The American icon of superman is considered by many as the most powerful superhero of all time, tall in stature, short black hair and large muscles all create the perfect image of masculinity which superman represents. First introduced to comic books in 1938 superman soon became the perfect man which American men would strive to become and American women would dream of meeting. Superman represents many things such as the immigrant and the hero however the one characteristic which stands out the most is his masculinity, no other superhero is portrayed as masculine as superman.
Superman is portrayed by two characters with Clark Kent being his normal personality which hides superman himself. Clark is interesting because he is a completely normal person who works as a journalist and even wears a pair of glasses which emphasises this normal person. The well known scenes when Clark Kent tears off his suit and becomes superman is a showcase of how everyman can be as masculine as superman as Clark Kent tears off his shirt and tie and removes his glasses to reveal the perfect man in superman. When growing up Clark is taught by his dad to control his own strength, an important lesson which is taught to every young man.
Superman’s relationship with Lois Lane is significant as he continuously like many other superhero saves the helpless woman from the villain in the story. This again is a showcase of masculinity as the strong and brave man is needed to save the frightened woman who he in the end falls in love with. Clark Kent grows up in America not knowing exactly who he is and feeling like and outsider in a foreign land just like many immigrants did in the 20th century on arriving to America. Superman represents these people as he figures out who he is and what his role in American society is giving immigrant men the inspiration to pursue their roles and happiness for them and their families.
The recent superman film was a huge success in the box office as superhero films seem to have a renewed popularity and therefore rivalry between one and other. The masculinity of each superhero is a subject of rivalry with iron man in the recent avengers film taking the opportunity to emasculate superheroes like superman who wear tights.