How Old Is Superman (Superman Age Revealed)


Working out the age of Superman is not as easy as you would imagine.

There have been several resets in the main storyline and there are also other timelines that tell a superman story, so exactly how old Superman is will depend very much on what period you are referring to and which timeline you are following.

If you just look at when the character Superman first appeared, that was around 80 years ago. So on the simplest measure, you could say that Superman is 80. However, that is just how old the character has been around and is not the age shown in the storyline. By taking the most popular storylines you would have to say that Superman is between 30 and 40 years old.

In this article, we will look into more detail.

The biggest problem was “The New 52.”

The New 52 was a revamping of the entire DC Universe where most of the primary characters were moved in time to try and put the different character stories in sync.

During this process, there were some major changes to the Superman story and the newer stories showed Superman to have lost a few years.

How Old Is Superman –⁠ What We know

Superman was born on Krypton, we do not know how long it took to travel to earth, so we will not count that time.

We will set Clarks’ birth at the time he was discovered by the Kent family.

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He spent his childhood in rural Kansas near Smallville.

He attended High School at the age of 15 and finished at the age of 18. He then went on to Metropolis University between 18 and 22.

At 22 he started work at the Daily Planet.

2008 is the first fixed year we have for Superman.

We know that Superman spent 4 years in the bullpen before he was promoted.

We know he was 22 when he joined the Daily Planet and we know he joined in 2008.

From this, we can work back to the other dates.

We can now flesh out the Superman timeline a bit:

  • Superman Born: 1986
  • Superman Starts High School 2001 – Age: 15
  • Superman Starts College 2004 – Age: 18
  • Superman Starts at the Daily Planet 2008 – Age: 22
  • Superman Promoted in 2012 – Age: 26
  • Superman still working at the Daily Planet 2013 – Age: 27
  • Superman leaves the Daily Planet 2018 – Age: 32

In the TV series “Superman & Lois” we see Clark Kent and Lois Lane married with two teenage sons.

This follows Morgan Edge buying the paper and laying off staff so we know it in 2018.

Here we have a problem because in the new TV series we see Superman with two teenage sons.

Assuming they are as young as 13, this would mean that they were born as early as 2005 (while Superman was at college and dating a Mermaid).

There are also other issues that pop up in various Superman stories at this point and it becomes impossible to make any sense of the timeline, so we are forced to drop this idea of making an actual timeline of his life’s events.

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This is mainly due to the constant resetting of Superman’s past which leaves us going back and forward in time seemingly randomly.

Retcon

Since my original intentions have proved to be both impossible and meaningless with timelines chopping and changing I decided to have a closer look at these “Retcons”

A Retcon is a jargon used by comic book professionals to describe an event that alters the history of particular comic book characters or timelines.

The term is short for Retroactive Continuity.

It is these retcons that made tracking the timeline of Superman so impossible.

Which reality are you tracking, and in what timeline does a story take place?

A Retcon is sometimes used to update stories so they are more in tune with today’s society.

They are also used when adjusting a storyline so that they are more in sync with other characters in the same universe.

At any stage, DC can revise facts.

So for example, if a previous comic book said Superman wore a blue costume and DC published a new comic today that said he wears a red costume, then from that moment on Superman is regarded as always having a red costume, even in the past.

You can see how this makes timelines impossible.

There are three kinds of retcons:

  1. Adding new Material – Adding material that does not conflict with previous material
  2. Removing old Material – It allows an author to look back at an event and say “That did not occur.”
  3. Altering Existing Material

Notable Superman Retcons in DC

The Original

Superman Crashed to earth in 1938 and was adopted by John and Mary Kent.

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When older he worked at the Daily Star in Cleveland.

First Retcon

The Daily Star became the Daily Globe in Metropolis.

Earth 2

Then comic Justice League of America #21 introduced the concept of a second Earth (Earth 2) and between 1938 until the mid-1950s that was where Superman’s adventures took place.

In Earth-2 Superman was an adult before he discovered his special powers.

In Earth 2 – Superman married Lois Lane and grew older.

Continuity Earth – 1

In 1955 adventures then suddenly moved bac to continuity of Earth=1 (the original location).

So this left two Superman characters, one on each Earth.

Part of this was to move the Justice League of America Stories, which had started in Earth-2 to Earth-1.

In Earth 1 Clark Kent had a period as Superboy, during his youth in Earth 1.

In Earth 1, Superman did not marry Lois Lane and did not seem to age.

Crisis on Infinite Earths

In this storyline, Earth-1 and Earth-2 merged into what then became New Earth.

New Earth

Superman and Lois Lane of Earth-2 Survived.

Superman and the supporting characters of Earth 1 just disappeared and never happened.

Final Thoughts

You can see from the above that no fewer than six major realities existed.

There were also many short-term devices from the official story that I have not even mentioned.

This makes determining Superman’s age a bit tricky, however, by doing really deep research on this, age between 30 – 40 is, I believe, accurate.

Mojmir Trefulka

Fascinated with Superheroes since childhood. I'm 35 years old and I'm from the Czech Republic – a small country in the middle of Europe. I love comic books and superhero movies. Superheroes are my passion for a very long time and I love writing about them – let's have fun together.

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