Superman didn’t always fly

He started flying in the 1940s right after the creation of the Fleischer films. This was because it became difficult so show him leaping from place to place.

The Fleischer films used a form of rotoscoping and many of Superman’s actions had to be drawn by animators because they couldn’t be rotoscoped at the time. It was easier to show him flying than leaping.

Superman officially first flew in a comic book in Action Comics #65, released in October 1943:

Superman’s pedigree of powers has grown and varied over the decades. Since he is one of the oldest, if not the oldest of the four-color heroes, it is difficult to tell exactly when a particular power is considered to have come into fashion.

His powers when he first appeared in Action Comics #1 in 1939 were:

  • Leaping one-eight of a mile
  • Nothing less than a bursting shell could penetrate his skin
  • Strong enough to lift an automobile of the time, cleanly over his head
  • He had no superhuman visions, senses or ranged abilities
  • Depending on what you read, all Kryptonians might have had similar powers on Krypton and were a race of genetically advanced humanoids.

While this was sufficient for the comic strip for a while, it became a problem for the Superman when he became a radio play character and even more so when he became animated during the early 1940s.

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