The 52 special

A Steel Trap

by Dirk Armstrong, Daily Planet Columnist

METROPOLIS, SEPTEMBER 20 — 

Was it too much to hope, when Superman went missing five months ago, that his disappearance would signal the end of the Age of Super Heroes? Apparently, it was. There seems to be no end in sight to the stream of super-powered busybodies seeking to fill the void left by the “Man of Steel.” Thus there is no hope for normal humans to regain control over our own destinies any time soon. You don’t believe me? Just look at the recent actions of the man called Steel.

His involvement in fighting a blaze at a midtown Metropolis apartment building this week has been covered extensively. But let’s look at it a little closer, shall we? Our ever brave-and very human-firefighters struggled valiantly to put out the fire and, thankfully, managed to evacuate everyone inside the building. Steel showed up, his presence neither expected nor requested, and proceeded to enter the building and hold up three stories in his bare hands, delaying its inevitable collapse. An impressive display of strength, to be sure, but was it truly necessary?

It is clear that Steel’s refusal to leave the building after it had been evacuated nearly took the life of Metropolis Fire Department Lieutenant Dennis Caruso, who went back into the inferno to convince Steel to get out. Lieutenant Caruso escaped by the narrowest of margins.

We must ask ourselves: Can we be sure the firefighters would not have been able to get the job done without Steel’s involvement? What happens next time? Should our firefighters simply wait for him to arrive and not even bother trying to complete the job themselves?

Super heroes answer to no one but themselves and are therefore unreliable. Overdependence on them can and will lead to disaster.

In the aftermath of the fire, Steel reportedly told Lieutenant Caruso, “Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, all of them gone. It’s time all of us did our part.”

You can do your part, Steel, by stepping back and letting us normal humans try to take care of ourselves. We may stumble here and there. But the only way we will grow as a species and as a civilization is if we don’t have godlike beings stepping in to nursemaid us at their whim.

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