Whenever any given pop culture icon is repeatedly recast over time, it’s only natural for moviegoers to choose a favorite and passionately back them. In the case of Superman, I have a difficult time singling out an actor because each of them have brought something different to the role. Though Smallville is my favorite live action telling of the tale, I appreciate what guys like Christopher Reeve, Dean Cain, Henry Cavill and Tyler Hoechlin have brought to the table – and not just Tom Welling.
Another name to throw into the mix is that of Brandon Routh. Though he played the Man of Steel for only one picture, that being Superman Returns, odds are that he served as somebody’s first exposure to the character. And believe it or not, even he sometimes gets asked to weigh in on the topic being discussed here today.
While appearing at Motor City Comic Con this past weekend, one inquiring fan at the panel asked Routh which version of Superman is his favorite. And to sweeten the deal, he was allowed to choose from live action, animation and video games, so here’s how he responded:
“I’ve become more knowledgeable about Superman history as I became Superman. For me, growing up, Superman was always Chris Reeve. He is and will always be my Superman. When I think of Superman, I think of him.”
Though I’m sure tons of others would give a similar response when asked, let’s not forget Brandon had other media from which to choose. He soon followed that up with this:
“There’s something interesting about the old Max Fleischer initial version of him, sometimes before he was flying; the evolution of who Superman became and what he would start to be for people. It was a very interesting time when they were just trying this out. I suppose as America was understanding who it was and how big it could be – and how powerful people and humanity could be – Superman grew as they envisioned themselves. In a way, Superman, subconsciously, and his abilities expounded with it.”
For those unfamiliar, the Max Fleischer Superman shorts were of the animated variety and originally hit theaters back in 1941. In fact, they served as the first appearance of any DC Comics character on the silver screen – though Batman was the first to debut in live action in 1943 (Captain Marvel/Shazam wasn’t part of the brand at that time). If you’re interested, know that you can pick up these animated classics on a number of home video collections.