It would be a sincere challenge to find anyone on this planet who isn’t at least vaguely familiar with the name Superman. From ‘it’s a bird, it’s a plane’ to the ‘S’ on his chest to the flowing red cape, he is the classic superhero and one of the most famous pop culture figures of all time.

But Superman is much more than just a costume, collection of incredible abilities, and a design that can be put on a T-shirt. The last 75 years have been filled with epic stories, hundreds (if not thousands) of friends and foes, and microscopic details about the larger universe. It’s easy to see how anyone only vaguely familiar with the comic book character and his world would feel overwhelmed by the amount of information surrounding him, so with Man of Steel in theaters this weekend we figured we would do our best to help those who just need a little bit of guidance.

Below I have broken down 10 key elements of Superman lore present in Zack Snyder’s new film, hoping to provide some background for the audience members who are only now starting to take an interest in the comic book world. Want to know about Supes’ birth parents? Do you know how he gets his powers? Do you know who Superman’s first love was? Find all of the answers you’re looking for below!


Superman
Who Is He? Kal-El. Clark Kent. The Man of Steel. The Man of Tomorrow. The Last Son of Krypton. He has many names, but there is only one Superman. Created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster and first debuting all the way back in 1938, Supes is considered by many to be the first superhero and is in every way, shape and form a cultural icon. Chances are you’ve probably heard of him before you clicked this link.

How Does He Fit? It’s kind of a silly question considering that this is his movie, but let’s just stick with the format, shall we? Man of Steel is a new take on the origins of Superman, balancing a story both about how he came to travel from the alien planet Krypton to Earth and how he grew up to become the greatest hero the world has ever seen. Even long-time comic book fans will be surprised by some of the changes that they’ve made to the story, but those details are best revealed on a giant screen in a dark theater.

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