Superman Through the Ages



  •   forum   •   THIS WEEK'S CHAPTER: "THE ARRIVALS!" •   fortress   •  
The Many Faces of Superman!
Picture contributed by John D. Koen

I didn't have any conscious models for Superman. I suppose I may have been somewhat influenced by Johnny Weismuller. I had always been kind of fascinated, as a boy, by the Tarzan newspaper strip and the Weismuller movies, and I guess I may have imitated then subconsciously to a degree. Alex Raymond's strip Rip Kirby was probably also an influence.

At one point in the 1950s, I gave some thought to making Superman look more like George Reeves, the actor who played him on television. I had seen Reeves once on the set, briefly, on one of my trips to the coast. I began to study his features on the TV show, but finally decided that it would be pointless to copy him too literally, though I think I did get his profile a little bit from time to time.

I wanted to show strength, of course, and ruggedness. And character. Superman had to be the kind of person you'd want to have on your side.

When I drew Clark Kent, on the other hand, I deliberately softened his features, made them less angular than Superman's. I wanted him to appear more meek. Just sort of a good Joe. I don't know if it worked, but that's what I was trying to do.

Superman's hair was different from Clark's, too, of course. That curl would come down - it was a way of showing action. I guess that had been Shuster's action causing that lock of hair to fall out of place.

We also had arguments about showing expression. I felt it was necessary to put lines in the face to show pain or whatever. Mort and I had long discussions about this. He thought they made Superman look too old. I think I finally got through to him by pointing out that even a baby, when it's angry or crying, has lines in its face.

- Curt Swan

Entrance ·  Origin ·  K-Metal ·  The Living Legend ·  About the Comics ·  Novels ·  Encyclopaedia ·  The Screen ·  Costumes ·  Read Comics Online ·  Trophy Room ·  Creators ·  ES!M ·  Fans ·  Multimedia ·  Community ·  Supply Depot ·  Gift Shop ·  Guest Book ·  Contact & Credits ·  Links ·  Coming Attractions ·  Free E-mail ·  Forum

Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster
The LIVING LEGENDS of SUPERMAN! Adventures of Superman Volume 1!
Return to SUPERMAN THROUGH THE AGES!
The Complete Supply Depot for all your Superman needs!