Warning: spoilers for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, read ahead at your own risk
Legends never die, and few characters have become more legendary than the Man of Steel himself. Superman is one of the most iconic characters to ever grace the silver screen, and despite his apparent demise during Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice‘s climax, it’s abundantly clear that the character will indeed make a return during Zack Snyder’s Justice League in 2017. In fact, Superman actor Henry Cavill all but guaranteed it by recently teasing us with a mysterious image of the last son of Krypton’s new suit for the upcoming blockbuster.
However, the new latest look for Superman in Justice League will merely represent the latest in a long line of live-action depictions. Few characters have an on-screen legacy quite as rich as Clark Kent a.k.a Kal-El a.k.a Superman, and we want to take this opportunity to honor that tradition. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the Man of Steel’s various on-screen looks over the years; take a look at let us know which one you think is the best! Now let’s get started with the original, which dates all the way back to 1948.
Talk about humble beginnings. Superman made his first ever live-action appearance in 1948 during the Superman serials, portrayed by actor Kirk Alyn. While the suit used during these serials doesn’t deviate too much from the character’s source material, it’s abundantly clear that nobody involved had any intention of breaking the bank on a wardrobe budget. Technology simply wasn’t what it is today. The original live-action Superman suit was generally loose-fitting, made from a very basic cotton-esque cloth, and featured a House of El symbol that the filmmakers more or less glued to the front of the outfit. Although it’s far from impressive when we consider where the suit would go in the future, Alyn’s suit still maintains a very distinct low-quality charm that we definitely cannot deny. It’s not much, but it’s a start.
Superman And The Mole Men
Although most people have probably never heard of Kirk Alyn, just about anyone with a passion for the Man of Steel will recognize George Reeves. The legendary actor first premiered as the last son of Krypton in 1951 during the film Superman and the Mole Men, and officially brought the character to the mainstream. Much like Alyn, Reeves’ Superman suit has a very low-budget quality, but it was an improvement over the original take on the character primarily because the studio chose a square-jawed actor who actually resembled the strongman design from the comics. Slowly but surely, the live-action look of Superman became more and more realized and solidified over time.