It’s ironic that Superman can outrun a speeding bullet, yet it takes an eternity for his birthday to circle around, since he’s a leap year baby.
While every four years Newark’s Captain Blue Hen Comics Entertainment would acknowledge Superman was born on Wednesday, Feb. 29, this year was the first time they actually threw the Man of Steel a birthday bash. Equipped with a vanilla Superman cake, kryptonite juice (Hawaiian Punch Green Berry Rush), donated books and artwork from DC Comics to support local charities (such as the Delaware SPCA) as well as a guest artist and a handful of energetic shop goers – it’s no surprise the event was… well, super.
Captain Blue Hen transformed into a mini comic convention Wednesday as shop goers showed up in costume, including shop owner Joe Murray, who rocked the iconic Clark Kent getup: black framed glasses, loose necktie, blazer and a partially unbuttoned dress shirt, revealing the signature Superman “S” logo tee.
Customers lined up to meet and have their Superman comics autographed by artist Brett Breeding, who worked on Superman comics from ’86 to the late ‘90s, which includes his inking duties on the epic DC Comics series that momentarily caused the world to stand still: “The Death of Superman.”
“The Superman that I grew up on and the Superman that we did in my era on the books – Superman was a positive example of something people wanted to be,” said Breeding of New Castle.
“Everybody wished they could do the things that he could do, and not just from his super powers but from his moral code and the type of standup guy that he was. There’s a lot of blowback from fans and stuff that he’s, too, much of a ‘boy scout.’ But I think it’s funny that, that’s been around forever and yet the character has been around as long as he has and is as popular as he is. I read something once where the Superman symbol is the second most noticed icon in the world next to the Christian cross. And I believe that.”
The master plan
Though it’s important to pay homage to Superman, Murray explained there was a strategy behind throwing a birthday bash in his honor on Wednesday.
“Specifically we did it because this is one of the very rare occurrences where Feb. 29 falls on a Wednesday,” Murray said. “In the comic book industry Wednesday is the day; it’s the most important day of the week because that’s when the new comics come in. DC Comics ships 13 titles a week and if it’s a fifth week [in the month] they don’t really have anything to ship.”
Hence, Murray rounded up his regular customers for a fun-filled time on what would be an otherwise slow day at the shop.
Jason Colatriano, 31, and his little boy, Jack, enjoyed the party, especially Jack who indulged in kryptonite juice and cake.
Though Jason isn’t crazy about Superman, he loves the fact that the hero is a good role model for his son.
“He’s morally correct and always does the right thing,” said Jason, of Pike Creek, who dressed his son in an adorable Superman muscle costume, while he donned the iconic “S” tee. “I’m not a big Superman fan but if [Jack] wants to be a big superman fan, then absolutely.”