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Assuming Superman doesn't die in battle, and lives out his life under the effects of our yellow sun, what is his expected lifespan? Has DC Comics ever provided or suggested an answer?

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    Roughly 5 billion years, assuming biological immortality, since that's about how long our sun has until it turns into a red giant.
    – Chad Levy
    Mar 12, 2012 at 20:15
  • 4
    he'll just swap out our sun for a new one, obviously. like changing a light bulb.
    – KutuluMike
    Jul 8, 2012 at 0:34
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    He'll ultimately die after all light bulbs in the universe goes off.. And, it will, according to Hawking..
    – user931
    Feb 26, 2013 at 19:00

6 Answers 6

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There is definitely no consistency in how long he is expected to live.

As Dharini said in DC One Million he is alive:

In the DC One Million series (1998), Superman's Fortress of Solitude in the 853rd Century resides within a tesseract located at the center of Earth's sun. By this time, Superman has lived in self-imposed exile within the Fortress for over 15,000 years.

In the Kingdom Come Epilogue he seems destined to live for a little more than 1000 years.

In the epilogue, Superman is shown to have survived 1000 years after his return, and as an old man, he watches the fly-pass of the future generation of superheroes.

In the Batman Beyond episode "The Call" the 50 years in the future Superman is shown to have grey highlights in his hair, suggesting that he may only live to be 200 or so.

Bruce Wayne: I could use some Kryptonian DNA.
Superman: You'll outlive all of us Bruce, you're too stubborn to die.

In the TV series Smallville in the third season a highschool kid who has the power to see people's deaths touches Clark Kent and sees him just traveling on forever. The implication is that in the Smallville universe Superman will never die.

Paperjam makes the point that Superman may die as soon as the Sun transforms into a Red Giant. Superman could ultimately leave to a different yellow star if his intention is really to live forever.

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    I'm late to the party, but in "Superman: Red Son" he does indeed live until the sun turns red, at which point he simply grows weaker and closer to being human. In that story, the twist is that Earth was Krypton's past, and Superman lives to see the planet's destruction.
    – Omegacron
    Feb 2, 2015 at 21:32
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    Dr. Zod-us Dr. Zod-us Feb 14, 2017 at 16:38
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I can't find any canon sources which states his actual lifespan under the yellow sun, but in the 1998 comic story "DC One Million", Superman was shown to be alive in the year 85,271. So he could live at least that long.

But he is hale and healthy then, so it might not be the maximum.

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  • That could also have been due to his spending a thousand years in the center of the sun absorbing pure solar radiation too though.
    – Monty129
    Sep 19, 2014 at 21:49
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Actually in Smallville it was mentioned, when Clark meets Dr. Fate and Dr. Fate says he will outlive everybody. And I'm pretty sure with the boy, it literally meant Clark will live forever. Plus, there was that future thing where Clark sees his future from that old lady. Remember in season 1 or 2 he sees that:

"I will outlive everyone I love".

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I don't think you're going to find one consistent answer. It has changed wildly over the years. I think the best you're going to be able to do is compile a bunch of examples of the different ways Superman's aging has been portrayed.

As one example, the Batman Beyond universe shows him aging relatively normally.

Here he is in an episode of the original Batman Beyond cartoon:

Superman from the episode "The Call" with gray highlights in his hair

You can see that his hair is starting to gray, implying that he does indeed age.

This is continued in the Batman Beyond comics:

Superman with gray hair on a Batman Beyond comic cover

The above is technically a Superman from a parallel universe, but he looks the same as the Superman from the regular Batman Beyond universe.

Superman in a Batman Beyond comic with grey hair having a fight Superman in a Batman Beyond comic with grey hair

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As is apparent there literally is NO canonical response to this... (not unless the original creators come back from the grave and tell us).

Smallville: "I see you travelling on forever Clark..."

Lois & Clark: There is one episode which I think leads on for a few more where (I can't remember the scientist's name) tries to figure out the affect of ageing on Clark (due to him and Lois eventually wanting to have a kid) - the scientist states something like: "... At least a few thousand years... who knows... maybe you will never die..." and then something major happens and Clark stops it... goes back to the lab because he is weak? and the scientist says "... that (whatever it was) was so strong that your life span is less than 500 years now... you may even live a normal human life"

And then all those mentioned above (Red Son/Batman Beyond/etc) but there is another story (can't remember) where he does live 1000s of years... (not the one where he exiles himself... the one where he/Batman/whoever builds him a yellow sun reactor so he can always heal when damaged... and I think they make it into a portable ring eventually and he lives on and on and on.

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In a Smallville episode, a boy sees how people will die by touching them; and when he touched Clark, he saw nothing but a cape flying, and not him dying. He said to Clark, "like you have no end."

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    @JackBNimble included this in his earlier answer.
    – Solemnity
    May 3, 2013 at 4:46

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