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LonesomePolecat
04-28-2011, 06:50 PM
This week in Action #900, Superman declared himself a citizen of the universe and renounced his American citizenship. (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/superman-renounces-us-citizenship-as-183347)

The Internet is abuzz over this week's 900th issue of Action Comics, in which Superman says, "I am renouncing my US citizenship." After officials criticize him for joining a million protesters in a peaceful anti-Ahmadinejad vigil in Iran, he reflects, "I'm tired of having my actions construed as instruments of US policy. 'Truth, Justice and the American Way' -- it's not enough anymore. The world's too small. Too connected."

An American icon succumbs to PC bullshit ...

Lobohan
04-28-2011, 06:55 PM
This week in Action #900, Superman declared himself a citizen of the universe and renounced his American citizenship. (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/superman-renounces-us-citizenship-as-183347)



An American icon succumbs to PC bullshit ...I thought you'd be happy. He's an illegal alien after all.

Miller
04-28-2011, 07:02 PM
Out of curiosity, Lonesome, how long has it been since you've bought a Superman comic?

Capitaine Zombie
04-28-2011, 07:05 PM
Out of curiosity, Lonesome, how long has it been since you've bought a Superman comic?

He has ceased to buy comic books ever since Captain America partnered with The Falcon.

Revtim
04-28-2011, 07:07 PM
Ah, I was wondering when the tighty-rightys would start complaining.

Lobohan
04-28-2011, 07:08 PM
I'm sure Clark Kent is still an American.

Chimera
04-28-2011, 07:10 PM
Your passport please, Mr. Superman. Oh, you don't have one? You are not a citizen of any nation? Then I'm sorry sir, but you have entered the United States illegally and without permission. We must ask that you leave and not return until such time as you have your paperwork in order.

pinguin
04-28-2011, 07:15 PM
Great! But don't worry, you still have Captain America isn't?

Intergalactic Gladiator
04-28-2011, 07:20 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong but in John Byrne's comics, Superman did not emerge form his birthing matrix until after his ship crashed in Kansas. If that is the case, then he's as American as you, me, or anyone else who emerged from a birthing matrix within the United States.

Cerowyn
04-28-2011, 07:41 PM
Shuster's plan finally comes to fruition...

Snooooopy
04-28-2011, 07:47 PM
Wow, Superman, this seems like an awfully over-the-top way to dodge jury duty.

astro
04-28-2011, 07:49 PM
Can't be a genuine citizen without the long form. Why doesn't he show us his birth certificate? What is he hiding?

billfish678
04-28-2011, 07:53 PM
He has ceased to buy comic books ever since Captain America partnered with The Falcon.

I did the same once those two "got married"...

KneadToKnow
04-28-2011, 08:02 PM
When did Superman stop being a citizen of Earth? This was explicitly part of his character in the Silver Age.

Captain Amazing
04-28-2011, 08:03 PM
I thought the UN declared Superman a citizen of every country. He's certainly helped the people of the world, regardless of race, creed, or nationality. So why would his actions be seen as reflections of US policy?

Jragon
04-28-2011, 08:09 PM
Wow, Superman, this seems like an awfully over-the-top way to dodge jury duty.

Well, he couldn't help it, okay? He and Clark Kent were slated to appear in the same group, and he knew that if Superman dodged out, nobody would fuck with him, whereas Clark would get litigation up in his ass.

Exapno Mapcase
04-28-2011, 08:10 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong but in John Byrne's comics, Superman did not emerge form his birthing matrix until after his ship crashed in Kansas. If that is the case, then he's as American as you, me, or anyone else who emerged from a birthing matrix within the United States.

You do realize that Byrne's Superman was more than a quarter century and over 600 reboots ago, don't you?

Chronos
04-28-2011, 08:57 PM
It was silly anyway, since even without the birthing matrix, he'd still be a natural-born citizen, as a foundling whose citizenship was not challenged before his 18th birthday.

Clothahump
04-28-2011, 09:17 PM
This week in Action #900, Superman declared himself a citizen of the universe and renounced his American citizenship. (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/superman-renounces-us-citizenship-as-183347)



An American icon succumbs to PC bullshit ...

We need to stop buying the comics and boycott the bullshit movie that's coming out.

Ferret Herder
04-28-2011, 09:32 PM
Can't be a genuine citizen without the long form. Why doesn't he show us his birth certificate? What is he hiding?
Suddenly, this photo (http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2009/06/celebrate-superman/) makes a lot of sense... :eek:

billfish678
04-28-2011, 09:38 PM
It was silly anyway, since even without the birthing matrix, he'd still be a natural-born citizen, as a foundling whose citizenship was not challenged before his 18th birthday.

Only if he hide the Sombrero and Cerveza...

pinguin
04-28-2011, 09:41 PM
Wasn't Superman's creator a Canadian citizen? Oh Canada!

sqweels
04-28-2011, 11:00 PM
How is this "PC bullshit"? I thought PC was minority groups going overboard exploiting their victim status. How does declaring yourself a "citizen of the world" fit in with that?

Hell, maybe Superman wants out of the US because he's pissed about taxes, big government and Obamacare.

Or would you prefer Superman resort to "Second Amendment Solutions"?

Lochdale
04-28-2011, 11:08 PM
Cheap gimmick for a fading comic.

audit1
04-28-2011, 11:35 PM
http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/841/how-do-i-go-about-renouncing-my-u-s-citizenship

Zebra
04-28-2011, 11:41 PM
He's not a real American anyway! Where is his birth certificate?

Sam A. Robrin
04-28-2011, 11:58 PM
I've been pointing out for decades now that if the government sets the standard, truth and justice haven't been "the American way" for a long, long time....

Spoons
04-29-2011, 12:25 AM
Shuster's plan finally comes to fruition...Wasn't the Daily Planet modelled on the Toronto Daily Star? From Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daily_Planet):

When Superman first appeared in comics (in 1938's Action Comics #1), his alter ego Clark Kent worked for a newspaper named the Daily Star, under editor George Taylor. Superman co-creator Joe Shuster named the Daily Star after the Toronto Daily Star newspaper in Toronto, Ontario, which had been the newspaper that Shuster's parents received and for which Shuster had worked as a newsboy.... When the Superman newspaper comic strip appeared, the fictional newspaper's name was permanently changed to the Daily Planet to avoid a name conflict with real newspapers.

jackdavinci
04-29-2011, 04:32 AM
Seems fine to me. I've often thought being a citizen of a particular country was as silly as being a citizen of a particular town. I wish there was some 'global citizen' option in existence.

Tim@T-Bonham.net
04-29-2011, 04:41 AM
Note that you can't just 'renounce your citizenship' on your own; that has to be accepted by the government. So the US could just decline to accept it from Superman, and he stays a US citizen.

A famous example of this is Lee Harvey Oswald. He tried to renounce his citizenship while living & working in the USSR; officials at the US embassy thought he was a bit nutty, so they just buried the paperwork and ignored it.

TriPolar
04-29-2011, 04:57 AM
It is not true. It's one of those silly stories about Superman used to sell comic books. In reality, Superman is 100% certified USDA red-blooded American, and always will be. It's just the work of the birthers again, doing anything they can to try and deride the Man of Steel just because he happened to be born on another planet. He has lived nearly his entire life here. He has been a model citizen. His home planet no longer exists. What do these people want to do? Deport him? If they continue to hound him like this, one day maybe he will renounce his US citizenship, and become a citizen of the Universe. If that sad day does eventually occur, with heavy-heart, I will do the same.

RikWriter
04-29-2011, 05:19 AM
Who cares? He's a dick anyway...

Grumman
04-29-2011, 05:21 AM
An American icon succumbs to PC bullshit ...
I haven't read the comic in question, but it has been said elsewhere that the problem that prompted the in-universe criticism wasn't Superman being involved, but an icon of The American Way and a perceived representative of the US government being involved, when the politicians and diplomats would prefer not to do anything as blatant as rocking up to an anti-Ahmadinejad vigil.

WarmNPrickly
04-29-2011, 06:14 AM
This is awesome. I may buy this comic just to collect. I love anything that puts the wing nuts panties in a bunch.

SecretaryofEvil
04-29-2011, 06:38 AM
The Kryptonians are taking our jobs. The only way to stop it is to build a space fence. It's a fact that Kryptonians aren't assimilating the way European immigrants did a century ago. I think it's because their culture lacks the Protestant work ethic. Don't get me wrong, I'm not prejudiced against aliens (I have Kryptonian friends), I just wouldn't want one marrying my daughter.

Kamino Neko
04-29-2011, 06:56 AM
I haven't read the comic in question, but it has been said elsewhere that the problem that prompted the in-universe criticism wasn't Superman being involved, but an icon of The American Way and a perceived representative of the US government being involved, when the politicians and diplomats would prefer not to do anything as blatant as rocking up to an anti-Ahmadinejad vigil.

That's exactly it.

Superman sees what's going on in Iran, can't bring himself to stay out completely, so he flies to Tehran. (However, mindful of the situation, he does nothing but stand between the protesters and the army - probably would have done more had violence broken out, but it didn't.)

Then he gets called on causing an international incident by the feds. He acknowledges they're right, but since he's not going to stand by and let the rest of the world burn just because he lives in Metropolis, his solution is to give up his citizenship.

Cayuga
04-29-2011, 07:10 AM
Sounds like an interesting story idea sorta.

Still trying to figure out how it's PC bullshit.

CalMeacham
04-29-2011, 07:22 AM
Everyone's citing that opening line "Truth, Justice, and the American Way" . I'd like to point out that the opening litany to the Fleischer SAtudi cartoons (which morphed into the Famous Studios cartoons) had simply "Truth, Justice", with no mention of "the American Way", despite being made during that patriotic era of World War II. It wasn't until the 1950s TV series that Superman stood for "Truth, Justice, and the American Way", something later incarnations kept up (Superman carries a huge US flag near the end of the first Superman movie with Christopher Reeve).


So Superman, in not explicitly championing "the American Way" is arguably simply returmning to his roots.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlTgDbLwxBU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8hC9Mwearg&feature=related

aldiboronti
04-29-2011, 07:28 AM
Could they be any more transparent? Superman renounces his American citizenship only to re-assume it in another blaze of publicity when the timing is right.

This is about selling comics, nothing else, no secret liberal agenda. The bottom line is the almighty dollar, nothing could be more American. The right has its panties in a bunch for no reason at all.

Shodan
04-29-2011, 07:52 AM
I think this is an artistic mistake.

The more the writers involve Superman in current politics, the greater the violence to the willing suspension of disbelief necessary to accept the Superman story. As long as he lives in a universe where "truth, justice, and the American way" always win out by the end of the story, I can accept him as the world's biggest Boy Scout. But this is jarring - why doesn't Superman fly to Cuba and free all the Gitmo inmates? Why doesn't he punch Ahmadinejad in the face instead of just protesting? He acknowledges they're right, but since he's not going to stand by and let the rest of the world burn just because he lives in Metropolis, his solution is to give up his citizenship. This doesn't make a lot of sense - how does it help for him to renounce his US citizenship instead of doing something concrete?

I know, I know - they are just trying to sell comics.

Regards,
Shodan

MrDibble
04-29-2011, 07:58 AM
Do US citizenship rules apply to non-human lifeforms? I mean, are, say , monkeys born in the DC Zoo American citizens? I think not.

Drain Bead
04-29-2011, 07:58 AM
So there's a right-wing guy in my office with this portion of the Superman comic on his door. Is he just not getting it?

VarlosZ
04-29-2011, 08:12 AM
This seems like an overdo kind of change. It never really made sense that a fucking space alien would have such a provincial world-view.

Little Nemo
04-29-2011, 08:23 AM
How is this "PC bullshit"?Some people feel that everything they don't like is part of a vast monolithic conspiracy.

PC=liberalism=socialism=the Democrats=communism=Muslims=Nazis=hippies=gays=foreigners=rap music=the Government=Hollywood=Mexicans=feminists. They're all the same.

shy guy
04-29-2011, 08:37 AM
My favorite part of the criticism is how clear it is that those complaining haven't read a Superman comic in decades, if ever. Superman has been dealing with real-world political issues (well, usually proxies for them; e.g. "Qurac") for years and years.

CandidGamera
04-29-2011, 08:44 AM
Speaking as someone who actually reads the Superman titles, my reaction was : "Huh. Well, that kinda makes sense. Let's see where they go with it."

I was completely baffled today to see that a bunch of right-wing nutjobs in the news had apparently decided this was a big deal.

Acid Lamp
04-29-2011, 08:54 AM
I think this is an artistic mistake.

The more the writers involve Superman in current politics, the greater the violence to the willing suspension of disbelief necessary to accept the Superman story. As long as he lives in a universe where "truth, justice, and the American way" always win out by the end of the story, I can accept him as the world's biggest Boy Scout. But this is jarring - why doesn't Superman fly to Cuba and free all the Gitmo inmates? Why doesn't he punch Ahmadinejad in the face instead of just protesting? This doesn't make a lot of sense - how does it help for him to renounce his US citizenship instead of doing something concrete?

I know, I know - they are just trying to sell comics.

Regards,
Shodan

I kind of get it. Supes generally doesn't want to wade into every mess and right every wrong if people can get on with it by themselves. He doesn't want to be god-king of earth, but neither will he stand by when something threatens the planet or wherever he happens to be either. Politics though, is sticky, never ending, and dependent upon the people to enforce. If he's a citizen of earth, rather than any one country, he can only be seen as acting on his own.

Revenant Threshold
04-29-2011, 08:54 AM
This doesn't make a lot of sense - how does it help for him to renounce his US citizenship instead of doing something concrete?

I know, I know - they are just trying to sell comics. The problem specifically was that people were assuming that it was an act of the American government, rather than him acting on behalf of himself. The point of it was to try and make it so that Superman intervening in the middle of a protest isn't America intervening in the middle of a protest, which does make a level of sense. Wouldn't actually work, I would think - were I a fictional annoyed Iranian I suspect i'd call it a cheap tactic that doesn't actually demolish the links between this alien and his nation.

Anyway, as to the overall thing, it makes sense to me. Truth and Justice are perfect ideals. The American way is not. Why pick a flawed ideal when you can aspire to and achieve better? I don't know if this is an American exceptionalism kerfuffle, but it honestly doesn't matter how good something is when you compare it to perfection; it is infinitely worse. I agree with Shodan about introducing current, real-life controversies into such comics, though.

Great Antibob
04-29-2011, 08:55 AM
I think this is an artistic mistake.

The more the writers involve Superman in current politics, the greater the violence to the willing suspension of disbelief necessary to accept the Superman story.

....like how he fought the Nazis in WWII? Or against the Ku Klux Klan in the post-war era?

If you want to make this argument, you're 70 years too late.

KneadToKnow
04-29-2011, 09:04 AM
(Superman carries a huge US flag near the end of the first Superman movie with Christopher Reeve)

Close: it's near the end of Superman II, and it's because he's helping to rebuild the White House, which the Phantom Zone villains (with some assistance from the US Military) left in ruins.

Revtim
04-29-2011, 09:36 AM
Still trying to figure out how it's PC bullshit.
Anything not rabidly American exceptionalist is PC bullshit (and liberal commie atheist too. And sometimes Kenyan.)

Shodan
04-29-2011, 09:38 AM
....like how he fought the Nazis in WWII? Or against the Ku Klux Klan in the post-war era?
This is exactly what I mean, and the same flaw then as now. The writers in 1941 came up with the lame excuse that the American fighting man didn't need any help, darn it!

And they never mentioned the Klan at all. Because that would have been a crack in the reality they constructed just like mentioning the Iran protest.

Superman can't take on real world problems, because it leads almost inevitably to the question "why isn't he doing something effective?" So what if he used his X-ray vision accidentally during the eye exam and wound up 4-F - fly over to Germany and melt down the tanks with your heat vision. And thereby save millions of lives.

There are problems even Silver Age Superman could have tackled - establishing "Superman is in favor of racial equality during the 1950s" by having Supe battle the KKK would have been an incredibly bold as well as artistically possible approach - providing it happened in Smallville or Metropolis, and not in Mississippi. Because in Smallville "truth, justice and the American Way" are unambiguously valid. Not so in the real world, unless you are going to go all the way and really fight. And Superman is too powerful to have an excuse that he cannot do anything beyond protesting.

To be fair, one of the first experiences I had towards an awakening of racial equality and equal rights came about because of comic books. It was Marvel, and the experience was reading about the Black Panther (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Panther_%28comics%29). Because he was completely cool, and it didn't make any difference at all that he was black, or that he shared a name with Bobby Seale's organization - he was cool, and admirable, and an example of what a hero should be like.

But you can do that with the Black Panther, because his powers are limited. Nobody expected him to defeat racism single-handed the way the 1950s version of Superman could have done.

Regards,
Shodan

Lightnin'
04-29-2011, 09:58 AM
This is awesome. I may buy this comic just to collect. I love anything that puts the wing nuts panties in a bunch.

If you're going to buy everything that bunches up the wingnuts' panties, I hope you've got a lot of money.

JRDelirious
04-29-2011, 10:05 AM
Note that you can't just 'renounce your citizenship' on your own; that has to be accepted by the government. So the US could just decline to accept it from Superman, and he stays a US citizen.

Correct. Besides, there is a proper protocol for doing so (fine tuned after the Lozada and Mari Bras cases from about 10 years ago; look at the last update in this Straight Dope page (http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/841/how-do-i-go-about-renouncing-my-u-s-citizenship).), including that it be done in writing before a consular official and that the citizen must manifest by both words and deeds his intention to assume allegiance of some other recognized sovereign, not "the World". But of course, the US citizenship of the extraterrestrial humanoid entity known as "Superman" would have been an oddball exception granted by governmental fiat to begin with anyway, rather than by the regular naturalization process so it could conceivably be revoked for cause.(unlike Clark Kent's, who as earlier mentioned, is presumed a citizen as a a foundling of unknown parentage)


Now, we could say that the point he wanted to make was that he was not to be presumed an agent of the US government or a representative of the American nation, he could always just publicly renounce any such association and declare himself a private citizen. But the way Supes' mind works, that would still require him to break laws and regulations and disobey lawful orders if he, for instance, intervenes somewhere where the US would rather he didn't; and he knows that PR-wise, world opinion has a hard time believing an American isn't responding to what the US government is up to. So rather than be a rebel subject of the US government, the entity "Superman" declares himself individually independent (and of course HE CAN do it; bite it, John Galt) so the US can't be claimed to exercise extraterritorial jurisdiction upon him.

KneadToKnow
04-29-2011, 10:28 AM
Nobody expected him to defeat racism single-handed the way the 1950s version of Superman could have done.

I'm curious to know how you think Superman could defeat racism, an almost universal a widespread human failing. This is akin to saying Superman could defeat fear of heights or poor reading for comprehension.

Capitaine Zombie
04-29-2011, 10:29 AM
This is exactly what I mean, and the same flaw then as now. The writers in 1941 came up with the lame excuse that the American fighting man didn't need any help, darn it!

And they never mentioned the Klan at all. Because that would have been a crack in the reality they constructed just like mentioning the Iran protest.

Superman can't take on real world problems, because it leads almost inevitably to the question "why isn't he doing something effective?" So what if he used his X-ray vision accidentally during the eye exam and wound up 4-F - fly over to Germany and melt down the tanks with your heat vision. And thereby save millions of lives.

There are problems even Silver Age Superman could have tackled - establishing "Superman is in favor of racial equality during the 1950s" by having Supe battle the KKK would have been an incredibly bold as well as artistically possible approach - providing it happened in Smallville or Metropolis, and not in Mississippi. Because in Smallville "truth, justice and the American Way" are unambiguously valid. Not so in the real world, unless you are going to go all the way and really fight. And Superman is too powerful to have an excuse that he cannot do anything beyond protesting.



I dont understand your post. Are you aware that Supes did fight the Klan on the radio show? Or, are you arguing that, since the Klan wasnt named as such (but it was quite transparent) he didnt really battle real life political foes?

Tom Scud
04-29-2011, 10:32 AM
Or against the Ku Klux Klan in the post-war era?



And they never mentioned the Klan at all. Because that would have been a crack in the reality they constructed just like mentioning the Iran protest.


Superman did take on the Klan in the radio show.

http://www.metroactive.com/papers/metro/07.02.98/comics-9826.html

Czarcasm
04-29-2011, 10:34 AM
This week in Action #900, Superman declared himself a citizen of the universe and renounced his American citizenship. (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/superman-renounces-us-citizenship-as-183347)



An American icon succumbs to PC bullshit ...Thanx for sharing the latest Faux News manufactured Outrage Of the Week! courtesy of "activist" Angie Meyer.

Jack Batty
04-29-2011, 10:39 AM
Renounced his American citizenship?!?

TRAITOR!!!


I say we take this motherfucker out back and shoot him!!

Capitaine Zombie
04-29-2011, 10:49 AM
Thanx for sharing the latest Faux News manufactured Outrage Of the Week! courtesy of "activist" Angie Meyer.

You should have read the articles when Batman took a second generation French Algerian as the Batman of Paris, Nightrunner
( http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/news/2011/01/batmans_french_muslim_ally_angers_us_bloggers.php ).

Lochdale
04-29-2011, 10:56 AM
I hope he can pay the significant taxes he now owes the US government. Also doesn't this go to nature v. Nurture? He was raised an American so he probably shares a lot of similar values.


Always, they're just trying to sell comics of a very boring character.

SecretaryofEvil
04-29-2011, 11:06 AM
Always, they're just trying to sell comics of a very boring character.

Yeah, I always found Superman to be a boring character because he is so overpowered. Take "Superman Returns," for example. In "Superman Returns," it feels like Lex Luthor is the protagonist. Hes the one who has to think up plans to overcome challenges, hes the one working hard to better himself (at least in his point of view), and its Luthor who is the plucky underdog who fights against seemingly impossible odds and who just wont stay down, no matter how many times you imprison or impoverish him. Now compare to Superman. What does Superman spend the movie doing? Wait, what the fuck was Superman doing the whole film? Something about paternity fraud, right?

CalMeacham
04-29-2011, 11:08 AM
Superman did take on the Klan in the radio show.

http://www.metroactive.com/papers/metro/07.02.98/comics-9826.html

Not only did he take them on, but as this article (and others) point out, many believe this exposure was a potent force in helping bring down the Klan. Pretty impressive, for a superhero.

Bricker
04-29-2011, 11:25 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong but in John Byrne's comics, Superman did not emerge form his birthing matrix until after his ship crashed in Kansas. If that is the case, then he's as American as you, me, or anyone else who emerged from a birthing matrix within the United States.

I never heard anything about a "birthing matrix," and I thought that it was established that Jor-El's BABY was sent to Earth after being born.

However... 8 USC 1401 declares that he's a US citizen, because the following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth:

(f) a person of unknown parentage found in the United States while under the age of five years, until shown, prior to his attaining the age of twenty-one years, not to have been born in the United States...

Unless "the universe" can issue passports, Superman's renunciation may not even be effective, because there's a strong presumption in international law to avoid creating a stateless person.

Grumman
04-29-2011, 11:28 AM
This doesn't make a lot of sense - how does it help for him to renounce his US citizenship instead of doing something concrete?
He's renouncing his US citizenship so that he can do something more concrete, without the US getting caught in the crossfire.

It's nothing more sinister than Spider-Man's choice to hide his identity to protect Aunt May and MJ.

Shodan
04-29-2011, 11:40 AM
Renounced his American citizenship?!?

TRAITOR!!!


I say we take this motherfucker out back and shoot him!!And then throw the gun at him.

Regards,
Shodan

RikWriter
04-29-2011, 11:46 AM
This is awesome. I may buy this comic just to collect. I love anything that puts the wing nuts panties in a bunch.

You must have an incredibly extensive collection, given the political leanings of most comic book writers.

joebuck20
04-29-2011, 12:08 PM
I never heard anything about a "birthing matrix," and I thought that it was established that Jor-El's BABY was sent to Earth after being born.

However... 8 USC 1401 declares that he's a US citizen, because the following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth:



Unless "the universe" can issue passports, Superman's renunciation may not even be effective, because there's a strong presumption in international law to avoid creating a stateless person.

Nuh-uh, doesn't matter if he doesn't have a long firm birth certificate signed with the blood of virgins.

WarmNPrickly
04-29-2011, 12:20 PM
This is exactly what I mean, and the same flaw then as now. The writers in 1941 came up with the lame excuse that the American fighting man didn't need any help, darn it!

And they never mentioned the Klan at all. Because that would have been a crack in the reality they constructed just like mentioning the Iran protest.

Superman can't take on real world problems, because it leads almost inevitably to the question "why isn't he doing something effective?" So what if he used his X-ray vision accidentally during the eye exam and wound up 4-F - fly over to Germany and melt down the tanks with your heat vision. And thereby save millions of lives.

There are problems even Silver Age Superman could have tackled - establishing "Superman is in favor of racial equality during the 1950s" by having Supe battle the KKK would have been an incredibly bold as well as artistically possible approach - providing it happened in Smallville or Metropolis, and not in Mississippi. Because in Smallville "truth, justice and the American Way" are unambiguously valid. Not so in the real world, unless you are going to go all the way and really fight. And Superman is too powerful to have an excuse that he cannot do anything beyond protesting.

To be fair, one of the first experiences I had towards an awakening of racial equality and equal rights came about because of comic books. It was Marvel, and the experience was reading about the Black Panther (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Panther_%28comics%29). Because he was completely cool, and it didn't make any difference at all that he was black, or that he shared a name with Bobby Seale's organization - he was cool, and admirable, and an example of what a hero should be like.

But you can do that with the Black Panther, because his powers are limited. Nobody expected him to defeat racism single-handed the way the 1950s version of Superman could have done.

Regards,
ShodanI actually think I agree to some extent. With WWII, you had Nazi's that were real villains. If there were any place in reality for Superman to intervene, that would have been it. The problem is, Superman could probably take down the Nazis all on his own, but that would diminish the actual fighting being done by actual soldiers in reality. The Nazi's make much better fictional villains set in post WWII with imaginary super weapons.

I don't really know the politics behind the recent Superman shift. If it is largely based on today's political scene, then I think in hindsight, that it will look silly. On the other hand, I really prefer to think of superman as a hero to all people on Earth, rather than just Americans. I think removing him from American politics is actually a good idea independent of what message the writers may think they are sending. I think having him identify as an American, does more to put him in today's politics.

Bryan Ekers
04-29-2011, 12:20 PM
Unlike real-world American policies, though, I'm sure the comic writers have an exit strategy.

Capitaine Zombie
04-29-2011, 12:25 PM
Unlike real-world American policies, though, I'm sure the comic writers have an exit strategy.

Unlike real-world American policies, comic book writers' most common exit strategy has been the reboot, used and abused.

Shodan
04-29-2011, 01:09 PM
I'm curious to know how you think Superman could defeat racism, an almost universal a widespread human failing. This is akin to saying Superman could defeat fear of heights or poor reading for comprehension.
He could in his universe, because he was "truth, justice and the American way". He certainly can't in this one, which is why bringing him into it is a mistake (IMO).
Superman did take on the Klan in the radio show.

http://www.metroactive.com/papers/me...mics-9826.htmlI am not familiar with the radio show - just the Max Fleischer cartoons, the comic books from 1950 up to 1970 or so, and the TV show with George Reeves. Silver Age, mostly.

Regards,
Shodan

Jormungandr
04-29-2011, 01:41 PM
I actually think I agree to some extent. With WWII, you had Nazi's that were real villains. If there were any place in reality for Superman to intervene, that would have been it. The problem is, Superman could probably take down the Nazis all on his own, but that would diminish the actual fighting being done by actual soldiers in reality. The Nazi's make much better fictional villains set in post WWII with imaginary super weapons.



DC addressed this during the "Final Crisis" series where the Superman of Earth-2 was barred from stopping the Nazis due to the Spear of Destiny. Any superhero who entered Nazi-controlled territory became under their control.

Daily Caller's David Treacher's take on it Superman a racist (http://dailycaller.com/2011/04/28/dc-comics-turns-superman-into-a-super-racist/),

"We all know what this is really about. It’d be one thing if Superman renounced his U.S. citizenship under The Evil George Bush. But we put a black man in charge, and all of a sudden the Man of Steel heads for the exits? Nice try, Kracker-El. You might as well trade in that red cape for a white hood and join the Kryptonian Klux Klan."

Gangster Octopus
04-29-2011, 01:43 PM
Wait? Superman is a real person?

Capitaine Zombie
04-29-2011, 02:29 PM
Daily Caller's David Treacher's take on it Superman a racist (http://dailycaller.com/2011/04/28/dc-comics-turns-superman-into-a-super-racist/),



I have the feeling the writer of the article did not really believe what he wrote, but just started the conversation that way to provoke reactions. That said, as always, it is hard to establish who is the craziest here, the author or the comments posted on the page.


BTW, Superman doesnt dress up in the American flag colors, unless yellow now runs on Old Glory.

billfish678
04-29-2011, 02:34 PM
BTW, Superman doesnt dress up in the American flag colors, unless yellow now runs on Old Glory.

I always knew he was a yellow commie undercover. Then again, maybe the man of steel didnt have access to a good bleaching detergent. Bachelors are pretty crappy when it comes to laundry you know.

sqweels
04-29-2011, 03:19 PM
Anything not rabidly American exceptionalist is PC bullshit (and liberal commie atheist too. And sometimes Kenyan.)
If you think about it, the right-wing backlash is PC bullshit.

Political Correctness is criticism of gestures which are in fact innocuous or reasonable, but which invoke misguided associations on the part of the aggrieved group to their sense of victimization.

Conservative (neo- or otherwise so far as I can tell) often complain that the rest of the world has been picking on the US and that there's an internationalist conspiracy to destroy or take over the US.

So any hint of internationalism is seen as the New World Order rearing its ugly head and should therefore be vigorously condemned as unacceptable.

Mister Rik
04-29-2011, 04:01 PM
Green Lantern ran into a situation a few years ago where he had to enter Russia (or another nearby, Eastern European nation) in the line of duty, and the local government's metahumans were trying to run him out on the basis that American superheroes had no jurisdiction there. GL got into quite an argument with them over the fact that he was not there as an American, he was there as an officer of the Green Lantern Corps and that his jurisdiction as a Green Lantern included every inch of space sector 2814, which includes all of Earth.

Kamino Neko
04-29-2011, 04:46 PM
Green Lantern ran into a situation a few years ago where he had to enter Russia (or another nearby, Eastern European nation) in the line of duty, and the local government's metahumans were trying to run him out on the basis that American superheroes had no jurisdiction there.

It was Russia - they sent the Rocket Reds after him.

That was slightly more complicated, as, in the wake of the incident in Qurac (World War III mini), agreements were signed that the Americans would stay out of other countries unless invited. Said agreements have been ignored since. (Seems in universe, as much as out, since the events and attitudes surrounding them have been mentioned, but the legal force behind them hasn't.)

aceplace57
04-29-2011, 04:58 PM
Perhaps a krypton enema is in order? For the author, not the fictional character.

This is why I don't like new authors taking over old books or comics. The new author has absolutely no idea what the material represents. Superman was designed as a patriotic symbol. Hence the red & blue costume and the slogan "truth, justice, and the American Way".

<shrug> I haven't bought a comic in 35 years. I really don't give a crap how much they ruin them.

Miller
04-29-2011, 05:06 PM
Perhaps a krypton enema is in order? For the author, not the fictional character.

This is why I don't like new authors taking over old books or comics. The new author has absolutely no idea what the material represents. Superman was designed as a patriotic symbol. Hence the red & blue costume and the slogan "truth, justice, and the American Way".

As has already been pointed out, "Truth, Justice, and the American way" was a late addition to the character, and the idea that the red and blue in his costume is meant to be patriotic seems unlikely, since the traditional colors associated with the US are red, white and blue, and Supe's costume is red, yellow, and blue.

Any other evidence that Superman was designed to be a patriotic symbol?

Jack Batty
04-29-2011, 05:09 PM
And baby blue at that!

billfish678
04-29-2011, 05:10 PM
Any other evidence that Superman was designed to be a patriotic symbol?

I think that big assed bulge down low was definitely symbolic :)

And wasnt it "oh baby" blue?

Spoke
04-29-2011, 05:17 PM
Hmmm. No particular allegiance to his own country...a focus on conflicts abroad... :eek:

Beware the nefarious schemes of the International Superhero!

WarmNPrickly
04-29-2011, 07:32 PM
Daily Caller's David Treacher's take on it Superman a racist (http://dailycaller.com/2011/04/28/dc-comics-turns-superman-into-a-super-racist/),



So, it's racist if he renounces his American citizenship while a black president is in office, but it's not racist if he does it while a white president is in office. Hold on a second, my irony meter just blew a fuse. That's a ridiculous sentiment.

I haven't seen the issue in question, but if he actually renounces his citizenship rather than just mentioning that he was never really a citizen in the first place, it is a little bit more political than I'd like. Ideally, IMO, he was never really a citizen in the first place.

Der Trihs
04-29-2011, 07:52 PM
Nobody expected him to defeat racism single-handed the way the 1950s version of Superman could have done.
I'm curious to know how you think Superman could defeat racism, an almost universal a widespread human failing. This is akin to saying Superman could defeat fear of heights or poor reading for comprehension.It was before my time, but from what I've heard Superman in the olden days would just have used his Super Anti-Racism Power to do it. Which would have never been mentioned before that issue, and probably wouldn't ever be mentioned again either.

Miller
04-29-2011, 07:54 PM
Thought this might be a good place to share this link:

The 25 most awesome Action Comics covers of all time (http://www.comicsalliance.com/2011/04/27/best-action-comics-covers/).

Mister Rik
04-29-2011, 08:40 PM
That was slightly more complicated, as, in the wake of the incident in Qurac (World War III mini), agreements were signed that the Americans would stay out of other countries unless invited.

Ah, cool. The events in question happened shortly after I returned to collecting after an extended hiatus, so I wasn't aware of those agreements.

Exapno Mapcase
04-29-2011, 10:00 PM
Everyone's citing that opening line "Truth, Justice, and the American Way" . I'd like to point out that the opening litany to the Fleischer SAtudi cartoons (which morphed into the Famous Studios cartoons) had simply "Truth, Justice", with no mention of "the American Way", despite being made during that patriotic era of World War II. It wasn't until the 1950s TV series that Superman stood for "Truth, Justice, and the American Way", something later incarnations kept up (Superman carries a huge US flag near the end of the first Superman movie with Christopher Reeve).


As has already been pointed out, "Truth, Justice, and the American way" was a late addition to the character, and the idea that the red and blue in his costume is meant to be patriotic seems unlikely, since the traditional colors associated with the US are red, white and blue, and Supe's costume is red, yellow, and blue.

Any other evidence that Superman was designed to be a patriotic symbol?

It's not a late addition. How about 1942 (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/30/opinion/30iht-ederik.2093103.html)?
in autumn 1942, fans of the radio show became the first to hear about Superman's battle for "truth, justice and the American way."
It was dropped in 1944, but revived for the 1952 tv show.

The article gives other examples of variations over the years.

Spoke
04-29-2011, 10:27 PM
Any other evidence that Superman was designed to be a patriotic symbol?

"Designed" to be, no, but the cover of Superman #14 (http://d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net/iss/600w/114/111141/6594951_1.jpg) didn't pull any punches on the patriotism. (Of course this was the first issue after Pearl Harbor, so the over-the-top nationalism is not surprising.)

Even before that, I believe there was a one-pager on how Superman would solve the problems in Europe. (Basically by smacking around Hitler and Stalin. This would have been shortly after the fall of Poland.) Seems like Superman was the stand-in for America in that story.

He was already fighting Nazis even before Pearl Harbor and the US entry into the War. Here's Superman #13 (http://d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net/iss/450w/114/111141/6594931_1.jpg). Sure seems like a patriotic symbol there...an idealized American response to Nazis.

Spoke
04-29-2011, 10:35 PM
One more: Superman #12 (http://d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net/iss/600w/114/111141/6594911_1.jpg), also before Pearl Harbor.

Miller
04-29-2011, 10:42 PM
It's not a late addition. How about 1942 (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/30/opinion/30iht-ederik.2093103.html)?

So, the slogan was added six years after the character debuting, and in an entirely different medium. Did either Siegal or Shuster write for the radio program? Some brief Googling on the question was inconclusive.

Yeah, I don't really see that as evidence that he was created as an American icon. Particularly if neither of the creators was writing for the radio program at the time.

Bryan Ekers
04-30-2011, 01:48 AM
Even before that, I believe there was a one-pager on how Superman would solve the problems in Europe. (Basically by smacking around Hitler and Stalin. This would have been shortly after the fall of Poland.) Seems like Superman was the stand-in for America in that story.

That was a two-page special for a February 1940 issue of Look Magazine (http://www.scribd.com/doc/47477023/Superman-captures-Hitler-Stalin-Look-magazine).

BigT
04-30-2011, 05:35 AM
It was before my time, but from what I've heard Superman in the olden days would just have used his Super Anti-Racism Power to do it. Which would have never been mentioned before that issue, and probably wouldn't ever be mentioned again either.

Thank you for this. You made me giggle. It's like his "super-weaving powers (http://superdickery.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=36&Itemid=53&limitstart=4)" or rebuild-wall vision (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfwHe0NqVvY).

Revenant Threshold
04-30-2011, 09:31 AM
Even before that, I believe there was a one-pager on how Superman would solve the problems in Europe. (Basically by smacking around Hitler and Stalin. This would have been shortly after the fall of Poland.) Seems like Superman was the stand-in for America in that story. In fact, even earlier than that, there was a run in the original comic strips in which Superman stops war between two very thinly-disguised Hitler and Stalin-a-likes in Europe by smacking them around.

However - this was in the period where Superman was very much a social justice kind of guy. Forcing slum lords to mend their ways, and so on, as well as the usual defeating bank robbers. The way the story is written very much comes off as a victory for "the average man", who Superman is representing, rather than America; the troopers who appear in the story aren't harmed by Superman, but treated with respect. It's only those in power he has a problem with.

Capitaine Zombie
04-30-2011, 09:49 AM
In fact, even earlier than that, there was a run in the original comic strips in which Superman stops war between two very thinly-disguised Hitler and Stalin-a-likes in Europe by smacking them around.

However - this was in the period where Superman was very much a social justice kind of guy. Forcing slum lords to mend their ways, and so on, as well as the usual defeating bank robbers. The way the story is written very much comes off as a victory for "the average man", who Superman is representing, rather than America; the troopers who appear in the story aren't harmed by Superman, but treated with respect. It's only those in power he has a problem with.

Darn right, Superman as originally conceived could have been called SuperComrade with his frequent slappings of business bosses and heavy handed interventions in the free market game.

Bryan Ekers
04-30-2011, 10:35 AM
Well, that and uncovering the truth behind the murder of Jack Kennedy.

Exapno Mapcase
04-30-2011, 10:54 AM
So, the slogan was added six years after the character debuting, and in an entirely different medium. Did either Siegal or Shuster write for the radio program? Some brief Googling on the question was inconclusive.

Yeah, I don't really see that as evidence that he was created as an American icon. Particularly if neither of the creators was writing for the radio program at the time.

Neither of the creators was writing for the comic book at the time, either. Siegel spent too much time complaining about the money he wasn't being paid, and his crude early conception didn't match the marketing force that Superman the idol had become. By 1942, Superman was appearing in three comic books, and had a syndicated comic strip to go with the successful radio show. Not to mention the Fleischer series of cartoons starting in 1941. And The Adventures of Superman, a novel by George Lowther that appeared in 1942 and set up many of the conventions we follow today. And the merchandising in toys and endorsements. National was a corporation and treated Superman as a brand. Far more people knew Superman from every other type of media than they did from the comic books. The writers were cogs who pandered to whatever was current.

We in the future take the comic books as the only canon. But in 1942, the comic books were stupid things for kids and illiterates. The other media counted far more.

SteveG1
04-30-2011, 06:54 PM
This is awesome. I may buy this comic just to collect. I love anything that puts the wing nuts panties in a bunch.

Bingo! I'm gonna get it too :D

UltraVires
05-01-2011, 01:16 PM
I usually don't buy into the whole "Person X did something slightly critical of the President or foreign policy therefore he/she is a traitor" meme that seems to come up a lot, but in this situation, I'm having a hard time seeing this as anything but a giant slap in the face to the United States.

The character just as easily could have said, "As an American, I don't always agree with everything we do. We can make mistakes sometimes." Or "Even though I am an American, I look after the interests of all of the world's citizens."

But to come out and renounce your citizenship is one of the most unpatriotic and unAmerican things a person could do. I understand the outrage here.

shy guy
05-01-2011, 02:21 PM
I usually don't buy into the whole "Person X did something slightly critical of the President or foreign policy therefore he/she is a traitor" meme that seems to come up a lot, but in this situation, I'm having a hard time seeing this as anything but a giant slap in the face to the United States.

The character just as easily could have said, "As an American, I don't always agree with everything we do. We can make mistakes sometimes." Or "Even though I am an American, I look after the interests of all of the world's citizens."

But to come out and renounce your citizenship is one of the most unpatriotic and unAmerican things a person could do. I understand the outrage here.
Except that the entire point of the story is that everybody else was construing the actions of Superman as carrying the endorsement of the United States. Not surprising considering that he frequently serves as leader of a group called the Justice League of America and is also usually pretty buddy-buddy with whoever the current POTUS is. Superman fills a role in the DCU similar to that of Captain America in the Marvel Universe in many respects (and the latter has "losing my faith in America" spells every third day of the week given how many of his stories there are about that).

If Superman actually existed, nobody would for a second decline to blame the U.S. government for his actions just because he operated under some "I'm just doing my own thing" disclaimer, especially since he frequently engages in quasi-military actions.

I would also expect Superman to have a different conception of patriotism and citizenship than we do, considering that he can travel across galaxies and has had extensive contact with beings from other realities. I'm impressed with his ability to keep track of provincial matters like human politics at all.

RikWriter
05-01-2011, 04:23 PM
Except that the entire point of the story is that everybody else was construing the actions of Superman as carrying the endorsement of the United States. Not surprising considering that he frequently serves as leader of a group called the Justice League of America and is also usually pretty buddy-buddy with whoever the current POTUS is. Superman fills a role in the DCU similar to that of Captain America in the Marvel Universe in many respects (and the latter has "losing my faith in America" spells every third day of the week given how many of his stories there are about that).

If Superman actually existed, nobody would for a second decline to blame the U.S. government for his actions just because he operated under some "I'm just doing my own thing" disclaimer, especially since he frequently engages in quasi-military actions.

I would also expect Superman to have a different conception of patriotism and citizenship than we do, considering that he can travel across galaxies and has had extensive contact with beings from other realities. I'm impressed with his ability to keep track of provincial matters like human politics at all.


That line of thinking, however, is taken from a view of "what would really happen if there were a Superman." This plot, however, is not the product of that line of thinking, it's the product of one or two writers who have their own agendas. So, it MAY be exactly what you're saying, or it may be that they have a political point they want to slam us over the head with.

sqweels
05-01-2011, 04:44 PM
I usually don't buy into the whole "Person X did something slightly critical of the President or foreign policy therefore he/she is a traitor" meme that seems to come up a lot, but in this situation, I'm having a hard time seeing this as anything but a giant slap in the face to the United States.

A slap in our collective face? I don't feel anything. Playing the victim and acting insulted like that just goes to show that the backlash is a form of political correctness.

But to come out and renounce your citizenship is one of the most unpatriotic and unAmerican things a person could do. I understand the outrage here.
If a German in the 1930s renounced his citizenship and emigrated to the US, would that be unAmerican? Of course not. So being unpatriotic and unAmerican is usually not the same thing.

In fact, unpatriotism is less unAmerican than it is unGerman because we're a more diverse and less regimented society.

Meanwhile, the Tea Party "patriots" embrace a set of principles that practically demand disloyalty to the government. And what was that about drowning the government in a bathtub?

So how do we parse it? Is one's government and that-which-one-is-patriotic-about two completely different things? Is it patriotic to support the kind of freedom that would allow one to selfish and uncaring about the rest of society, but unpatriotic to support the kind of freedom that would allow one to go help make the world a better place at a higher level?

sqweels
05-01-2011, 04:49 PM
That line of thinking, however, is taken from a view of "what would really happen if there were a Superman." This plot, however, is not the product of that line of thinking, it's the product of one or two writers who have their own agendas. So, it MAY be exactly what you're saying, or it may be that they have a political point they want to slam us over the head with.
Ouch!

Shit, those comic books are heavy and those points are sharp. :rolleyes:

RikWriter
05-01-2011, 04:52 PM
Ouch!

Shit, those comic books are heavy and those points are sharp. :rolleyes:

I don't even read the book on a regular basis...I don't particularly care other than it's a bit silly. But I am addressing what the writers intend.

Jack Batty
05-01-2011, 05:41 PM
But to come out and renounce your citizenship is one of the most unpatriotic and unAmerican things a person could do. I understand the outrage here.

Well, aren't you in luck. You see, Superman is not actually person. He is, in fact, a cartoon.

There. Feel better now?

shy guy
05-01-2011, 06:00 PM
That line of thinking, however, is taken from a view of "what would really happen if there were a Superman." This plot, however, is not the product of that line of thinking, it's the product of one or two writers who have their own agendas.
That's not really the case though. The writer put Superman in a real-world setting (and a relatively topical one at that) precisely to deal with the question of "what would Superman do if <real world event> was going on around him." Plus, it isn't like the writer had Superman visit Guantanamo and then renounce his citizenship or something. Superman does what he does because he doesn't want everything he doesn't want his every movie to be construed as an extension of U.S. foreign policy, not because he thinks the U.S. sucks.

To be clear, I think it's a very stupid story. It's up there with "Why do you hate black people so much, Green Lantern?" in terms of heavy-handedness and silliness and makes Superman look like an idiot. It isn't even clear to me that it is, or was meant to be, in continuity. Anniversary issues tend to have lots of throwaway stories like that in them. And other writers have done a much better job of dealing with Superman as a citizen of the world and dealing with sensitive political situations. Gail Simone comes to mind.

But it's hardly the anti-American screed you'd expect from reading the outraged comments on the internet (most by people who haven't read a comic in their lives, though I am not including you in that category, RikWriter). I suspect it will wind up being one of those "let's just pretend that didn't happen" stories.

sqweels
05-02-2011, 07:11 PM
But it's hardly the anti-American screed you'd expect from reading the outraged comments on the internet (most by people who haven't read a comic in their lives, though I am not including you in that category, RikWriter).
Agreed. We wouldn't want to imply that the critics are not the kind of people who read comic books. ;)

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