Chris Daughtry was just a wee little one when the comic book bug bit him. “I think probably around five I got sucked into Super Friends cartoons, so that was Justice League right out of the gate and then that kind of parlayed into comic books,” Daughtry told Rolling Stone backstage before his show at L.A.’s Nokia Theater.
That night, Daughtry announced a new endeavor with DC Comics, home of the Justice League and its many stars, like Superman, Batman, Green Lantern and more. Daughtry rerecorded the song “Rescue Me,” off his new album Break The Spell, as part of DC Comics’ We Can Be Heroes campaign to benefit famine victims in the Horn of Africa.
“This location is experiencing, what I’m told, is the worst drought in 60 years,” Daughtry explained. “It’s not like there was a huge catastrophe that somebody would know about, like a tsunami or earthquake. People are dying because they have no water and no food and that’s something that we can fix. The solution is get food there, get the resources there. It becomes a solvable problem.”
The new acoustic version of the song is now available on iTunes and all proceeds will go directly to We Can Be Heroes. Daughtry got involved in the cause through comic book artist Jim Lee. “Jim called me and said, ‘We’re about to roll out this big campaign and would you be interested in it?”’ Daughtry recalls. “So we started getting together and coming up with some ideas. We had the song on the record already called ‘Rescue Me’ and it fit the campaign. We just thought this was the perfect song.”
For Daughtry, being approached by Lee brought him back to his high school comic book fandom. “I always tried to draw, so I became a fan of Jim Lee in high school and that was like the guy,” he says.
As part of the campaign, he and Lee worked together on a sketch of Batman that will have its debut at Comic-Con. “I drew it, Jim Lee did the inks and then Sinclair did the colors, so it’s a three-part progression,” he says of the illustration. “I’m actually pretty proud of it. They’re gonna take this whole art exhibition and take it around the world for two years, then it’ll go on auction. It’s hundreds of artists that are submitting original artwork to this.”
Would Daughtry ever consider doing his own comic like My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way? “Anything is possible,” he says. “It was something that I wanted to do when I was a kid and it seems like I’m constantly living out childhood dreams, so you never know.”
For now, he’s happy to be associated with DC on such a good cause and maybe get some perks, like perhaps an invitation to a certain movie premiere. “I would love to go to the Dark Knight Rises premiere,” he says excitedly. He’ll be in the right place for it. “I will be at Comic-Con and it’s like the Monday after Comic-Con, so fingers crossed.”