Superman is a fictional character, a comic book superhero appearing in publications by DC Comics, widely considered to be an American cultural icon. Created by American writer Jerry Siegel and Canadian-born American artist Joe Shuster in 1932 while both were living in Cleveland, Ohio, and sold to Detective Comics, Inc. (later DC Comics) in 1938, the character first appeared in Action Comics #1 (June 1938) and subsequently appeared in various radio serials, television programs, films, newspaper strips, and video games. With the success of his adventures, Superman helped to create the superhero genre and establish its primacy within the American comic book. This shield is now typically used across media to symbolize the character.
The original story of Superman relates that he was born Kal-El on the planet Krypton, before being rocketed to Earth as an infant by his scientist father Jor-El, moments before Krypton's destruction. Discovered and adopted by a Kansas farmer and his wife, the child is raised as Clark Kent and imbued with a strong moral compass. Very early he started to display superhuman abilities, which upon reaching maturity he resolved to use for the benefit of humanity.
While sometimes referred to less than flatteringly as "the big blue Boy Scout" by some of his fellow superheroes, Superman has also been referred to as "The Man of Steel", "The Man of Tomorrow", and "The Last Son of Krypton" over the years. As Clark Kent, Superman lives among humans as a "mild-mannered reporter" for the Metropolis newspaper Daily Planet (Daily Star in the earliest stories) . There he works alongside reporter Lois Lane, with whom he is romantically linked. This relationship has been consummated by marriage on numerous occasions across various media, and this union is now firmly established within mainstream comics' continuity.
DC Comics slowly expanded the character's supporting cast, powers, and trappings throughout the years. Superman's backstory was altered to allow for adventures as Superboy, and other survivors of Krypton were created, including Supergirl and Krypto the Superdog. In addition, Superman has been licensed and adapted into a variety of media, from radio to television and film, perhaps most notably portrayed by Christopher Reeve in both Richard Donner's Superman: The Movie in 1978, and the sequel Superman II in 1981, which garnered critical praise and became Warner Bros.'s most successful feature films of their time. However, the next two sequels, Superman III and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, did not perform as well at the box office. The motion picture Superman Returns was released in 2006, which although relatively unsuccessful within the United States, returned a performance at the international box office which exceeded expectations. In the seven decades since Superman's debut, the character has been revamped and updated several times.
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