Superior comic book cover

Superior by Mark Millar and Leinil Yu. Image via

Avid collector, part-time reader, or simply an appreciative audience member of their film adaptations, comic books are a part of American iconography. The superheroes of comic books fulfill our need to have cool super powers, our dark desire to be the avenger of injustice, our whim to be the rescued damsel in distress or to be the one doing the rescuing. Comic books have given us heroes we have identified with in troubled times, both personally and as a nation. They reveal both the lightest good and the darkest evils of mankind, and explore the conspiracy theories, battles and wars, and criminal acts that plague our everyday lives but in the comic book world we have the power to change it all. Comic books personify the fight for good and evil and even though our heroes face woes, loss, disappointment and defeat, there’s always next weeks comic and a chance to right the wrong.

Comic books have long dealt with the issues of being different, being something other, and being persecuted for it. But it wasn’t until the famed series The X-men that the comic book world really delved into the prejudices that exist in the world. The superheroes of the X-men were extraordinary because of their difference but were feared, reviled, segregated for their difference, and all the while the mutant gene that made them different spread and mutants of all varieties became an equal number in society.

In essence, the mutant history is like that of the history of disability. Once feared, considered lesser or wrong, persons with disability have gone from being reviled, hidden away, and segregated, to being recognized as a larger whole of society; as euqally diverse and rich in abilities, aptitudes, and differences as they are in similarities to persons without disability.

Even still, we can’t help but feel a little partial to this comic, Superior. A creator-owned comic book series written by Mark Millar and illustrated by Leinil Francis Yu, the comic is publised by Marvel Comics under the company Icon Imprint.

Plot synopsis:
Simon, a young boy with multiple sclerosis, idolizes superheroes, particularly Superior, a Golden Age hero from 1948 who is a pop culture comic book and film and merchandising icon, but who has been forgotten in present times. An Alien appears at Simon’s bedside, informing the boy that of all the people of Earth, he has been granted the honor of being bestowed a single magical wish. Simon requests that he be transformed into Superior.

Millar has admitted that the book is a “love letter to the Christopher Reeves ‘Superman’ movies,” and has explained that he is “saddened that Superman is [viewed as] less cool than some of the other characters” he’s worked on over the course of his career. [Source]

You can read more on the project and on Millar and Yu, who you may recognize as the creators from the comic turned movie “Kick Ass,” here.

Superior made its debut in stores October 13, 2010. Visit your local comic book den for purchase.

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