SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Injustice vs. Masters of the Universe #2 by Tim Seeley, Freddie E. Williams II, Jeremy Colwell and Wes Abbott, on sale now.
Comics aren't just about grand spectacle and massive events involving superheroes saving the world. The best comics include emotional messages meant to inspire mankind to greatness, and to believe in themselves. Along the way, several of these books help save the lives of many fans.
One of the best known and most referenced standout moments came in 2005's All-Star Superman #10 from Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely, where Superman saved a young girl named Regan from jumping off a building. She thought her therapist had abandoned her, and the Man of Steel swooped in to tell her this wasn't the case, preventing her from jumping and comforting her in the process.
Much of Injustice vs. Masters of the Universe #2 details He-Man joining the resistance against Superman's new regime. But amidst this, the book takes a brief breather, offering a sentimental moment that's almost definitely a deliberate homage to Morrison and Quitely's famous scene.
The words Superman spoke 13 years ago continue to resonate strongly: "You're much stronger than you think you are." It's a message He-Man ends up relaying here, after encountering someone looking to commit suicide. This occurs as he explores Earth (his mother's homeworld) for the very first time since a new, mysterious Batman brought him over as the magical equalizer to the mighty Kal-El.
He disguises himself as a hipster version of Prince Adam (thanks to Orko's magic) and roaming Metropolis' dark alleys, he leaps into action to catch a young lady, Regina, thinking she was thrown off a building. He's confused as she frantically tells him he ruined her suicide attempt, which invites Wonder Woman's Suicide Squad (namely Bane and Copperhead) to the mix. Using Bruce Wayne (brainwashed and turned into the Black Oracle), through an initiative called ThoughtCrime, they can predict crimes and as a result, they're here to apprehend Regina... because self-harm is considered an illegal act.
He-Man and Orko dispatch the villains with ease, though, breaking the hold Superman has on them via his Kryptech suits. They flee, promising to redeem themselves, but all the hero can focus on is Regina. She tells him she can't bear to live in this cruel world Superman has created yet again, and that's why she intended to jump to her death.
The champion of Eternia, however, reminds her of her worth, promising to save the planet. As he refers to the "great strength" inside of her, Regina begins to tear up, grateful for his compassion and warmth. "You are unique. Valuable. And there is nothing you cannot face, Regina," he tells her.
It may be just one life saved, but to He-Man it means everything, something we've seen time and time again in his battles against Skeletor and his minions. This idea of life being so precious and fragile has been touched upon in Batman's 2016 "I am Suicide" arc, with writer Tom King further crafting stories about depression, anxiety, PTSD and so many more human issues on books like Vision, Mister Miracle and 2018's Swamp Thing annual.
With the I Kill Giants adaptation hitting theaters earlier this year, a film dealing with young kids coping with death, and DC poised to tell stories about superhero rehabilitation at the Sanctuary therapy center, it's clear the comic book industry wants to speak even more to fans about important human issues. Marvel's Champions is also poised to deal with gun violence, so thankfully these messages don't seem to be losing momentum anytime soon.
As He-Man made it clear in his speech here (which also seems to pull from the likes of Marlon Brando and Russell Crowe in their respective cinematic depictions of Superman's father, Jor-El), humanity is a very special and beautiful thing. And every single one of us matters, no matter what we think, whether we're from Earth or Eternia.