Back in 2017, I asked DC Comics to give the then-recently-arrived Brian Michael Bendis a Daily Planet series. I did so because I knew Bendis would nail the grit, drama, and heart inherent in Metropolis news reporting.
Well, we didn’t get that Daily Planet series, but we have gotten Bendis’s take on reporting in Metropolis – through his current run on Action Comics. And reader, it’s as impressive as I hoped it’d be.
My favorite DC comics show superheroes as friends, people who truly understand one another and work together within an elaborate, established DC Universe. Which is why I like DC Comics Presents No. 58, a book you’ve likely never heard of, so much.
Like a lot of kids, I grew up wanting to be Batman. I was the right age to catch Batman: the Animated Series fresh as it aired on weekdays and Saturday mornings. My parents bought me Batman Returns toys without watching Batman Returns (which thank goodness, that movie’s messed up). My grandma noted my infatuation and taped Batman ’66 episodes as they re-ran on daytime TV, while I was at school. She, my grandpa, and I watched them together.
I quickly transitioned from TV and toys into comics. And while my mom might’ve hoped Catholic schooling would teach me to live by Jesus’s principles, my personal philosophy is much more Mantle of the Bat than Bible-based.
“The victory is in the preparation.”
“Death is powerless against you if you leave a legacy of good behind.”
“All men have limits. They learn what they are and learn not to exceed them. I ignore mine.”
You might think those of us who care about this change are making a big deal out of underwear, and yes, we are, thank you very much. Because Superman’s trunks are more than just a design choice. The trunks are a symbol, just like the “S” on Superman’s chest. The “S” might stand for hope, but the trunks? The trunks stand for wonder.
Geoff Johns’s late 2000’s Legion of Super-Heroes stories were, unfortunately, ahead of their time.
Set on a xenophobic future Earth where lies aboutwhere Superman was born transformed our entire world into the worst parts of the American South, Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes presupposed an era when widely disseminated misinformation and entitled rage would be all it took to drive the universe to war.
But if the book’s initial premise seems prescient, then we have to hope its ending is as well. Because standing against this wave of ignorance and vitriol is the Legion of Super-Heroes. This group of diverse young adults, gathered from among the cosmos, is not having any of this xenophobic nonsense.