.
He was taken in by a time-traveling, meta-human-hating soldier known only as Harvest, who not only stabilized Jon's condition using Superman's DNA, but molded him into a ruthless meta-human hunter himself. He has further motivation to carry out his mentor's dirty work by way of leeching his super-powered victim's strength after claiming their lives.
Out of all of Superman's powers, flight is probably what most would call his signature ability. Images of him soaring through the clouds are iconic, as is his cinematic slogan: "It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's Superman!" That's why for Jon Kent, his and Lois' official present-continuity son, not being able to do it was a pretty big deal.
By the end of the "Black Dawn" storyline, some mental manipulation from Manchester Black helped unclip Jon's wings. But, the new Superboy not only catches up to his old man, but he also manages to rival him by learning flight field projection; an ability that seemingly allows any non-flying passenger to float alongside him rather be carried.
Stealth missions are no problem for someone who can move faster than the speed of light and see through any object not made of lead. Being able to also turn invisible is really just a bonus— but a great one, nonetheless. Jonathan Lane Kent figured out how to pull this trick off in Superboy, Vol. 6 #26.
While impersonating Kon-El, Jon takes some (unneeded) R&R in a hospital, hoping that pretending to be sick would explain his out-of-character behavior. During his stay, his sleuthing inspires him to use his telekinesis more creatively than ever, learning to bend light around himself so that— if undisturbed— he becomes invisible to the naked eye.
8 EXTRA-ENHANCED SENSES
Superman's senses are heightened to a near-omnipotent degree. By focusing his vision, hearing, or even smell, he can pinpoint danger from miles and miles away. Not much is documented, however, about the strength of his sense of touch. Where Kal-El lacks, however, Jonathan Lane Kent more than makes up for.
Jon possesses the strange ability to be able to map out an entire building as soon as he comes into contact with it, like a mental/psychic scan. Chris Kent can perform a similar feat, but in his case, it's localized to things that move secretly in shadow or darkness, meaning even Batman would struggle to get the jump on him.
7 SOLAR FLARE
Superman's solar flare release is usually reserved for the direst situations— a last-ditch effort that drains the Last Son of Krypton of all of his stored solar energy and wreaks wanton destruction on everything unlucky enough to be within his blast radius. For his biological son, Jon Kent, this ability is more like a reflex.
As Jon's powers developed, they became increasingly unstable, which— before Manchester Black's meddling was detected— was thought to be because of inexperience. Jon's powers also seem to be tied more to his feelings, and, like the world's most dangerous tantrum, one moment of lost energy control could result in nuclear-fallout.
6 TACTILE TELEKINESIS
Unlike standard telekinesis, which involves moving things with the power of your mind, tactile telekinesis involves moving things by extending a particular type of energy. Raven, for instance, uses her "soul self" to manipulate things without physical contact, evident in the colored aura she creates.
A number of Superman's genetic successors are capable of doing this, often using it as a stand-in for flight or super strength. The list includes Superboy of Cadmus' version of the Challengers Unknown; the original DCAU's Superboy; Hyperjacket Superboy; and the Elseworlds Superboy of the Super Seven. Some advanced users can even disassemble mechanical devices just by touching them.
Ariella Kent is the daughter New Earth's Linda Danvers and pre-Crisis Superman, who had their meet-cute when Linda tried to take the place of the pre-Crisis Supergirl. Ariella shouldn't really exist, but when the Spectre attempted some cosmic course correction, Linda begged for her daughter's life be spared in the process.
As well as most of her parent's abilities, Ariella counts telekinesis and teleportation in her power-set. More unique, however, is her ability to create exact copies of herself, a technique known as bio-fission. A bio-fission duplicate not only looks and acts like its template, but has all of their memories too, and can even start to take on a personality of their own.
4 DARKNESS MANIPULATION
In the DC Universe, manipulating and creating darkness and shadows (also known as "unbrakinesis") is a weird, intangible power. The entities or forms born from using such a power are often so dark that no light whatsoever can penetrate them.
For a Kryptonian born in the harsh and bleak reality of the Phantom Zone like Chris Kent, the genesis of this ability makes a lot of sense: Chris is immune to the Zone’s effects but he seems to be able to channel and amplify its spirit. Considering he also went on to take on Nightwing’s mantle, it’s also a skill befitting of a member of a superhero family who works best under the cover of night.
3 FORCE FIELDS
Many telekietics are capable of projecting their psychic energy outward to create a protective barrier around them. When you have the same level invulnerability as Superman, this power seems like it might be a bit a redundant, but Superman isn't completely invulnerable.
That's why Jonathan Lane Kent's force field creation makes the Boy of Steel just a little... steelier. Jon's telekinesis manifests visibly as a glowing red aura, which he can wrap around his body, expand into a large bubble, or send out in thin tendrils as an explosive force or to try and entangle opponents, as he tries to do in his fight against Raven.
2 TIME TRAVEL
If you count the 1978 Superman movie as canon then, yes, Superman can theoretically turn back the clock if he can fly fast enough around the Earth. Or, was it that he turned the Earth back on its orbit..? While we're still pondering this ridiculous contrivance, it's worth noting that one member of the Superman family can legitimately travel through time with much less effort.
Ariella Kent, the daughter of pre-Crisis Superman and Linda Danvers, first appeared in 1998's Supergirl, Vol.4 #100000 as part of the DC One Million Universe. At only six-years-old, the girl journeyed to the 853rd century where her fun and games inadvertently resulted in the prevention of an extraterrestrial invasion.
1 HYBRID PHYSIOLOGY
Kal-El may have been raised by human parents, but his body is 100% Kryptonian. While this heritage, along with his own unique qualities, makes him one of the most powerful people in the universe, there's evidence to suggest that his son— Jon Kent— may one day outdo him. And we know this evidence is air-tight because it comes from the world's greatest detective.
In 2017's Superman, Vol.4 #20, Batman arrives at the Kent's home to reveal the results of the tests he's been doing on Superboy's genetic material. He informs Clark and Lois that their half-human, half-alien son is being held back from achieving his full potential, but, unrestrained, that potential should already be overtaking his father's because of his hybridized cells.