Kenneth, born and raised in the South, resides in Hamilton, Alabama. He enjoys sharing his unique perspectives on life through his writing.
Let’s Have Some Fun
with this Quick Comic Book Trivia Test. No prizes or personal promotions will be given out, only my sincere thanks and a pat on the back. Ready? Are you familiar with writer, Jerry Siegel and artist, Joe Shuster?
These two guys created a super-hero (who should have been awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame) and I cannot give you a complete answer because Super-man evolved from a fictional hero in 1938 with his entrance in Action Comics. From there, Superman went to appearing regularly in comic books published by DC Comics and was adapted to radio shows, newspaper strips, television shows, movies, and video games. In short, Superman was not just another comic book hero, but an icon which ended up being a national industry.
Superman was born on the planet Krypton and named Kal-El. As a baby, he was sent to Earth in a small spaceship by his scientist father Jor-El moments before Krypton was destroyed in a natural cataclysm. His ship landed in the American countryside; he was found and adopted by farmers Jonathan and Martha Kent, who named him Clark Kent.
We all know the rest of the story from Kent’s adopted earthly parents raising him in a right way and teaching him how to react and not react to his amazing super powers. Kent, as a man, went to work at a daily newspaper, The Daily Planet, as a reporter. Kent vowed to the Kent’s that his life would be devoted to fighting crime and coming to the aid of the down-trodden and bringing hope to the hopeless. Not bad. Not bad at all.
There Was a Dark Side
to our hero, Superman. Yes and no one is more upset than yours truly. But I guess that Siegel and Shuster created Lex Luthor to be Superman’s arch enemy. But do not discount Luthor. He was given an extremely-high I.Q., and his knowledge was not to help mankind, but (through evil channels), Luthor’s main goal was to rule the world. And can you count the times that he tried, almost made it only to have Superman swoop in and bam! Luthor is sent to some prison somewhere to start the evil plotting (for world domination) again. Oh, Lex, one thing: don’t bend over to pick-up the soap.
I gest because after Siegel and Shuster sold the rights to Superman for peanuts (not aimed at Charles Shultz), I know that they must be watching from their lofty perch in Heaven to see how Superman has undergone countless battles, changes, even his hairstyle. That’s correct, the modern-day DC Comics decided that Superman had to have a make-over, so out with the stoic, stylish 1950s barber shop haircut to the 1960s Rock and Roll free-wheeling hairstyle. I did not go for it at all. I was perfectly content with the regular haircut because it worked well when Superman first made the pages of DC Comics, so why tamper with it? The comic book critics aren’t the ones who are doing battle with Luthor and other loathsome enemies of Superman. So the “new,” longer hairstyle was only for looks because with the new hairstyle didn’t come equipped with more super powers, so why do it?
In The Early Days
before Superman (photo at very top) became so popular, TV took a crack at the national hero in the talents of George Reeves who had “that” look, that talk and walk when he was Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter for the Daily Planet. Reeves worked the role of Superman better than any charm could do. He had Lois Lane and Perry White buffaloed when it came to keeping his secret identity intact, but even now I have to ask, did Clark’s thick, horn-rimmed fake glasses really conceal his secret identity? It was a dead give-away right away. So why didn’t Lane and White just lift Clark’s glasses and see the REAL Superman? I have a lot of questions as you can see.
But, as the evolution of Superman became so evident, Christopher Reeve took on the role in the film and frankly, he did one bang-up job. Even to this timid, fearful act when he and Lois Lane would be on the job and some rough necks would threaten Kent, it was Lois who stood their ground and all but let Kent kneel behind her skirt. And the act paid off because it wasn’t until Superman married Lois Lane (Reeve and Margo Kidder) did she really know for sure if he was the Man of Steel or just a garden variety coward.
FACT: I would elaborate on Clark Kent and Lois Lane’s honeymoon, but I know going in that this segment would bring down the flags from HubPages’ editors and I do not feel up to doing a lot of rewriting. Sincerely, Kenneth
There was a cozy relationship between Jimmy Olsen, the staff photographer at the Daily Planet and Olsen DID know Superman’s secret identity, but talk about “mum’s the word!” Olsen might have never received any accolades, but he was the BEST at keeping The Most Important Secret to Anyone. Ever.
Superman Still Growing in Leaps and Bounds
as did Action Comics. Now there is Action Comics and MARVEL Comics, super-powers, (no pun intended) who can keep any man, woman, and child captivated by the heroes that come to life by the deep imaginations by this sample of the writers of Superman: Grant Morrison; Curt Swan; Dan Jurgen; Jerry Ordway; Louise Simonson; Mark Waid; Al Plastino; Brett Breeding; Elliott S. Maggin . . . .and many more. (Check links below).
Along with Superman’s growth from Super-boy to Superman, Clark Kent, the human being has encountered so many deadly dreams to his creators writing a script that asked the question: “What if Kal-El Had Been Raised by Criminals?” I read this one in the late 1960s and I have tell you . . .I laughed until I cried. Okay. Maybe not that much, but seeing Clark/Superman actually robbing a big bank, a jewelry store and mugging a gang of other criminals really got me to laughing before it got interesting.
One of the issues of DC Comics that I remember so well that Superman actually shed a lot tears—both as Kal-El and Clark Kent. This had to be when the last battery of writers wrote Jimmy Olsen out of the “Superman Equation,” and I have to confess: I hated this aspect. Some heroes should never be written off or tamped with.
I say (the above) because the high-flyers on DC Comics had the bright idea of killing Superman. You got it. Killing Superman. What a crock. But in Oct. 1993. allowed the Man of Steel to fight some ya-hoo whose power was a bit too much for our hero, so Superman “died,” and the world mourned his death.
So with Superman dying, DC Comics employees, fans of Superman, and sadly, you and I can NEVER refer to Superman as SUPER-man, because the writers at DC Comics decided to let Superman be a little more human, so he is NOT super after all. He will be known as Sorta Superman. This is not only what I believe to be a move that only a liberal-minded, bleeding heart could make. And if this trend begins, there will be hope for our heroes to idolize—Batman will now be Fowl Man—as the same idiots who toned-down Superman think that a name like BATman is offensive to bats and the Flash will now be The Dash because the world’s radar gun employees will be facing drastic lay-offs and the kicker: Sorta Superman will be exiled for being caught with Wonder Woman in her secret island love nest. Oh, and Wonder Woman will be Weak Woman, for being so weak for Sorta Superman.
But sure as shooting, Clark Kent/Superman came back stronger and better. You and I know the REAL reason for this ridiculous waste of time and print . . .Long Green; Cash; Scratch! Moo-Lah. That’s it. And in the latter times, Ben Affleck played Batman who was upset at Henry Cavill/Superman and they “fought” tooth and nail because Superman was to blame for so many innocent lives being lost. You can find out who won.
Let me really drive home this point. In Aug. 1985, somewhere in there, another high-flyer at the Coca Cola Research and Development Dept., probably the CEOs favorite nephew, went to his uncle and said, “I have a way to improve our product which is selling like gangbusters.” And so entered and flopped: Coke Classic. A good friend of mine compared the taste of watered-down urine.
I want to get real honest . . .Some heroes (Superman, Coke) should last forever, because can you imagine our lives without them?
April 3, 2019_________________________________________________
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© 2019 Kenneth Avery