Look - up in the sky. It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s Superman renouncing his American citizenship. In a move that can only be described as a punch in the face to fans of a more-than-70-year-old American cultural icon, DC Comics will have the famous Kryptonian renounce his U.S. citizenship before the United Nations in Action Comics No. 900.
In the story, Superman says to an American official, “I intend to speak before the United Nations tomorrow and inform them that I am renouncing my U.S. citizenship.” The Man of Steel then complains, “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.”
Superman comes to this revelation after he appears in Iran to offer nonviolent help for the country’s dissidents. As a result of his actions, the Iranian dictatorship accuses the United States of committing an act of war.
With so many struggling to reach the United States and become American citizens one day, Superman is not taking just his own special abilities for granted, but the freedoms afforded to each American that many die for.
The Washington Times’ James Robbins notes in a Water Cooler blog post, “Of course it’s easy to be a nonviolent protester when riot batons bounce right off your head. There is no particular bravery involved. And the dissidents could rightly ask Superman what value he brings to the effort if he isn’t going to help them change the regime using all the powers at his disposal.”
While many are shocked at the character’s proclamation, unfortunately, Superman and other comic-book heroes have been joining the “blame America first” league for some time now. Marvel Comics‘ Spider-Man made his support for President Obama known during the 2008 campaign, and a 2010 Captain America comic book portrayed Tea Party protesters as villains.
In the last Superman film, 2006’s “Superman Returns,” which was supposed to relaunch the lagging franchise but flopped at the box office, Clark Kent’s boss, Perry White, asks his reporters: “Does he still stand for truth, justice, all that stuff?” when the Man of Steel returns to Earth after disappearing for five years. Rightfully, fans of the hero became suspicious of the obvious “American way” omission.
“Superman announces his intention to put a global focus on his never-ending battle, but he remains, as always, committed to his adopted home and his roots as a Kansas farm boy from Smallville,” DC Comics wrote in a statement on Thursday regarding Superman’s disdain for the United States before the U.N.
However, everyone should have noticed that Superman went from promoting American exceptionalism to moral relativism in the 1987 Superman box-office flop “Superman IV: The Quest for Peace,” in which Supes announces to the world at the United Nations that he will “rid our planet of all nuclear weapons.”
Interestingly, while Superman may have been a symbol of American excellence, DC’s Batman, for all practical purposes, demonstrates it by showing that an ordinary man with no super-human abilities can become as powerful as Superman just by sheer optimal human strength and intelligence.
In a 2000 DC Justice League of America story line, it was Batman who created a database containing information on how to neutralize each of his own super-powered team members should any of them go rogue for any reason - a discovery that made Superman and others none too happy, regardless of the Dark Knight’s security and pre-emption argument. Superman’s greatest weakness is not green Kryptonite but plain naivete, and unfortunately, we see that fantasy-like dangerous thinking from our own liberal lawmakers in the real world.
Stay away from America’s real affairs, Superman. You’re better off fighting Lex Luthor and Doomsday, because you are now willing to be as weak as our current White House against real world tyrannies.
Kerry Picket writes for The Washington Times opinion section blog, the Water Cooler.