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    Friday, June 1, 2018

    Superman Going Strong at 80

    In an era when superheroes seem to be everywhere — there were literally dozens in the most recent “Avengers” film — the Man of Steel stands apart.
    Eighty years after his debut in Action Comics #1, dated June 1938, Superman is still an American cultural icon, the hero of reference and the undisputed star of DC Comics.

    And today, the comic book publisher — also known for Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash and Green Lantern, among others — is counting on Superman more than ever.
    He is the mold people worked with, the template for the idea of a superhero,” explains Jared Smith, who works in a comic book store in Washington.
    Superman is a very idealized character. They call him the Boy Scout of America. He always does the right thing and tries do to the good thing.”
    In Action Comics #1, 13 pages were dedicated to the story of Kal-El, an alien from the planet Krypton with supernatural strength, sent to Earth by his father before his home planet was destroyed.

    Superman’s debut was a smash success. A year later, DC Comics gave the Man of Steel his own book, and introduced another formidable hero: Batman.
    Eighty years on, the formula has not changed: Superman has more or less always appeared in his red, blue and yellow suit with the “S” symbol on the chest.
    In his appearances on the silver and small screen, in comic strips and videogames, he has fought for truth, justice and the “American Way.”
    In Illinois, the town of Metropolis — which shares a name with Superman’s fictional home — organizes an annual festival celebrating the hero.

    This summer, on the heels of a “Man of Steel” mini-series, DC Comics will reboot the standalone “Superman” series. For the challenge, they tapped Brian Michael Bendis, a legend in the genre who worked for two decades at rival publisher Marvel.
    “You always feel the legacy of the character when you hop on, and I’ve had that joy a couple of times, but there’s something different about Superman,” Bendis said in an interview with pop culture website Nerdist.
    “I think there’s something fascinating about the fact that not only did this character invent the genre but it stayed true and became the core, soul, and center of the genre for the entirety of its existence.”

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