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The hour is upon us. The Man of Steel is about to be released and fans the world over are chomping at the bit to get their hands on tickets to the Superhero movie event of 2013.

Starring Henry Cavill in the role of Clark Kent/Superman, the blockbuster focuses on the trials of the young journalist as he is forced to embrace his alien heritage when the planet and people he loves are threatened by a dark invading force from his home world. Anticipation has been high ever since the film was announced, especially with the involvement of Zack Snyder, Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer all of whom are more than adept at transforming iconic comic books into kick ass movie franchises.

The film also stars Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Antje Traue, Ayelet Zurer, Christopher Meloni, and Russell Crowe.

But before you rush out to see the film why not do a little homework before hand? We don’t mean any of that boring stuff you used to do at school. No, what we mean is why not read a few essential Superman stories so that you know your Kryptonite from your Krypto the Superdog before impressing your friends in the queue for tickets.

Presented for your reading please is What Culture’s list of the 5 essential graphic novels you must read first.

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This article was first posted on June 12, 2013