Friday, April 19, 2024

So, When Is Superman Day, Exactly?

Did you know yesterday was Superman Day? I didn't and Bree at MassivelyOP didn't remember the date either. It turns out there's a good reason why we might have been confused. There's more than one Superman Day.

Bree was reporting on what she'd read in a press release from Daybreak Games' subdivision Dimensional Ink, which confidently begins "April 18th marks the official celebration of Superman Day across the web, the world, and the DC Universe." And that's the truth. Or one of them.

The DC establishment backs April 18. James Gunn is Mr. DC for the moment and he certainly thinks April 18 is Superman Day. So does Elizabeth Tulloch aka Lois Lane from Superman and Lois, the show now set to mark the swansong in the long-running and fitfully fruitful relationship between the CW and DC Comics.  

April 18 has apparently been "Superman Day" in some realities since 2004. The date was chosen because it marks the anniversary of the first appearance of the Man of Steel in Action Comics #1 back in 1938. 

If you google "When is Superman Day?", though, Days of the Year, supported by many other calendar websites, offers June 12, citing an official announcement to that effect by DC Comics in 2013. There's clearly some confusion going on, which may or may not derive from the sheer number of possible anniversaries available: Superman's birthday, Clark Kent's birthday, the arrival of Kal El on Earth and the first appearance of a comic featuring the Man of Tomorrow.

According to one of the sources linked above, there's a lore explanation for choosing April 18: it's the date Superman gave as his birthday in an interview with Lois Lane and the date he uses for official purposes. Unfortunately, whoever made that claim neglected to provide details of where and when the interview took place and I haven't been able to verify it. (Okay, I haven't tried to verify it. I have other things to do, you know...)

The same source, which I am not convinced is reliable, asserts that in his alter ego of Clark Kent, Superman claims June 18 as his birthday. Most other sources suggest what I seem to remember from my own comics-reading days, when Superman's birthday was usually given as February 29

A possible clean-up for all this comes from the unlikely source of Sky History, whose This Day in History column explains - while citing June 17 as Clark Kent's birthday - that in the 1950s Superman cut his cake and blew out his candles (Carefully, one hopes...) in October, before shifting the celebrations to Leap Year Day in the 1960s, where it remained for a couple of decades before moving to June. Just to be awkward they also throw December into the mix with no supporting evidence at all.

At this point it has probably become clear to us all that no-one knows when Superman's birthday is, nor when or most likely even what "Superman Day" is supposed to be. This is why Dr. Egon Spengler was so insistent the streams should not be crossed.

What I do know is that DCUO is celebrating its own version of Superman Day from now until... actually, I'm not clear on when it stops but it carries on into next week at least, because that's when they're giving way some free posters. 

I'll be there for that. DCUO gives good poster. I'll have somewhere to put them, too, because thanks to the games obtuse and confusing UI and patent lack of clarity I now have two entire bases to decorate. Or, in one case, re-decorate.

How did that happen? Well, I'll tell you. Only I'm going to keep this extremely short for once. I feel I've written more than enough two-thousand word essays on my own incompetence for anyone to want to read another. I certainly don't want to write one.

The key points are these: I logged into the game to spend 2000 DBC on the new prestige lair, Superman's Fortress of Solitude, for some reason now renamed the Sunstone Fortress. I have cash shop money to burn so even though the real-world equivalent is allegedly $20, it cost me what I consider to be nothing.

I bought it with no problems and added it to my Base collection but then I spent the best part of an hour, including much googling and watching YouTube videos, trying to figure out how to set the damn thing as my second base. You can have up to eight of them, allegedly, but I just could not figure out how to get more than the one I already had.

In the process I managed to completely strip all the furnishings from my old base, move it across town and replace it with the Fortress and still end up with only the one lair. In the end I figured it out (You have to buy a Deed from the cash store AS WELL as the Fortress, which is technically just a visual skin, not an additional property. Also the Deed is really hard to spot due to the way the menus work and the dumb color scheme they've gone with. It took me three passes to find it and I only spotted it then after I'd watched someone do it in a video...)

After an hour and a half, during which I even got half-way through submitting a Customer Service ticket before I decided I was going to make myself look utterly ridiculous by doing it, I finally got everything sorted to the point where I now have two bases, one of which is my new Sunstone Fortress and the other my old Gothic Lair.

They are both completely empty, of course. All my furniture - and I have a lot, almost all freebies - is in storage. It's going to take me several solid sessions to get both lairs as I want them but if I'm honest, the first one was a mess. It really needed a makeover and now it's going to get one.

Decorating in DCUO is fun so it's more of a treat than a trial. And Krypto's going to love his new home, I'm sure. 

When I'm all settled in I'll probably do another post about that but for now, enjoy the sense of space in all those outdoor shots. That view is what I really bought the place for...


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