Henry Cavill is that latest actor to wear the iconic Superman "S" on his chest. The British actor will don the cape, and violate all kinds of laws of physics, in the new Warner Brothers release "Man of Steel." He's next in a line of acting Supermen that stretches back into the late 1940s. Let's take a look back at Superman, and his friends and enemies, through the years.
First to fly in the cape was Kirk Alyn, who starred in the 1948 film "Superman" and a 1950 sequel called "Atom Man vs. Superman."
Actor George Reeves WAS Superman for many viewers during the golden age of television. He played the man of steel in the 1950s TV series "Adventures of Superman."
Though he wasn't on the big screen, Bob Holiday was technically next in line as Superman, starring on Broadway in the 1965 musical "It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Superman!"
Christopher Reeve, at just 24 years of age, set the modern benchmark for Supermen with his performance in the 1978 film "Superman." He would play the role three more times, in "Superman II," "Superman III" and "Superman IV: The Quest for Peace."
The Superman saga hopped back to the small screen in the 1990s, when Dean Cain starred in "Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman."
The 2000s TV series "Smallville" took a different take on the Superman story by focusing on a teenage Clark Kent grappling with his powers and, well, with being a teenager. Tom Welling played young Clark.
It was back to the big screen in 2006 for "Superman Returns," starring Brandon Routh, shown here going full Clark Kent between takes.
What's a superhero without a good villain? Legendary actor Gene Hackman, far right, provided audiences with a superior experience in villainy when he played Lex Luthor in the 1978 "Superman" alongside Christopher Reeve.
Accomplished actor Kevin Spacey did an evil turn of his own as Lex Luthor in 2006's "Superman Returns."
Of course, it's in the superhero bylaws that there has to be a love interest, and that's where Lois Lane comes in. The feisty Daily Planet reporter has been played by a number of women over the years, including Margot Kidder, who was Lois to Christopher Reeve's Clark in 1978's "Superman."
Another well known Lois Lane was future Desperate Housewife Teri Hatcher, who played the role in the TV series "Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman."
Gene Hackman wasn't the only established acting heavyweight to join in the fun of the 1978 film "Superman." None other than Marlon Brando -- the Godfather of fathers! -- played Superman's father Jor-El.
Kevin Costner, fresh from bagging award hardware for his portrayal of "Devil" Anse Hatfield in the hit TV miniseries "Hatfields & McCoys," is the latest actor to play Superman's father -- his adoptive, Earthbound father, Jonathan Kent, that is -- in this summer's "Man of Steel."