Published on May 16, 2020

Superman Background Images

License Info: Creative Commons 4.0 BY-NC

Superman is a fictional American superhero. Creators Jerry Siegel and Jos Shuster first thought of Superman in 1932, but the superhero did not appear in print until June of 1938 when he was published in “Action Comics #1”. Since his debut, Superman has been featured in newspaper strips, television shows, video games, movies, and countless comic books. Superman remains a major driving force behind the popularity of superheroes in Western society, resulting in blockbusters, superhero costumes, and action figures. The trademark Superman costume consists of a blue, red, and yellow outfit, a red cape, and a capital S printed on the chest.

Superman’s story begins on his home planet, Krypton. He was born Kal-El but was sent to Earth by his father, where a Kansan couple adopts and names him Clark Kent. Clark grows up confused by his superhuman abilities, but it is his powers and sense of morals that propels him to become Superman and protect those in danger. He goes on to work for the newspaper, The Daily Planet, and has a relationship with fellow reporter Lois Lane.

Superman in Comics

Superman has appeared in numerous comics and periodicals over the years. He first appeared in DC Comic’s “Action Comics#1” in 1938, and in 1939 he appeared in his own comic series titled “Superman” and in “New York World’s Fair Comics”. This later became known as “World’s Finest Comics”, and his frequent appearances established him as a part of the Justice Society of America.


There were also other comic books published based on Superman. These included “Superboy”, “Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane”, and “Superman Family”. In 2003, “Superman/Batman” was published, and later on “Justice League Adventures” featuring different superheroes, including Superman, was established.

In 1986, brand new series solely based on Superman were created, such as “Crisis on Infinite Earths” and “The Man of Steel”. That same year, “World’s Famous Comics” was cancelled, and “Superman” was renamed “Adventures of Superman”. In 1991, “Superman: The Man of Steel” ran until its cancellation in 2003. A quarterly book called “Superman: The Man of Tomorrow” ran from 1995-1999.

Superman in Television and the Movies

Several onscreen adaptations have been made about Superman. From 1952-1958, George Reeves played the superhero in a TV series titled “Adventures of Superman”. In the late 1960s, an animated series was created. From 1993-1997, Dean Cain played Superman in the series “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman”. From 2001-2011, Tom Welling starred as a teenage Clark Kent in “Smallville”.

Superman also achieved cinema success. Christopher Reeve starred in “Superman” in 1978. The film was successful and several sequels were made, such as “Superman II”, “Superman III”, and “Superman IV: The Quest for Peace”. In 2006, Brandon Routh played the superhero in the blockbuster “Superman Returns”. Every Hollywood depiction of the hero includes the famous Superman costume.

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