I went to a comicbook convention not too long ago where I chanced among my many purchases to snag a copy of SUPERMAN # 298 from April of 1976. As many of you know I collect mostly low-grade reading copies of 1970's comics, so this was just another rag on the pile ya might say.
When I finally got around to reading this issue I was utterly amazed to see the panel at the bottom of page 14, by Superman master artist Curt Swan. Superman is crying!!
It turns out the story behind it all is equally striking... Superman, under the influence of an alien power, decides to live his life for awhile entirely as his alter-ego Clark Kent. Living as Clark, Superman is no longer troubled by the responsibilities, and demands once made of him as Superman. If a ship is sinking...oh well, ho-hum, I can't take care of it, Clark has a date with Lois tonight. ( Yaknow...that kind of thing )
Anyways....as you can imagine a good deal of suffering occurs because Superman is not around to help. Eventually Clark begins to realize what he has done, and riddled with guilt, decides his only course of action is to correct the matter by living exclusively as Superman for awhile.
At first Superman is happy to be back, but soon he realizes that the world has a never ending supply of woes, and cares to serve him 24-7. The burden filled Kal-El begins to crack under the strain of living an unbalanced life, and finally in panel 14...he weeps.
I thought the panel was very striking in it's simplicity, yet enormously powerful in it's execution. Curt Swan proves once again why he was the supreme Superman artist. I was reminded when seeing this of the shortest verse in the Bible, which simply reads: " Jesus wept". We ought not ...any of us, take for granted, or place too many expectations on those we think to have seemingly limitless power. We would do well to remember they have a human side to their nature as well. I hope all of you enjoy my feeble attempt at copying one of the great comic masters, Curt Swan.