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When Did We Learn the Address of Clark Kent's Apartment?

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, based on a suggestion from reader Riccardo N., we look into the first time that Clark Kent's apartment was given the address of 344 Clinton Street, Apartment 3-D.

Obviously, in the early days, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster were not really all that considered about world-building. No one in comics really was. Batman's set-up was different from issue to issue early on (my favorite is where Bruce Wayne just kept his Batman costume in a chest at the foot of his bed). So when they say Superman is in his apartment, there really was no thought into it beyond "Superman is in his apartment"...

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As the years went by, the characters obviously became more and more familiar to the readers. However, even with all of those increases in familiarity, when it came to Clark Kent's apartment, it was simply, well, you know, "Clark Kent's apartment"...

There was no consistency between shots. No one was trying to see if his apartment had any standard design. It was just an apartment for the sake of him needing an apartment because he was, you know, a person living in the city...

That all changed in a surprisingly early comic book story. Bill Finger was famous, as far as Superman stories went, for being the guy who actually DID try to fill in Superman's background. Back in 1948, he did the first full Superman origin, for instance. He was the guy who tried to come up with explanations for Superman's powers for the first time. He came up with the idea of an indestructible blanket from when Superman came to Earth was used for his costume.

And in Superman #112 (with art by Wayne Boring and Stan Kaye), he was the one who came up with an address for Clark Kent's apartment building - 344 Clinton Street...

One of Clark's neighbors seems suspicious of him, which makes Superman think that he is on to his secret identity...

Otherwise, Clark spends a lot of his time in the neighborhood just helping his fellow tenants out with their lives..

In a clever bit, Superman overhears a neighbor telling her boyfriend that she can't be with him anymore because she is in love with Superman. So he takes her on a date and shows her that being Superman's Girl Friend is not a lot of fun...

He then nudges her towards her boyfriend while he finally figures out what is the deal with his suspicious neighbor...

As it turned out, his neighbor saw Clark coming in and out of his apartment so many times, and at such weird hours, that he assumes that Clark Kent was a criminal posing as a reporter!!

The end of the story confirms that his apartment number is 3-D.

Remarkably, while lots of other stories like this get just lost in the shuffle, for whatever reason, 344 Clinton Street was sort of locked into continuity and it remained Clark Kent's apartment, not just Pre-Crisis, but Post-Crisis, as well!

Thanks for the suggestion, Riccardo!

If anyone else has a question/suggestion for a notable comic book first, drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

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