Watch the First Superman Cartoon, from 1941


Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created Superman in 1932, and the character was hit as soon as he made his comic-book debut in 1938. It didn’t take long for the superhero’s adventures to expand into other media; a newspaper comic strip followed in 1939, while the next year brought The Adventures of Superman radio series. The Man of Steel made it to the big screen in 1941, in the first of 17 shorts that would screen through 1943. Open Culture alerts us that Warner Brothers has posted eight beautifully restored versions of these films for free viewing. Click through to watch the first short, titled simply “Superman” and nominated for an Academy Award for Best Short Subject: Cartoons, and visit WB’s YouTube page for the rest.