A Superman of Yesteryear

Posted by Smart_Dork_Dude (2520 posts) - - Show Bio

I wish to take you back to a time when superheroes did not exist. Except for one.

"Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!"

These were the words used to describe the FIRST superhero. Everything that is a superhero, from wearing a costume to having powers of some sort or form comes from Superman. However what was Superman originally? To answer that let us take a look back to my personal favorite version, Kal-L to find the answer.

From Krypton to Metropolis, the cape, the suit, the S, it all started with Kal-L.

Kal-L in the early Golden Age stories did not derive his powers from Earth's yellow sun, but instead his own Kryptonian body which was naturally more durable and stronger than a human's. Later this was changed so that it was indeed the yellow sun that gave him his powers, though personally I like to think that it is a mixture of these two, his natural biology AND exposure to yellow sunlight.

The Superman of the 30's through the 40's was not the boyscout we all know Superman to be. He busted into criminals homes and forced confessions out of them with his great strength. He terrorized wife beaters, crooked politicians, business men, and money launderers. All and all he had a loose moral code, and didn't mind killing. Though as time went by and on his personality was changed to a light-hearted man who helped people, slowly forming the image of Superman we all know. He also had a strong moral code and swore never to kill again.

Now you may be asking, what was the pint of this little piece? The answer is simple. The film Man of Steel will be portraying a Superman that so far seems to share a few similarities to the Golden Age Superman. As such I felt it was right to remind everyone of where our Big Blue friend came from and I don't just mean Krypton.

Earth-2
#1 Posted by colonyofcells (2038 posts) - - Show Bio

In 1938, Superman was just jumping like a grasshopper. The movie Superman is already flying quite high. The 1938 Superman was also an illegal vigilante but I don't remember the police ever being able to hand cuff the 1938 Superman. In 1938, all the kryptonians were jumping like grasshoppers even on Krypton. The 1938 Superman was partly based on Philip Wylie's confused Gladiator who never found his place in the world even at the end of the novel when the hero died. The Superman movie also has a confused Jonathan Kent and also a confused Clark Kent.

#2 Posted by JLDoom (2310 posts) - - Show Bio

Cool read, man! Very interesting and very well written!

#3 Posted by turoksonofstone (13194 posts) - - Show Bio

By 1945, Superman is able to fly from Metropolis to Burma in the wink of an eye. "Light travels 186,000 miles a second, but has nothing on Superman," notes the text, "who finds himself hovering over the jungles of Burma in the wink of an eye!"-Golden Age Superman flew as early as 1943. Looks like a leap of sorts in trailer. Movie/current versions suck IMO.

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