Did Superman REALLY Renounce His American Citizenship?

Published 3 years ago by , Updated May 2nd, 2011 at 3:23 am,

superman action comics 900 Did Superman REALLY Renounce His American Citizenship?

So by now, unless you’re embarrassingly behind on your incredibly important pop culture news, you’ve probably already heard: Superman’s not an American anymore! Stop the presses! Call the fire department! Or – or – or something! However, the truth, as with most everything, is far murkier.

This whole ordeal arose from the nearly 100-page issue of Action Comics #900 that was released on Wednesday. Being a celebratory issue – indeed, 900 comics are a whole lot of comics – in addition to the main storyline by Paul Cornell, there are several back-up stories by various writers and even a storyboarded screenplay by Superman: The Movie director, Richard Donner.

The 9-page back-up story that set off the controversy in question, “The Incident,” was written by Man of Steel screenwriter David S. Goyer (who has also had at least some involvement with films like Nick Fury: Agent of Shield starring David Hasselhoff, Blade, Blade 2, Blade 3 (bleck), Batman Begins, Jumper, Ghost Rider, and so forth) and drawn by Miguel Sepulveda.

Here’s what you need to know about Goyer’s story before you decide whether or not to be livid about it:

  • Superman, not Clark Kent, stated his plans to renounce his American citizenship
  • Superman, not Clark Kent, stated his plans to renounce his citizenship because he doesn’t want his world-saving/interfering ways to be used against America anymore.
  • This was a back-up story written by David S. Goyer –  not a typical comic book writer.
  • This will probably never again be referenced, by Paul Cornell or anyone else at DC.
  • This back-up story might not even be in continuity.

superman renounces citizenship Did Superman REALLY Renounce His American Citizenship?

If DC Comics wanted to actually change Superman’s citizenship in a serious, line-wide fashion, they wouldn’t have let David Goyer write it and it wouldn’t have been nine pages in the back of a milestone issue. They would’ve had one of their go-to writers do the job – maybe Paul Cornell, maybe Geoff Johns. It would’ve been its own storyline with every single major character (Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, and so on) making an appearance to say something about, I don’t know — America.

Now, in my opinion, Superman is unequivocally an American icon. It doesn’t make you conservative or right-wing to believe this, because I’m about as liberal as they come and I believe it. By the same token, I don’t believe this was some leftwing conspiracy for Superman to reject America and all of its values; it would be hard for you to thoroughly examine the issue, the story, what was said by Superman, and come to that conclusion.

That said, the story in and of itself – “The Incident” – is pretty flawed. Controversy notwithstanding, it’s one of the more insignificant and arbitrary Superman comics I’ve read in a long while, and that’s saying something if you’ve read JMS’ short-lived Superman run from late last year about the man of tomorrow walking across America. David Goyer’s story references the Iranian protests from 2009 as if they happened yesterday (implying to me that it was written by Goyer back then and has been sitting around his apartment ever since). And yes, I’m aware that there have been Iranian protests since then, as early as two weeks ago even, but this comic seems to explicitly reference the 2009 protests.

Apparently, Superman reads the news, and he can’t stand seeing the Iranian leaders treat their people so deplorably. Fair enough. So, as an act of solidarity, he flies to Tehran and stands between the soldiers and the protestors for an entire 24 hours, letting them throw whatever they want at him in the process.

superman renounces citizenship 2 Did Superman REALLY Renounce His American Citizenship?

Long story short, the U.S. gets a lot of crap for this move. It’s perceived as an American-sponsored act, because obviously Superman represents “Truth, justice, the American way,” and so forth. Superman tells the President’s National Security Advisor that he plans to go to the U.N. and renounce his citizenship post-haste – this, he hopes, will free him up to do whatever he feels is necessary in the future, and in the process not have his actions reflect poorly upon the good, old U.S. of A.

After reading this story, my primary thought is this: Comic books creators just need to stop shoehorning real events into their comic books in an effort to make them more “important” like the “real world.” It’s rarely, if ever, done in any interesting or satisfying way and it almost always trivializes the events themselves. I’m reminded of the time Doctor Doom shed tears at Ground Zero after 9/11:

111 Did Superman REALLY Renounce His American Citizenship?

Amazing Spider-Man #36 (Doctor Doom) as drawn by John Romita Jr.

It’s a silly notion to suggest that Superman would go to Tehran and involve himself in the protests in any way whatsoever.  Superman is smarter than that. Hell, he’s got an advanced Kryptonian brain – he would know better than to wade into such a delicate situation without a second thought. In the end, the Iranian government doesn’t give-in to the protestors’ demands - an ending we already knew because it happened in real life. Regardless, as Superman’s flying away from Tehran, he spots a protestor reaching out with a flower in hand toward the soldier in front of him. The soldier takes the flower (oh, symbolism!), and Superman takes credit for this small but amazing development – he even brags about it to the National Security Advisor, which is, again, something Superman would never do in a million years.

superman renounces citizenship 3 Did Superman REALLY Renounce His American Citizenship?

superman renounces citizenship 4 Did Superman REALLY Renounce His American Citizenship?

In sum, the media, the Internet, everybody everywhere, have blown this whole situation way out of proportion. This isn’t (in my humble opinion) DC’s attempt to de-Americanize Superman as a character, and there’s no evidence that this story even belongs in DCU canon. I mean, just check out the visual progression of Superman through the years as drawn by Brian Stelfreeze (below) that appeared in the very pages of Action Comics #900. The rightmost iteration of Superman (in the style of the awesome Gary Frank) is the most modern of the six, and he’s the one waving the massive American flag. If David Goyer’s Superman renounced his Americanism, doesn’t this counteract that?

Click to enlarge:

the evolution of the man of tomorrow by brian stelfreeze 570x429 Did Superman REALLY Renounce His American Citizenship?

Instead, “The Incident” is just a terribly ham-fisted tale written by one David Goyer that fell flat on nearly every page. Frankly, we should be more concerned with the Man of Steel writer’s ability to write the character of Superman than whether or not he’s currently American.

Action Comics #900 has already sold out and will likely go back to a second printing. Overall, it’s pretty good – especially Paul Cornell’s work on the issue.

Follow me on twitter @benandrewmoore.

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TAGS: superman, superman man of steel

176 Comments

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  1. i think superman is the greatest hero of all time. not even human and he cares more about humanity than most. i think that more than ever how the world is changing it is important that we realize that we are all human that we are not different and that if we are to survive and save ourselves and this planet that we are one. this whole world belongs to us and not a single group. and superman believing in truth justice and the american dream is still relevent whether he were to renounce his american alegence. the american dream is about freedom and prosperity for all even though that has seemed to go out the window along time ago with the rich getting richer and forcing the poor down even lower. but that is what he believes in. and it should be. if the world were to misconstrue his intentions just because of his beliefs or were he lives it would be the right thing to do to declare that he is here for the world since he obviously cares about everyone no matter where you live. the world cant blame the US just because superman saves protestors from violent dictators which is the right thing to do.

  2. God Bless America, and our Kryptonian American hero, Superman!

  3. Truth be told Superman was born in Canada by a young man named Joe Shuster in a town called Kitchener just outside of Toronto which was the model of Metropolis, and Lois Lane was a reporter he knew.
    The misnomer used in the 50′s tv shows “Truth jUSt and the American way!” was dropped in the movie series.
    The point of being countryless is the Global thinking that Peace is Univeral. When we speak of peace we think of Humans, and Citizens.
    Greeting Earthlings! .j.

    • Siegle and Shuster were young Jewish boys living in CLEVELAND, OHIO when they created the character of Superman. Author Brad Melstzer is activley involved in trying to save the house Shuster grew up in…where he created Superman. Not making this up. Google it.

    • Ummm, no.

      Taken from cleveland.com:

      “The simple character dreamed up by two gawky 16-year-old Cleveland boys became an icon and started an industry that would earn billions. Superman flew higher and faster than anyone could have expected in comics, toys, clothing, cartoons, television shows, movies and even the Broadway stage.

      There are few places in the world today where the name ‘Superman’ does not evoke a smile of recognition.”

  4. Let me get this straight…

    Someone who does not exist renounces his American nationality/ties to a government in a world (DC Universe) that does not exist.

    And people act like it’s the end of the world…talk about being shallow.
    If I was an American I would be more concerned about the crisis in the US and the way it’s government conducts it’s foreign policy.

    Superman, Cap America, etc, ARE NOT REAL…they have ZERO impact on current world affairs.

    If you don’t like the story, guess what, you don’t have to read it.

    • “Superman, Cap America, etc, ARE NOT REAL…they have ZERO impact on current world affairs.”

      Actually it could be said they do. Most role model (yes they are to a degree no offense Charles) have an effect on people.

      While it may not be something you see right away that little boy that read Captain America, Superman etc while he was growing up could have been influenced by the characters. Not so much as to pick up a piece of metal, hold it like a shiled and charge into battle.

      Also characters like Captain America (especially during times of crisis/war) can give an extra moral boost showing our military forces there are people that support them and believe in them. You know that there are those that do care.

      Dont sell ficticous characters too short.

  5. Nice, the Superman image/comic is being used to further devide the American public, same ole same ole…
    I can’t believe folks don’t see this crap for what it is,,, programming by the main stream media. (msm)

    If there was a real Superman he would have destroyed the banking elite and military industrial complex yesterday, ended all wars on the planet and saved us all from this satanic evil that has inslaved us in historic lies and false wars.
    ^
    “Superman is smarter than that. Hell, he’s got an advanced Kryptonian brain”

    He’s sure not using his advanced brain discussing what’s best for the world with the united nations. Gimme a break! What a group of evil scum they are. :)

    This is all distraction,,,

    • @790 There are times when I vehemently disagree with your opinions and way of thinking. But right now it scares me that I agree with you.
      After reading this article and the various comments posted by everyone, my next step is to go back to work and wait for the next interesting article.

  6. “After reading this story, my main primary thought is this: Comic books creators just need to stop shoehorning real events into their comic books in an effort to make them more “important” like the “real world.” It’s rarely, if ever, done in any interesting or satisfying way and it almost always trivializes the events themselves.”

    Well said, Ben. Well said.

    Honestly the end to that scenario should’ve been the soldier shooting the other person, Watchmen-style.

    The idea of involving Superman in the real world bends the ridiculous to the breaking point. What, he’s okay with stopping extra-terrestrial tyrants and monarchs that want to butcher innocents, but feels he should somehow respect the rampant human rights abuses that take place by UN member nations in good standing on a daily basis? Why should he oppose Darkseid and then respect Tehran?

    He should solve the problems and usher in Kingdom Come, or shut up and go away. And for all this time why not use that super dooper sense and go get OBL himself? What, he couldn’t find him? The dude can freakin’ HEAR telephone calls on the wire. He’s a god, he should stop pretending to be human.

    • No need to the Navy SEALS already did.

  7. David Goyer – what a surprise.

  8. I NEVER thought of Superman as American..I always saw him as an alien living amoung us…a god walking amoung mortals..this whole thing is silly..I don’t care what he renounces in the books because some other writer will come along and undo it all anyway..what difference does it make in the end? Besides he was co-created by a Canadian as well so I think of him more as an international figure who has global impact and not just confined to America

  9. “If DC Comics wanted to actually change Superman’s citizenship in a serious, line-wide fashion, they wouldn’t have let David Goyer write it and it wouldn’t have been nine pages in the back of a milestone issue. They would’ve had one of their go-to writers do the job – maybe Paul Cornell, maybe Geoff Johns. It would’ve been its own storyline with every single major character (Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, and so on) making an appearance to say something about, I don’t know — America.”

    Fact is it has been published and it is now in print..what’s done is done……and can be undone over and over…see my previous comment..

    I still think the entire issue IS silly..

  10. I always agreed that real world events or issues shouldn’t be writen within comics. Whether it’s Dr.Doom shedding tears at Ground Zero after 9/11, or Superman fighting the Nazis & defeat them with ease which i found disrespectful to our troops, or even Superman being best of friends w/ President Clinton. Im ok with stories like Luthor becoming President in the comics, stuff like that, but not real issues or events. Thats just my opinion.

  11. When I think of Superman my first thought is

    Look up in the sky, it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Superman. Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

  12. I don’t understand the hoopla about this issue.

    Superman is the ultimate illegal alien.

    Heck, he can’t even get papers from his place of birth because it was blown up. So Ma & Pa Kent must have forged his papers so that he could go to school and eventually work at the Daily Planet under an fake identity.

    So if he renounces a citizenship that is basically forged and adopted because it is convenient, where is the loss?

    And as far as “the American way” being part of the identity of the character, the character was used as a piece of propaganda. If someone reuses that same icon to push another type of propaganda as times change, that is par for the course.

    After all, the actual kernel of Superman is based on Nietzsche’s “uber-mensch”, which has a totally different philosophical/psychological underpinning than Superman in “also Sprach Zarathustra”.

  13. I’ve already stated this…don’t recall where exactly but it apparently needs to be stated again…Superman cannot renounce his citizenship from any country. HE is not a citizen…no social security number, no voter registration, no tax records because HE doesn’t file, etc. CLARK KENT is a citizen. No, this is not about “is Clark Kent a character Superman plays or is Superman a character Clark Kent plays.” LEGALLY Clark Kent would be the citizen…IF he were real. The whole “records were forged” thing, while an interesting point, is not the issue here. The story does not work because Superman has no citizenship to renounce.

    • I hate to be the one to break it to all of you but……..Superman isnt real. Neither is Santa Clause or the Easter Bunny. I like comics as much as the next guy but this has taken “fanboy” to new heights. Whether the fictional character of Superman OR Clark Kent is an Amercian citizen just isn’t important…..but IMO the comic book world has Superman as a protector of the Earth, not just America.

      • What?! How did you come to this information??!! Superman not real???!!!! I want to see your proof!! Next thing you’re going to tell me is that Captain Kirk doesn’t exist! SHEEEEESH!!!! :-D

      • Phew.

        At least you don’t deny the existence of the Great Pumpkin. I don’t know what great disaster would befall the world if he were found to be imaginary as well.

  14. Well I guess I can stop reading this web page. Thanks for bringing in your political opinion into this. Just remember that big government will eventually kill of your freedoms.

    • later

  15. Been anywhere else in the world lately?

  16. Superman, whose alien origins are well known, was granted honorary U.S. citizenshi­p during the Kennedy Administra­tion. Further, he was later granted honorary citizenshi­p in all United Nations member states, so Superman is actually a U.S. citizen two times over. Just for those that continue to dispute Superman’s citizenship.

    • Cali…

      Thank you! I could not, for the life of me, remember where I had heard about his honorary citizenship.

      • His honorary citizenship was in the Silver Age. Did that carry over when John Byrne rebooted the character in 1986? I’m not sure….

        • Actually, that’s an excellent question and a great point…Was there any citizenship (honorary or otherwise) bestowed after the John Byrne reboot?

          Of course, none of this affects the fact that Clark Kent IS considered an American citizen, and he and Lois aren’t going anywhere, at present.

  17. Supes is an alien from another planet that was adopted by tax paying citizens. Second Klark is his alter ego! Superman is the real version, Bruce Wayne was born BW, Supes was born Superman. Anyway, lame story, reminds me of all those crappy cop shows ripped from the headlines. Ya know, the ones where all the bad guys are white and conservative, or big corperate fat cats! Like I said LAME.

  18. Superman isn’t real and I sure wish Smallville wasn’t either, but Superman is an American icon.
    And in todays 5 second headline attention span reality, this story allows the media to portray Americans and its way of life negatively.
    More desensitizing headline grabbing spin that creates a mindset of failure within our youth…

    All part of the plan to errode this country of its heart and soul, and I’m not talking about our system of government.

  19. Being a comic book fan, I was appalled and sickened by it. Given, I rarely read SUperman. I always thought they could do something big with him without destroying his character, maybe even strengthening it. But in the last decade seeing a lot of Marvel characters becoming hard to recognize and seeing one of their big characters assasinated charater-wise, this is just bigger and worse than all of that. Then Osama Bin Laden was killed and it got even more terrible.

    When you do something like make Tony Stark a major alcholic, that can be a great story and probably was. It adds to his character and makes him more human. If you just radically change your character out of the blue and make Tony Stark a government figure who locks people up in a giant prison because they have powers and won’t register with the government, that’s bad because you don’t buy it. When you have your biggest character who is sometimes made a patriotic symbol turn against his own country where he was raised… then America’s most hated enemy is finally assasinated.

    That’s the worst thing ever.

    That’s even worse than what they did to Spider-man. It took less time too. A whole week and it went from incredibly bad to the worst. I think this is a big hit against the comic industry.

  20. Then if DC plans to get any more of my money then they’d better make it clear that this story isn’t canon. I’m sorry, but I’m sick of having comic writers on the coasts trying to preach to those of us in flyover country. Tell a good tale and stop trying to shove an agenda down our throats. I stopped spending money on Marvel after the death of Cap and the Thor movie. I can just as easily stop spending my money on DC products.

  21. While I respect your well-written article and opinions therein, I would dispute a few points.  

    David Goyer IS “a typical comic book writer.” He wrote comics regularly for years, most notably a long run on Justice Society of America. True, he has not written for comics in a while, preferring movie and TV work (mostly awful and ignored by the public). Why he came back just to make this statement is disturbing and revealing.  

    When you say the story implies Superman renounced his citizenship in order “not have his actions reflect poorly upon the good, old U.S. of A.,” I disagree. I read it as Superman deploring and hating the U.S., and wanting to be totally divorced from their “evil” foreign policy. This would also reflect the editorial policy of DC Comics.

    One thing I do agree with—this is a terrible story. Superman is a traitor to his country? Why would DC publish such a thing?

    • Jerry…

      You’ve peaked my curiousity.

      WHY do you read this story as Superman trying to dissociate himself from America or, even worse,becoming a traitor because of his statement?

      We hold different opinions on the matter, and I’m still trying to understand the brunt of those who see this as failed story (idea-wise, ignoring whether or not you think the story is well-written). Others have expressed similar sentiments as you; I thought I’d finally ask why.

      Just curious…

      • Great question Archaeon! Here’s why. Superman (Clark Kent) was raised in Kansas in the American Midwest by decent, loving parents. By all accounts and Superman’s past actions, this led to a well-adjusted son who loved his (adopted) country. Such a person could not renounce his citizenship under any circumstances. Thinking his actions would harm his country is a flawed premise. As if there is a way to protest the Iranian government that Iran would be happy with. It is well established that Superman is not part of the American military or an employee of the U.S. Government. Why then, would he renounce his citizenship?

        Also, there is a concerted effort by DC to disavow the old, corny “Truth, Justice and the American Way,” both overall and in this story. I love that saying, and take it for what it is … fighting for the idealized America of our founding fathers, not the imperfect America of reality. The DC Comics and Warner Bros. movie people are so afraid of that line, they’re afraid of people thinking they like their own country. What’s wrong with fighting for those things? Are American ideals of freedom, equality and opportunity so bad?  Sometimes that is not reality, but no country is perfect. At least we try.

        The only reason to portray these political issues in a Superman story is that DC Comics does not particularly like America and wants to stir up controversy stupidly using their flagship hero. That’s not good stewardship of an American icon.

        • Excellent reply. For some reason both DC and Marvel have decided it is a good thing to insult, ridicule, and marginalize everyone between the two coasts. There’s starting to be a big back lash to this kind of crap and they need to pay attention.

  22. Pawn65- Me? I just got back from spending two years teaching in South Korea. Your point is?

  23. I’m sorry you are wrong. Kent is a fascade, “small goodness who conceals an even greater good” as the creators of Superman described him. Its the actions of Superman that are important. Reading the story, as I took the time to visit the nearby comic store and the particluar tidbits you point out are actually beside the point (and aren’t even expressed all that well anyway in the comic).

    It is not about the zero sum game of Superman being an American citizen or not, its the fact that he fights for the American Way for a specific reason. And this is just one more idiotic attempt to make sure everyone knows America is not exceptional in any way. As John Hayward over at Human Events put it:

    “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?”

    The fact that the writers don’t feel Superman needs to articulate the reason it is important to be an American citizen is the complaint. Or even more telling is that the writers certainly don’t believe being American is important at all, because no one in the story offers up any defense at all since the writers have no concept of this.

    It isn’t some fine comic geek, is-it-or-is-it-not canon, background story detail or some rhetorical point. It undermines the very foundation of what makes Superman, Superman. Just like how the writers made Superman the exact same person when he landed in the Soviet Union in “Red Son”. Superman isn’t a good person because he came from another planet, he is a good person because Ma and Pa Kent raised him that way… the American Way.

    This very important detail is what the progressive writers are trying to destory.

    • Mighty Skip…

      Who is wrong???

      • Ben Moore. Sorry I’m late to the party.

        • You act as if one story changed the way Superman is forever. The reality is, Superman has been portrayed in a thousand different ways since his creation, all of which are themselves massively different from Siegel and Shuster’s original depiction of the character. Originally, Superman couldn’t fly. Now you can’t imagine him any other way. Originally, Superman’s strength meant he could lift a car. In the 70s, it meant he could move entire galaxies. The reality is, comic book writers mischaracterize their characters all the time. It happens once, in one back-up story that seems like it’s two-years-old and unrelated to anything major going on in the DCU, and suddenly the “progressive” DC Comics is trying to destroy the character and all that’s good about him? That’s incredibly shortsighted and close-minded, in my opinion.

          • Why is it us that are closed minded for saying we don’t like the direction the character is going? There have been plenty of parallels in the DCU trying to compare GWB with Lex Luthor. Many of us are uncomfortable with this direction and refuse to support the company that seems to so easily turn on the USA.

            It has been my experience that those who scream diversity the loudest are usually the first to condemn those who disagree with them. I’m sorry, but this whole storyline is a major league off-putting. Marvel has gone this direction and now it appears that DC is diving in head first. I for one refuse to give them my money when they do things like this.

            • I didn’t say it was close-minded to not like the direction the character is going. I said it was close-minded to say that this one 9 page back-up story that will most likely have no bearing on the character going forward is DESTROYING the character is close-minded. I agree that the character is an American icon and should stay that way. I stated as much in my article.

              Also, I’ve been reading comics my whole life, even when Luthor was elected president of the United States in the DCU, and I don’t recall any parallels being made with the character to George W. Bush. I’m not saying you’re wrong, but I would like to see some evidence of that. Frankly, there are worse characters to be compared to — despite being a massive jerk, he’s one of the more beloved characters of all time, especially via DC. (Not unlike Doctor Doom.)

              • Yup. Totally closed minded to read through years of Superman comics only to see story after story after story of this. Especially how these back-up stories are heralded as “breakthrough” “important” and get other critical acclaim. If this was indeed a onetime event, then no problem, but as I specifically mentioned that it matters little if the story is canon or non-canon. This goes well beyond some technical point, like if Superman can fly or not. It’s the nature of the character. It is becoming a common theme in Superman plots. Apparently, in your view reading the stories and drawing conclusions based on the actions and thoughts of real people is close minded. I even gave you a second example and there are far more. Spare me your infantile retort. 

                And if you don’t think people compared George W Bush to Lex Luthor you are fooling yourself. It took me all of 2 seconds to Google “Lex Luthor” “George Bush” to find countless threads in comic sites making the comparison. Even if people disagreed with or thought it unfair it came right up in people’s minds.

                • Uh, no. Very rarely, if ever, are back-up stories heralded as breakthrough or important, and they rarely have, as I said, major bearing on the character. (If you have evidence to the contrary, I would gladly hear it.) The point I made was that Superman has been portrayed a hundred different — vastly different — ways over the years, and that’s because a hundred different writers have written him. Some have majorly mischaracterized him, some haven’t. At one point, Superman was okay with killing bad guys. Now he’s not. That’s a major change in the character that has little to do with technicality. At one point, Superman was totally cool with manipulating Lois Lane and being a jerk to Jimmy Olsen (there’s a whole website about it). Now, he’s not.

                  What was the second comic example you gave? I saw you use Red Son as an example of why his Americanism is important, but not of how DC is trying to de-Americanize/destroy the character.

                  I just searched “Lex Luthor” and “George W. Bush” and found no “evidence” that the two have ever been paralleled. So, help me out?

                  (Forgive my infantile retort.)

                  • Okay how do you reconcile Wired’s take on this story by describing it as “It’s a sobering moment, as obvious as it is revolutionary” with the idea that these types of stories don’t get critical acclaim? And the Red Son story is the example of minimizing America’s influence on Superman’s actions (which, by the way, was nominated for the 2004 Eisner Award for best limited series). Also see Jerry Smith’s comment below. 

                    In COMPLETELY UNRELATED news, Clark Kent, formerly of the Daily Planet, has been named editor-in-chief at The New York Times.  

                    If we are going to expand it to DC in general, the elimination of “The American Way” from Superman Returns should count as well. Or the Original Flash explaining that the Justice Society of America isn’t for America (Justice Society of America #50) which once again seems to conflate that the reason is “of America” is because of the American views of Justice and good. Not because it was some political affiliation. Honestly we just aren’t going to see eye to eye on this, but if you want the last word, be my guest.

                    • We weren’t talking about THIS back-up story, which has obviously been blown out of proportion by the media. The point you were making was that previous back-up stories have been heralded as important and groundbreaking to support your belief that THIS back-up story was obviously considered an important endeavor by DC Comics. My point was, no, previous back-up stories have NOT been considered all that important, and are in fact usually filler for the main event. Wired can call this story whatever it wants, that doesn’t have anything to do with back-up stories as a whole. So I take it, then, that you have no evidence that back-up stories are typically any big deal.

                      Wait a second — your argument was that Red Son was saying that Superman’s upbringing had no bearing on who he was? He was a murderous dictator in Red Son due to his upbringing in Soviet Russia. He changed his ways over the course of the book, but the point of the story was opposite of what you’re claiming here.

                      Are you kidding about Clark Kent being named editor-in-chief at NYT, or is that a serious statement on your part? I can’t tell.

                  • Ok, you either red a different Red Son than I or you are just lying. Since I cannot post the comic here, I have this: 

                    http://superman.nu/a/ges/redson/

                    As written by Mark Millar: 

                    “The trick, of course, was avoiding the cliches of Superman being raised as a Stalinesque tyrant or an overtly evil character.  What I decided upon very early in this project was to have an idealistic young farm-boy being raised in the Ukraine and believing, with all his heart, in the goodness of communism.  Just as our own Superman isn’t tarnished by the Americans dropping bombs in Vietnam or Iraq, this Soviet Superman isn’t responsible for the Gulags or the mass-killings.  This Superman represents The Dream as much as the traditional Superman does, but watching him reluctantly take control of the USSR when the people beg him to and make communism an international success is quite fascinating.” 

                    Calling him a murderous dictator is completely the opposite of how the book portrays Superman. Maybe I’ve slipped into one of the 52 alternate universes or something. And yes, the NYT thing is a joke.

                    As for Wired being able to say whatever it wants but somehow doesn’t count as critiquing the comic, then what would be legitimate critical acclaim to you? Perhaps only what Ben Moore says counts, counts? Somehow I think that makes you the perfect mold for dictator. I’m interested to hear what your criteria on this matter is. 

                    Oh and my post listing all the Lex Luthor and George Bush comparisons I found with a simple Google search is in moderation for some reason. Probably because it contains many links.   

                    • Mark Millar tried to create character made of shades of gray in the form of Red Son: Superman, a “What If?” tale, I might add. But if you’ve read the book, then you know Superman was also a terrible dictator, as bad or worse than 1984′s Big Brother, who literally lobotomized anybody who disagreed with him to create his own version of a “utopia.”

                      So you’re saying that this guy is the same guy who grew up in the IN-CONTINUITY DCU? The Superman we know and love? Really? Quoting that Mark Millar didn’t want to create a completely evil character with no complexity just because he grew up in Soviet Russia doesn’t prove that he wasn’t the bad guy of the story, a dictator, and so forth. What you quoted, by the way, was the beginning of the story.

                      Superman reluctantly takes control of the USSR.

                      Then he becomes the bad guy because absolute power corrupts absolutely.

                      That’s the point of Red Son.

                      Re: Wired.

                      Your statement was that back-up stories have a pattern of heralding important, ground-breaking events or whatever in comic books. Thus, DC Comics obviously were attempting to create an equally important, ground-breaking event with THIS back-up story, “The Incident.” My response was, back-up stories are typically not important. They’re filler. Thus, there was no established pattern of important back-up stories that would lead me or anyone to believe that DC was well aware that THIS back-up story would be SEEN as such an important event. Obviously, this back-up story has become a big deal. That goes without saying because the entire internet, this website included, is talking about it. So explain to me how Wired’s saying that this story is important lends credence to your claim that back-up stories as a rule are important?

            • @ cobalt-blue

              On Justice League Unlimited, while Lex Luthor was running for president, it was mentioned his approval ratings were tied with both major party candidates, probly meaning both Democrat & Republican while Luthor might of ran as a Indepedant candidate or somthing else.

          • It’s true Superman may have been portrayed “a thousand different ways since his creation,” but none of them have been anti-American. That’s new and sets a dangerous precedent. I can’t wait for the “Wonder Woman has an abortion” story or the “Batman eats human flesh” follow up. And point taken, but I don’t think Superman had the power to move galaxies. I grant you he was really, really strong.

            DC isn’t “suddenly” trying to destroy the character. They have been whittling away at him for years, from the faux-manga art experiments to the dumb (and talk about shortsighted) “Superman sees a psychiatrist” storyline. The overall worry is the precedent this sets and the fact that it smacks of anti-Americanism. This is a book about a flying guy with a cape who shoots beams from his eyes. Why are politics being infused into the story in the first place? It’s madness. And if no one objects they’ll do it again. And keep on doing it.

  24. I’ll take David S. Goyer over the other hacks.

    By being portrayed as a Global Citizen in no way makes Superman anti-American, that’s the with us or against us small-minded attitude that seems to be the summative view of the US populous

    • Vee,

      But everyone IS either for us or against us. 8)

      Vic

  25. Here we go again with accusing people who disagree with you of being small minded. It’s indicative of the problems most of us have with DC and Marvel.

  26. Here we go again with accusing people who disagree with you of being small minded. It’s a sign of the of the problems most of us have with DC and Marvel.

  27. If they do this to Superman, id hate to think of what they’ll do with other DC heroes.

  28. By the way heres DC response to what people think of this story.
    http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/luffycapri/news/?a=36606

  29. And finally, here’s the official statement from DC on what they had to say about the story:

    “This short story is just that, it will not be followed up upon. Superman will remain as American as Apple pie.”

    http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/luffycapri/news/?a=36606

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