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Things You Probably Didn't Know About Superman

November 9, 2020 2.8k votes 610 voters 132.2k views13 items

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Superman was one of the earliest depictions of a superhero. After his introduction, capes, tights, superpowers, a quest for justice, and holy levels of righteousness became the norm. Superman has been around since 1938, appearing in comics, video games, movies, graphic novels, cartoons, and just about anything else that could possibly feature the Man of Steel.

Because he's been a part of popular culture for so long, there are probably a lot of things many fans don't know about Superman. This list highlights some of the more interesting things you probably didn't know about the Kryptonian.

  • 1

    Christopher Reeve Refused To Wear 'Fake Muscles' In 'Superman: The Movie'

    When Christopher Reeve was selected to play Superman in the first feature-length live-action film starring the Man of Steel, he had only 35 days to prepare for the role. The producers wanted him to wear fake muscles underneath his shirt, but he refused. Instead, he began a two-month training regimen to beef himself up. By the end of his training period, he had gained more than 30 pounds.

    He got so big, the production had to redo earlier scenes already filmed because Reeve's body no longer matched the later scenes.

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  • 2

    Kryptonite Was Introduced To Make Room For A Vacation

    You can't have Superman existing in a world without the threat of Kryptonite, right? Well, no. Superman originally didn't have any real weaknesses, and Kryptonite was introduced so that Bud Collyer, the actor who played him on the Adventures of Superman radio show, could take a vacation.

    For an entire week, Superman's voice was relegated to a series of grunts and groans, which were spoken by another actor. The explanation: Kryptonite! The dangerous green rock was introduced to make Collyer's vacation possible without stopping the show, and it remains the biggest weakness of the Man of Steel's physiology. It took another six years, though, before Kryptonite showed up in the comic books, in Superman #61 - and it was red, not green.

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  • 3

    Henry Cavill Missed The Call To Play Superman Because He Was Playing 'WoW'

    Henry Cavill Missed The Call To Play Superman Because He Was Playing 'WoW'
    Video: YouTube

    Man of Steel actor Henry Cavill is a nerd, through and through. A video game enthusiast, he was playing one when the call came to offer him the role of Superman.

    Cavill told Conan O'Brien when he appeared on the show to promote the film, "I was playing World of Warcraft, and I had my priorities straight."

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  • There Are More Than 20 Different Types Of Kryptonite
    Photo: DC Comics

    There Are More Than 20 Different Types Of Kryptonite

    Kryptonite has a long history that spans the comics, a radio show, video games, movies, and cartoons. Originally, all Kryptonite was red in color when introduced in Superman #61 in 1949. It remained that way until 1951's Action Comics #160 when it was changed to the more familiar green color. Still, that's not the only type of Kryptonite; over the years, more than 20 different types have appeared in the Superman canon.

    Red Kryptonite is probably the best known other than Green. It causes both strange behavior and odd transformations in Kryptonians. Blue Kryptonite is an imperfect form of the mineral, making it harmful to Bizarro (and the Bizarro League) and completely harmless to Superman. White Kryptonite ends all plant life on a planet, while Gold Kryptonite can permanently remove a Kryptonian's ability to process the sunlight from a yellow star, rendering them powerless.

    Other forms of Kryptonite include Silver, Pink, Purple-Spotted, Anti, Bizarro Red, Slow, Opal, Jewel, and Synthetic.

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