A couple of months ago, I stumbled across this incredible image (shown above) on Tumblr. Drawn by artist Dean Trippe, the picture shows a young boy inside the TARDIS with every single superhero imaginable. The title, ‘You’ll be Safe Here,’ was a great reminder that culture has provided us with fantastic role models to help us through times of chaos. It’s an idea I clung to when my Father was sick: I set the TARDIS arrival noise as my text alert sound, with the thought that, one day, I would look up and the TARDIS would actually be in front of me. And it would be ready to take me away on some adventure so I could avoid the pain of his cancer battle.
The TARDIS never showed up (of course), but that escapism played into the larger notion that we all have something (for me and many others reading this, that escape is probably a superhero) to provide us an outlet from the harsh realities of the world. To remind and inspire us to be better than who we are, and to help us through difficult times. Trippe’s Something Terrible plays directly into that idea, with genuinely moving results.
Without saying too much, Something Terrible is described as “a short autobiographical comic and deals with mature subject matter, including childhood trauma and Batman.” Released online for $.99, the 18-page story is beautifully drawn and written by Trippe as he deals with a past experience and how it influences his life today. It’s dark, but yet also powerful and hopeful in way that will leave you inspired.
In a time where so many of our superhero comics and movies are trying to focus on becoming grittier or ‘more realistic,’ Trippe’s Something Terrible is a reminder of why these creations have survived for so long and why they continue to inspire so many. It’s a key lesson in the power of heroes and thusly, one of the most important comics of the year – a firm statement of why we all love these characters so incredibly much.