Watching the teaser-trailer for the upcoming movie, Superman Returns, you gets the sense you've heard this story even before comics were invented...
Superman's father is heard speaking to his son:
"Even though you've been raised as a human being, you're not one of them.
They can be a great people, Kal-El; they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way.
For this reason above all—their capacity for good—I have sent them you, my Only Son."