By Deadman83 1 Comments
Superman carries a few names and titles: The Last Son of Krypton, Earth's Greatest Hero (See Crisis on Infinite Earths #7, page 6, and his grave in the Funeral for a Friend series as just two examples), Kal-El, Clark Kent, and so on and so forth. One thing I didn't really question was Superman's official citizen status until Action Comics #900 hit the shelves. In it, he states that "Truth, Justice, and the American way -- it's not enough anymore," and that because he doesn't want other nations to interpret his actions as representing the official United States Foreign Policy, he would renounce his citizenship. Though I understand that this move by DC is technically a smart move in attempting to broaden his appeal to an international audience, I must say that for me, as a collector of primarily Golden and Silver Age comics, this decision hurts. This is a man who the Supreme Court voted 9-0 that they did not consider him born until he exited the capsule he was in when he landed on earth (doesn't make any sense, but I digress), making him born in America, and able to run for president, which he does and wins (All of this is in Action Comics Annual #3 from 1991). This is a man who has joined the Army several times, mostly during World War II and The Korean War (See Superman 133 for a comedic cover, plus it's one of the few times he uses a gun). He encouraged us to buy War Bonds and fought against Hitler and the Japanese. If you have some time, just look up superman on comic vine and look at the golden age issues for Superman, Action Comics, Adventure Comics, and World's Finest. Count how many patriotic covers there are and how many of them show him proudly standing before an American flag. On the cover of World's Finest 11 from 1943, Superman, Batman, and Robin are picking vegetables from a Victory Garden to support our troops. Now don't get me wrong, I don't want Superman to be a one dimensional patriot. If there is something that the government is doing that would run counter to the core principles of Superman, then he should by all means stand up to them. What hurts about this is the timing, though some could argue that it is the current state of global affairs is exactly why the writer's at DC chose to take this course. But it would be nice to have Superman squarely in our corner a little longer. America's in a recession. People can say the recession officially ended in 2009, but tell that to the unemployed, the foreclosed upon, and those who have to work jobs well beneath their capabilities simply to stay afloat. Superman has been with us since 1938, defending Truth, Justice, and the American Way. After reviewing his Golden and Silver age appearances, it seems he was presented as his most patriotic when we as a nation needed to escape our woes and rekindle the passion for what our nation stood, stands, and hopefully will continue to stand for in the future. I understand that he will still bust villains in Metropolis, and that he decision to renounce his citizenship is mostly to protect us, and that most of the world has is worse than we do on a daily basis, but I can firmly say that the Golden Age Superman would never have made this decision, and that there is a lot that those tinkering with the modern superman can learn from the Man of Steel from long ago.