One of the most beloved characters in comic book history, Superman was created in 1938 by artist Joe Shuster and writer Jerry Siegel.
Superman came to Earth as a baby from the planet Krypton; on Earth he had super strength, X-ray vision and could fly. His only weakness was the substance Kryptonite, which rendered him powerless. He kept his identity secret, posing as mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent and changing into his Superman costume with the distinctive “S” on the chest whenever he set out to do good deeds. Other key characters included his love interest Lois Lane, his news editor Perry White, and the villainous Lex Luthor.
Superman was played in the movies most famously by actor Christopher Reeve (with Margot Kidder as Lois Lane) and in the popular 1950’s television series The Adventures of Superman he was played by George Reeves (no relation). His popularity was renewed by the 1990s TV series Lois and Clark, starring Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher. In 2001 a new Superman series, Smallville, debuted with actor Tom Welling playing a teenaged Man of Steel.
The 2006 feature film Superman Returns starred Brandon Routh as Superman and Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor. Henry Cavill played Superman in Man of Steel (2013, with Amy Adams as Lois Lane) and multiple superhero sequels and spinoffs.
Traditionally Superman is described as “more powerful than a locomotive, faster than a speeding bullet and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.”