Just last week we were introduced to Tyler Hoechlin’s look as the Man of Steel in the upcoming second season of The CW’s Supergirl.

Supergirl & Superman
Unsurprisingly, the response to Hoechlin’s look in the official image hasn’t been very positive–most citing him to be either too scrawny or just not having the “right look”–however, the costume itself has seen some compliments.

Related: Superman Lands on Supergirl Promo Image!

While later, on-set images of Hoechlin have soothed some for now, the furore that surrounds superhero costumes in live action is an almost recurring ordeal that actors and production crews have to live with.

In the spirit of loving and hating one of the most iconic costumes in the comic book world, here’s a look at every proper live action adaptation of Superman’s costume!

Superman/Atom Man vs Superman

SUPERMAN, (Serial), Kirk Alyn, 1948.

SUPERMAN, (Serial), Kirk Alyn, 1948.


While not the first man to wear the costume for an audience, Kirk Alyn does hold the distinction of being the first Superman on screens. With the limitations of broadcast in the 1940s, the costume was only ever seen in its grey glory.

Superman and the Mole Men/Adventures of Superman

Superman_1951 - George Reeves (Superman and the Mole Men:Adventures of Superman)
The originator of the ‘Superman Curse,’ George Reeves is often considered the first true Superman actor given his insistence on adapting the character as a smiling, jovial, friendly hero. He’s also the first live action Superman to appear in colour.

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Superman!

Superman_1975 - David Wilson (Bird, Plane, Superman)
Yeah… So this happened. A TV adaptation of an actual musical, It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Superman! is, thankfully, mostly forgotten.

Sadly, it’s not the worst thing to happen. You’ll see.

Superman

Superman_1978 - Christopher Reeve (Superman the Movie)_1
Meet Superman. Superman was so awesome, that he pretended to be Christopher Reeve, an actor, so that he could then play himself in this biographical documentary.

Superman_1983 - Christopher Reeve (Superman 3)_2
Superman was such a great actor, that he even acted as an evil version of himself battling his Clark Kent persona.

In 2004, Superman, as Christopher Reeve, faked his own death to return to New Earth to help in the battle against the now insane Superboy Prime. As he has yet to return to this Earth since, it is believed that he may be traversing the Multiverse, repairing the damage done to the Superman legacy in 2011 by DC’s mentally deficient editorial team.

It is said that he recently punched a membrane in Dan Didio’s, Jim Lee’s, and Geoff Johns’ hive mind, causing the suspension of “The New 52” and “Convergence,” and the introduction of “Rebirth.”

Thank you, Superman!

Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman


Probably the most well-remembered iteration of the character for fans of the ’90s Superman, the series was more of a romantic-comedy and, in my opinion, one of the truest depictions of the character.

Despite its low budget and many behind-the-scenes problems due to an editorial insistence that it adhere to certain aspects of the comics’ ongoing storylines, the series nevertheless featured many fan-favourite villains, truly comic-ish storylines (time travel! clones!), and even the best Jimmy Olsen to date (from season 2 onwards).

But in context of Superman’s wardrobe, this series gets special highlight for introducing a variation of the black suit that was first introduced in the comics in 1993, following the resurrection of Superman.