Superman is 50 years old and this weekend in the city where two high school students created the super hero, thousands of people are expected to attend an exhibition featuring comic books, films and even a former Superman.
It's all part of an effort by the non-profit group Neverending Battle Inc. to build a museum in Cleveland, where the Man of Steel was created by writer Jerry Siegel and illustrator Joe Shuster in 1934. Siegel and Shuster sold the rights to Action Comics in 1938 for $130."This is probably the world's largest collection of Superman paraphernalia," said John Field, 31, San Diego, whose collection deals only with the television series that ran from 1952 to 1958.
The International Superman Exposition opened Thursday at the Cleveland Convention Center and runs through Sunday. A parade is scheduled Saturday, and a statute of Superman was unveiled that is to go on display at a Cleveland location to be named.
"It's amazing the way it has come back. It's a legend," said Noel Neill, who played Lois Lane in the "Adventures of Superman" television series.
Kirk Alyn, who played the first screen version of Superman in a 1948 serial, said enthusiasm for the character continues.
"This was the first comic character that could fly," Alyn said. "Here's a do-gooder who never hurts anyone, and always corrects wrongs. This appeals to kids and it appeals to adults."
Alyn said his only complaint was that the character was too popular.
"I was unfortunate because I was typed and couldn't get another job in Hollywood," Alyn said, adding that he had to work in New York City before returning to Hollywood to avoid forever being identified as the popular hero.