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Video:Profile of Superman

with Keith Dunlop

Superman has been one of the most beloved comic book superheroes since his creation in 1932. Here is a profile of Superman, including his biography, strengths and weaknesses.See Transcript

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Transcript:Profile of Superman

Hi, I'm Keith Dunlop for About.com. Today, I'm going to talk about the history and special powers of Superman.

The Origins of Superman

Superman is a fictional comic book character, created in 1932 by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Schuster. The comic was sold to Detective Comics -- which later became DC Comics -- in 1938 and his first publication was in the comic book Action Comics #1 in 1938.

Superman became rapidly popular and as one of the first superheroes, really helped create and establish the superhero genre in comics -- a genre that would eventually dominate comic books right up to the present day.

Superman's History

The story of Superman starts on the planet Krypton, where the child Superman, named Kal-El, was born. Unfortunately for the Kryptonians, the planet's unstable radioactive core exploded and only Kal-El survived, having been rocketed toward earth by his scientist father mere seconds before the explosion.

Kal-El's rocket reached Earth safely and he was found and raised by a Kansas farmer and his wife, who named him Clark Kent and raised him as their own son. As he grew up in the town of Smallville, Clark gradually discovered that he had unusual powers, and by young adulthood, he knew of his extraterrestrial origins and created his costumed superhero character that would fight for truth, justice, and the American way.

Superman's Powers

Superman's powers derive from the Earth's yellow sun. The most impressive of his powers is simply a superhuman strength, paired with a body that is almost indestructible.

He is able to fly, and Superman's senses also operate on a superhuman level: he has super-hearing which enables him to hear the faintest sounds, x-ray vision, and even heat vision.

Superman's Weaknesses

Like most great heroes, Superman does have an Achilles heel, which is green Kryptonite, which comes primarily from pieces of his exploded home planet. Kryptonite counteracts Superman's powers and its radiation leaves him sick and weak.

With over 80 years of adventures to captivate his fans, Superman is definitely one of the fathers of the modern superhero.

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