"Superman, the creation of writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Schuster, was the first character to embody the definition of the superhero. Starting with Action Comics No. 1, June 1938, he established the principal conventions of the superhero genre, which the scholar Peter Coogan has identified as a heroic character with a prosocial mission, extraordinary powers or abilities, and a code name and costume that usually express his or her origin, powers, and character."
* Superheroes 2008 p25
"Superman's costume, made from the blankets in which he was swaddled on his journey from Krypton to Earth, became the standard upon which successive superheroes were styled. With its flowing cape and skintight unitard, inspired by sources as diverse as the costumes worn by circus acrobats and Douglas Fairbanks in his period pictures of the 1920s, it combined the male fantasies of an idealized classical nudity with a flamboyant, performative intemperance.
"Beyond its components, the iconicity of Superman's costume lies in its colors and 'S' emblem, both of which serve to abstract and amplify Superman's representation in comics as well as in film and television. The 'S' emblem inscribed on his chest and cape functions as a simplified statement of his identity. As the artist Chipp Kidd observed, 'The "S" on Superman's chest is the monogram made monolithic, the family crest as modern logo.'"