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Superman (franchise)

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Title: Superman (franchise)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: The World's Greatest Superheroes, Superman Returns (novel), The Adventures of Superpup, Superman (arcade game), The Reign of the Superman
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Superman (franchise)

Adaptations of Superman in other media
Actors who have portrayed Superman:
(top) Christopher Reeve
(bottom) Dean Cain, Tom Welling, and Brandon Routh
Created by Jerry Siegel
Joe Shuster
Original source Comics published by DC Comics
First appearance Action Comics #1 (June 30 1938)
Films and television
Film(s) Superman (1948)
Superman (1978)
Superman II (1980)
Superman III (1983)
Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)
Superman Returns (2006)
Man of Steel (2013)
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
Adventures of Superman (1952)
The New Adventures of Superman (1966)
Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993)
Superman (1996)
Smallville (2001)
Supergirl (2015)
Theatrical presentations
Musical(s) It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman (1966)
Audio presentations
Radio show(s) The Adventures of Superman (1940)
DC Comics Super Heroes - Attack of the Elementals (1995)
Video game(s) Superman (1979)
Superman (1988)
Superman: The Man of Steel (2002)

The American comic book character Superman has appeared in many types of media. Since his first comic book appearance in 1938, Superman has appeared in radio, television, movies, and video games each on multiple occasions, and his name, symbol, and image have appeared on products and merchandise.


  • Portrayals 1
    • Radio and other audio 1.1
  • Film 2
    • Live-action films 2.1
  • Television 3
    • Animated 3.1
  • Animated Film 4
    • DC Animated Universe 4.1
    • Superman/Batman 4.2
  • Video games 5
    • Theatre and live appearances 5.1
  • Literature 6
  • Merchandising 7
    • Theme park rides 7.1
  • Music 8
  • Art 9
  • Cartoons 10
  • Notes 11
  • References 12


Among the actors who have played Superman/Superboy (and/or his alter ego, Clark Kent) are:

Voice only

Radio and other audio

  • 1940s: The Adventures of Superman – radio series starring Bud Collyer and Joan Alexander
  • 1966: The Adventures of Supermanvinyl LP featuring Bob Holiday as Superman
  • 1970s–1980s: various Superman-related vinyl albums from Peter Pan Records
  • 1993: Superman Lives! – BBC Radio Light Entertainment, BBC Radio 5; Superman is voiced by Stuart Milligan
  • 1995: DC Comics Super Heroes – Attack of the Elementals – audio drama featuring the Justice League; Superman is voiced by David Earl Waterman
  • 2008: The Never-Ending Battle – Graphic Audio; Superman voiced by James Konicek


Live-action films



Animated Film

DC Animated Universe

Superman is a major character in the DC Animated Universe, under the portrayal of various different actors. Although still a very difficult character to beat, he is portrayed as being considerably weaker than he is in the comics. He also has a specific set of stylized sound effects whenever his powers are used. Additionally, his personality is very similar to Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's original comics, the same one used by John Byrne in the reboot of the DC Universe from 1986: somewhat rough and aggressive, although remaining the personification of moral excellence.

  • Superman first appears in his eponymous series. As with the comics, he is the sole survivor of Krypton's demise, caused by Brainiac in this continuity. He is portrayed with the same powers and weaknesses, but like average people of Earth cannot breathe in space and thus requires a space suit. He also wears a special lead suit for protection against kryptonite. Superman's reputation becomes jeopardized in the two-parter Legacy, where he gets brainwashed by Darkseid and set upon Earth, losing the trust of many, including Professor Hamilton and giving Lex Luthor an advantage. His baby age, who only appears in The Last Son of Krypton, the first episode, is voiced by Leslie Lamers. His teenaged self, who only appears in The Last Son of Krypton, as well as the episode New Kids in Town, is voiced by Jason Marsden. Tim Daly voices the adult character.
  • Superman next appears in the Batman Beyond two-parter The Call. He wears a different suit of black and silver, but is shown to have aged slower than anyone on Earth, due to his Kryptonian DNA, as Bruce Wayne jokes about. He is first shown disguised as a bystander that is taken hostage by Inque, but he quickly reveals himself and takes her out. He then shows up at the Batcave to recruit Terry McGinnis, the new Batman, into the Justice League, apparently in order to help him find a traitor within the league. Bruce and Terry both discover the traitor to be Superman himself, and Bruce gives Terry a piece of kryptonite, referring to the events of Legacy. However, it is then discovered that Superman had been under the control of a starfish-like alien (Starro) that he had saved a long time ago. Terry frees Superman, and the two help the rest of the league send the aliens back. Superman was voiced by Christopher McDonald, the voice of Jor-El in the DCAU, due to an idea that Superman sounds more like his father as he ages.
  • Superman next appears in Batman. He begins to wonder about what might happen to him after the events of the Justice Lords, what with his counterpart giving into the urge and killing Luthor. Superman was originally designed with a shine in his hair, along with wrinkles and squintier eyes in order to make him look more detailed, but was redesigned again with his look from Superman after it was not well received.
  • Newbern returns to the role of Superman in Static Shock, where he helps the titular character battle against Toyman. In this series, Superman is given full eyes with blue irises, compared to his other appearances within the DCAU.
  • Superman is again voiced by Newbern in Justice League Unlimited. In this series, he nearly gives into the urge to become like his Justice Lord counterpart, attempting to lobotomize Doomsday, who he instead finally banished into the Phantom Zone, much to the questioning of Batman and the general public. His doubts about not being like his Justice Lord counterpart are fleshed out in Divided We Fall, where a mechanical duplicate of his counterpart points out about his trust from the public and his power. Superman insists that he is not like his counterpart at all. During the series finale, Destroyer, Superman briefly gets the upper hand on a resurrected Darkseid. He explains "I feel like I live in a world made of cardboard.", saying that he thus is always taking care of not to attack too hard or he might kill someone. With Darkseid, however, he says "But you can take it, can't you big man. What we have here is a rare opportunity for me to cut loose, and show you just how powerful I really am." and punches Darkseid hard into the sky, through several buildings, and knocks him back into the ground, creating a huge crater. Darkseid then stuns Superman using the Agony Matrix, which causes him to feel extreme pain in every part of his body, and is about to kill him with a kryptonite knife when he is saved by Luthor, whom had agreed with Superman to stop Darkseid, or in his case, get revenge on him for taking a piece of Brainiac from him.


Mitch Watson revealed that there was a planned Superman/Batman animated series which Clark as a cub reporter coming to Gotham City, where he meets Bruce and beginning his career as Superman.[5]

Video games

Theatre and live appearances



Superman peanut butter
  • Sunnyland Refining Co., in 1981, marketed jars of creamy and crunchy peanut butter using the familiar image of Superman. In the 50th anniversary publication Fifty Who Made DC Great, it was noted that this was DC's first licensing deal for a brand of food.[7]
  • A Superman pinball machine was produced by Atari in 1979.[8]
  • Superman is part of the DC Deckbuilding Game by Cryptozoic Entertainment

Theme park rides

Superman Escape at Warner Bros. Movie World


Music about or that references Superman:



  • The cartoon Underdog in which Shoeshine boy becomes "Underdog" with the help of an energy pill.
  • The cartoon series Groovy Goolies featured dim witted Frankie as "Super Goof".
  • Walt Disney's Goofy did a parody of Superman with the help of "super goobers" {Peanuts} in which Goofy became "Super Goof" clothed in red underwear with "SG" and a blue cape and endowed with Super ears: Super sight; Super strength, Super voice and super flying-Goofy's crime fighting always interrupted his date with Clarabelle Cow.[12]
  • Warner Brothers' Daffy Duck did a parody of Superman as Stupor Duck.


  1. ^ +Brandon_Tenold. "Brandon Tenold: Turkish Superman". Channel Awesome. 
  2. ^ "OFFICIAL: SUPERMAN/BATMAN Movie in 2015 - NOLAN Returns, New BATMAN To Be Cast". Newsarama. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  3. ^ "Man Of Steel 2 becomes Batman vs Superman". Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  4. ^ "The LEGO Movie Trailer 2013 Official Movie Teaser 2014 [HD]". 2013-06-18. Retrieved 2013-06-26. 
  5. ^ "EXCLUSIVE – SUPERMAN/BATMAN: Series That Could Have Been". Voices From Krypton. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  6. ^ "Superman Day! - 1940". Superman Through the Ages. Retrieved 2010-09-13. 
  7. ^ Marx, Barry, Cavalieri, Joey and Hill, Thomas (w), Petruccio, Steven (a), Marx, Barry (ed). "Superman Peanut Butter Brand Licensing Pioneered" Fifty Who Made DC Great: 52 (1985), DC Comics
  8. ^ "The Internet Pinball Machine Database". Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  9. ^ "David Herbert:Biography", Saatchi Gallery. Retrieved 27 March 2010.
  10. ^ Velasco, David. "Miami vices", Artforum, 8 December 2007. Retrieved 27 March 2010.
  11. ^ "The Hague Sculpture",, 2008. Retrieved 28 March 2010.
  12. ^ Walt Disney Comic Digest # 23 July 1970 "The Printing Park" for a hilarious example of Goofy as a superhero!


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