Superman has always had a major influence in my life even if he wasn't real. It wasn't because he stood for Truth, Justice, and the American way. No, it was because he was the type of person you could always count on no matter what. He was an example, a protector, a friend.
I was too young to see Superman the Movie, so my first Superman experience would have to be Superman II. I knew Christopher Reeve was an actor but he made me believe Superman existed. I can still remember the first time I saw it in theaters. The criminals from Krypton scared the living daylights out of me.
I thought as a kid that General Zod, Non, and Ursa were going jump out of the film and attack everyone in the movie theater. Ah, the joy of an overactive imagination.
I never understood why Superman would give up his powers to be with Lois, but he did. He learned the hard way by getting beat up by a trucker at a diner. (This still makes my stomach turn every time I watch the scene.) Superman goes back to the Fortress of Solitude and asks for his father's forgiveness. Now depending on which version you've seen he get's his powers back from his father Jor-El in the more recent Donner Cut, or the green crystal that formed the Fortress in the theatrical version. (I like both versions to be honest.)
Superman III felt more like a comedy than a Superman movie to me. While not my favorite of Superman movies it still brings back good memories. Ignoring the fact that Richard Pryor plays a computer geek and builds a supercomputer to drain all the world's energy for a wannabe Lex Luthor, the part I remember the most was the fight in the junkyard between Clark and the evil/grumpy Superman. Superman becomes bad by some homemade kryptonite the villains make because everyone knows it's so easy to do.
The homemade kryptonite causes an internal struggle between his good and bad side, thus causing Superman to split into two. His passive side (Clark) couldn't compete against the Evil Superman, and Clark is thrown into a trash compactor. I thought it was the end of my favorite hero. Of course it wasn't, and the Blue Boy Scout is back to normal once he rids of his evil side. Or was it all in his head?
I think I was five or six years old when I played Superman on the Atari. I was so excited that there actually was a Superman game. I didn't own an Atari but ended up playing it at a friend's house. My hopes and dreams were shattered thinking I would be getting into fights with Lex Luthor or General Zod as Superman, but alas from all I can remember you just picked up petty thieves and criminals and took them to jail.
Years later I played the Superman Arcade game. Levels would vary from kicking and punching your way through the streets, or flying and using your heat vision. The Sega Genesis version had similarities, but I still like the arcade game better.
Hey Superman, at least my games don't suck as much as yours.
A year later after the lackluster movie Superman IV, the producers of the first three Superman movies made a TV show based on Superboy. I only saw the first couple of seasons but liked Gerard Christopher as Superboy in the second season. He had the look and acting skills to pull off a younger Clark in my opinion.
The episode I remember the most would have to be when a Predator wannabe was hunting people from different planets. Clark wasn't strong enough to take him head on so he tricked the beast into entering his body through his ear. Clark then spit him out using his super breath and put him away in a container never to be seen again. I know it sounds cheesy, but I thought it was cool at the time.
I never really got into the Superman comics until D.C. decided to kill him off. I'm not sure if they did it because sales were low, or just to upset the fans. Either way it worked. After Superman dies from the hands of Doomsday, four people show up, two of them claiming to be Superman. Those two would be Cyborg Superman and the Last Son of Krypton, aka the Eradicator both who were evil. Superboy was a real clone of Superman and Steel was just your normal guy fighting crime in the absence of the real Superman. I was so glad when they brought Superman back because I really didn't like the Superman clones. Steel wasn't a clone per say, but he was the exception. (Not the Shaq Steel though.)
SEND IN THE CLONES! From L to R: Cyborg Superman, Superboy, The Eradicator, Steel
Superman has always been one of my favorite superheroes. The reason I chose to talk about certain movies, games, and comics is because they had the most impact on me. I hope you enjoyed the article.