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Clark using X-ray vision

X-ray vision is the ability to see through physical matter.


Kryptonians develop x-ray vision after becoming exposed to an environment with a yellow sun, allowing them to see through physical matter. Brainiac, as a kryptonian android, has superior vision and can see things on a subatomic level.

Characters who have displayed x-ray vision

  • Clark Kent: This ability first manifested in X-Ray when Clark suddenly could see the muscles through Pete's skin. Clark can see through any type of matter ranging in objects, humans, and animals, but he can't see through lead. Clark can also see through things in color as well. (Leech, Kinetic, Red, Rush, Hex, Warrior, Finale, Part 2) It was implied by Lois Lane that Clark can use this ability while he is moving at superhuman speeds. (Masquerade)
  • Kara Kent: Kara can see through any type of matter except for lead. (Fierce)
  • Brainiac - Brainiac was able to see through a lead safe (Arctic) and tell Bizarro wasn't Clark. (Persona)
  • Aethyr: She easily detected that Lex Luthor had the Key in his hand. (Arrival)
  • Clark Luthor: Clark's x-ray vision seemingly works in the same fashion as his counterpart's. On one occasion he is shown to be using the ability to see Chloe hiding behind a teacher's desk. (Haunted)
  • Bizarro: Bizarro was able to see through solid matter; he peered through Lois' jeans.
  • Lana Lang (temporarily): Lana checked Clark out with x-ray vision when she got his powers. (Wrath)



  • Within the series, only Kryptonians are shown to possess it. Martians may possess this ability; however, John Jones never demonstrated it.
  • Practically every time X-ray vision is used, there is a unique sound effect, no matter whether the X-ray image is shown. For example, there is a scene in "Suspect" where the sound effect isn't heard, but Clark clearly used his x-ray vision. Also, in "Reunion", Clark used his x-ray vision to see into the room where Oliver kept his Green Arrow suit, but there was no sound effect.
  • Most of the time, images from X-ray vision resembles real-life X-ray photos (thus having, the colors blue, white and black); however, Clark has used the traditional "see-through vision" a few times, including when he accidentally looked into the girl's locker room in X-Ray, and as Kal, intentionally saw through Lana and Chloe's clothes in Red.
  • Clark used X-ray vision the most in the whole series in "X-Ray" and "Witness".
  • X-ray vision cannot penetrate lead.
  • With the exception of Jeff Palmer, people capable of rendering themselves invisible (ex. Graham Garrett, and Wes Keenan) are undeteactable to X-ray vision.


In The Comics

Superman uses his X-ray vision to confirm Sensor Girl's identity.

Superman's vast senses grant him the ability to see through solid objects, usually with the exception of lead. Explanations for how this power works vary, but rarely include the emission and perception of actual X-rays, as such high-energy radiation would actually be dangerous to living things he uses it on. A more common theory involves being able to see and concentrate on the patterns of natural cosmic radiation as it reverberates off objects.

See also


Clark Kent's powers and abilities in Smallville
Super Super strengthspeeddexteritystaminaleapsbreath (Arctic breath) • hearing
Vision X-raytelescopicmicroheat vision
Other Clark timeinvulnerabilitysolar batteryflighthealing factorlongevitytelekinesisprecognition