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Superman is a DC Comics superhero who has appeared in a variety of fictional works, from radio serials, television shows and films to newspaper comics and video games. As the sole survivor of the planet Krypton, Superman is capable of using the sun’s solar energy to render himself invulnerable with superhuman strength, speed, intelligence and senses, such as flight, x-ray vision, eidetic memory and heat vision.
Superman was created by students Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster while attending the Glenville High School in Cleveland, Ohio. The character was initially conceived as a bald villain with telepathic powers in the short story "The Reign of the Superman," published in Siegel's fanzine Science Fiction: The Advance Guard of Future Civilization #2 in 1933.
The character was later reinvented by Siegel as a hero, with Shuster basing his image on the actor Douglas Fairbanks and his Clark Kent alter ego, whose name was derived from actors Clark Gable and Kent Taylor, on actor Harold Lloyd. Siegel collaborated with artist Russel Keaton to re-envision the character yet again, giving him spectacular superhuman powers and a costume consisting of a tight bodysuit with an S on the chest and a cape. On April 18th, 1938, the superhero first appeared in the comic book Action Comics #1 (shown below).
From 1939 to 1977, a Superman comic strip was created, the television show The Adventures of Superman was broadcast and the Superboy comic series was created. On December 10th, 1978, the film Superman: The Movie was released, starring Christopher Reeve as Superman and Gene Hackman as his arch villain Lex Luthor (shown below, left). Three sequels starring Reeve were subsequently released (shown below), including Superman II (1980), Superman III (1983) and Superman IV (1987).
In 1988, the animated series Superman was launched as well as the live-action program Superboy, which ran until 1992. In 1993, the ABC television show Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman premiered, starring Dean Cain as Superman and Teri Hatcher as Lois Lane. In 1996, Warner Bros. Animated launched Superman: The Animated Series (shown below, left), which aired until 2000. In 2001, the series Smallville premiered (shown below, right) starring Tom Welling as a teenage Clark Kent, which ended after ten seasons.
In 2006, the film Superman Returns was released as a loose sequel to Christopher Reeve's Superman II, starring Brandon Routh as Superman (shown below, left). On June 14th, 2013, the film Man of Steel (shown below, right) was released in theaters, starring Henry Cavill as Superman.
On April 28th, 2001, the site Superman Homepage was launched, featuring Superman-related news, media, discussion forums and links. On March 16th, the site Superman Super Site was created, which includes a blog, media and information about Superman appearances in comics, films and television. On February 11th, 2005, the site Superdickery was launched, featuring original Superman comic book covers in which the superhero appears to be selfish, sadistic and unethical (shown below).
On November 28th, 2007, a Facebook page titled "Superman" was created, gaining over 4.6 million likes in the first six years. On February 11th, 2011, Redditor travosas submitted a comic to the /r/funny subreddit, in which Superman's hearing is impaired by a bullet embedded in his ear (shown below). Prior to being archived, the post accumulated upwards of 8,500 up votes and 320 comments.
On February 3rd, 2012, YouTuber darosthemovie uploaded a parody film for the Death and Return of Superman series, which was narrated by Max Landis and starred actors Elden Henson, Elijah Wood, Mandy Moore and Morgan Krantz (shown below, left). In the next two years, the video received over 2.3 million views and 8,100 comments. On April 11th, a page titled "Franchise: Superman" was created on the trope database website TV Tropes, listing Superman as an example of the "Last of His Kind," "Physical God," "Big Good" and "The Cape" tropes. On August 9th, YouTuber EladOffer uploaded a satirical video showing a Superman cosplayer destroying a car before flying away (shown below, right), which gained upwards of 196,000 views and 170 comments in the first 10 months.
On June 6th, 2013, the costume site HalloweenCostumes published an infographic featuring the evolution of the Superman "S" logo (shown below). On June 9th, the image was posted to the /r/movies subreddit, where it garnered more than 14,700 up votes and 680 comments in the following 15 days. As of June 2013, the Twitter account @SupermanTweets has received more than 52,500 followers and @JerkSuperman has accumulated upwards of 36,000 followers.
Lex Luthor YTMNDs
A series of pages featuring animated GIFs of Superman's arch villain Lex Luthor began trending on the site YTMND in May of 2006 after user stratos-the-bratos uploaded a GIF of Luthor interacting with Sony CEO Kaz Hirai (shown below).
Lex Luther Took Forty Cakes
Lex Luthor Took Forty Cakes is an exploitable illustration of Luthor running away with a cart filled with 40 cakes (shown below).