Steven T. Seagle’s It’s a bird is a comic that reflects on the figure of Superman and on the author’s life to pose a question: Do we need heroes? Through a personal story, Seagle provides the reader with a brilliant, meaningful and moving work, a cathartic experience that transforms him into the hero of his own epic.
With superb mastery and sobriety, the autobiography combines the deconstruction – a typical (but not exclusive) device of postmodern art – with traditional epic. One of the characteristics of postmodernity is the deconstruction of “meta-narratives” and myths. In It’s a bird we witness the deconstruction of, arguably, the greatest myth in comics –Superman, the symbol (among other things) of the American Spirit: “You’re as much America as jazz, baseball or comic books”(p. 41), Seagle says, and throughout the comic the validity of the superhero is challenged as the representation of the American way of life, as the personification of masculinity, of the exemplary citizen, of the immigrant who longs for the land of liberty, of “the metaphysical ideals – truth, infinity, faith…” (p. 42), etc. Superman presents himself as the self-made man, the winner, the embodiment of the American dream, and Seagle cleverly destroys it.