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The Superman logo (aka Superman shield) is the iconic emblem for the fictional superhero Superman. It is also informally referred to as the "S" shield. As a representation of the first superhero, it served as a template for character design decades after Superman's first appearance. The tradition of wearing a representative symbol on the chest was mimicked by many subsequent superheroes, including Batman, Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, Green Lantern, the Flash and many others.
 Evolution of the symbol
In its original inception in Action Comics #1, Superman's symbol was an S with red and blue on a yellow police badge symbol that resembled a shield. The symbol was first changed a few issues later in Action Comics #7. The shield varied over the first few years of the comics, and many times was nothing more than a triangle with an S inside of it. The symbol became an inverted yellow triangle with a red S on the inside.
The shield first became a pentagon in the Fleischer cartoon serial Superman. It was black with a red S outlined with white (although it was on occasion, outlined with yellow). The shield has changed over the years. The S has varied in size and shape and the pentagon containing it has also changed size and shape. Extreme examples of this would be the very large logo on the Dean Cain costume from the television series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and the comparatively small version of the shield as depicted in the 2006 film Superman Returns. It has, in most incarnations, retained its original color, while changing shape here and there. The classic logo is the basis for virtually all other interpretations of the logo.
In the mid-1990s, when Superman's costume and powers changed briefly, during the "Superman Red/Superman Blue" comic book storylines, the shield changed colors and slightly changed shape, in accordance with the changes in the costume. In the miniseries Kingdom Come, an aged Superman sported an S-like symbol against a black background in a red pentagon.
In the 2000s TV series Smallville, the S symbol originally appeared as a pentagon with an infinity symbol to be similar to the S, in an attempt to make it seem more alien. However, beginning with the Season Six opening episode "Zod," Clark is given a crystal bearing the S logo in the style of the Superman Returns logo and is seen several times throughout the series and specifically in the season finale when a beam shaped like the logo hits a Phantom Zone escapee.
Initially, the S-shield had one meaning: S for Superman. One of the first alternative meanings was presented in Superman: The Movie, in which it was not an S, but rather Superman's S-shaped family crest representing the House of El. After the Superman reboot story The Man of Steel, the symbol's story was that it was designed by Jonathan Kent and once again stood only for Superman. However, a later writer retconned the symbol's origin to be the Kryptonian symbol for "hope." In 2004, Mark Waid's Superman: Birthright limited series the infinity symbol version of the logo is used as the symbol for Krypton as a whole.
 The House of El
Marv Wolfman's novelization of the film Superman Returns depicts the symbol as belonging to one of the three primary houses of Krypton that brought peace to the planet after a civil uprising. The shield has since been taken as a family crest, resulting in Jor-El's continued presence in the council despite his "mad" findings. The other two are merely described, including an open hand.
During the Reign of the Supermen story arc, Each of the four different Supermen was represented by a variant of the symbol, which each wore on their person.
- The Last Son of Krypton (The Eradicator) wore a normal shield.
- The Man of Tomorrow (The Cyborg)'s shield was half-normal on the right side, but the red darkened to an almost black color on the left half.
- Superboy wore an all-yellow symbol stitched into the back of his leather jacket, in addition to a normal one on his chest.
- The Man of Steel wore an all-metallic symbol.
- Black and red
- The modern Superboy wears a black and red variant of the symbol on his third costume. Lex Luthor hypothesized it is because that version of the symbol was everywhere following the death of Superman and his consequent first appearance.
- In Kingdom Come, Superman wears a black and red, simplified version following his return.
- After the Imperiex War, Superman wore the black and red variant to signify his mourning of the losses during the war.
- Bizarro's symbol is a reversed purple and yellow version with no significant meaning.
- The inverted symbol, first seen in 52, means "resurrection" in Kryptonian.
- Jor-El sports a white symbol on his black clothing, as well as a black symbol on his white clothing in the 1978 Superman movie.
- In his modern appearances, Superman of Earth-2 wears a slightly different version of the symbol. Its most notable difference is an exaggerated serif on the 'S'.
- A variation of the symbol, designed as a stubbed red lightning bolt against a black shield has been used in several media, including an Elseworlds where Darkseid raised Kal-el, and was the basis of one of the final season of Superman: The Animated Series, and an episode of the same from an alternate reality where Superman and Luthor took over Metropolis.
- A further variation, this time a white symbol against a red background, was used in episodes of Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, including an over the shoulder style cape and black costume. This version was a fascistic Superman and his Justice Lords who assassinated President Lex Luthor and then enslaved the world after Luthor arranged the murder of The Flash.
- The symbol has been adapted to various flags in alternate realities, including the Nazi swastika and Soviet Union hammer and sickle (Superman: Red Son).
 Who wears the shield?
Kryptonian family members of Superman wear the symbol, but sometimes it is worn to honor Superman. After the death of Superman, many DC Comics superheroes wore a black armband with the Superman logo.
 Diamond and eight shield
In the television series Smallville a key that was used in the caves has an octagonal silver metallic key. Along the edges are imprinted Kryptonian characters, one of which is the diamond border of the Superman shield with a figure 8 inside of the diamond instead of the S. The 8-shield is later described as being from an ancient form of the Kryptonian language, while the modern symbol is the familiar S-shield.
- ^ Teen Titans Annual vol. 3 #1
 See also
 External links
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