There’s a reason Superman is such an iconic character in and out of the comic-book world. He was the first costumed superhero. He made his first appearance in 1938 after Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel teamed up to create the famous Kryptonian. For a bit of Canadian pride, it’s worth noting that Joe Shuster was born in Toronto, which was the city that inspired Superman’s fictional home of Metropolis.
Since his creation, Superman has been through multiple alternate universes and reboots, but he always kept up with the times. No matter how many new writers change a bit of his story, there will always be those Superman series that will be remembered for their greatness. A common complaint about Superman is that people seem to believe he has no weaknesses aside from that fatal little green rock, kryptonite. But if that’s what you believe, you’re missing out on some of the best Superman stories ever told. The Death of Superman and All-Star Superman are debatably the greatest series on this fantastic character. A personal favourite of mine, All-Star Superman by Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely, and Jamie Grant, is a series that takes a look at how Superman faces his new-found mortality. This humanizing tale goes to the very heart of the character, showing what a man everyone thinks is invulnerable would do if he knew he didn’t have much time left. Even though he wants to spend time with the woman he loves, he doesn’t stop being a hero. He gives up his last moments of happiness to make sure the world he will be leaving behind can go on without him.
For me, the most memorable part of this series was only a page long, but it did the best job of showing how important compassion is. Superman finally gets a moment to talk Lois Lane, but flies off to stop a teenager from jumping off a building’s ledge. In our world, we often let ourselves remain ignorant to anyone’s problems but our own. People are so preoccupied with the little things in their lives, they miss the opportunity to truly help someone else. Even small gestures could make a world of difference in someone’s life, but so many people remain blind to that, looking at the problems on their Twitter feed instead of the ones right next to them. If someone as otherworldly as Superman can take a moment to tell someone they matter, putting aside his imminent death, then I don’t see why we can’t take a moment to ask someone how they’re doing.
Natasha Leduc is an aspiring novelist with a passion for superheroes, and young adult and youth fiction. A nature lover, she lives in a secluded area surrounded by water and trees, the perfect place to take a notebook out and write whatever comes to mind.