Comic book creators honor Sept. 11 heroes
Ordinary men and women -- firefighters, police officers, and airplane passengers -- are the subject of a popular new comic from Kevin Smith, Todd McFarlane, and others
The superhero on the cover of the fastest-selling comic book in recent memory has never come near a radioactive spider, nor taken a single class at Professor Xavier’s school for mutants. Instead, the craggy-faced, mustachioed man featured on ”Heroes” — a Sept. 11 benefit book from Marvel Comics — is an anonymous New York firefighter striding through the ruins of the World Trade Center, a stricken victim in his arms.
This collection of pin-up drawings and short text pieces from top comic book creators, including filmmaker Kevin Smith, ”From Hell” writer Alan Moore, and ”Spawn”’s Todd McFarlane, depicts the heroics of police, firemen, and ordinary Americans in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. ”The line between Spider-Man and a fireman or a policeman or an EMS worker has always been wafer-thin,” says Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Joe Quesada, who put ”Heroes” together and contributed art to the project. ”Just because one can fly or stick to walls doesn’t make them that much different. Their outlook is basically the same.”
Fans snatched up the full print run of ”Heroes” — 96,000 copies — within five days of its October 17 release, and a second printing is new in stores. ”For something to sell that kind of quantity in that short of time, that’s pretty unprecedented,” says Jim Kuhoric, national comics purchase manager for Diamond Comic Distributors. ”[‘Heroes’ is] actually doing two good things: It’s helping the people who are affected by the tragedy and it’s also getting some new blood into comic book stores.”