Comics History


(Golden Age Debut: Action Comics #1)


Copyright 1998-2013 Roger A. Lee and 03.09.13

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Clark Kent as seen changing into his Superman costume

Superman- (Kal-El) --1st appearance: Action Comics #1 (1938).

Kal-El, better known as Superman, is the only surviving man from the now-dead planet of Krypton. His only surviving blood relative is Kara Zor-El, his first cousin, who is the only surviving woman from Krypton. His cousin is better known throughout the universe as Supergirl.

"The Man of Tomorrow", as he is sometimes called, arrived on earth inside of a spacecraft built by his father, the Kryptonian scientist, Jor-El. Jor-El correctly theorized that Krypton was doomed to explode. With very few people willing to believe him, he created a small spacecraft in which to carry his infant son, Kal-El, to safety. The ship landed on the planet Earth.

Kal-El's spaceship crash landed in a farmer's field near Smallville, a rural town in Kansas in the American midwest. The small spacecraft was discovered by Jonathan and Martha Kent, who owned a farm nearby. Finding the infant Kal-El alive inside the ship, they took him home and raised him as their own son. They did not tell anyone of his alien origins, letting family and friends believe he was born on the farm as their biological son, whom they named Clark Joseph Kent.

After attending college, Clark Kent moved to the big city of Metropolis, where he began his dual careers as a mild-mannered newspaper reporter and as a costumed superhero called "Superman." The general public does not know that Clark Kent and Superman are one and the same, and throughout his life, Clark/Superman goes to great lengths to keep his dual identity a secret, even from those closest to him.

An important factor in Superman's persona is the way in which he views his role as a superpowered being living in a world inhabited (for the most part), by people who are less powerful and much more fragile than he is. Despite the fact that he could easily kill and destroy any common criminal and most supervillains, he refrains from doing so for one very simple reason. He believes that killing is wrong. This is based on his upbringing with the Kents, who raised him to be a decent person who sees his role in the world as someone who should help others. Superman could easily make himself financially wealthy, yet he lives on Clark's reporter's salary in a regular apartment in Metropolis.

In his superhero career, Superman is a close ally to the Batman, the Caped Crusader of Gotham City. Superman's home base is Metropolis, but travels around the world and into the depths of outer space to protect others and to stop various supervillains. Superman is a member of the Justice League, and is often considered to be one of the planet's primary protectors.

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Henry Cavill Superman

Henry Cavill as the film version of Superman

The 2013 Superman film, Man of Steel, featured Henry Cavill as the last son of Krypton, and was fairly popular, though it did receive criticism from Superman fans for the excessive destruction to Metropolis and for the manner in which Superman ended the threat of General Zod. The 2016 sequel, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, introduced the Dark Knight of Gotham with the Man of Tomorrow from Metropolis, as well as the Amazon Princess, Wonder Woman. This film, which opened to huge success, also showed cameos by Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg, all members of (in the comics) the Justice League. The extreme violence at the end of Man of Steel, sets up the conflict and plot of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, and when taken together, the two films mesh well and provide a consistent storyline justifying the eventual Superman/Batman team-up.


Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman

Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman



Superman is known worldwide, both within Supeman's comic world (i.e. The DC Universe), as well as in our own, real world as a symbol of "truth, justice, and the American Way."

Superman is also known by various nicknames bestowed on him by friends and foes alike. These include: The Man of Steel, the Man of Tomorrow, the Last Son of Krypton, the Metropolis Marvel, the Action Ace, Big Blue, Supes

Action Comics Cover

Action Comics


Links and Resources on Superman

Superman Through the Ages: History of Superman --Features details about Superman and his history in the comic books from 1933 to present day.

Superman Supersite--

Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex--Amusing but thought-provoking essay by science-fiction author Larry Niven as he ponders the physiological complications to Superman's potential ability to mate and reproduce with a human female such as Lois Lane.

The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character: Clark Kent/Kal-El: Superman--Interesting article on Superman's most likely religious beliefs.

Journal of Religion and Film: Superman as Christ-Figure: The American Pop Culture Movie Messiah Superman --Complete study of the Man of Steel, including spin-offs.

Superman Through the Ages: History of Superman Comics --Features details about Superman and his history in the comic books from improvements in color printer ink to different style lettering and art from 1933 to present day. Superman --Complete study of the Man of Steel, including spin-offs.

DC Comics: Superman --Official site from DC, featuring sneak peeks at upcoming issues of Superman comics.

Clark Kent's Superman Resources --Pictures and information about the Superman Family.

Superman: The 10 Adventure --Official site of the comic book title.

Superman: The First 50 Covers --An illustrated guide to the first 50 issues of Superman, published between 1939-48.

Action Comics --History of the comic that introduced Superman to the world.

Copyright 1998-2016 History Guy Media; Last Modified:03.27.16--This copyright notice covers the written text, the written analysis and historical descriptions on this page.

"Superman" and all fictional characters mentioned on this page are the property of DC Comics.

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Jor-El --Biological Father; deceased

Lara --Biological Mother; deceased

Jonathan Kent --Adopted Father

Martha Kent --Adopted Father

Kara Zor-El/Linda Danvers/Supergirl --Cousin

Zor-El --Uncle; deceased

Alura In-Ze --Aunt; deceased

Associates, Colleagues, & Opponents

Friends & Allies



Wonder Woman

The Justice League

Jimmy Olson

Lois Lane

Lana Lang

Perry White

Krypto the Superdog


Lex Luthor



Mr. Mxyzptlk

General Zod



The Intergang Crime Syndicate

The Prankster



The Kryptonite Man



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