It’s just another day in Metropolis. But not for the kids at the Children’s Cancer Centre, who are treated to an amazing sight outside their window.
It’s Superman vs old Green Lantern bad guys The Demolition Team - that’s Rosie the Riveter, Hardhat, Jackhammer, Steamroller and - titter - Scoopshovel. Five against one - the villains have no chance. Afterwards, Superman notices the watching young people.
Superman gets permission from parents and physicians to take his young fans on a trip - and he brings a friend.
Up, up and away they all go into the upper atmosphere, allowing the kids to experience zero gravity. And then, another surprise...
Do you get the impression this is a charming issue? Yeah, there’s that tussle with the Wrecking Cr... sorry, Demolition Team, but this one’s all about caring, not fighting. It’s about the ordinary folk who love having a super-powered guardian. And never in a million years did they expect to spend a day with him.
Peter J Tomasi and Patrick Gleason write from the heart, never presenting the kids as tragic victims; the realities of living with a life-limiting condition are there, but there’s no mawkishness. Which isn’t to say I didn’t get a little weepy at one point...
Warmth, that’s the keyword for this wonderful done-in-one and Barry Kitson is the perfect penciller, with his ability to produce characters who just radiate goodness. His facility with faces is a huge asset too, bringing the young people to personality-filled life. And that splash page of reflections is a reminder of just how skilled an artist Kitson is. Kitson inks some of his pages, Scott Hanna the rest, and everything looks great, with Gabriel Eltaeb’s colours the icing on the cake.
I don’t know the children’s book Goodnight Moon which this story is named after. I do remember Neil Gaiman used it in a terribly twee Batman story and I found it most puzzling. Making a connection might make this issue even better, though I can’t imagine liking it more... that delightful Chris Burnham/ Nathan Fairbairn cover had me grinning the moment I saw it, and I never stopped as I was reading the comic. There’s also a nice variant from Jonboy Meyers.
Buy this issue. Buy an extra copy and give it to someone who needs cheering up - this is Superman at his most inspirational, an unambiguously good person, and the more people who encounter him, the better.