Doomsday is here. Superman engages in battle with a seemingly unstoppable killing machine named Doomsday in the streets of Metropolis.
The “Death of Superman” was the event that introduced me to comic books. I was twelve years old when a friend of mine brought me to our town’s local comic book shop for the first time. It was a pivotal moment in my childhood and would spark a life long long affair with the story telling medium and the superhero genre in particular. |
The symbolic death of America’s most iconic superhero was immediately appealing to me. Although I was young, I was always an advanced reader and, at an early age I was reading and writing well above my age and grade level. I had shown an aptitude for understanding complex metaphors. When the marketing campaign for the local comic books shops role out the imagery that accompanied the marketing campaign for the local comic book shops, particularly for the following “Funeral for a Friend” chapter, was full of symbols marking the fall of a great American hero.
Within the context of American culture in the 1990’s, the “Death of Superman” plays on a pervasive concern at the time that the United States was having a crisis of conscious at the moment it inherited the responsibilities of global leadership as the world’s sole superpower. There was a sense that the tried and true American values were somehow antiquated in the modern world; and, as far as superheroes were concerned, what character was more antiquated then Superman, the American Boy Scout?
More importantly – to twelve year old me – Doomsday’s rampage across the American Mid-West was full of major battle scenes, massive explosions, and the single biggest fight in Superman’s history, a fight that would leave a super man dead.