With his legendary red cape, blue tights and his stylized “S” shield on his chest Superman is with no doubt the most famous superhero of all time. This American cultural icon opened us to the superhero genre.
|First apparition of Superman|
in a comic book
Superman was introduced to the world in 1932, in a story imagined by two fans of science fiction; the writer Jerry Siegel and the artist Joe Duster. He was originally nothing like the icon he is today, being an evil creation of a mad doctor. After this first unnoticed version of Superman, Siegel decided to revise his work. With the development of the comic book genre in the 30’s, he elevated Superman to the rank of a comic book superhero. In 1938, DC Comics finally noticed Duster and Siegel’s work and published it. From that time onwards, Superman never stopped catching the public’s attention.
Over the years, the original story of Superman has been rewritten and rebooted many times by scenarists who tried to perpetuate the legacy. Although the common themes remain the same, details have prominently differed in each retelling to keep the readers’ interest.
A super hero
Without the creation of Superman there would be no superhero genre as we know it. He is the archetype hero who uses his powers to counter crimes and prevent villains to take over the world thanks to his strong moral code.
Superman was born on the planet Krypton and was rocketed to earth when his planet was about to be destroyed. Rescued by Kansas farmers, the Kents, he was raised as Clark Kent. He was taught to use his powers for the good cause. He embodies the perfect hero, willing to do everything to protect the planet which welcomed him.
For almost 75 years Superman has never fallen off in popularity. He is the first cross media star, being successfully adapted to movies, cartoons, daily newspaper, radio and TV shows...
Superman is popular not only because he is the first superhero but also because people can identify and connect with him. First of all, he is an ordinary journalist who never dreamt of being special. But his strong values of morality, justice and goodness help him use his powers for the good of humanity. Then as an orphan and immigrant, he tries to fit in the world and to figure out who he is supposed to be. Finally he is the people’s hero protective of his land of refuge, defending the oppressed and fighting the never ending battle for truth and justice.
Superman has had a huge influence on people who grew up with him through comic books, cartoons and films. He is a role model, the symbol of the best part of mankind and someone we can look up to. Moreover this flying man takes us from our daily routine into a world of adventures where everything is possible. Clearly as popular now as he was 75 years ago, he has been voted the greatest sci-fi character of all time.
Angeline Derzelle and Céline Pierre