Centenarian Superman – Making Superman fun to read

Superman flying - Illustration for Centenarian Superman humor article

I’ve never found Superman that interesting  of a character. He’s basically a god. It’s nearly impossible to give Supes a problem that feels big enough to actually be a challenge. Even Mister Mxyzptlk, who has the power to warp reality itself, is nothing more than an annoyance. That’s a problem. Other than a few magic rocks, nothing can hurt him. Without a real challenge, there’s no drama. This means that indestructible, all-powerful characters are inherently dull. That being said, I may have found an angle that would actually make Superman fun to read.

First, some comic book history. The first appearance of Superman was in 1938. Superman’s age has been given as anywhere from 29 to 35. That means that, when Superman was created, he was born around 1908. In Superman #1 (1939), Clark Kent’s adoptive parents, Johnathan and Martha Kent, are already elderly when they adopt baby Clark.

One of Superman’s powers has been shown to be super longevity. So, if the writers kept the same continuity from Superman’s creation until now, Superman would be around a hundred years old. Not only that, but he would have been raised by people born in the mid nineteenth century!

Instead of a handsome, modern, mid-thirties Supes, keeping the original continuity would give us Centenarian Superman. Instead of “truth, justice, and the American Way,” Centenarian Superman might end up using his powers to firmly enforce Victorian Era morality on the modern world.

You’re a woman in Metropolis who just got your first job? Not if Supes has anything to say about it! Woosh, he flies down, throws you over his shoulder, and takes you back home to the kitchen where you belong.

Oh, that store just got robbed! Better take that redheaded bystander to jail! In Centenarian Superman’s mind, “Everyone knows those filthy Irish are all criminal types.”

A construction crew building a new liquor store? Better melt those I-beams with his heat vision! Centenarian Superman can’t have people drinking the devil’s sack sweat! Not in my town, buddy!

Turning Supes into a deluded quasi-villain would make the Blue Boy Scout actually entertaining. Or they could just kill him again. I’d be up for that, too.

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