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Warner Bros. unveiled their redesign of the Superman shield for next year's Man of Steel. The Dark Knight/Spider-Man hybrid indicates that all hopes of a comedic take along the lines of Superman 2 will be scrubbed in favor of a dire, edgy tone. It's Hollywood's way of hoodwinking 9-year-old children of all ages into believing that what they're watching somehow approximates depth and complexity.

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Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's another idiot who gave Zack Snyder a budget!

The good news is Christopher Nolan only contributed to the story of Man of Steel, so there 's a chance that the third act might actually come together without the aid of his patented metaphysical bullshit. On the downside, we'll probably be calling for director Zack Snyder's permanent banishment to the Fortress of Solitude should he decide to sucker punch the crown by turning Superman into another one of his cardboard Watchmen.

What follows is a brief illustrated history of the men, women, and other assorted anthropomorphic personage behind the costume.

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Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's original design from the mid-'30's. Swap out the 'S' for a 'G' and you'll have something resembling a law enforcement badge carried by J. Edgar Hoover's G-Men.

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Superman's first appeared on the cover of Action Comics #1 (June 1938).

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Future game show host Bud Collyer provided the voice for the Man of Steel in The Adventures of Superman radio show (1940-1951) and the Fleischer and Famous Studios cartoons. Collyer was once again asked to voice the character for the animated series, The New Adventures of Superman (1966-1969).

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The Max & Dave Fleischer and Famous Studios series of 17 Technicolor Superman cartoon shorts were released between 1941-1943.

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Bugs Bunny in Chuck Jones' Super-Rabbit (1943).

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Private Snafu, the animated star of numerous U.S. Army Air Force First Motion Picture Unit propaganda shorts, seen here as Snafuperman (1944).

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Kirk Alyn, the first actor to portray the Man of Steel on screen, in the Columbia serial, Superman (1948).

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George Reeves, disgruntled star of the television series, Adventures of Superman (1952-1958), and proof positive that a flying man can die.

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Daffy Duck in Robert McKimson's Stupor Duck (1956).

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Lucy and Superman (1957).

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The Adventures of Super Pup (1958): Wanting to keep the franchise alive after Reeve's death, producer Whitney Ellsworth decided to turn Metropolis into an all-canine universe populated by midgets wearing dog masks. Unfortunately, the show never went past the pilot stage.

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Speaking of little people dressed as Superman, here's everyone's favorite Jolly Dwarf, performance artist Lester 'Beetlejuice' Green, doing good as Smallville's #1 Pimp.

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This explains so much. From Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #64 (October, 1962).

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More powerful than a flame-retardant face mask, it's Ben Cooperman!

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Oh, yeah! Timpani! Superman meets Super-Jew in The Adventures of Jerry Lewis #105 (March-April 1968).

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Christopher Reeve portrayed Krypton's last son in Superman 1-4 (1978-1987). For my money, the Richard Lester cut of Superman 2 stands as the smartest and funniest comic book adaptation ever to hit the big screen.

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Marlon Brando, the highest paid resident of the planet Krypton.

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Helen Slater starred in Jeannot Szwarc's 1984 box office flop, Supergirl.

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Black Superman!

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Ilya and Alexander Salkind, producers of the Christopher Reeve pictures, decided to try their luck with the syndicated TV show, The Adventures of Superboy. John Haymes Newman played the titular lead in the series that ran from 1989-1982.

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Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher in the ABC-TV series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993–1997).

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Tom Welling as the young Kent in the WB's Smallville (2001-2011).

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The instantly forgettable Brandon Routh in Superman Returns (2006).

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Who cares is she has nothing to do with the franchise? Meagan Fox is hot!

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The Superman that never was. Try as he might, fanboy Nicolas Cage couldn't get Kevin Smith's script for Superman Lives off the ground.

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According to the GOP, Barack Obama is a strange visitor from another planet whose Kryptonite is a birth certificate.

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Henry Cavill sporting next year's quilted Hefty trash bag edition.

Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated that Christopher Nolan did not have a hand in Man of Steel. Nolan is credited with working on the story and the piece has been corrected to reflect it.

[1]: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJnsZr...
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Comments

gobla April 2, 2012 @ 2:31 p.m.

What idiot wrote this? Nolan is actually the best thing that can happen to a movie. And he DOES take part in it... he's writing the f***ing STORY!!! And for Snyder... no comment. Dude, you need to get rid of the nostalgia, and accept new things in life. Yeah, the old movies did suffer from lack of technology, and skill. But, not everything that isn't broken mustn't be fixed. If it were like that, we'd be sleeping in a haystack.

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Scott Marks April 2, 2012 @ 3:16 p.m.

I'll accept blame for not noticing Nolan's name attached to the story. I thought Goyer took sole credit. Nolan couldn't write a third-act if his life depended on it. I defy you to make sense of the conclusions to both "Dark Knight" and "Inception." Nolan expects us all to swallow Hollywood's bitter pill of putting technology before storytelling. And if you make it just confusing enough, the ComicCom morons will label it profound. This may work for 9-year-olds, but those who actually have seen films made prior to yesterday and admire a well-told tale are bored silly by his comic book pyrotechnics. I'd rather fall asleep in a haystack than during another one of Nolan's pretentious masked avenger pictures.

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Man_of_Steel April 2, 2012 @ 5:59 p.m.

Scott I hope you don't get paid for writing articles here as this is a very poorly written movie and could give people the wrong idea about the franchise and where it is heading. Brandon Routh did a fine job as Clark Kent/Superman...his movie suffered from a poor script. I think Singer should have watched Superman II before doing this movie to refresh his memory on the continuity on the film series. I'm looking forward to the reboot with Henry Cavill, as he looks like he could kick some ass. Man of Steel looks like it will be a very successful movie. The people at COMICCON do NOT eat up everything Nolan does. I hate his views on superheroes. I do not agree with his view that Batman is the only hero in his universe and the same with Superman....especially when they team up in the comics ALL THE DAMN TIME!!! I pray for and look forward to the day Nolan is no longer involved with comic book movies. I'd love to take a crack at Batman and Superman and see how things would play out for me. In the future, do a better job of writing articles...it looks like a 9 year old wrote this.

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Scott Marks April 2, 2012 @ 7:05 p.m.

Do you really think I care where this franchise is heading? As long as I own a copy of "Superman 2" and all 4 "Adventures of Superman" box sets, I'm ready for Armageddon.

"I do not agree with his view that Batman is the only hero in his universe and the same with Superman." Do you really waste brain cells on nonsense like this? Are you really that upset that Batman and Superman team up? I wrote the article for a smile and assumed that a guy like you would love it because there are more pictures than text.

"Scott I hope you don't get paid for writing articles here as this is a very poorly written movie..." I didn't know I was penning a screenplay. You dare fun of my writing make with structuring sentences like this?

Brandon Routh's only qualification was that he fit the suit.

Please go and write your own scary-talented versions of the Batman and Superman legends. I'd L-O-V-E to review them. Be sure to include a lot of wasted circular pans to really give Nolan a run for his money.

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gobla April 3, 2012 @ 1:09 a.m.

@Scott_Marks I can see that you are very articulate. And sorry if my grammar isn't perfect, my first language isn't English. But, I really don't see why don't you like the version of Nolan's Batman. When it first came out, it brought a breath of fresh air to superhero movies. And that was... because it was more realistic than other movies. You can't tell me Nolan isn't a good director/storyteller. Than you probably haven't seen his other films. After what Schumacher did to the franchise, something needed to be done. Yes.. SOME comic-book fans are pissed at his ADAPTION.. but, you can't please everyone. And for you and other ''Nolan hater'', you don't have to wait long. Unfortunately, his franchise ends this summer. And there will be a new version of Batman in a couple of years. Unfortunately FOR YOU, Nolan will be producing. Anyway... I hope you like the DKR, as well as Man Of Steel. Peace

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Scott Marks April 3, 2012 @ 10:41 p.m.

Ah, well. One day an "idiot," the next an articulate scribe. Never apologize for imperfect grammar around here, Gob. When it comes to this bloody blog, I'm typo.

I don't dislike Nolan's Batman. Anything is a breath of fresh air after Burton's juvenile debasement and Schumacher turning the franchise into something resembling the gay Ice Capades. Nolan has no sense of humor. Batman's idea of a fun evening is donning latex duds, sliding down a pole, and beating men up. Throw in his young ward, Robin, and they call it rough trade where I come from. What is the point of playing it all so deadly straight? Have some fun with it.

I wasn't joking about the incessant pointless circular-pans or his third acts turning to metaphysical mush. I was talking with Bucket Review's Danny Baldwin and we both agree that Nolan's most satisfying work is his American remake of "Insomnia."

I grew up reading Superman comics and watching George Reeves with his gut hanging over the utility belt. Truth be told, I love Superman and have since I was 4. I've seen every Superman movie, but draw the line at the post-Reeves TV shows. There's no other super hero that can even come close. What super powers does Batman possess? He's a detective skilled in marshal arts. BFD! Superman can lick Batman with one arm tied behind his cape and opening a can of Krypto's dog food with his laser-vision!

"Superman 2" is not only a very funny Richard Lester film, it has more heart than all of Nolan's pictures combined. Not only do I believe that a man can fly, I believe that Superman and Lois Lane are capable of having a mature romantic relationship. Synthetic noir flows through Nolan's characters' veins.

It's been decades since I last read a Superman comic, but I do frequently return to the TV series and S2. Lester did a fine job of adding neuroses to the character. I do not look forward to a manic-depressive Man of Steel reboot. The guy can fly, is indestructible, and capable of using his x-ray vision to see through women's clothes. Apart from an occasional bout with Kryptonite, what's the problem? Let him have fun and do battle with Lex. Why not have Gene Hackman reprise the role?

Peace, Gob.

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