The ‘S’ On Superman’s Chest Doesn’t Stand For ‘Superman’

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This may not comes as a surprise for hardcore fans, but for those who didn’t know, the ‘S’ does not stand for ‘Superman,’ but something completely different…

If like me, you’ve taken it as a given the ‘S’ stands for ‘Superman – just like night follows day – then this may be a bit of a shock that I’m about to change everything you thought you ever knew.

I suppose thinking about it, in comic-book-terms, it would be a little too easy for one of the most iconic superhero symbols in the world, to just refer back to his name, things should surely be a little trickier than that.

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But if you were really clueless about it all – as am I, there is absolutely no way I’m about to try and compete with the knowledge of true comic book fans – then you probably wouldn’t have known the ‘S’ is not even a letter, but a symbol.

Shocked you now haven’t I. So here’s some little dimes for you to take down the pub quiz, not only is the ‘S,’ not an ‘S’ at all, but actually a Kryptonite symbol of ‘hope,’ according to the Superman Homepage.

In 2003, DC Comics writer Mark Waid wrote Superman:Birthright, in which he explains how Superman adopted the symbol after learning it represented a ‘better tomorrow,’ when using the data tablet from Krypton to discover more about the history of his home planet.

Here’s Superman in Man of Steel explaining the symbol:

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A little extra for you – bizarrely, Superman wasn’t even his superhero name at this point – it was Lois Lane who bestowed this upon him after spotting the ‘S’ emblazoned across his chest and like the rest of us, assumed that was his name…

There are some discrepancies on how this came to be between the comic books and the film though, as in the 1978 film Superman: The Movie with Christopher Reeves, the ‘S’ was the logo for his Kryptonian family crest – the House of El.

This was then widely used, until Waid’s 2003 comic came along which cleared it up nicely.

So now you have a new little weapon to impress your friends with when they’re least expecting it. Consider your mind, well and truly blown.