When Miracle Monday Made Its Superman Comic Book Debut
Today, we take a look at when Superman’s holiday, Miracle Monday, debuted in the current DC Comics Universe.
In “When We First Met,” we highlight the various characters, phrases, objects, or events that eventually became notable parts of comic lore, like when someone first said “Avengers Assemble!” or the first appearance of Batman’s giant dime or the first appearance of Alfred Pennyworth or the first time Spider-Man’s face was shown half-Spidey/half-Peter. Stuff like that.
Today is the third Monday in May, which means it’s the day the Superman-centric holiday, Miracle Monday, is celebrated. The Holidays debuted outside of the comic book world, but eventually made their way into the DC Universe. So let’s see WHEN this happened.
WHAT IS MIRACLE MONDAY?
When the Superman movie came out, Warner Books did an ingenious thing. Rather than just doing a novelization of the movie, they instead had Elliot S! Maggin, the famous comic book writer who had been writing Superman comics since the early 1970s, does a Superman-related novel but not expressly a novelization. The Last Son of Krypton had a Christopher Reeve cover and everything, but wasn’t directly related to the movie outside of it being, you know, a Superman book.
A fun aspect of this novel is that it pioneered the nickname “The Last on Krypton” for Superman, which has become a popular description of the Man of Steel. It turned out that Maggin had been trying to get Superman editor Julius Schwartz to let him use the term “Last Son of Krypton” in the comics, but Schwartz kept telling him no. So Maggin was trying similar names, like…
The Colossus of Krypton…
and the Last Son of Krypton (this was the closest it came to “Last Son of Krypton”…
And when he got the chance to do his novel, Schwartz couldn’t say no to him, since Warner Books was out of Schwartz’s control, so Maggin followed him, and a famous nickname was born!
Anyway, for Superman 2Warner Books has taken up this approach, with Maggin writing the iconic novel, Miracle Monday.
The book was remastered a few years ago…
The book was about a professor, Dr. Kristen Wells, who goes back in time to find out how a holiday (Miracle Monday) was founded. Early in the novel, we learn how the holiday was celebrated in the future:
On Miracle Monday, the spirit of mankind flew free. This Miracle Monday, like the first Miracle Monday, came in the springtime of Metropolis, and for the occasion a springtime weather was arranged wherever humanity’s dominion extended. On the satellites of Uranus where the natives held an annual gliding rally through the planetary rings, private contributions even made it possible to position gravitational fields in orbit for spectators in open space. On Titan, bubbles of oxygen released in complicated patterns to ignite with the methane atmosphere and produce fireworks visible all the way to Saturn’s surface. At Nix Olympica, the eight-kilometer-high Martian volcano, the subterranean pressures that the Olympica Resort Corporation had artificially built up over the previous year were unleashed in a spectacular display of molten fury for tourists strolling around of the erupting crater carrying pressurized energy shields. In Armstrong City, in the Moon’s Sea of Tranquility, there was a holographic re-enactment of the city’s founding in 2019, when, on the fiftieth anniversary of his giant leap for mankind, the first man on the Moon returned, aged and venerable, to what was then called Tranquility Base Protectorate, bearing a state charter signed by the President of the United States. Ski lift ticket prices on Neptune inflated for the holidays. The teleportation routes to the beaches and mountains on Earth have become incredibly congested. Interplanetary wilderness preserves have become almost as crowded with people as cities on Earth. Aboard the slow orbiting ships that carried minerals and fossil materials on slowly decaying loops to the sun from the asteroids, the teamsters partied until they couldn’t see. On nameless worlds scattered in this corner of the Galaxy, where Earth missionaries, pioneers and speculators carried their own particular quests, it was a day for friends, family, hobbies and – if that brought happiness – reflection.
The novel reveals HOW the holidays happened, and it’s so cool I’m not going to spoil it for you. Just go enjoy it for yourself! If you are interested, Elliot S! Maggin actually did an audio version of the novel in his podcast, Elliot Makes Stuff Up!
WHEN DID MIRACLE MONDAY MOVE INTO THE SUPERMAN COMIC BOOKS?
Miracle Monday was released in 1981. Two years later, we found Kristen Wells in DC Comics presents the year #2 (by Elliot S! Maggin, Keith Pollard and Mike DeCarlo), when she teaches her class a lesson about the last secret identity that is not known to people from the future…
the hero known as Superwoman!
Some members of her class noted that much of Superwoman’s powers could be duplicated by modern (well, modern for them, you know?) technology. They then tell Wells that she should just go back in time and investigate again. She’s done it before, so why not again?
So she does and if you know anything about anything, you’ll know who will end up becoming Superwoman.
A year later, Superman celebrated the 400th issue of his solo series, and Maggin and artist Klaus Janson finally showed Miracle Monday celebrated in the comics (in the distant future)…
Of course, this being the comic, this celebration has a special visitor…
Superman himself, lost in time!
What a lovely little tale and a wonderful way to celebrate Superman’s birthday while incorporating the now-famous holiday into the comic book universe.
If anyone else wants to learn about an interesting comic first, message me at [email protected]!
Happy Miracle Monday!
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