Every citizen in America is acquainted with Superman. However, the superhero we know today wasn’t always such a great guy. In fact, when teenage creator Jerry Seigel first put Superman in print in 1932, the modern Man of Steel was a bald super villain with extraordinary mental powers – not unlike modern Superman nemesis Lex Luthor.

Luckily for fans, when Seigel came back to Superman the following year, he rewrote him completely. Superman became a superhero, albeit a rougher and more aggressive version than the character we know today. The difference is often attributed a 1940 change implemented by editor Whitney Ellsworth, who established a strict code of superhero conduct, prohibiting deeds such as murder.

By the 1950s, there were so many variations of Superman in print that writers weren’t sure how to resolve textual anomalies. Finally, they decided to explain variations by establishing two separate but parallel universes.

Silver Age Superman resided on Earth-One, where he was born Kal-El, son of Jor-El. On Earth-One, he was adopted by Johnathan and Martha Kent and eventually joined the Justice League.

Over on Earth-Two, Golden Age Superman was known as Kal-L, son of Jor-L, and adopted by John and Mary Kent. Golden Age Superman was a member of the Justice Society.

Over the years, Superman has thwarted many fantastic foes, including some of the most famous comic book villains: Lex Luthor, Darkseid, Brainiac, General Zod, Doomsday, Parasite, Birarro, Metallo, and Toyman. Our beloved hero has also come across quite a range of kryptonite varieties – the green kryptonite that steels his powers, the red that creates random and temporary effects, and gold, which results in a permanent loss of kryptonian powers.

After 75 years of appearing in comics, Superman has undergone quite a few changes. For instance, his iconic “S” logo has been reworked 25 times. Today, there are five “official” versions of the superhero – those that reside on Earths One through Three, Superman Prime, and the character cast in John Byrne’s “Man of Steel,” in which Superman falls victim to Doomsday.

man of steel superman infographics