KIRK ALYN (1948 - 1950)
Superman / Atom Man Vs Superman
The first man to play Superman on screen, in two film serials, Alyn looked almost eerily like the comic-book incarnation of Superman, spit-curl and square jaw and everything. While he looks under-muscled and over-fed to modern eyes, he was a paragon of brawniness by 1940s standards. His costume, however, leaves something to be desired. Those pants recall Bridget Jones’ most tummy-controlling efforts, and there’s something odd about attaching the (very short) cape forward of the shoulders like that. And lace-up boots? This isn't bloomin' Robin Hood! The “S” on his chest is also a little wonky looking to us, so all in all this left a bit of room for improvement. Still, sartorial woes were probably the least of Alyn’s concerns, as he contended with the fact that contemporary effects didn’t permit him to fly, the challenge of making Supes and Clark Kent as distinctive as possible (something he managed well) and, incidentally, arch-criminal the Spider Lady.