Superman is a fictional superhero who first appeared in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character was created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster, and first appeared in the comic book Action Comics # 1 (on the cover dated June 1938 and published April 18, 1938). While best known as the flagship of superhero comics, Superman has adapted to a number of different media, including radio series, novels, movies, television shows and theater.
Superman was born on the planet Krypton and was named Kal-El at birth. As a baby, his parents sent him to Earth in a small spaceship just before Krypton was destroyed by a natural disaster. His ship landed in the American countryside, near the fictional town of Smallville. He was found and adopted by farmers Jonathan and Martha Kent, who named him Clark Kent. Clark developed several superhuman abilities, such as incredible strength and impenetrable skin. His foster parents advised him to use his capabilities for humanity, and he decided to fight crime as a vigilante. To protect his privacy, he dons a colorful costume and uses the alias "Superman" to fight crime. Clark Kent lives in the fictional American city of Metropolis, where he works as a journalist for the Daily Planet. Superman's supporting characters include his love interest and fellow journalist Lois Lane, Daily Planet photographer Jimmy Olsen, and editor-in-chief Perry White. Superman has an extensive Rogues Gallery with the arch-nemesis supervillain Lex Luthor.
Superman popularized the superhero archetype and defined its conventions. Superheroes are usually judged by how similar they are to the standard set by Superman. He was the best-selling superhero character in American comic books until the 1980s.