DC Comics is publishing a big Issue 900 spectacular for Action Comics, where the adventures of Superman began in 1938. In Issue 900, an all-star team of writers and artists will tell us how Superman came to renounce his American citizenship.
Wired magazine calls it “a sobering moment, as obvious as it is revolutionary. Superman’s conscientious creators, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, who dreamed up Superman for Action Comics‘ 1938 debut, positioned their deathless hero as an American heartland warrior battling tyranny and evil.” They approvingly note that “Superman has always been bigger than the United States, and not just because he was inspired — directly or indirectly is still subject to debate — by Friedrich Nietzsche’s polar-opposite Übermensch.”
The Man of Steel puts it this way: “I’m tired of having my actions construed as instruments of U.S. policy. ‘Truth, justice, and the American way’ – it’s not enough anymore.”
This happens after Superman joins a peaceful protest against the mullahs of Iran, who are therefore prevented from carrying out their normal reaction to peaceful protesters, which involves beating and murdering them. The Iranians accuse Superman of acting as an agent of the American president (stop laughing) and perpetrating an act of war.
Good. It is an act of war. The ‘American way’ is an act of war against tyranny. When will people finally get that through their skulls?
Do the writers of this wretched little tale not understand that the mullahs of Iran would say that about Superman’s actions anyway, even if he loudly proclaimed himself a Citizen Of The World? No amount of global charity would ever make the primitives and tyrants of the world hesitate a micro-second before condemning a super-hero as the agent of their preferred enemies, once he chose to speak up against their evil.
The most obvious detail missing from this comic-book tale is that the Iranians wouldn’t have stopped at accusing Superman of being an agent of the White House. His real name is “Kal-el,” after all. “El” is commonly found at the end of angelic names in the Old Testament. Superman’s real masters would be all too obvious to the mullahs.
This latter-day revisionist notion of Superman “transcending” the American Way to become First Citizen of the Earth is airheaded nonsense from people who don’t understand what the American Way is. Among many other things, it is not exclusionary. It’s not an act of national chauvinism. Everyone is invited to embrace it. What patriotic American doesn’t long for the day that every flag on Earth is raised in the name of the values we cherish? We don’t ask for submission to those values. We don’t dominate. We elevate.
We’ve shed blood and spent vast amounts of treasure to prove this. Ask the liberated people of the world what colors were worn by the heroes who threw down the Axis. Ask the starving people of the world what colors were worn by the men and women who shouldered their weapons to carry food and medicine. Ask Eastern Europeans old enough to remember a better President of the United States what colors rose defiantly above the Iron Curtain. They’re the same colors Superman has proudly worn for the better part of a century.
(Well, he doesn’t wear white, but he was a White Lantern for a while. No, I don’t read comic books very often. Why do you ask?)
You want to tell a great Superman story? Tell the truth. Show the massed ranks of Americans standing proudly beside the mightiest son of Krypton – and Kansas – when some gang of blood-drenched thugs accuses him of acting in the interests of the United States. You’re damn right he does.
Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster wouldn’t have had it any other way. They certainly wouldn’t have written a story about the Man of Tomorrow making a futile attempt to hide from a legacy he should carry with pride, as he changes the course of history on behalf of all mankind… the same way America did, right about the time Superman became an eternal component of our popular culture. His creators came out of the Depression on a mission to provide inspiration, not tap into a thick zeitgeist of American decline. Putting Superman in a blue U.N. helmet is another way of saying our best days are behind us. “The American way – it’s not enough anymore.”
The tyrants of the world would never let Superman forget he was American. Why should we?
Although one would think that I would care more about this, since I've been posting a lot of superman movie news in forums lately, I honestly don't see this as a big deal. If anything, this just sounds like another gimmick by DC to sell more comic books of Superman. Although I don't read comics anymore, I do converse with many that do, and many of them have told me along with some very reliable sources, Superman's comic book sales have been dwindling over the years anyway. Apparently, kids aren't reading as much superman as they used to, so this kind of sounds like an attempt to bring more attention to the character. Think about it.
Back in the nineties, Superman writers and artists originally wanted to marry off Lois and Clark, but they couldn't marry them off right away in the comics because of the TV series "Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman." Therefore, they killed off superman in the infamous Doomsday/Superman storyline. Remember how EVERYONE in America thought DC was serious about killing Superman? Hell, it was on the damn news for pete's sakes. And guess what? He was brought back. It wasn't because of the sudden increase in fans and comic sales, it was because it was planned that way the whole time. If you watch the behind the scenes of Superman/Doomsday animated film, the artists, publishers and artists even admit that the whole Doomsday storyline was a gimmick to sell more comics, and they truly had no actual intention of permanently killing off the character. Therefore, how do you even know this whole concept of Superman renouncing his citizenship is a permanent fix on superman? For all we know, this could only be a temporary gimmick to sell comic books for a while, then about a year or two down the line, we see superman RECLAIMING his american citizenship, in effort to boost more sales. Has that thought ever dawned on you?
Many people forget even though comic books are a form of art, they're also a form of commercialism. Meaning they're going to do whatever it takes to grab the attention of the reader. If that means killing off someone or making some sort of radical change then so be it. Plus, lets not forget that this could be under an alternate storyline as well. After all, DC has done that in the past with Superman, as I seem to recall one alternate storyline being where baby Kal-El lands in Communist Russia instead of the United States. In that story, he grows up to become a communist Superman, yet it had no bearing on the regular storyline of Superman. Plus, there was another version of Superman portrayed in Kingdom Come, where Superman ruled the Earth with an iron fist. One could interpret that as DC's way of saying how corrupt America becomes. However, that was only part of a temporary storyline to sell comic books. You get what I'm saying now? This is probably nothing more than a gimmick, and I doubt seriously this will even stick longer than damn year. After all, the new superman reboot comes out next year, and I'm sure DC wouldn't do anything that might hurt their marketing campaign for the film. Therefore, just take a chill pill and relax, as this storyline you're mentioning is probably nothing to be concerned about.
I agree. Conservatives are so hypersensitive about everything these days. Everything is a "symbol" for them. I can see Sean Hannity having a hissy fit already. Boo hoo. Everyone has to tip-toe around hoping to not offend their delicate "American" identity. American nationalism is to conservatives what anti-racism is to liberals--it makes them crazy.
Many Conservatives are deeply uncomfortable with change. This is a problem because Superman and many other American cultural products were born out of change. An ever-changing culture. Change is the fuel of growth and improvement.
The old Superman is gone forever because that era in American history, and that culture and that world, is gone forever. Don't worry, he lives on in the records and archives. It's entirely reasonable for creative people to reinvent symbols and characters in light of new values and new circumstances. Racism and xenophobia used to factor into American comic books, nowadays that's no longer the case because the US is a different society.
Separately, on purely literary, not political, grounds, isn't this a bit like James Bond not being British? I'm not sure it makes the most sense from a literature standpoint.
It makes me sad that this liberal, weepy garbage has found its way into the Superman mythos.
Watch out for Batman become sensitive to the plight of the Joker. After all he is mentally ill and an orphan, after killing his own parents. The Joker is just another victim.
If Batman switches teams the end of the world is close. Watch for that story around December next year.
Oh come on guys even Superman has to be P. C. in its a@%! kissing of cultural politics.!
You forgot to mention that the guy taking the lead as Superman is not American either. Must be a shortage of actors who can get in those tights. They couldn't find an American for Spiderman or Batman in the last few outings either.
Well to be fair, the actors they hired to play the parts, you mentioned, all look exactly like their comic book counterparts, AND most importantly they have proven to have the acting chops to pull off the roles. That to me is the most important thing. Besides, who cares what the ethnicity of the actors playing the characters are anyway? Did you complain when Morgan Freeman was cast to play Red in "Shawshank Redemption" too? If not, then you need to keep your mouth shut on that, as the character Red was originally supposed to be a white guy with red hair, and NOT a black guy. However, I would never condemn the film for that, as it still turned out to be a great movie. Therefore, your logic holds no water. Would you rather they casted American actors that couldn't act for crap? Would you want Brandon Routh, an American, to return as the Man of Steel? Or would you want a guy that's proven he can act to play superman? I don't know about you, but I prefer the latter. No offense.
Ah, a taste of your own medicine
Revenge for all the years we've had to put up with British heroes being played by Americans:)
Real American actors are two connected to their unions ...... demanding to much $. Go easy on hollywood now, they have reality issues dont they.? No ones paying attention to superman now , we like American Idol , Parking Wars , and Glee now , I had a 60 year old friend ask me once , "have you ever watched Spongebob " , and he looked at me seriously......Whats with that !
Does this even matter to begin with. I mean, Superman being American? Big deal. The country has bigger problems than to worry about whether or not a comic book hero is American.
Absurd really, when you think about it.
It is indicative of an underlying strain of thought permeating American society and resulting in those bigger problems. But I guess that is if you think about it.
Thank you very much. This is the LEAST of our worries.
Both were Americans.
Jerry Siegel was an American by birth and citizenship and wrote Superman.
Joe Schuster was a Canadian-born American citizen and drew Superman.
Joe Schuster did pay tribute to his birth country and its influence on his work. That is a very decent and typical sentiment for an immigrant.
I understand The Donald is demanding Superman produce a US birth certificate before he can represent 'The American Way'.
Let them have their delusions UW, we know Superman, like Wolverine, like the game of basketball, like the game of baseball, like the invention of the telephone, etc.. = Canadian
Isn't he the most famous illegal immigrant of all time??
Superman was born Kal-El on the planet Krypton. Not an American nor a natural born citizen of the world. So, what's the argument?
TELEPHONE (ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL)
In 1870, at age 23, Bell, his brother's widow, Caroline (Margaret Ottaway), and his parents travelled on the SS Nestorian to Canada. After landing at Quebec City, the Bells boarded a train to Montreal and later to Paris, Ontario, to stay with the Reverend Thomas Henderson, a family friend. After a brief stay with the Hendersons, the Bell family purchased a farm of 10.5 acres (42,000 m2) at Tutelo Heights (now called Tutela Heights), near Brantford, Ontario. The property consisted of an orchard, large farm house, stable, pigsty, hen-house and a carriage house, which bordered the Grand River.[N 5]
Joseph "Joe" Shuster (July 10, 1914 - July 30, 1992) was a Canadian-born American comic book artist. He was best known for co-creating the DC Comics character Superman, with writer Jerry Siegel, first published in Action Comics #1 (June 1938).
Born in Ontario, Canada, Naismith studied physical education in Montreal before moving to the United States
As shown in the 2001–2002 miniseries Origin, Wolverine was born as James Howlett in late 19th century Alberta, Canada, to rich farm owners. The character grows into manhood on a mining colony in Northern British Columbia, adopting the name "Logan."
St. Marys, ontario, has close ties with the beginning of baseball in Canada. One of St. Marys’ early settlers, Dr. Adam Ford, wrote an article that was published in a magazine called American Sporting Life in 1886 that described a game played in the nearby community of Beachville between Beachville and Zorra Township that closely resembled baseball in its current form. Ford later organized a baseball league in St. Marys and was a Doctor and the Mayor of St. Marys.
ok 3 for 5 isnt bad greek!!! baseball's earliest account was in 1776 by the british (wtf) was in the us in the 1840's father of modern day baseball was alexander cartwright born in ny. Alexander graham bell was scottish not canadian. I was laughin at the baseball thing cause I new you were way off 3-5 is 600% you get props for that!!!
Bell was born in Scotland, but he was an imigratant to Canada and made his home there...
just like Obama came from Kenya
Variations of baseball can be traced way back, including in Canada. The important thig to remember though, is that the ultimate moment in the sport was Joe Carter's homerun
still 3-5 greek, I remember that homer run poor wild thing disppeared for 10 years or so. That was the best jays team ever carter,alomar,rocket 80% of that team had good careers!
People who care about this also never read comic books at all. You like Superman that much? Go buy some trades or stop complaining. It is embarrassing.
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