For many, Christmas time is a season that’s equally comforting and cold, both a time of giving and togetherness, and a constant reminder that someone, somewhere, is going without. There have been countless stories that explore the tragedies and triumphs of the holiday season, but lately, there is only one story I keep coming back to for comfort and guidance: the story of a man giving everything to achieve the impossible, and trying to make the world a little brighter…if only for a day.
In 1998, legendary creators Alex Ross and Paul Dini released Superman: Peace On Earth, a story that set the boundless optimism of the Man of Steel against the ever-present struggles of the real world. Published to mark the character’s 60th anniversary, Peace On Earth was the first step in a grander collaboration between Ross and Dini, as the two creators used each graphic novel to explore the real-life power of DC’s greatest heroes.
“The genesis of the books was something I was building up to doing from coming off of Kingdom Come,” recounts Ross. “I put together this pitch that was based around what I felt were the four icons of DC: Superman, Batman, Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman. I had this burning desire to return to Superman above all.”
Casting the hopeful image of Superman against the more somber backdrop of Christmas, Peace On Earth serves as Ross and Dini’s ultimate critique on the character as both nuanced man and inspiring myth; exploring humankind’s capacity for compassion and evil, and whether we can use that potential to truly find peace on Earth.