The Many Faces of the Man of Steel


Who is the real Superman?

Superman is one of our culture's most enduring and recognizable cultural icons, the inspiration for countless imitators, and a perennial American role model. Superman embodies all our hopes and dreams, and our deepest fears. He is a man who is blessed with extraodinary superpowers many wish they could have. But this seemingly invincible superman can be felled when exposed to a tiny, green rock – Kryptonite. This tragic flaw only scratches the surface of Superman's many paradoxes and dualities. His journey from the printed page onto the silver screen has made it extremely hard to pin down the man behind the "S".

Through this American Studies web project will attempt to get a better grasp on who the Man of Steel is and what makes him so appealing. Although the main focus of this project is Superman from his conception in 1934 to his growth into America's favorite crime fighter, attention will also be paid to the themes and motifs throughout Superman's lifetime.

Culture: The Ubiquitous Man of Steel: What makes Superman so appealing? A look at the myth and mystique of the the champion of "Truth, Justice, and American Way," and why he became embedded into our cultural consciouness.

History: Superman in the 1930s and 1940s: A brief look at Superman's early history. How did the movement across mediums change the man of steel? How much of Superman is autobiographical? Read more about Superman in articles by the creators, Jerry Seigel and Joe Shuster, and others.

Radio: Episodes from the First Season: A collection of Superman's first sixteen episodes – from Krypton's demise to his frist few ecounters with The Wolf and The Yellow mask. All clips are in Apple Quicktime format. Click here to download the free Quicktime player.

Links: Links to other interesting and useful sites about Superman.

Works Consulted: A list of works consulted to created this page.

The Authors: Find out more about the authors of this site and other projects they are currently working on.

Created by: Erin Barnes • Dave Hendrick • Chris Yeung