18 June 2010


Don't be surprised if relatives in Kansas don't return your phone calls this weekend, or if half the folks you know are seen spotted running around town trailing a red cape.  In fact, we'd suggest you fit yourself with a cape of your own and join them. It's a holiday, after all

June 18th has long been observed as the day Kal-El's rocket ship, sent forth into the cosmos from the planet Krypton to save his life and in turn, for him to save ours, landed on Earth.  As for the year of the occurrence, there's much speculation. Some say it happened in June of 1938, when Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster chronicled Kal-El's arrival in the pages of Action Comics #1.  Others claim Krypton's Last Son crashed even before then; some say that it hasn't happened yet.  

As with politics and religion - and one could argue that Superman is, indeed, a bit of both - polite conversation should make every attempt to steer clear of controversial matters of personal import.  If conversationally unavoidable, we'd advise that in lieu of joining the debate, you excuse yourself with an appropriate "Up, up, and awaaaayyyy!" and seek your converts, if you must, in a less public forum.

Thankfully, comicsblogging is definitely not polite conversation, and its liberating platform allows us to present our views on the matter of Kal-El's crash-landing with (near) impunity. As the traditional of corn on the cob dinner is even now being prepared, the DVR already readied for tonight's 13-hour Smallville marathon and the final readings (a difficult choice between For The Man Who Has Everything and Issue #2 of Birthright) selected, let us say briefly that Kal-El's landing didn't happen in 1938 - although it did - and it won't happen in the future -- although it will. The space ship that carried baby Superman to our planet has, is, and will happen -- it will always happen, or be happening, no matter what the time or year or era.    

Such is the way of the very best of  stories, and the reason why 18 June is a truly important date not just in comics history, but in yours -- and ours. 
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You already know the story. So, how would you tell it? If you're Grant Morrison, the answer would be  '8 words.'  Morrison and artist Frank Quitely's All-Star Superman is undoubtedly the greatest contribution  to Superman's mythos of the last decade; for dabblers needing a refresher on this June 18th, there could be none better.

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