Despite the fact that Superman's powers make him arguably one of the most powerful metahumans on the DC Earth, he has often made it clear he is willing to work with civilian authorities as needed and does his best to not break the laws of foreign governments even when he disagrees strongly with their leadership and political policies.
He has worked with both civilian authorities and been subject to directives from the President of the United States. This was seen in particular during the Imperiex War, when Superman was part of a team lead by President Luthor.
- Superman Drafted by the US Military: Superman begrudgingly works and defends the President of the United States (Lex Luthor) and acknowledges his authority, no matter what he thought of him personally when Luthor led the assault against the Imperiex probes attacking Earth.
President Lex Luthor rallies the super-heroes of Earth, the U.S. military, and other countries, such as Pokolistan, together. Luthor decides that Superman alone does not have enough power to lead a strike force, and instead arranges for Doomsday to be released from captivity, 'anti-hero' telepath Manchester Black temporarily 'reprogramming' Doomsday's mind so that his traditional hatred for Superman is briefly transferred to the Imperiex probes.
- Superman returns to New Krypton: When the bottle city of Kandor was released and expanded, Superman was considered an American citizen until he renounced his citizenship of Earth to return to New Krypton. Kal-El was part of the military guild authority structure on New Krypton under General Zod and was called Commander El. Their relationship was fractious but Kal-El followed orders.
When Alura asks Superman which guild he has chosen, he admits that he is not comfortable with any, even going so far as to liken the Kryptonians' working conditions to slavery. However, Superman ultimately is assigned to be a member of the Military guild and is referred to by General Zod as "Commander El."
- As a member of the Justice League, Superman is subject to orders by whomever is leading the missions of the team or depending on the tactical capabilities of the field commander. Since the League leadership has rotated in the past, Superman has followed the leadership of numerous members.