Today is the official celebration of Superman‘s 78th birthday, which means that he can only really mark the occasion in a leap year!
DC Comics has actually jumped the gun by almost a month-and-a-half. Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster’s Superman made his first appearance in Action Comics #1, which was published on April 18, 1938. That will be the real date of Superman’s 78th anniversary, and writer Max Landis has recently incorporated it as Clark Kent’s birthday in his Superman: American Alien miniseries. Mark Waid’s previous Superman origin story, Superman: Birthright, put his birthdate on December 1.
So where did the whole February 29th birthday come from? DC lore has it that legendary comics editor Julius “Julie” Schwartz came up with the idea of making Superman’s birthday fall on a day that only came once every four years as a way to justify the fact that Superman never aged.
Over time, February 29 became the accepted date for Superman’s birthday within DC’s comic book universe, including Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ famous story, “For The Man Who Has Everything.” DC also embraced that date for Superman’s 50th anniversary celebration in 1988.
As far as DC is concerned, this is the Man of Steel’s big day. But we’re gonna stick with April 18, because Action Comics #1 was more than just the debut of Superman; it was the beginning of nearly every superhero comic that came after it as well. And that’s something truly worth celebrating.
Which date do you think Superman’s birthday should fall on? Let us know in the comment section below!
Image Credit: DC Comics
Why doesn’t anyone recognize Superman?