FASTER THAN A SPEEDING BULLET!
MORE POWERFUL THAN A LOCOMOTIVE!
ABLE TO LEAP TALL BUILDINGS IN A SINGLE BOUND!
oh. You've heard all that before, huh? Well, humor me dammit!
IT'S A BIRD! IT'S A PLANE! IT'S SPACE STATION MIR GONNA FALL ON ALL OUR HEADS!!
No silly. It's Superman!
Superman was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in 1938 and his exploits first began appearing in Action Comics #1. He's over sixty-five years old, and doesn't look a day over twenty-five. Not bad for an illegal alien.
You probably already know his origin..
Born on the geologically unsound and all around doomed planet Krypton which had political boneheads that make the American Congress look intelligent, young Kal-El was placed into a cute little rocket ship by his doomed biological parents Jor-El and Lara, and rocketed into space just as the planet Krypton blew into a couple billion radioactive meteroites called Kryponite which all just happened to follow the baby Superman and land in Lex Luthor's backyard. Okay not really.
The baby landed on Earth and was discovered in a Smallville, Kansas corn field by Jonathan and Martha Kent, who adopted him as their own son, not knowing where he had come from and shocked at his amazing powers. Since Martha's maiden name was Clark, they named him Clark Kent, and somehow they survived parenting him. They instilled within Clark American family values, which means he probably votes republican, but nobody's perfect.
Superman's amazing powers!
Now I know some of this is gonna be hard to swallow but suspend disbelief and try to stay with me here. The basic explanation for why he's like he is goes like this. He comes from a planet that had a red sun, and was much larger than Earth is. So in this solar system, on Earth, Superman is.. well, SUPER. Otherwise they would have called him NOTALLTHATSUPERATALLMAN and I wouldn't have a node to write.
The molecules that comprise Superman's body work like itty bitty solar batteries. Since he was born normal under a red star, when he's under Earth's yellow star, he accumulates tremendous power. This makes him incredibly dense so bullets can't pass through him, and he can't even do drugs because he breaks all the hypodermic needles. So he doesn't get invited to raves very often.
Also, because Earth is much smaller than Krypton, he has comparatively greater strength to a normal Terran. It's like when the astronauts were on the moon, only it looks better on television and in the movies.
In the very beginning, his powers were very simple compared to today. He could only jump about an eighth of a mile, and while he could play star quarterback and be his own receiver, competing against an entire football team, he couldn't do more than pick up occasional cars and stuff. Anything more than that and he might get a hernia.
But as the years wore on, they kept adding more and more powers to him. Some of them got just silly. He wore glasses as Clark Kent, mildmannered reporter for the Daily Star and then later the Daily Planet and then later as an anchorman for the Galaxy Broadcasting System. However, as Superman he had better than 20/20 vision. He had telescopic vision and heat vision where he could shoot lasers out of his eyes and X-ray vision where he could undress women and they wouldn't know it and he had super ventriloquism which was pretty stupid and he had super breath where he could freeze stuff by just breathing on it and he didn't even need to eat ice cream.
He started actually flying in the early 1940s. He'd jump, and then glide on the air currents. I am NOT making this shit up. And then he got strong enough to help troubled passenger jets. Then later he could fly out into space without breathing or having his body implode for lack of air pressure. I mean originally he was just an above average humanoid but then they made him like a god which makes ya wonder why he didn't just go up to the United Nations and announce he was now king and make everybody bow to him, but remember those Christian American wholesome family values? The Kents brought their child up right. He was a nice guy. I mean exceedingly nice. People would be mean to him and he'd just put them in jail. What a guy.
Well okay. What exactly does he do?
Besides averting natural disasters and stopping very large things from blowing up or running into each other, Superman also occasionally beats up on bad guys like Lex Luthor and Braniac and ..well pretty much anybody mean.
The city of Metropolis erected statues in his honor and gave him the key to the city, which didn't open up anything really but Supes didn't seem to mind. And somehow he fooled everybody, walking around as a nerd until trouble erupted and he'd just go find a phone booth and change clothes and go save the day. You'd think someone woulda seen him, but he can move super fast too, so after awhile he just stopped bothering with the phone booths. That's just as well since they don't make phone booths big enough for you to change clothes in them anymore anyway.
Oh, and he has a girl named Lois Lane who I bet has a difficult time not leaving the bedroom with broken bones every night and it took him over fifty years but he finally proposed to her. And he's got a punk kid named Jimmy Olsen as a best friend, and his boss Perry White tells him what to do when he's Clark Kent.
Did I mention the Fortress of Solitude? He built this big place under the ice near the north pole. Yeah, his closest neighbor is Santa Claus. You gettin' all this? He is allergic to Kryptonite, and magic has been known to affect him easily. Other than that he's nigh-invincible. Just like The Tick. Awhile back Superman died. Some guy named Doomsday or somebody kicked his ass, but he came back to life which just goes to show you, you can't keep a good wholesome Christian Family values running around the world in his blue and red pajamas and security blanket for a cape man down.
There've been several movies, television shows, lunch boxes, ballpoint pens, T-shirts, and pretty much everything one could think of with his face or insignia on it. He's quite a cash cow for DC Comics incorporated. Oh, and by now probably close to a couple thousand comic books. And he didn't even break a sweat.