Show the image to anyone from the ages of 8 to 80 and there's a good chance they'll know exactly who it belongs to. Man of Steel, which finally opens in cinemas on June 14, has even shunned the word 'Superman' from its title and relied on the power of the emblem for its marketing campaign.
With Superman (played by Brit actor Henry Cavill) about to make his triumphant comeback, Digital Spy takes a look back at the evolution of the 'S' through comics, TV, movies and cartoons...
1. Action Comics #1 debuted in 1938 with a red, blue and yellow symbol that resembled a police badge, drawing a clear parallel to the notion of Superman as crime-fighter.
2. The 1940s Fleischer Studios animated series turned the 'S' into a diamond for the first time. The black background was an addition that has rarely been used since.
3. Kirk Alyn and George Reeves's small-screen shield represented the next big leap in terms of iconography. The red and yellow diamond would form the basis of the emblem that film, TV and comic incarnations would keep circling back to.
4. For the 1978 blockbuster, Christopher Reeve's emblem sat large across his chest and is perhaps its definitive rendering. This was also one of the first times the family crest was of Kryptonian origin, as it represented the House of El.
5. For the '80s comic book restart, John Byrne re-told the Superman origin story and leaned heavily on the Reeve incarnation for his 'S'. However, this time out the shield was designed by Clark and Jonathan Kent.
6. In the late '90s, DC Comics starved Superman of solar energy and split him in two. Superman Red was brash and decisive, while Superman Blue was a more thoughtful hero who had to wear a containment suit for his increasing electro powers.
7. This alternate DC universe story saw an older Superman in mournful mood after the death of Lois Lane at the hands of the Joker. The black background for the symbol was reflective of the darker tone for Mark Waid and Alex Ross's storyline.
8. After 19 years away from the silver screen, Bryan Singer's Superman Returns took a classic approach to the costume with Brandon Routh's slightly modified shield design shrinking down on his chest.
9. Henry Cavill's superhero suit is Kryptonian armour, with the emblem - which means 'hope' - again derived from the family crest. The yellow and red is muted, but there's no question this is still instantly recognisable as Superman.
10. 2013 is the 75th anniversary of Superman, and to celebrate the occasion DC Comics last month debuted the above blue and white image of a brand new S.
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Man of Steel opens in cinemas worldwide on June 14. Watch the trailer below: