I’m saying this up front: I am not a fan of the boy scout in blue.
Now, that’s not to say I dislike him actively. I think he serves as the best connective force in the DCU, but I also think he brings in a ton of problems just by existing.
So, when the fearless leaders of AiPT! asked if I’d review an issue where, yes, Superman dies, I felt that I had to see how the big guy went out.
It was a hell of a lot better and far more touching then I ever imagined.
The Final Days of Superman (DC Comics)
Well you pissed off the big guy…
I’ll spare you the major synopsis, but know this. Superman truly is dying. Several rounds of exposure to horrible environments have destabilized his cells, and there’s no cure. Here’s what he’s been doing to himself:
Turns out the old invulnerable Kryptonian isn’t so invulnerable after all.
I’m going to pause here to call out a huge ‘wow’ to the splash pages in this book. For all purposes, Superman is dying of cancer, and we get scenes like this that finally take away the god-like shell around the hero and show us the man:
I think that’s the hidden secret of this book, the reality.
Yes, we’re still talking about a guy who can fly, and whose ass Batman can 100% kick anytime he wants, Ed Nathanson (@ednathanson–tweet this review to him!), but he’s not unstoppable. I mean, he still does this sort of stuff:
Except that now, he can be hurt and blood is drawn easily, and he gets something we normals all get: tired.
As far as the New 52 version of Superman went, I was cautiously optimistic, but his exposure as Clark Kent, the drift from Lois, the relationship with Wonder Woman, etc etc, just didn’t feel like the guy I needed to build a universe around.
I’m assuming that feeling is why we’re getting old Superman back (and his son!), which…I’m actually excited about. What the hell, the Batman fan likes Superman again, and it’s all thanks to this book.
So, to 3 year old Patrick, I’ll say this: the guy you spent the next two years dressing up as? This book does him justice. He goes out saving the people he loves (it got dusty – I’ll admit it), and the world in the process. I’m sad it takes killing him to make him feel relevant, but hopefully the return of original Supes can handle this better without resorting to “family as weak point” or kidnapping every month.
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