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The Superman Power That George Reeves Regrets Portraying

Even in the face of the increasing popularity of Batman, Wonder Woman, and more DC Comics standbys, there's no denying that Superman is still the undisputed face of the publisher. Since arriving on the pages of Action Comics #1, the Man of Steel has done it all, from working a daytime job at The Daily Planet to saving planet Earth on more than one occasion. As one would expect, film and television studios recognized the potential for adaptations of his heroism, leading to Superman's live-action debut in the late 1940s. Simply titled Superman, the 15-part serial starred the late Kirk Alyn in the title role.

Thanks in large part to the success of Superman, Alyn had another turn as the storied protagonist for 1950's Atom Man vs. Superman serial. However, following this production, the role was handed over to George Reeves (not to be confused with later Superman actor, Christopher Reeve) for the first-ever Superman-centric movie, Superman and the Mole Men from 1951. Thankfully for Reeves, he had a backlog of Superman comics to work off of in addition to Alyn's groundbreaking performance. He managed to include most of the Kryptonian's hallmark characteristics, while still making the incarnation his own. This opened the door for him to portray the DC poster boy on the Adventures of Superman television series from 1952 to 1958.

At the same time, there was one element of Superman's skill set that George Reeves ultimately came to regret portraying. Here's why.

Superman is bulletproof, George Reeves is not

Throughout The Adventures of Superman, the titular do-gooder was depicted as having all of his signature powers and more. Flight, X-ray vision, super strength, among others, transferred over from the comics, alongside new additions such as the ability to walk through walls, invisibility, and being able to split in two. George Reeves' Superman also integrated the longstanding bulletproof element of the character — a seemingly inconspicuous addition that went on to forever change the course of the actor's personal and professional lives.

As recalled by Cheat Sheet, George Reeves used to do public appearances in costume as a part of advertising campaigns. One in particular sponsored by Kellogg's saw a little boy approach him with a loaded gun, apparently curious about whether or not "Superman" was actually impervious to bullets. Understandably traumatized by the encounter, Reeves decided to hang up the cape for meet-and-greet events and realized that acting on TV as a man who could deflect live rounds off of his body was unwise and dangerous. He went on tour to rectify his mistake, teaching children that no one is bulletproof.

Nowadays, live-action and animated versions of Superman tout their durable nature against guns without a second thought. Look no further than the famous Superman Returns scene where a bullet speeds toward Brandon Routh's Kal-El only for it to crumple against his eye. Be that as it may, George Reeves certainly had the right idea — using his status to educate the youth on firearm safety by pulling back the curtain on their favorite television show.