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The 50 Greatest Comic Book Characters The 50 Greatest Comic Book Characters
The 50 Greatest Comic Book Characters

The 50 Greatest Comic Book Characters, #1, Superman
The 50 Greatest Comic Book Characters, Superman

AKA: KAL-EL, CLARK KENT

Being first counts for a lot, but it�s going the distance that elevates Superman from the run of flying caped superguys who followed him. How many other characters from disposable 1938 fictions have appeared consistently for eighty years and are still as famous as ever? Superman�s peers aren�t really Spider-Man or Wolverine, but Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan and James Bond - pop culture mainstays who stay current through consistent reinvention but are classically themselves all the same. Superman has taken a beating from time to time: his fight for �truth, justice and the American Way� is nobler but less easy to relate to than Batman�s vengeance-driven war on crime (especially when we get antsy about what �the American Way� actually means); his powers are so vast that it�s hard to come up with threats worth his time (so it�s incredible that for decades, his biggest problem was a pudgy bald guy with a laboratory); and his clean-cut, super-square looks and attitude are always being challenged by someone who momentarily seems more contemporary, edgy or pragmatic. That's perhaps why the comics have often experimented with his essential ingredients, recasting him as a Commie (Red Son) or a Brit (True Brit) or creating twisted, dark reflections of the eternal do-gooder, like Bizarro, in endless permutations that attest to his popularity and instant recognisability. If it weren�t for Superman, there wouldn�t be an entire genre of superhero stories � every single tights-and-powers character who has come along after him is defined by how similar or how different they are from Kal El.

FIRST APPEARED IN ACTION COMICS # 1, 1938
CREATED BY JEROME SIEGEL AND JOE SHUSTER

The 50 Greatest Comic Book Characters
Red cloak, blue tights, S chest-symbol, variable range of superpowers (flight, invulnerability, x-ray/heat vision, super-speed, etc), dual identity as bespectacled mild-mannered reporter, spit-curl, allergy to kryptonite. Catchphrases: �up, up and away� ; �faster than a speeding bullet, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound�, etc.
The 50 Greatest Comic Book Characters
Film and TV Supermen have included Kirk Alyn, George Reeves, Christopher Reeve, Dean Cain, Brandon Routh and Tom Welling.
The 50 Greatest Comic Book Characters
Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent both have mothers called Martha � though Mrs Kent used to be called Sarah.
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The 50 Greatest Comic Book Characters
The 50 Greatest Comic Book Characters

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