Dan­ger­ous Minds

Newsweek International - - HORIZONS -

Comic book artist Ryan Sook used sto­ries from past is­sues of su­per­hero comics as inspiration for the first three vari­ant cov­ers of the new DC Comics series Heroes in Cri­sis. He fo­cused on some of the root causes of trauma in the lives of Bat­man, Su­per­man and Won­der Woman.

The Death of Su­per­man

The orig­i­nal comic book of 1992 that fea­tured Su­per­man’s death was the best-sell­ing is­sue of that year and one of the most sig­nif­i­cant mo­ments in pop cul­ture his­tory. Su­per­man bat­tled the nigh-in­vin­ci­ble Dooms­day across Me­trop­o­lis, fin­ish­ing out­side the Daily Planet, where they de­liv­ered their fi­nal blows. In this iconic scene, Lois Lane cra­dles the fa­tally wounded Su­per­man in her arms.

Bat­man’s Spinal Frac­ture

Un­like Won­der Woman and Su­per­man, Bat­man has no su­per­pow­ers. As a re­sult, he has suf­fered many ex­cru­ci­at­ing in­juries over the years, the most fa­mous at the hands of Bane—who was hence­forth known as “the man who broke the Bat.” The im­agery is clas­sic: Bane holds a limp Bat­man over his knee and de­liv­ers a blow with a sick­en­ing “KRAKT.” The in­ci­dent didn’t just in­jure Bat­man; it broke his spirit. The story was adapted into the 2012 movie The Dark Knight Rises.

Won­der Woman: Ex­e­cu­tioner

“Kill me,” says vil­lain Maxwell Lord, bound by Won­der Woman’s Lasso of Truth. The im­age of Won­der Woman ex­e­cut­ing Lord re­ver­ber­ated through­out the DC Uni­verse in 2005, caus­ing ten­sion be­tween al­lies Bat­man and Su­per­man and sow­ing doubt about the role of su­per­heroes in so­ci­ety. Although the killing was jus­ti­fied, it also haunted Won­der Woman.—a.k.

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