The legacy of Superman began in 1932, when teenage comic writers Jerry Seigel and Joe Schuster created their fanzine, “Science Fiction: The Advance Guard of Future Civilization.” The first Superman would have been unrecognizable to modern fans, because, when he first appeared in the third issue of the fanzine, he was an evil villain with super mental powers. One year later, Siegel decided to rewrite the character, creating the first superhero version of Superman. However, this was in 1933, seven years before comic editor Whiteny Ellsworth created a strict code of conduct for heroes. Therefore, this Superman was rougher and more aggressive than the man we eventually came to love.
By the 50s, Superman had been rewritten so many times that writers weren’t sure how to move forward. There were so many anomalies in his story that writers were forced to create parallel universes to explain them all. On Earth-One, Superman was known as Kal-El, had a father named Jor-El, was adopted by Johnathan and Martha Kent, and joined the Justice League. On Earth-Two, he was Kal-L, the son of Jor-L, adopted by John and Mary Kent, and a member of the Justice Society.
These aren’t the only differences we’ve seen in Superman over the years. During his 75 years in print, Superman has been dressed in 25 different versions of his iconic S logo, and drawn by a number of different artists, some of the best of whom include Glenn Swan, Gary Frank, Joel Schuster, Alex Ross, and Max Fleischer. Currently, there are five sanctioned versions of the superhero, including the Supermen of Earths One, Two, and Three, Superman Prime, and Byrne’s “Man of Steel.”
Superman has been introduced to several varieties of kryptonite, the material most often used against him, including green kryptonite, which steals his powers and may lead to death, red kryptonite, white inflicts temporary and random effects, and pink kryptonite, which is implied to turn Superman gay. Blue kryptonite, on the other hand, can be used against Bizarro, one of Superman’s most infamous foes. Over the years he’s also gone up against the evil likes of Lex Luthor, Darkseid, Brainiac, General Zod, Doomsday, and Parasite.