Superman, The Man of Steel!

Superman, since his debut in 1938, has become world renown. Just about everyone on the planet (no pun intended) has gained familiarity with the man of steel and his home planet Krypton.

Did Max Gaines, the man most instrumental in bring Super-man to the comics, really know what a worldwide splash he was going to make with his suggestions? It was Max C. Gaines, who brought the character to Dell's publisher, Harry Donenfield. Donenfield scored the comic coup of the century when he published a story written by two teenagers, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster- and so "Superman of Metropolis" (the title of their short story they wrote in their own fanzine) was born and the rest is history.

DCs Action Comics, issue #1, hit the stands in the spring of 1938. And Action Comics sales began to impressively climb over the course of the next year. Other publishers began to realize that costumed superhero characters were catching on. Can we really thank the man of steel for the evolution of all our heroes we are familiar with today? Maybe not all, but I do believe that without his arrival, that superheroes, as we know them today, may have taken a different direction.

Character Overview

As we all know, Super Man came to earth from the planet Krypton with the name of Kal-el. Being put into a spaceship by his parents, Jor-el and Lara, moments before the destruction of Krypton, he rocketed his way to Earth. Landing in a field in Smallville, Kansas, he was found and adopted by a farming couple, Martha and Jonathan Kent. The Kents raised Clark Kent, as he became known, until he became an adult and moved to Metropolis. It has been said that Metropolis was patterned after New York City, but there is a real Metropolis in Illinois, which claims to be the “Home of Super- man”.

When arriving in Metropolis, Clark Kent became a newspaper reporter at the Daily Planet (was there a pun intended here?). As a reporter, Clark had his finger on the pulse of the city and was therefore, better able to foresee when and where help was needed. It was at the Planet where Clark befriends both Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen, whom have figured prominently in most of his adventures over the years.

The man of steel's Boy Scout persona, despite his powers and abilities "far beyond those of mortal men," has been a branding characteristic over the years. “Superman's lily-white persona has often been mocked, ridiculed, and spoofed, especially during the past twenty to thirty years of comic book history, when "grim and gritty" comics dominated the market. Superman may seem old-fashioned, quaint, and "whitebread" when compared to the various obsessed "dark avengers" who command the lion's share of the comic book market; but his appeal has lived on, and he continues to be a driving force in the comic book medium after more than sixty years.”

Superman’s Extraordinary Abilities

"The man of steel" possesses a number of extraordinary powers, rendering him "faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound". These powers were limited in 1940s and 50s stories, but grew to god-like powers in 1960s, 70s and early 80s. With his recreation in 1986 however, his powers were reduced to a medium level.

Superman’s powers include:

  • Virtually, unlimited strength and near-invulnerability to damage.
  • X-ray vision, giving him the ability to see through virtually anything but lead.
  • Telescopic vision, which allows him to see vast distances.
  • Super-man can also visualize through the entire electromagnetic spectrum.
  • Microscopic vision, thus he is able to view the infinitesimally small.
  • Heat vision, or the ability to project laser like beams.
  • Super hearing.
  • Super breath, whereby he can create hurricanes or arctic chills.
  • Super speed.
  • And of course, the ability to fly. But of course, he has a weakness. We all know about his devastating condition when he is subjected to Kryptonite. Superman’s amazing abilities are derived from the yellow sun of Earth and Kryptonite robs him of his powers and can be potentially fatal to “The Man of Steel”. This is a quick synopsis or character profile, but to read an in depth Study, of Superman History you really have to check out this link. There is a lot of fantastic information here.
  • Some Rather Amazing Super-man Stuff

    It is truly unbelievable the knowledge, information and memorabilia available. If you want to see some amazing and super stuff, then click on the big red S to the left!! If you want to get engulfed in some out of this world stuff and just about anything Super man, then make the click. But be sure to come on back and continue your comic book education.

    With the information and resources I have given on this page, you should be able to find just about anything you ever wanted to know about Superman. If you run across anything in your Web travels, that you feel would be a beneficial addition to this page, drop me a line and I would love to check it out. You can find my contact info on the main menu of my home page, Comic Book Collection.

    Just close this browser and you can get back to my comic books page and go check out some of your other superheroes.

    And to learn how to preserve your Superman comics, sign up for my free 5-day course

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