The Pueblo West View

Man of Steel: 75 and still Super

He’s been the Man of Tomorrow for 75 years and there’s no end in view.

Superman is getting one heck of an anniversary party, from a new comic book series to a blockbuster movie (opening June 14). Not that anyone needs an additional reason to celebrate the Man of Steel, the Last Son of Krypton, Lois Lane’s main squeeze — he’s still the superhero, even as the Dark Knight and The Avengers make their own splashy headlines (not on the pages of The Daily Planet, mind you). His birthdate has been debated, but the date that really matters is April 18, 1938, the day Action Comics No. 1 issue, featuring the debut of Superman, was published.

Even more impressive, and probably appropriate, is the fact that the ultimate superhero was created by teenagers in Cleveland. Jerry Siegel was the writer; Joe Shuster, the artist. They created him in 1933 — originally as a bald villain, until Siegel had a change of heart — and sold the Superman story to DC Comics in 1938.

Within a decade, the caped one became a star of daily newspaper comic strips, radio, cartoons and movies.

Movies elevated his legend even more.

From 1940 to 1951, Superman ruled the air and the airwaves, with Bud Collyer providing the voice of America’s blue-and-red hero. At the beginning of each episode, audiences heard this introduction: “Faster than a speeding bullet!

More powerful than a locomotive!

Able to leap tall buildings at a single bound!”

“Look! Up in the sky!”

“It’s a bird!”

“It’s a plane!”

“It’s Superman!”

“Yes, it’s Superman — strange visitor from another planet who came to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men. Superman: defender of law and order, champion of equal rights, valiant, courageous fighter against the forces of hate and prejudice, who — disguised as Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper — fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice and the American way.”

In honor of his first 75 years, we present a collection of facts and trivia about the world’s most tireless superhero.


- The name Clark Kent came from the names of actors Clark Gable and Kent Taylor.

- Warner Bros. Entertainment unveiled a new logo last week to celebrate Superman’s 75th anniversary. It will appear on the cover of the first issue of the “Superman Unchained” comic book series, on sale Wednesday.

- A copy of Action Comics No. 1, the 1938 issue in which Superman made his debut, recently was found in the ceiling of a house in Minnesota. The book is being auctioned online, but the value is hampered by a ripped back cover. Still, the top bid climbed past $140,000 this week. Bidding closes Tuesday. Actor Nicolas Cage sold his his copy of Action Comics No. 1 for $2.1 million in 2011.


Kirk Alyn — “Superman” (1948) and “Atom Man vs. Superman” (1950), movie serials George Reeves — “The Adventures of Superman” (1951-57), TV series Bob Holiday — “It’s a Bird . . . It’s a Plane . . . It’s Superman” (1966), Broadway musicalChristopher Reeve — “Superman: The Movie” (1978), “Superman II” (1980), “Superman III” (1983), “Superman IV: The Quest for Peace” (1987), movies John Haymes Newton — “Superboy” (1988-92), TV series Dean Cain — “Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” (1993-97), TV series Tom Welling — “Smallville” (2001-11), TV series

Brandon Routh — “Superman Returns” (2006), movie Henry Cavill — “Man of Steel” (2013), movie


The website has a list of 566 songs that are about, or make reference to, Superman or Clark Kent. Good luck matching that number, other superheroes.

Here are some of the most popular: “Superman Tonight,”

Bon Jovi

“Superman’s Song,” Crash Test Dummies

“Superman (It’s Not Easy),” Five for Fighting “Waiting for Superman,” The Flaming Lips

“I Am Superman,”

R.E.M. (original by The Cliques)

“Kryptonite,” Three

Doors Down

“Man of Steel,” Hank Williams Jr.

. . . and Eminem gives the big guy a shout-out in at least 11 songs.


Warner Bros. just released a box set, the Superman TV collection. It includes “The Adventures of Superman,” “Lois & Clark” and “Smallville,” as well as several of the animated series and Max Fleischer’s 1940s cartoons, which played in theaters.

The list price for the 30-disc set is $100.


Jerry Seinfeld is a huge fan of Superman and included references to his hero throughout his TV series, “Seinfeld.”

Nicolas Cage named his younger son Kal-El — Superman’s birth name.

Singer Jon Bon Jovi has a tattoo of the Superman logo on his left shoulder.

Sources: DC Comics, supermanhomepage. com, Internet Movie Database, The Associated Press

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The Pueblo West View