Superman returns . . . to post offices

2006 Superman and Supergirl stamps (courtesy USPS) Snailmail just got a lot faster, or at least a lot cooler. Available today at post offices across the United States are two new Superman stamps.

The first is an iconic portrait by Curt Swan and Sheldon Moldoff. The second new Superman stamp features the classic cover of Superman #11 from 1941, by Fred Ray.

Not to be outdone, Superman’s cousin, Supergirl, is featured on two new stamps as well. The Supergirl character shot features art by Swan and Stan Kayle. 1982’s issue #1 cover of the Daring New Adventures of Supergirl by Rich Buckler and Dick Giordano makes up the second Supergirl stamp.

The Superman and Supergirl stamps are part of the 20-stamp “DC Comics Super Heroes” collection. The other stamps depict Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Green Arrow, and Plastic Man.

1998 Superman stamp (courtesy USPS)The new stamps actually represent the second and third Superman stamps released in the US. In 1998, the postal service released a stamp called “Superman Arrives,” which was a modified version of the cover of Superman #2 by Joe Shuster.

Postal regulations prohibit honoring the same person on a stamp within the same ten-year period. However, super heroes are exempt from this rule.

While Superman may be faster than a speeding bullet, even his super speed cannot outrun rapidly rising postal rates. With a rate increase proposal already in the works for 2007, these 39-cent stamps may soon themselves become history.

Information sources: United States Postal Service, Yahoo! News.