Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

The Adventures of Superdad

Collapse
X
Collapse

  • The Adventures of Superdad


    Superman V4 3After a prologue in Action Comics #1000, we stand here a few weeks before the Brian Michael Bendis era of Superman truly begins. As is to be expected, Bendis and DC have both played details of his story pretty close to the vest, aside from a little playful trolling and a reassurance that Bendis doesn’t want to just blow up what the previous creative teams did as they move on. I’m not here to speculate on what comes next, nor to plead with DC to keep things one way or another, but rather to talk about what those previous teams have done right, and why it has meant so much to me. I’m here to talk about Jon Kent.

    But first, let me backtrack. Although I was, of course, aware of the character as far back as I can remember, the first Superman story I ever bought new off the stands, eagerly awaiting each new chapter, was “Krisis of the Krimson Kryptonite.” This 1990 storyline culminated in Superman #50, in which Clark Kent proposed to Lois Lane. So you see, while fifty years of comic book fans before me had grown up with the story of a nosy reporter who kept trying to prove Clark’s double identity or (ah, the casual sexism of the Silver Age) trying to ensnare him into matrimony, to me, the two have pretty much always been Lois and Clark, Super-Couple. I watched as they were wed, I saw their lives together bloom, and I was perplexed by the people who complained that having the two of them married somehow “limited” the stories that could be told with Superman. (My contention then, as now, is that if you can’t think of interesting stories to tell with a married couple, that’s a failure of the writer, not the character.)

    Superman: Lois and Clark 8Without getting into the nitty-gritty, the New 52 happened, then Convergence happened, then DC Rebirth happened, and the long and short of it is that “my” Lois and Clark disappeared from the scene for a few years and returned with a 10-year-old son. I liked this new status quo immediately. Superman has been my favorite character since I was 13 years old, after all, and watching him develop into this new stage of life was interesting to me.

    Then something unexpected changed my life. Well, several unexpected things, actually. The first was on January 13, 2017, when my mother passed away quite without warning. The second was January 23, when my wife Erin told me she was pregnant. And the third was August 30, when -- in the midst of a tropical storm -- my son Eddie was born. In less than a year, to quote Marlon Brando from a somewhat relevant movie, the son had become the father.

    Any parent reading this will probably confirm that nothing changes your life as much as having kids. Getting married, changing jobs, buying a George Foreman grill -- all of these things pale in comparison to finding yourself responsible for the health and happiness of a tiny human being. You worry constantly about whether or not you’re doing the right thing. You’re afraid you’re going to get the wrong food, buy the wrong diapers, drop the baby down the stairs, somehow accidentally sell him to a troll in exchange for spinning straw into gold. It doesn’t matter how ridiculous the scenario, as a parent, it will appear in your mind as a real and present danger.

    Jon loses his cool.Of course, as I read the Superman comics, I realized that it could be worse. I didn’t have to worry about Eddie accidentally discovering his heat vision and vaporizing the cat.

    The story of Clark and Jonathan shifted. When the super-family first returned, in the Superman: Lois and Clark miniseries, the story was largely about them living in a strange new world and Jon learning that his parents had kept a secret from him. Now, as of Superman Rebirth #1, it was about a parent trying to help his son come to grips with who he was.


    It might sound silly, but this is actually something that grew to matter to me a lot. Superman has been a man I wish I could have been for most of my life. Now that he and I both became fathers in such a relatively short period of time, I find myself relating to the character in ways I never did before. My own father is wonderful, to be certain, and I've always admired his real-world strength. But there’s something about watching Superman deal with the issues of having a son at the same time as me that makes these stories particularly meaningful. It doesn’t matter if you’re faster than a speeding bullet or able to leap tall buildings in a single bound if the problem at hand is your son being upset over moving to a new town or trying to cope with a mistake he made. And even if I had Superman's power, I'd seriously consider stepping into the molecule chamber at the Fortress of Solitude and giving them up if it would take my boy's pain away now that he's started teething.

    There’s been a lot to enjoy in the post-Rebirth era of DC Comics, but nothing has touched my heart as much as the adventures of Superboy and Superdad.

    I don’t know what Bendis has planned. I suspect Jonathan isn’t going away entirely, as Peter Tomasi has hinted that there are plans in the works for him and Damian Wayne after their Super Sons series wraps up. But whatever the case, what we’ve had so far has been magnificent. And for me, as Superman always does, it arrived just in the nick of time.

    Blake M. Petit, amateur dad, has been pontificating about pop culture online for over a decade. You can follow him online at BlakeMPetit.com and, if you're feeling generous, check out his books on Amazon.
      You must register in order to comment!

    What Do You Think?

    Collapse

    Latest Articles

    Collapse

    • DC Universe: Early Impressions
      Blake M. Petit
      It’s been a couple of weeks now since DC Universe, the new online streaming service, was launched. I’ve spent a good bit of time playing with it, and I know some people wanted to hear my thoughts, so I’m going to give you guys a quick rundown on the three major components of the service, going from the least satisfying to the most.

      First off, the movies. The movie selection is fairly small -- the Christopher Reeve Superman movies, the first two Christopher Nolan Batman movies, several of the animated films. Part of the issue here may be one of availability -- I have no idea who currently has the streaming rights to, for example, the two Swamp Thing movies, so it’s possible that DC couldn’t offer those even if they wanted to. But there are other things that they definitely DO have that aren’t there -- the Burton/Schumacher Batman movies, for example, were put on the site for two weeks following “Batman Day” on September 15, but were then removed on October 1. Why? They...
      10-03-2018, 03:00 PM
    • The Superhero Watch: X-Men Movies United (Part 2)
      Blake M. Petit
      In the beginning, there were Stan and Jack, and yea, they begat the children of the atom. And yea, it was good, And as always seems to happen with good things, eventually they made some movies out of them. In part one of this two-part installment of The Superhero Watch, we looked at the six movies (so far) that make up the main X-Men movie franchise. Today, in part two, we're looking at the three solo Wolverine films, the two adventures of Deadpool, and we glance ahead at the future of the 20th Century Fox X-Men universe once it moves over to its new overlords at the Walt Disney Global Media Consolidation Phalanx and Tiki Bar. And don't forget to read the previous installments focusing on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Spider-Man franchise, and the Superman films. And if you want to keep track of my progress in-between articles, there’s a Letterboxd list just for that purpose.

      The Wolverine Trilogy: X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), The Wolverine (2013), Logan (2017)....
      09-12-2018, 05:13 PM
    • The Superhero Watch: X-Men Movies United (Part 1)
      Blake M. Petit
      Before the MCU, before Spider-Man on the screen, and well after Howard the Duck, there was a different sort of Marvel Movie Universe. It wasn’t Marvel’s first hit -- that honor belongs to Blade-- but it was the series that redefined the superhero movie. In many ways, I don’t think the current dominance of superhero movies would exist if it weren’t for 20th Century Fox’s X-Men franchise. Today in the Superhero Rewatch Project (you’ll notice I dropped the “2018” -- I’ve resigned myself that there’s no way in hell I’ll finish this before the end of the year), we’re going to look at the eleven films that make up that universe thus far. And of course, feel free to read the previous installments focusing on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Spider-Man franchise, and the Superman films. And if you want to keep track of my progress in-between articles, there’s a Letterboxd list just for that purpose.

      The story of the X-Men films to date is the story of three trilogies, plus Deadpool....
      09-11-2018, 04:25 PM
    • Someone is Dying in the DCU, and Honestly, That's Okay
      Blake M. Petit
      In a few weeks we’re going to be treated to the first issue of Heroes in Crisis, DC’s latest event series, which is being promoted as a “murder mystery.” Sanctuary -- a hidden location in the DCU where heroes can go to recover from traumatic ordeals, both physical and emotional -- is supposed to be a safe place for champions, so someone getting killed there is a shocking concept. And DC is doubling down on the shock value, with the latest issue of DC Nation magazine proclaiming “in 21 days, one of these characters DIES!” and giving us the six candidates for the victim that will kick things off. These days, though, comic book characters die and come back to life with such regularity that it’s almost impossible to get worked up about it. Heck, one of the potential victims -- Tim Drake -- has already “died” and came back since the Rebirth relaunch two years ago. So it’s really hard to believe that this death, whoever the corpse-to-be is, is going to stick.

      But the more I think...
      09-06-2018, 06:02 PM
    • Fantastic Four #1: A Wonderful Welcome Home
      Blake M. Petit
      Fantastic Four #1 (Marvel Comics)
      By Dan Slott, Sara Pichelli, Elisabetta D’Amico, Marte Gracia, Simone Bianchi, Marco Russo, Skottie Young, Jeremy Treece & Joe Caramagna


      When Marvel cancelled Fantastic Four in 2015, with no plans to relaunch it yet, there was an uproar. Some people, some of those marvelously cynical people who live on the Internet, argued that nobody cared about the Fantastic Four anyway. But that’s clearly not true. The Fantastic Four is my favorite Marvel property. The Thing is my number two character in all of comics (after Superman). And having them missing from my life for three years has created a hole that’s just gotten bigger and bigger.

      In one issue, Dan Slott has made me feel like we’re finally coming home.

      Ben and Johnny, both still believing Reed, Sue, and the kids are dead, are trying to get on with their lives. Ben and Alicia are evaluating their relationship (as they often do), Johnny is palling around with...
      08-08-2018, 07:39 PM
    • In Which I Try to be a Ghostbuster
      danahammer
      When my friend suggested I come along on a real, live ghost hunt, my immediate and obvious reaction was “Fuck yeah!” The idea was, we would go to a haunted house, the homeowner would give us ghost hunting equipment, we would participate in a seance, and supernatural shenanigans would ensue.

      ”But you don’t even believe in ghosts,” said my husband, who often misses the point.

      ”So?”

      ”So, why do you want to go on a ghost hunt when you don’t believe in ghosts?”

      ”Um, if I have to explain to you why I want to pretend to be a ghostbuster, I don’t even know why we’re friends.”

      Anyway, the haunted house in question was supposedly the site of some gruesome murders that took place in the 1970s. The night of our ghost hunt was supposedly on the anniversary of those murders. (wooo-oooo!) Of course, after arriving at the house, I was skeptical. First of all, the house was built in the 1990s, which, for fall of...
      08-06-2018, 06:29 PM
    Working...
    X