How Superman Became the Most Recognizable Superhero

How Superman Became the Most Recognizable Superhero

Larry Holzwarth - April 15, 2022

How Superman Became the Most Recognizable Superhero
Clark Kent turns to a Daily Planet storeroom as a refuge to turn into Superman in one of the animated shorts of the 1940s. Wikimedia

20. A future for Superman is all but ensured

In the 2010s several reboots of DC Comics’ entire lineup of Superheroes addressed the relationship of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, as well as Superman. In 2016 a reboot, called DC Rebirth confirmed the continuing relationship between Clark/Superman and Lois as married, and the biological parents of Jonathan Kent. Jonathan Kent became the new Superboy in 2017 and frequently appears with both of his parents in both Superman and Action Comics magazines. The many reboots and metaverse of the Superman saga are difficult for casual fans to comprehend. As a result, Superman currently does not rule the superhero realm as he did in his storied past. But, he has long been called the Man of Tomorrow.

Superman and his friends and enemies continue to appear in films, television productions, video games, computer animations, collecting cards, graphic novels, full novels, merchandise, collectibles, commercials, school supplies, posters, and of course, in comic books. Comic books from the classic Golden and Silver ages of Superman in good condition command huge sums from collectors. Children still wear Superman costumes at Halloween, as do many adults to judge from their availability on websites. As of this writing, Superman is nearly 84 years of age, but all indications are that he will continue to enjoy a fruitful life in the realms of entertainment and imagination.

Where do we find this stuff? Here are our sources:

“Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster: The Men Behind Superman”. Dylan Moure, The Log. May 22, 2017. Online

“What Is Superman’s Origin Story And How Has It Changed Over 80 Years?”. Trevor Van As, How to Love Comics. March 4, 2018

“The Architecture of Superman: A Brief History of The Daily Planet”. Jimmy Stamp, Smithsonian Magazine. June 12, 2013

“When Did We Learn That Superman’s Powers Came From Earth’s Yellow Sun?” Brian Cronin, May 14, 2019

“Lex Luthor”. Article, Britannica Online.

“The First Onscreen Superman Was a Gorgeous Series of Animated Shorts”. Charley Parker, May 14, 2013

“What did Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman do in the war?” Michael Sangiacomo, Cleveland Plain Dealer. November 24, 2015

“8 Things You May Not Know About Superman”. Jesse Greenspan, History Stories. January 12, 2021

“Superman Tried To Fight in WW2, But America Didn’t Want Him”. Bug Norman, Screen Rant. November 19, 2020

“American Recycling Born During World War II”. Sam Donadio, Think Power Recycling. February 1, 2017. Online

“Mr. Mxyzptlk”. Article, Superman Supersite. Online

“The Goody Charm of 1950’s Atom Man Vs. Superman”. Dan Greenfield, 13th Dimension. October 8, 2021. Online

“Superman and the Mole-Men”. Entry, IMDb. Online

“George Reeves”. Biography, Turner Classic Movies. Online

“Adventures of Superman: Stamp Day for School Children”. Film, US Department of the Treasury. Internet Archive.

“Was Superman murdered? The mysterious death of George Reeves”. Bec Heim, Film Daily. August 10, 2021

“10 Most Important Alternate Earths In DC Comics, Ranked”. J. Richland Anderson, July 23, 2019

“Superman & Lois: How Comics’ Most Contentious Couple Ended Up Happily Married”. Russ Burlingame, February 14, 2021

“We Believed a Man Could Fly”. Roger Ebert, November 4, 2010

“How Superman Actually Died (and Returned) in DC Comics”. Olivia Luchini, Screen Rant. November 24, 2019