I know that there is a common meme/logic that Superman possesses some/many "Jew-like" characteristics, in part because his creators were Jewish.

But that could be either intentional or unintentional.

Is there any confirmation from Superman writers that the Jewish-likeness was intentional?

  • I have always noted that the suffix -el, as in Kalel and Jorel is the same anglicized suffix that means "of god" in Hebrew names, for example, Nathaniel. May 1, 2012 at 17:59
  • This makes a very silly Saturday Night Live sketch from the late 1970s particularly ironic. It portrayed an alternate history in which Superman grew up in Nazi Germany and helped the Nazis win World War II. At one point he used his X-ray vision on a man standing next to him and said, "This man is a Jew!". May 1, 2012 at 20:06
  • The rhetorical shortcut so many make is that Siegel and Shuster were Jewish (by heritage not practice or belief), therefore Superman was Jewish. For some reason this argument resonates with people when it would be dissonant with countless other creator-character pairs: Batman, John Stewart, Miles Morales, Hawkman, Spider-Man, etc. Few would argue that these characters are Jewish because their creators were like people readily do with Superman. Feb 25, 2020 at 19:24

3 Answers 3


Found it in my email archives (sorry, don't know where it was published, but it came from someone unlikely to pass along garbage).

The quote is from Elliot S! Maggin:

Elliot S! Maggin (born 1950), is an American writer of comic books, film, television and novels. He was a main writer for DC Comics during the Bronze and early Modern ages of comics in the 1970s and 1980s. He is particularly associated with the character of Superman.

The quote was:

While they are not direct descendents of the Judeans of the Middle East from whom the term "Jewish" comes, I always ascribed effectively Jewish doctrine and ritual to the Kryptonian tradition. In fact, the Kryptonian tradition is congruent with and certainly predates the Judean, so they have at least as much claim to the tradition as any of us.

I remember reading a direct quote from one of the main DC writers who wrote Superman that he viewed Superman as being Jewish-like because the whole Kryptonian religion was very close to Judaism.

I'll try to find the actual quote as proof.


Superman's creators, Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, were Jewish. And there are a lot of parallels between Superman and the Jewish folklore of the Golem, a defender of the persecuted innocent. Here's one article with some discussion along those lines. There's a long section here that talks about it more, and also points out that "Kal-El" is similar to the Hebrew words for "All that is God", and the similarities between babies Kal-El and Moses.

I don't think Superman was "meant" to be Jewish, but you can't deny that there's a lot of symbolism.

  • -el means "of god" in anglicized Hebrew names, like my own. May 1, 2012 at 18:00
  • 2
    Sorry, but in the question I explicitly asked about info from "horse's mouth", not random speculation or analysis, no matter how good or insightful
    – Silver Fox
    May 1, 2012 at 22:28
  • You're right, you did. My mistake.
    – Plutor
    May 2, 2012 at 12:20

Superman is far more likely a Methodist or another breed of Protestant Christian

This article goes a long a way to make the case that Superman is a Methodist, or at least some form of Protestant.

The article is a mess in terms of organization and readability but it does a great job citing comic examples of Superman's religious interactions. Some quick hits:

Action Comics #850 (August 2007), for example, identifies Methodism by name as the denomination that Clark Kent and his mother attended.


As shown in a number of published comics, including Superman: A Man For All Seasons, the adult Clark Kent continued to visit and consult with the minister at his family church, even after he had begun his career as Superman.


With the publication of Action Comics #850 in June 2007, the Methodist denominational affiliation of the Kent family was explicitly and overtly established, if it had not already been so.

Since the currently accepted answer cites Elliot S! Maggin, here's an undeniable quote from a Fanzing interview published in 1998:

I give all my characters religions. I think I always have. It's part of the backstory. It's part of the process of getting to know a character well enough to write about him or her. Jimmy Olson is Lutheran. Lois is Catholic. Perry is Baptist. Luthor is Jewish (though non-observant, thank heaven). Bruce and Batman are both Episcopalian and I said so in the text though it was edited out erroneously. Clark - like the Kents - is Methodist.

It's worth noting that over the years, Superman has sought advice from clergy of all sorts of different Christian denominations and has made several references to the Kryptonian religion, Raoism, which seems to me to draw inspiration from monotheistic Judeo-Christian religions and Ancient Egyptian religion. "Great Rao!"

A few comic panels of Supes interacting with religion (note how all of them are Christian in nature):

Clark talks to pastor

Pa Kent offers prayer

Clark and Lois were married in a Christian church by a Christian minister: lois and clark wedding

All of that to say there's no indication Superman was ever meant to be Jewish.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.