Today, we take a look at when the Superman holiday, Miracle Monday, made its debut in the actual DC comic book universe.
In “When We First Met”, we spotlight the various characters, phrases, objects or events that eventually became notable parts of comic lore, like the first time someone said, “Avengers Assemble!” or the first appearance of Batman’s giant penny 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 that it is when the Superman-centric holiday, Miracle Monday, is celebrated. The holiday debuted outside the world of comic books, but eventually made its way into the DC Universe. So let’s take a look at WHEN that happened.
WHAT IS MIRACLE MONDAY?
When the Superman movie came out, Warner Books did an ingenious thing. Rather than just do a novelization of the movie, they instead had Elliot S! Maggin, the acclaimed comic book writer who had been writing Superman comics since the early 1970s, do a related Superman novel but not expressly a novelization. The Last Son of Krypton had a Christopher Reeve cover and everything, but was not directly connected to the movie outside of the fact that it was, you know, a book about Superman.
An amusing aspect about this novel is that it debuted the nickname “The Last on Krypton” for Superman, which has become a popular description of the Man of Steel. As it turned out, 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 would try out similar names, like…
The Colossus from Krypton…
The Crusader from Krypton…
and the Last Survivor of Krypton (that was the closest he came to “Last Son of Krypton”…
And when he got the chance to do his novel, Schwartz couldn’t tell him no, since Warner Books was outside of Schwartz’s control, so Maggin he went with it, and a famous nickname was born!
Anyhow, for Superman II, Warner Books did this approach again, with Maggin writing the iconic novel, Miracle Monday.
The book was remastered a few years back…
The book was about a professor, Dr. Kristen Wells, who goes back in time to discover 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 humanity soared free. This Miracle Monday, like the first Miracle Monday, came in the spring of Metropolis, and for the occasion spring weather was arranged wherever the dominion of humanity extended. On Uranus’s satellites where the natives held an annual fog-gliding rally through the planetary rings, private contributions even made it possible to position orbiting fields of gravitation for spectators in free space. On Titan, oxygen bubbles were loosed in complicated patterns to burst into flame with the methane atmosphere and make fireworks that were visible as far as the surface of saturn. At Nix Olympica, the eight-kilometer-high Martian volcano, underground pressures that the Olympica Resort Corporation had artificially accumulated during the preceding year were unleashed in a spectacular display of molten fury for tourists who walked around the erupting crater wearing pressurized energy shields. At Armstrong City in the Moon’s Sea of Tranquility there was a holographic reenactment of the founding of the city in the year 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, carrying a state charter signed by the President of the United States. The prices of ski lift tickets on Neptune inflated for the holiday. Teleport routes to beaches and mountains on Earth crowded up unbelievably. Interplanetary wilderness preserves became nearly as crowded with people as Earth cities. Aboard the slow-moving orbital ships that carried ores and fossil materials on slowly decaying loops toward the sun from the asteroids, teamsters partied until they couldn’t see. On worlds without names scattered throughout this corner of the Galaxy, where Earth’s missionaries, pioneers and speculators carried their own particular quests, it was a day for friends, family, recreation and – if it brought happiness – reflection.
The novel reveals HOW the holiday came about, and it is so cool that I won’t spoil it for you. Just go enjoy it for yourself! If you’re interested, Elliot S! Maggin actually did an audiobook version of the novel in his podcast, Elliot Makes Stuff Up!
WHEN DID MIRACLE MONDAY MAKE ITS WAY INTO THE SUPERMAN COMIC BOOKS?
Miracle Monday came out in 1981. Two years later, we met Kristen Wells again in DC Comics Presents Annual #2 (by Elliot S! Maggin, Keith Pollard and Mike DeCarlo), when she is teaching her class a lesson about the last secret identity that is not known to the people of the future…
, the hero known as Superwoman!
Some of her class noted that much of Superwoman’s powers could be replicated by modern technology (well, modern for them, ya know?). They then tell Wells that she should just go back in time and investigate again. She’s done before, so why not again?
So she does and if you know anything about anything, you’ll know who ends 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 far-off future)…
of course, this being comics, this celebration has a special visitor…
Superman himself, lost in time!
What a delightful little tale and a wonderful way to celebrate Superman’s anniversary while also working the now famous holiday into the actual comic book universe, as well.
If anyone else wants to know about an interesting comic book first, just drop me a line at [email protected]!
Happy Miracle Monday!
Who Was the First Legacy Superhero?
About The Author