In The Parting of the Sea: How Volcanoes, Earthquakes, and Plagues Shaped the Exodus Story, geologist Barbara J. Sivertsen seeks to establish a link between the eruption of Santorini (c. 1600 BC) and the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt in the Bible.
A 2006 documentary film by Simcha Jacobovici, The Exodus Decoded, postulates that the eruption of the Santorini Island volcano (referred to as c. 1500 BC) caused all the biblical plagues described against Egypt. The documentary presents this date as corresponding to the time of the Biblical Moses. The film asserts that the Hyksos were the Israelites and that some of them may have originally been from Mycenae. The film also suggests that these original Mycenaean Israelites fled Egypt (which they had in fact ruled for some time) after the eruption, and went back to Mycenae. The Pharaoh of the Exodus is identified with Ahmose I. Rather than crossing the Red Sea, Jacobovici argues a marshy area in northern Egypt known as the Reed Sea would have been alternately drained and flooded by tsunamis caused by the caldera collapse, and could have been crossed during the Exodus.
Jacobovici's assertions in The Exodus Decoded have been extensively criticized by religious and other scholars. In a 2013 book on this connection, Thera and the Exodus, a dissident from the consensus Riaan Booysen, tries to support Jacobovici's theory and claims the pharaoh of the Exodus to be Amenhotep III and the biblical Moses as Crown Prince Thutmose, Amenhoteps first-born son and heir to his throne.
The 1956 Amorgos earthquake resulted in the demolishing of many buildings in the north of Santorini, leading to the desertion of many of its villages. The expansion of tourism has resulted in the growth of the economy and population. The major settlements include Fira (Phira), Oia, Emporio, Kamari, Perissa, Imerovigli, Pyrgos, and Therasia. Akrotiri is a major archaeological site, with ruins from the Minoan era. Santorini's primary industry is tourism, particularly in the summer months. In 2007, the cruise ship MS Sea Diamond ran aground and sank inside the caldera. The island's pumice quarries have been closed since 1986, in order to preserve the caldera. Santorini was ranked the world's top island for many magazines and travel sites, including the Travel+Leisure Magazine, the BBC, as well as the US News.
Initially, Siegel was allowed to write Superman more or less as he saw fit, because nobody had anticipated the success and rapid expansion of the franchise. But soon Siegel and Shuster's work was put under careful oversight for fear of trouble with censors. Siegel was forced to tone down the violence and social crusading that characterized his early stories. Editor Whitney Ellsworth, hired in 1940, dictated that Superman not kill. Sexuality was banned, and colorfully outlandish villains such as Ultra-Humanite and Toyman were thought to be less nightmarish for young readers.
Mort Weisinger was the editor on Superman comics from 1941 to 1970, his tenure briefly interrupted by military service. Siegel and his fellow writers had developed the character with little thought of building a coherent mythology, but as the number of Superman titles and the pool of writers grew, Weisinger demanded a more disciplined approach. Weisinger assigned story ideas, and the logic of Superman's powers, his origin, the locales, and his relationships with his growing cast of supporting characters were carefully planned. Elements such as Bizarro, Supergirl, the Phantom Zone, alternate varieties of kryptonite, robot doppelgangers, and Krypto were introduced. The complicated universe built under Weisinger was beguiling to devoted readers, but alienating to casuals. Weisinger favored lighthearted stories over serious drama, and avoided sensitive subjects such as the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement, because he feared his right-wing views would alienate his writing staff and readers. Weisinger also introduced letters columns in 1958 to encourage feedback and build intimacy with readers. Superman was the best-selling comic book character of the 1960s.
Weisinger retired in 1970 and Julius Schwartz took over. By his own admission, Weisinger had grown out of touch with newer readers. Schwartz updated Superman by removing overused plot elements such as kryptonite and robot doppelgangers and making Clark Kent a television anchor. Schwartz also scaled Superman's powers down to a level closer to Siegel's original. These changes would eventually be reversed by later writers. Schwartz allowed stories with serious drama, as in "For the Man Who Has Everything" (Superman Annual #11), in which the villain Mongul torments Superman with an illusion of happy family life on a living Krypton.
Schwartz retired from DC Comics in 1986, and was succeeded by Mike Carlin as editor on Superman comics His retirement coincided with DC Comics' decision to streamline the shared continuity called the DC Universe with the companywide-crossover storyline "Crisis on Infinite Earths". Writer John Byrne rewrote the Superman mythos, again reducing Superman's powers, which writers had slowly re-strengthened, and revised many supporting characters, such as making Lex Luthor a billionaire industrialist rather than a mad scientist, and making Supergirl an artificial shapeshifting organism, because DC wanted Superman to be the sole surviving Kryptonian.
Carlin was promoted to Executive Editor for the DC Universe books in 1996, a position he held until 2002. K.C. Carlson took his place as editor of the Superman comics.
The 1940s radio serial was produced by Robert Maxwell and Allen Ducovny, who were employees of Superman, Inc. and Detective Comics, respectively. Robert Maxwell was later hired to produce the TV show starring George Reeves. DC Comics (then known as National Comics Publications) felt that the first season was too violent for what they expected to be a children's show, so they removed Maxwell and replaced him with Whitney Ellsworth, a veteran writer and editor at National Comics. DC Comics had approval rights over all creative aspects of the Superboy TV series (19881992), from scripts to casting to shooting revisions.
The first three movies starring Christopher Reeve were produced by Alexander and Ilya Salkind. When Warner Bros sold the movie rights to Superman to the Salkinds in 1974, it demanded control over the budget and the casting, but left everything else to the producers' discretion. These movies influenced future stories, with the Salkinds insisting Clark Kent be a newspaper journalist, in order to appeal to older fans. Kent left his TV anchor job and returned to the Daily Planet. Innovations such as John Barry's crystalline set designs for Krypton and the Fortress of Solitude, Superman's chest emblem being his family crest, and screenwriter Mario Puzo's messianic themes were also adopted by the comics' writers.