DCAU #290: This Is a Job for Superman

IN THIS ONE... A very busy night in the life of Superman.

CREDITS: Written by Mark Millar; art by Aluir Amancio and Terry Austin.

REVIEW: As soon as you hear the kid asking Superman for help finding his lost dog just in case the Man of Steel can hear him, you know where this is heading, but it doesn't make Superman eventually coming through for the boy any less poignant. In fact, I found it unusually poignant, and perhaps it's because Millar throws so much stuff at his hero that you actually doubt the story's happy ending, even though you know Superman has that dog in the back of his mind the whole time.

This is an incredibly busy night for Superman, and includes thieves with freeze guns, a pregnant woman to bring to the hospital, a hijacking, express organ delivery, a mine shaft cave-in, an execution to stop, and a killer meteor swarm. The news the next day are almost unbelievable and yet must often be like that. Pleasantly, most of the events are linked, one leading to the next in natural progression. And he misses one. Someone committed suicide on his shift; he can't help everyone, but it hurts him when it happens.

Would a real Superman have time for lost dogs? When you have super-speed, I suppose you might. The point is that every life is important to Superman, and that if he CAN help, then he feels he must. He sets priorities, but gets to the end of his to-do list. And yet, he has limitations. For example, the hijackers claim they have legitimate political grievances, but he says he has no interest in politics, and besides, those grievances became moot when they picked up guns and put people in danger. The story is thus an essay on the kind of hero he is, and what purpose he serves, and that purpose is overwhelmingly PERSONAL. When he saves the world, we're all impacted, but day in and day out, he's saving lives and dogs one at a time.
REREADABILITY: High - I love stories that show us what Superman is all about and why he's important.

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