A classic Superman costume, worn by actor George Reeves in the 1950s TV series Adventures of Superman, is currently up for auction.
Here’s what you need to know about this rare collectible.
The Auction Details
Heritage Auctions, a well-known seller of rare comic-related art and collector’s items, is selling the Superman “Tunic and Padded Muscle Torso” as part of its “Comisar Collection.”
The collection includes other famous TV outfits, such as Adam West and Burt Ward’s Dynamic Duo outfits from Batman and William Shatner’s yellow captain’s tunic from Star Trek.
As of now, the Superman costume’s reserve price is set at $80,000.
The History of the Costume
The Superman costume was a two-piece set, made of slate blue knit wool and a long-sleeved bodysuit. It featured a yellow and red wool felt ‘S’ applique patch affixed to the chest.
According to the official product description, George Reeves was the first actor to portray Superman on the small screen, becoming a staple in American households in the 1950s.
The show aired between 1952 and 1958, and Reeves wore the costume throughout its run.
However, the costume did undergo some modifications during its time on the show. The Superman logo was removed and re-attached after the show aired, but it has since been restored.
Reeves also removed the “S” patches from the costume at the end of each season and sent them to sick children.
After Reeves’ sudden death in 1959, the costume was acquired by Western Costume Co., but without the chest logo.
It was reattached in 2006 and still has sweat stains and some holes from the wear and tear of being worn by Reeves.
The Legacy of George Reeves and Superman
George Reeves’ portrayal of Superman was iconic, and the Adventures of Superman TV show was the character’s first appearance on the small screen.
Prior to this, Superman had appeared in several radio shows and theatrical cartoons. Reeves’ role in the 1951 movie Superman and the Mole Men eventually became a pilot for the TV series.
The show ran for six seasons and switched from black-and-white to color in 1954. Reeves made a famous guest appearance as Superman on an episode of I Love Lucy in 1957.
After his death, there were few prominent portrayals of Superman onscreen until Christopher Reeve’s performance in the 1978 Superman movie.
Superman’s Future on the Big Screen
DC Studios is currently working on a new Superman movie called Superman: Legacy, to be written and directed by James Gunn.
This movie will feature a younger version of Kal-El, and production is expected to begin in 2024.
Henry Cavill played the role of Superman in Zack Snyder’s DC Extended Universe films, starting with 2013’s Man of Steel, but he will not be returning for this new movie. Instead, a new actor will be chosen to portray the Man of Steel in this upcoming movie.
The vintage Superman costume from the Adventures of Superman TV show is a rare and valuable collectible that will likely be of interest to many fans of the character and collectors of memorabilia.
Its history and connection to the iconic portrayal of Superman by George Reeves make it a truly unique piece of pop culture history.