by Jeff Strite

This content is part of a series.

Visitor from a Small Planet (1 of 3)
Series: The Superman
Jeff Strite
Judges 13:1-13:25

OPEN: (We played the opening to the original Superman series, as well as displaying a picture of George Reeves - which stayed on the overhead thru the first illustration)

''Faster than a locomotive. More powerful than a speeding bullet. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Look! Up in the air! It's a bird. It's a plane. It's Superman.

Superman. Visitor from a strange planet endowed with powers and abilities beyond those of mortal men. Superman. Who, disguised as Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter for the Daily Planet, wages a never ending battle for Truth, Justice, and the American Way.''

George Reeves was one of original actors who portrayed Superman on TV. But his fame was not without certain risks. Every time he donned his superman suit in public there were people who would kick him in the shins, hit him in his back with their fists, and otherwise assault him. His young admirers didn't mean any harm really they were just eager to prove how strong the ''Man of Steel'' really was. This was their idol.

One afternoon in Detroit in 1953, Reeves' costume nearly cost him his life. He was making an appearance at a department store when a young fan pulled out his father's loaded .45 caliber Army Colt and pointed it directly at Reeves' chest. Miraculously, Reeves talked the kid into putting it down. He assured the boy that Superman could stand the force of the shot, but ''when bullets bounce off my chest, they might hurt you and others around here.''

APPLY: That seems crazy doesn't it? To think, that just the appearance of George Reeves in his Superman costume would elicit such a response from people. But, there was something about that suit that set George Reeves apart.

If he'd walked into that Department store simply wearing a business suit, or a Hawaiian shirt, he might have been mobbed by his fans but I doubt they would have hit him - or pointed a ...

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