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What was first, the comic book or the movie?

For the children and adolescents of the 21st century, this question can be straightforward, because they will say that the film was first made and that from there the graphic novel and other adaptations were created. This response can give the creeps to someone who was born in the golden period of the comic (between the thirties and fifties), as DC Comics and Marvel superheroes were on paper long before they were on 3D screens.

This questioning is more comfortable to answer than the typical one: what was first, the egg or the hen? Well, superhero comics have been around for years. The first Superman film adaptation was in 1948 starring Kirk Alyn, while the first comic book featuring Superman was published ten years earlier in Action Comics 1.

The comic offers endless possibilities of adaptation to other media such as cinema, video games, television series, etc., not counting the countless amount of advertising objects that can be detached from them. These adaptations in the theoretical sphere are known as literary transfers, which, in simpler words, are creations born from another artistic object. The comic by its lexico-pictographic Nature opens a door of possibilities to be adapted to cinema and television, some superheroes who have already gone through this media transition are Superman, Flash, Batman, Arrow, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man and the Avengers among others.

Movie adaptations of superhero comics have been the boom of this century. We have seen how heroes have evolved in their various adjustments so that the public feels more identified with the characters. The success of these stories also lies in the emotional background of the characters that are now a critical point in bringing them to the screen. One of the favorite box office superheroes is Superman, a tormented hero, super strong and in love, who has been in the movie theaters seven times and the eighth is already on his way.

Just before his home planet made explosion by a cataclysm, the scientific Krypto Jor-El put his firstborn son Kal-El in a rocket and shot towards the Earth, and to fame. Superman, the first and greatest superhero of all, will have his moment in cinemas with the premiere of the Justice League. And although that so-called game developed by Rocksteady still counts as incognita, we know for sure. Not everyone has been able to make Superman adaptations properly.

In the recent memory we have the bitter memory of Superman Returns, a failed film on many levels, and remaining in the bottom of the barrel existing the Superman IV of the Cannon is already of merit. However, for one reason or another, there are even worse adaptations, and others, logically better. Both for cinema and television, without neglecting animated productions.

Screen Rant has produced a classification of 17 Superman adaptations to the audiovisual Media ordered from worse to better. Among them are the animated series, the serial films starring Kirk Alyn (advertised with a face as hard as super cement as portrayed by the very Superman), and of course, the recent movies signed by Zack Snyder. Here you have the list of all of them:

  • Superboy
  • The adventures of Superboy
  • Lois and Clark: Superman’s new adventures
  • The Superamigos
  • The 1948 Superman serials
  • Superman Returns
  • Supergirl (TV series)
  • Superman vs. elite
  • The Man of Steel/Batman v Superman: dawn of justice
  • The Fleischer Studios animated shorts
  • Superman: The animated series
  • Justice League: The New Frontier
  • Justice League: Unlimited
  • All-Star Superman
  • The adventures of Superman
  • Smallville
  • The Superman films of Christopher Reeve and Richard Donner
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