March 21st will mark the launch of Syfy channel’s new series Krypton, featuring an all new cast set outside the current DC movie world continuity. If you’re like me then when you saw the recent teaser and trailers you got Super excited about a new small screen version of everyone’s favorite ‘Last Son of Krypton.’ But before you pin that towel back around your neck and go leaping off the bed in a single joyful bound, let’s take a look back at some of Supe’s history.
The Most Valuable Comic Book of All Time
Okay. I know it isn’t television but how can I have a story about Superman without starting at the beginning… just in case one of you is reading this and you have no idea where the heck he comes from. Right? Right!
In the Summer of 1938, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster introduced the world to Superman in Action Comics #1, and today it is considered the ‘holy grail’ of comic books by many collectors. The comic continued its original run until 2011, which earned it the distinguished honor of being one of the longest running consecutively numbered comics in history.
They started the numbering over at issue #1 (it was a crazy year in comics, especially with DC’s New 52) but in late Summer 2016 they returned to the original numbering with issue #957, skipping numbers 905 – 956 to account for the ‘Volume 2’ run. In 2014, a super well-preserved copy of the original Action Comics #1 sold for over 3.2 million, setting a record that still stands.
Look, Up in the Sky!
In 1952 those five words would land Superman in thousands of living rooms across the country.
Adventures of Superman ran for six years but would live on to spark the imaginations of generations to come thanks to syndication. George Reeves starred as the mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent, aka Superman, for that one reader, and though the special effects are laughable by today’s standards they were easily ignored by millions of boys for decades.
With 104 episodes, 52 b&w and 52 color (which is kinda weird when you think about that DC New 52 stuff), Adventures of Superman is the one that started it all.
When you’re friends with Batman & Robin, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman, you’d better refer to them as ‘Super.’ This animated series launched in 1973 and most of us can still hear Ted Knight’s “Meanwhile, at the Hall of Justice,” though he was only on the first season. Following the early adventures of the Justice League and their protégés Wonder Dog, Wendy, and Marvin, many of us couldn’t wait until Saturday mornings.
The All New Super Friends Hour brought us the Wonder Twins in 1977 which lasted an impressive 1 season before getting axed and in the early ’80s there was an attempted revival but it only lasted 3 season
Superman in Love
Besides being indirectly responsible for the Death of Superman, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures Of Superman is beloved by Superfans around the world. Starring Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher in the title roles, The New Adventures tried to balance the romance with the action and lasted from 1993 to 1997.
So how did they kill Superman? Well, long story short is that the writers of the comic and the producers of the show wanted to line-up on the timing of Clark and Lois getting married. In order to allow the show time to play catchup in their relationship the comic had to come up with a storyline to replace the already planned wedding, spawning the whole storyline of Doomsday attacking Earth and killing our Man of Steel.
Lasting just as long as the other two television contenders combined, Smallville raced for a solid run from 2001 – 2011. Starring Tom Welling as a teenaged Clark, the show follows him through the trials of learning his powers while navigating the pitfalls of High School. A great supporting cast and cameos over the years that were specifically aimed for the fanboy heart in us all made for a decade’s worth of episodes that many still find Super-enjoyable today.
So, there was a reason I warned you against grabbing that cape just yet. When I began my research for this article I had only seen the teaser for Krypton and naturally, of course, assumed that it was about Kal-El/Clark/Superman. Well, while we aren’t likely to see the red boots and cape in this one, we are getting some Kryptonian history that will be fresh and new to many of us.
Focusing on Superman’s Grandfather Seg-El, Krypton follows him as he fights to clear his family’s name and creator David S. Goyer has been quoted as saying he has a 7 to 8 year plan for this new take on our modern mythology. With Cameron Cuffe donning the signature ’S’ family crest, it is still too early to tell if this will be a hit and have the staying power to stick around for Goyer’s full plan.
Or if it’ll be gone, yep you guessed it, faster than a speeding bullet.
Which show is your all-time Supe favorite? Looking forward to Krypton? Why or why not? Leave a comment below and let us know. Krypton will premiere March 21st on Syfy. Check out the official trailer below.