How Old Would Comics Characters Be If They Aged Normally? (And What Would They Be Doing Now?)

We begin with Green Lantern Hal Jordan, who first appeared in 1959, which is 58 years ago.  

Well, the first question we have to answer is, how old was he in 1959?

(Bear in mind, that all of this is based on my admittedly incomplete knowledge of the character. I am open to correction.)

I don't know that an exact age was ever given, if it was, I never heard about it.  I always took him for about 30.  The way he was drawn, he didn't look to me like he could be much younger than that.  Plus, while I don't know much about becoming a test pilot, minutes of internet research has led me to believe that one doesn't simply roll out of flight school and become the sort of test pilot that Hal Jordan was shown to be. I had the impression that he'd been in the USAF, so presumably he did at least a minimal tour of duty, and spent sometime establishing himself as a civilian test pilot, so I figure that 30 is a reasonable estimate.

In that case, Hal Jordan would be 88 now.

So, what would he be doing? I like to think he would have had a long, noteworthy career in the Green Lantern Corps and the Justice League of America.  Undoubtedly, he would eventually have been offered a spot in the Guardians; Honor Guard, but it wouldn't surprise me if he turned them down for more active duty.  

I expect he would be retired by now, although I can imagine an older Hal taking a hand in training younger or less experienced Lanterns.  I expect these would be like the children he never had - I just can't see him as the "settling down" type, somehow. Now, he's living somewhere in comfortable solitude, occasionally getting together with Barry and Ollie and maybe some of the others for a beer, and listening as they tell him what their grandkids did.  It's become a custom that when whoever is the current Green Lantern for Sector 2814 is out Earth way, they make it a point to stop by if they can, and fill him in on the latest Corps gossip and scuttlebutt.

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Today, I was thinking about Archie Andrews. The character was introduced in 1941. If we assume he was 16 years old at the time, then he would be turning 93 this year.

What would he be doing now? To an extent, that depends on how light or dark you want to go, I suppose. Not to be morbid, but a very likely answer is that he would be dead by now. 

Assuming he was still alive, how would I imagine that his life would have gone?

Well, he would have been 18 in 1943. I don't know much about the actual mechanics of the draft, but I imagine it's possible that he (and Reggie and Jughead, etc.) would have either been drafted or enlisted, and served in the Second World War.

After the war, he would have come home and married Betty and started a family, probably gone to school on the GI Bill.  He would have lived a mundane life, punctuated by typical Archiesque hilarious incidents.  

By now, Archie would be a great-grandfather. Assuming Betty was still alive, then depending on their health. they'd probably be living with some member of their extended family, or perhaps in an assisted living facility. 

Mr. Weatherbee and Miss Grundy would be long gone, but doubtless their spiritual "descendants" would still be working at Riverdale High, maybe even dealing with the antics of some actual descendant of their legendary Archie Andrews.

In the very first story he and Betty look like early adolescents or younger: it's a boy-gets-into-trouble story rather than a teen story. But they aged rapidly.

It doesn't help that there are so few siblings in Archie Comics.

As far as I remember, Archie, Veronica and Reggie were all only children. Betty was until 1962, when older sister Polly was introduced (and 1963, even older brother Chic). Jughead only had a nephew (or cousin?) Souphead, but gained little sister Jellybean in 1993. In the new, rebooted Archie. Moose is the oldest in a huge family, so he's got a lot of siblings now -- but I don't remember any before 2015. Dilton doesn't seem to have any siblings sneaking into his lab. 

There are the Blossom twins. When did they come along -- 1990s?

Alexander and Alexandra Cabot, despite the names, weren't twins in Josie and the Pussycats, but they were siblings. I don't recall Josie, Valerie or Melody having any siblings.

This always struck me as odd in the 1960s reading Archie Comics, because I was at the end of the Baby Boom, and everybody had brothers and sisters.

Anyway, when the Archie gang hits their 90s they won't have any "youngsters" in the family in their 80s! (Well, except Jellybean.)

How about Billy Batson? How old would he be now? And would Captain Marvel age accordingly?

Good question.  Billy first appeared in 1939. How old was he supposed to be? Thirteen.? that would put him at 92, chronologically.  How he and Captain Marvel would age gets into the whole question of what you think the relationship is between the two of them.  Captain Marvel was always called the "World's Mightiest Mortal", wasn't he? I guess that means Cap would age, but maybe not at a normal rate.

The Wizard Shazam was mortal yet had an extended lifespan. when "The Power of Shazam" passed to Billy Batson, I assume the same would be true for hin as well. That's the tacj Jerry Ordway took.

When Black Adam transformed back to his mortal self in the original comics, he turned to dust -- his mortal body had aged thousands of years while the Black Adam body did not (or not noticeably, at any rate). 

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