Israel 1986 FINE Original HEBREW No.1 SUPERMAN THE MAN OF STEEL Poster DC COMICS

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Seller: judaica-bookstore (1.994) 100%, Location: TEL AVIV, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 283171410826 DESCRIPTION : Up for auction is the HEBREW - ISRAELI - JEWISH version of the original vintage illustrated "SUPERMAN - THE MAN OF STEEL" comics , First edition, First issue, Number 1, Volume 1 ( Namely "The LEGEND BEGINS" ) of the certified HEBREW EDITION of the legendary "SUPERMAN - THE MAN OF STEEL" by DC COMICS which was created in 1986 by JOHN BYRNE and DICK GIORDANO . The Hebrew publishers obtained the rights and in 1986 this fascinating HEBREW EDITION was published in ISRAEL in the HEBREW language , Being read and printed from right to left ( Being actualy a mirror image of the original English version ) . The Israeli publishers have provided the serie wwith a brand new Hebrew name " SUPERMAN of STEEL" rather than the original " The MAN of STEEL". Includes a DOUBLE SPREAD POSTER of SUPERMAN , Bound with the booklets as issued by the publisher. Around 7 x 10.5 ". 32 unpaged pp excluding the covers. . FINE - PRISTINE condition. Unused. Open firstly only for taking the pictures for this ebay sale. ( Pls look at scan for accurate AS IS images ) Will be sent inside a protective tube. PAYMENTS : Payment method accepted : Paypal . SHIPPMENT : Shipp worldwide via registered airmail is $ 18 . Will be sent inside a protective tube . Will be sent within 3-5 days after payment . Kindly note that duration of Int'l registered airmail is around 14 days. MORE DETAILS : The Man of Steel is a 1986 comic book limited series featuring the DC Comics character Superman. Written and drawn by John Byrne, the series was presented in six issues which were inked by Dick Giordano. The series told the story of Superman's modern origin, which had been rebooted following the 1986 series Crisis on Infinite Earths. DC editors wanted to make changes to the character of Superman, including making him the sole survivor of his home planet Krypton, and Byrne's story was written to show these changes and to present Superman's origin. The series includes the embryonic Kal-El rocketing away from the destruction of Krypton and his birth upon landing in Kansas when he emerged from the artificial womb, Clark Kent as a teenager in Smallville learning that he was found in a crashed space ship, his being hired at the Daily Planet in Metropolis, the creation of his secret identity of Superman, his first meeting with fellow hero Batman, and how he finally learned of his birth parents and from where he came. The series also included the reintroduction of a number of supporting characters, including fellow reporter and love interest Lois Lane and archenemy Lex Luthor, who was re-branded from a mad scientist to a powerful businessman. The series's legacy persisted, as it set the new status quo for all of the ongoing Superman comic series for many years after it was published. The story stayed in DC Comics continuity as the origin of Superman until it was expanded upon in the 2003 limited series Superman: Birthright, which stayed canon until 2009. The title is a reference to one of Superman's nicknames which touted his invulnerability making him the "Man of Steel."[1]It was later used as the title of an ongoing comic series and in a film reboot in 2013. Contents [hide] 1Background 2Production 3Story 3.1Issue One 3.2Issue Two 3.3Issue Three 3.4Issue Four 3.5Issue Five 3.6Issue Six 4Collected editions and adaptations 5Impact 6Legacy 7References Background[edit] Further information: DC Comics § History, and Origin of Superman The character of Superman was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. They originally intended for the character to star in a daily newspaper comic strip.[2] He first appeared in the comic book, Action Comics #1, published in April 1938 by National Allied Publications (later renamed DC Comics).[3] This book gave his origin, however it was cut down to one page. Soon after his introduction, the character became very popular,[4] and by summer of 1939 he was starring in not only Action Comics, but also his own self-titled comic Superman, becoming the first character successful enough to support two comic titles.[5] In the next few decades, Superman's story was expanded to include new characters and storylines. After Siegel and Shuster left, new writers and artists added their own ideas to the Superman mythos. In 1945, Superman's adventures as a boy in Smallville were introduced in More Fun Comics #101 with the concept of Superboy,[6] while his status as the only survivor of Krypton's destruction changed in 1959 with the introduction of his cousin, Supergirl in Action Comics #252.[7] Eventually, these new details began to conflict with earlier stories, especially with the transition of comics from the Golden Age of Comic Books to the Silver Age of Comic Books. New heroes were introduced and Superman joined with them as a full member of the Justice League of America, however his work with the previous generation of heroes in the Justice Society of America gave conflicting details of his story. These conflicts were resolved in an issue of The Flash #123, Flash of Two Worlds. The story introduced the idea of the DC Multiverse,[8] which presented the idea that these original heroes from the Golden Age were from Earth-2, while the current generation of heroes were from Earth-1. This created an infinite number of worlds on which any number of conflicting stories could occur, which resolved many of these conflicts in the Superman mythos. The multiverse, however, turned out to be too complicated for casual readers of comic books.[9] DC Comics wanted more readers for their comics and decided that they would ease the confusion of new readers by getting rid of the multiverse. They would accomplish this in the 1985 limited series, Crisis on Infinite Earths.[10] DC decided that with the series they could reboot the history of many of its characters, including Superman, leading to The Man of Steel. Production[edit] In the years before Crisis on Infinite Earths led to the reboot of the DC Universe, DC editors and Marv Wolfman had been wanting to do a revision for Superman. Nothing was ever developed until then-publisher and president Jenette Kahn asked for revision proposals from various writers.[11] While regular Superman writer Cary Bates wanted the revision to still keep the then-ongoing continuity as it was, Wolfman, and other writers such as Frank Miller and Steve Gerber wanted to restart the continuity from scratch.[12] Wolfman, Miller, and Gerber all wanted to do the same thing: get rid of Clark Kent's career as Superboy, cut down Superman's powers, make changes in Lex Luthor's character, and make Superman the only survivor of Krypton, avoiding the other Kryptonian characters if necessary. However, regardless of wanting the same things, how each writer wanted to approach the revision was different. After time had passed with no revision being granted the green light, Wolfman found out John Byrne had left Marvel Comics in May 1985. Because both of them had shared the same ideas and feelings on the character, Wolfman felt that Byrne would "make it sell," and called him. Byrne accepted and presented DC with his proposal. With DC agreeing with 99% of the revision, Byrne was given the go-ahead for what became The Man of Steel.[13] The mini-series was designed to reboot the Superman mythos using the history-altering effects of Crisis on Infinite Earths as an explanation. Thus, for modern comics, The Man of Steel is the dividing point between the previous canon of the Silver Age, and the Modern Age. The two different versions are referred to in stories soon after and by fans as "pre-Crisis" and "post-Crisis," per Crisis on Infinite Earths being the major dividing line across the DC Universe as a whole.[14] The pre-Crisis stories were drawn to a close in Alan Moore's Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?. Story[edit] The story was published in six issues from July to September 1986. Each issue focuses on a different time in the early years of Superman's career. In telling the story, Byrne drew from available media depictions of Superman for inspiration, including the Fleischer Studios cartoons[15] and George Reeves' portrayal in the 1950s television series, Adventures of Superman.[16] Issue One[edit] The cover to the first issue touted the story as where "The Legend Begins."[17] It chronicles the origin of Superman, beginning with his flight from Krypton to his arrival on Earth where he is discovered by his adoptive parents, Jonathan and Martha Kent. The story fast forwards to a high school football game, which the now-teenaged Clark Kent wins for his team practically single-handed. Afterwards, concerned about his son, Jonathan takes Clark for a ride in their car. By this time, Clark has developed many of his powers: durability, great strength, X-ray vision, and flight. Jonathan reveals to Clark the truth that he (Clark) was never their biological son, but was found from a crashed spaceship. Jonathan explains that Clark needs to use his powers more responsibly, not for his own benefit. After this revelation, Clark decides to use his powers for the greater good, but anonymously. For the next few years, during his studies in university, he secretly saves lives and averts disasters. While in Metropolis, however, which he had made his home base for three years, he openly prevents the crash of an experimental space plane, revealing his existence to the public. He meets Lois Lane for the first time and both feel a connection to each other. A grateful mob of people surrounds them. Clark, badly shaken and unable to deal with the sudden attention, flies away to consult his parents. In order to preserve Clark’s privacy, Jonathan comes up with the idea of a superhero identity such as those used in the 1940s. Clark adopts a costume created by Martha and assumes the name he was given in the news: Superman. In the issue, the planet Krypton is portrayed as a cold and emotionally sterile planet, an idea Byrne borrowed from the 1978film Superman. Kal-El was not an infant sent from Krypton to Earth, rather, his fetus was placed in a "birthing matrix" equipped with a rocket engine and Jor-El's experimental warp drive, with Kal-El gestating during the trip to Earth. Once the rocket landed, Kal-El was fully "born" on Earth. This also made him "born" an American, a plot point that would be used in Armageddon 2001, a DC Comics storyline which explored possible futures, one of which featured Superman becoming President of the United States.[18] The Kents, however, especially Martha, are depicted as not believing the baby to be an extraterrestrial, but rather an ordinary human baby who was the victim of a cruel experiment. The Kents keep the infant to prevent any further exploitation of him. Clark's abilities are shown to have developed gradually in the yellow sun environment of Earth, starting with resistance to injury, with his flying ability emerging last. His powers do not reach their peak until his late teen years; thus, Clark only adopts the Superman identity in adulthood and never was Superboy. In some pre-Crisis depictions, the Kents surrendered baby Kal-El to an orphanage before having a change of heart and legally adopting him as their own. Here, the Kents secretly adopt Clark and pass him off as their biological son. Prior to finding Clark, Martha Kent had a history of failed pregnancies. Friends and relatives assumed that they kept Martha’s “pregnancy” a secret over fear of losing another child. A blizzard that closed off Smallville for weeks also helped in the Kents’ alibi.[19] As the Kents believed Clark was human, they and he assume his powers were simply the result of his being born as perhaps a "mutant". (Issue #6) While the pre-Crisis Superman's costume was indestructible, being made from the blankets in the rocket that brought him to Earth, the post-Crisis Superman costume is made of ordinary cloth. The cape often became ripped and torn in later stories (or even completely destroyed on occasion) for dramatic effect, while the rest of the costume was usually left undamaged. It was later explained that the post-Crisis Superman's body generated an invisible "aura" that surrounded him and contributed to his bodily invulnerability. Objects held close to him, such as his costume, were protected from harm; his cape, meanwhile, could easily sustain damage in battle. The cape is also larger and longer, its flowing through the air looking more dramatic. While keeping every classic element to the costume, Byrne made adjustments to the Superman S-shield. The emblem is an original design by Clark and Jonathan, and Byrne significantly increased its size so that it almost entirely covers Superman's chest.[20] Byrne made a small change to his original plans for the issue because of real world events. During Superman's public debut, he was originally going to save a landing space-shuttle. After the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, however, the Constitution was changed to "an experimental space-plane."[21] In Bryan Singer's 2006 Film, "Superman Returns," a space shuttle is finally involved, with Superman needing to ensure a successful launch of the shuttle, only then having to rescue a conventional commercial airplane from crashing. Issue Two[edit] The next issue is set shortly after the first, where the costumed Superman debuts in Metropolis. Daily Planet managing editor Perry White assigns Lois Lane to get the full story on the new hero. In the meantime, Superman is all over Metropolis helping others, from stopping muggings to foiling bank robberies. After a series of failed attempts to even encounter him again, Lois decides to take a gamble and plunges her car into the harbor to lure Superman into the open. Her plan works, as Superman arrives and takes her back to her apartment. The pair have a quiet talk in which Superman vaguely reveals some details about himself, including confirming the name "Superman" that Lois gave him in her first article about him. Superman then departs, but not before asking Lois if she always carries an aqua-lung in her car. Lois finally has her scoop - the first sit-down interview with Superman - only to find out she's been beaten to the headline by the Daily Planet's newest reporter: Clark Kent. In this series, Lois Lane was written as an aggressive reporter and personality from the start, and she never expressed a desire to find out Superman's identity or that he might have an alter-ego. Lois was given a reddish-brown hair. Although she is clearly attracted to Superman, Lois is depicted as a driven career woman, with no thoughts of matrimony. She was also responsible for coming up with the name "Superman", as in other media iterations of the character (such as Superman and Superman: The Animated Series). Issue Three[edit] Superman and Batman encounter each other for the first time after Superman has heard of a vigilante operating in Gotham City. Batman is on the trail of a criminal called Magpie when he is interrupted by Superman, who regards him as an outlaw. Rather than risk capture, Batman informs Superman that should the latter make any attempt to touch him, a signal will be activated triggering a hidden bomb that will kill an innocent person somewhere in the city. After Batman explains his motivations and outlook to Superman, the two then work together and eventually capture Magpie. Afterwards, they come to a mutual understanding of one another, then Batman reveals that the endangered person was Batman all along - the bomb was attached to his utility belt - which was the only way (at the time) that Batman had of keeping Superman at bay. Superman departs, cautioning Batman against crossing any further lines. Batman regards Superman privately as "a remarkable man, all things considered" and wonders if, in a different reality, they could have been friends. Superman's relationship with Batman, which was friendly throughout most of the pre-Crisis period, became much more strained in later years, as each began disagreeing with the other's attitudes. This shift is reflected in Man of Steel, as it starts off with Batman and Superman initially at odds over their respective ideologies and approaches, and they only just begin showing signs of developing a partnership, if not friendship. Batman's musing at the story's end is an allusion to their pre-Crisis friendship. Batman mentions that he had read Superman's debut in the Daily Planet news reports eight months ago. Issue Four[edit] Lois and Clark are guests at a party being held on Lex Luthor’s luxury oceanliner. Upon arriving, they are entertained by Luthor in his private chamber on the ship. When Luthor privately insinuates his desire for Lois to her, the latter is offended (having some knowledge of Luthor’s past) and angrily decides to leave the ship, taking Clark with her. She and Clark are then confronted by South American terrorists, who promptly throw Clark overboard when he intervenes to protect Lois. As the terrorists cordon off the hostages, Clark changes to Superman and lifts the ship, which surprises everyone on board. Lois seizes the opportunity, fighting back and capturing the terrorists with a last-minute assist from Superman. Luthor then tries to put Superman on his personal retainer, which Superman declines. Luthor then reveals that he allowed the terrorists to attack just to see Superman in action for himself, to the outrage of everyone present. Superman is then deputized by the mayor of Metropolis to arrest Luthor for reckless endangerment, who is released hours later thanks to his legal team. A few days later, Luthor confronts Superman and warns him of a reckoning. Superman's nemesis Lex Luthor was now no longer a bald mad scientist or a costumed supervillain with questionable motives, and has a full head of red hair. Instead, he is the new evil of the 1980s:[22] a power-hungry businessman, "the most powerful man in Metropolis," who resents Superman's overshadowing presence. Instead of battling Superman directly, Luthor would now use hired minions, employ staff on his payroll, or manipulate others to destroy Superman, while ensuring that no incidents could be conclusively linked to him. Prior to the Crisis, Luthor's hatred of Superman and ensuing criminal behavior, was due to Superboy accidentally rendering the then teen-age Lex Luthor permanently bald. This was retconned as stated above. Clark mentions that it has been almost eighteen months since he beat Lois to the scoop on Superman. Issue Five[edit] The story begins with Superman confronting Luthor after foiling another of the latter’s revenge schemes. However, Luthor is able to elude arrest when Superman is unable to tie the villain to his criminal act. This retcon dismisses Lex Luthor's Lexorian supersuit as a faulty Nasa spacesuit. Superman leaves but not before his body is scanned by Dr. Teng’s cloning machine. Due to Superman’s alien heritage, the machine is unable to duplicate his DNA as it can only recognize known life-forms. At first the clone appears to be a perfect duplicate of Superman until it keels over unconscious and its body starts to crystallize. Frustrated, Luthor orders the body to be disposed of. Days later, the duplicate resurfaces thinking it is Superman and helping Metropolitans. The people, upon seeing it, flee in fear. It later meets a blind Lucy Lane, Lois’s sister, who attempted to commit suicide by jumping off a building. Superman encounters the creature and engages it in battle. The fight ends in a final blow, shattering the imperfect duplicate into a dust cloud which somehow restores Lucy’s sight. On the opening page of this issue, Superman is seemingly capturing Luthor, who is wearing his pre-Crisis power suit. However, the next page reveals that it is one of Luthor's pawns in the suit. Luthor claims that the suit had been stolen and that he had no knowledge of the plot to attack Superman. Unfortunately, the suit's systems have left the man inside a vegetable, unable to tell the truth of Luthor's involvement. The reader later learns that Luthor was responsible for all of the above, which Superman suspects. Additionally, through Dr. Teng's examination, Luthor is among the first to discover that Superman is not human, but an alien. Superman is still, at this point, unaware of his extraterrestrial origins, much as his Golden Age version did not learn the truth about his past until well into his adulthood. The villain Bizarro was established as an imperfect clone of Superman, created from the superhero's DNA, rather than as a duplicate resulting from an imperfect duplicating ray. Furthermore, Bizarro is no longer an "imperfect opposite" of Superman and as such, has identical rather than opposite powers. Though the duplicate is referred to as "bizarre" in-story, it is never explicitly named "Bizarro"; that name will not be established post-Crisis until years later, when another imperfect duplicate created by the same process runs rampant in Metropolis. Lois mentions that she has been dreaming of kissing Superman for five years now, indicating that he has been active in Metropolis at least that long at this point. The restoration of Lucy's sight is an element borrowed from Bizarro's original debut in Superboy (vol. 1) #68, right down to the dust cloud.[23] It is implied that the duplicate deliberately sacrifices itself after hearing that Lucy's sight began to improve after contact with the creature. Issue Six[edit] Clark returns to Smallville after a long time away. His adoptive parents pick him up. Jonathan Kent was about to tell him something but Martha shushed him. Later that night, Clark could not sleep as he wonders what his Pa Kent was about to tell him. When he went for a midnight snack, a “ghost” of Jor-El surprises him and touches him. Superman discovers himself to be on an alien planet where he encounters his biological mother, Lara. As the hallucination wears off, he is face to face with his old flame, Lana Lang. In a flashback, it turns out that on the night that Clark learned his heritage he went to Lana and revealed the truth of his powers to her. She confesses her feelings to him. She realizes that Clark can no longer belong to her, that he belongs to the world and this fact had hurt her. She had gone through a period of depression and finally accepts the fact. The next day, Superman thinks about what she said and starts wondering about where he truly came from. He goes to the location where Jonathan hid the rocket ship he was found in only to find that the ship is gone. The hologram of Jor-El reappears and tells him to be silent and to learn. It appears that Superman is under some kind of psionic attack but the Kents arrive in time and break it off. Superman flies away, realizing that it was not a mental attack but a download of knowledge of everything about Krypton into his brain. He finally knows his biological parents and where he came from and though he appreciates the knowledge he has been given, in the end, he embraces his humanity ever more. (The disappearance of the Kryptonian ship is explained in the first issue of the new Superman comic, where he first fights Metallo). As opposed to the earlier version, where others such as Supergirl and Krypto also survived, Superman was portrayed as the sole survivor of Krypton's destruction. Superman had no memory of his existence on Krypton, but instead identified himself as a citizen of Earth. Pre-Crisis, Pete Ross knew of Clark's abilities since they were teenagers, while Lana Lang suspected Clark of being Superboy. Post-Crisis, Pete learned this information much later. Instead, Clark revealed his abilities to Lana just before he left Smallville, and, while she retains feelings for him, has come to terms with the fact that they will merely be friends, and no longer pursues him as she did pre-Crisis. Clark's adoptive parents are alive and well into his adulthood, and Clark visits them periodically. Pre-Crisis, they had died shortly after Clark's high school graduation.[24] Clark is twenty-eight years old by the time the story ends, indicating that the six issues had taken place over ten years. Collected editions and adaptations[edit] The story has been reprinted in trade paperback form in several editions. With the release of Action Comics #584, Adventures of Superman #424, and Superman #1 in January 1987 there was a card in each copy that readers could fill out and mail to DC for a chance to win a rare copy of a collected trade paperback. This version was unique in that it was actually all six issues of the Man of Steel mini-series with the spines trimmed and rebound with a new cover with a photocopied note that read: Congratulations! Your entry has been selected to receive a copy of the "MAN of STEEL" special edition-the entire six issue mini-series bound between two covers. Thank you for responding to our contest and your continued support of SUPERMAN and DC Comics. Sincerely, Dale A. Kanzler[25] In 1993, it was widely released using newsprint-type paper with a cheaper price. It was again released in 2003 with a new cover by Jerry Ordway and the title of Superman: The Man of Steel Vol. 1, which would be the first in a series of trade paperbacks to collect some of the early post-Crisis adventures of Superman. Superman: The Man of Steel (Trade Paperback, 152 pages, 1993, DC Comics, ISBN 978-0930289287) Superman: The Man of Steel Vol. 1 (Trade Paperback 132 pages, October 2003, DC Comics, ISBN 978-0930289287) The story has also been adapted in other countries. In 1995, Battleaxe Press comics in South Africa released the series under the name Superman as an introduction to the character before publishing newly released comics from DC.[26] In 1990, the series was adapted into a radio play in England simply entitled The Adventures of Superman by Dirk Maggs for BBC Radio 4. It featured Stuart Milligan as Clark Kent / Superman, William Hootkins as Lex Luthor, Lorelei King as Lois Lane, Vincent Marzello as Jimmy Olsen, Garrick Hagon as Perry White, Shelley Thompson as Lana Lang, Dick Vosburgh as Jor-El, Barbara Barnes as Lucy Lane, David Graham as Fisher, Simon Treves as Metallo, Elizabeth Mansfield as Amanda McCoy, Burt Kwouk as Doctor Teng, and Jon Pertwee as Schwarz.[27] Impact[edit] From 1986 until 2003, The Man of Steel was the official Superman origin story. The 1998 limited series, Superman for All Seasons added to the story, but did not remove it from continuity. Byrne followed the story with three four-issue mini-series that retold and explored the new world of Superman: The World of Krypton (December 1987 - March 1988), The World of Smallville (April - July 1988), and The World of Metropolis (August - November 1988).[21] In addition to these stories, three on-going monthly comics featuring the new Superman's adventures were published by DC Comics. Byrne continued his stories in the brand new Superman #1,[28] and continued with Action Comics #584, while Marv Wolfman wrote Adventures of Superman which had been retitled from the original Superman book and began with #424.[29] Byrne and Wolfman continued the changes presented in The Man of Steel in these on-going stories. Although most of Superman's powers remained unchanged, they did become limited to make him more believable. Additionally, he could no longer survive in space indefinitely without an air supply. These changes eliminated intergalactic and time travel stories. They also wanted to establish Clark Kent as the real person, with Superman being the disguise. Clark was no longer "mild-mannered," but became more assertive. He worked out to explain his muscular build and had written a "best-selling" novel before becoming a Daily Planet reporter.[21] Additionally, most stories of other characters trying to find out Superman's secret identity were eliminated, as it wasn't believed that he had an alter-ego.[30] Byrne also decided to keep Jonathan and Martha alive and well into Clark's adulthood to be important support characters for years. He also limited the use of Superman's weakness, Kryptonite. He removed all other forms besides the green variety, and made it an extremely rare element that came to Earth in one large rock with Superman's rocket.[21] Lex Luthor believed early on that the radiation emanating from Kryptonite was within safe limits for humans, but was proved wrong in later stories.[31] Two of the biggest changes to Superman was reestablishing him as the sole survivor of the planet Krypton and the removal of his career as Superboy. These alterations in continuity would have a serious impact on the Legion of Super-Heroes. The Legion was formed based on the legends of Superman's adventures as a boy, and since they were still in continuity this was a problem. Additionally, Supergirl visited and worked with the Legion in many of their stories. Since Supergirl did not exist either, Byrne had to correct this incongruity.[32] He created a storyline in his two books where the Legion travels back in time to confront the post-Crisis Superman to find an explanation on Superboy's apparent disappearance.[33] It was revealed that the Legion's enemy, the Time Trapper had created a "pocket universe" where Superboy existed. Whenever that Superboy would travel to the future or the Legion would travel to the past, the Time Trapper shifted them in and out of the pocket universe.[34]This would also be used to explain the existence of Supergirl in the Legion stories. The Man of Steel was highly regarded as an origin story for Superman. The first issue sold 200,000 copies.[35] The cover to that issue was named one of the "75 Most Iconic DC Covers of All-Time" by Comic Book Resources,[17] while users on that site voted it (along with the rest of Byrne's Superman run) as one of the "Top 100 Comic Book Runs" in 2012.[36] Issue 3, where Superman met Batman, was named by IGN as one of "The Greatest Superman/Batman Stories."[37] The website io9 called the mini-series "Must Read,"[38] while others gave many examples of why it is loved.[39] Although many people praised the story, it did have some detractors. Some claimed the series discarded the true Superman,[15] while others claimed that DC and Byrne did not understand the character of Superman.[40] Others gave numerous examples of why the new Superman was overthought and did not work as a character.[41] Legacy[edit] In 2003, the story was finally replaced by the 12-issue limited series, Superman: Birthright, which added on elements to the origin story of Superman.[42] DC stated that Birthright and Man of Steel formed the full "official" origin for Superman. Birthright made use of many elements of Man of Steel that tied into the other series, but also introduced new aspects ignored by Byrne and thus brought back various pre-Crisis elements (such as Lex and Clark as childhood friends in Smallville). The Kara Zor-El version of Supergirl was also reintroduced. In 2006, the DC Universe spanning story, Infinite Crisis made further changes to Superman, which left questions once again about Superman's origin. It wasn't until then-monthly Superman writer Kurt Busiek stated that the post-Infinite Crisis Superman origin had yet to be established.[43] After the conclusion of Infinite Crisis, this origin was finally explained in the 2009 mini-series Superman: Secret Origin ending 20 years of The Man of Steel being the official origin. Many of the elements of the story were used in various other stories about the character. Other comic book series referenced it, such as the adaptation Superman: Earth One, which includes Clark Kent getting a job with the Daily Planet by providing an exclusive interview with Superman and the Elseworlds story Superman: Last Son of Earth which heavily references it and includes some frames and quotes copied directly from it. Other elements were not seen in the story, but were adapted when Superman's origin was tackled by other mediums besides comics. In some pre-Crisis re-tellings of Superman's origin, Jor-El wanted to save both Lara and Kal-El by sending them away in the same rocket. Lara refused saying that the rocket was too small and might not make it to Earth because of her added weight, and she wanted to stay with her husband, an idea that was briefly touched on in Superman: The Animated Series. Byrne's original idea was to show a pregnant Lara leaving Krypton. After landing near Smallville, Lara would immediately succumb to a small chunk of kryptonite that was embedded in the ship's hull, introducing the dangers of the rocks. Lara would then have been found by the Kents while she was in labor. Before dying, Lara would have told them to look after her son. They would then take young Kal-El, an alien born on Earth, and raise him as their own just as they promised his mother. This was also Byrne's way to emphasize the Kents being chosen caretakers rather than them being a random couple who finds a baby in a rocket. The idea was not used because DC wanted Kal-El to be sent to Earth alone, but the idea of them being chosen was explored later in the television series, Smallville and in the novel Superman: Last Son of Krypton.[21] According to Byrne, it was initially agreed upon that he could depict Superman "learning the ropes" as a young hero early in his career. This was part of the reason why Byrne eliminated Superboy from the mythos, as he felt Superboy would be an unnecessary character under those circumstances. Once Byrne officially signed on to write the story, however, he was informed that his Superman would need to be "up to speed" and an established hero by the time the relaunch of the monthly titles took place. Later, Byrne stated that he wished he had kept Superboy to fill the role of Superman still "figuring it out." However this idea was used extensively in the Smallville television series.[32] An unused Marv Wolfman idea was to show Lois Lane and Lex Luthor being romantically involved and living together in Luthor's estate in the mountains until Superman came to Metropolis. Lois would then leave Luthor to go after Superman, another reason for Luthor to hate Superman. This idea was scrapped because Byrne did not want Lois as someone who was drawn to power (and he didn't want any mountains shown alongside the city either).[32] Therefore, The Man of Steel depicts Lois and Luthor as having only casually dated. This idea was explored during the first season of the television series, Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, and was a backstory in Superman: The Animated Series. The title of the series was used once again in 1991 when DC gave Superman a fourth on-going monthly comic book, Superman: The Man of Steel.[44] It was also used for the rebooted film franchise of Superman in the 2013 origin story film, Man of Steel. The dystopian view of Krypton in Man of Steel is also heavily influenced by John Byrne's mini series in which they screwed up their ecology and they don't have natural child birth. DC Comics, Inc. is an American comic book publisher. It is the publishing unit of DC Entertainment,[4][5] a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., a division of Time Warner. DC Comics is one of the largest and oldest American comic book companies, and produces material featuring numerous well-known heroic characters including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Aquaman, Black Canary, Hawkman, Supergirl, Hawkgirl, Green Arrow, Martian Manhunter, Cyborg, Static, Zatanna, and Shazam. Most of their material takes place in the fictional DC Universe, which also features teams such as the Justice League, the Justice Society of America, the Suicide Squad, and the Teen Titans, and well-known villains such as the Joker, Lex Luthor, The Cheetah, Darkseid, Catwoman, Ra's al Ghul, Deathstroke, Reverse-Flash, Sinestro, Black Adam, and Brainiac. The company has also published non-DC Universe-related material, including Watchmen, V for Vendetta, and many titles under their alternative imprint Vertigo. The initials "DC" came from the company's popular series Detective Comics, which featured Batman's debut and subsequently became part of the company's name.[6] Originally in Manhattan at 432 Fourth Avenue, the DC Comics offices have been located at 480 and later 575 Lexington Avenue; 909 Third Avenue; 75 Rockefeller Plaza; 666 Fifth Avenue; and 1325 Avenue of the Americas. DC had its headquarters at 1700 Broadway, Midtown Manhattan, New York City, but it was announced in October 2013 that DC Entertainment would relocate its headquarters from New York to Burbank, California in 2015.[7] Random House distributes DC Comics' books to the bookstore market,[citation needed] while Diamond Comic Distributors supplies the comics shop specialty market.[7][citation needed] DC Comics and its major, longtime competitor Marvel Comics (acquired in 2009 by The Walt Disney Company, Time Warner's main competitor) together shared 70% of the American comic book market in 2016.[8] Contents [hide] 1History 1.1Origins 1.2The Golden Age 1.3The Silver Age 1.4Kinney National subsidiary 1.5The Bronze Age 1.6Modern Age 1.7Time Warner unit (1990–present) 1.82000s 1.92010s 2DC Entertainment 2.1DC Films 3Logo 4Imprints 4.1Active as of 2017 4.2Defunct 4.3Licensing partnerships, acquired companies, and studios 5Films 5.1Critical and public reception 6Digital distribution 7See also 8Notes 9Citations 10Sources 11External links History[edit] Origins[edit] Entrepreneur Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson founded National Allied Publications in autumn 1934.[1][9][10] The company debuted with the tabloid-sized New Fun: The Big Comic Magazine #1 with a cover date of February 1935.[11][12] The company's second title, New Comics #1 (Dec. 1935), appeared in a size close to what would become comic books' standard during the period fans and historians call the Golden Age of Comic Books, with slightly larger dimensions than today's.[13] That title evolved into Adventure Comics, which continued through issue #503 in 1983, becoming one of the longest-running comic-book series. In 2009 DC revived Adventure Comics with its original numbering.[14] In 1935, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the future creators of Superman, created Doctor Occult, who is the earliest DC Comics character to still be in the DC Universe. Wheeler-Nicholson's third and final title, Detective Comics, advertised with a cover illustration dated December 1936, eventually premiered three months late with a March 1937 cover date. The themed anthology series would become a sensation with the introduction of Batman in issue #27 (May 1939). By then, however, Wheeler-Nicholson had gone. In 1937, in debt to printing-plant owner and magazine distributor Harry Donenfeld—who also published pulp magazines and operated as a principal in the magazine distributorship Independent News—Wheeler-Nicholson had to take Donenfeld on as a partner in order to publish Detective Comics #1. Detective Comics, Inc. was formed, with Wheeler-Nicholson and Jack S. Liebowitz, Donenfeld's accountant, listed as owners. Major Wheeler-Nicholson remained for a year, but cash-flow problems continued, and he was forced out. Shortly afterward, Detective Comics, Inc. purchased the remains of National Allied, also known as Nicholson Publishing, at a bankruptcy auction.[15] Detective Comics, Inc. soon launched a fourth title, Action Comics, the premiere of which introduced Superman. Action Comics #1 (June 1938), the first comic book to feature the new character archetype—soon known as "superheroes"—proved a sales hit. The company quickly introduced such other popular characters as the Sandman and Batman. On February 22, 2010, a copy of Action Comics #1 (June 1938) sold at an auction from an anonymous seller to an anonymous buyer for $1 million, besting the $317,000 record for a comic book set by a different copy, in lesser condition, the previous year.[16] The Golden Age[edit] Main article: Golden Age of Comic Books National Allied Publications soon merged with Detective Comics, Inc. to form National Comics Publications on September 30, 1946,[17] which absorbed an affiliated concern, Max Gaines' and Liebowitz' All-American Publications. That year, Gaines let Liebowitz buy him out, and kept only Picture Stories from the Bible as the foundation of his own new company, EC Comics. At that point, "Liebowitz promptly orchestrated the merger of All-American and Detective Comics into National Comics... Next he took charge of organizing National Comics, [the self-distributorship] Independent News, and their affiliated firms into a single corporate entity, National Periodical Publications".[18] National Periodical Publications became publicly traded on the stock market in 1961.[19][20] Despite the official names "National Comics" and "National Periodical Publications", the company began branding itself as "Superman-DC" as early as 1940, and the company became known colloquially as DC Comics for years before the official adoption of that name in 1977.[21] The company began to move aggressively against what it saw as copyright-violating imitations from other companies, such as Fox Comics' Wonder Man, which (according to court testimony) Fox started as a copy of Superman. This extended to DC suing Fawcett Comics over Captain Marvel, at the time comics' top-selling character (see National Comics Publications, Inc. v. Fawcett Publications, Inc.). Despite the fact that parallels between Captain Marvel and Superman seemed more tenuous (Captain Marvel's powers came from magic, unlike Superman's), the courts ruled that substantial and deliberate copying of copyrighted material had occurred. Faced with declining sales and the prospect of bankruptcy if it lost, Fawcett capitulated in 1953 and ceased comics publication. Years later, Fawcett sold the rights for Captain Marvel to DC—which in 1972 revived Captain Marvel in the new title Shazam! featuring artwork by his creator, C. C. Beck. In the meantime, the abandoned trademark had been seized by Marvel Comics in 1967, with the creation of their Captain Marvel, disallowing the DC comic itself to be called that. While Captain Marvel did not recapture his old popularity, he later appeared in a Saturday morning live action TV adaptation and gained a prominent place in the mainstream continuity DC calls the DC Universe. When the popularity of superheroes faded in the late 1940s, the company focused on such genres as science fiction, Westerns, humor, and romance. DC also published crime and horror titles, but relatively tame ones, and thus avoided the mid-1950s backlash against such comics. A handful of the most popular superhero-titles, including Action Comics and Detective Comics, the medium's two longest-running titles, continued publication. The Silver Age[edit] Main article: Silver Age of Comic Books In the mid-1950s, editorial director Irwin Donenfeld and publisher Liebowitz directed editor Julius Schwartz (whose roots lay in the science-fiction book market) to produce a one-shot Flash story in the try-out title Showcase. Instead of reviving the old character, Schwartz had writers Robert Kanigher and John Broome, penciler Carmine Infantino, and inker Joe Kubert create an entirely new super-speedster, updating and modernizing the Flash's civilian identity, costume, and origin with a science-fiction bent. The Flash's reimagining in Showcase #4 (October 1956) proved sufficiently popular that it soon led to a similar revamping of the Green Lantern character, the introduction of the modern all-star team Justice League of America (JLA), and many more superheroes, heralding what historians and fans call the Silver Age of comic books. National did not reimagine its continuing characters (primarily Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman), but radically overhauled them. The Superman family of titles, under editor Mort Weisinger, introduced such enduring characters as Supergirl, Bizarro, and Brainiac. The Batman titles, under editor Jack Schiff, introduced the successful Batwoman, Bat-Girl, Ace the Bat-Hound, and Bat-Mite in an attempt to modernize the strip with non-science-fiction elements. Schwartz, together with artist Infantino, then revitalized Batman in what the company promoted as the "New Look", re-emphasizing Batman as a detective. Meanwhile, editor Kanigher successfully introduced a whole family of Wonder Woman characters having fantastic adventures in a mythological context. DC's introduction of the reimagined superheroes did not go unnoticed by other comics companies. In 1961, with DC's JLA as the specific spur,[n 1] Marvel Comics writer-editor Stan Lee and legendary creator Jack Kirby ushered in the sub-Silver Age "Marvel Age" of comics with the debut issue of The Fantastic Four.[22] Since the 1940s, when Superman, Batman, and many of the company's other heroes began appearing in stories together, DC's characters inhabited a shared continuity that, decades later, was dubbed the "DC Universe" by fans. With the story "Flash of Two Worlds", in Flash #123 (September 1961), editor Schwartz (with writer Gardner Fox and artists Infantino and Joe Giella) introduced a concept that allowed slotting the 1930s and 1940s Golden Age heroes into this continuity via the explanation that they lived on an other-dimensional "Earth 2", as opposed to the modern heroes' "Earth 1"—in the process creating the foundation for what would later be called the DC Multiverse. A 1966 Batman TV show on the ABC network sparked a temporary spike in comic book sales, and a brief fad for superheroes in Saturday morning animation (Filmation created most of DC's initial cartoons) and other media. DC significantly lightened the tone of many DC comics—particularly Batman and Detective Comics—to better complement the "camp" tone of the TV series. This tone coincided with the famous "Go-Go Checks" checkerboard cover-dress which featured a black-and-white checkerboard strip (all DC books cover dated February 1966 until August 1967) at the top of each comic, a misguided attempt by then-managing editor Irwin Donenfeld to make DC's output "stand out on the newsracks".[23] In 1967, Batman artist Infantino (who had designed popular Silver Age characters Batgirl and the Phantom Stranger) rose from art director to become DC's editorial director. With the growing popularity of upstart rival Marvel Comics threatening to topple DC from its longtime number-one position in the comics industry, he attempted to infuse the company with more focus towards marketing new and existing titles and characters with more adult sensibilities towards an emerging older age group of superhero comic book fans that grew out of Marvel's efforts to market their superhero line to college-aged adults. This push for more mature content reached its peak with the 1986 DC Universe relaunch. He also recruited major talents such as ex-Marvel artist and Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko and promising newcomers Neal Adams and Denny O'Neil and replaced some existing DC editors with artist-editors, including Joe Kubert and Dick Giordano, to give DC's output a more artistic critical eye. Kinney National subsidiary[edit] In 1967, National Periodical Publications was purchased by Kinney National Company, which later purchased Warner Bros.-Seven Arts and became Warner Communications.[24][not in citation given] In 1970, Jack Kirby moved from Marvel Comics to DC, at the end of the Silver Age of Comics, in which Kirby's contributions to Marvel played a large, integral role. Given carte blanche to write and illustrate his own stories, he created a handful of thematically linked series he called collectively The Fourth World. In the existing series Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen and in his own, newly launched series New Gods, Mister Miracle, and The Forever People, Kirby introduced such enduring characters and concepts as archvillain Darkseid and the otherdimensional realm Apokolips. While sales were respectable, they did not meet DC management's initially high expectations, and also suffered from a lack of comprehension and internal support from Infantino. By 1973 the "Fourth World" was all cancelled, although Kirby's conceptions would soon become integral to the broadening of the DC Universe. Kirby created other series for DC, including Kamandi, about a teenaged boy in a post-apocalyptic world of anthropomorphic talking animals. The Bronze Age[edit] Main article: Bronze Age of Comic Books Following the science-fiction innovations of the Silver Age, the comics of the 1970s and 1980s would become known as the Bronze Age, as fantasy gave way to more naturalistic and sometimes darker themes. Illegal drug use, banned by the Comics Code Authority, explicitly appeared in comics for the first time in Marvel Comics' The Amazing Spider-Man in early 1971, and after the Code's updating in response, DC offered a drug-fueled storyline in writer Dennis O'Neil and artist Neal Adams' Green Lantern, beginning with the story "Snowbirds Don't Fly" in the retitled Green Lantern / Green Arrow #85 (Sept. 1971), which depicted Speedy, the teen sidekick of superhero archer Green Arrow, as having become a heroin addict. Jenette Kahn, a former children's magazine publisher, replaced Infantino as editorial director in January 1976. DC had attempted to compete with the now-surging Marvel by dramatically increasing its output and attempting to win the market by flooding it. This included launching series featuring such new characters as Firestorm and Shade, the Changing Man, as well as an increasing array of non-superhero titles, in an attempt to recapture the pre-Wertham days of post-War comicdom. In June 1978, five months before the release of the first Superman movie, Kahn expanded the line further, increasing the number of titles and story pages, and raising the price from 35 cents to 50 cents. Most series received eight-page back-up features while some had full-length twenty-five page stories. This was a move the company called the "DC Explosion".[25] The move was not successful, however, and corporate parent Warner dramatically cut back on these largely unsuccessful titles, firing many staffers in what industry watchers dubbed "the DC Implosion".[26] In September 1978, the line was dramatically reduced and standard-size books returned to 17 story pages but for a still-increased 40 cents.[27] By 1980, the books returned to 50 cents with a 25-page story count but the story pages replaced house ads in the books. Seeking new ways to boost market share, the new team of publisher Kahn, vice president Paul Levitz, and managing editor Giordano addressed the issue of talent instability. To that end—and following the example of Atlas/Seaboard Comics[28] and such independent companies as Eclipse Comics—DC began to offer royalties in place of the industry-standard work-for-hire agreement in which creators worked for a flat fee and signed away all rights, giving talent a financial incentive tied to the success of their work. In addition, emulating the era's new television form, the miniseries while addressing the matter of an excessive number of ongoing titles fizzling out within a few issues of their start, DC created the industry concept of the comic book limited series. This publishing format allowed for the deliberate creation of finite storylines within a more flexible publishing format that could showcase creations without forcing the talent into unsustainable openended commitments. These changes in policy shaped the future of the medium as a whole, and in the short term allowed DC to entice creators away from rival Marvel, and encourage stability on individual titles. In November 1980 DC launched the ongoing series The New Teen Titans, by writer Marv Wolfman and artist George Pérez, two popular talents with a history of success. Their superhero-team comic, superficially similar to Marvel's ensemble series X-Men, but rooted in DC history, earned significant sales[29] in part due to the stability of the creative team, who both continued with the title for six full years. In addition, Wolfman and Pérez took advantage of the limited-series option to create a spin-off title, Tales of the New Teen Titans, to present origin stories of their original characters without having to break the narrative flow of the main series or oblige them to double their work load with another ongoing title. Modern Age[edit] Main article: Modern Age of Comic Books This successful revitalization of the Silver Age Teen Titans led DC's editors[citation needed] to seek the same for the wider DC Universe. The result, the Wolfman/Pérez 12-issue limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths, gave the company an opportunity to realign and jettison some of the characters' complicated backstory and continuity discrepancies. A companion publication, two volumes entitled The History of the DC Universe, set out the revised history of the major DC characters. Crisis featured many key deaths that would shape the DC Universe for the following decades, and separate the timeline of DC publications into pre- and post-"Crisis". Meanwhile, a parallel update had started in the non-superhero and horror titles. Since early 1984, the work of British writer Alan Moore had revitalized the horror series The Saga of the Swamp Thing, and soon numerous British writers, including Neil Gaiman and Grant Morrison, began freelancing for the company. The resulting influx of sophisticated horror-fantasy material led to DC in 1993 establishing the Vertigo mature-readers imprint, which did not subscribe to the Comics Code Authority.[citation needed] Two DC limited series, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller and Watchmen by Moore and artist Dave Gibbons, drew attention in the mainstream press for their dark psychological complexity and promotion of the antihero.[citation needed]These titles helped pave the way for comics to be more widely accepted in literary-criticism circles and to make inroads into the book industry, with collected editions of these series as commercially successful trade paperbacks.[citation needed] The mid-1980s also saw the end of many long-running DC war comics, including series that had been in print since the 1960s. These titles, all with over 100 issues, included Sgt. Rock, G.I. Combat, The Unknown Soldier, and Weird War Tales. Time Warner unit (1990–present)[edit] In March 1989, Warner Communications merged with Time Inc., making DC Comics a subsidiary of Time Warner. In June, the first Tim Burton directed Batman movie was released, and DC began publishing its hardcover series of DC Archive Editions, collections of many of their early, key comics series, featuring rare and expensive stories unseen by many modern fans. Restoration for many of the Archive Editions was handled by Rick Keene with colour restoration by DC's long-time resident colourist, Bob LeRose. These collections attempted to retroactively credit many of the writers and artists who had worked without much recognition for DC during the early period of comics, when individual credits were few and far between. The comics industry experienced a brief boom in the early 1990s, thanks to a combination of speculative purchasing (mass purchase of the books as collectible items, with intent to resell at a higher value as the rising value of older issues was thought to imply that all comics would rise dramatically in price) and several storylines which gained attention from the mainstream media. DC's extended storylines in which Superman was killed, Batman was crippled and superhero Green Lantern turned into the supervillain Parallax resulted in dramatically increased sales, but the increases were as temporary as the hero's replacements. Sales dropped off as the industry went into a major slump, while manufactured "collectibles" numbering in the millions replaced quality with quantity until fans and speculators alike deserted the medium in droves. DC's Piranha Press and other imprints (including the mature readers line Vertigo, and Helix, a short-lived science fiction imprint) were introduced to facilitate compartmentalized diversification and allow for specialized marketing of individual product lines. They increased the use of non-traditional contractual arrangements, including the dramatic rise of creator-owned projects, leading to a significant increase in critically lauded work (much of it for Vertigo) and the licensing of material from other companies. DC also increased publication of book-store friendly formats, including trade paperback collections of individual serial comics, as well as original graphic novels. One of the other imprints was Impact Comics from 1991 to 1992 in which the Archie Comics superheroes were licensed and revamped.[30][31] The stories in the line were part of its own shared universe.[32] DC entered into a publishing agreement with Milestone Media that gave DC a line of comics featuring a culturally and racially diverse range of superhero characters. Although the Milestone line ceased publication after a few years, it yielded the popular animated series Static Shock. DC established Paradox Press to publish material such as the large-format Big Book of... series of multi-artist interpretations on individual themes, and such crime fiction as the graphic novel Road to Perdition. In 1998, DC purchased Wildstorm Comics, Jim Lee's imprint under the Image Comics banner, continuing it for many years as a wholly separate imprint – and fictional universe – with its own style and audience. As part of this purchase, DC also began to publish titles under the fledgling WildStorm sub-imprint America's Best Comics (ABC), a series of titles created by Alan Moore, including The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Tom Strong, and Promethea. Moore strongly contested this situation, and DC eventually stopped publishing ABC. 2000s[edit] In March 2003 DC acquired publishing and merchandising rights to the long-running fantasy series Elfquest, previously self-published by creators Wendy and Richard Pini under their WaRP Graphics publication banner. This series then followed another non-DC title, Tower Comics' series T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, in collection into DC Archive Editions. In 2004 DC temporarily acquired the North American publishing rights to graphic novels from European publishers 2000 AD and Humanoids. It also rebranded its younger-audience titles with the mascot Johnny DC, and established the CMX imprint to reprint translated manga. In 2006, CMX took over from Dark Horse Comics publication of the webcomic Megatokyo in print form. DC also took advantage of the demise of Kitchen Sink Press and acquired the rights to much of the work of Will Eisner, such as his The Spirit series and his graphic novels. In 2004, DC began laying the groundwork for a full continuity-reshuffling sequel to Crisis on Infinite Earths, promising substantial changes to the DC Universe (and side-stepping the 1994 Zero Hour event which similarly tried to ret-con the history of the DCU). In 2005, the critically lauded Batman Begins film was released; also, the company published several limited series establishing increasingly escalated conflicts among DC's heroes, with events climaxing in the Infinite Crisis limited series. Immediately after this event, DC's ongoing series jumped forward a full year in their in-story continuity, as DC launched a weekly series, 52, to gradually fill in the missing time. Concurrently, DC lost the copyright to "Superboy" (while retaining the trademark) when the heirs of Jerry Siegel used a provision of the 1976 revision to the copyright law to regain ownership. In 2005, DC launched its "All-Star" line (evoking the title of the 1940s publication), designed to feature some of the company's best-known characters in stories that eschewed the long and convoluted continuity of the DC Universe. The line began with All-Star Batman & Robin the Boy Wonder and All-Star Superman, with All Star Wonder Woman and All Star Batgirl announced in 2006 but neither being released nor scheduled as of the end of 2009.[33] DC licensed characters from the Archie Comics imprint Red Circle Comics by 2007.[34] They appeared in the Red Circle line, based in the DC Universe, with a series of one-shots followed by a miniseries that lead into two ongoing titles, each lasting 10 issues.[32][35] 2010s[edit] In 2011, DC rebooted all of its running titles following the Flashpoint story line. The reboot, called The New 52, gave new origin stories and costume designs to all of DC's characters. In 2014, DC announced an eight-issue miniseries titled "Convergence" which began in April 2015.[36][37][38][39] On October 22, 2016, AT&T reached a deal to buy Time Warner for over $80 billion. If approved by federal regulators, the merger would bring Time Warner's properties, including DC Comics, under the same umbrella as AT&T's telecommunication holdings, including satellite provider DirecTV. DC Entertainment[edit] DC Entertainment Type Subsidiary IndustryEntertainment FoundedSeptember 2009 ProductsFilm Television Video Games OwnerWarner Bros. (Time Warner) DivisionsDC Comics Vertigo MAD In September 2009, Warner Bros. announced that DC Comics would become a subsidiary of DC Entertainment, Inc., with Diane Nelson, President of Warner Premiere, becoming president of the newly formed holding company and DC Comics President and Publisher Paul Levitz moving to the position of Contributing Editor and Overall Consultant there.[40] On February 18, 2010, DC Entertainment named Jim Lee and Dan DiDio as Co-Publishers of DC Comics, Geoff Johns as Chief Creative Officer, John Rood as EVP (Executive Vice President) of Sales, Marketing and Business Development, and Patrick Caldon as EVP of Finance and Administration.[41][42] DC licensed pulp characters including Doc Savage and the Spirit which it then used, along with some DC heroes, as part the First Wave comics line launched in 2010 and lasting through fall 2011.[43][44][45] In May 2011, DC announced it would begin releasing digital versions of their comics on the same day as paper versions.[46] On June 1, 2011, DC announced that it would end all ongoing series set in the DC Universe in August and relaunch its comic line with 52 issue #1s, starting with Justice League on August 31 (written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Jim Lee), with the rest to follow later on in September.[47][48] On June 4, 2013, DC unveiled two new digital comic innovations to enhance interactivity: DC2 and DC2 Multiverse. DC2 layers dynamic artwork onto digital comic panels, adding a new level of dimension to digital storytelling, while DC2 Multiverse allows readers to determine a specific story outcome by selecting individual characters, storylines and plot developments while reading the comic, meaning one digital comic has multiple outcomes. DC2 will first appear in the upcoming digital-first title, Batman '66, based on the 1960s television series and DC2 Multiverse will first appear in Batman: Arkham Origins, a digital-first title based on the video game of the same name.[49] In October 2013, DC Entertainment (DCE) announced that the DC Comics offices would be moved from New York City to Warner Bros. Burbank, California, headquarters in 2015. The other DCE units - animation, movie, TV and portfolio planning - had preceded DC Comics by moving there in 2010.[50] DC Films[edit] DC Films logo. Warner Bros. Pictures reorganized in May 2016 to have genre responsible film executives, thus DC Entertainment franchise films under Warner Bros. were placed under a newly created division, DC Films, under Warner Bros. executive vice president Jon Berg and DC chief content officer Geoff Johns. This was done in the same vein as Marvel Studios in unifying DC film making under a single vision and clarify green lighting process. Johns also kept his existing role at DC Comics.[51] Logo[edit] 1977–2005 logo, known as the "DC Bullet". 1987 test logo. 2005–2012 logo. 2012–2016 logo. DC's first logo appeared on the April 1940 issues of its titles. The letters "DC" stood for Detective Comics, the name of Batman's flagship title. The small logo, with no background, read simply, "A DC Publication". The November 1941 DC titles introduced an updated logo. This version was almost twice the size of the previous one, and was the first version with a white background. The name "Superman" was added to "A DC Publication", effectively acknowledging both Superman and Batman. This logo was the first to occupy the top-left corner of the cover, where the logo has usually resided since. The company now referred to itself in its advertising as "Superman-DC". In November 1949, the logo was modified to incorporate the company's formal name, National Comics Publications. This logo would also serve as the round body of Johnny DC, DC's mascot in the 1960s. In October 1970, DC briefly retired the circular logo in favor of a simple "DC" in a rectangle with the name of the title, or the star of the book; the logo on many issues of Action Comics, for example, read "DC Superman". An image of the lead character either appeared above or below the rectangle. For books that did not have a single star, such as anthologies like House of Mystery or team series such as Justice League of America, the title and "DC" appeared in a stylized logo, such as a bat for "House of Mystery". This use of characters as logos helped to establish the likenesses as trademarks, and was similar to Marvel's contemporaneous use of characters as part of its cover branding. DC's "100 Page Super-Spectacular" titles and later 100-page and "Giant" issues published from 1972 to 1974 featured a logo exclusive to these editions: the letters "DC" in a simple sans-seriftypeface within a circle. A variant had the letters in a square. The July 1972 DC titles featured a new circular logo. The letters "DC" were rendered in a block-like typeface that would remain through later logo revisions until 2005. The title of the book usually appeared inside the circle, either above or below the letters. In December 1973, this logo was modified with the addition of the words "The Line of DC Super-Stars" and the star motif that would continue in later logos. This logo was placed in the top center of the cover from August 1975 to October 1976. When Jenette Kahn became DC's publisher in late 1976, she commissioned graphic designer Milton Glaser to design a new logo. Popularly referred to as the "DC bullet", this logo premiered on the February 1977 titles. Although it varied in size and color and was at times cropped by the edges of the cover, or briefly rotated 4 degrees, it remained essentially unchanged for nearly three decades. Despite logo changes since 2005, the old "DC bullet" continues to be used only on the DC Archive Editions series. In July 1987, DC released variant editions of Justice League #3 and The Fury of Firestorm #61 with a new DC logo. It featured a picture of Superman in a circle surrounded by the words "SUPERMAN COMICS". The company released these variants to newsstands in certain markets as a marketing test.[52] On May 8, 2005, a new logo (dubbed the "DC spin") was unveiled, debuting on DC titles in June 2005 with DC Special: The Return of Donna Troy #1 and the rest of the titles the following week. In addition to comics, it was designed for DC properties in other media, which was used for movies since Batman Begins, with Superman Returns showing the logo's normal variant, and the TV series Smallville, the animated series Justice League Unlimited and others, as well as for collectibles and other merchandise. The logo was designed by Josh Beatman of Brainchild Studios[53] and DC executive Richard Bruning.[54] In March 2012, DC unveiled a new logo consisting of the letter “D” flipping back to reveal the letter “C” and "DC ENTERTAINMENT".[55] The Dark Knight Rises was the first film to use the new logo, while the TV series Arrow was the first series to feature the new logo. DC Entertainment announced a new identity and logo for another iconic DC Comics universe brand on May 17, 2016. The new logo was first used on May 25, 2016, in conjunction with the release of DC Universe: Rebirth Special #1 by Geoff Johns.[56] Superman is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character was created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster, high school students living in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1933. They sold Superman to Detective Comics, the future DC Comics, in 1938. Superman debuted in Action Comics #1 (cover-dated June 1938) and subsequently appeared in various radio serials, newspaper strips, television programs, films, and video games. With this success, Superman helped to create the superhero archetype and establish its primacy within the American comic book.[2] The character is also referred to by such epithets as the Big Blue Boy Scout, the Man of Steel, the Man of Tomorrow, and the Last Son of Krypton.[3] The origin story of Superman relates that he was born Kal-El on the planet Krypton, before being rocketed to Earth as an infant by his scientist father Jor-El, moments before Krypton's destruction. Discovered and adopted by a Kansas farm couple, the child is raised as Clark Kent and imbued with a strong moral compass. Very early on he started to display various superhuman abilities, which, upon reaching maturity, he resolved to use for the benefit of humanity through a "Superman" identity. Superman resides and operates in the fictional American city of Metropolis. As Clark Kent, he is a journalist for the Daily Planet, a Metropolis newspaper. Superman's love interest is generally Lois Lane, and his archenemy is the supervillain Lex Luthor. A close ally of Batman and Wonder Woman, he is typically depicted as a member of the Justice League. Like other characters in the DC Universe, several alternate versions of Superman have been characterized over the years. Superman's appearance is distinctive and iconic; he usually wears a blue costume with a red-and-yellow emblem on the chest, consisting of the letter S in a shield shape, and a red cape. This shield is used in many media to symbolize the character. Superman is widely considered an American cultural icon.[2][4][5][6] He has fascinated scholars, with cultural theorists, commentators, and critics alike exploring the character's role and impact in the United States and worldwide. The character's ownership has often been the subject of dispute, with Siegel and Shuster twice suing for the return of rights. The character has been adapted extensively and portrayed in other forms of media as well, including films, television series, and video games. Several actors have portrayed Superman in motion pictures and TV series including Kirk Alyn, George Reeves, Christopher Reeve, Dean Cain, Tom Welling, Brandon Routh, Henry Cavill, and Tyler Hoechlin. Contents [hide] 1Creation and conception 1.1Influences 2Publication history 2.1Comic books and comic strips 2.2Creative management 2.3Aesthetic style 3Copyright battles 3.1Ownership lawsuits 3.2Copyright infringement lawsuits 4Fictional character biography 4.1Personality 4.2Age and birthday 4.3Other versions 5Powers and abilities 6Supporting characters 6.1Allies 6.2Enemies 7Cultural impact 7.1Merchandising 7.2In other media 7.3Musical references, parodies, and homages 7.4Literary analysis 7.5Critical reception and popularity 8See also 9Footnotes 10Bibliography 11Further reading 12External links Creation and conception "The Reign of the Superman" from Siegel's Science Fiction #3 (January 1933) In January 1933, Cleveland high school student[7] Jerry Siegel wrote a short story, illustrated by his friend and classmate Joe Shuster, titled "The Reign of the Superman", which Siegel self-published in his fanzine, Science Fiction. The titular character is a vagrant who gains vast psychic powers from an experimental drug and uses them maliciously for profit and amusement, only to lose them and become a vagrant again, ashamed that he will be remembered only as a villain.[8] Siegel's fanzine did not sell well. Siegel and Shuster shifted to making comic strips, which they self-published in a book they called Popular Comics. The pair dreamed of becoming professional authors and believed that syndicated newspaper strips offered more lucrative and stable work than pulp magazines. The art quality standards were also lower, making them more accessible to the inexperienced Shuster.[9] In early 1933 or in 1934,[10] Siegel developed a new character, also named Superman, but now a heroic character, which Siegel felt would be more marketable.[11] This first prototype of Superman had no fantastic abilities and wore casual clothing. Siegel and Shuster often compared this version to Slam Bradley, a comics character they created in 1936.[12][13] Siegel shared his idea with Shuster and they decided to turn it into a comic strip. The first publisher they solicited was Humor Publishing in Chicago, after having read one of their comic books, Detective Dan.[14][15][16] A representative of Humor Publishing was due to visit Cleveland on a business trip and so Siegel and Shuster hastily put together a comic story titled "The Superman" and presented it to the publisher.[17] Although Humor showed interest, it pulled out of the comics business before any book deal could be made.[18] Inked cover of The Superman, a rejected 1933 comic story proposal by Siegel and Shuster Siegel believed publishers kept rejecting them because he and Shuster were young and unknown, so he looked for an established artist to replace Shuster.[19] When Siegel told Shuster what he was doing, Shuster reacted by burning their rejected Superman comic, sparing only the cover.[20][21] Siegel solicited multiple artists[19][22] and in 1934 Russell Keaton,[22] who worked on the Buck Rogers comic strip, responded. In nine sample strips Keaton produced based on Siegel's treatment, the Superman character further evolves: In the distant future, when Earth is on the verge of exploding due to "giant cataclysms", the last surviving man sends his child back in time to the year 1935, where he is adopted by Sam and Molly Kent. The boy exhibits superhuman strength and bulletproof skin, and the Kents teach the child, whom they name Clark, to use his powers for good.[23][24] However, the newspaper syndicates rejected their work and Keaton abandoned the project.[25] Siegel and Shuster reconciled and resumed developing Superman. The character became an alien from the planet Krypton with the now-familiar costume: tights with an "S" on the chest, over-shorts, and a cape.[26][27][28] They made Clark Kent a journalist who pretends to be timid, and introduced his colleague Lois Lane, who is attracted to the bold and mighty Superman, but does not realize he and Kent are the same person.[29] Siegel and Shuster entered the comics field professionally in 1935, producing detective and adventure stories for the New York-based comic-book publisher National Allied Publications. Although National expressed interest in Superman,[30] Siegel and Shuster wanted to sell Superman as a syndicated comic strip, but the newspaper syndicates all turned them down.[31] Max Gaines, who worked at McClure Newspaper Syndicate, suggested they show their work to Detective Comics (which had recently bought out National Allied).[32]Siegel recalled, In March 1938, Siegel and Shuster sold all rights to the character to Detective Comics, Inc.[33] for $130 (the equivalent of $2,200 when adjusted for inflation).[34][35] It was the company's policy to buy the full rights to the characters it published.[36] By this time, they had resigned themselves that Superman would never be a success, and with this deal they would at least see their character finally published.[37] Influences Siegel and Shuster read pulp science-fiction and adventure magazines, and many stories featured characters with extraordinary powers such as telepathy, clairvoyance, and superhuman strength. An influence was Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter of Mars, a human who was displaced to Mars, where the low gravity makes him stronger than the natives and allows him to leap great distances.[38] Which were essentially the same kind of powers Superman had on earth in the early days of the comic.[39] While it is widely assumed that the 1930 Philip Wylie novel Gladiator, featuring a protagonist, Hugo Danner, with similar powers, was an inspiration for Superman,[40][41] Siegel denied this.[42] Douglas Fairbanks (left) and Harold Lloyd (right) influenced the look of Superman and Clark Kent, respectively. Siegel and Shuster were also avid moviegoers.[43] Shuster based Superman's stance and devil-may-care attitude on that of Douglas Fairbanks, who starred in adventure films such as The Mark of Zorro and Robin Hood.[44] The name of Superman's home city, Metropolis, was taken from the 1927 film of the same name.[43] Popeye cartoons were also an influence.[45] The persona of Clark Kent was inspired by slapstick comedian Harold Lloyd. Lloyd wore glasses and often played gentle characters who were abused by bullies, but later in the story would snap and fight back furiously. Shuster, who also wore glasses and described himself as "mild-mannered", found Lloyd's characters relatable.[46] Kent is a journalist, because Siegel often imagined himself becoming one after leaving school. The inclusion of a romantic subplot with Lois Lane was inspired by Siegel's own awkwardness with girls.[47] The pair collected comic strips in their youth, with a favorite being Winsor McCay's fantastical Little Nemo.[43]Shuster remarked on the artists which played an important part in the development of his own style: "Alex Raymond and Burne Hogarth were my idols – also Milt Caniff, Hal Foster, and Roy Crane."[43] Shuster taught himself to draw by tracing over the art in the strips and magazines they collected.[18] As a boy, Shuster was obsessed with fitness culture[45] and a fan of strongmen such as Siegmund Breitbart and Joseph Greenstein. He collected fitness magazines and manuals and used their photographs as visual references for his art.[18] The visual design of Superman came from multiple influences. The tight-fitting suit and shorts were inspired by the costumes of wrestlers, boxers, and strongmen. Shuster first gave Superman laced sandals like those of strongmen and classical heroes.[48] The emblem on his chest may have been inspired by the uniforms of athletic teams. Many pulp action heroes such as swashbucklers wore capes. Superman's face was based on Johnny Weissmuller's.[18] The word "superman" was commonly used in the 1920s and 1930s to describe men of great ability, most often athletes and politicians.[49] It occasionally appeared in pulp fiction stories as well, such as "The Superman of Dr. Jukes"[50] and Doc Savage.[51] It is unclear whether Siegel and Shuster were influenced by Friedrich Nietzsche's concept of the Übermensch;[52] they never acknowledged as much.[53] Publication history See also: Publication history of Superman, Superman (comic strip), List of Superman comics, and Superman (franchise) Comic books and comic strips Superman debuted as the cover feature of the anthology Action Comics #1 (cover-dated June 1938 and published on April 18, 1938).[54] The series was an immediate success,[55] and reader feedback showed it was because of the Superman character.[56] In June 1939, Detective Comics began a sister series, Superman, dedicated exclusively to the character.[57] Action Comics eventually became dedicated to Superman stories too, and both it and Superman have been published without interruption since 1938 (ignoring changes to the titles and numbering).[58][59] A large number of other series and miniseries have been published as well.[60] Superman has also appeared as a regular or semi-regular character in a number of superhero team series, such as Justice League of America and World's Finest Comics, and in spin-off series such as Supergirl. Sales of Action Comics and Superman declined steadily from the 1950s,[61][62] but rose again starting in 1987. Superman #75 (Nov 1992) sold over 6 million copies, making it the best-selling issue of a comic book of all time,[63] thanks to a media sensation over the possibly permanent death of the character in that issue.[64] Sales declined from that point on. In February 2016, Action Comics sold just over 31,000 copies.[65] The comic books are today considered a niche aspect of the Superman franchise due to low readership.[66] Beginning in January 1939, a Superman daily comic strip appeared in newspapers, syndicated through the McClure Syndicate. A color Sunday version was added that November. The Sunday strips had a narrative continuity separate from the daily strips, possibly because Siegel had to delegate the Sunday strips to ghostwriters.[67]By 1941, the newspaper strips had an estimated readership of 20 million.[68] Shuster drew the early strips, then passed the job to Wayne Boring.[69] From 1949 to 1956, the newspaper strips were drawn by Win Mortimer.[70] The strip ended in May 1966, but was revived from 1977 to 1983 to coincide with a series of movies released by Warner Bros.[71] After Shuster left National, Boring also succeeded him as the principal artist on Superman comic books.[72] He redrew Superman taller and more detailed.[73] Around 1955, Curt Swan in turn succeeded Boring.[74] Creative management Initially, Siegel was allowed to write Superman more or less as he saw fit,[75] because nobody had anticipated the success and rapid expansion of the franchise.[76] But soon Siegel and Shuster's work was put under careful oversight for fear of trouble with censors.[77] Siegel was forced to tone down the violence and social crusading that characterized his early stories.[78] Editor Whitney Ellsworth, hired in 1940, dictated that Superman not kill.[79] Sexuality was banned, and colorfully outlandish villains such as Ultra-Humanite and Toyman were thought to be less nightmarish for young readers.[80] Mort Weisinger was the editor on Superman comics from 1941 to 1970, 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.[81] Weisinger assigned story ideas, and the logic of Superman's powers, his origin, the locales, and his relationships with his growing cast of supporting characters were carefully planned. Elements such as Bizarro, Supergirl, the Phantom Zone, alternate varieties of kryptonite, robot doppelgangers, and Krypto were introduced. The complicated universe built under Weisinger was beguiling to devoted readers, but alienating to casuals.[82] Weisinger favored lighthearted stories over serious drama, and avoided sensitive subjects such as the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement, because he feared his right-wing views would alienate his writing staff and readers.[83] Weisinger also introduced letters columns in 1958 to encourage feedback and build intimacy with readers.[84] Superman was the best-selling comic book character of the 1960s.[85][86] Weisinger retired in 1970 and Julius Schwartz took over. By his own admission, Weisinger had grown out of touch with newer readers.[87] Schwartz updated Superman by removing overused plot elements such as kryptonite and robot doppelgangers and making Clark Kent a television anchor.[88] Schwartz also scaled Superman's powers down to a level closer to Siegel's original. These changes would eventually be reversed by later writers. Schwartz allowed stories with serious drama, as in "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. Schwartz retired from DC Comics in 1986, and was succeeded by Mike Carlin as editor on Superman comics 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 1996, a position he held until 2002. K.C. Carlson took his place as editor of the Superman comics. The 1940s radio serial was produced by Robert Maxwell and Allen Ducovny, who were employees of Superman, Inc. and Detective Comics, respectively.[89][90] Robert Maxwell was later hired to produce the TV show starring George Reeves. DC Comics (then known as National Comics Publications) felt that the first season was too violent for what they expected to be a children's show, so they removed Maxwell and replaced him with Whitney Ellsworth, a veteran writer and editor at National Comics.[91] DC Comics had approval rights over all creative aspects of the Superboy TV series (1988–1992), from scripts to casting to shooting revisions.[92] The first three movies starring Christopher Reeve were produced by Alexander and Ilya Salkind. When Warner Bros sold the movie rights to Superman to the Salkinds in 1974, it demanded control over the budget and the casting, but left everything else to the producers' discretion.[93] These movies influenced future stories, with the Salkinds insisting Clark Kent be a newspaper journalist, in order to appeal to older fans.[94] Kent left his TV anchor job and returned to the Daily Planet. Innovations such as John Barry's crystalline set designs for Krypton and the Fortress of Solitude, Superman's chest emblem being his family crest, and screenwriter Mario Puzo's messianic themes were also adopted by the comics' writers.[citation needed] Aesthetic style In the earlier decades of Superman comics, artists were expected to conform to a certain "house style".[95] Joe Shuster defined the aesthetic style of Superman in the 1940s, and not just in the comics: he also provided character model sheets for the Fleischer and Famous animated serial of the 1940s.[96] After Shuster left National, Wayne Boring succeeded him as the principal artist on Superman comic books.[72] He redrew Superman taller and more detailed.[73] Around 1955, Curt Swan in turn succeeded Boring.[74] The 1980s saw a boom in the diversity of comic book art and now there is no single "house style" in Superman comics.[97] Copyright battles Ownership lawsuits Main article: Superman ownership disputes Siegel wrote most of the comic-book and daily newspaper stories until he was conscripted in 1943.[98] While Siegel was serving in Hawaii, Detective Comics introduced a child version of Superman called "Superboy", based on a concept Siegel had submitted several years before. Siegel was furious, because Detective did this without having bought the character.[99] After Siegel's discharge from the Army, he and Shuster sued Detective Comics in 1947 for the rights to Superman and Superboy. The judge ruled that the March 1938 sale of Superman was binding, but that Superboy was a separate entity that rightfully belonged to Siegel. Siegel and Shuster settled out-of-court with Detective, which paid the pair $94,000 ($940,000 when adjusted for inflation) in exchange for the full rights to both Superman and Superboy.[100] Detective then fired Siegel and Shuster.[101] In 1969, Siegel and Shuster attempted to regain rights to Superman using the renewal option in the Copyright Act of 1909, but the court ruled Siegel and Shuster had transferred the renewal rights to Detective Comics in 1938. Siegel and Shuster appealed, but the appeals court upheld this decision. Detective had re-hired Siegel as a writer in 1957, but fired him again when he filed this second lawsuit. In 1975, 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.[18] Shuster died in 1992. DC Comics offered Shuster's heirs a stipend in exchange for never challenging ownership of Superman, which they accepted for some years.[100] Siegel died in 1996. His heirs attempted to take the rights to Superman using the termination provision of the Copyright Act of 1976. DC Comics negotiated an agreement wherein it would pay the Siegel heirs several million dollars and a yearly stipend of $500,000 in exchange for permanently granting DC the rights to Superman. DC Comics also agreed to insert the line "By Special Arrangement with the Jerry Siegel Family" in all future Superman productions.[102] The Siegels accepted DC's offer in an October 2001 letter.[100] 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. Both groups accepted. The Siegel heirs called off their deal with DC Comics and in 2004 sued DC for the rights to Superman and Superboy. In 2008, the judge ruled in favor of the Siegels. DC Comics appealed the decision, and the appeals court ruled in favored of DC, arguing that the October 2001 letter was binding. In 2003, 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 2010, and the court ruled in DC's favor on the grounds that the 1992 agreement with the Shuster heirs barred them from terminating the grant.[100] Superman is due to enter the public domain in 2033.[100] However, this would only apply to the character as he is depicted in Action Comics #1 (1938). Later developments, such as his power of "heat vision" (introduced in 1949), may persist under copyright until the works they were introduced in enter the public domain themselves.[103] Copyright infringement lawsuits Superman's success quickly spawned a wave of imitations, and Detective Comics defended its copyright vigorously.[104] Will Eisner created a character called Wonder Man in 1939, but a lawsuit from Detective Comics forced its cancellation after just one issue.[105] Fawcett Comics introduced Captain Marvel in 1940 and for some years that character outsold Superman,[citation needed] but after protracted legal battles Fawcett was forced to cease publishing Captain Marvel in 1953. Fictional character biography In Action Comics #1 (April 1938), Superman is born on an alien world to a technologically advanced species that resembles humans. When his world is on the verge of destruction, his father, a scientist, places his infant son alone in a spaceship that takes him to Earth. The earliest newspaper strips name the planet "Krypton", the baby "Kal-L", and his biological parents "Jor-L" and "Lora";[106] their names become "Jor-el", and "Lara" in a 1942 spinoff novel by George Lowther.[107] The ship lands in the American countryside, where the baby is adopted by the Kents. In the original stories, they adopt him from an orphanage.[108] The Kents name the boy Clark and raise him in a farming community. A 1947 episode of the radio serial places the then-unnamed community in Iowa.[109] It is named Smallville in Superboy #2 (June 1949). New Adventures of Superboy #22 (Oct. 1981) places it in Maryland. The 1978 Superman movie and most stories since place it in Kansas.[110] 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 suffers occasional ridicule for his apparent cowardice. Writers developed Superman's powers gradually. Since the beginning, he has had superhuman strength and a nigh-invulnerable body. In the earliest comics, Superman travels by running and leaping. In the radio serial that began in 1940, Superman has the ability to fly.[111] Fleischer Studios also depicted Superman flying in a theatrical animated series they produced that same decade, because this required fewer frames of animation,[112] and their animation tests of Superman leaping looked "silly" anyway.[113] X-ray vision is introduced in Action Comics #11 (April 1939) and heat vision in Superman #59 (Aug. 1949). Originally, Superman's powers were common on Krypton, but in later stories they are activated by the light of Earth's yellow sun, and can be deactivated by red sunlight similar to that of Krypton's sun. Siegel understood that Superman's invulnerability diminished his appeal as an action hero, and so wrote a story introducing "K-metal", whose radiation harms Superman. This draft was never published since the story had Superman reveal his secret identity to Lois,[114] but the writers of the radio serial took inspiration and introduced the green mineral kryptonite in a 1943 episode.[115] It first appeared in comics in the story "Superman Returns To Krypton!", credited to writer Bill Finger, in Superman #61 (Dec. 1949).[116] Clark works as a newspaper journalist. In the earliest stories, he is employed by George Taylor of The Daily Star, but the second episode of the radio serial changed this to Perry White of The Daily Planet.[117] Action Comics #1 introduced Clark's colleague Lois Lane. Clark is romantically attracted to her, but she rejects the mild-mannered Clark and is infatuated with the bold and mighty Superman. This love triangle was conceived in 1934 and is present in most Superman stories. Jerry 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.[118] For decades in comic stories, Lois suspects Clark is Superman and tries to prove it, but Superman always outwits her; the first such story was Superman #17 (1942).[119][120] In Action Comics #662 (Feb. 1991) in a story by writer Roger Stern and artist Bob McLeod, Lois definitively learns of Clark's dual identity,[121] a status quo that would exist for two decades and was reflected in a 1995 episode of the TV series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.[122] Both in that series and in the 1996 comic book special Superman: The Wedding Album, Clark and Lois marry.[123] The couple's biological child, Jonathan Samuel Kent, was born in Convergence: Superman #2 (July 2015). The first story in which Superman dies was published in Superman #188 (April 1966) in which he is killed by kryptonite radiation, but is revived in the same issue by one of his android doppelgangers. In the 1990s The Death and Return of Superman story arc, after a deadly battle with Doomsday, Superman died in Superman #75 (Jan. 1993). He was later revived by the Eradicator. In Superman #52 (May 2016) Superman is killed by kryptonite poisoning, and this time he was not resurrected, but replaced by the Superman of a previous continuity. In 2011, DC Comics rebooted its continuity and relaunched its entire line of comic books under the rubric The New 52, with a new version of Superman as the protagonist of the Superman books. In this new version of events, Clark's parents were killed by a drunk driver when he was a teenager, and he is not married to Lois.[124] In this continuity, he first encounters Lex Luthor early in his career as a superhero. Luthor, who is working for the government, tortures him in order to find out the limits of his powers. Superman eventually manages to escape, however. In Superman vol. 2, #43 (October 2015) Superman's identity is exposed to the world.[122][125][126] The pre-New 52 version of Superman was re-introduced in the comic book series Superman: Lois and Clark [127] and for a time Earth had two superheroes each called Superman. The older, more mature Superman remained on Earth after the younger Superman died in Superman vol. 3, #52 (May 25, 2016). In June 2016, DC Comics once again relaunched its comic book titles with DC Rebirth. The publisher re-established the pre-New 52 Superman as the protagonist of the new comic books, with Lois Lane as his wife once more. He and Lois also conceive a biological son, Jonathan Samuel Kent, who eventually becomes Superboy.[128]The story arc Superman Reborn smooths over the discrepancies between the two versions of the character. According to Mr. Mxyzptlk, the creation of the New 52 caused Superman to be separated into two people: the New 52 character that served as the protagonist of the Superman books and the pre-Flashpoint character that took part in the Convergence event and sired Jon. Thanks to Jon, the new Superboy, the two Supermen merge into one complete version of Superman, rearranging their shared histories and accommodating them into the restored DC Universe. This complete Superman features a new suit that combines elements from the two eras.[129][130] Personality 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.[131] Superman in the comics of the 1930s is unconcerned about the harm his strength may cause. 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 1940 when new editor Whitney Ellsworth instituted a code of conduct for his characters to follow, banning Superman from ever killing.[132] The character was softened and given a sense of humanitarianism. Ellsworth's code, however, is not to be confused with "the Comics Code", which was created in 1954 by the Comics Code Authority and ultimately abandoned by every major comic book publisher by the early 21st century.[133] 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 1942, however, Superman was working side-by-side with the police.[134][135] Today, Superman is commonly seen as a brave and kind-hearted hero with a strong sense of justice, morality, and righteousness. He adheres to an unwavering moral code instilled in him by his adoptive parents.[136] His commitment to operating within the law has been an example to many citizens and other heroes, but has stirred resentment and criticism among others, who refer to him as the "big blue boy scout". Superman can be rather rigid in this trait, causing tensions in the superhero community.[137] This was most notable with Wonder Woman, one of his closest friends, after she killed Maxwell Lord.[137] Booster Gold had an initial icy relationship with the Man of Steel, but grew to respect him.[138] Having lost his home world of Krypton, Superman is very protective of Earth,[139] 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[140] (who is, in fact from the Krypton of the Earth-Two universe) and Mon-El,[141] 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.[142] Superman's Fortress of Solitude acts as a place of solace for him in times of loneliness and despair.[143] In Superman/Batman #3 (Dec. 2003), Batman, under writer Jeph Loeb, observes, "It is a remarkable dichotomy. In many ways, Clark is the most human of us all. Then ... he shoots fire from the skies, and it is difficult not to think of him as a god. And how fortunate we all are that it does not occur to 'him'." In writer Geoff Johns' Infinite Crisis #1 (Dec. 2005), part of the 2005–2006 "Infinite Crisis" crossover storyline, Batman admonishes him for identifying with humanity too much and failing to provide the strong leadership that superhumans need. Age and birthday Superman's age has varied through his history in comics. His age was originally left undefined, with real-time references to specific years sometimes given to past events in Golden Age and early Silver Age comics. In comics published between the early 1970s and early 1990s, his age was usually cited as 29 years old.[144]However, during "The Death of Superman" storyline, Clark's age was given as 34 years old (in a fictional promotional newspaper published), while 1994's "Zero Hour" timeline established his age as 35. Action Comics #149 (Oct. 1950) gives October as Superman's birthdate. Comics of the 1960s through 1980s describe Superman's birthday as February 29.[145] Clark Kent, meanwhile, would celebrate his birthday on June 18, the date the Kents first found Clark; June 18 is also the birthdate of Superman voice actor Bud Collyer.[146]Following the 1980s editorial-revamp DC called Crisis on Infinite Earths, Kent's birthday is given as February 29.[147] Superman: Secret Origin #1 (Nov. 2009) depicts Kent celebrating his birthday on December 1. Other versions Main article: Alternative versions of Superman See also: Superman (Earth-Two) and Superman (Earth-One) The details Superman's story vary across his large body of fiction published since 1938. Versions of Superman depicted on television and in movies are typically not part of the same narrative continuity presented in the comics, and even in the comic books there are many different depictions of the character, a few of which differ radically from the "classic" version (e.g., the graphic novel Superman: Red Son depicts a Communist Superman who rules the Soviet Union). DC Comics has on some occasions published crossover stories where different depictions of Superman interact with each other using the plot device of parallel universes. For instance, in the 1960s, the Superman of "Earth-One" would occasionally star in stories alongside the Superman of "Earth-Two", the latter of whom resembled Superman as he was portrayed in the 1940s. DC Comics has not developed a consistent and universal system to classify all versions of the character. Powers and abilities Main article: Powers and abilities of Superman As an influential archetype of the superhero genre, Superman possesses extraordinary powers, with the character traditionally described as "Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound ... It's Superman!",[148] a phrase coined by Jay Morton and first used in the Superman radio serials and Max Fleischer animated shorts of the 1940s[149] as well as the TV series of the 1950s. For most of his existence, Superman's famous arsenal of powers has included flight, super-strength, invulnerability to non-magical attacks, super-speed, vision powers (including x-ray, heat-emitting, telescopic, infra-red, and microscopic vision), super-hearing, super-intelligence, and super-breath, which enables him to blow out air at freezing temperatures, as well as exert the propulsive force of high-speed winds.[150] As originally conceived and presented in his early stories, Superman's powers were relatively limited, consisting of superhuman strength that allowed him to lift a car over his head, run at amazing speeds and leap one-eighth of a mile, as well as an incredibly dense body structure that could be pierced by nothing less than an exploding artillery shell.[150] He could be knocked unconscious and nearly killed by powerful electric fields [151] or bombs.[152] Siegel and Shuster compared his strength and leaping abilities to an ant and a grasshopper.[153] When making the Superman cartoons in the early 1940s, the Fleischer Brothers found it difficult to keep animating him leaping and requested to DC to change his ability to flying; this was an especially convenient concept for short films, which would have otherwise had to waste precious running time moving earthbound Clark Kent from place to place.[154] Writers gradually increased his powers to larger extents during the Silver Age, in which Superman could fly to other worlds and galaxies and even across universes with relative ease.[150] He would often fly across the solar system to stop meteors from hitting the Earth or sometimes just to clear his head. Writers found it increasingly difficult to write Superman stories in which the character was believably challenged,[155] so DC made a series of attempts to rein the character in. The most significant attempt, John Byrne's 1986 rewrite, established several hard limits on his abilities: He barely survives a nuclear blast, and his space flights are limited by how long he can hold his breath.[156] Superman's power levels have again increased since then, with Superman eventually possessing enough strength to hurl mountains, withstand nuclear blasts with ease, fly into the sun unharmed, and survive in the vacuum of outer space without oxygen. The source of Superman's powers has changed subtly over the course of his history. It was originally stated that Superman's abilities derived from his Kryptonian heritage, which made him eons more evolved than humans.[132] This was soon amended, with the source for the powers now based upon the establishment of Krypton's gravity as having been stronger than that of the Earth. This situation mirrors that of Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter. As Superman's powers increased, the implication that all Kryptonians had possessed the same abilities became problematic for writers, making it doubtful that a race of such beings could have been wiped out by something as trifling as an exploding planet. In part to counter this, the Superman writers established that Kryptonians, whose native star Rao had been red, possessed superpowers only under the light of a yellow sun.[157] Superman is most vulnerable to green Kryptonite, mineral debris from Krypton transformed into radioactive material by the forces that destroyed the planet. Exposure to green Kryptonite radiation nullifies Superman's powers and immobilizes him with pain and nausea; prolonged exposure will eventually kill him. The only substance on Earth that can protect him from Kryptonite is lead, which blocks the radiation. Lead is also the only known substance that Superman cannot see through with his x-ray vision. Kryptonite was introduced in 1943 as a plot device to allow the radio-serial voice actor, Bud Collyer, to take some time off.[158] Although green Kryptonite is the most commonly seen form, writers have introduced other forms over the years: such as red, gold, blue, white, and black, each with its own effect.[159] Supporting characters See also: Superman character and cast and List of Superman supporting characters Clark Kent, Superman's secret identity, was based partly on Harold Lloyd and named after Clark Gable and Kent Taylor.[160][161] Creators have discussed the idea of whether Superman pretends to be Clark Kent or vice versa, and at differing times in the publication either approach has been adopted.[162][163] Although typically a newspaper reporter, during the 1970s the character left the Daily Planet for a time to work for television,[163] whilst the 1980s revamp by John Byrne saw the character become somewhat more aggressive.[156] This aggressiveness has since faded with subsequent creators restoring the mild mannerisms traditional to the character. Allies Superman's large cast of supporting characters includes Lois Lane, the character most commonly associated with Superman, being portrayed at different times as his colleague, competitor, love interest and wife. Other main supporting characters include Daily Planet coworkers such as photographer Jimmy Olsen and editor Perry White, Clark Kent's adoptive parents Jonathan and Martha Kent, childhood sweetheart Lana Lang and best friend Pete Ross, associates like Professor Hamilton and John Henry Irons who often provide scientific advice and tech support, and former college love interest Lori Lemaris (a mermaid). Stories making reference to the possibility of Superman siring children have been featured both in and out of mainstream continuity. Incarnations of Supergirl, Krypto the Superdog, and Superboy have also been major characters in the mythos, as well as the Justice League of America (of which Superman is usually a member and often its leader) and Legion of Super-Heroes (which Superboy traveled through time to join). A feature shared by several supporting characters is alliterative names, especially with the initials "LL", including Lex Luthor, Lois Lane, Linda Lee, Lana Lang, Lori Lemaris, and Lucy Lane,[164] alliteration being common in early comics. Various enemies of Superman, as they appear on the cover of Superman Villains: Secret Files and Origins #1 (June 1998). Art by Dan Jurgens. Team-ups with fellow comics icon Batman are common, inspiring many stories over the years. When paired, they are often referred to as the "World's Finest" in a nod to the name of the comic book series that features many team-up stories. In 2003, DC began to publish a new series featuring the two characters titled Superman/Batman or Batman/Superman. Following DC Comic's The New 52 line-wide relaunch, Superman established a romantic relationship with Wonder Woman. A comic book series titled Superman/Wonder Woman debuted in 2013, which explores their relationship and shared adventures. Enemies Main article: List of Superman enemies The villains Superman faced in the earliest stories were ordinary humans, such as gangsters, corrupt politicians, and violent husbands, but they soon grew more outlandish and collectively become Superman's rogues gallery. The mad scientist Ultra-Humanite, introduced in Action Comics #13 (June 1939), was Superman's first recurring villain. The hero's best-known nemesis, Lex Luthor, was introduced in Action Comics #23 (April 1940) and has been envisioned over the years as both a recluse with advanced weaponry to a power-mad billionaire.[165] In 1944, the magical imp Mister Mxyzptlk, Superman's first recurring super-powered adversary, was introduced.[166] Superman's first alien villain, Brainiac, debuted in Action Comics #242 (July 1958). The monstrous Doomsday, introduced in Superman: The Man of Steel #17–18 (Nov.-Dec. 1992), was the first villain to evidently kill Superman in physical combat. Other adversaries include the odd Superman-doppelgänger Bizarro, the Kryptonian criminal General Zod, and alien tyrants Darkseid and Mongul.[167] Cultural impact Superman has come to be seen as an American cultural icon.[168][169] Superman is often thought of as the first superhero. This point is debated by historians: Doctor Occult, an earlier creation of Siegel and Shuster, appeared in comic books two years earlier, and the Phantom and Mandrake the Magician had previously appeared in newspaper strips. However, there is no debate that Superman started the 20th century's craze for costumed adventurers. His adventures and popularity have established the character as an inspiring force within the public eye, with the character serving as inspiration for musicians, comedians and writers alike. Kryptonite, Brainiac and Bizarro have become synonymous in popular vernacular with Achilles' heel, extreme intelligence[170] and reversed logic[171] respectively. Similarly, the phrase "I'm not Superman" or "you're not Superman" is an idiom used to suggest a lack of omnipotence.[172][173][174] Merchandising The "S" symbol that became iconic Superman became popular very quickly, with an additional title, Superman Quarterly, rapidly added. In 1940 the character was represented in the annual Macy's parade for the first time.[175] In fact Superman had become popular to the extent that in 1942, with sales of the character's three titles standing at a combined total of over 1.5 million, Time was reporting that "the Navy Department (had) ruled that Superman comic books should be included among essential supplies destined for the Marine garrison at Midway Islands."[176]The character was soon licensed by companies keen to cash in on this success through merchandising. The earliest paraphernalia appeared in 1939, a button proclaiming membership in the Supermen of America club. By 1940 the amount of merchandise available increased dramatically, with jigsaw puzzles, paper dolls, bubble gum and trading cards available, as well as wooden or metal figures. The popularity of such merchandise increased when Superman was licensed to appear in other media, and Les Daniels has written that this represents "the start of the process that media moguls of later decades would describe as 'synergy.'"[177] By the release of Superman Returns, Warner Bros. had arranged a cross promotion with Burger King,[178] and licensed many other products for sale. Superman's appeal to licensees rests upon the character's continuing popularity, cross market appeal and the status of the "S" shield, the stylized magenta and gold "S" emblem Superman wears on his chest, as a fashion symbol.[179][180] The "S" shield by itself is often used in media to symbolize the Superman character.[181][182] In other media Main article: Superman (franchise) The character of Superman has appeared in various media aside from comic books, including radio and television series, several films, and video games. The first adaptation was a daily newspaper comic strip, launched on January 16, 1939, and running through May 1966; Siegel and Shuster used the first strips to establish Superman's background, adding details such as the planet Krypton and Superman's father, Jor-El, concepts not yet established in the comic books.[132] A radio show, The Adventures of Superman, premiered February 12, 1940, and featured the voice of Bud Collyer as Superman. It ran through 1951. Collyer was also cast as the voice of Superman in Paramount Pictures' 17 Superman animated cartoons produced by Fleischer Studios and then Famous Studios for theatrical release in 1941–1943. Early episodes each had a budget of $50,000[183] ($814,100 when adjusted for inflation), which was exceptional for the time.[184] The first live-action film was a 15-part serial released in 1948. In 1948, the movie serial Superman made Kirk Alyn the first actor to portray the hero onscreen. The first feature film, Superman and the Mole Men, starring George Reeves, was released in 1951, and was intended to promote the first television series Adventures of Superman, which aired from 1952 to 1958. National had creative control over the show.[185] Television series featuring Superman and Superboy would also debut in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. In 1966 came the Broadway musicalIt's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman, remade for television in 1975. Also in 1966, Superman starred in the first of several animated television series The New Adventures of Superman. Superman also appeared in a Filmation-produced animation segment on the children's educational TV series Sesame Street, discussing the letter S.[186] Superman returned to movie theaters in 1978 with director Richard Donner's Superman, starring Christopher Reeve, which spawned three sequels and was the most successful Superman feature film.[187] DC Comics has had little creative control over these in movies: When Warner Bros. sold the movie rights to Superman to the Salkinds in 1974, it demanded control over the budget and the casting, but left everything else to the producers' discretion.[188] In 2006, Bryan Singer directed the feature Superman Returns, starring Brandon Routh. In 2013, director Zack Snyder rebooted the film franchise with Man of Steel, starring Henry Cavill. Snyder also directed its 2016 sequel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which featured Superman alongside Batman and Wonder Woman for the first time in a live-action movie. Cavill will reprise his role as Superman in the 2017 film Justice League. Tyler Hoechlin plays Superman in the second season of the Supergirl TV series.[189] Musical references, parodies, and homages See also: Superman in popular music A building with a painted caricature of Barack Obama in Superman's clothes in its facade. Superman has also featured as an inspiration for musicians, with songs by numerous artists from several generations celebrating the character. Donovan's Billboard Hot 100 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."[190] Folk singer-songwriter Jim Croce sung about the character in a list of warnings in the chorus of his song "You Don't Mess Around with Jim", introducing the phrase "you don't tug on Superman's cape" into popular lexicon.[191] Other tracks to reference the character include Genesis' "Land of Confusion",[192] the video to which featured a Spitting Imagepuppet of Ronald Reagan dressed as Superman,[193] "(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman" by The Kinks on their 1979 album Low Budget and "Superman" by The Clique, a track later covered by R.E.M. on its 1986 album Lifes Rich Pageant. 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.[194] Crash Test Dummies' "Superman's Song", from the 1991 album The Ghosts That Haunt Me explores the isolation and commitment inherent in Superman's life.[195] Five for Fighting released "Superman (It's Not Easy)" in 2000, which is from Superman's point of view, although Superman is never mentioned by name.[196] From 1988 to 1993, American composer Michael Daugherty composed "Metropolis Symphony", a five-movement orchestral work inspired by Superman comics.[197][198] Superman depicted as stricken by AIDS, in an awareness campaign Parodies of Superman did not take long to appear, with Mighty Mouse introduced in "The Mouse of Tomorrow" animated short in 1942.[199] While the character swiftly took on a life of its own, moving beyond parody, other animated characters soon took their turn to parody the character. In 1943, 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.S. Marine. In 1956 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.[200] In the United Kingdom Monty Python created the character Bicycle Repairman, who fixes bicycles on a world full of Supermen, for a sketch in series of their BBC show.[201] Also on the BBC was the sitcom My Hero, which presented Thermoman as a slightly dense Superman pastiche, attempting to save the world and pursue romantic aspirations.[202] In the United States, Saturday Night Live has often parodied the figure, with Margot Kidder reprising her role as Lois Lane in a 1979 episode. 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 1997 asked for Superman to co-star with him in a commercial for American Express. The commercial aired during the 1998 NFL Playoffs and Super Bowl, Superman animated in the style of artist Curt Swan, again at the request of Seinfeld.[203] Superman has also been used as reference point for writers, with Steven T. 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.[204] Brad Fraser used the character as a reference point for his play Poor Super Man, with The Independent noting the central character, a gay man who has lost many friends to AIDS as someone who "identifies all the more keenly with Superman's alien-amid-deceptive-lookalikes status."[205] Superman's image was also used in an AIDS awareness campaign by French organization AIDES. 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.[206] Superman is also mentioned in several films, including Joel Schumacher's Batman & Robin, in which Batman states, "That's why Superman works alone ..." in reference to the many troubles caused by his partner Robin, and also in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man, in which Aunt May gives her nephew Peter Parker a word of advice not to strain himself too much, because, "You're not Superman, you know", among many others. Literary analysis 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".[207] Writing in Time in 1971, Gerald Clarke stated: "Superman's enormous popularity might be looked upon as signalling the beginning of the end for the Horatio Alger myth of the self-made man." Clarke viewed the comics characters as having to continuously update in order to maintain relevance, and thus representing the mood of the nation. 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."[208]Andrew Arnold, writing in the early 21st century, has noted Superman's partial role in exploring assimilation, the character's alien status allowing the reader to explore attempts to fit in on a somewhat superficial level. Clark Kent, argued by Jules Feiffer to be the most innovative feature of Superman A.C. Grayling, writing in The Spectator, traces Superman's stances through the decades, from his 1930s campaign against crime being relevant to a nation under the influence of Al Capone, through the 1940s and World War II, a period in which Superman helped sell war bonds,[209] and into the 1950s, where Superman explored the new technological threats. Grayling notes the period after the Cold War as being one where "matters become merely personal: the task of pitting his brawn against the brains of Lex Luthor and Brainiac appeared to be independent of bigger questions", and discusses events post 9/11, stating that as a nation "caught between the terrifying George W. 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".[210] An influence on early Superman stories is the context of the Great Depression. The left-leaning perspective of creators Shuster and Siegel is reflected in early storylines.[attribution needed] Superman took on the role of social activist, fighting crooked businessmen and politicians and demolishing run-down tenements.[131] Comics scholar Roger Sabin sees this as a reflection of "the liberal idealism of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal", with Shuster and Siegel initially portraying Superman as champion to a variety of social causes.[52][211] In later Superman radio programs the character continued to take on such issues, tackling a version of the Ku Klux Klan in a 1946 broadcast, as well as combating anti-semitism and veteran discrimination.[212][213][214] 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 1938, a kind of Corbusierian ideal. Superman has X-ray vision: walls become permeable, transparent. Through his benign, controlled authority, Superman renders the city open, modernist and democratic; he furthers a sense that Le Corbusier described in 1925, namely, that 'Everything is known to us'."[215] 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: Clark Kent." Feiffer develops the theme to establish Superman's popularity in simple wish fulfillment,[216] a point Siegel and Shuster themselves supported, Siegel commenting that "If you're interested in what made Superman what it is, here's one of the keys to what made it universally acceptable. Joe and I had certain inhibitions ... which led to wish-fulfillment which we expressed through our interest in science fiction and our comic strip. That's where the dual-identity concept came from" and Shuster supporting that as being "why so many people could relate to it".[217] 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.[218] Superman's immigrant status is a key aspect of his appeal.[219][220][221] Aldo Regalado saw the character as pushing the boundaries of acceptance in America. The extraterrestrial origin was seen by Regalado as challenging the notion that Anglo-Saxon ancestry was the source of all might.[222] Gary Engle saw the "myth of Superman [asserting] with total confidence and a childlike innocence the value of the immigrant in American culture." He argues that Superman allowed the superhero genre to take over from the Western as the expression of immigrant sensibilities. 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.[220] David Jenemann has offered a contrasting view. He argues that Superman's early stories portray a threat: "the possibility that the exile would overwhelm the country."[223] David Rooney, a theater critic for The New York Times, in his evaluation of the play, Year Zero, considers Superman to be the "quintessential immigrant story ... (b)orn on an alien planet, he grows stronger on Earth, but maintains a secret identity tied to a homeland that continues to exert a powerful hold on him even as his every contact with those origins does him harm."[224] Some see Judaic themes in Superman. Simcha Weinstein notes that Superman's story has some parallels to that of Moses. 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. Weinstein also posits that Superman's Kryptonian name, "Kal-El", resembles the Hebrew words קל-אל, which can be taken to mean "voice of God".[225] Larry Tye suggests that this "Voice of God" is an allusion to Moses' role as a prophet.[226]The suffix "el", meaning "(of) God", is also found in the name of angels (e.g. Gabriel, Ariel), who are airborne humanoid agents of good with superhuman powers. The Nazis also thought Superman was a Jew and in 1940 Joseph Goebbels publicly denounced Superman and his creator Siegel.[227] Superman stories have occasionally exhibited Christian themes as well. Screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz consciously made Superman an allegory for Christ in the 1978 movie starring Christopher Reeve:[228] baby Kal-El's ship resembles the Star of Bethlehem, and Jor-El's gives his son a messianic mission. Critical reception and popularity The character Superman and his various comic series have received various awards over the years. Superman placed first on IGN's Top 100 Comic Book Heroes.[229] Empire magazine named him the greatest comic book character.[230] The Reign of the Supermen is one of many storylines or works to have received a Comics Buyer's Guide Fan Award, winning the Favorite Comic Book Story category in 1993.[231] Superman came in at number 2 in VH1's Top Pop Culture Icons 2004.[232] Also in 2004, British moviegoers voted Superman the greatest superhero.[233] Works featuring the character have also garnered six Eisner Awards,[234][235] and three Harvey Awards,[236] either for the works or the creators of the works. The Superman films have received a number of nominations and awards, with Christopher Reeve winning a BAFTA for his performance in Superman (1978). The Smallville television series has garnered Emmys for crew members and various other awards. ebay4109 Condition: FINE - PRISTINE condition. Unused. Open firstly only for taking the pictures for this ebay sale. ( Pls look at scan for accurate AS IS images ), Country/Region of Manufacture: Israel, Issue Number: VOLUME 1 NUMBER 1, Main Character: Superman, Grade: FINE - PRISTINE, Publication Date: 1986, Publisher: ISRAELI HEBREW PUBLISHER

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