Superman, Spider-Man respond to a message of hope

For DC and Marvel comic book characters, "Blackest Night" is giving way to "Brightest Day"

The comic book world embraces hope and change.

When Barack Obama won the 2008 presidential election, many Americans celebrated in a wave of hope and optimism. Not least among the joyous were the comic book makers – at last the White House was occupied by an admitted fan of their genre!

Throughout 2009 and on into 2010, DC Comics, home to Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, has been producing a limited series of comic books called “Blackest Night.” These grim tales cross over different DC publications and have many of the DC heroes facing their dead friends and loved ones who have risen from the grave.

But next month, “Blackest Night” will give way to “Brightest Day” – a storyline that will run through a number of new and current series in the line. While details have been sketchy, DC has referred to this as a “rebuilding of DC universe.”

Meanwhile, over at Marvel Comics (Disney’s recent acquisition), characters are working their way through an event called “Dark Reign.” This storyline – which also crosses over several publications – has allowed the villains to take over, putting the heroes into hiding or on the run.

"Dark Reign,” however, is about to end, with the return of America – oops, I mean CAPTAIN America – who has been thought dead for a couple of years (a none-too-subtle analogy). First, there will be the mini series “Siege” in which the heroes take back their world from the villains. That will be followed in May by the “Heroic Age,” which begins with a relaunch of “Avengers #1,” which – in a true spirit of bipartisanship – will reunite Iron Man, a reborn Captain America, and Thor as comrades rather than foes.

Comic book readers across the US can’t help but wonder: Will President Obama be tuning in to the joint DC-Marvel message of hope and change?

Rich Clabaugh is a staff artist at the Monitor.

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