On September 30, , these two companies merged to become National Comics Publications.
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In early concept art, Shuster gave Superman laced sandals like those of strongmen and classical heroes, but these were eventually changed to red boots. Many pulp action heroes such as swashbucklers wore capes. Superman's physical appearance was based on Johnny Weissmuller with touches derived from the comic-strip character Dick Tracy and from the work of cartoonist Roy Crane.
The word "superman" was commonly used in the s and s to describe men of great ability, most often athletes and politicians. Since , Superman stories have been regularly published in periodical comic books published by DC Comics. The first and oldest of these is Action Comics , which began in April The second oldest periodical is Superman , which began in June Action Comics and Superman have been published without interruption ignoring changes to the title and numbering scheme.
Superman has sold more comic books over his lifetime than any other American superhero character. Superman 75 Nov sold over 23 million copies,  making it the best-selling issue of a comic book of all time, thanks to a media sensation over the supposedly permanent death of the character in that issue. In March , Action Comics sold just 51, copies, although such low figures are normal for superhero comic books in general for comparison, Amazing Spider-Man sold only , copies.
Whereas comic books in the s were read by children, since the s the average reader has been an adult. This made comic books less accessible to children. Beginning in January , a Superman daily comic strip appeared in newspapers, syndicated through the McClure Syndicate. A color Sunday version was added that November. Jerry Siegel wrote most of the strips until he was conscripted in The Sunday strips had a narrative continuity separate from the daily strips, possibly because Siegel had to delegate the Sunday strips to ghostwriters.
Initially, Siegel was allowed to write Superman more or less as he saw fit because nobody had anticipated the success and rapid expansion of the franchise. Mort Weisinger was the editor on Superman comics from to , his tenure briefly interrupted by military service.
Siegel and his fellow writers had developed the character with little thought of building a coherent mythology, but as the number of Superman titles and the pool of writers grew, Weisinger demanded a more disciplined approach.
Elements such as Bizarro , Supergirl , the Phantom Zone , the Fortress of Solitude , alternate varieties of kryptonite , robot doppelgangers , and Krypto were introduced during this era.
The complicated universe built under Weisinger was beguiling to devoted readers but alienating to casuals. Weisinger retired in and Julius Schwartz took over.
By his own admission, Weisinger had grown out of touch with newer readers. These changes would eventually be reversed by later writers. Schwartz allowed stories with serious drama such as " For the Man Who Has Everything " Superman Annual 11 , in which the villain Mongul torments Superman with an illusion of happy family life on a living Krypton.
His retirement coincided with DC Comics' decision to streamline the shared continuity called the DC Universe with the companywide-crossover storyline " Crisis on Infinite Earths ". Writer John Byrne rewrote the Superman mythos, again reducing Superman's powers, which writers had slowly re-strengthened, and revised many supporting characters, such as making Lex Luthor a billionaire industrialist rather than a mad scientist, and making Supergirl an artificial shapeshifting organism because DC wanted Superman to be the sole surviving Kryptonian.
Carlin was promoted to Executive Editor for the DC Universe books in , a position he held until Carlson took his place as editor of the Superman comics. In the earlier decades of Superman comics, artists were expected to conform to a certain "house style". After Shuster left National, Wayne Boring succeeded him as the principal artist on Superman comic books.
The first adaptation of Superman beyond comic books was a radio show, The Adventures of Superman , which ran from to for 2, episodes, most of which were aimed at children. The episodes were initially 15 minutes long, but after they were lengthened to 30 minutes. Most episodes were done live. Paramount Pictures released a series of Superman theatrical animated shorts between and Seventeen episodes in total were made, each 8—10 minutes long.
The first nine episodes were produced by Fleischer Studios and the next eight were produced by Famous Studios. Bud Collyer provided the voice of Superman. The first live-action adaptation of Superman was a movie serial released in , targeted at children. Kirk Alyn became the first actor to portray the hero onscreen. It was the most profitable movie serial in movie history. Superman , was released in For flying scenes, Superman was hand-drawn in animated form, composited onto live-action footage.
The first big-budget movie was Superman in , starring Christopher Reeve and produced by Alexander and Ilya Salkind. It is the most successful Superman feature film to date in terms of box office revenue adjusted for inflation. Superman was the first big-budget superhero movie, and its success arguably paved the way for later superhero movies like Batman and Spider-Man In , Man of Steel was released by Warner Bros.
Its sequel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice , featured Superman alongside Batman and Wonder Woman , making it the first theatrical movie in which Superman appeared alongside other superheroes from the DC Universe. Cavill reprised his role in Justice League and is under contract to play Superman in one more film. Adventures of Superman , which aired from to , was the first television series based on a superhero.
It starred George Reeves as Superman. Whereas the radio serial was aimed at children, this television show was aimed at a general audience,   although children made up the majority of viewers.
Robert Maxwell, who produced the radio serial , was the producer for the first season. For the second season, Maxwell was replaced with Whitney Ellsworth. Ellsworth toned down the violence of the show to make it more suitable for children, though he still aimed for a general audience. This show was extremely popular in Japan, where it achieved an audience share rating of Superboy aired from to It was produced by Alexander and Ilya Salkind, the same men who had produced the Superman movies starring Christopher Reeve.
The New Adventures of Superman aired from to This show was aimed at adults and focused on the relationship between Clark Kent and Lois Lane as much as Superman's heroics. Smallville aired from to This show was targeted at young adult women. Although Clark engages in heroics in this show, he doesn't wear a costume, nor does he call himself Superboy. Rather, he relies on misdirection and his blinding speed to avoid being recognized.
The first animated television series was The New Adventures of Superman , which aired from to and was targeted at children. The Animated Series aired from to After the show's cancellation, this version of Superman appeared in the sequel shows Justice League and Justice League Unlimited , which ran from to This was thus the most successful and longest-running animated version of Superman.
Superman has appeared in a series of direct-to-video animated movies produced by Warner Bros. Unlike the animated television shows, these movies are targeted at a mature audience. Many of these movies are adaptations of popular comic book stories. Tyler Hoechlin appears as Superman in the Arrowverse series Supergirl.
The first electronic game was simply titled Superman , and released in for the Atari The last game centered on Superman was Superman Returns adapted from the movie in Superman has, however, appeared in more recent games starring the Justice League, such as Injustice 2 This was normal practice in the comic magazine industry and they had done the same with their previous published works Slam Bradley, Doctor Occult, etc.
Siegel wrote most of the magazine and daily newspaper stories until he was conscripted into the army in , whereupon the task was passed to ghostwriters. Siegel was furious because DC Comics did this without having bought the character. In , Siegel and Shuster attempted to regain rights to Superman using the renewal option in the Copyright Act of , but the court ruled Siegel and Shuster had transferred the renewal rights to DC Comics in Siegel and Shuster appealed, but the appeals court upheld this decision.
DC Comics fired Siegel when he filed this second lawsuit. In , Siegel and a number of other comic book writers and artists launched a public campaign for better compensation and treatment of comic creators. Warner Brothers agreed to give Siegel and Shuster a yearly stipend, full medical benefits, and credit their names in all future Superman productions in exchange for never contesting ownership of Superman. Siegel and Shuster upheld this bargain. Shuster died in DC Comics offered Shuster's heirs a stipend in exchange for never challenging ownership of Superman, which they accepted for some years.
Siegel died in His heirs attempted to take the rights to Superman using the termination provision of the Copyright Act of Copyright lawyer and movie producer Marc Toberoff then struck a deal with the heirs of both Siegel and Shuster to help them get the rights to Superman in exchange for signing the rights over to his production company, Pacific Pictures.
In , the judge ruled in favor of the Siegels. DC Comics appealed the decision, and the appeals court ruled in favor of DC, arguing that the October letter was binding. In , the Shuster heirs served a termination notice for Shuster's grant of his half of the copyright to Superman.
DC Comics sued the Shuster heirs in , and the court ruled in DC's favor on the grounds that the agreement with the Shuster heirs barred them from terminating the grant.
Superman is due to enter the public domain in Versions of him with later developments, such as his power of " heat vision " introduced in , may persist under copyright until the works they were introduced in enter the public domain themselves. Superman's success immediately spawned a wave of imitations. The most successful of these was Captain Marvel , first published by Fawcett Comics in December Captain Marvel had many similarities to Superman: Herculean strength, invulnerability, the ability to fly, a cape, a secret identity, and a job as a journalist.
DC Comics filed a lawsuit against Fawcett Comics for copyright infringement. The trial began in March after seven years of discovery. The judge ruled that Fawcett had indeed infringed on Superman. However, the judge also found that the copyright notices that appeared with the Superman newspaper strips did not meet the technical standards of the Copyright Act of and were therefore invalid.
Furthermore, since the newspaper strips carried stories adapted from Action Comics , the judge ruled that DC Comics had effectively abandoned the copyright to the Action Comics stories.
The judge ruled that DC Comics had effectively abandoned the copyright to Superman and therefore waived its right to sue Fawcett for copyright infringement.
DC Comics appealed this decision. The appeals court ruled that unintentional mistakes in the copyright notices of the newspaper strips did not invalidate the copyrights. Furthermore, Fawcett knew that DC Comics never intended to abandon the copyrights, and therefore Fawcett's infringement was not an innocent misunderstanding, and therefore Fawcett owed damages to DC Comics.
This section details the most consistent elements of the Superman narrative in the myriad stories published since In Action Comics 1 , Superman is born on an alien world to a technologically advanced species that resembles humans. Shortly after he is born, his planet is destroyed in a natural cataclysm, but Superman's scientist father foresaw the calamity and saves his baby son by sending him to Earth in a small spaceship.
The ship, sadly, is too small to carry anyone else, so Superman's parents stay behind and die. The earliest newspaper strips name the planet "Krypton", the baby "Kal-L", and his biological parents "Jor-L" and "Lora";  their names were changed to "Jor-el", and "Lara" in a spinoff novel by George Lowther. The Kents name the boy Clark and raise him in a farming community.
A episode of the radio serial places this unnamed community in Iowa. The Superman movie placed it in Kansas, as do most Superman stories since. In Action Comics 1 and most stories before , Superman's powers begin developing in infancy. From to , DC Comics regularly published stories of Superman's childhood and adolescent adventures, when he called himself " Superboy ".
In Man of Steel 1, Superman's powers emerged more slowly and he began his superhero career as an adult. The Kents teach Clark he must conceal his otherworldly origins and use his fantastic powers to do good.
Clark creates the costumed identity of Superman so as to protect his personal privacy and the safety of his loved ones. As Clark Kent, he wears eyeglasses to disguise his face and wears his Superman costume underneath his clothes so that he can change at a moment's notice.
To complete this disguise, Clark avoids violent confrontation, preferring to slip away and change into Superman when danger arises, and he suffers occasional ridicule for his apparent cowardice. In Superboy 78 , Superboy makes his costume out of the indestructible blankets found in the ship he came to Earth in.
In Man of Steel 1 , Martha Kent makes the costume from human-manufactured cloth, and it is rendered indestructible by an "aura" that Superman projects. The "S" on Superman's chest at first was simply an initial for "Superman".
When writing the script for the movie , Tom Mankiewicz made it Superman's Kryptonian family crest. In the comic story Superman: Birthright , the crest is described as an old Kryptonian symbol for hope. Clark works as a newspaper journalist. In the earliest stories, he worked for The Daily Star , but the second episode of the radio serial changed this to the Daily Planet.
In comics from the early s, Clark worked as a television journalist an attempt to modernize the character. However, for the movie , the producers chose to make Clark a newspaper journalist again because that was how most of the public thought of him. The first story in which Superman dies was published in Superman , in which he is murdered by Lex Luthor by means of kryptonite.
This story was "imaginary" and thus was ignored in subsequent books. In Superman April , Superman is killed by kryptonite radiation, but is revived in the same issue by one of his android doppelgangers. He was later revived by the Eradicator. In Superman 52 May Superman is killed by kryptonite poisoning, and this time he is not resurrected, but replaced by the Superman of an alternate timeline. Superman maintains a secret hideout called the "Fortress of Solitude", which is located somewhere in the Arctic.
Here, Superman keeps a collection of mementos and a laboratory for science experiments. In Action Comics , the Fortress of Solitude is a cave in a mountain, sealed with a very heavy door that is opened with a gigantic key too heavy for anyone but Superman to use. In the movie, the Fortress of Solitude is a structure made out of ice. In the original Siegel and Shuster stories, Superman's personality is rough and aggressive.
The character often attacks and terrorizes wife beaters , profiteers, lynch mobs , and gangsters in a rough manner and with a looser moral code than audiences today might be used to. He tosses villainous characters in such a manner that fatalities would presumably occur, although these are seldom shown explicitly on the page. This came to an end in late when new editor Whitney Ellsworth instituted a code of conduct for his characters to follow, banning Superman from ever killing.
Ellsworth's code, however, is not to be confused with " the Comics Code ", which was created in by the Comics Code Authority and ultimately abandoned by every major comic book publisher by the early 21st century. In his first appearances, Superman was considered a vigilante by the authorities, being fired upon by the National Guard as he razed a slum so that the government would create better housing conditions for the poor.
By , however, Superman was working side-by-side with the police. He adheres to an unwavering moral code instilled in him by his adoptive parents.
Superman can be rather rigid in this trait, causing tensions in the superhero community. Having lost his home world of Krypton, Superman is very protective of Earth,  and especially of Clark Kent's family and friends. This same loss, combined with the pressure of using his powers responsibly, has caused Superman to feel lonely on Earth, despite having his friends and parents. Previous encounters with people he thought to be fellow Kryptonians, Power Girl  who is, in fact from the Krypton of the Earth-Two universe and Mon-El ,  have led to disappointment.
The arrival of Supergirl , who has been confirmed to be not only from Krypton, but also his cousin, has relieved this loneliness somewhat.
In many ways, Clark is the most human of us all. And how fortunate we all are that it does not occur to him. The catalog of Superman's abilities and their strength has varied considerably over the vast body of Superman fiction released since Since Action Comics 1 , Superman has superhuman strength. The cover of Action Comics 1 shows him effortlessly lifting a car over his head. Another classic Superman feat of strength is breaking steel chains.
In some stories, he is strong enough to shift the orbits of planets  and crush coal into diamond with his hands. Since Action Comics 1 , Superman has a highly durable body, invulnerable for most practical purposes.
At the very least, bullets bounce harmlessly off his body. In some stories, such as Kingdom Come , not even a nuclear bomb can harm him. In some stories, Superman is said to project an aura that renders invulnerable any tight-fitting clothes he wears, and hence his costume is as durable as he is despite being made of common human-factured cloth.
This concept was first introduced in Man of Steel 1 In other stories, Superman's costume is made out of exotic materials that are as tough as he is. In Action Comics 1, Superman couldn't fly. He travelled by running and leaping, which he could do to a prodiguous degree thanks to his strength. Superman gained the ability to fly in the second episode of the radio serial in He can break the sound barrier, and in some stories he can even fly faster than light to travel to distant galaxies.
Superman can project and perceive X-rays via his eyes, which allows him to see through objects. He first uses this power in Action Comics 11 Certain materials such as lead can block his X-ray vision. Superman can project beams of heat from his eyes which are hot enough to melt steel. He first used this power in Superman 59 by applying his X-ray vision at its highest intensity. In later stories, this ability is simply called " heat vision ".
Superman can hear sounds that are too faint for a human to hear, and at frequencies outside the human hearing range. This ability is introduced in Action Comics 11 Action Comics 1 explained that Superman's strength was common to all Kryptonians because they were a species "millions of years advanced of our own".
Later stories explained they evolved superhuman strength simply because of Krypton's higher gravity. Superman explains that his abilities other than strength flight, durability, etc.
In Action Comics , all of his powers including strength are activated by yellow sunlight and can be deactivated by red sunlight similar to that of Krypton's sun. Exposure to green kryptonite radiation nullifies Superman's powers and incapacitates him with pain and nausea; prolonged exposure will eventually kill him.
Although green kryptonite is the most commonly seen form, writers have introduced other forms over the years: Kryptonite first appeared in a episode of the radio serial. Superman is also vulnerable to magic. Enchanted weapons and magical spells affect Superman as easily as they would a normal human. This weakness was established in Superman Superman's first and most famous supporting character is Lois Lane , introduced in Action Comics 1. She is a fellow journalist at the Daily Planet. As Jerry Siegel conceived her, Lois considers Clark Kent to be a wimp, but she is infatuated with the bold and mighty Superman, not knowing that Kent and Superman are the same person.
Siegel objected to any proposal that Lois discover that Clark is Superman because he felt that, as implausible as Clark's disguise is, the love triangle was too important to the book's appeal.
This was the first story in which Superman and Lois marry that wasn't an "imaginary tale. Another major supporting character is Jimmy Olsen. He is a young photographer at the Daily Planet , who is friends with both Superman and Clark Kent, though in most stories he doesn't know that Clark is Superman.
Jimmy is frequently described as "Superman's pal", and was conceived to give young male readers a relatable characters through which they could fantasize being friends with Superman. In this sense, he serves a similar function to Robin from Batman fiction.
Clark Kent's foster parents are Ma and Pa Kent. In many stories, one or both of them have passed away by the time Clark becomes Superman. Clark's parents taught him that he should use his abilities for altruistic means, but that he should also find some way to safeguard his private life.
The villains Superman faced in the earliest stories were ordinary humans, such as gangsters, corrupt politicians, and violent husbands; but they soon grew more colorful and outlandish so as to avoid offending censors or scaring children. Superman's best-known nemesis, Lex Luthor , was introduced in Action Comics 23 April and has been depicted as either a mad scientist or a wealthy businessman sometimes both.
The monstrous Doomsday , introduced in Superman: The Man of Steel 17—18 Nov. Other adversaries include the odd Superman-doppelgänger Bizarro , the Kryptonian criminal General Zod , and alien tyrants Darkseid and Mongul. The details Superman's story and supporting cast vary across his large body of fiction released since , but most versions conform to the basic template described above.
A few stories feature radically altered versions of Superman. An example is the graphic novel Superman: Red Son , which depicts a communist Superman who rules the Soviet Union.
DC Comics has on some occasions published crossover stories where different versions of Superman interact with each other using the plot device of parallel universes. For instance, in the s, the Superman of "Earth-One" would occasionally feature in stories alongside the Superman of "Earth-Two", the latter of whom resembled Superman as he was portrayed in the s.
DC Comics has not developed a consistent and universal system to classify all versions of Superman. Superman is often thought of as the first superhero.
This point is debated by historians: Ogon Bat , the Phantom , Zorro , and Mandrake the Magician arguably fit the definition of superhero yet predate Superman. Nevertheless, Superman popularized the genre and established its conventions. This flourishing is today referred to as America's Golden Age of Comic Books , which lasted from to about The Golden Age ended when American superhero book sales declined, leading to the cancellation of many characters; but Superman was one of the few superhero franchises that survived this decline, and his sustained popularity into the late s helped a second flourishing in the Silver Age of Comic Books , when characters such as Spider-Man , Iron Man , and The X-Men were created.
After World War 2, American superhero fiction entered Japanese culture. Astro Boy , first published in , was inspired by Mighty Mouse , which itself was a parody of Superman. These shows were very popular with the Japanese and inspired Japan's own prolific genre of superheroes.
The first Japanese superhero movie, Super Giant , was released in DC Comics trademarked the Superman chest logo in August The earliest paraphernalia appeared in The first toy was a wooden doll in made by the Ideal Novelty and Toy Company. During World War 2, Superman was used to support the war effort.
Action Comics and Superman carried messages urging readers to buy war bonds and participate in scrap drives. Superman has also featured as an inspiration for musicians, with songs by numerous artists from several generations celebrating the character.
Donovan 's Billboard Hot topping single " Sunshine Superman " utilized the character in both the title and the lyric, declaring "Superman and Green Lantern ain't got nothing on me. This cover is referenced by Grant Morrison in Animal Man , in which Superman meets the character, and the track comes on Animal Man 's Walkman immediately after.
Superman is the prototypical superhero and consequently the most frequently parodied. In , Bugs Bunny was featured in a short, Super-Rabbit , which sees the character gaining powers through eating fortified carrots. This short ends with Bugs stepping into a phone booth to change into a real "Superman" and emerging as a U. In Daffy Duck assumes the mantle of "Cluck Trent" in the short " Stupor Duck ", a role later reprised in various issues of the Looney Tunes comic book.
The manga and anime series Dr. Slump featured the character Suppaman ; a short, fat, pompous man who changes into a thinly veiled Superman-like alter-ego by eating a sour-tasting umeboshi. Jerry Seinfeld , a noted Superman fan, filled his series Seinfeld with references to the character and in asked for Superman to co-star with him in a commercial for American Express.
Seagle's graphic novel Superman: It's a Bird exploring Seagle's feelings on his own mortality as he struggles to develop a story for a Superman tale.
Superman was depicted as emaciated and breathing from an oxygen tank, demonstrating that no-one is beyond the reach of the disease, and it can destroy the lives of everyone.
Superman has been interpreted and discussed in many forms in the years since his debut. The character's status as the first costumed superhero has allowed him to be used in many studies discussing the genre, Umberto Eco noting that "he can be seen as the representative of all his similars".
He regarded Superman's character in the early seventies as a comment on the modern world, which he saw as a place in which "only the man with superpowers can survive and prosper. Grayling, writing in The Spectator , traces Superman's stances through the decades, from his s campaign against crime being relevant to a nation under the influence of Al Capone , through the s and World War II, a period in which Superman helped sell war bonds ,  and into the s, where Superman explored the new technological threats.
Grayling notes the period after the Cold War as being one where "matters become merely personal: Bush and the terrorist Osama bin Laden , America is in earnest need of a Saviour for everything from the minor inconveniences to the major horrors of world catastrophe. And here he is, the down-home clean-cut boy in the blue tights and red cape". An influence on early Superman stories is the context of the Great Depression.
Superman took on the role of social activist, fighting crooked businessmen and politicians and demolishing run-down tenements. Scott Bukatman has discussed Superman, and the superhero in general, noting the ways in which they humanize large urban areas through their use of the space, especially in Superman's ability to soar over the large skyscrapers of Metropolis.
He writes that the character "represented, in , a kind of Corbusierian ideal. Superman has X-ray vision: Through his benign, controlled authority, Superman renders the city open, modernist and democratic; he furthers a sense that Le Corbusier described in , namely, that 'Everything is known to us'.
Jules Feiffer has argued that Superman's real innovation lay in the creation of the Clark Kent persona, noting that what "made Superman extraordinary was his point of origin: Joe and I had certain inhibitions That's where the dual-identity concept came from" and Shuster supporting that as being "why so many people could relate to it".
Ian Gordon suggests that the many incarnations of Superman across media use nostalgia to link the character to an ideology of the American Way. He defines this ideology as a means of associating individualism, consumerism, and democracy and as something that took shape around WWII and underpinned the war effort. Superman he notes was very much part of that effort. Superman is considered the prototypical superhero. He established the major conventions of the archetype: Superman's immigrant status is a key aspect of his appeal.
The extraterrestrial origin was seen by Regalado as challenging the notion that Anglo-Saxon ancestry was the source of all might. Through the use of a dual identity, Superman allowed immigrants to identify with both their cultures.
Clark Kent represents the assimilated individual, allowing Superman to express the immigrants' cultural heritage for the greater good. He argues that Superman's early stories portray a threat: Some see Judaic themes in Superman.
For example, Moses as a baby was sent away by his parents in a reed basket to escape death and adopted by a foreign culture. Gabriel , Ariel , who are airborne humanoid agents of good with superhuman powers. Superman stories have occasionally exhibited Christian themes as well. Screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz consciously made Superman an allegory for Christ in the movie starring Christopher Reeve: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
This article is about the superhero. For other uses, see Superman disambiguation. Jerry Siegel , writer. Joe Shuster , illustrator. Publication history of Superman and Superman franchise. List of Superman comics.
List of Superman video games. Copyright lawsuits by Superman's creators. National Comics Publications v. Superman character and cast and List of Superman supporting characters. List of Superman enemies. Alternative versions of Superman. Superman in popular music. Superman portal Comics portal Fictional characters portal Speculative fiction portal Superhero fiction portal. Jerry Siegel always referred to this publisher as "Consolidated" in all interviews and memoirs.
Humor Publishing was possibly a subsidiary of Consolidated. On September 30, , these two companies merged to become National Comics Publications. In , the company changed its name to National Periodical Publications. Since , the publisher had placed a logo with the initials "DC" on all its magazine covers, and consequently "DC Comics" became an informal name for the publisher.
See Catalog of Copyright Entries. New Series, Volume 33, Part 2: United States Library of Congress. How Brands Become Icons: The Principles of Cultural Branding. Harvard Business School Press. Blackwell Handbook of Judgment and Decision Making. Modernity, technology, and African American culture between the wars. University of Massachusetts Press.
The Advance Guard of Future Civilization 3. January Summarized in Ricca , p. Creation of a Superhero unpublished memoir, written c. Something more terrific than the other adventure strips on the market!
He gained fantastic strength, bullets bounced off him, etc. He fought crime with the fury of an outraged avenger. I understand that the comic strip Dr. Fu Manchu ran into all sorts of difficulties because the main character was a villain.
And with the example before us of Tarzan and other action heroes of fiction who were very successful, mainly because people admired them and looked up to them, it seemed the sensible thing to do to make The Superman a hero.
The first piece was a short story, and that's one thing; but creating a successful comic strip with a character you'll hope will continue for many years, it would definitely be going in the wrong direction to make him a villain. He was simply wearing a T-shirt and pants; he was more like Slam Bradley than anything else — just a man of action. In later years - maybe 10 or 15 years ago - I asked Joe what he remembered of this story, and he remembered a scene of a character crouched on the edge of a building, with a cape almost a la Batman.
We don't specifically recall if the character had a costume or not. Detective Dan was little more than a Dick Tracy clone, but here, for the first time, in a series of black-and-white illustrations, was a comic magazine with an original character appearing in all-new stories. This was a dramatic departure from other comic magazines, which simply reprinted panels from the Sunday newspaper comic strips. Livingston in his hotel room, and he was favorably impressed.
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