The Evolution of Superman

Tracing 75 years of the Man of Steel from his origins to Zack Snyder's reboot
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super man
Mary Evans/Ronald Grant/Everett Collection

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The Scoutmaster

At a time when Congress' fears of subversive activity extended to comic books, the nation's creators of vigilantes in tights decided to clean up their acts, publishing stories that would not be accused of contributing to juvenile delinquency. In print, Superman became something of a Boy Scout, embracing his small-town cornball side. On TV, he did the same, in the stocky form of George Reeves, star of The Adventures of Superman. (This was a Superman who would let the bad guy's bullets bounce of his chest, but who would then duck when the shooter then threw his empty gun at the hero's head.) From 1952 through '58, Reeves fought for "truth, justice, and the American way."

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