Superman Through the Ages

The constantly changing face of Superman, the iconic comic book superhero, over the 73 years since he debuted in Action Comics #1.

NPR’s Glen Weldon takes a look at the constantly changing face of Superman, the iconic comic book superhero, over the 73 years since he debuted in Action Comics #1.

With the hideous exception of Tom Grummett’s bizarre 1990s take–and perhaps the hyper cartoonish version by Ed McGuinness a few years back–the character has evolved quite subtly over the years since Joe Shuster first drew him. Max Fleischer, Al Plastino, Wayne Boring, Curt Swan (twice, and quite differently each time), Kurt Schaffenberger, John Byrne, and Gary Frank drew easily recognizable variants of the hero, with the most notable differences relatively mild changes to the haircut to reflect contemporary styles.

Having come to the character in the mid-1970s, Curt Swan’s version is the one I grew up with and see as the most authentic. Neal Adams’ version, mostly relegated to covers, was perhaps the best.

via Paul Hsieh

FILED UNDER: Popular Culture, Quick Takes
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. A similar treatment from the other day for Batman at i09.

  2. PD Shaw says:

    That Jim Lee art at the top, with the high color, looks bizarre as well.

  3. Kit Smith says:

    The artist/writer over at Dresden Codak did a mental exercise of what he would do if he were charged with rebooting the DC universe and drawing new designs and histories for the various characters. It was interesting to see his take on the various DC characters with revised backstories and outfits, and I would recommend checking it out sometime.

  4. Glad to see that you are writing again.

  5. Hey Norm says:

    I’ve never been seen in the same place, at the same time, as Superman.
    Just sayin’