Will Superman Ever Die in DC Comics?
As a symbol of idealism and hope in a world too twisted and broken to take care of its own, Superman is known to be the Big Blue Boy Scout. If Marvel has Captain America, who will always abide by the rules until and unless the rules make him do something that he considers immoral, we have Superman who will make the hard choices and sacrifice whatever he needs to give up to maintain peace and harmony for the greater good. He even has the powers to back him up.
As a literal God amongst men, Superman is nothing short of a one-man miracle. He is part of the Holy Trinity of the DC Universe. And he is the one who leads the charge. Given the importance of Superman to DC and the rest of the world in general, it is pretty hard to imagine if DC Comics will ever let him go. Given the fact that he is even more powerful than a God can death even touch the Man of Steel?
For now, Superman is showing signs of slowing down. He is no longer the single guy who swung his bat in an open field. He is a family man now. The current continuity of the DC universe shows Clark Kent married to a beautiful wife and having a son to continue his legacy in the name of Jonathan Samuel Kent. After more than half a century of saving the world, the universe, and even the Multi-Verse, Superman is finally settling down. Does it mean the end of Superman? Or does it lead to something new??
Now you must be asking the question that is dogging you now that you have read the ultimate dilemma we presented to you – Superman has actually died a lot of times. Sometimes by the hands of Doomsday and sometimes by other means! His body is then taken to a Kryptonian Regeneration Module and it heals all his wounds but Superman is left without a soul.
The Supernatural advocates of the Justice League then use magical methods to bring back Superman’s soul from the afterlife and he is infused with new vigor and a second shot at life. But that is not our question. What we intend to ask is that if Superman never had to face Doomsday or Lex Luthor or Darkseid or any other means by which we could kill Superman for that matter, will Clark Kent survive or will he go down to the tides of time?
In other words, is Superman immune to time? The dilemma is whether or not Superman is truly ageless and immortal.
To put more fuel into that fire, we present you the One Million timeline. Grant Morrison is an eccentric comic book storyteller. He comes up with the craziest storylines. He once proposed a story arc that explored the continuity of the DC Universe a million years into the future. The artwork, the style of writing, the characters, and even the storyline will all reflect DC Comics and what it would look and feel like should it manage to survive for the next one million years. That was how the concept of DC One Million came into being in 1998.
And it is in this timeline that readers get to know the existence of Superman One Million.
In this arc, we discover that Superman has outlived everyone. All his near and dear ones have died. Superman has outlived the Justice League, his family and everyone he ever knew. In grief to not have had the luxury of growing old with the woman he loved, Superman leaves the Earth. He passes his torch to Superman Secundus. Clark then takes to the sun, where he sits at the core, meditating his years away. For about 15,000 years, Superman never leaves the sun’s core. He is constantly bathing in the sun’s solar energy and growing stronger and stronger by the second. The Superman that comes out of the sun’s core after 15000 years is a God amongst Gods. He can bend time and the laws of physics. He even has the power to rip open the fabric of reality and go against natural law – a feat he performed when he brought back Lois Lane from the dead.
Another arc provides even more light to the rumor that Superman is immune to the tides of time. It was in Action Comics #1000 that audiences were exposed to a truly touching short story arc called “Of Tomorrow” in 2018. The story is set more than 5 Billion years into the future. Case in point Superman One Million was set only one million years into the future while Of Tomorrow is set about 5000 Million years into the future. After 5 Billion years, Superman is the last man standing on Earth. The Sun has devolved into a Red Giant after it has spent up all its fuel, like any star nearing its life cycle does. It is about to explode in a grand supernova, taking Earth and the rest of the planets along with it. And Superman is still there, holding onto dear life and not having aged a day.
The story is touching. Superman is seen standing in front of the graves of his parents and contemplating on what made him into the man he is today. It shows that no matter how Godlike Superman becomes, he will never let go of his compassion and mercy that makes him human. It shows that even though he is a Kryptonian, he is more human than many men the Earth has birthed over the centuries. Action Comics #1000 and DC One Million conclude the theory that Superman’s longevity is countless. His age is infinite and if left alone and not given the luxury of facing any deadly threats, Superman will never ever die.
And then we have the story of All-Star Superman. Lex Luthor uses that bi bald brain of his to find out a way to make Superman OD on solar radiation. The process leads to Superman’s cells slowly falling apart and his body deteriorating. Eventually, Superman will start bursting with so much energy that he won’t be able to hold himself together and explode.
The entire 12 issue arc deals with Superman trying to come to terms with his life about to end and having a sense of closure with the world before he bids them a permanent goodbye. The arc ends with the Man of Steel diving into the sun to help reenergize the star with his energy, as his body is a living, walking supernova by itself ready to explode.
This does not mean that Superman died. All-Star Superman was very vague when trying to give us clarity on the information over Superman’s death. Maybe he did not die after all. The DC Universe knew that Superman could never be killed. The last time Superman absorbed too much solar energy, he ended up becoming Superman One Million, a Godlike entity who traveled to a different plane of existence altogether. Maybe in All-Star Superman, something similar happened. Maybe Superman survived in a way that is beyond human comprehension.
So sure he can be killed. But he can be resurrected too. Without the proverbial dagger to end Superman, the Big Blue Boy Scout can survive the dawn and dusk of time itself. Can Superman die of natural causes? The answer, after careful observation, is – a resounding NO.
The last movie to be released under the DC banner was Joker. The official film synopsis for the movie reads:
Forever alone in a crowd, failed comedian Arthur Fleck seeks connection as he walks the streets of Gotham City. Arthur wears two masks — the one he paints for his day job as a clown, and the guise he projects in a futile attempt to feel like he’s part of the world around him. Isolated, bullied and disregarded by society, Fleck begins a slow descent into madness as he transforms into the criminal mastermind known as the Joker.