This is an occupation fraught with problems and hazards. Not least of these is that a bad guy has a chunk of rock that can make you feel as if you drank the bottle and ate the worm.

Let’s start at the top. You’re an orphan, born on a planet named after a noble gas isolated by a couple of enterprising Brits in 1898, and you’ve been raised by a thoroughly respectable but dirt poor family who found you in the woods. The relative poverty will hamper you in your later battles to save mankind, since Lex Luthor has a huge cave full of hi-tech equipment, and you’ll have your underpants. Quite a handicap.

There are several things you can do that mere mortals cannot. You can fly. You can leap tall buildings at a single bound. Why not just run round, or just fly over? I’m sure a landing from flying will hurt your knees less than a pancake comedown from jumping over a skyscraper. X-ray vision might be handy if you’ve gone clothes shopping with Lois Lane and she’s in the changing rooms, but I doubt they’d put that idea in the comics or films.

On the subject of clothes, it must be tricky to dress like a mild mannered reporter when you’ve got thighs like the pistons on a steam locomotive. You need a very good tailor to conceal all that muscle bulk. The spectacles are a necessary evil, but wouldn’t fool a woman as sharp as Lois for even a second. Then there’s all that changing clothes in a phonebox. Phoneboxes are glass-walled. I’m pretty sure some sharp eyed though possibly wrecked punter would think ‘Hang on. Some bloke in a suit just went in there, surely? Now some guy in medieval tights just emerged, and he’s wearing a cloak? I need to lay off the acid.’

Then what does Clark do with his clothes? He can’t leave them in the phonebox, because some tramp would have them away while Superman is rescuing a helpless animal from a burning building. So it’s a quick trip to the offices of the Daily Planet f or a quick change routine into the spare set of civvies in the locker room. Even if you emerge undetected, Lois is going to sniff suspiciously and ask why you smell of scorched dog.

In the meantime you’re having to contend with being in love with Lois, yet having to deceive her. Jimmy Olsen is mooning about like a lovestruck calf, and you keep having to rescue him from an accident with a truck. All the while you’re having to stop speeding express trains from ramming the buffers while trying to keep the rate of deceleration down below a point that would reduce the passengers to a thin smear on the front walls of the passenger cars. Maybe just stick out a leg, trip up the train, let the passengers fend for themselves.

As if things aren’t already bad enough, you’ve got Perry White on your case all the time.