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The iconic Superman “S” is a very recognizable symbol in American culture. While it was common knowledge that cartoonist Joe Shuster first sketched Superman in the years before the United States’ entrance into World War II, a new finding suggests Superman’s roots are not just as a comic book superhero.
A sketch was recently released by the Ontario Jewish Archives that sheds new light on the origin of Superman. The sketch is an early depiction, however, instead of the well-known “S” on his chest, Superman is sporting a “BSR” logo. Some believe that rather than a superhero, Superman may have started as a mascot for the now Beta Sigma Rho chapter at the University of Toronto.
Although Joe Shuster was not a BSR at the University of Toronto, his cousin was. It is believed that during one of his many visits to his cousin’s fraternity house, Shuster may have drawn up Superman as a mascot for the chapter. Adding to the evidence, the sketch was found in a Beta Sigma Rho scrapbook.
While in the grand scheme of things, I couldn’t care less that Superman has his roots in Greek life, there is a reason I’m happy for this discovery. Superman was really the genesis for popular comic books. All future superheroes were modeled off him to some extent. Thus, anytime some nerd is talking shit about how “lame” fraternities are (ha, nerds), you can let him know that if it wasn’t for fraternities, the only hobby he’d have would be fantasizing about our women.
[via The Jewish Daily Forward]