Sitting in the darkened open landscape area of news room, at a desk
lit only by a single green trimmed florescent desk lamp, a dark
haired woman dressed in a white blouse and cranberry skirt typed
rapidly. Though the Daily Planet had started migrating to a
computerized system for story composition, Lois Lane still preferred
to compose her drafts on worn but reliable Smith-Corona typewriter.
Something about the click-click-click of the keys and the ding-swish
of the carriage return said "journalism" to her.
She was alone in the newsroom, working on a column. With the
craziness of the Invasion still going on, most of the staff was
already working overtime to try and get all the news covered. Most
of it wasn't very good news though.
The attacks were still happening all over the globe. Though
victories were occurring, it seemed like a never-ending assault. The
mood of the city was down, and it reflected that of many cities. It
didn't help that Superman had not been seen for weeks either. That
It concerned her.
And, in part, that's where this assignment had grown out from. Lois
heard the rumblings and grumbling all over: on the subway, at the
corner newsstand, at the coffee shop, even around the news room
Where are all the heroes?
Lois had something to say about it!
It didn't take much to convince the Planet's editor-in-chief to run
with her idea via a commentary column. Usually she would have to
compete with Clark Kent for the spot; Perry seemed to prefer Clark's
down home personal approach to Lois' sometimes biting words. But
Clark had taken some time off for personal reasons. If it had been
any other reporter asking to put in a favor at a time like this,
Perry would have said no. But the editor respected Clark and was
glad to have him back on staff again after his foray into broadcast
news. Good reporters were hard to find. Perry knew the value of
respect and loyalty too. Clark had all those good qualities and more.
Lois stood up to stretch and picked up the most recent copy.
A light flashed outside the building!
She rushed over to the window to see what it was, that reporter
instinct in her kicking in.
Something had fallen from the sky and started a small fire on the
street below. Already she could see the red flashing of crews coming
to handle it.
She shook her head. "No ambulance chasing tonight," Lois said to
herself. "Got to finish this first." She went back to her
typewriter so that she could finish the final draft for tomorrow's
WHERE HAVE ALL THE HEROES GONE?
a commentary by Lois Lane
Although it seems like so long ago, it has been just barely two years
since the blood red skies, strange weather patterns and time jumbled
events that threw our world into a crisis unlike it had seen before.
Our world persevered despite what seemed like unbeatable odds, and
eventually life returned to the norm once more.
With the advent of this recent incursion by inhabitants of other
solar systems, it appears that we face unparalleled crisis yet
The onslaughts come without warning and without reason. Many people
across the globe have found themselves without homes, their lives
turned upside down in a matter of moments. The global economy is on
a downward spiral. Children go to bed at night crying in their
pillows, wondering when it will all end. Some adults do too.
Naysayers are always going to be around, quoting interpretations from
the writings of Nostradamus, the 16th Century astronomer, as if those
vague predictions carried any weight. The horoscopes in the
entertainment section are as reliable but at least those are labeled
properly for amusement purposes only.
I saw a man today wandering the streets of this city wearing a sign
that said 'the End is near!'. I don't buy it! Everyday, the sun
rises. Just as it has since the dawn of our solar system. Just as
it will tomorrow.
What gets me though is those who are sighing with despair 'where have
all the heroes gone?'. It reminds me of the lyrics of a song from a
popular movie soundtrack couple years ago:
"Where have all the good men gone and where are all the gods? Where's
the streetwise Hercules to fight the rising odds?"*
People of late are acting as though our mighty protectors have
abandoned us, that our champions of justice have turned a blind eye
to the society that needs them, that dark times are approaching.
That is far from the truth!
Its not uncommon for the people of Metropolis to catch glimpses of
Superman streaking overhead, on his way to put out a four-alarm blaze
or corral a criminal who has just broken out of Strykers' Island.
Even when Kryptonite rained down from the skies and covered our fair
city, the Man of Steel found a way to put Metropolis back onto the
road to recovery despite the dangers to himself.
And now, we have a Superwoman too. The mysterious Thorn, as her name
implies, still strikes at the sides of organized crime in the urban
corners of our great city. Even someone like Cannonball, who lends
himself out to commercial endorsements, serves in his own way.
And our city isn't alone with its heroes.
The Dynamic Duo of Batman and Robin patrol the rooftops of Gotham
City along with various allies that work best under the cover of
night. New York City has the Titans, operating out of their gleaming
tower off the East River. Star City and its gritty streets are
brightened by the presence of Green Arrow and Black Canary. The
Green Lanterns and the Titans West serve and protect California and
the West coast regions. Even once forgotten heroes like Captain
Comet have returned to active duty as well.
Around the world, most countries have protectors of their own: the
Paladins in Great Britain, the Bushrangers in Australia, Doctor Light
in Japan, the Rocket Reds in the Soviet Union, and the Global
Guardians and its many diverse members that hail from all seven
And high above the Earth, the Justice League satellite once again
orbits like a watchtower in space. It monitors our world, allowing
that team to handle disasters and situations as soon as they arise.
The crisis two years ago saw their satellite fall from the stars in a
fiery blaze, but nothing could keep Earth's mightiest heroes down
forever! Like a legendary Phoenix, they rose again to their former
glory, rebuilt their satellite headquarters and reinstated many of
the members who had left the team in years prior. Over sixteen
members strong, they continue to be a primary source of protection
and inspiration to us all.
And where we had lost some great champions in recent, others have
come forth to take on those legendary names: the Atom, Batwoman, the
Flash, the Knight and the Squire, Supergirl and Wonder Woman. Though
they might carry the same names and even wear similar costumes, make
no mistake - these individuals bring with them a unique perspective
and fresh view without compromising the reputations they have chosen
to carry on. They are true heroes in their own rights and do not
merely rest on the laurels of the previous heroes' careers.
On a related point with something else I've observed recently, many
people have grown frustrated, and rightly so, because of the recent
attacks from space. Anti-alien sentiment is rising with a fevered
pitch, washing over the population with a paranoid sense much like
the unAmerican activity probes during the McCarthy-fueled 1950's.
I want to remind those leading such alien-hate groups that they
should not judge everyone by their planet of birth!
Some of the members of the Justice League and the Titans, as well as
most of the Green Lanterns, hail from other worlds. Yet, these
individuals stand tall with those born of this world to help defend
it and promote peace. Some in recent years, like the Martian
Manhunter, Hawkman and Hawkwoman, have sided with the Earth against
those from their own home worlds who have sought to attack our
One should not be judged solely by the color of his skin nor be
watched with suspicious eye just because he speaks in a different
Today, more so than before, we have plenty of heroes out there. Some
wear masks and costumes but many do not. Firefighters, police,
doctors and nurses, rescue workers, teachers, anyone who can make a
difference can be seen as a hero.
Where have all the heroes gone?
Take a look in a mirror. Maybe you'll find one that close to home.
(* Lyrics from "Holding Out For A Hero", written by Jim Steinman and
Dean Pitchford, performed by Bonnie Tyler, 1984.)
"Your column has gone down to the printers, Lois," the brown haired
man in a white shirt, sleeves rolled up, said as he put down some
papers. "That was a good idea you had."
"Thanks, chief," Lois said with a yawn. "If you don't mind, I want
to run back to my apartment for a quick shower and a brief nap before
the mayor's news conference at two."
"Go ahead," Perry White said. "You've earned it."
That night, about ten o'clock, a Hispanic man dressed in a short
sleeved shirt and tie dropped his copy of the Daily Planet into a
wire trash receptacle on the street. Even hours after the sun went
down, it was still hot in the city. He couldn't wait to get back
home after a long day at work to relax with a cold beer and a few
innings of the ball game on television.
Suddenly, he heard the sounds of muffled screams coming from an
With little hestitation, he zigzagged through the light traffic to
investigate. From the open end of the alley, he thought he saw
something moving in the shadows near the back. He then heard the
sound of a something or someone being thrown against a dumpster.
The man ran in!
"Hey! You!" he shouted as he came upon two young punks roughing up
an older man.
The one closest to the man took a swing. The Hispanic ducked
quickly, his old Navy boxing reflexes were still sharp. He swung a
fist and connected with the punk's nose. The punk hit the floor.
The man turned to the other guy and saw fear in his eyes. Messing
with an old man was one thing. Messing with a man in his late
twenties with a solid right hook was another. The punk dropped the
wallet and ran.
While the Hispanic was helping the old man rise to his feet, the
other punk ran off too. He thought about chasing after them but
decided to let it go. Their crime had been stopped. "Are you all
right, sir?" he asked the elderly man.
"Yes," the man said with a cough. A little blood was on his lips
where the punks had hit him. "I'm fine."
"You should go see a doctor," the Hispanic man said. "Just in case."
"Thank you..." the old man said. He strained to see the name on the
badge that hung from a strap about the Hispanic man's neck. "Thank
you, Mr. Del... Del..."
"Delando," the man replied. "Juan Delando." He reached down and
picked up the wallet, handing it back to the older man.
"You're a good man, Juan Delando," the old man said. "A hero."
Juan shook his head. "No, sir, just a good Samaritan. That's it.
The old man nodded. "Let me at least buy you a cold soda or
something," the man offered. "Least I can do for your troubles,
risking your life to help me and all."
Juan merely nodded. Best to let the man show his appreciation in
some small way.