Is Superman Immortal? He Is, but There’s a Catch


Superman is by far the most iconic superhero ever created, and much has already been written about his seemingly godlike powers and abilities. From his super strength to his incredible Kryptonian physiology, there’s nothing that Superman can’t do. Like any other long-lived comic book character, Superman likewise had numerous versions of himself created, and his powers have, over the ages, fluctuated and appeared inconsistent over time. There’s one thing in particular that’s been keeping the fans interested, and that is Superman’s immortality. We do know that he is incredibly difficult to kill, but is Superman immortal? 

Superman is immortal as long as he stays exposed to the yellow sun. Yellow Sun radiation is a prime source of power for Superman, and due to its effects, he is practically invulnerable to most forms of damage, and he is able to live seemingly forever. That doesn’t mean that Superman can’t be killed, however. He is still vulnerable to the effects of magic and kryptonite, which can severely injure him or kill him in extreme cases.

Now that we’ve covered that Superman’s immortality comes with a fine print, it’s time to explore the extent of Superman’s incredible durability and longevity. If you’re interested in more, stay with us and keep reading!

Superman lives as long as he has access to yellow sun radiation 

The key to all of Superman’s powers and abilities is his Kryptonian physiology. Kryptonians absorb and utilize yellow sun radiation differently. They store it in their cells and are able to convert it into a plethora of superhuman powers and effects.

Superman is superhumanly strong, being able to lift close to 2 billion tons without breaking a sweat. He is likewise incredibly fast even without having access to Speed-Force, like other known speedsters in the DC Universe.

He has plenty of abilities to ensure success both when it comes to offense and defense, but among his most notable abilities, and the one that resulted in his iconic nickname, “Man of Steel,” is his incredible durability. 

Superman’s tissues are much harder than those of a regular human being. Projectile weapons, bladed weapons, explosions, nuclear powers, etc., are not able to even make a dent in his diamond-hard skin. Superman is, in large part, invulnerable. 

Due to his effective use of yellow solar radiation Superman likewise doesn’t need to eat, drink, or sleep as he has a pretty advanced form of self-sustenance due to chemical reactions that happen when his cells have access to yellow radiation. But did you know that Superman is likewise immortal in theory, as long as he stays under our sun, or any type of yellow sun for that matter? 

Yes, Superman is immortal, or at least his lifespan is much much longer than that of an average human being, and we have proof. 

Superman was proven to be immortal in at least two storylines 

Our proof mostly lies in two separate issues where Superman was seen living far beyond what is possible for a human being or Kryptonian, that is not exposed to the yellow sun. In DC One Million, we can see one of the most powerful versions of Superman ever created, Superman Prime. 

Superman Prime is the Superman of the 853d century. He survived by becoming a living extension of the sun, and his body is now primarily composed of pure energy. This means that Superman’s body did undergo some changes, but it was not the rapid decay that would befall regular humans. Rather, the more solar radiation he absorbed, the more powerful he became. 

Under the effects of the yellow son, Superman Prime became immortal, and eventually, near the end of the 21st century, he realized that he had outlived all of his loved ones. He decided to leave the Earth and travel, leaving his descendants as peacekeepers. He resurfaced once more at the turn of the 700th century but was barely recognizable, acquiring numerous powers along the way as he traveled the universe. 

The other instance in which we see Superman’s immortality is Action Comics #1000, released in 2018. We can see what Superman’s life will be like once even the cosmic effects destroy the Earth. He returns to Earth, which is about to be destroyed, to say his goodbyes to his adoptive parents, Jonathan and Martha Kent. It’s an overall touching moment where Superman is saying his final goodbyes to his parents and the planet that has been his home away from home for so long. 

He even mentions the fact that Lois Lane is still with him, drinking Eternity Formula regularly so that her lifespan will be closer to Superman’s. 

In any case, Superman’s immortality, or at least his functional immortality, was proven numerous times with concrete evidence. He will live as long as there’s yellow solar radiation to be absorbed and as long as the universe needs its protector. But… he can still be killed. 


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Superman’s immortality doesn’t mean that he cannot be killed

Even though Superman has the potential to live forever, ages much more slowly, and doesn’t require sustenance, he can still be severely hurt or even killed if you apply enough force or utilize magic and kryptonite. 

We’ve written extensively about those issues in the past. Superman is highly vulnerable to green kryptonite, and he can be hurt by magic due to not being resistant to its effects. 

Superman was likewise killed by Doomsday in the famous “The Death of Superman” storyline, so as you can see, just because he has, in theory, uncapped lifespan doesn’t mean that he is beyond dying like most organic life forms in the universe. 

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