Superman made his debut on April 18, 1938, in “Action Comics” #1, 75 years ago today.
My Word Balloons column for this week in Friday’s Weekend Look will look back at the history of Superman and some of the highlights thereof.
For today’s blog, I’ll talk about some of my personal memories of the Man of Steel. Superman is my favorite DC Comics character; the following are some of the reasons why.
The “Superman” movie starring Christopher Reeve probably cemented me as a Superman fan. I saw it as a young person and was impressed with everything about it – the romance, the Daily Planet, the man who can fly. While there are criticisms of the film that could be made, I’m not the one to make them. It’s probably as much to blame for my life of comic-book fandom as anything.
I remember racing home after school to watch “Super Friends” as a kid, and while the show can be awfully cheesy, I loved getting to see all of DC’s major superheroes in one place. Though I liked Batman and Robin a lot, too, Superman remained my favorite. Though I didn’t see all of them until later, I also enjoyed watching George Reeves in “The Adventures of Superman” when I could.
I bought old and new Superman comics when I got a chance, and enjoyed Christopher Reeve’s Superman II and Superman III, though even as a kid, I saw some issues with Superman III, which was more of a Richard Pryor vehicle than a serious Superman movie. Curt Swan’s Superman was a favorite. But in the mid-1980s, DC Comics decided to make a big change.
John Byrne’s Superman, while irritating some long-time fans (imagine if we’ve had the Internet in 1986) was an exciting fresh start for me. “Man of Steel” modernized Superman’s origins, and the ensuing “Superman” comics by Byrne focused on Lois and Clark and the Daily Planet aspects of Superman, which are my favorite part of the mythos.
This led both to the “weekly” comics of Superman through the 1990s (four series, one released each week, with an overarching story: Superman, Action Comics, Superman: Man of Steel and Adventures of Superman).