Great news: Superman to renounce his U.S. citizenship

posted at 10:07 pm on April 27, 2011 by Allahpundit

The bad news: He’s supposed to be an immortal symbol of truth, justice, and the American way. Or at least he was before that line got written out of the script in order not to offend foreign audiences. The good news: Isn’t he … an illegal alien? Since when did we start admitting people from Krypton, anyway? Ah well. More work available now for American patriots like Batman and Spider-Man.

I’m actually not sure what to make of this:

Goyer’s installment, with tense art from Miguel Sepulveda, steals the spotlight in Action Comics No. 900. When Superman drops in on an Iranian protest to stand with demonstrators in an act of nonviolent civil disobedience, the U.S. government takes him to task for acting as an instrument of national policy. Superman responds by renouncing his American citizenship and proclaiming himself a citizen of the universe…

In an age rife with immigration paranoia, it’s refreshing to see an alien refugee tell the United States that it’s as important to him as any other country on Earth — which in turn is as important to Superman as any other planet in the multiverse.

The genius of Superman is that he belongs to everyone, for the dual purposes of peace and protection. He’s above ephemeral geopolitics and nationalist concerns, a universal agent unlike any other found in pop culture.

Comics Alliance describes it this way:

The key scene takes place in “The Incident,” a short story in Action Comics #900 written by David S. Goyer with art by Miguel Sepulveda. In it, Superman consults with the President’s national security advisor, who is incensed that Superman appeared in Tehran to non-violently support the protesters demonstrating against the Iranian regime, no doubt an analogue for the recent real-life protests in the Middle East. However, since Superman is viewed as an American icon in the DC Universe as well as our own, the Iranian government has construed his actions as the will of the American President, and indeed, an act of war.

Superman replies that it was foolish to think that his actions would not reflect politically on the American government, and that he therefore plans to renounce his American citizenship at the United Nations the next day — and to continue working as a superhero from a more global than national perspective. From a “realistic” standpoint it makes sense; it would indeed be impossible for a nigh-omnipotent being ideologically aligned with America to intercede against injustice beyond American borders without creating enormous political fallout for the U.S. government.

The idea of the White House standing by and doing nothing while protests rock Iran is, admittedly, extremely plausible. So is the idea of a superhero suddenly breaking ties in an act of conscience: That was, after all, the basic storyline of the “Civil War” series in which Captain America was assassinated after opposing the feds’ anti-secret-identity registration law. (He was later resurrected and went on to heroically battle the tea party.) Comics writers have also toyed with Superman’s image as a quintessentially American hero, most famously in the “Red Son” alternate reality. This is a more modest tweak on that idea, and intriguing insofar as his disaffection stems from American paralysis towards Middle East tyrants. I wonder how Supes felt about Saddam.

Exit question: Isn’t the real travesty here the fact that Superman somehow ended up facing off nonviolently against Iranian fundamentalist goons? Regime change ain’t going to happen with sit-ins, baby. You’re invulnerable; throw some boulders at them or something.


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Comment pages: 1 2 3

let’s just give Superman big ears and an accent… then he can get married and totally f-up my nightly Red Eye fix.

Opinionnation on April 29, 2011 at 1:31 AM

AARARRRRRRRAARRRGH! Dammit, will DC (and Marvel, too) stop at nothing to ruin their characters?!

R. Waher on April 29, 2011 at 2:38 AM

Libs screw up everything.

kingsjester on April 29, 2011 at 10:28 AM

DC has a bunch of movies in production or nearing release and I’ll not spend any money on them.

Dork B. on April 29, 2011 at 10:35 AM

Exit question: Isn’t the real travesty here the fact that Superman somehow ended up facing off nonviolently against Iranian fundamentalist goons? Regime change ain’t going to happen with sit-ins, baby. You’re invulnerable; throw some boulders at them or something.

Exactly. Are we to believe that a real Superman would have let Neda die? And really, are we to believe that the world would look ANYTHING like it does today with a man as powerful as he is? Governments would be answering to him. The UN would be even more irrelevant.

Esthier on April 29, 2011 at 10:43 AM

ok, i haven’t read the comic, but something on nro seems to suggest a conflict between superman and the president’s national security advisor because superman went to iran to “support the anti-government demonstrators”

this actually sounds like a very american thing to do, i.e. support freedom for all

and if america (in the body of the president) no longer does so, then superman is actually being american by rescinding his citizenship

i don’t know; it ALMOST makes me want to read the comic…almost

erclimb on April 29, 2011 at 12:30 PM

This was a greatcomment left on the Comics Alliance article:

The “American Way” is not about American Policy or politics. It was summarized, not initiated, with statements like “We the people” and “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The American Way is not what we have created, but what we have come to realize created us, as a nation, as a people, above and beyond the political contrivances in capitol buildings, whether in our states or the marble domes near the Potomac river.

The writers and editors today fail to understand that America is most admired beyond our shores and borders because of those ideals, ideals that lead to what we are and have been for centuries. Truth? Truth is transcendent of any nation, while Justice is inherent to a functional and cohesive nation. But the American Way? That’s the coalescence of the common qualities that have emerged from antiquity and set foot on these shores to forge a humble greatness.

Our failings as a nation, from persecution of indigenous tribes, importing souls from other lands as slaves, even waging war against ourselves in the bloodiest war we have ever experienced — these are not and have never been part of the fabric of the American way. These are traits of the human way, the tragic dark side that rears its head in many, if not most, cultures at some time. But by virtue of the better angels of our nature we have overcome these atrocities, sought to amend these wrongs, and worked tireless to share and promote that goodness we found and embraced so that others around the world would benefit.

Over the past 100 years or more we done more to preserve tribes and people who faced genocide, from Germany’s expansion in the 40s to the former Czech republic in the 90s. We have liberated millions through strong-arming the Soviets and freeing the people of Iraq. We have built a great nation, while willfully going across the ocean to fight for strangers in the middle east, Europe, Asia, and other lands.

We did this in our pursuit to preserve truth and promote justice, not standing idly by for someone else to save the day. The American Way that Superman has stood for is far bigger than America itself, but those three words pack more meaning than a set of encyclopedias ever could. The Superman we have known for the better part of a century is unchanged, despite the self-inflicted guilt of his current stewards. Their motives are unclear. To make Superman a citizen of everywhere is to make him a citizen of nowhere.

Superman was born of dreams, the day dream that a man could fly, that he could have incredible power and use that power for good and in the most selfless ways. Superman came to life through tireless efforts and ambition. He had his limits, even his failures, and across all ages he is known for this: Heroism. And for many around the world, that’s their perception of America’s goodness, indeed, America’s way. For decades we have been a hero for peoples around the world. Never perfect nor flawless. But always there ready to help, serve, even save.

RedRobin145 on April 29, 2011 at 6:38 PM

Dear Superman,

Since you are dedicated to rule of law and justice, I guess that means you will not be residing in the United States with out proper documentation. If you do decide to leave, can you use your super strength to round up the other 11-12 million illegals and take them with you to the fortress of solitude.

Thanks!

stuartm650 on April 29, 2011 at 8:16 PM

So long Superman don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

steveracer on May 1, 2011 at 12:30 AM

Comment pages: 1 2 3