Things You Probably Didn't Know About Superman

Things You Probably Didn't Know About Superman

Superman...

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By Irishlad - 11/8/2011

HE STARTED AS A BALD VILLAIN!
One of the all-time greatest good-guy superheroes actually began life as a big, bad bald guy bent on world domination! Comic creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster first drew him as a villain in a January 1933 story called "The Reign of the Super-Man," which appeared in an issue of their comic fanzine Science Fiction. It bombed, so they reimagined him as a superhero.


HE WASN'T BORN SUPER
Superman's power isn't limitless or unstoppable. In most versions of Superman's origin, the people of Krypton were powerless while walking around their planet, which orbited a red sun. But under Earth's yellow sun, a Kryptonian's cells absorb and convert the solar rays into incredible power.As young Clark Kent grew older, he grew more powerful as his body was able to store more solar energy and convert it more effectively. As an adult, this makes him incredibly formidable and invulnerable to most Earth weaponry, either because the solar energy toughens up his skin and muscles or because it creates a skin-tight force field (the explanation has changed a couple of times).But none of this makes him invincible. If he goes to another planet where there is no yellow sun, he'll slowly run out of juice. And if he's on Earth but fighting at full force without rest, he might start using up energy faster than his body can replace it, meaning his powers get progressively weaker and his body becomes more vulnerable to physical harm.

IT'S NOT JUST THE GLASSES
I remember watching Superman on the television for the first time it was incredible seeing a person flying using freeze breath and shooting heat ray vision from his eyes but one thing for some reason I could not fathom was the fact that people couldn't tell the difference between Superman with glasses and Superman without glasses but Clark's disguise isn't as simple as slicking back his hair and putting on a pair of glasses. Different comics over the decades have shown that the Man of Steel uses several subtle tricks simultaneously to maintain a dual identity.
The lenses of his glasses are slightly tinted, changing the shade of his eyes.
Thanks to incredible control over his muscles (which also allows him to safely shake hands with people despite his steel-bending strength), Superman actually gives himself a different voice when he's Clark Kent.
By slouching over and wearing ill-fitting clothing, Clark gives a different impression of his body.And thanks to studying some acting techniques, he completes the disguise by employing very different body language as Clark.

THE S SHIELD DOESN'T STAND FOR SUPERMAN
The explanation for Superman's symbol has changed a few times. For decades, the comics simply said it was nothing more than a stylized monogram designed by Clark and his adopted parents, something they whipped up together after deciding on his new alias.
In the 1978 feature film Superman: The Movie, it was said that the S-shield was actually a Kryptonian glyph that served as a family seal for the House of El.Later TV and animated adaptations all followed this explanation.Finally, in 2003, the comic books followed suit. In the story Superman: Birthright, writer Mark Waid modernized the hero's early days to much acclaim and altered the origin of the shield. Waid revealed that the symbol was not a family crest, as the films had first indicated, but was an ancient Kryptonian symbol that meant "hope." This meaning and legacy was why Clark chose it as his seal when he became a public hero and its resemblance to a stylized letter S, along with his incredibly abilities, is what inspired reporter Lois Lane to call him "Superman."

HE WASN'T ALWAYS ABLE TO FLY.
When Superman first appeared in 1938, the comic said that he was incredibly strong, could withstand anything less than a bursting shell from a tank, and was able to leap 1/8th of a mile. And that was it! His ability to fly first showed up in the radio series and his original cartoons. In the comics, he officially gained the ability to fly in 1941, nearly two years after his first story. In the years since his creation, he's been given new abilities and had some later taken away. Nowadays, his arsenal includes heat-vision, incredible strength/stamina, enhanced senses, X-Ray vision, arctic breath, super-speed, increased healing, near-complete body/muscle control, and a skin-tight force-field that makes him invulnerable to most forms of harm.


SUPERMAN IS A RIPOFF
"Hold on a minute!" you may be shouting from your cubicle. "Not only is he one of the most famous and recognizable icons in the world, he is also the first superhero ever created! So how can he be a rip off of anything if he was the first, you idiot?"
Well, that's where you are wrong, hypothetical Irishlad reader who is talking to me and for some reason insulting us even though you are a figment of my imagination; Superman may be the first superhero, but not the first character with those superpowers.
Philip Wylie's wrote a pulp novel called Gladiator in 1930, starring Hugo Danner, a man whose father invents a secret formula that can create superpowers.

Instead of selling it and making millions, he just injects it into his son, because, hey, why not? Hugo gains super strength, bullet proof skin and the ability to jump over the tallest building in a single bound. Jumping, not flying--so it's sort of different, right? Well, actually, in Superman's early years as I pointed out he couldn't fly either, just jump really high.All he was missing was the laser/telescopic eyes and the million retarded powers Superman pulled out of his ass in the 50s. And it was published eight years before Superman appeared. But superpowers are kind of standard, right? Super strength? Hell, Hercules had that! It doesn't mean it's a rip-off!

THAT'S IT! I hope you enjoyed it.
I will continue finding more fun and interesting facts about your favourite comic book characters but leave a few suggestions in the comments and let me know what you would like me to cover next!
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14 Comments
Fastestmanalive - 11/8/2011, 11:48 AM
Cool article I enjoyed it, even though I knew all this stuff already being a huge Superman fan, nice article man
AK47 - 11/8/2011, 11:48 AM
I heard his underwear used 2 b white, but it turned red because he forgot 2 buy tampons
RunDTC - 11/8/2011, 11:56 AM
@AK47: what the heck?
superotherside - 11/8/2011, 12:21 PM
That was a pretty awesome article even better than your last keep up the good work! Next up, Wonder Woman! or The Hulk, or Spider-man! or Flash! or anyone else ya want! ;) just some ideas for ya...
WesleyGibson - 11/8/2011, 2:16 PM
Dude keep this up, I like these articles...
headlopper - 11/8/2011, 2:24 PM
You've done it again. Good job! Very informative.
ThreeBigTacos - 11/8/2011, 2:53 PM
Very nice! I knew maybe 2 of those, but it was a great read none-the-less. I'm all for Spider-Man next!
AK47 - 11/8/2011, 5:10 PM
RunDTC
I was in the most boring lecture ever n was in need of amusement lol...
golden123 - 11/8/2011, 6:33 PM
As it stands right now. That last "fact" was bullcrap. You provided no evidence besides having similar powers (similar to powers to Hercules as well, which you do address). Do you think a character's powers are the only thing that makes them?
I knew all the rest of the facts. Also, people don't have to look very far to find out the answer to some of these. All people had to do was watch "Superman: the Movie" to find out that "THE S SHIELD DOESN'T STAND FOR SUPERMAN".
golden123 - 11/8/2011, 6:53 PM
I hope you don't take offense by my prebious comment. anyways, if you want to keep doing these you should try more obscure character that still everybody's heard of. Such as, doing well known supporting cast members. For example, did you know Jimmy Olsen wasn't originally a photographer in proffesion? He was originally an "office boy". Another example would be, did you know Betty Brant was Peter Parker's first love interest (not Gwen Stacy)?
manymade1 - 11/8/2011, 7:25 PM
Didn't know the first and last. Great article.
Supes17 - 11/8/2011, 8:07 PM
So Superman started out as Lex... LMFAO
I knew all of this except for the whole rip-off thing at the end.
You should do an article on Aquaman lol
KALel3412 - 11/16/2011, 11:06 AM
knew all but the last part. still nice article
RedNTheHood - 11/16/2011, 1:43 PM
new everything but the last part

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