Saturday, March 6, 2021

Review of "The World of Metropolis 4, Suicide Watch," DC comic

 Review of

The World of Metropolis 4, Suicide Watch, DC comic

Five out of five stars

The comics begin to cover social issues

 The history of comics can be split into three eras: before Wertham, the time after Wertham and the establishment of the Comics Code Authority and then after the comics code authority was disbanded. Before Wertham published his book, “Seduction of the Innocent,” the content of comics was pretty free-wheeling, with violence and bloody monsters standard fare. After that, there was a dramatic change, the famous Comics Code Authority was established, and the content became very vanilla with little to nothing in the way of controversial content.

 There was a landmark change in 1971 and it was in response to a request from the administration of Richard Nixon of all people. In 1970, Stan Lee at Marvel Comics was asked by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare to publish an anti-drug message. The issue was a Spider-Man that appeared in 1971 and did not have the Comics Code seal of approval. This was a landmark publication that helped pave the way for real issues to be addressed in the comics. It can be argued that it was a major step in the abolition of the Comics Code Authority.

 In this issue seventeen years later, DC addresses another major issue plaguing the United States, the act of teen suicide. Jimmy Olsen is an unpaid copy boy at The Daily Planet and he has a young female friend. She has problems at home with her parents, so one day she swallows a whole bottle of pills and somehow makes it to Jimmy’s house. Since this is before Jimmy has his Superman signal watch, he must create a way to summon Superman if the girl is to survive.

 While this story is very generic in terms of the actions of Superman and the other main characters, the fact that it deals with an attempted suicide makes it groundbreaking in the comics area. The title is also a pun on the events in the story.

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