Happy 80th, Kal-El: Bleeding Cool's Favorite Superman Moments

Superman is the most iconic and recognizable character in comics history, and today Kal-El celebrates his 80th birthday. April 18th, 1938 marks the first appearance of The Last Son of Krypton in Action Comics #1 and is celebrated across the infinite universes as good ol' Clark's natal day.

Happy 80th, Kal-El: Bleeding Cool's Favorite Superman Moments
Superman's first appearance on the cover of Action Comics #1

We figured we'd pool our thoughts and come up with Bleeding Cool staff and writers' favorite Superman moments across comics, film, TV, and more.

Jude Terror says:

My favorite Superman moment is all the stuff Superman does in the Snyder Cut that Warner Bros. refuses to release. The Snyder Cut, for those unfamiliar, is a version of Justice League which restores in full Zack Snyder's Vision, which was itself ripped unceremoniously from the movie by alleged fake feminist Joss Whedon. Unfortunately, I've never even seen my most favorite Superman moments because Warner Bros is keeping the Snyder Cut under lock and key, but whenever I see scenes added by Whedon with Cyborg saying "booyah," I just imagine it's Superman snapping a neck or killing a puppy or leaving his father to die to protect his own secret identity. You know, basic Superman stuff. What I'm saying, to any Warner Bros who happen to be reading this, is: release the Snyder Cut! Happy Birthday Superman!

P.S. My second favorite Superman moment is that song from the '90s by the Spin Doctors.

Jeremy Konrad says:

Happy 80th, Kal-El: Bleeding Cool's Favorite Superman Moments
Action Comics #643

Being young and growing up in Cleveland, Superman is unavoidable. At the time, there wasn't much to hang your hat on as far as the city was concerned — the sports teams were mostly bad, the economy was terrible, and the weather sucks. But we had Superman. My grandfather got me my first Comics when I was five, and while the first will always be Captain America, I will remember opening that cover to Action Comics #689 and being completely captivated. I have read and collected Clark's escapades ever since, and while I love the Golden Age the most, that George Perez cover (paying homage to Superman 1) will always be the one that sticks with me. Oh, and John Williams's Superman theme is the ultimate superhero theme and will never be topped. Don't @ me.

Kaitlyn Booth says:

I didn't get into superheroes until I was older though I did watch the Joel Schumacher Batman movies as a kid. It wasn't until I was much older that I sat down and watched all of the original Superman movies and this was during the lead up to Man of Steel. I couldn't understand all of these people saying Superman is a hard character to make interesting because, despite the many flaws of the three and four, they were always entertaining movies. He's a character that require the creatives in charge to enter a certain mindset that we seem unwilling to embrace these days, and as soon as Warner Bros. and DC Comics find the right person I'm positive we'll have another great Superman movie in my lifetime.

Adi Tantimedh says:

My favourite moments from Superman come from reprints of stories from the 1950s drawn by Wayne Boring where nearly every issue featured a fight where the superpowered baddie smashes a lamppost or car or something big and heavy on Superman's head, and he just stands there with his hands on his hips either grinning smugly or looking slightly bored. That to me was always the classic Old School Superman moment.

Dana Han-Klein says:

Proving that you don't always need cutting edge special effects, and in spite of the fact that you know it's a grown man basically in his underwear: Christopher Reeve managed to simultaneously capture the joy of flying and the responsibility of being Superman in one simple shot.

Ray Flook says:

Happy 80th, Kal-El: Bleeding Cool's Favorite Superman Moments
All-Star Superman #10

This image represents why Superman's so "powerful": because instilling hope is always the tougher climb than instilling fear. You can walk into a crowded subway car with a baseball bat and make everyone afraid of you in about 10 seconds. No doubt. But try walking into that same subway car and giving those same people the hope they need to try a little harder… hold on a little longer… and never give up, even when all seems lost. That's what makes Superman so special: he reminds us that his greatest super-power is the same one that lives inside each and every one of us: our ability to let others see just how powerful beyond measure they can be.

Mab says:

Always and forever, the end credits of Superman: The Motion Picture. That sunrise with the Williams theme and our wonderful galactic boy scout who gave me unrealistic expectations of men in my life closing out one of the best hero introductions in cinema. I will also add in the flight sequence from Man of Steel, because it really captured that euphoric rush of seeing this hero fly, his glee at discovering this ability, and the Hans Zimmer score touching on every emotion I needed it to. Henry Cavill captured so much of that wonderful character Christopher Reeve cemented in film.

Dan Wickline says:

My favorite Superman moments are when he is being the most human. The conversations he has with Father Leone in the For Tomorrow storyline by Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee, helping to reaffirm the priest's faith or the way he remembers and acknowledges Winn Schott on Supergirl. When he makes us forget he is as powerful as a god and reminds us that he's just a farm boy from Smallville. The best Superman moments aren't his feats of strength, but his embodiment of hope and humanity.

Josh Davison says:

My favorite Superman moment has to be just about everything Earth-2 Kal-L does in Crisis on Infinite Earths. Every action is textbook Superman, and it was one of those things that first had me thinking of Superman as more than just a symbol–he became a hero for me and a character.

Haley Rose-Lyon says:

I've never been much a reader of Superman comics, but Smallville was one of my favorite shows growing up. I know, the show was kind of corny, but to this day I think the friendship dynamic it set up between Clark and Lex was brilliant. The tender moments between them were so bittersweet in that you knew where it all would end up. And the chemistry Michael Rosenbaum and Tom Welling brought to the screen elevated the nuances of the relationship that much more.


What about you?  Let us know about YOUR favorite Superman moments in the comments.

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About Mary Anne Butler

Bleeding Cool News Editor Mary Anne Butler (Mab, for short) has been part of the fast-paced world of journalism since she was 15, getting her start in album reviews and live concert coverage for a nationally published (print) music magazine. She eventually transitioned to online media, writing for such sites as UGO/IGN, ComicsOnline, Geek Magazine, Ace of Geeks, Aggressive Comix (where she is still Editor-in-Chief), and most recently Bleeding Cool. 

Over the past 10 years, she’s built a presence at conventions across the globe as a cosplayer (occasionally), photographer (constantly), panelist and moderator (mostly), and reporter (always). 

 Interviews, reviews, observations, breaking news, and objective reporting are the name of the game for the founder of Harkonnen Knife Fight, a Dune-themed band with an international presence. 

 Though she be but little, she is fierce. #MabTheProfessional
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