The year was 1938. The Great Depression was reaching its end, World War II was a few years away and the world was in waiting -- one way or another.
On April 18, 1938, Superman showed up. Created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the Big Blue Boy Scout debuted in Action Comics #1 to give the world a new hero to look up to. Superman was a beacon of hope, and he was hopelessly more human than the rest of us.
It's 2018, and in the 80 years since Superman's debut, the world has changed. But we're still in desperate need of a hero that goes beyond humility.
This week, Superman celebrates in Action Comics #1000, a super-sized comic book issue full of celebratory short stories dedicated to the Man of Steel himself and a pantheon of legendary comic book creators.
Since 2016's DC Universe Rebirth brought the character to his pre-New 52 roots, Superman has enjoyed the last few years happily married to Lois Lane and helping his son, Jon Kent, reach his full potential as a new hero. With Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason overseeing the Man of Steel's return, fans have been in good hands. And the future is bright.
Taking over official writing duties on Action Comics, Superman and a Man of Steel mini-series is Brian Michael Bendis -- a name that has been closely associated with Marvel Comics for nearly two decades.
The news came in late 2017 and shook the comic book world. Bendis was leaving the House of M for one of the biggest gigs in comics -- writing Superman.
While at Marvel, Bendis was a trailblazer, bringing to life entire universes like the Ultimate Marvel Universe and reinventing the Avengers in the wake of 2006's Civil War. He's also the creator of fan-favorite characters like Miles Morales, Jessica Jones, Quake and Riri Williams.
We're certain that Superman writing duties isn't the only thing Bendis has up his sleeve for his DC Comics exclusive deal, and we can't wait to see what he shakes up in the coming months. For now, he's taking point on Action Comics #1000, joined by the likes of Louise Simonson, Paul Dini, Geoff Johns, Dan Jurgens, Jim Lee, Tom King and honestly a whole lot more.
Then there's this.
DC Comics, in anticipation of this week's issue, has sent out press kits containing the comic... and a pair of red underwear. OK, so they're officially dubbed "trunks," and they're more important than you think.
When Superman debuted as part of DC Comics "New 52" relaunch in 2012, he was no longer sporting the big red underwear fans had come to find iconic. Instrad, he has a sort-of half belt thing built into his suit. It made... a lot more sense. But since the demise of the trunks, fans have clamored for their return.
And guess what? #TheTrunksAreBack. Yep, Superman is getting his iconic overgarment back this week as well, just in case we were unsure that this was a complete and total celebration of Superman. The trunks sent to press have that hashtag sprawled across them. It's kind of wonderful.
A new creative team and the return of the red trunks is just the beginning for what will be a new age of Superman. While the movie world may have relegated the mindshare of the Man of Steel to not-so-much (looking at you, Justice League), he's never been bigger in the comic book world.
And hey, if the source material stays this good, then we can only imagine the rest of the world will follow suit. For now, let's give it up for 80 years of saving the world.