Pope Gets Own Comic Book

ByABC News
December 8, 2000, 2:21 PM

Dec. 8 -- Its a bird, its a plane, its Super Pope?

A new comic book hitting newsstands in Italy this week stars a new superhero, none other than John Paul II.

The new serial, which was approved by the Vatican, depicts the real life and true adventures of Karol Wojtyla: Pope of the Third Millennium.

A Cool Young Pope

It appears in The Little Paper, an illustrated magazine for Italian young people by the publisher of the Roman Catholic Church periodical Famiglia Christiana.

Our commitment is rather grandiose, dear children: Telling the life of no one less than the pope, The Little Paper tells its readers in Italian in an introduction for the first installment.

It is an adventurous life, full of change, of interest, of tragedy, of missions, of travel, the introduction promises.

The plot device is simple: Grandpa, the narrator, has a long, flashback-filled talk with his grandchildren when they ask why he isnt pope himself since hes getting along in years.

Grandpa points out that the pope wasns always old.

And He really wasnt a geek! Grandpa assures the children at the outset.

Skiing Dancing Girls!

Installment No. 1 of the series deals with the boyhood in a small Polish town of young Karol, as the future pope was then known.

A key theme seems to be assuring kids that the 80-year-old pope Look how old and tired he is! a child exclaims in one segment was once all boy.

I got it! a bony-kneed Karol exclaims in one bubble-dialogued box as he blocks a goal during a soccer game.

Outa my way! a teenage Karol shouts in another as he careensdown a snowy slope on skis.

Crazy fanatic! a bystanderdownslope shouts at the future pope.

John Pauls teenage years as an amateur actor are also featured prominently. In one panel, a dashing, mustachioed Karol appears on stage alongside a beautiful girl in an overwrought costume drama.