Superman’s darkest story turns his symbol into a mark of shame

The darkest story in the Superman franchise has his “S” standing for fear, shame, and regret as a hero learns all the wrong lessons – and pays the price.

The darkest story of Superman the story turns his famous ‘S’ symbol on his chest into a mark of shame as DC reveals that even someone who idolizes the Man of Steel can learn all the wrong lessons from his actions – and pay the price strong. DC real worlds label is a bold experiment for the company in which no superheroes ever appear; it’s heavily implied that heroes don’t even exist. The world of real worlds is, for all intents and purposes, the real world, meaning the character in the center of Superman: The Real Worlds faces real consequences. There’s no plot armor and no assurance that the heroes will survive the story – and the protagonist is far from a hero.

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Eddie Dial is a humble corner store attendant who is constantly bullied by everyone, including a street gang. When Eddie tries to defend a woman from the gang (actually the gang leader’s girlfriend), they mockingly call him “Superman”, get him drunk, and pay a tattoo artist to create a huge Superman “S” shield on his chest. ‘Eddie. This (admittedly convoluted cartoonish) prank ends up ruining Eddie’s life: he fights with gaping clients, loses his job, faces eviction, breaks into the gang leader’s apartment to steal money, and is arrested and thrown in jail for years. .


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In prison, Eddie swears to change his life. “I’m tired of being pushed around! I’m going to take this symbol and make it my own! From now on, it means only one thing: to settle the score!” As soon as he is freed, Eddie rises through the ranks in the criminal underworld, eventually becoming a feared and respected gang leader, known on the streets as “Superman”. He rarely wears a shirt, and everyone soon associates the Superman symbol with terror. But fame goes to Eddie’s head; he begins selling Superman dolls to families for the purpose of greater admiration. Believing he is no longer the intimidating leader he once was, his associates cast him out of his own organization, beating him senseless and leaving him for dead.



A viewer, taking pity on Eddie, describes the message and symbolism of the whole story in a sprawling monologue. “The Lord cursed Cain to wander the Earth, a fugitive, and He put a mark on him, that all he met would know him for who he was.” Eddie promises to turn his life around again, this time for the better, and after saving the life of a man from his former gang, he enters the witness protection program and becomes a school counselor (after testifying against all his former partners). Superman’s classic tattoo is the only indication of his former life.

Eddie dies at the end of the story – from a heart attack, not from a gunshot or an exotic weapon from a world-ending villain. The true power of Superman’s symbol is fully explored here; its ability to inspire as well as its ability to frighten. In a strange turn of events, DC Real Worlds: Batman question was about the dark knight as a figure of hope, while Real Worlds: Superman told the story of a symbol of fear. by Superman the symbol is not inherently good or bad; it’s only as hopeful as the wearer.


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James V. Hayes