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Superman, aka Kal-El, refers to the name of a fictional character as well as the multimedia franchise that relates to him including comic books, radio dramatizations, television programs, animated projects and film. Superman was created in 1938 by writer/artists Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster and was introduced in the main story from Action Comics #1. The character has been in print, in one format or another, ever since.
Superman is arguably the most famous pop culture icon of all time. He has been portrayed by many different actors and voice talents over the years. Superman is an extraterrestrial and classically considered the last survivor of the doomed planet Krypton. Just prior to his home world's imminent destruction, his parents place the infant Superman, whose Kryptonian name is Kal-El (also spelled Kal-L), into a space ship where he rockets away just as Krypton explodes, ultimately arriving on the planet Earth. On Earth, infant Kal-El is adopted by the Kent family who raise him as their own child, imbuing in him a strict set of moral values. He is given the Earth name Clark Kent. As he grows, Clark Kent develops superhuman abilities, which is part of his Kryptonian heritage and is dependent upon living on a world with a yellow sun. He develops superhuman physical attributes including enhanced strength, speed, dexterity and durability, as well as several optic powers such as x-ray vision, telescopic vision and micro-vision. The most memorable power of Superman's however is his ability to fly.
In some permutations of the character, Clark Kent first adopted the costumed identity of Superboy while he was still a teenager, though most retellings of the character's origin establish that he does not become a caped hero until well into adulthood whereupon he becomes Superman for the first time. Superman's regularly featured supporting cast includes paramour Lois Lane - a reporter for the Daily Planet where Superman works in his civilian guise as Clark Kent; Jimmy Olsen - photographer and ace cub reporter who is referred to as "Superman's Pal"; Perry White - Clark, Lois and Jimmy's cigar-chomping boss and managing editor of the Daily Planet and Supergirl - Superman's young cousin who often helps him in many adventures. Many of Superman's recurring villains include Lex Luthor, Brainiac, the Toyman, the Prankster, Metallo Mister Mxyzptlk and Doomsday. The origin of Superman, as well as his supporting cast and rogues gallery have gone through many permutations over the years, and though the basic concept behind the characters remains the same, there are many details that have been altered to keep the character up to date.
Superman programs Edit
- New Adventures of Superman - 1966-1970 animated series
- Superman-Aquaman Hour of Adventure - 1967-1968 animated series.
- Batman-Superman Hour - 1968-1969 animated series.
- Superboy - 1988-1992 live-action series.
- Superman - 1988 animated series.
- Legion of Super-Heroes - 2006 animated series.
- Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman - 1993-1997 live-action series.
- Superman - 1996-2000 animated series.
- Smallville - 2001-2011 live-action series.
Other programs Edit
- Supergirl - 2015 live-action series.
- Super Friends - 1978 animated series.
- Justice League - 2001-2004 animated series.
- Justice League Unlimited - 2004-2006 animated series.
- Robot Chicken - 2006 stop-motion comedy sketch series (select appearances)