Superman fan Kynan Dencio at the Canberra Centre skate park. Photo: Jay CronanHe is 75 years old and faces new challengers to his superhero supremacy almost every other month.

Even Superman’s nickname of ‘Man of Steel’ seems threatened by the popularity and roguish charm of Iron Man.

Despite this, Canberra Superman fan Kynan Dencio is looking forward to his hero’s return to the big screen this week in Man of Steel.

‘‘I really think Superman is timeless,’’ Mr Dencio said. ‘‘He was the first superhero and started the entire genre 75 years ago and he will always be one of the very best examples of what the superhero story can do and be. He represents the best in us. He’s choosing to be as infallible as he can possibly be.’’

A personal trainer, Mr Dencio has a collection of Superman statues, figurines and around 1000 comics, admitting he doesn’t fit the expected image for a fan.

‘‘Most people would look at me as a person interested in fitness, and think really, you’re a Superman fan?’’ he said.

‘‘It’s not just knowing everything about the statistics, just the moral questions that help you reflect on your own life, and what kind of person it is you want to be.’’

And while cinemas and home theatres are where the battle for mainstream superhero popularity is waged these days, the comic book store is still the place to find true fans.

The sharing of Superman between friends and family is just one reason why Dee’s Books & Comics co-owner Dee Langdown believes Clark Kent’s alter-ego has endured as a pop culture pin-up.

‘‘I’ve sold statues and figures of Superman mostly to people over 20, they have been parents coming in looking for figurines for their children,’’ Mrs Langdown said.

In cinemas from June 27, Man of Steel is expected to reignite Superman’s fan base.

‘‘There was a comic that came out last week, Superman Unchained, we only ordered it in on Friday and it has been the biggest seller so far, we ordered heavily anticipating it would do well with the movie coming out,’’ Mrs Langdown said.

Impact Comics co-owner Kameron Noack believed the battle for a ‘‘bigger and better’’ superhero movie is intensifying.

So, of the other men in tights, who is Superman’s toughest competition? According to Mr Noack, it’s Batman.

‘‘The most popular character tends to be the Batman, with six to seven titles on my shelf compared to Superman’s two to three,’’ he said.

Mr Dencio was confident the new-look Superman would do the character’s rich heritage justice.

‘‘It seems like they’ve made a concerted effort to look for the most enduring aspects of what makes the character so popular,’’ Mr Dencio said.

‘‘There’s darkness in Superman’s world that people will be entertained by if they’re interested in Batman.’’

Are you a die-hard superman fan? Reckon you can give Kynan Dencio and his comic books a run for their money? Tell us why – leave a comment below.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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