Just like magic, a check for a little over four hundred dollars was turned into a cool $160,000. The check in question was from DC Comics to Siegler and Shuster for the rights to a character known as "Superman." Sold at a recent auction, the check represents the birth of the character who may be the most recognizable comic book hero of all time. With the purchase of the rights to the story, DC was able to start a franchise back in 1938 that is alive and well today after numerous television and film incarnations, as well as a few reboots of the comic book series as well, along the way.
The story of a baby sent from his dying home world across the galaxy to Earth, "Superman" is a story that has resonated with Americans for decades. After all, his motto includes him fighting for "truth, justice, and the American Way." Perhaps that's why the character has been able to have been recast several times, and even killed off and audiences keep coming back for more.
A few different actors have played The Man of Steel in either a film or a television show. Here are the more notable ones.
George Reeves in "Adventures of Superman" - In 1952, the barrel-chested actor took on the role in the first live-action television series of the franchise. He was also the first actor to play Superman on the silver screen in "Superman and the Mole-Men." Shot initially in black and white, Reeves' version rocketed to popularity thanks in part to the fact that television as a medium was starting to take off too, and audiences loved watching him as Clark Kent and Superman. Sadly, there's always a tinge of tragedy in Reeves' story as he died in 1959, of gunshot wounds, though there's always been some controversy over whether it was a suicide attempt or something more sinister.
Christopher Reeve in "Superman" - If there was another actor who could rightfully challenge Reeves as the most recognizable face of Superman, it's the man who played him in the 1978 Richard Donner classic. Reeve's performance as both Kent and his superhero-self is what's firmly burned into the minds of an entire generation of movie goers. Reeve played the part in four different films, but it's the first two films that really set the gold standard for big screen versions of the story. After a horse-riding accident paralyzed him, Reeve fought a long battle against the health complications he suffered as a result, but died in 2004 at the age of just 52.
Dean Cain in "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman" - In all reality, this particular iteration was just much a romantic comedy as it was anything else. Cain's good looks transformed the character into a beefcake type of role, much to the derision of die-hard fans everywhere. "Desperate Housewives" star Teri Hatcher played the role of Lois Lane, Clark Kent's co-worker and unrequited love interest.
Tom Welling in "Smallville" - Probably the most popular television iteration, "Smallville" followed the story of Clark Kent as he took the long journey towards becoming Superman. No really, it was a long journey. The producers of the show took ten years to develop their story arc, which featured Welling as the teenager who grew into the role of Earth's defender.
Who was your favorite Superman? Let us know!
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- Arts & Entertainment
- Adventures of Superman
- George Reeves