Since his 1938 debut, Superman has starred in thousands of stories across comics, radio, television, cinema and more. But which stories have shaped the Man of Steel the most, and how have they defined him? As we ramp up to this year’s DC FanDome, let’s take a look at twelve moments that changed Superman’s destiny forever…
In 1938, National Allied Publications (which later became DC Comics) launched a new anthology title known as Action Comics . The first issue contained 11 different features, but it was the lead story that captured everyone’s attention. Writer Jerry Siegel and illustrator Joe Shuster introduced the world to Superman, a dynamic pulp hero the creative duo had been pitching for years. The cover, where Superman smashes a green car against a boulder, is one of the most iconic comic book covers of all time. The story inside gives us the first appearance of Superman, Lois Lane and much of the Man of Steel’s origin.
It’s a simple, straightforward story by modern standards. Superman battles gangsters and sets an abusive husband straight. Amusingly, the story ends on a cliffhanger with Superman falling. Flying wasn’t part of his powerset yet! Action Comics #1 stands as more than just Superman’s debut appearance, it’s one of the most important single issues in the comic book industry. Many superhero scholars credit Action Comics #1 with creating the entire genre. Whether you believe it or not, it’s safe to say you wouldn’t be reading this website if the comic had never been published.
Which moment do you think is Superman’s most defining moment? Let us know in the comments!