Superman: Red & Blue introduces an unexpectedly noble figure who has gone on to save the Man of Steel himself.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for the story “A Man Most Saved” from Superman: Red & Blue #3 by Brandon Thomas, Berat Pekmezci & Dave Sharpe
The stories of Superman are full not just of world-ending crisis-level events and titanic battles, but small acts of kindness that help separate Superman from any other hero. He’s a genuinely nice man, doing his best to help others and empathize with them when he can.
And in a story in Superman: Red and Blue #3, That has resulted in a world positively impacted by him in countless levels — including inspiring a man to become a doctor and allowing him to eventually return the favor by saving Superman’s own life multiple times.
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The story focuses largely on Doctor Charley Miles, a long-time resident of Metropolis and a guest on Cat Grant’s talk show “Stranger Than Fiction.” In particular, he’s been brought on to talk about his unique relationship with Superman — as it turns out Dr. Miles has been saved by the Man of Steel repeatedly over the years. In his youth, Superman saved Charley and a handful of other children from a fire in the heart of the city. During the period where Superman was wearing a black costume post his rebirth from fighting Doomsday, he saved Charley a third time while on his way to an interview. The sixth time, the Red Electric Superman rescued Charley and his wife from a rampaging sea monster.
The ninth time, the New 52-era Superman even kept a gunman frim firing in a hospital and killing Charley — who’d since found work as a doctor, helping save lives in part due to Superman’s influence on him over the years. Over the years and across the various meetings, the pair even got to chat a few times and become friends — with Charley even convincing him to sit down for lunch afterward. Charley finally gets the chance to repay Superman though when he finds him brought to the ground by a kryptonite bullet to the chest. While the wounded Superman used his heat vision to keep the shooters from approaching them, Charley used his medical bag and his own skills to perform a surprise and sudden surgery on Superman — who instantly recognizes and trusts Charley to help him.
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After a few moments, Charley is able to remove the bullet — which luckily didn’t get too deep into the Man of Steel’s chest — and sew him up, saving Superman’s life. However, one of the men who’d tried to assassinate Superman is revealed to be undercover at the news station and tries to take the chance to kill Charley in revenge for ruining their plans. But it appears the Man of Steel was aware of the interview, arriving in time to rescue Charley from a Red Kryptonite Bullet. Luckily, Charley then knocks out the assailant and helps Superman once more — saving the Man of Steel again. The story of Charley is one of someone not only saved by the actions of Superman, but inspired him.
While he never became a superhero or was bombarded with unique powers, Charley instead took all the time he’d been given by Superman’s help and used it to try and make the world a better place. It’s a supremely sweet sentiment, speaking to the true strength of what someone like Superman can do for the world. Every life Charley has saved over the years can connect their survival to the acts of selfless kindness that Superman inspired in Charley — and Charley even got the chance to share those medical skills with the Man of Steel when he needed them himself. While Charley Miles may be an unlikely savior for someone as powerful as Superman, he’s still a vitally important one — beyond even his ability to quickly remove a kryptonite bullet from the Man of Steel’s chest when the need arises.
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