Superman Tattoos: History, Meaning, and Designs

Superman Tattoos: History, Meaning, and Designs

Superman is a popular superhero who embodies strength, honor, and bravery. As such, it’s no wonder that tattoos of this famous character reflect the good traits of heroism and doing what’s right.

Superman tattoos can symbolize heroism and the commitment to doing good, no matter what. Superman’s personality is also symbolized as being brave, respectful, durable, and strong.

There are a lot of meanings behind Superman tattoos, and many of them have different connotations depending on the context. The rest of this article will walk you through the history, meaning, and design of Superman tattoos to help you decide which one you should get.

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What Is the History of Superman Tattoos?

Superman is a superhero published by DC Comics since 1938. His true name is Kal-El from the House of El, and he came from the destroyed planet Krypton to Earth, where he was raised by his human foster parents, Martha and Jonathan Kent.

Maintaining the secret identity of reporter Clark Kent at the Daily Planet, Superman is one of the most well-known superheroes of all time.

This encapsulating hero has been tattooed on the skin for almost a century as a representation of the hero who overcame so many difficulties to become the protector of Earth. When the first Superman comics rolled in, people were hooked, wanting to immortalize the protector of Earth on their skin.

Since that time, Superman tattoos have become a popular symbol of the famous superhero, especially given that the character of Superman has migrated to other forms of media, being popularized in a series of DC movies and TV shows.

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What Do Superman Tattoos Symbolize?

Superman tattoos can symbolize many things, but for many people, the tattoos are a representation of the values that Superman espouses. Some popular symbols of Superman tattoos are the following:

  • Power
  • Dignity
  • Honor
  • Respect
  • Bravery
  • Uprightness
  • Endurance
  • Justice

Many symbols behind Superman tattoos will show his logo, a large red S engraved in a diamond-shaped border with an inscribed yellow background. This symbol, long understood to symbolize S for Superman, went through numerous changes before settling on its recognizable form today.

Originally, the S on the logo was believed to simply be the first letter of Superman’s title, but comic books would eventually reveal that the shape is the crest of the House of El and symbolizes hope.

This symbol is worn by Supergirl and other members of the House of El, too. The similarity between the letter on the crest and the S in Superman is purely coincidental.

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What Do Superman Tattoos Mean?

Of course, Superman tattoos can have a whole range of meaning beyond the values that the House of El stands for.

The symbol of superman only on a tattoo usually means that the person is agreeing with the values of Superman’s character: the concepts of justice, fairness, and upstanding moral character.

Known for his honesty and willingness to fight for justice, Superman tattoos reflect a commitment to make the world a better place. Superman tattoos can also quite simply demonstrate an interest in the character.

People who think Superman is a compelling superhero will be inclined to show the world their attachment to the character by getting a tattoo of Superman, perhaps in an action pose soaring in the sky. Superman tattoos can also mean that a person sees themselves as their own super person, too.

Perhaps they’re training for an athletic event and have the tattoo to represent their Superman-like strength. Or, they’re expressing a commitment to be a superhero to their loved ones.

Parents might get this tattoo as a way of saying that they’re a ‘Super Dad’ or ‘Super Mom.’

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Characteristics and Styles of Superman Tattoos

Oftentimes, you’ll find Superman tattoos drawn in the modern style of depicting superman, with bulging muscles and a flowing red cape. These reflect the current design of the character and are what most people are familiar with.

It’s also not uncommon to just see the S symbol in Superman tattoos, which reflect both interest in the character and the message of hope the symbol stands for. In either case, you’ll typically find these done in a more whimsical animated style with bright, bold colors, although more sinister depictions of Superman and the villains he faces regularly are also common.

For DC fans, you’ll often find Superman paired with other superheroes like Batman, The Flash, and Wonder Woman, members of the Justice League and defenders of Earth from supernatural threats. Often, this style reflects the person’s interests in comic book or superhero-themed media, as well as an interest in the characters behind the Justice League.

One particularly neat style of Superman tattoos that you’ll find is a design where it looks like the skin itself is being ‘ripped’ or ‘torn’ to reveal the blue Superman costume within. This is, of course, a reference to the original comics, in which mild mannered Clark Kent reveals the superhero within, flashing the Kryptonian symbol of hope.

These usually are stylized to represent that the person has tremendous inner strength and will fight for the causes they believe in.

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Where Do Superman Tattoos Usually Go?

Superman tattoos are usually oriented vertically so that it can be drawn with Superman putting a fist forward to create the illusion of flight. As such, you’ll often find these tattoos on the forearm, leg, or upper back.

The shoulder also provides a great place to put the Superman symbol and accompanying design elements to create a beautiful and highly visible tattoo.

An upper back tattoo is usually accompanied by other stylized elements like wrapped text, flowers, or wings to symbolize inner strength, hope, and determination.

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Final Thoughts

Superman tattoos have been around ever since the character was introduced in the 1930s, and people love the idea of a hero who will do anything to defend Earth, even at his own peril. His staunch determination, strength, and resolve are inspiring enough to people to place the House of El crest symbolizing hope on their skin.

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