I just kinda wanted to share this, because I’ve been thinkin’ about it a lot lately.
When I was a kid I didn’t have much appreciation for Big Blue. I was never one of those “Superman is boring because he’s too powerful” types but I wasn’t all that into him either. He was kinda neat, I liked seeing him do stuff with Batman, but I couldn’t really call myself a Superman fan.
By the time Justice League Unlimited reached its finale I liked him more, especially after the “World of Cardboard” speech. I was in awe of how powerful Superman truly could be, and how amazing he was in moments when he embraced that.
And then I actually started reading monthly comics with the New 52 when I started college. And it definitely wasn’t instantaneous. I like what Geoff Johns was doing with him in Justice League, and I checked out some of Morrison’s Action Comics stuff. I also picked up a few trades and graphic novels, like Birthright and Red Son and the Earth One books, and I was growing to like Supes more, but I still didn’t have that real appreciation for him yet.
And then Greg Pak took over Action Comics. And I found out a few months after that’d already started and got into it because I liked his Hulk work. And that’s when I finally opened my eyes. I think I checked out the Pak AC run because I was feeling very depressed and looking for something to cheer me up, and somebody recommended it. And the warmth, the love, and the humanity of him really shone through. I think by this point I’d already read AC #775, but now it was really clicking. And over the next couple years, when Convergence happened and they brought back pre-Flashpoint Superman and Lois, I fell in love with the character even more.
For the first time in my life, Superman was my favorite comic right after Rebirth had started. And I look back on all that material I’d experienced before, all the cartoons and movies and comics, and I finally get it. I get why Superman is so wonderful. In our ever-more-angry world, the values and pure goodness he embodies get me through some hard times. It’s funny. Now that I have a better understanding of the Man of Tomorrow, all those comments people make about why he’s lame seem so… immature. I’m not putting you down if you don’t like Superman, folks are gonna dislike stuff and they’ve got their reasons. But every time I see someone criticize Superman now I feel like they just don’t get him, and they might be a little happier if they did. And maybe that’s kinda crazy and cultish, but I just can’t help it. As I’ve left childhood behind, Superman brings me comfort, not as some security blanket I use to try and cling onto childish notions, but just as a reminder that goodness and hope aren’t things we have to abandon, no matter how bleak reality gets. And it makes my life better, and I think it makes me a better person.
If anyone else gets what I’m talking about, I’d like to hear it. Lemme know if you’ve gone on a similar journey with Superman or any other character over the years.