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We interrupt your regularly scheduled year to remind you that today is Leap Day.
Trivia: February 29th was introduced to the Gregorian Calendar in 1582, but the need to insert an occasional extra day or two in the calendar year to keep the solar and seasonal cycles aligned has been recognized by astronomers for thousands of years.
World of Krypton #1, July 1979
Fact: February 29th is Superman's birthday. At least that's what happens when DC Comics translates the Kryptonian date, the 35th fanff in the zetyar of Eorx in the amzet 9998, into the Gregorian calendar. Who am I to doubt DC Comics' math?
We now return you to your regularly schedule year already in progress.
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Today is Leap Day. That makes it Superman's birthday. And anything good enough for Superman was good enough for Captain Marvel to steal, so it's Captain Marvel's birthday as well.
When the wizard Shazam turned Billy Batson into the world's mightiest mortal, he created a bit of a problem. See, Billy Batson and Captain Marvel are two different people, at least as far as the world is concerned. Therefore Captain Marvel couldn't just have the same birthday as Billy Batson, because then the good Captain's enemies would be able to discern his secret identity by threatening all 6,000 or so people born on the same day as Captain Marvel. (Back in the Golden Age, super villains had a lot of time on their hands.)
Rather than select a "birth" date completely at random, Captain Marvel chose a date just to cheese off his arch-nemesis, Dr. Sivana. Perhaps behavior like this is the reason that he has an arch-nemesis.
So if you learn just one thing today, perhaps it should be not to go out of your way to remind your adversaries of their failures. That's not a good way to make friends.
Happy Birthday, Superman!
That's right: Superman's official birthday is February 29. At least so far as DC Comics has long been concerned. (Other dates have popped up over the years in Superman's multiple media appearances.) This way, he only ages one year for every four that pass. Since he appeared fully grown in Action Comics #1 in April 1938 -- not a leap year -- his first birthday would have been in 1940. There have been 17 leap years since 1940, making this Superman's 18th birthday! He can finally vote! (No doubt, he's an Obamamaniac.)
I suppose a surprise party is out of the question since it's impossible for most people to use the giant key to enter the Fortress of Solitude, much less reach the North Pole. Probably no point in a cake, either, since even novelty re-lighting candles are no match for Super-Breath. And if you're planning a gift, you'd better use lead gift wrap. The best thing that you can probably do for Superman is simply not get into any trouble for 24 hours. Even the Man of Tomorrow needs leisure time.