The Origin and Evolution of Superman (from short story to cinema)
Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster had initially created a bald telepathic villain bent on dominating the world, in the short story "The Reign of the Super-Man" in Science Fiction #3, a fanzine Siegel published in 1933. Later that year, Siegel re-envisioned the character, who became more of a hero in the mythic tradition, bearing no resemblance to his villainous namesake. They created a costume with a big S on his chest, and a cape, make him as colorful as possible. Shuster visually modeled his bespectacled alter ego, Clark Kent, on a combination of Harold Lloyd and Shuster himself, with the name "Clark Kent" derived from movie stars Clark Gable and Kent Taylor. Lois Lane was modeled on Siegel’s now wife, Joanne Carter. Supermans first appearance was in Action Comics #1, published on April 18, 1938. From January 1939 to May 1966, Superman became a newspaper comic strip.
The Adventures of Superman, a radio drama that premiered on February 12, 1940 and ran until March 1951. In 1945, Superboy made his debut in More Fun Comics #101. The character moved to Adventure Comics in 1946, and his own title, Superboy, was launched in 1949. Seventeen animated shorts were produced between 1941 and 1943 by Fleischer Studios and Famous Studios. In 1948, Superman became a filmed serial, Superman, with Kirk Alyn becoming the first actor to portray Superman on screen, followed by second serial, Atom Man vs. Superman, in 1950. In 1951 a television series was commissioned, Adventures of Superman starring George Reeves, with the 25th and 26th episodes of the series being adapted from the theatrical release of the movie Superman and the Mole Men. The series ran for 104 episodes, from 1952–1958. The 1950s saw the launching of the comics, Supermans Pal Jimmy Olsen (1954) and Supermans Girl Friend, Lois Lane (1958). By 1974 these titles, along with Superboy, had merged into Superman Family, although the series was canceled in 1982. The Bizarro character created in 1958 is a weird, imperfect duplicate of Superman. Other members of Supermans family of characters have borne the Super- prefix, including Supergirl, Superdog, and Superwoman.
In 1966, Superman was adapted for the stage in the Broadway musical Its a Bird...Its a Plane...Its Superman. Despite good reviews, the play closed after only 129 performances. Superman was again animated, this time for television, in the series The New Adventures of Superman. Sixty-eight shorts were made and broadcast between 1966 and 1969. Bud Collyer again provided the voice for Superman.
From 1973 to 1984, ABC broadcast the Super Friends series, this time animated by Hanna-Barbera. In 1978, Superman returned to cinemas with director Richard Donners Superman, starring Christopher Reeve as the title character and Margot Kidder as Louis Lane. The film spawned three sequels in the…
Donner’s film spawned three sequels, Superman II(1980), Superman III (1983) and Superman IV: TheQuest for Peace (1987), along with a spin-off in1984, titled Supergirl.In 1986, a decision was taken to restructure theuniverse the Superman character inhabited withother DC characters in the mini-series Crisis onInfinite Earths, resulting in the publication of"Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow", atwo-part story written by Alan Moore, writer ofWatchmen and V for Vendetta, with art by CurtSwan, George Pérez and Kurt Schaffenberger.Superman was relaunched by writer & artist JohnByrne, initially in the limited series The Man ofSteel (1986). The year 1986 also saw thecancellation of Worlds Finest Comics, and theSuperman title renamed The Adventures ofSuperman.In 1988 Superman returned to television in theRuby Spears animated series Superman, andSuperboy, a live-action series that ran from 1988until 1992.
In 1993, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman premiered on the ABC television network, starring Dean Cain as Superman and Teri Hatcher as Lois Lane; the series ran until 1997. Superman: The Animated Series was produced by Warner Bros. Animation and aired on The WB television network from 1996 until 2000.
In 2001, the Smallville television series was launched, focusing on the adventures of Clark Kent as a teenager before he dons the mantle of Superman; Tom Welling stars as Clark. The series ended after ten seasons in May 2011. In 2006, X-Men director Bryan Singer directed Superman Returns starring Brandon Routh as Superman and Kate Bosworth as Louis Lane. The film was presented as a loose sequel to the first two Christopher Reeve films. Richard Donner served as producer. Donner also produced the X-Men trilogy.
A new feature film, Man of Steel, will be released to theatres on June 14, 2013. The film will be directed by Zack Snyder, director of Watchmen, 300, and the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead, produced by Christopher Nolen, director of The Dark Knight Trilogy and Inception, and scripted by David S. Goyer, co-writer of The Dark Knight Trilogy, from a story by both Nolen and Goyer. It will be a reboot the Warner Bros. film franchise in a fashion similar to The Dark Knight Trilogy. Henry Cavill will star as Superman with Amy Adams as Louis Lane. Cavill had auditioned and was considered for the lead role in Superman Returns before the part was offered to Routh.