He may be best known for laying down the theories of the Fourth Dimension, but Albert Einstein has also traveled through several dimensions – in comic books, at least. Yes, the beloved “father of relativity” has made quite a few appearances in comic books over the years, sometimes in surprising ways.
Einstein’s comic book cameos not only play off his historical status, but also his iconic appearance. “Einstein’s face is the most recognizable face worldwide,” says Hanoch Gutfreund, the director of the Albert Einstein archives at Hebrew University in Israel, a school which the physicist helped establish. Below, we round up some of our favorite Einstein comic book cameos!
Superman & Batman (DC Comics)
One of Einstein’s first comic-book appearances occurred in the pages of Superman number 55, published in November 1948. He didn’t really take on a cartoony element at this point, though. The issue just contained a two-page text biography of the physicist called “The Boy Who Wasn’t Too Bright,” a reference to Einstein’s quiet demeanor as a child, which led many to believe that he wasn’t actually very smart.
Superman and Einstein didn’t appear in a comic book again until 1978, when DC Comics published an oversized “treasury edition” comic book called Superman vs. Wonder Woman. Set in 1942, this story starts with Wonder Woman rescuing Einstein from people intent on stealing files from the Manhattan Project. Wonder Woman learns the secrets of the Project, and, horrified at their potential, ends up stealing the files herself. That leads to a misunderstanding between heroes, as was common back in the day. Superman and Wonder Woman fight for a few pages, then settle their differences and save the day. Superman and Einstein never meet, alas.
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