Superman. In the seventies, when I discovered comics, Supe was my go-to. Action comics, The Brave & the Bold, Justice League, Legion of Superheroes … if Kal-El was in it, I had to read it. My favorite stories were from a writer called Elliot S! Maggin. He understood Kal, Superman and Clark Kent. He displayed the subtleties and friction between those three men.
Maggin wrote several Superman novelization paperbacks. One of those I read over and over until it literally fell to pieces. It spoke to me in a way I didn’t know was valuable until many years later. I’m thinking now that I realized the abuse I was under and the book helped me believe in me, but definitely under the surface.
It was called ‘Miracle Monday’. There’s a subplot about visitors from the future and battling a demon, but the meat of the story is the utter defeat of Superman. Not through overwhelming brute force, but psychologically. The main villain convinces Kal-El that he does not belong among the people of Earth. He destroys Superman emotionally.
Superman abandons Clark Kent and flies to the top of the world to live in solitude. Grieving and feeling sorry for himself, he opens his ears to the entire world, listening. After a moment, he discovers the perfect rhythmic song of the world. The footsteps of a man crossing the street in New York are in rhythm with a band rehearsing in a garage in London, and so on. Fascinated, he shifts to listen more intently. Rocks that he disturbs tumble into a gorge and fall in sync with a dancer in Mexico.
Superman realizes he is a part of the music of the planet and … well, you know. He’s Superman.
All of that to say: So are you. You are a superhero to someone. Your very heartbeat is a part of the lives of the people around you.
Keep seeking truth. Keep breathing. You are a valuable part of us.