Boulder's played host to plenty of ordinary celebrities over the years: Take James Franco's recent Boulder International Film Festival appearance and introduction by 127 Hours inspiration Aron Ralston. But that's nothing compared to a super-celebrity -- and there's no celeb more super than Superman, whose latest adventure takes place entirely in Boulder. Although for part of the issue, the town's transformed into a simulation of ancient Krypton!
Why's Superman taking a pit stop in Colorado? It's all part of "Grounded," a series that got underway last year. In it, Superman walks across America, in order to "reconnect with the everyday people he is committed to protecting," according to USA Today. And as a bonus, DC Comics was able to engage readers in voting for cities and states where the stories would be set.
Thus far, Superman's visited Philadelphia; Detroit; Danville, Ohio; Rushmark, Indiana; Chicago; Des Moines; and Lincoln, Nebraska. No surprise that Boulder includes enough Superman readers to get their city included on this roster. After all, the city's among the most weed-friendly in the country -- and what goes better with ganja than comic books?
Not that Superman makes any allusions to this particular aspect of Colorado culture while leaving a voicemail for Lois Lane near the start of Superman #709, "The Flash Gets Grounded:"
Catch Supes' description of the place in the next panel: No, that sound isn't a Boulder jam band prompting some Grateful Dead-inspired noodle dancing... Come on, Superman. Say it. Just say it! And it's not just the Kryptonian tongue. Boulder is instantly transformed into the equivalent of a Krypton historical pageant, with the city's streets, buildings and even its residents made to look like Superman's home planet during various periods in its history. The reason, as we learn later, has to do with a strange headband with a Kryptonian sunstone that the Flash discovered during a dig in Australia. When he put it on, he was so overwhelmed by the flood of imagery from Krypton produced by the headband that he couldn't remove this stylish bauble -- so he tracked down Superman and remade Boulder as a way of getting Mr. S's super-attention.
Superman ultimately manages to catch up to the Flash (because the Flash let him, the lightning-bolted one later insists), removes the headband, and restores Boulder, even removing the Kryptonian outfits that wound up on locals. "I'm glad that Flash put these costumes on over these people's clothes," Superman says to himself. "I'd hate to see the headlines if he hadn't. 'Superman and Flash Strip Town Naked!'"
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No such luck -- and not much action in the second half of the book, which is dominated by an expository conversation between Superman and the Flash at a Boulder coffee shop and a flashback (sans the Flash) to the young Clark Kent being stuck in detention with a surly teen Lex Luthor.
Some of the backdrops in the book actually resemble Boulder's Pearl Street mall, while others suggest Anytown U.S.A. But who cares? Superman came to Boulder!
You're welcome back anytime, big guy.
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