How Old Is Superman? One of the seemingly undefined aspect of the Superman mythos is that of his ageing. Those who fall on the side of his omnipotence in everything (the superhearing, superbreath, superhair bunch) probably think as a preternatural godhead he will live forever. Look, he has been banging around in the comics for seventy odd years, he hasn’t aged yet. Fine, but nor has Lois, or perennially annoying Jimmy Olsen. That’s what happens in comics.
The flipside is that Superman, like his Krypton forebears ages the same as us. This brings us stories of future Superman with those old greying temples (a fashion trend I bet Reed Richards wishes he had lost). Invents unstable molecules but not Just For Men). The spectre of ageing brings in tremendous story potential, as shown in Miller’s The Dark Knight Return, though not so much for Superman. When Supes stops being super, its bye-bye to his USP.
So to the current comics, which is it? They are of course hedging their bets. Which is not to say that Superman is not ridiculously old already. Only a few years ago Joe Kelly wrote a story where he and Wonder Woman got trapped in a magical realm fighting baddies for 1000 years – but it was magical you see so that might explain his ageing (he also, like a sap, or like someone without sap, didn’t get off with her once even though he believed he would never get back and Lois would be dead. Loser.)
So that makes him 1035-ish? Well, depends on your viewpoint on years spent dead. In the recent Obsidian Age storyline in JLA – designed to bring back Aquaman from the dead – all of the JLA died. Apparently it is less clunky if you resurrect six characters at once rather than just the one. Well the plan was that he dies 3000 years in the past and the bad guy would “accidentally” ressurect them all in the present, and thus get the proper smack-down they deserve. Do years dead count as ageing. Tricky. His body was seen to have decomposed too, but probably no brain activity. Who wrote this story – Joe Kelly of course.
So anyway, Superman is according to DC comics either 35, 1035 or 4035. Ish. Once you get into the thousands it all comes down to significant figures. And we still don’t know if he ages normally. But think of poor old Lois – she is seeing a considerable older man.