- The Reign of the Superman
- Title of Siegel's first published story of a "Superman" — one who was villainous. He later realized a character with super-powers could make a great comic book hero. (1933)
- Superman! Champion of the oppressed. The physical marvel who had sworn to devote his existence to helping those in need.
- First introduction of "Superman" as "Clark Kent" in Action Comics #1 (June 1938)
- In the January, 1933 issue of "SCIENCE FICTION" appeared a story I had written in 1932 entitled, "The Reign of the Superman." I used the pseudonym "Herbert S. Fine" which combined the name of a cousin of mine together with my mother's maiden name.
After the publication of "Reign of the Superman", it occurred to me that a different version of Superman could be the basis of an extremely powerful and successful comic book. And so I originated, together with Joe Shuster, the comic book "THE SUPERMAN", back in 1933.
In the beginning (1983)
- As a science fiction fan, I have long been very familiar with the various themes in the field. The superman theme has been one of them ever since Samson and Hercules. I just sat down and wrote a story of that type — only in this first story, the Superman was a villain.
A couple of months after I published this story, it occurred to me that a Superman as a hero rather than as a villain might make a great comic strip character in the vein of Tarzan, only more super and sensational than that great character. Joe and I drew it up as a comic book.
- Clark Kent grew not only out of my private life, but also out of Joe Shuster's. As a high school student, I thought that someday I might become a reporter, and I had crushes on several attractive girls who either didn't know I existed or didn't care I existed.
- One night, when all the thoughts were coming to me, the concept came to me that Superman could have a dual identity, and that in one of his identities he could be meek and mild, as I was, and wear glasses, the way I do. The heroine, who I figured would be some kind of girl reporter, would think he was some kind of worm; yet she would be crazy about this Superman character who could do all sorts of fabulous things. In fact, she was real wild about him, and a big inside joke was that the fellow she was crazy about was also the fellow whom she loathed.
- Initially, we were turned down by almost every comics publisher in the country.