Today we continue our look at all the parts of the Superman franchise that originated outside of comics with a study of appearances and other things:
Lex Luthor's baldness
Middle: Luthor's first appearance in the Superman daily strip ("Pawns of the Master", October 1940), due to an artist error
Right: How Luthor has looked ever since (starting with Superman #10 in May 1941)
The Daily Planet
Jor-El's and Lara's names
Lara first appeared as "Lora" in the Superman comic strip ("Superman Comes to Earth", January 1939). She was first called "Lara" in the Superman radio show ("The Baby from Krypton", February 1940), which was also the name used in Lowther's The Adventures of Superman, and she was brought into comics with that name in More Fun Comics #101 (November 1944).
George Taylor's name
The Phantom Zone
Right: The effect of the Phantom Zone Arrow in Teen Titans #32 (March 2006).
Fortress of Solitude
Top Right: How it appeared in Superman: The Movie (1978)
Bottom: The Fortress of Solitude in comics, beginning in Superman #653 (August 2006).
When Superman first appeared, he was super-strong, bulletproof, had super-hearing, and could jump an eighth of a mile. In the Superman animated shorts by Fleischer studios, he was given the ability to fly because it looked less goofy than having Superman jump everywhere. Technically, he flew from the very first short ("Superman", September 1941), but in the first couple of shorts (the second one, especially), he travels in arcs that make it look like he's jumping, and you can see just how silly it appears. Regardless, flight made the jump to comics in Action Comics #65 (September 1943).
"Look, up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Superman!"
This phrase first appeared in the introduction to the Superman radio show (1940). When it first appeared, however, the word "look" came after "up in the sky" (the order was changed after only two weeks).
"A strange visitor from a distant planet"
This phrase first appeared in the introduction to the first episode of the Superman radio show ("The Baby From Krypton", 1940).
Sidenote: This phrase is popular enough that it got an actual character named after it, "Strange Visitor" (first appearance: October 1999), who wore Superman's electric suit after he got rid of it.
"This looks like a job...for Superman."
"Up, up, and away!"
First appeared in the Superman radio show (1940).
"Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound"
This phrase first appeared in the revised introduction to the Superman radio show (1940).
Superman's changing in a phone booth
"A mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper"
This phrase was first used in 1941, though I can't tell if the Superman radio show or animated shorts used it first.
"A never-ending battle for truth and justice"
"Truth, Justice, and the American Way"
Superman's costume reveal
Kryptonite first appeared in the The Adventures of Superman radio show ("The Meteor from Krypton", June 1943) as a way to give Superman actor Bud Collyer some time off. Although a similar substance first appeared in the unpublished 1940 story "The K-Metal From Krypton" by Jerry Siegel, Kryptonite proper was introduced in Superman #61 (December 1949).
In Superman: The Movie (1978), Smallville was said to be located in Kansas. In the comics at the time, Smallville's location was as variable as any other DC Comics city, but it was generally located on the eastern seaboard near Metropolis. For instance, in New Adventures of Superboy #22 (October 1981), Smallville was said to be located in Maryland, and in Legion of Super-Heroes #313 (July 1984), it was thought to be located in either Pennsylvania or New Jersey. It wasn't until Superman #82 (October 1993) that it was first placed in Kansas in the comics.
The Superman Shield as El Family Crest