Superman is a superhero who appears in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character was created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster, and debuted in the comic book Action Comics #1 (cover-dated June 1938 and published April 18, 1938). Superman has been adapted to a number of other media which includes radio serials, novels, movies, television shows and theatre. Since his inception, Superman has fought for social justice and societal change, and his earliest stories in Action Comics prove this. With more than 80 years of stories in comics and numerous other media, Superman has evolved, and while he’s best known for battling mad scientists and extraterrestrial threats, his first stories had him fighting against real-world evils. At his core, Superman represents incorruptible good and the potential for positive societal change, rather than maintaining a potentially unjust status quo.
Superman was born on the fictional planet Krypton and was named Kal-El. As a baby, his parents sent him to Earth in a small spaceship moments before Krypton was destroyed in a natural cataclysm. His ship landed in the American countryside, near the fictional town of Smallville. He was found and adopted by farmers Jonathan and Martha Kent, who named him Clark Kent. Clark developed various superhuman abilities, such as incredible strength and impervious skin. His adoptive parents advised him to use his abilities for the benefit of humanity, and he decided to fight crime. To protect his personal life, he changes into a colorful costume and uses the alias “Superman” when fighting crime. Clark resides in the fictional American city of Metropolis, where he works as a journalist for the Daily Planet. Superman’s supporting characters include his love interest and fellow journalist Lois Lane, Daily Planet photographer Jimmy Olsen and editor-in-chief Perry White, and his enemies include General Zod, Brainiac, and his archenemy Lex Luthor. Created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Superman is widely considered to be the first modern superhero, creating the genre that remains a pop culture powerhouse. Superman comics are more than just a means of telling action-packed comics, however. His story is also a metaphor for refugees and immigrants who prosper in the United States while holding on to their heritage. Superman is a cathartic figure for many, as his character is as invulnerable as his physiology, making him an unstoppable force of social justice who might even operate outside of the law if it means helping others.
As Superman’s character and fights for the betterment of the people, Superman’s fight for social justice is portrayed particularly well by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in the eighth issue of Action Comics, where Superman fights against young thieves. Prevents the arrest of a group. Criminals are poor, living in slums and committing crimes to survive. Superman then destroys the slums and is left with no option but to replace the city with affordable housing. Superman becomes a bandit as a result, but even the police chief personally appreciates his actions. Superman protects people rather than property and breaks the cycle of poverty of crime instead of only allowing young thieves to be arrested.
Superman is the quintessential example of the superhero archetype: he wears an outlandish costume, uses a codename, and fights evil with the aid of extraordinary abilities. Although there are earlier characters who arguably fit this definition, it was Superman who popularized the superhero genre and established its conventions. He was the best-selling superhero in American comic books up until the 1980s.
As we all know, stories like this were fairly common in Superman’s first appearance. While Superman gradually accumulated a rogue gallery of ultra-humanites and enemies such as Lex Luthor, his early villains were corrupt bourgeoisie, racist, sexist, and autocratic leaders of fascist regimes. While Superman himself was a fantasy, the evils he faced were all very real, making Superman a force for change. It is not enough to arrest wrongdoers when it is possible to change the system that created them in the first place.
Superman has raised many such social issues in the comics. In another Action Comics issue, Superman forces an arms dealer to watch the war he waged, a corrupt mine owner to ensure safe working conditions for his workers, and corrupt and Brutal combats the prison system to prevent it from becoming a revolving door. Superman’s stories are known for being science fiction, but at their core, he fights for social justice. Superman’s early action comics depict him solving real-world issues, building a better society, even if it makes him an outlaw.
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