As most of us know, this year marked Superman’s 70th anniversary. And as if that weren’t enough to engender conversation about the Man of Steel, Brad Meltzer’s new novel Book of Lies has prompted quite a bit of discussion concerning Martin Siegel, who died during an armed robbery and whose son Jerome "Jerry" Siegel subsequently wrote the story of a bullet-proof alien who was invulnerable to all frailties.
So with all this talk going around about Superman’s beginnings, we here at ComicMix thought it was time to put together a small Superman time line. Please note, this time line is focused solely on Supermans’ adventures in the comics and not with his stories in other media.
1933 – Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster publish their story “Reign of the Super-Man." In the story, the title character is a bald homeless man named Bill Dunn who gains telepathic powers from a mad scientist’s experiment and intends to take over Earth . After this, Siegel writes up a new version of Superman who is secreatly named Clark Kent and is, in fact, an alien named Kal-L, son of Jor-L and last survivor of the dead planet Krypton. Shuster does artwork for the comic strip and they begin to submit it. The story is rejected by 17 different publishers over the next five years.
. After this, Siegel writes up a new version of Superman who is secreatly named Clark Kent and is, in fact, an alien named Kal-L, son of Jor-L and last survivor of the dead planet Krypton. Shuster does artwork for the comic strip and they begin to submit it. The story is rejected by 17 different publishers over the next five years.
1938 – Superman/Clark Kent is finally introduced in Action Comics #1. Although Siegel has plotted out the name of Superman’s parents and planet, none of these are actually named in this issue’s origin story. Superman is said to have great strength, resistance to conventional injury, and is able to leap 1/8th of a mile.
1939 – In Superman #1, the planet Krypton is finally named in the comics. It is also mentioned that Clark Kent was raised by a kindly, elderly couple. His adopted mother is named “Mary Kent” and it’s said that she and her husband died soon before Clark moved to Metropolis.
1940 – In Action Comics #23,
1941 – Superman #10 features our hero actually defying gravity for the first time by hovering in the air. Previous to this, it was always stated in the comics that he could only leap over great distances. Superman #11 confirms that Superman can now fly, just like in the cartoons and radio shows.
1942 – Superman #17 reveals that the Man of Tomorrow has a hidden base known as the Secret Citadel, located inside a mountain range nearby Metropolis.
1945 – The character of Superboy (an adolescent version of Superman) and his hometown of Smallville are introduced in More Fun Comics #101. Initially, this is treated as a separate continuity from the mainstream Superman stories.
1948 – Superman #53 names
1949 – Kryptonite makes its first comic book appearance in comics in Superman #61 (originally, it was only used in the radio plays). In this story, Kryponite is colored red but in all subsequent stories it is colored green (other forms of Kryptonite with different colors will appear later on). In this same story, Superman finally learns the name and history of his home planet Krypton, even though readers have known such facts for years already.