First off, as someone who does not have friends who are into comics, I am over the moon about being a part of this community. The reason I made this a topic is because Superman means a lot to me, and I wanted to discuss with others the impact the character and his world has had on others. For me, Clark Kent gave me inspiration to be the kind of person who would always strive to do the right thing and be the best friend he could possibly be. I always thought his greatest power was his ability to be a great person no matter the situation. He is a gentleman, and showed me the importance of having good manners. That part I mostly got from Christopher Reeves in Superman: The Movie. He taught me to take the high road, and to always look out for others before myself. He also shows me that no matter how dark and scary the world is around you, you can still be a shining light. I have even modeled my look after Clark. I got glasses that look like his, and style my hair the same way. There aren’t many days where someone doesn’t say “you look like Superman,” which means the world to me. I could go on and on, but I want to hear everyone’s Superman story.
Thanks for sharing. This is copied from a comment of mine on a similar thread that didn’t gain much traction. If you’ve read this before, apologies in advance for the repetition. Hope more people chime in this time around
I’m pretty sure I’ve written posts like this before, and I’ll probably be repeating myself here for the most part, but what the heck…I can’t pass up a Superman appreciation thread.
My first experience with the character that I have vivid memories of was in the mid to late 80s. I was 7 years old. I’m pretty sure this wasn’t the first time I was introduced to Superman…but it’s definitely what I most strongly remember. Superman: The Movie was on HBO. Anyone remember their old 3D spinning logo with the awesome music? The first thing that hit me is that John Williams score. Of course at that age I don’t know John Williams nor do I care…to my 7 year old ears, it was just the most uplifting thing. Then of course you watch the movie…you watch that helicopter scene and are jumping up and down in excitement when he swoops in and saves Lois aaand catches the helicopter after for good measure. You see this idealistic character that always wants to do what’s right…is always helping…from saving a cat from a tree to fixing the San Andreas fault…he does it all…and he flies …and that awesome S on his chest…and that cape! I was hooked. We recorded it on VHS. Every day that summer I would wake up and watch it, until the tape was so worn out that no tracking function could help it. Naturally, watching all the sequels followed, along with a trip to the theater to see Superman IV. All that stuff they say now about how the sequels were no good? You wouldn’t have convinced young me back then. God bless your soul Christopher Reeve.
Somewhere within that time period I also got to watch the Super Friends cartoons. I forget if it was Saturday morning or reruns after school. I would have to figure out when they’re on from TV Guide. This is where I got go see Superman work as part of a team. I was so into it, my big sister picked up a bunch of the Super Powers figures for my birthday. I wore those things out.
Then…well…at some point I grew out of it. I still liked Superman…still got excited when he was on TV. Still argued with other kids about how he was better than Batman (blasphemy in the Keaton days). But from the tween years on, he was just a character I liked…the wide eyed childhood admiration wained, for a good long while. Lots of Batman stuff came out in the meantime. I liked the Batman stuff . In the mid 2000s the kid in me came back to life when Superman Returns came out…loved it. I started rewatching the old movies again and also started catching up on the Bruce Timm cartoons for Justice League and Superman. That was enough for a while.
Then in 2011 I saw an ad while I was browsing for the New 52, promising a fresh starting point, which took me to Comixology. That’s pretty much when I started reading comics, at the ripe age of 31 and I haven’t stopped since. Superman comics took me to Justice League to Batman and Wonder Woman, to learning there’s a DC Trinity. In the comics you see him more fleshed out in so many different ways…the survivor, the immigrant, the hopeful, the leader, the badass. You see him travel galaxies to fight evil and you see other heroes stand in awe in front of him…but he never loses that humility. Is he Kal El, one of very few survivors of a powerful and advanced alien race? Is he Clark Kent, the down to earth, mild mannered reporter raised by kind farmers? Is he Superman, the super powered hero that has helped save the universe on more than one occasion? He is a multifaceted character with many layers to peel, yet he’s not difficult to understand, because his mantra is how do I always do what’s right? How do I always give the best of me? No matter how simple or dire the situation is, you can always count on Superman to do what’s right. That’s why we call him a beacon of hope. I feel that way every time I take glance at his statue sitting on my desk
I’ll keep mine short. Only b/c I’ve probably mentioned it a ton. I love Superman b/c he was created just down the road in Cleveland, Ohio. I’m a proud supporter of all things local to me. How could Siegel & Shuster not be on the list. Plus, b4 Supes. There was no such thing as a character that had superpowers. So not only a Trinity member, but the 1st character ever with superpowers. This lead into the same man who took a chance on Supes, into taking a shot with Wonder Woman. Full circle, WW is the reason I’ve been a DC fan since seeing her on Super Friends. So 1st Super-Powered Hero. Plus, leading to WW’s inauguration into the DCU, & it all started 25mins from my birthplace.
Hey, we’re glasses-and-hair buddies!
As to the actual question, while Superman’s not really one of my favorite characters, I do consider him very important and very interesting (and I do like him), but this is probably going to be a bit more academic than emotional for me.
I think Superman is a character who represents an interesting philosophical topic. A lot of the best Superman stories deal with the ethical implications of power. In particular, you see in Lex Luthor an example of the terrible things that can happen when someone abuses power, and you see in Superman an example of the incredible things that can happen when someone uses power responsibly.
Essentially, Superman’s greatest superpowers are his humility and sense of responsibility. Nobody can fly or shoot lasers from their eyes, but anyone can act like Superman.
Hey glasses and hair buddy!! That was beautifully said. I totally agree anyone can act like Superman.
I love Wonder Woman as well. Cant wait for 1984!
Great to see appreciation for Superman: The movie! Christopher Reeve to this day is the embodiment of the character for me.
He’s inspiring. He’s a nice guy. Superman is the strongest man in DC. But he is also the most humble. The man of steel line describes it perfectly. “You will be an ideal to strive towards.” I want to be a hero like Superman in my daily life. Help people just like he does.
Well said! That whole speech by Jor-El still gives me chills.
You all covered what does Superman so well, I don’t have much to add. For an alien, his humanity is what sets him apart. The most powerful being in the universe, yet he uses that power for good and always sees the positive in even the most evil villains.
Have to give a shout-out to my home town Cleveland. Good to see Supes in front of the Terminal Tower.
Christopher Reeve is my Superman
Reeve is the man!
Should post that in the wallpaper thread.
Maybe I’m alone on this but I always saw Superman as a type of Socialist or Union icon. How through traditional American working class values we can unify the American people and become the Supermen that can go against Oligarchies like Lex Luthor’s gang.
That is a unique take on Superman. But I would love to discuss in depth some other time.
I was a kid when I first came in contact with Superman, so I didn’t grasp any meaningful things behind the character such as the refugee bits or religious connotations. I just thought he was a cool guy who could do amazing things, and reading the comics made me happy.
Now I understand more of his origin, but at the heart will always be the same thing. Reading his comics makes me happy. That’s front and center to me.
It’s so nice to see the Superman love in this thread, @TheDarkKnieves! It’s similar to the sentiment shared by @CaptainMax in the The Older I Get The More I Love Superman thread (hopefully connecting the two here). I’m a big Batman fan myself, but have come to learn more about and appreciate other heroes (such as Superman) through the DCU Community. Thank you!
@KeyFamily Thank you! Any chance I get to discuss my favorite hero and my inspiration with others is always a treat for me. So happy to be a part of the DC community!
Superman is the symbol of American culture at its finest - he is truly truth, Justice, and American way - and he can be very diplomatic and fair to his opponents/enemies - though, he has great strength and power, he makes a conscious effort not to use them because he would rather live his life humbly as a human rather than an alien from Krypton- and the small Kent family from Kansas taught him the values of hard work, honesty, and being a symbol of courage to others - to which he applies in every aspect of his life. He is the bright spot and anchor of the DC universe- the hero that many know of, and many would like to aspire to be. He is also a team player- he can be leader as well- but when he is in the room at a justice league meeting or even when he is talking to Lois or people at daily planet- he seems to bring them together and give them hope and unite them all as a team.
To be honest, we should have more superman films. I would like to see another Man of Steel if they ever decide to make one.
Amen to more Superman movies. We need him back on the big screen!
Thanks, Christopher Reeves movies were a classic. And all the older superman live action series were great but we haven’t had really that many modern live action centered superman films other than returns and man of steel. Compared to batman who got an entire trilogy, a lot of attn in batman v superman and of course he’s getting another film titled batman with Pattinson batman. I like batman as a character too and I want to see batman do well, he also had his references in new Harley Quinn, cameos in suicide squad, and his position in the justice league film. But superman is also an anchor in DC and while we have seen a bit of him to in batman v superman and justice league that small brief cameo in shazam he was more or less relegated to the side to flesh out those other characters and story. I feel we need more of him since he is in that top tier of characters.