On the back of our recent “Evolution of Superman’s ‘S’ Shield” poster, the Superman Homepage is now pleased to present to you an updated version of our “The Changing Face of Superman” poster!
While Superman’s appearance has changed in different ways over the past 85 years, his co-creator Joe Shuster set the standard early, drawing a strong-jawed, squinty-eyed, good-looking face with hair so black he needed to give it a blue highlight.
Hundreds of artists have drawn Superman over the years, but certain artists captured the essence of the character better than others, and ingrained a certain look into the public consciousness, a look which was arguably best perfected by fan-favorite Curt Swan.
Whether his hairstyle sports a spit-curl or not, whether his chin has a prominent cleft or not, whether his eyes are blue or barely visible at all, there’s a certain look to Superman’s face and hair that is instantly recognizable.
Drawn as a cartoon or portrayed by a real-life actor, Superman’s appearance has been the topic of fan debate over many generations, across a myriad of different formats and mediums. Superman has been drawn by Joe Shuster, Al Plastino, Wayne Boring, Kurt Schaffenberger, Curt Swan, Jack Kirby, Neal Adams, José Luis García-López, Neal Adams, John Byrne, Dan Jurgens, Alex Ross, Jim Lee, Gary Frank and many, many others. He’s been animated by Max Fleischer, Ruby Spears, and Bruce Timm, to name a few. And has been famously portrayed by Kirk Alyn, George Reeves, Christopher Reeve, Brandon Routh, Tom Welling, Henry Cavill, and Tyler Hoechlin among others. He is Superman! The Man of Steel… and to highlight as many examples as possible from the past 85 years, we’re happy to present to you…
Without a doubt there’ll be a version of the character drawn by a particular artist that has not been included in this chart. We have however attempted to highlight all the major artists who have contributed to Superman’s look over the past 85 years.
Likewise, there will be Elseworlds or alternate versions that have not been included in this chart. Once again, we’ve attempted to highlight some of the more popular and obvious alternate versions published over the years, just to give a few examples. The main reason for this chart was to show the changes in Superman’s mainstream, traditional look, rather than to show all the different non-standard and alternate reality physical changes he has been through.
You’ll note this poster/chart is classified version 2.0 (November 2023). We’re happy to receive feedback, suggestions and corrections for future updates.
Note: Many, many hours of time and effort were put in to create “The Changing Face of Superman” chart. Many thanks to the Superman Homepage staff members for their suggestions, corrections, and encouragement along the way.