Superman’s hitting the road — and your town could be the next stop.
As of today’s Superman #700, the Man of Steel is abandoning flying and taking to the streets, embarking on a walking tour across America in an attempt to reconnect with the people of his adopted country.
The storyline that starts with this 700th issue of the Superman comic book series is titled “Grounded,” and is expected to take up “most of a year,” according to publisher DC Comics. This isn’t Superman visiting fictional locales like Metropolis or his hometown of Smallville; he’ll be spending time in real cities and towns, starting in Philadelphia.
“Grounded” is prompted in part by the recently concluded “New Krypton” comic book storyline, which took Superman away from America and Earth entirely, relocating to an approximation of his destroyed home planet, Krypton.
“When Superman started out decades ago, he wasn't running around the galaxy on big, cosmic stories," said J. Michael Straczynski, the writer of “Grounded.” He was helping ordinary folks deal with criminals and psychopaths and others out there preying on those who didn't have the money or the connections to protect themselves.”
“The whole point of Superman, as originally created, was to be the ally of those who had no other allies,” Straczynski told Newsarama.
The specific stops on his trek will be determined by a reader essay contest. Superman fans living within 50 miles of the following cities — Chicago, Des Moines, Omaha, Denver, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle — are invited to send a 75- to 1,000-word essay to DC Comics about why Superman should visit their town.
“Grounded” coincides with a landmark for the superhero’s title series, which started in 1939. Only three other comic book titles have reached 700 issues — Superman’s fellow DC Comics icon, Batman, saw #700 earlier this month, and Detective Comics, the series that introduced Batman in 1939, is currently on issue #866. Action Comics, the comic where Superman debuted in 1938, reaches issue #890 this month.
Wonder Woman, often considered the third in DC’s “trinity” of their most recognizable superheroes, hits issue #600 next week.