Superman as a God figure. Superman as a stand-in for Christ. Superman as a saintly presence. It’s hardly a new idea. But slapping red angel wings on Big Blue really drives the point home, wouldn’t you agree?
Superman #659 was, in execution, a fairly unremarkable issue. But to this day, I absolutely adore the premise. Written by Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza, it sees an elderly woman become convinced that Superman is an angel sent from heaven. She then takes it upon herself to sic him on Metropolis’ criminal element. Superman, of course, is simply trying to save this woman who continues to put herself in harm’s way. There’s a lot of meat on that bone, which makes me wish they’d done more with this idea than simply use it for a filler issue.
While Peter Vale and the artists do a fine job with the interior, it’s Alejandro Barrionuevo’s cover that has always stuck with me. The combined elements do a tremendous job creating that element of divine grandeur you’d want for a story like this.
Many would-be readers cry that Superman isn’t relatable enough. This premise doesn’t do him any favors in that regard. But I love that they played with the idea a little bit.
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