20 Things You Didn't Know About Superman

The brilliant 'Man Of Steel' hit theatres this past week. But in the 75 years of Superman's existence a lot of has happened -- both awesome and weird. 

1. An earlier (and bald) version of Superman appeared in "Reign Of The Superman", in issue 3 of Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster's self-published magazine Science Fiction.

2. Superman's secret identity was born out of Jerry Siegel's frustration with not being "glamorous" or popular with girls in high school.

3. In his first appearance, Superman could only leap an eighth of a mile. His powers would eventually grow, obviously, and by 1943 he could fly faster than the speed of light.

4. Superman's arch-enemy Lex Luthor first appeared in Action Comics 23 (April 1940). Now known for his baldness, he was originally drawn with a full head of red hair.


5. Batman and Superman crossed paths for the first time in a 1945 episode of the latter's radio show, when Robin enlisted Superman's help in finding his missing partner.

6. Kryptonite was officially introduced on the radio show in an episode aired in June 1943 in part to allow actor Budd Collyer to take some time off.

7. Clark Kent first changed into costume in a phone booth in the second Fleischer Studios Superman short The Mechanical Monsters, released on 28 November 1941.

8.  Originally Superman fought for "truth and justice." "The American Way" was added to his motto during World War Two radio broadcasts.


9. Superman's strength and invulnerability grew to the point where, in 1946, he could withstand two atomic bombs.

Superman had a near-death experience in 'The Dark Knight Returns', where he is at the centre of an atomic blast.

10. George Reeves stopped a child from firing a gun at him during a personal appearance by explaining the bullets would bounce off of him and harm others.

11. Jimmy Olsen, Clark Kent's red-headed, freckle-faced colleague at The Daily Planet, was created as a character for young radio listeners to identify with.


Later added to the comics due to his popularity, perhaps his most infamous story is in Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen 98, in which a gorilla seeks the cub reporter's hand in marriage.

Man Of Steel will be the first Superman film in which Jimmy Olsen will not make an appearance.

12. Bestiality featured in 1958's Action Comics 243, when Lois kisses Superman after he's transformed into a lion in the hopes of reversing the transformation.

13. In the 1965 comic strip story "The Goofy Superman", Supes' must smoke an entire pack of cigars to create a literal smokescreen to hide his secret identity.


14. In Lois Lane 59 (August 1965), Superman's girlfriend travels through time and showers a helpless infant Kal-El with kisses. WTF Lois?!?

15. Arguably the most disturbing of all Superman comic covers is the Deliverance-style Action Comics 469, in which Supes is not only gagged, but also ridden by a hillbilly...

16. A Superman theme park - called Supermanland, duh - was once planned for Metropolis, Illinois, before the gas crisis of the 1970's put it on indefinite hold. There is, however, a Superman Museum in the town, outside of which stands a 15-foot statue of the Man Of Steel.

17. Superman: The Movie was the first time that Supes' "S" Shield was explained to be the El family crest, not just the first letter of his name.

Writer Mark Waid would later explain in Superman: Birthright was also the Kryptonian symbol for 'hope', all of which is again explained in Man Of Steel, of course.


18. Ever wondered how Superman shaves his indestructible stubble? He simply bounces his heat vision off a reflective surface, like a fragment of the rocket that brought him from Krypton.

19. Producer Alexander Salkind briefly considered Muhammed Ali for the lead role in Superman: The Movie.

20. Lastly, there are currently 564 songs mentioning Superman or Clark Kent. So yeah, I guess you could say he's kind of popular.



Ste McGovern
Article written by
Pronoun: comrade

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