Superman’s planet Krypton ‘found’ — with a little help

A prominent astrophysicist has pinned down a real location for Superman’s fictional home planet of Krypton.

Krypton is found 27.1 light-years from Earth, in the southern constellation Corvus (The Crow), says Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the American Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium in New York City. The planet orbits the red dwarf star LHS 2520, which is cooler and smaller than our sun.

Tyson performed the celestial sleuthing at the request of DC Comics, which wanted to run a story about Superman’s search for his home planet.

The new book — Action Comics Superman #14, titled “Star Light, Star Bright” — comes out Wednesday. Tyson appears within its pages, aiding the Man of Steel on his quest.

“As a native of Metropolis, I was delighted to help Superman, who has done so much for my city over all these years,” Tyson said in a statement. “And it’s clear that if he weren’t a superhero he would have made quite an astrophysicist.”

You’ll have to read “Star Light, Star Bright” to find out just how Superman and Tyson pinpoint Krypton. For amateur astronomers who want to spot the real star LHS 2520 in the night sky, here are its coordinates:

Right Ascension: 12 hours 10 minutes 5.77 seconds

Declination:  -15 degrees 4 minutes 17.9 seconds

Proper Motion: 0.76 arcseconds per year, along 172.94 degrees from due north

Superman was born on Krypton but was launched toward Earth as an infant by his father, Jor-El, just before the planet’s destruction. After touching down in Kansas, Superman was raised as Clark Kent by a farmer and his wife.

Now Superman will apparently know exactly where he came from.

    1. Image: Curiosity view

      NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS / KrisK / JMKnapp

      Mars rover snaps spooky self-portraits

      Science editor Alan Boyle’s blog: It looks as if someone is taking portraits of NASA’s Curiosity rover on Mars from a few feet away — but who’s the photographer?

    2. Countdown to a total solar eclipse

    3. Light from first stars in universe spotted

    4. Spacewalkers troubleshoot leaky radiator

“This is a major milestone in the Superman mythos that gives our super hero a place in the universe,” DC Entertainment co-publisher Dan DiDio said in a statement. “Having Neil deGrasse Tyson in the book was one thing, but by applying real-world science to this story he has forever changed Superman’s place in history. Now fans will be able to look up at the night’s sky and say, ‘That’s where Superman was born.'”

Follow senior writer Mike Wall on Twitter @michaeldwall   or @Spacedotcom. We’re also on Facebook   and Google+.

© 2012 All rights reserved. More from


Zack Snyder Excited For New "Crazy" MAN OF STEEL Trailer To Be Shown With …

I’m sure geeks everywhere were a little disappointed to find out that the first trailer for James Mangold’s The Wolverine would NOT be attached to Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit, but you can rejoice with the knowledge that a new Man Of Steel trailer is. MTV News spoke with Zack Snyder who confirmed that information and gushed about it’s unveiling, “It’s fun. I can’t wait for ‘The Hobbit,’ so it will be fun to see our crazy ‘Man of Steel’ trailer and then enjoy the Hobbit because that’s going to be great. It just feels like a fun Christmas thing to do, drag the whole family out for that action.”

While Zack sounds like a kid who can’t wait to unwrap his Christmas present upon the world, he also took the time to praise Michael Shannon’s take on General Zod. “Shannon is great, he has such great enthusiasm and dedication constantly,” Snyder said. “You can imagine that you could get actors who go, ‘Oh right, it’s Zod, it’s not 100 percent serious,’ or [you can play it] slightly with a wink, there is none of that with him. His effort is to make it realized and to understand this character and what he has to go through, so you have that on one side and you have Henry, who basically is Superman, on the other side and that dynamic.”

Synopsis: Next summer, “Man Of Steel” is coming to the big screen. The film is from director Zack Snyder and producers Charles Roven, Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas and Deborah Snyder. The screenplay was written by David S. Goyer from a story by Goyer Nolan, based upon Superman characters created by Jerry Siegel Joe Shuster and and published by DC Comics.


Zam! Pow! Comic book fans pack hotel at beach – Daytona Beach News

The Daytona Beach Comic and Toy Show XI was held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the hotel on North Atlantic Avenue. Fans and vendors from around the area and beyond came to buy, sell or trade comics, figurines and other toys. Tables adorned with boxes of shrink-wrapped comic books were packed tightly into one of the hotel’s conference rooms.

Fans circulated around the makeshift trading post, talking to vendors, buying and trading and debating finer points of plots and story lines.

In an adjacent room sat Bill Black, who jokingly titled himself “editor, publisher and janitor” of AC Comics, a Longwood-based independent comic book company celebrating its 30th year. He explained how a rejection earlier in his career laid the groundwork for his company and its comics.

“It’s all Roy Thomas’ fault,” said Black. “He was editor at Marvel Comics while I was doing some freelance work for Marvel in 1978. I pitched them on an idea of teaming up all the female heroines into one comic book and he said: ‘No no no, female characters don’t sell.’ ”

He decided to go his separate way and prove the industry giant wrong.

“I started AC Comics and our main thing was I created the first super-team comprised solely of women,” said Black. “And it’s been running since 1985.”

That “super-team” is known as Femforce, short for “Federal Emergency Missions Force.” First printed in 1985, the Femforce comic is the flagship title of Black’s company.

Sitting nearby was Mark Dail, who works as a writer and artist with AC Comics. The Daytona Beach native said he’s always been drawn to the medium.

“The art, the stories,” said Dail. “It’s all about adventure.”

To his right sat Mark Holmes, one of AC Comics’ newest writers. He described how his love of comics and movies turned into a career.

“I used to spend a lot of time just reading comics and I loved watching action movies, so I would sit in front of the computer and I actually decided to put my thoughts down and I started writing fan fiction,” said Holmes.

Fan fiction refers to fan-created works that includes characters from a professional series. Holmes wrote his own stories featuring characters he’d seen in comics he read.

“So I sent them into the editor of AC Comics and he said, ‘Instead of writing fan fiction, why don’t you write me an actual story?’ ”

Holmes decided to do just that. He now has one story published and two coming down the pipeline for a 30th anniversary issue.

One of many vendors present Sunday was Glen Cohen, who drove several hours from South Florida to attend. He said he mainly sells and trades comics online, but decided to show up Sunday because he’d been at this convention in the past and enjoyed it.

Cohen feels that comic books are growing in popularity, thanks in part to recently released movies like The Avengers.

“It’s actually catching on pretty big because of the movies,” he said. “Everyone has interest in where the characters came from.”

John Tischler from Mount Dora – who has a particular affinity for the “silver-age” titles of the ’60s like Batman and Superman — was another vendor selling comic books.

“I got into comic books and actually learned how to read reading comics,” said Tischler. “I’ve been collecting comics on and off and selling them all my life.” He said he was pleased with the convention’s turnout.

But of course, the fans at the convention far outnumbered any vendors or the comic-world celebrities. Marco Falletta, a Port Orange resident, was one of many such fans who showed up.

“It’s pretty good, I like the fact that it’s a free event,” said Falletta. “Kind of brings everybody back to their childhood.”


20 years ago, Superman died

The writers and editors of the Superman line had been leading up to a wedding between Lois Lane and Clark Kent. But with the show “Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” on the air, it was decided to delay the wedding to be more in line with the TV show’s romantic plans. With issues to fill, the retreat of Superman writers and artists brought forth the idea to kill the Man of Steel.

On the day of release, Nov. 18, 1992, I watched a line of customers snake out the door and around the building of the comic shop I worked in at the time.

The Oklahoman featured the demand for the issue in an article on Nov. 20, 1992.

Planet Comics in Oklahoma City sold 2,200 copies of the issue, up from the 50 they usually ordered.

“The demand for this book has been outrageous,” co-owner Mike Kennedy said in the article, written by Nolan Clay. “We’ve got housewives, businessmen and grandmothers coming in. I’ve got secretaries being sent out by their bosses to get this. “Among the 80 fans in line outside the store Thursday were comics collectors ranging in age from 11 to 61.”

Kennedy rented a casket and draped it with a homemade red Superman cape for the festivities.

In Chicago, Eric Kirsammer of Chicago Comics remembers scrambling for more copies.

“I remember that day like it was yesterday … not really, but I was open,” he said. “We were totally unprepared for the onslaught. Sold out really quickly. One of the things I remember most was being on the phone with Capital City, asking for a second or third print and they said it was sold out.”


Comics AM | Ohio’s Superman license plate moves closer to reality

Comics A.M. | Ohio’s Superman license plate moves closer to reality

Superman specialty plate

Comics | Ohio drivers moved a little closer to getting their Superman specialty license plate Wednesday as the proposal was outlined for a state Senate committee. The bill, which already passed the state House, is on track to go to the full Senate for a vote before the end of the year. The Siegel Shuster Society launched the campaign for the plates in July 2011 to honor the 75th anniversary of the Man of Steel in 2013; the character, which debuted in 1938, was created six years earlier in Cleveland by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The original plan for the plates to include the slogan “Birthplace of Superman,” that met with objections from Warner Bros., which insisted he was born on Krypton. The legend will now read, “Truth, Justice and the American Way.” [Plain Dealer]

Manga | Tony Yao summarizes a recent article from The Nikkei Shimbun that analyzes the readership of Shonen Jump, which is 50 percent female despite the magazine being targeted to boys (“shonen” means “boy” in Japanese). They break down the popularity of series by gender and discuss how the female audience affects editorial decisions. [Manga Therapy]

Robert Kirkman

Creators | The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman talks about the comic and the show, killing off characters, and why comics are cool: “Comics are a fantastic storytelling medium—I think that because there’s not a lot of money in the game, there’s not a lot of control hampering that creativity and expression, and I think that people are starting to recognize that some of the newest, most original, and coolest ideas are being explored in the comic medium.” [GQ]

Creators | Gabrielle Bell discusses her new book The Voyeurs. [Paris Review]

Creators | Batman writer Scott Snyder chats about bringing back The Joker in the newest storyline, “Death of the Family.” [Comic Riffs]

Creators | Neil Gaiman talked about Stardust and read an excerpt from his new novel in an appearance this week at Carnegie Music Hall in Pittsburgh. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

The Sixth Gun: Sons of the Gun #1

Creators | Charles Webb interviews writer Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt about their Western-horror series The Sixth Gun, which is moving toward its final arc. [MTV Geek]

Creators | Writer Brandon Seifert talks about working on the latest iteration of the Hellraiser series, Hellraiser: Dark Watch. [USA Today]

Creators | The Bakersfield College student newspaper interviews one of its alumni, emerging cartoonist Erwin Ledford, who is busy making minicomics and trying to make an impression in the small-press scene. [The Renegade Rip]

Manga | Editor and critic Shaenon Garrity takes a look at five badass shoujo manga— or, as she puts it, “my five favorite shojo manga with awesomely tough characters fighting through awesomely tough situations. Which then catch on fire.” [ANN]

One Comment

As a Cleveland native, very much looking forward to the Superman license plates. Hopefully the statue in downtown Cleveland will be up by the 80th anniversary. Big kudos to Mike Sangiacomo for working towards all this!

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Why Does Superman Wear Red Underwear Over His Costume?

This question originally appeared on Quora.

By Ariel Williams, Dreamer, Artist, and Writer

This is actually an interesting question, but the answer can be explained very easily so I will add some images to spice it up. The trend the question describes we see not just in Superman but in many comic book heroes with their origins from the earliest days of comic books from the 1930s and 1940s onward.

Printing technology and cost.
In the early 1930s and 40s, printing of comics came in two forms, black and white and four color, this is also where we get the term four color hero. In general, comic books were intended to be as cheap as possible, so they often used the lowest grades of paper and the fastest and cheapest printing methods. The color printing was usually only reserved for the cover page of a comic because it was a costly process that required the ink to be applied in four separate stages, one for each color. The problem became that when doing this, the machines had to run at a very high rate of speed to produce enough comics, and they would eventually become misaligned and need constant adjustment. This is why we see comics from this era onward with the colors bleeding outside of the lines.
Due to these minor imperfections in the process itself, the comics were produced with sharp clean edges defined by hard black, and often, the layouts would be done so that objects could be painted a single color. These restrictions and a lack of a proper gray constrained the art style to fit within the technology of the day. The methods they used to overcome this came in using either pointillism as the image above or hard solid colors as below.
(High magnification scans of comic book details from 4CP | Four Color Process ( )

Keeping your colors simple was the best way to do this, but it restricted character design and forced them to create an inventive way to make the character stand out.

Aesthetics and the superhero persona.
Working within the limitations I described above, comic book artists took great strides to make powerful and lasting impressions. Right or wrong and consciously or not, this led to emphasizing hyper masculine or hyper feminine character traits to make the characters seem larger than life on such a simple format. We often see color changes or divisions at the waist, groin, feet, hands, and chest. This allows the characters to have certain “attributes” stand out.

Which one looks more “heroic”?

(Left – original, Center – “no undies”, Right – groin accent) Edits by Ariel Williams

The center option almost seems to have neutered Superman with its lack of definition. While option three might be acceptable in this panel, in some poses or in very small panels in the comics, his legs might overlap the groin area and the entire pose might lose definition. You literally might not be able to tell his leg from his a-hole. Also, if the comic specifically defined his “package,” it might offend some 1940s’ sensibilities.

Even characters that wore only a single color often had detail lines outlining the pelvis from the rest of the body so their features could easily be made out on small panels.
Here, we can see what looks like “undies” even on human torch and Mr. Fantastic.

Modern comics are starting to move away from this trend a little as better printing technology has allowed smooth gradients and shading to compensate for the issues of the past and opened up a whole new range of possibilities.

These are images from “The New 52” DC comics reboot.
“Look ma, no undies!” (To be honest, even here we see a fine line to make sure there is definition between pelvis and legs, but at least it doesn’t look like underwear.)

More questions on Superheroes:

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Flying through a piece of the Man of Steel’s comic history – keene

Wes Serafine

Equinox Staff


So far, we’ve mostly looked at current comics–stories that you can probably find at your local comic book store today. However, we’ve only begun to scrape the surface of the vast and incredible history of comic books and superhero mythology.

This week, we’re going all the way back to where it all started with Action Comics and the first- ever appearance of Superman. The last survivor of the planet Krypton, Superman landed on Earth as a baby and was given amazing powers when exposed to our yellow sun.

To protect his adopted planet, he has sworn to use his powers to fight for truth, justice and the American way.

Though not officially recognized as the first-ever comic book superhero, there’s debate over who started the definition of what constitutes a superhero.

Superman is considered to be the template that most all other modern superheroes have been derived from.  He wears a colorful costume, has powers beyond mortal men, and he has a strong code of ethics and justice.

Superman’s original creators, Jerry Seigel and Joe Schuster, drew inspiration for the character from various movies and comic strips until they finally came up with the character we have known and loved since its creation in 1938.

We open by recapping Superman’s origin story– with Superman leaping through the air.

However, Superman’s ability to fly wouldn’t come until later; for now, all he can do is jump high. Superman arrives at the governor’s mansion and demands to be let in.

He’s there because the state is about to execute an innocent woman for murder, but he has a signed confession from the real murderer.

After bullying the governor’s butler a bit, the governor agrees to pardon the innocent woman. Despite misgivings about his immense inhuman power, the governor appears happy that Superman is on the side of law and order.

While at work, mild-mannered reporter, Clark Kent (Superman’s civilian identity) is informed about a story involving a wife beating and Clark decides to investigate it, but not as a reporter. Superman arrives and tosses the abuser into a wall.

Later readers see Clark Kent and Lois Lane out on a date. Some tough guy tries to cut in and Lois has none of it, but Clark wants to maintain his disguise of a meek and cowardly man and does nothing.  Lois on the other hand just slaps him across the face, which helps destroy the 1930s’ sexist depiction of women.

Rather than being a damsel in distress, Lois Lane is able to defend herself.

Lois leaves and calls Clark a coward, showing that while Superman might be able to bench press a mountain if he had to, Lois still wears the pants in their relationship.

The guy and his goons chase after Lois but are stopped by Superman who brings Lois home.

The next day, Clark is assigned to go to Europe to act as a war correspondent, but instead goes to Washington D.C.

He’s there to stop a lobbyist–by threatening to drop him off a building and the comic ends rather abruptly. As much as I love Superman, there are definitely some flaws in this comic. Superman seems to have some issues with violating due process and using excessive force.

However, these flaws are forgivable because at the time no one really knew what to do with him just yet or who he was. I liked how Lois was depicted–she’s still feminine, but she’s also a much stronger and willful woman than I would have expected out of a comic from the 1930s.

When some thug tries to attack her, she just slaps the guy, and the only reason she gets captured is because the thug calls his buddies over.

I think the flaws stem from the fact that none of Superman’s memorable villains have been invented yet and so there aren’t many obstacles for him to face.

The artwork in this issue is reflective of the time period. This story was originally pitched as a comic strip rather than a book, so when the idea to make it into a comic book surfaced, Seigel and Schuster had to cut and paste the strips they’d already made into book form.

Superman’s design is okay; it hasn’t quite found itself yet, but there is something to be said for the classic look.

This comic is a true classic, but sadly doesn’t hold up well today. It’s not terrible, but Superman certainly had some growing to do before he became the Man of Steel fans love.






Wes Serafine can be contacted at


    This entry was posted on November 14, 2012 at 3:26 pm and is filed under Arts and Entertainment. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.


    Nick Gazin’s Comic Book Love-in #75

    Greetings Cretins,

    I’m Nick Gazin and this is my VICE column of news and reviews pertaining to comics and illustration and things that appeal to people interested in that stuff. I hope you like it. 

    Last week the VICE Sunday comic wasn’t a comic at all! It was ten images from Devin Flynn’s sketchbook. If you don’t know Devin’s work, he’s done art for VICE in the past and is an amazing illustrator, artist, animator, and he plays in a band with Gary Panter. Check out his website to see his great and weird cartoons, which I highly recommend if you like Superjail

    Fantagraphics shared this cool one-page comic that some guy made about the Tube Bar. If you’ve listened to the commentaries on the Simpsons DVDs, then you know that the recordings of the prank calls to the Tube Bar are what inspired the prank calls to Moe’s Tavern in the early seasons of the show. 

    Look at this beautiful illustration from the 70s by Ikko Tanakka. There are a bunch of other similar Japanese illustrations in this Flickr folder.

    Look at this great drawing by Carly Elizabeth Schmitt. The proportions are all over the place but I think that adds to what makes it interesting and unnerving. 

    Spiderman wants you to vote. Lots of comic characters do. How many votes have been thrown away on Lil Abner? Did you know that not only have many comic book characters encouraged people to vote, but more than a handful have run for office themselves? Instead of reviews this column is just images of comic characters who tried to become the Commander in Chief.

    Alfred E. Neuman’s first major Mad magazine cover appearance was as a presidential candidate. This picture, painted by Norman Mingo, became the basic default image for Mad‘s mascot. 

    I think there’s been a cover showing Alfred E. Neuman running for president during every election. 

    I wonder how many Alfred E. Neuman for President stickers and posters are floating around. 

    No one runs for president like Snoopy runs for president. I want that Snoopy for President patch. It looks more like he’s going to the opera than running for president. 

    These aren’t officially endorsed but this kind of shit makes the world more magical. 

    I love this image. I wonder where that lady is now. Probably dead. Part of me wonders if she’s an ex-girlfriend’s mom. 

    Also the Joker wants to be president. And this artist drew him with a chin like Dudley Do-Right. 

    Archie, the world’s most annoying teenager, also ran for president. How did he get away with dating two girls who were best friends? I feel like Archie’s portrayal of the world warped me more than any of the porn I saw as a kid.

    Huckleberry Hound ran for president and his four make-believe animal friends showed up and were really into it. Then at some point between the time when comics went from ten to twelve cents Yogi Bear threw his hat in the ring and became a vicious campaigner who tried to fuck over his gorilla friend. 

    Pogo the talking possum also ran for president a lot. That comic was severely political at times. Can you imagine wearing that Pogo for President hat around? I think I would.

    One of the most quoted lines from Pogo was “We have met the enemy and he is us.” I feel like that’s a very Devo statement. 

    Here’s a Superman comic that imitated an old issue of Captain America

    Here’s a Superman comic with a funny campaign button and a Captain America comic that preceded it with the same basic idea. Way to not have any original ideas, comic books.

    Here’s a comic where instead of getting voted in, Superman just impersonates the president. It’s not illegal if Superman steals the presidency, I guess.

    In 1973 DC published four issues of Prez and then cancelled it. It was about an 18-year-old who becomes president. There was an issue of Sandman in which Neil Gaiman wrote about Prez. You can see more about Prez‘s story here. It’s very weirdly cynical and similar to the movie Riot in the Streets

    Reagan’s Raiders is a comic in which Reagan and his cabinet are granted superpowers so they fight drug dealers and terrorists. Besides the humor derived from seeing a bunch of wrinkly old men with muscular bodies, this seems like a pretty earnest comic. I thought it would be more of an attack on Reagan, but nope, Reagan and his friends have superpowers and they fight evil and that’s it. Somehow it only made it three issues. This reminds me a lot of something Ben Marra would make. 

    Bill the Cat ran for president too. I like that. For those under 30, Bill the Cat was a character who was supposed to be a charmless and unlikeable parody of Garfield. He always seemed kind of sick, on drugs or deranged, and just completely unappealing, but everyone else in the comic loved him and he would often become famous. He also couldn’t speak and would just say “ACK!” and give an occasional Bronx cheer. The character was supposed to be so disgusting that it could never be merchandised, but it was anyway. Here’s a poster and T-shirt encouraging you to vote for a thing that is gross on purpose. 

    Mighty Mouse ran for president. So did Bullwinkle and Alvin the Chipmunk. Not much for me to say about that. 

    I have nothing to say about Captain Marvel or Howard the Duck running for president. I hope that the images of these funny-looking creatures being the president will tickle you enough without me having to comment on it. 

    I hope you liked this. See you next time!


    Previously – Nick Gazin’s Comic Book Love-In #74



    Superman’s home linked to a real-life star

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