As for Superman recommendations... (a whole lot of comic books):
Superman: The World of Krypton.
Superman: The World of Smallville.
Superman: The World of Metropolis.
Superman's origin in The Man of Steel is my favorite modern age version, and is very easily accessible for a new comic book reader (although not in continuity with the current nu52 DC comic book version appearing in the monthly titles, but neither is Birthright. The Man of Steel was the official origin for decades).
Amazing Heroes #96 (1986) explains a wealth of information about Superman, including an interview with John Byrne, Marv Wolfman and Andrew Helfer.
I recommend reading the original Superman run by creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in the Superman Chronicles volumes.