Probably few people are aware of the fact that the world famous superhero Superman was created by two artists of Jewish heritage, and his character was largely based on the biblical figure Moses.
The two Jewish artists Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster grew up in the same neighborhood in Cleveland in the 1930s. They became interested in cartoons and comics at an early age and later started working together.
In the 1930s people were becoming obsessed with comics. Unfortunately, it was also a very difficult time for everyone : the great depression was in full bloom and the biggest World War was about to break out, started by the Nazis, thus making the period the most anti-semitic time in the US and the world.
The two young Jewish artists continued working through these difficult times using a single pseudonym as a safety precaution. They worked under the name ‘Bernard J. Kenton’.
In the period 1934-1938, amidst those difficult times, one of America’s favorite super heroes – Superman – was “born” on the planet of Krypton. Just like Moses who was born in troubled biblical Egypt and was sent away as a baby by his mother in a desperate attempt to save him, so was Superman. Both the biblical and the cartoon heroes were raised in foster families, and later on in life proceeded to help rescue people.
These are just a few of the analogues between the two heroes made by the Jewish artistic duo.
As a twist, the young talented artists added another side to this superhero: the meeker Clark Kent, which they later on admitted to reflect their own personal identities and social issues.