It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's Superman

Up, Up and Away

You can talk Spider-Man, Iron-Man and X-Men all you want but Superman was the old-school original.

And if Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster hadn't come up with the idea for the Kryptonian alien back in 1932, there might be no such thing as a graphic novel today.

Superman has been flying to the rescue in some media or another for nearly 80 years.

Oddly enough, this iconic super-hero started as a hairless Lex Luthor-type megalomaniac bent on world domination.

In 1938, Siegel and Shuster retooled the idea and transformed the character into a hero.

Some think the inspiration for the invulnerable and bullet-proof Superman was a tragic incident in which, just one year before the character's first comic book appearance, Jerry Siegel's father died during a robbery attempt.

The Superman who made his debut in 1938 was patterned after the swashbuckler Douglas Fairbanks.

Comic Harold Lloyd was the template for Clark Kent.

Ten years after the first comic book was published, Superman hit the big screen as a movie-serial.

Special effects in those days involved using a cartoon image for Superman's flying scenes.

And yes, that's Noel Neill as Lois Lane. And Tommy Bond, as Jimmy Olsen, looks just like what you'd think a cub reporter would look like back in the 1940s.

The late, great George Reeves brought the character to TV in the early 50s.

Baby Boomers were unaware of the movie serials of the decade before. For millions of mid-century kids, this was the definitive Superman.

This wasn't the first time George Reeves was Gone with the Wind.

When the first Superman comic books were just hitting the newstands, George was cast as one of the twin red-headed suitors of Scarlett O'Hara.

Christopher Reeve takes flight.
Forty years after the first Superman comic book was published and thirty years after the first Superman movie serial, Superman was again on the big screen.

In 2006 Superman was rebooted, this time with Brandon Routh wearing the cape.

And it looks like another Superman reboot is in the works.

This time with the guy who rebooted Batman at the helm.