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"I think our not-so-normal son might be going through some classic teenage rebellion."Martha Kent, Red

Kal is Clark Kent's alternate personality when he is under the influence of red kryptonite, described by Chloe Sullivan as "the bad boy every girl dreams of... in her nightmares".

Kal as he appears in Season 3's Exile

Physical Appearance

Kal, simply being an alternate personality of Clark, differs very little visually from his normal external appearance. What little difference there is is manifested in fashion choice, with Kal preferring clothing in darker shades, mostly in shades of black, green or red. Kal's fashion sense is notably more refined than Clark's, he's most often seen in leather jackets, trenchcoats or suits, in contrast to Clark's simple, practical outfits. During Kal's runaway stay in Metropolis in early 2003, he was branded with the Mark of El in the chest.

One thing to note is that upon transformation, Kal's eyes and veins briefly flash red.


Kal is not necessarily evil when it comes right down to it. He simply lacks a great deal of inhibitions and/or social conscience, and is ultimately less inclined to care about the ramifications of his actions. Despite the influence that red kryptonite has on him, as shown through dialogue with a bartender, as well as through his own claims that he remained a virgin even after his time in Metropolis, and the fact that he still regularly attended school, indicate that he might have retained some subconscious inhibitions.

Kal easily gets angry at Chloe when she sees him at his apartment

According to Clark, Kal "does things [Clark] doesn't want to do", but in reality, Kal acts out Clark's basest needs and wants without regard to the consequences, doing what Clark wouldn't do on his own accord as Kal is not as concerned about the consequences on others and his relationships as Clark would be. Without Clark's morals or obligations, he is unpredictable and belligerent. Kal is also aggressive and sexually flirtatious, easily wooing Lana, Jessie, Lois, Alicia, Chloe and others (however, Lois was infected by Red K lipstick at the time and Chloe was infected by a parasite). He openly uses profanity, steals things, lies, and does not shy from fights. Kal is disrespectful, uncaring of others' feelings, and can become dangerously violent when things don't go his way. Kal is unconcerned with keeping his abilities a secret, even tempted to reveal them, because he believes that his "powers" will make him infallible. Kal also attempted to kill Lex Luthor when he tried to take Lana away from him, showing that without his inhibitions Clark could be a real danger, not above killing his enemies when angered.

Unlike most instances of odd behavioral changes that occur in the town, which result in the person having no memory of their actions, when Clark is restored to normal, he always has complete recollection and knowledge of the havoc Kal causes. He almost always causes trouble in Clark's relationships and Clark is tasked with apologizing and feeling guilty. Because he can never provide a full explanation for the drastic personality change, Clark's friends who don't know his true origins assume he is on drugs.

Based on Clark's experience, the effect becomes worse the longer exposure continues, but it is temporary. Once the red kryptonite is removed, Clark's personality is restored to normal, although it would appear that the changes are quicker to take effect after previous exposure; when Clark was first exposed to red kryptonite, he started out merely X-raying his female friends and running up credit card bills, but during later exposures he immediately became more hostile and assertive/aggressive, showing his powers off to Lois and allying with Zod to destroy Chloe's kryptonite weapons stockpile.

However, when Kal is unleashed during Clark's adult years, his personality differences were much less drastic from Clark's than they were during his adolescent years. Though he still displayed arrogance, assertiveness and a love for mischief, Kal's goals were much the same as Clark's own. He did appear desperate to remain under the influence of Red kryptonite as he had displayed before with the school ring. This time, when he saw that he was sweating the red kryptonite out of his system, he cooled the surrounding area and then went to the Fortress to prevent returning to normal Clark. The now more subtle differences between Clark and Kal may be a testament to Clark's development and confidence as a hero, and less of an unsure young man.

Season Two

Kal shoots bullets into his hand to demonstrate his powers.

Kal has appeared so far on nine separate occasions: Clark's first unintentional encounter with red kryptonite occurred his sophomore year when he purchased a class ring containing the rock. As Kal, he mouthed off to his parents, stole his father's motorcycle and started a bar fight. He went to school during this time, but then decided to run away to Metropolis to stay in Lex's penthouse. Jonathan and Pete had to overpower him with green kryptonite to smash the ring and restore him to normal. Clark had to face the fact that sometimes, he does wish they could afford expensive things and he has to fight the urge to tell everyone his secret, but in his natural state he is more willing to focus on the positive familial relationships he has formed as Clark rather than disregard them as irrelevant.

Pete and Chloe became infected with cave parasites and were compelled to do impulsive and dangerous things. Clark tried to get Pete and Chloe help until Pete slipped a piece of red kryptonite into his shirt pocket. Kal demonstrated his powers to Chloe and made out with her in Pete's car and at the Talon, upsetting Lana. Chloe removed his shirt and threw it away on the floor, and he was restored to normal.

Season Three

Chloe tells Kal he needs to come home.

In an attempt to resist his Kryptonian destiny, Clark destroyed his ship, causing his parents to be injured in a car crash. Martha miscarried and Jonathan, upset and grief-stricken, told Clark that his actions have consequences. Clark sought to numb himself from his guilt with another class ring and ran away. He used his powers to steal money and commit crimes in Metropolis for three months, and reacted violently and angrily at Chloe's attempts to get him to come home. He was only restored when Jor-El gave Jonathan temporary Kryptonian abilities. Jonathan was able to get through to Clark, who smashed the ring and returned to face his problems.

Season Four

When Clark reunited with his girlfriend Alicia Baker, she could not face the stigma of her behavior the year before and decided to run away. She was unwilling to stay but did not want to leave Clark, so she made him a necklace containing red kryptonite. During a heated moment in the barn, Alicia asked if their relationship had any sort of commitment, so Kal removed Alicia's lead bracelet that prevented her from teleporting and suggested they go to Las Vegas and get married. On their wedding night, Alicia removed the necklace and Clark was restored.

Season Six

Kal decides to crash the engagement party with Lois

Lois purchased a lipstick containing red kryptonite which caused her to fall instantly in love with Clark. She cornered him and kissed him, transferring it into his system. Kal expressed Clark's desire for Lois and they crashed Lex and Lana's engagement party together. Kal told all the guests that Lana was only marrying Lex because she was pregnant. He offered his opinion on their upcoming marriage, Martha and Lionel's relationship, and said rude things to Chloe regarding her long-standing crush on Clark, admitting that he has considered acting on it. He dragged Lana out of the party and forced her to kiss him. Kal brutally choked Lex almost to death, but Martha arrived just in time to force green kryptonite onto him which caused him to sweat the red K out and restore him to normal. Kal's portrayal in this episode is similar to his early appearances. He had always possessed a keen interest in Lana, which was more than physical. He does appear to actually care about her, however he is quick to ditch her when she annoys him. In this episode, he had only a passing interest in Lois, which was mostly physical, although his interest in Lana was apparently based on his conflict with Lex, as he was willing to focus on Lois until he saw Oliver's invitation to Lex and Lana's engagement dinner.

Kal and Zod destroy Chloe's arsenal

Season Nine

Kal appeared again when Clark was infected with red kryptonite through dust inhalation in one of Tess' labs. Kal then discovered that Chloe was storing kryptonite weapons from all over the country and, feeling betrayed, set out to destroy the shipments. He teamed up with Zod who he suddenly had a mutual respect for. They destroyed all of the stored kryptonite. Afterward, they visited Seattle where Kal used his super breath to cause a snow storm in the city. He then brought Zod to the Fortress to meet Jor-El but they were attacked by John Corben, who had been sent by Chloe to help return Clark to normal. Corben stabbed Clark with a chunk of green kryptonite, returning Clark to his usual self. 



Superman with red eyes

  • Kal is the alias that Clark took when he went into exile for three months in Metropolis. Pete Ross later referred to this when, in need of money, he asked Clark to slip on a red kryptonite ring and "go Kal on an ATM machine."
  • Kal departs from Clark's normal attire of red, white, blue, or yellow, and wears black, red, maroon or dark green, although when he runs he emits a dark red aura no matter what clothing his is wearing.
  • He serves as an example of how red kryptonite affects Kryptonians. In the comics, when angered, powered-up, or under the influence of Red kryptonite, Clark exhibits red eyes.
  • The name "Kal" was not used in either Season Six's Crimson or Season Nine's Upgrade when Clark was infected by red Kryptonite.
  • The name "Kal" comes from Clark's Kryptonian birth name.

See also

Clark Kent in Smallville
Family Kents: Martha , JonathanHouse of El: Jor-El (ai, clone), Lara, Kara, Zor-El, Conner Kent
Relationships ChloePeteOliverEmilJohn JonesLex (destiny) • LionelBrainiacJimmyTessDavisZod
Romantic interests Chloe SullivanLana LangKyla WillowbrookAlicia BakerLois Lane (destiny)
Work Smallville TorchJustice LeagueDaily Planet
Details Powers (loss, vulnerabilities, training) • secretattireglassesbloodfighting style
Homes Krypton (knowledge) • Kent Farm (house, cellar, barn, loft, truck) • FortressApartment (telescope)
Other KalKal-El (ship) • Superman (suit, crest) • aliasesdestinyvisionNo tights, no flightsNear-death experiencesEpisodes