Is there anyone on the planet who has never heard of Superman? This famous fictional character is, well, a world-renowned celebrity of sorts, albeit one who never ages. If these characters that culture has elevated to star status did have birthdays in 2014, how old would they be? I’m using their first appearance as their birthdate (after cross checking multiple sources that do not always agree on some details).
Superman. Born in 1938.
The superhero, hiding in plain sight as reporter Clark Kent, made his debut in Action Comics #1, 76 years ago as of 2014. This issue sold in 2010 for either a million or over. The two creators apparently sold the rights originally to Detective Comics for $130.
Batman. Born in 1939.
Batman first appeared in May of that year in Detective Comics #27. That issue sold for over a million dollars a few years ago. A photo of the cover shows the original price of 10 cents. Batman’s age in 2014: 75.
Spiderman. Born in 1963.
Amazing Fantasy #15, the first issue for Spiderman, sold for over a million in 2011. As of 2014, this web hero hits year 51.
SpongeBob Square Pants. Born in 1999.
A creation of marine biologist and animator Stephen Hillenburg, SpongeBob first appeared on Nickelodeon TV in 1999 and celebrates his 15th birthday in 2014.
Snoopy. Born in 1950.
At first, Charles M. Schulz made him Charlie Brown’s pet dog in the Peanuts comic strip. We began to read his thought balloons in 1952. In the year 2014, he’s been around for 64 years, human years that is, not dog years.
Hello Kitty. Born in 1974.
Yuko Yamaguchi designed Hello Kitty for the Japanese company Sanrio. She first appeared on a coin purse in 1974 and came to America in 1976. In 2014, the character turns forty.
The Smurfs. Born in 1958.
The Smurfs originated with a Belgian comic artist named Peyo. The name of the family of blue dwarfs came from an invented French Word and they, in turn, came to American TV on Saturday morning cartoons in 1981. 2014 marks their 56th birthday.
Cookie Monster. Born in 1969.
The character known as Cookie Monster started out in commercials and TV appearances but, as the Sesame Street regular we know today, he debuted in 1969. So he’s been in show biz for 45 years as of 2014.
Lone Ranger. Born in 1933.
Some say the Masked Man was inspired by a Zane Grey book from 1915. But his first appearance came in 1933 on a radio show. That was 81 years ago in 2014.