It's a Bird

Cover art for the 2004 hardcover edition, published by DC Comics imprint, Vertigo Comics.
Publication information
Publisher Vertigo Comics, DC Comics
Format Graphic Novel
Publication date May 2004
Creative team
Writer(s) Steven T. Seagle
Artist(s) Teddy Kristiansen
Letterer(s) Todd Klein

It's a Bird is a graphic novel released by Vertigo in 2004.[1] It was written by Steven T. Seagle, with art by Teddy Kristiansen.[2]


It is an autobiographical book, chronicling Seagle's thoughts as he tries to work out a new approach to one of the world's most popular characters, Superman. The book deals with the presence of Huntington's Disease in Seagle's family, the implications of this disease on family dynamics, and the apparent contradictions in the character of Superman.[1]

An example of one of these contradictions is in Superman's relationship with those he protects. In this book, Seagle makes mention of Superman's role as protector of the people, but he sees this more as an example of imposing a lifestyle on people against their will, something more akin to fascism. Other meditations on Superman include his approach to power, justice, alienation, and escape.

The book, while discussing the changing understanding of Superman and his implications in the modern world, also begins to re-imagine these implications. It advances a fresh understanding of what being "super" really means.

The topic of Huntington's Disease also figures prominently in the story, and is closely autobiographical to Seagle's own family life.[1] The book depicts how someone with a mysterious disease in their family might respond to changes in their health or the health of their loved ones. The novel draws parallels between the "alien" nature of Huntington's and Superman's alien origins and impact on earth. But Seagle also depicts the need to accept something, regardless of whether we understand it or not.

Teddy Kristiansen won an Eisner Award for his work on It's a Bird in 2005, in the category of Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (Interior).


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Irvine, Alex (2008). "It's a Bird...". In Dougall, Alastair. The Vertigo Encyclopedia. New York: Dorling Kindersley. pp. 98–99. ISBN 0-7566-4122-5. OCLC 213309015. 
  2. Seagle, Steven T.; Teddy Kristiansen (2004). It's a Bird. New York: Vertigo. pp. 123. ISBN 978-1-4012-0311-5. 

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