Trivia

Hard

Which Of Superman’s Powers Was Created At The Behest Of Animators?

Strength
Invulnerability
Flight
X-Ray Vision
The title image from the 1941 animated short Superman.
Paramount Pictures/ViacomCBS Inc.

Answer: Flight

When people think of Superman, what’s one of the first things they think of? His superhuman strength? His near invulnerability to damage? Flight? While the strength and the stop-a-train-with-his-face powers have been there since the beginning, Superman didn’t fly in the original comics.

In fact, the catch phrase “able to leap tall buildings in a single bound” hearkens to the era when that was the extent of Superman’s aerial powers—using his incredible strength to launch himself, grasshopper-like, over buildings and obstacles.

In the early 1940s, however, Superman gained the ability to fly—and for an incredibly mundane and practical reason. It wasn’t to propel a story arc forward or to forever enshrine a superpower into the fabric of the superhero genre, but at the request of animators, specifically, the Fleischer brothers. The duo behind Fleischer Studios were responsible for creating incredibly detailed and high quality Superman animations in the 1940s, and their animation shorts would set the bar for cartoons for decades.

They requested the addition to Superman’s powers not for some great artistic vision, but simply because when his bounding over buildings was animated, it proved to be both incredibly time consuming and incredibly silly looking. Rather than resign themselves to drawing Superman looking like a flea bouncing around, they asked that he be given the power of flight so that they could animate him blasting through the sky, faster than a speeding bullet—and, with that, perhaps the greatest superhero power of all time was canonized.

Trivia

Hard

If You’re Eating Potato Chips There’s A Good Chance The Potato Was Grown In?

Trivia

Easy

The Groove In Your Upper Lip Is Called A?

Trivia

Hard

What Common First Aid Technique Wasn’t Invented Until The 1960s?

Trivia

Very Hard

In Which Game Did The Famed “Konami Code” Cheat First Appear?

Trivia

Hard

What Was The World’s First Handheld Electronic Game?

Trivia

Hard

The Ewok Language In Star Wars Is Based On Which Human Languages?

Trivia

Hard

In British Culture, An “Agony Aunt” Dispenses?

Trivia

Easy

Which Of These Fads Swept The World In 1959?

Trivia

Hard

Walt Disney’s Final Act Before Death Was To Write Down The Name Of Which Actor?

Trivia

Very Hard

Which Of These Commonly Used Internet Terms Was First Used In A Similar Context Back In The 17th Century?