Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane! It’s Superman! We all know and love the iconic comic book superhero, Superman – ‘The Man of Steel’. What’s not to love? He’s got amazing powers that he uses to help those in need, believing in truth and justice for all. For decades these beliefs were embodied in his famous slogan: “Truth, justice, and the American way”.
But what do you really know about this superhero? Here are 21 fun facts about Superman that will help you understand the true character of ‘Kal-El’, ‘Clark Kent’, ‘Superman’:
1. Who are the men behind the man?
Superman is a fictional character created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in 1933.
2. He looked very different at the start.
The original concept of Superman was a bald telepathic villain sent out to dominate the world. Luckily Siegel and Shuster decided to recreate the character as a hero.
3. The rights to Superman initially cost $130.
In 1938 the character was sold to DC Comics for $130 and appeared in Action Comics #1.
He is now one of the world’s best-selling comic book heroes of all time.
4. Who is Kal-El?
Superman was born on the planet Krypton, and his name was Kal-El. He was sent to Earth by his parents Jor-El and Lara only moments before the planet was destroyed.
5. What happened when Superman came to Earth?
On Earth, Kal-El crash-landed on a farm in Smallville, Kansas. Jonathan and Martha Kent found him and raised him as their son. They gave him the name Clark Kent.
Jonathan and Martha raised Clark as if he was an ordinary young man growing up in Kansas and when his powers began to emerge, they introduced young Clark the ideals of hope, truth, and justice inspiring him to use these amazing gifts to protect those in harm’s way.
6. Clark took things slowly.
Clark initially used his powers covertly to help people and prevent disasters.
7. He went ‘undercover’ as a journalist.
Clark Kent became a journalist working for the Daily Planet in Metropolis, working with his love interest Lois Lane. He wanted this job because it kept him close to the world of crime and catastrophes so he could serve his community and the world better.
8. What the L?
Many of Superman’s romantic interests have had the initials L. L. This includes Lois Lane, Lana Lang, Lori Lemaris, and Lyla Lerrol.
9. He’s solar-powered.
Superman harnesses his powers from the solar radiation of our yellow Sun.
10. He flies for a practical reason.
When Superman first debuted, his only powers were “faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound”. His ability to fly was introduced for the 1940s cartoon because it was difficult to animate him bending his knees to jump.
11. Superman can do pretty much anything.
Besides his ability to fly, Superman has some of the most extraordinary powers in all of comics: heat vision, super strength, arctic breath, super-speed, x-ray vision, super-hearing, explosive super flare, telepathy, telekinesis, hypnotism, ventriloquism, and even amnesia-inducing kisses.
12. He can even create copies of himself.
One of the wildest powers Superman has ever had is the ability to shoot a completely sentient, miniature version of himself out of his hand that can be used to help him against enemies.
13. Some of his powers are just… weird.
One of the weirdest superpowers that the Man of Steel has been shown to use is the ability to shape shift into a hairless, pale alien in 1947’s Superman #45.
14. The Flash is even faster than Supes, though.
Even though Superman can fly millions of times faster than the speed of light, Superman isn’t faster than the Flash.
15. Lex Luthor is a pain in Clark Kent’s side.
What’s a superhero without an archenemy? Superman’s archenemy Lex Luthor is known for being a master manipulator, genius, and overall diabolic villain.
16. Even Superman has a weakness.
Superman can be hurt, and even killed by the green space rock Kryptonite. It makes him very weak and vulnerable. He is also vulnerable to magic, red sun radiation, nuke bombs, and supersonic sound waves.
17. Superman’s died a few times!
Superman can die and he has died over the years, but he doesn’t tend to stay that way for long.
Superman deaths include: being brutally beaten by the vicious Doomsday, getting massacred throughout time by Gog in The Kingdom, getting stabbed in the heart by He-Man, and dying from magic and Kryptonite throughout his entire career.
18. Metropolis is inspired by NYC.
Many know that Metropolis is structured a lot like New York City. The legendary comic writer, Frank Miller, has been quoted as saying, “Metropolis is New York by daytime; Gotham is New York at night.” Fewer know that its architecture and tone were inspired by Fritz Lang’s Metropolis a 1927 German expressionist science-fiction drama film.
19. Having four parents really helped.
Jor-El taught Kal how to be “super” while Jonathan Kent showed Clark what it was to be a “man.” Together they created the world’s greatest hero, Superman.
20. Nic Cage was very nearly Superman.
There are so many Superman movies but the one that never got made was Tim Burton’s Superman in the 90s. Even though never made, Nicholas Cage was paid $20 million for it and later on he even named his son Kal- El.
21. Is the role cursed?
Allegedly playing the role of Superman comes with a curse. George Reeves committed suicide, Christopher Reeve was paralyzed in a horse-riding accident, the baby who played Kal-El in 1978’s Superman Lee Quigley died at the age of 14 and Henry Cavill was cursed with blinding handsomeness.
FAQs about Superman
Was Superman originally a villain?
Weirdly, yes - the hero was originally seen as a villain figure before he became one of the most iconic superheroes of all time.
Who killed Superman?
It depends on the continuity you look at, but Doomsday has killed Superman in the main comics’ storylines.
Can Batman beat Superman?
The jury’s out! Technically, Batman doesn’t have superpowers, putting him at a disadvantage - but as the movie Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice proved, it’s pretty much a stalemate.
Do you know any fun facts about Superman? Share them in the comments below!
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