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Superman refers to the name of a fictional character as well as the multimedia franchise that relates to him including comic books, radio dramatizations, television programs, animated projects and film. Superman was created in 1938 by writer/artists Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster and was introduced in the main story from Action Comics #1. The character has been in print, in one format or another, ever since. Superman is arguably the most famous pop culture icon of all time. He has been portrayed by many different actors and voice talents over the years. Superman is an extraterrestrial and classically considered the last survivor of the doomed planet Krypton. Just prior to his home world's iminent destruction, his parents place the infant Superman, whose Kryptonian name is Kal-El (also spelled Kal-L), into a space ship where he rockets away just as Krypton explodes, ultimately arriving on the planet Earth. On Earth, infant Kal-El is adopted by the Kent family who raise him as their own child, imbuing in him a strict set of moral values. He is given the Earth name Clark Kent. As he grows, Clark Kent develops superhuman abilities, which is part of his Kryptonian heritage and is dependent upon living on a world with a yellow sun. He develops superhuman physical attributes including enhanced strength, speed, dexterity and durability, as well as several occular powers such as x-ray vision, telescopic vision and micro-vision. The most memorable power of Superman's however is his ability to fly. In some permutations of the character, Clark Kent first adopted the costumed identity of Superboy while he was still a teenager, though most retellings of the character's origin establish that he does not become a caped hero until well into adulthood whereupon he becomes Superman for the first time. Superman's regularly featured supporting cast includes paramour Lois Lane - a reporter for the Daily Planet where Superman works in his civilian guise as Clark Kent; Jimmy Olsen - photographer and ace cub reporter who is referred to as "Superman's Pal"; Perry White - Clark, Lois and Jimmy's cigar-chomping boss and managing editor of the Daily Planet and Supergirl - Superman's young cousin who often helps him in many adventures. Many of Superman's recurring villains include Lex Luthor, Brainiac, the Toyman, the Prankster, Metallo Mister Mxyzptlk and Doomsday. The origin of Superman, as well as his supporting cast and rogues gallery have gone through many permutations over the years, and though the basic concept behind the characters remains the same, there are many details that have been altered to keep the character up to date.


Ongoing titles

Title Years published Issues
Action Comics 1938-2011 904 [1]
Adventures of Superman 1987-2006 230 [2]
All Star Superman 2006-2008 12
Superman 1939-1986/2006-2011 488 (423/65) [3]
Superman 1987-2006 230
Superman 2011-Present 12+
Superman/Batman 2003-2011 83
Superman Confidential 2007-2008 14
Superman: The Man of Steel 1991-2003 137
Superman: The Man of Tomorrow 1995-1998 16 [4]
World's Finest Comics 1941-1986 323

Limited series

Title Years published Issues
Man of Steel 1986 6


Title Year published

TV shows



Title Year
Superman 1941
Superman 1948
Atom Man vs. Superman 1950
Superman and the Mole Men 1951


Notes Edit

See also Edit


The World of Superman

Superman miscellaneous

References Edit

  1. Becomes Action Comics Weekly from issues #601-642.
  2. Continues the numbering from Superman, Volume 1 and reverts to the original series title with issue #650.
  3. Title changes to Adventures of Superman with issue #424, but reverts to the original title with issue #650.
  4. Quarterly shipping schedule.

Appearances Edit

Comic appearances Edit

Alternative media Edit