Updated on 16 October, 2021
The super hero known as Superman is a long standing part of pop culture, having first been introduced in 1938 in the comic book series of the same name. The first appearance of Superman was illustrated by Jerry Ord, who first drew the original comic book issue of this series in 1939. The very first Superman was established by Jerry Spekaris and Bill Finger and first appeared in various comic books produced by DC comics in 1939. Superman was born in the last days of World War II, when an airplane accidentally dropped him into an airplane hangar. There he was rescued by a boy named Kalodin who had the ability to give him super human powers.
In the earliest days of superman's career, he was simply referred to as "the Superman". He was a small man with no super human powers, but he could lift weights and fly. At first, his origin was that of Clark Kent, a young boy who was in trouble when his mother was killed. He was saved by the menace of the villain Brainiac, who drained his strength by giving him a special serum. When this happened, Kalodin was left without any super human powers.
The superman of today is far different from the original superman of earlier years. His birthdate has changed, his origin has been changed (being from space isn't quite as exciting as being a newborn), and he now has a variety of super human powers. He is a strong fighter, able to fight villains such as the Joker and The Green Hornet, and he can fly.
In some ways, the modern superman is similar to the original comic book hero. Superman uses his flying ability to scout the perimeter of a bad situation, and he generally makes quick decisions on the spot. Superman doesn't have a bunch of gadgets that Brainiac would want to steal, he deals only in the power of his intellect. He never has to prove himself to anyone, he just does what he does.
Unlike superman of old, modern superman has his own series of supporting characters. These include: Wonder Woman, The Cheetah, The Phantom, Aquaman, The Hulk, The Green Hornet, and the Flash. These recurring characters provide an ever changing basis for the story lines of many of the comics in which superman appears. They also give superman the persona of the anti-hero, which makes him more appealing to readers than the comically cool superman of yesteryear. In this way, the superheroes of today are often more appealing than their comic book counterparts.
One of superman's most well known nemeses is Doctor Fate. Fate is a man with incredible psionic powers, and is one of the more traditional DC comic book bad guys. When he learned of Superman's existence, Fate hired several terrorists to attack the Man of Steel, including the villains Parasite and Bringer. Fate's attacks were thwarted thanks to a timely rescue mission from Superman.
In the most recent storylines, writer Greg Pak has introduced two new bad guys: Parasites and Parasitegrub. These two bad guys are actually the offspring of the evil villain, Parasites, who had been responsible for the aforementioned rescue mission. This time around, Parasites plans on using the radiation emitted by the Sun to produce a super-powered army of soldiers. While battling the new menace, Superman also managed to save the day again, although at a great cost. A powerful being called the Sun God also appeared to help Superman as he fought against Parasites.
Regardless of your personal opinion, whether you love superman or hate him, you are sure to find a superman story that you will enjoy. Action comics have provided our country with some of its greatest heroes and superheros. We may not like all of them, but there is no denying that superman has provided us with characters who changed our lives forever. So, when you hear the words, "Action Comics," think about all the wonderful characters we have gotten to know over the years. Even if you don't like superman, you have likely at least heard his name in one comic book.