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Superman’s 75th puts spotlight on Cleveland roots



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Gray has heard the talk about Glenville being tough, but said crime that might merit Superman’s attention can be found anywhere. "The neighborhood is not really bad, it’s just the people are poor. That’s all," she said.

Shuster’s home has been demolished and replaced by another, but the fence has oversized Superman comic book pages displayed. The nearby commercial strip has a state historic marker detailing Superman’s Cleveland roots.

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But there isn’t an outsized Superman profile in Cleveland like the way the city celebrates its role in music history with the iconic Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

Comic store owner Markus Benn thinks hometown fans want to see the Man of Steel rendered in granite.

"I don’t understand why Cleveland won’t own up to owning Superman," he said. "What do I suggest for a Superman statue? He should be downtown, he should have the shield or the eagle, that classic pose where he’s standing up there with the eagle on his arm."

The low Superman profile in Cleveland may be because Siegel and Shuster weren’t self-promoters and sold their rights to Superman so early, according to Mike Olszewski, a longtime Cleveland broadcaster and president of the nonprofit Siegel & Shuster Society.

Last year the $412 check that DC Comics wrote in 1938 to acquire Superman and other creative works by Shuster and Siegel sold for $160,000 in an online auction.

"Funky Winkerbean" creator Tom Batiuk shares roots in the Cleveland area with Superman and that inspired him.

"When I was in elementary school, I found an entry in a school encyclopedia about Jerry Siegel," Batiuk said in an email to The Associated Press.

"The fact that he was the one of the creators of Superman immediately caught my attention, but what was even more astounding to me was the fact that he was from Cleveland. The fact that someone from my area could do something like that was revelatory and inspirational."


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