I've been a fan of Superman my entire life. I've seen the movies. I've watched the TV shows. I've read the comics and graphic novels. But I've never attempted to write an original story using the character. This is my first attempt. Depending on reaction, it may be the last. Hopefully I won't get into too much trouble with DC Comics (since Superman and related characters belong to them). More importantly, I hope I don't get into too much trouble with other die-hard comic book geeks.
The sun was shining brightly on Superman's face as he hovered miles above the earth. It was mid-day in mid-October, a time of year that he used to really enjoy. Even here, so far away from his childhood home in Smallville, his super-senses still allowed him to catch the scent of crops being harvested, of dust being kicked up by tractors.
Harvest time meant a lot of things to young Clark Kent. For one thing, it meant the holidays were coming. And just because his physiology wasn't the same as everyone else it didn't mean he didn't enjoy Ma's Thanksgiving spread. But more than a great meal toward the end of November, the harvest meant that Clark got to spend a little extra time with Pa.
Jonathan Kent taught Clark a lot of valuable life lessons in raising the boy from another world. One of those lessons was the importance of putting in a hard day's work. Sure, Clark could have cleared the back 40 in a minute flat without the help of any machines, but that didn't mean that he should. "The earth took its time to grow the corn," he said one day as Clark expressed his disappointment at not being able to use his speed. "I think we should take our time in gathering it."
Thinking back on that time brought a smile to the Man of Steel's face. His dad was gone now and he still missed him every day. But this time of year still reminded him just how important Jonathan Kent was in shaping the man who would become Superman.
He began flying lower, weaving his way around buildings, making his presence known in the city. This time of year meant something different in Metropolis. Just as it was when he was a boy, the harvest time meant the holidays were on their way. But the holidays take a different turn in the big city. People grew desperate as the holidays approached. And Superman knew that desperate people could be counted on to make bad decisions.
In the coming weeks, he may not necessarily be faced with an alien invasion or an attack from Metallo or even a scheme hatched by Lex Luthor, but he would almost certainly need to step in when someone gets mugged or a bank gets robbed. He may be faced with regular people who are desperately attempting to make ends meet. Superman knew that, in these cases, he wouldn't be able to rely on strength and speed when hurting and hungry families were involved.
He was a symbol for truth, justice, the American way, but what good is that in a world where people are suffering at the hands of poverty and disease? Suddenly, he heard a child's voice yell, "Hey, Superman!" He slowed and turned toward the direction of the voice. He smiled and waved at a group of kids jumping up and down on a playground. And for a moment, as he shot straight up into the air, he thought that maybe giving people hope would be enough for now.