A fan project written by Scott Kurtz and illustrated by Karl Kerschl draws praise for its heartwarming depiction of a Superman who cares for all.
A piece of Superman fan fiction originally penned eight years ago has finally been realized alongside glorious, inspiring art.
Originally written by PvP webcomic artist Scott Kurtz (PvP, Table Titans) in 2013 after watching Man of Steel, the 5-page story attracted the attention of artist Karl Kerschl (Gotham Academy, Teen Titans: Year One), who volunteered to illustrate it as a fun side project. After eight years, Kerschl finally finished the comic and posted it on his website. “We did this because we love Superman,” Kerschl said on Twitter, pointing out on his website that the short script “captured the simplicity and positivity that I always long for in a Superman story.”
“I’m gobsmacked,” Kurtz tweeted in response. “I love Superman. And while this is just a work of fan fiction, it feels like a real Superman story to me because of Karl’s art. He elevated my words. Pun intended. Thank you, [Karl], for finishing this. We all need more of the Superman who is everyone’s friend. I’m so glad you shared this.”
The short story features Superman landing in a farmer’s field and colliding with a combine harvester after a battle with Titano the Super-Ape. After dusting himself off, Superman greets the farmer and his grandson, apologizes for the destruction and points out that he fell on the combine to avoid hitting the farm’s house. Superman then autographs a piece of the combine for the farmer — likely worth “millions on eBay” — to make up for the damage. He departs with his traditional “up, up and away” catchphrase, and the wrecked combine eventually becomes a tourist attraction for all to see. The farmer and his grandson also end up keeping Superman’s autograph instead of selling it.
Kurtz and Kerschl’s heartwarming depiction of the Man of Steel’s humanity and willingness to care for everyone immediately attracted acclaim across social media, with some drawing comparisons to Superman’s portrayal in Grant Morrison’s All-Star Superman series of 2005. In that series, Superman performed a number of heroic deeds in his final days on Earth, including gently talking a young girl out of committing suicide.
Comic professionals including writer Brad Meltzer (Identity Crisis, Justice League of America) and artists Bengal (Batgirl, Death or Glory), Marcio Takara (Incorruptible, Nightwing) and Mikel Janin (Batman, Superman and the Authority) all praised the project, pointing out how much they loved it. Actor Brandon Routh — who played Superman in the 2006 film Superman Returns — also retweeted the comic, writing: “This is hope. This is Superman.”