Thinking of Superman's usual costume, what color is the letter "S" on his chest?
And the answer: red.
In the Superman series by DC Comics, the famous Superman emblem with the letter "S" is red, with a yellow background. The rest of Superman's costume includes a blue jumpsuit and red cape.
Superman first debuted in 1938 in the first issue of DC Comics Action Comics. However, he wasn't always the cape-wearing, injustice-fighting hero that pervades our culture today – in fact, Superman's inception was at first one of a villain. Creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster first imagined Superman with the publication of a 1933 short story titled "The Reign of the Superman." The titular character is a homeless man named Bill Dunn, who gets tricked by an evil scientist into consuming an experimental drug. The drug bestows Dunn the powers of mind-reading, mind-control, and clairvoyance. Instead of fighting crime, Dunn uses the powers maliciously, for profit and amusement.
After pitching their story ideas to multiple publishers, Shuster and Siegel realized they needed to create a more, well, heroic character for audiences to enjoy. This prompted Siegel to revisit Superman as a comic strip character. Siegel modified Superman's powers to make him even more sensational: like Bill Dunn, the second prototype of Superman is given powers against his will by an unscrupulous scientist, but instead of psychic abilities, he acquires superhuman strength and bullet-proof skin. Additionally, the new Superman is a crime-fighting hero instead of a villain.
The Superman franchise has since been adapted into nearly every form of media such as radio, stage, film, television, and video games, to name a few. It was Superman who popularized the superhero genre and established its conventions. In fact, he was the best-selling superhero character in American comic books up until the 1980s.
Learn more about this prolific hero below.