Superman celebrates his 80th birthday and 1000 issues of the comic he first appeared in on this day in 1938.

Superman was the first of his kind when he first appeared in 1938, a 'superhero' with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men who fought injustice and crime in a brightly - colored uniform and a bold symbol emblazoned on his chest. His debut led to the birth of the superhero comic book medium and the countless heroes that have followed him. Though other heroes like Batman or Spider - Man may get more of the spotlight, Superman forever stands above the rest as a reminder that we all have a superhero within us.

Enjoy these super facts about the Man of Steel on his 80th anniversary!

  • 1

    Third Time's The Charm

    Superman's creators, writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster, didn't create Superman fully -formed right out of the gate. The guy who we've come to know over the last 80 years was the third version of the character the young men developed. The first version was called 'The Super - Man,' and was a bald villain with mind - control powers.

    Siegel and Shuster had a falling out, with Siegel working with artist Russel Keaton to create the second version: in the far future, Earth is dying. The last surviving man and woman send their son back in time to 1935, where he's raised by Sam and Molly Kent. Named Clark, the boy develops bulletproof skin and super - strength. The newspapers at the time rejected this version and Keaton moved on.

    Siegel and Shuster reconciled and created their third and final Superman, sent to Earth from the dying planet Krypton and raised by the Kents to become reporter Clark Kent and Superman.

    Wikipedia
  • 2

    Leaping Before Flying

    In the first three years of his existence, Superman didn't fly in his comic book adventures; instead, he leaped great distances, which is how the popular phrase 'able to leap tall buildings with a single bound' originated.

    When the animators working on the first Superman cartoons decided to draw Superman flying instead of leaping to save time, the change happened in the comic books as well. Superman was now the first superhero who flew under his own power.

  • 3

    Big Sandals To FIll

    Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster were devout Jews as well as big fans of science fiction and mythology. As Siegel and Shuster refined Superman, they drew on the story of Moses and Greek mythology for Superman's origins.

    Like Moses, Kal - El is a child in danger sent in a basket (spaceship) down a river ( through space) to a new home, where he's adopted and raised by the natives (Jonathan and Martha Kent). Clark's powers were partly inspired by the Greek demi - god Hercules, who was known for his mighty strength and incredible feats. Superman even wore lace - up boots that recalled sandals in his first appearances.

    Corbis via Getty Images
  • 4

    Trunks, Not Underwear

    Many people have mistakenly made fun of Superman's uniform over the years, saying that he's wearing his 'underwear' on the outside. Others say that Superman's suit is inspired by the costumes of circus strongmen of the early part of the 20th century, which featured trunks.

    Both parties are wrong, as trunks are quite different from underwear and Shuster's design wasn't at all like what circus strongmen wore. Most strongmen wore a sleeveless shirt with pants and trunks. Superman wore a full body suit of tights with trunks and a cape. Before Shuster's design, there were no other characters in literature or movies that looked like Superman, whose uniform became the pattern for all superheroes who followed in the first few decades after Superman was introduced.

    AFP/Getty Images
  • 5

    The First Superhero

    Before Siegel and Shuster introduced Superman to the world, there were no characters quite like him. There were science fiction and pulp novel characters who had great strength, speed, and other abilities, but they didn't wear a unique suit with a cape. Characters like The Shadow were powerless, dressed in everyday clothes, and used guns and fists to fight crime. Superman was the first brightly - colored and super - powered character in fiction, the very first 'superhero,' an idea and term that didn't exist before he was introduced.

    Getty Images
  • 6

    Super Birthday!

    Superman's official 'birthday' is April 18, 1938, the day the first issue of Action Comics #1 was released. The character's fictional birthday is celebrated on February 29 during leap years. There's also Superman Day on June 12, reserved by DC Comics to recognize and celebrate Superman's legacy.

    Time Magazine
  • 7

    Don't Mess With The \S/

    Superman's iconic \S/ is one of the most recognized symbols in the world. Even people who don't know a thing about Superman know that symbol and that it stands for Superman. The \S/ - shield has grown over the last 80 years from a simple S in a yellow badge to the iconic symbol we know today. It's also been tweaked and re-imagined for TV, cartoons, and movies.

    Pinterest
  • 8

    Super Family Man

    For decades, the love triangle between Clark Kent, Lois Lane, and Superman was a staple of comic books, TV episodes, and movies. Lois spent almost as much time trying to prove that Clark was really Superman as she did reporting. The comics of the late 80s witnessed Clark revealing to Lois that he was also Superman. They married a few years after his death and return (more on that next) and a few years ago, welcome a son, Jon Kent, who is now the 10 - year old Superboy.

    @patrick_gleason via Twitter
  • 9

    Doomsday For Superman

    In 1992, the creators of Superman's comic adventures were set to marry Lois and Clark when they hit a snag. Warner Brothers, owners of DC Comics, were about to release a new TV series, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. The studio didn't want the wedding to happen in the comics before it happened on television, so the comic book creators had to come up with a new storyline.

    For years, the creators had joked about killing Superman, and decided to do just that when their entire year of stories leading up to the wedding were put on the back burner. Superman fought the mysterious creature Doomsday in a 7 - issue battle that destroyed portions of Metropolis and saw the defeat of the Justice League of America. Superman gave his all to save Metropolis, dying in Lois' arms after putting Doomsday down. Four characters appeared after Superman's funeral, each claiming or seeming to be Superman returned from the dead.

    The real Superman eventually returned to defeat one of these Supermen (an evil cyborg) and renewed his battle for truth, justice, and the American way. Lois and Clark married not long after both in the comics and on TV.

    Iconic Superman via Facebook
  • 10

    1000 Issues Of Action

    April 18th 2018 marks the 80th anniversary of Superman's first appearance in Action Comics #1 and the release of Action Comics #1000. Superman has had more than one title over the years, including the Superman title that debuted a year after his first appearance. While there are thousands of issues of Superman comics, today marks the release of the 1000th issue of Action Comics itself. DC Comics is celebrating the event with an 80 - page deluxe comic book available digitally and in comic book shops. Click here to find Lafayette's comic book shops.

    DC Comics via Twitter