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Kirk Alyn as Superman (1948).

Superman is a famous comic book character, and is often known as the first modern superhero character. He was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in 1932, while they were still in high school. He first appeared in Action Comics issue #1 in 1938. Later, he appeared in movies, television series, cartoons, commercials, video games, and radio shows. Superman is one of the most popular superheroes, he is also in the DC Comics. [source?] As a superhero he does not want to kill anyone. But he was forced to kill his nemesis General Zod as Zod was about to kill people. Several actors have played Superman in motion pictures and TV series including Bud Collyer, Kirk Alyn, George Reeves, Christopher Reeve, Dean Cain, Tim Daly, Tom Welling, Brandon Routh, Henry Cavill, Tyler Hoechlin and David Corenswet.

Superman's real life origins[change | change source]

Mr. Siegel imagined an evil villain who read minds and dreamed of conquering the world. He went by the name of the Superman. In the 1930s, Adolf Hitler, the infamous nazi villain from real life, was talking about getting rid of the Jews and communists. This was because he believed that Germans he called Aryans were supermen. Mr. Siegel, who was Jewish, found this disgusting. But one night, Mr. Siegel tossed and turned in his bed, and had a horrible time getting to sleep. When he awoke, Superman became the superman we know today, and the evil version disappeared.[source?]

Story[change | change source]

Superman was born on a planet called Krypton. His name was Kal-El. When his father, Jor-El, found out that their planet was going to explode, Jor-El sent his baby son to Earth in a spacecraft to save him. Kal-El was found and adopted by Jonathan and Martha Kent. They named him Clark Kent. The Kents raised him as their own son in a town called Smallville, Kansas in the United States. (There is a television series called Smallville about his time growing up there)

As he grows up, Clark finds out that he has special powers. He is almost invulnerable (most things cannot hurt him). He is strong enough to lift almost anything and he can fly. Superman can also run and move faster than a bullet. He has X-ray vision (he can see through walls, he is not able to see through lead), and heat vision (shooting heat from his eyes). He can freeze things with his frost breath and his super-breath (which allows him to blow super hard). He decides to use his special powers to fight crime and save people in danger. He wears a blue and red costume and cape to keep his alter ego (his real name) a secret. He saves the entire world many times.

Superman moves to a city called Metropolis, and becomes a reporter for the Daily Planet, a newspaper. He falls in love with another reporter, Lois Lane.

His weaknesses are radioactive rocks from his home planet that are called "kryptonite"; and magic. Sometimes his enemies use it to hurt him. Diffferent Kryptoinites have different effects on him, Blue Kryptonite makes people able to control him using hypnosis, green weakens his powers and slowly kills him, black makes him evil, and red has many different effects on him (each piece of red kryptonite affects him differently). There is also gold, white, and jewel kryptonite. Some of Superman's enemies use magic to hurt him.

Affiliations[change | change source]

Enemies[change | change source]

His most well known arch enemy is a bald (hairless), evil genius named Lex Luthor. He has other deadly enemies too. Bizarro is a failed duplicate of Superman. Darkseid is a very powerful enemy, and the ruler of the planet Apokolips. Doomsday is regarded as the first villain to kill Superman in physical combat, but he is later revived. Another enemy includes General Zod who comes from the same planet as Superman.

Teams[change | change source]

Superman also founded the Justice League of America alongside Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Hawkgirl, Hawkman, and Martian Manhunter.

TV series[change | change source]

Live-action[change | change source]

Several live-action television shows have focused on Superman:

  • George Reeves played Superman in Adventures of Superman, which ran from 1952 to 1958. Reeves also played the character in several movies made around that time.[1]
  • Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, which ran from 1993 to 1997, with Dean Cain playing Clark Kent /Superman.[2]
  • Smallville, which ran from 2001 to 2011, starred Tom Welling as a young Clark Kent as he grows up in his hometown, leading up to him becoming Superman as an adult.[3]
  • Tyler Hoechlin has played Superman in The CW's "Arrowverse" superhero-themed shows and later in Superman & Lois, a separate show which focuses on Clark/Superman's home life with his wife Lois and two sons Jonathan and Jordan[4]

Cartoons[change | change source]

Superman has also been featured in many cartoon shows including:

  • The Superman cartoon shorts in the 1940s, with Bud Collyer voicing Superman
  • Super Friends in the 1970s and 1980s, with Danny Dark voicing Superman
  • The DC Animated Universe in the 1990s and 2000s, which included shows such as:
    • Superman: The Animated Series (1996-2000), with Tim Daly voicing Superman
    • Justice League (2001-2004) and its sequel Justice League Unlimited (2004-2006), with George Newbern voicing Superman
  • Justice League Action (2016-2018), with Jason J. Lewis voicing Superman
  • My Adventures with Superman (2023-present), an anime-inspired show with Jack Quaid voicing Clark Kent / Superman[5]

Movies[change | change source]

Live-action[change | change source]

Animation[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Adventures of Superman". epguides.com. Archived from the original on September 21, 2015. Retrieved September 21, 2015.
  2. Tucker, Ken (September 24, 1993). "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on November 29, 2015. Retrieved April 26, 2015.
  3. "Shows – Smallville – Cast – Tom Welling". The CW. Archived from the original on January 21, 2007. Retrieved January 25, 2007.
  4. Webb Mitovich, Matt (June 17, 2016). "Supergirl Casts Superman: Teen Wolf's Tyler Hoechlin to Play Man of Steel". Yahoo!. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  5. Rosenberg, Josh (2023-07-07). "Jack Quaid, Champion of the Nerds". Esquire.com.
  6. Katz, Ephraim (2005). The Film Encyclopedia, 5th Ed. New York City: HarperCollins. p. 32. ISBN 0-06-273089-4.