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Top 10 Superman Facts

VO: Dan Paradis
Script written by Craig Butler. He's the one that started the whole superhero trend – but how much do you know about him? Join WatchMojo.com as we count down the Top 10 Facts about Superman. Special thanks to our user cwbutler2 for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Craig Butler.

Top 10 Superman Facts


He's the one that started the whole superhero trend – but how much do you know about him? Join WatchMojo.com as we count down the Top 10 Facts about Superman.

#10: He Couldn't Always Fly

When Superman burst on the scene in 1938's Action Comics #1, he could do a lot of things no one else could. And although he could leap 1/8 of a mile and jump over a 20-story building, he couldn't fly. He first started flying in the animated cartoons of the 1940s, because that was a lot easier to animate. The powers-that-be at DC Comics saw the result and soon the Man of Steel was regularly soaring in the clouds and beyond to save the world.

#9: Darth Vader Trained Superman

Okay, so not literally, although we would love to see that crossover on the big screen. David Prowse, the actor who physically portrayed the Sith Lord, helped the actor who played Superman on the big screen, Christopher Reeve, get in shape. When Reeve was hired for the 1978 movie, the actor had a great look and the right attitude – but his body didn't have the mass that the character needed. Enter Prowse, who had just being the physical vessel for James Earl Jones' voice in "Star Wars." The bodybuilder and trainer helped Reeve pack on 30 pounds of muscle so he could appropriately fill out Supes' costume.

#8: Some People Believe in a Superman Curse

Is being in a Superman movie or TV project a curse? Probably not, but it does feel like it. Beginning with George Reeves, star of the 1950s Superman TV series, whose mysterious death was ruled a suicide – but which many believe was murder. Subsequently, Christopher Reeve, Marlon Brando and Richard Pryor from several Superman movies passed away, as did the actor who played Perry White on the "Lois and Clark" TV show. Even Lee Quigley, the infant who played baby Christopher Reeve, died while just a teen-ager. Eerie.

#7: He's Vulnerable to More Than Just Kryptonite

Everyone knows that the glowing green rock from his home planet can weaken or even kill Superman; but the Man of Might also has other weaknesses. Put him under a red sun, for example, and he pretty much loses all his powers. Also magic has been shown over and over to really do him in. That weakness to magic extends to creatures like werewolves and vampires, as well.

#6: One Type of Kryptonite Alters the Sexual Preferences of Straight Kryptonians

This is one of those facts that we bet Superman fans would rather we forget. In a very memorable story from 2003, set in an alternate timeline,Superman gets exposed to a new form of kryptonite – pink kryptonite. As a result, he temporarily is transformed into a super gay stereotype. It's essentially confined to one panel, but it made a huge impression – and not necessarily a positive one. Intended to be played for laughs, the "swish factor" involved makes it positively embarrassing.

#5: A Bizarre Number of People in Superman's Life Have the Initials "L.L."

A little alliteration is nice, but the cast of characters around superman take it to an extreme. The list of people with the initials "L.L." starts, of course, with perennial love interest Lois Lane. But there have been other girl friends that fit this category: teen sweetheart Lana Lang, college crush Lori Lemaris and Kryptonian lover Lyla Lerrol. Of course, arch enemy Lex Luthor also sports those initials, and Supergirl's original secret identity was Linda Lee. Lois's sister, Lucy, has also hung out in Metropolis on occasion. Makes you wonder what the L.L. is going on with Superman's writers.

#4: Superman and Batman's Artists Went on Double Dates

Joe Shuster was the guy who drew Superman originally, and Jerry Robinson was one of the early artists who gave Batman his classic look. In many ways, these two are the fathers of Superman and Batman – so it's interesting to note that they often took out girls together. Robinson referred to these as his "Superman-Batman double dates." Shuster is reputed to have been a bit of a body builder, and Robinson was the more contemplative type, so the comparison is especially apt.

#3: Clark's Disguise Goes Beyond Just a Pair of Glasses

What kind of reporter can Lois Lane be if she can't figure out that Clark Kent is just Superman wearing glasses? In fact, Superman's efforts go beyond just putting on the specs. First, those lenses are tinted to make Clark's eyes appear a different shade. And though they share the same hair color, they part on different sides. Loose, roomy clothing disguises Clark's impressive physique, as does a tendency toward poor posture. Also, Clark's voice is higher and softer, lacking Superman's virile tones. Finally, Clark's meek personality is a disguise in itself. So cut Lois a little slack…. But only a little considering how much time she spends with both of them.

#2: Kryptonite, Perry White and Jimmy Olsen First Appeared on the Superman Radio Show

Superman may have debuted in the comic books, but he quickly became a multi-media sensation. Comic strips, movie serials and radio programs quickly followed his funnybook debut. All of these fed on ideas and character created in the comic book, but the radio show made its own contributions to the Superman mythos. Kryptonite itself only exists as an excuise to put Superman out of commission for a few days to give the voice actor, Bud Collyer a vacation from time to time. The books were quick to latch onto the radio's kryptonite as a challenge for the increasingly-powerful Man of Tomorrow.

Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

He Once Fought Muhammad Ali

Superman Has Dated a Mermaid

The "S" on His Chest Stands for More than Just "Superman"

#1: The Guys who Created Superman Sold All Their Rights for a Measly $130

Superman may be able to do just about anything, but not even he could keep his creators from making the biggest mistake of their lives. Writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster were quite happy when they sold their creation for a mere $130. Granted, $130 went a lot farther in 1938 than it does today. But it still doesn't compare to the billions that the character has generated over the years. The creators did sue and eventually received a better deal. It may be a victory for truth and justice, but it certainly is the American way.

Agree with our choices? What other facts about the amazing Amazon should we have included? For more enthralling top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.

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