Death Done Right in Comics

I will admit to become a Scans Daily addict. Updated daily with the latest comics, dips into the past, and "context is for the week" scans, it's the perfect comic base for readers who want to see what stories they're getting into.

Why do people still read DC Comics? Because even when the writers and editors screw up, or when they pull off a mass publicity stunt like Superman's death, they can create the most beautiful and powerful stories with their characters. Case in point . . . 

I wish I could post the actual page, but I have a feeling that would be copyright infringement. But, in the case the link doesn't work, a woman berates Superman for not saving her husband while he was away failing to save New Krypton. If you scroll down to the comments, everyone is united against the woman, who can't comprehend that Superman isn't trained to be a surgeon.

I feel sympathy for her. My father died from cancer, and my mother suffered the most. She turned to religion to save him, believed what his traditional family told her, but even he lost faith at the end. In other words, this woman may not comprehend that genocide just occurred, but she is nevertheless a realistic if unlikable minor character. And her words affect Superman, who is still recovering from his own losses; he was her last resort, and he failed her, even though he's not God.

The people commenting also mention that Superman by now should realize his limitations. I respect that view, but limitations mean nothing when you're facing a grieving woman, especially a desperate one. But Superman is not infallible; neither is Batman. Every failure, even if it could not be avoided, will weigh on their conscience. But they deal with it in different ways; Batman treats failure with punishment, even punishing himself if it happens, while Superman tries to understand the situation.

Why else do we read Superman? We want to see him win, but not without struggles; Batman wins more hearts because a bullet can wound him, and his sidekicks have died.

Sidenote: In the 1950s, Superman tries to convince a cynical blind girl that he is Superman, and uses his x-ray vision to find a glass shard in her cerebral cortex. Then he uses super-speed to learn medical training from books to operate on the girl and restore her sight. So in theory . . .

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