Written by Peter J Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
Pencils by Barry Kitson
Inks by Barry Kitson and Scott Hanna
Colors by Gabriel Eltaeb
Cover by Chris Burnham and Nathan Fairbairn
This issue stands alone, and requires no previous reading or setup.
It’s just another day in Metropolis, and Superman is fighting some bad guys. The Demolition Team have just destroyed a bank, and think for some reason they can Superman. The Man of Steel defeats them handily, and then notices that he has an audience when he hears cheering. Superman turns to find hat he is flying right outside a hospital ward for what appear to be terminally ill children. The children excitedly gather around as Superman talks to the administrators, who agree to allow Superman and some of his friends to take the kids on a Superhero-sized field trip. Green Lantern arrives and makes a shuttle to carry all of the kids up to the Justice League Watchtower satellite.
On the Watchtower, the kids are greeted by the rest of the founding members of the Justice League, who all spend some time entertaining the kids and using their gadgets and powers to play with them. Superman organizes a scavenger hunt, and gives the kids all camera phones to obtain the last and hardest item on the list: A picture of Batman’s smile. The children immediately run in all directions in search of the items on the list. As they search they all attempt to make Batman laugh or smile, but to no avail. Finally, one of the kids politely asks Batman to lean down, and quietly whispers a joke in Batman’s ear that successfully gets The Dark Knight to break a smile! The final event of the day is for the kids to don space suits and walk on the surface of the moon. They lay down memorials for their friends that they have lost, and Superman watches with pride as they all gaze at the stunning view of Earth from space.
Thoughts on the issue: Writers of superheroes and especially Superman should take note: It’s important to take a step back from insane comic book plots and just remind yourself what makes a character special. Issues like this one remind me why I love Superman, and why I’ll keep reading Superman for the rest of my life. Here we see a hero without ego, without agenda, just creating an amazing day for some sick children. There may not have been a big supervillain fight (besides the amusing cold open with The Demolition Team) or some foiled doomsday plot, but Superman still saved the day for those kid. And when Superman saves the day, we all smile. Even Batman.