Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Death of Superman

One of the most tragic and comic book world altering events was the Death of Superman. The legendary Man of Steel who saved the world time and time again from greedy, sinister villains was killed in the Death of Superman series. Superman who continues to be every child's favorite hero was born in 1938. This was a crucial time where many Americans needed a super hero, someone to let them know that everything would be alright and that they were protected. It is interesting that the birth of superman can at a time when the Second World War was erupting.

Despite being a comic, there was certainly a lot of political backdrop. Where kids saw superman as a cool hero that was super strong and could do anything, adults noticed the parallels of Superman breaking through the Iron Curtain which symbolized the Soviet Union. Kryptonite was Superman's only weakness. Other than that he was indestructible. So why did Superman have to die? Some speculate that he was no longer an interest to the public...well tell that to the millions of people that go to ComicCon festivals and the new superman movie coming out.

Others believe that superheroes are no longer admired as they once were. Some simply say that it was time for Superman to step aside. Even the traditional elements that make up Superman such as his infamous changing in telephone booths is no longer "realistic". When was the last time you saw a telephone booth?

Superman's demise came at the hands of the evil villain, Doomsday. Superman fought the good fight, taking Doomsday down with him but in order for him to do so, he had to give up his own life in this final battle. The end of an era. The storyline was amazing for the time because superheroes just didn't die until now. Although, resurrection seemed to be a reaction to Superman's untimely death, this made national and international news. In terms of success, the Death of Superman sold out over the night topping all comic sales charts.

Out of Superman's death came four reprisals of Superman. Although they were not really superman, they were poised to take his place. Most of these characters were awarded with their own titled series including Super Boy and Steel. There was also a reaction comic to the Death of Superman "Funeral for a Friend" where friends and the general public react over his death. The writers knew that superheroes were losing their glory of the olden times which is one of the reasons why they depicted Superman's death, to show the world what the world would be like without these tremendously popular and influential superheroes.

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