Having a good idea can be a powerful thing and putting that idea into motion can change the course of history. This happend when a couple of guys sat down and came up with the idea for Superman and it also served for the basis of a story in Action Comics #554.
Whilst battling super villain Vandal Savage, earth's past was dramatically altered, Superman and all of Earth's mightiest heroes were erased and rewritten out of time so that they never came to be. Without any protectors the planet was invaded by aliens known as the Zandrians and as the human race succumbed to the inevitable, two boys named Jerry & Joey believed they could come up with a counter-measure. The boys had an idea about a man with incredible powers and abilities who could be Earth’s saviour, all they needed was for people to believe in him. They didn't know that he had once existed, instead they just needed something to focus on and put their hopes into.
The story was an ode to Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, and writer Wolfman managed to craft a compelling story about the Man of Steel which was a geniunely incredible feat as he appeared in very few panels. The premise instead was about how powerful a belief was, and focused on the idea of having faith and sticking to convictions despite what peers had said.
Joey’s Dad - “Sometimes just living is so hard. There are so many problems that your troubles get the best of you. After a while, you find you can’t believe in anything ever being good. But you two believed! You two had the imagination and the sense of wonder to think beyond what they wanted you to think!”
The story wanted readers to forget the super speed, the costume change and the glasses and instead to remember the importance of a character who could bring out the best in all of those around him. As the story unfolded Joey & Jerry came to realise that the greatest power they had was that they no longer feared the Zandrian invasion. This turned out to be the biggest challenge that the Zandrian’s had ever faced, because without the ability to instill fear in their target, they were nothing. As the kids pieced together the foundations of their idea for The Man of Steel, the story took on the sense that they really were about to make a difference and change the world - both in print and outside of the comic. Sometimes a story is just a story; but if enough people believe in something then it can soon become a reality. The reason Superman has existed for so long is because of the belief two people had that he would be a star and they proved that if you want to change the world, then you first must believe that you can.
I BELIEVE I CAN FLY: *Superman first appeared in Action Comics #1 in 1938. In 2010 a copy of Action Comics #1 sold at auction for over $1 million.
*The character is sometimes refered to by the names... The Man of Steel, The Big Blue Boy Scout, The Man of Tomorrow and The Last Son of Krypton.
*Since his first appearance Superman has appeared in cartoons, movies, radio dramas, serials, a theatre production and of course countless comics.