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Monday, February 15, 2016

Action #305: It's Lonely at the Top

In this Imaginary Tale-within-a-Real-Tale from October 1963, Superman has decided to forego a Secret Identity.  In the previous pages of this conjectural timeline, he lost his parents to a vengeful crook.  Having moved to Metropolis in the present day, he's constantly pestered by us mortal-types who want a selfie with the Great One.

It turns out that random door-knocks in the night aren't the ONLY downside of being Superman and having your address in the phone book.  Certain enemies might come calling ...

Sure enough, hometown nemesis Lex Luthor sets up on a roof across the street and does a little skeet-shooting with Kryptonite. (Sounds like a punk band, huh?)

Next thing you know, the President is gently asking Supes to please take his crime-magnet self out of Metropolis.  When our good ol' Prez tells you to hit the road,  that's serious stuff, campers.

Here, in this final page of today's excerpt, we get a glimpse of the same mental funk that Alan Moore tapped into for Adrian Veidt in Watchmen.  Our Superman is isolated, watching the world at a remove (sorta like Doc Manhattan too!)

Having had very lonely times in my life (haven't you?), I know what it's like to play hours of solitaire, desperate for a friend or congenial face.  You do indeed feel like the loneliest man in the world.

Taking the Watchmen allegory a bit farther, what makes Superman different from the social outcasts depicted in the Moore/Gibbons tale?  Probably his childhood, raised and socialized by a loving family.  He feels a part of the world, not a giant bestriding a planet of ants.

That empathy and humility, my friends, are at the core of compassionate heroes.  That's truly what we want when we cry "Save me!"

Think deeply on our need for rescue, and I'll see you Wednesday with the next few pages from our story.

 

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