Comic books

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a super-septuagenarian!

April 18, 2013 at 2:18 PM ET

Happy birthday, Man of Steel!

It's 75 years today since a certain strange visitor from another planet debuted on the cover of Action Comics No. 1. The colorful character of Superman instantly seized the public imagination in his super-strong grip and has held onto it ever since: "Man of Steel," which will reboot the Superman film franchise, opens June 14.

For a guy more than seven decades old, Superman looks, well, super. But that's not to say he's stayed the same throughout the years. See how the iconic hero has changed throughout his never-ending battle for truth, justice and the American way.


Action Comics 1
DC Comics
Though dated June, Action Comics No. 1 was published on April 18, 1938. Art by Joe Shuster, who co-created the character with writer Jerry Siegel.


Superman No. 53
DC Comics
Wayne Boring drew this cover for the Man of Steel's 10th anniversary in 1948 and continued as Superman's main artist through the 1950s. He is responsible for defining much of the character's chiseled, muscular image.


Superman 167
DC Comics
Superman is menaced by his two greatest foes in a classic cover by artist Curt Swan from late 1963. Swan drew hundreds of Superman stories from the 1950s through the '80s and is considered one of the character's definitive artists.
Superman No. 234
DC Comics
Artist Neal Adams' dynamic style made him a fan favorite. This dramatic cover is from late 1970.
New 52 Superman No. 1
DC Comics
In 2011 DC Comics started all of its superhero comics over from Issue 1, including Superman. This cover by George Perez shows tweaks to his costume design, including the removal of the familiar red trunks.
Christopher Reeve As 'Superman'
From comics to movies, the many incarnations of Superman.


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