A Look Back On 80 Years of Super Rides From 'Man of Steel'
He goes by many names. “The Man of Steel”, “The Last Son of Krypton”, “The Man of Tomorrow” and “Supes”.
Call him Superman whatever you like, just know the comic icon turns 80 this month. It was June of 1938 when a pair of high school students from Cleveland--writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster--published Superman’s first comic book appearance.
Since then he’s appeared in several film franchises and television shows, thousands of comic books, and a plethora of video games.
And the legendary hero has also spent some time behind the wheel.
Here are some real and (fictitious) vehicles associated with Kal-El.
•Green Car on Action Comics No. 1. Superman’s first appearance came in June of 1938 in DC Comics’ “Action Comics No. 1”. The Man of Steel is shown lifting a green four-door wagon above his head. Five years ago the folks at Jalopnik attempted to identify the vehicle in question.
Article author Jason Torchinsky wrote “A late-30s car, though at first glance it really could be almost any American brand...many makes of cars looked alike then, too. The bulbous fenders, suicide doors, large, scarab-ish shape, tall grilles — all of these traits describe both the Action Comics car and a great number of American cars of the era.”
No consensus was reached, though the article narrows down the potential matches down to a 1937 Plymouth, a 1937 Ford, or a 1937 DeSoto (a Chrysler luxury brand). It appears there is no direct match to any of these vehicles. Instead, it looks as if artist Joe Shuster combined a variety of traits from vehicles of that period to create the illustration.
• Clark Kent's Nash-Healey Sports Car. Featured in “the Adventures of Superman” television show that ran from 1952 to 1958, the silver Nash-Healey convertible sports car was driven by Clark Kent in a handful of episodes.
• Lex Luthor’s Porsche 911. Featured in the first episode of “Smallville” (October 2001), a Porsche 911 with the license plate “LEX” was being driven by Luthor when it struck Clark Kent. Kent pulls Luthor to safety. In gratitude, Luthor bought Kent a 2002 Ford F-250 Super Duty truck. Kent’s father, Jonathan Kent, forces his son to return the vehicle to Luthor.
• The Supermobile. First seen in Action Comics #481 from March 1978, this vehicle not only mimic’s Superman's powers, it serves as a conduit for his powers, allowing him to channel them through the vehicle. The Supermobile featured mechanical arms on either side of the cockpit and a scope that mimicked his X-ray vision. It also included air jets and a monitor.
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