Once upon a time, I put forth the crazy idea of having comic book characters age in real time. I decided that it was time to re-visit that concept with a group of characters that are a cornerstone of the Marvel Universe, The Avengers. With the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we have a sense of this, although we see actors leaving not because they're too old, but because their contracts are expiring. Marvel is also exploring this concept with Spider-Man: Life Story. The rules, as I have done before, is that characters join in the year that the issue they joined was published. I'm also making an adjustment that any deaths in the pages of the Avengers will be permanent.
Superman maintains a secret identity as Clark Kent. Everyone knows about it and the lengths that he goes to maintain it. However, what if his story was written from the beginning to be a mystery to even the reader?
After writing my last article on this subject, I started thinking about my favorite super-hero team, the Legion of Super-Heroes. Having been around for over 50 years, the Legion is unique in that it's members all join relatively young, and two of their members travel through time to participate.
Having been around since 1938, Superman is the one character that has changed significantly since his debut. Having him age in real time is not a new idea, and the most commercially successful attempts have been John Byrne's Generations trilogy and the pre-crisis Earth-2 Superman, which got older, although by the time of Crisis on Infinite Earths, was reaching the realistic limit of a human lifespan. Here, we are going to differ from John Byrne's telling by not moving a single plot forward and just covering his legacy and the major plot points. His career as Superboy dates back to the late 1910s, which makes for much more of a culture shock when he joins the Legion of Super-Heroes, as he moves from the 1920s to the 2960s. As he debuts in 1938, he is finishing up his time with the Legion and soon stops travelling forward in time, possibly due to some unforeseen adventure that lessens his level of power to the point that he can't fly, only leap, and is not as strong or invulnerable in his Superboy adventures, especially with the Legion. Of course Superboy's adventures with the Legion would be relegated to comics published in the 1960s, and that period will be the subject of a future article.
It gets brought up every once in a while why comic book characters, specifically super-heroes don’t age in real time, specifically, super-heroes. There have been times that authors have explored the concept, the first that comes to mind is John Byrne’s Superman & Batman Generations series of mini-series. There are also some characters that simply