Superman is one of the world's most recognizable characters. but even with his super-celebrity status, there are a lot of interesting facts about him that people don't know. Check out these seven super facts about the original superhero!
1. A Rainbow of Kryptonite
[source: left | right]
Superman’s major weakness, kryptonite (radioactive pieces of his home world), comes in more colors than just green; there is a rainbow of different types of kryptonite used over the course of the comics. There is Red Kryptonite, which nullifies powers and makes Kryptonians aggressive and impulsive (Smallville), and also generated an evil doppelganger (Superman III). Black, Gold, Pink, Silver, and a number of other colors have made it into Superman comics over the ages, as well.
2. Russian Superman: Red Son
In 2003, DC released an alternate origin story to Superman. Instead of landing in Kansas, Kal-El lands in Soviet Russia, becoming a champion of the Soviet cause. This alternate timeline has Superman’s iconic "S" symbol replaced with the Hammer and Sickle. In place of the familiar Superman, champion for the classic "truth, justice, and American Way," this Superman is described as “champion of the common worker who fights a never-ending battle for Stalin, socialism, and the expansion of the Warsaw Pact.”
3. The Not-So-Last-Son of Krypton
[source: left | right]
Superman is not the last surviving member of Krypton, contrary to his title as the Last Son of Krypton. Throughout his adventures, he meets his cousin Kara Zor-El (Supergirl), General Zod and Ursa (war criminals from Krypton trapped in the phantom zone), and the whole city of Kandor (a Kryptonian capital reduced in size and placed into a bottle). Superman is also cloned after arriving on earth, creating Connor Kent, aka Superboy.
4. Clark Kent is His Alter Ego
The Man of Steel film revealed that the iconic "S" on Superman’s chest is actually the symbol of House El, meaning Hope. Superman was just the name a certain Lois Lane of the Daily Planet gave him. While other superheroes don their capes and cowls to become their super-selves, Superman’s alter ego is Clark Kent. When he puts on his cape and spandex, he becomes who he really is: Kal-El, Man of Steel and Last Son of Krypton.
5. No Fly Zone
Superman’s original power set did not include flight. The classic description of his powers were actually literal: “faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.” Superman couldn’t fly ... he could only leap about 1/8th of a mile. Over time, various writers added more of his iconic powers; flight, x-ray and heat vision, and cold breath. Superman’s powers even swelled in the 80s and 90s, making him capable of faster than light speeds and time travel.
6. A Super Deal
Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster originally sold the rights for Superman to DC Comics for $130 in 1938 (just after the publishing of the now-legendary Action Comics #1). To put this in perspective: this is equivalent of selling the rights to ALL of Superman for $2182.67 in 2015 dollars. Man of Steel, the latest film in the Superman franchise, grossed $291 million domestically. The Siegel and Shuster estate has since retained some of the rights to Superman and their creations.
7. The Dark Knight and the Man of Steel
Superman and Batman have a long and closely intertwined history, and their relationship is actually closer than most people realize. The apartment complex that Lois and Clark call home is actually owned by Wayne Enterprises, and their apartment was gifted to the couple by Bruce as a gift. Batman also is the keeper of a kryptonite bullet, one of the only known objects capable of taking Superman out should he go rogue.
We hope we left your brain feeling "super." What other facts about Superman do you know that we missed? Feel free to comment below! And don't forget to check out our huge selection of Superman shirts at our shop!