Superman is regarded as the most iconic DC superhero in history, of course, with Batman. His duality is really interesting – as a superhero, he is this amazing untouchable, perfect being, whereas his civil identity Clark Kent, is a clumsy, stereotypical boy from Kansas. However, throughout years of reading Superman stories, among the vast amount of his abilities, there was one that was kind of on and off in the comics – immortality. In this article, we will try to find out if Superman is immortal or can he die?
In recent decades, the notion that Superman could be immortal changed over the years, but recent releases of the comics confirmed that Superman is indeed immortal. More specifically, few comics were confirmed but a recent one was released as part of Action Comic #1000 in 2018. This comic book, which was part of the anniversary release, confirmed that Superman can live until the end of the Earth’s lifespan.
We will analyze this topic further and determine what is a true canon for Superman and his lifespan. If you are interested, stick with us until the end of the article. Let’s start!
Is Superman Immortal?
In the comic book media, there is always a different writer or creator that writes or builds new storylines for certain characters. Superman, being one of the oldest and most long-standing superheroes in comics history, went through a lot of changes. Also, we know that DC never shies away from huge changes, rather retconning and creating new storylines for the characters.
Origins of Superman stayed mostly the same but his powers changed a lot during the years, especially his lifespan. Multiple different writers tried to bestow their own suggestions about his life in their stories but again, some stories were retconned and some were just forgotten.
After looking into Superman comics and finding comic panels that show his age, we gathered that stories during Golden Age and Silver Age showed Superman aging like a human being, well at least that was the minimum. Some stories show that he even has an endless lifespan! However, DC’s One Million comic book released in 1998, shows Superman living in the 853rd century, where he spent fifteen thousand years in a self-isolated exile in Fortress of Solitude.
In DC One Million comic book, he lived on forever to protect the universe from dangerous forces.
Another story, rather comic book Action Comic #1000, is the original run which ties into the previously mentioned DC Million and Zero Hour: Crisis in Time! This special issue brought us interesting facts about Superman and his life and contains a few stories that were never published about our favorite Kryptonian.
One of the stories “Of Tomorrow” features Superman five billion years in the future, as Earth’s Yellow Sun cools off and turns into a red giant, which means it is diminishing Superman’s power. While the Earth is dying, his true home, Superman says goodbye to his mother and father, Martha and Jonathan Kent, and moves on to space to protect the universe for billion years more. In one story, Kryptonians were described as immortal people who artificially make their babies, which was debunked and the mortality of Kryptonians was confirmed multiple times. Kryptonians only get powers and strength when they are under the Yellow Sun.
Both of these comic books confirm the theory of Superman being immortal. Although, we need to emphasize that it all depends on the writers – DC truly cannot decide fully on one thing, at least it keeps fans on their toes.
Can Superman Die?
Even though we confirmed Superman’s immortality in DC comics and even mentioned that he lives until the end of eternity, Superman still has weaknesses. He is invulnerable to most things, however, we all know Kryptonite is his biggest weakness. Lex Luthor knows that best and that’s why he is the biggest Superman foe in the history of the comics.
Luthor figured out that one shard of Kryptonite can weaken Superman tremendously and he used it for killing Superman. We also know that Superman died multiple times in the comics – he was killed by Murder-Man, Azgore, Doomsday, Lex Luthor, and more.
Moreover, Yellow Sun is a really important factor in Superman’s strength and powers. He is invulnerable, has increased regeneration, and lifespan is marginally longer to hundreds of years and beyond, so he is essentially immortal. However, if you take away Yellow Sun exposure, Superman’s powers get weaker and he becomes a normal being. That’s why Rao, a Red Star that shines upon Krypton and Daxam, limits the powers of Daxamites and Kryptonians. Yellow Solar energy makes them exceptionally strong.
Even when a Kryptonian is weakened, under the exposure of Yellow Sun solar energy, they get regenerated pretty fast. We saw that multiple times with Superman and his cousin Supergirl.
Superman, the last son of Krypton is immortal. Two huge comic book stories confirmed that thesis – DC One Million and Action Comics #1000. The first one follows Superman in the 853rd century trying to save to world one more time and stopping the enemies with the help of his friends from the past. He lives on forever after saving everyone, and from that moment in 1998, Superman is immortal.
Anniversary edition of Action Comics #1000 brought us a confirmation in one of the stories that Superman even outlives the Earth. After Yellow Sun’s energy starts decreasing, he says goodbye to the world that was his world for millions of years and goes on a journey to protect the universe. There is even a mention of Lois Lane who drinks an Eternity Potion that prolonged her life significantly. This was a huge confirmation in 2018, with even the writers doubling down on that fact.
However, even if Superman is immortal, he is not invulnerable to everything. One of the few things that stayed consistent with Superman’s origin story is his weakness to Kryptonite, which killed him multiple times in the comics. Another weakness is just not being exposed to the Yellow Sun, which makes him the powerful being he is.
It’s still unknown if this canon is going to change in the future comics series, we will just have to wait since writers, creators, and even DC in general, never sit tight and are always willing to change something.