I picked up Action Comics 900 last weekend. In it there’s a short story (not even the main feature for Christ’s sake!) where Superman goes to Iran to participate in a peacful protest. He just lands and stands with the crowd for 24 hours then leaves. I thought that was just so cool to see. Great story. Sure the Iranian government got pissed and complained, then the US goverment felt the need to talk to Superman. Same as usual. I’ve seen this before, “Secret Identity” handled it really well. We saw some of that in “Salvation Run” too. Then Superman stated to the government agent that he was going to the UN to renounce his citizenship.
I felt like someone had just punched me in the face.
Those of you who know me – really know me, know how big a deal Superman is to me. It’s fairly visible, The floor mats in my car, the stickers and the steering wheel cover. The constant parades of shirts. The Money clip my Wife found for me. The stacks and stacks of comics, not to mention the drawings of my own. But it’s the character that fascinates me. The character that uplifts and gives us something to aspire to. This isn’t it.
Don’t get me wrong. You can have a global worldview, but that doesn’t mean sacrificing your personal culture, and Superman’s cultural heritage is far more American that alien. Who he is fundamentally is grounded in Pa Kent – and that’s nothing but American. “Superman : Peace on Earth” tackled these issues of mistrust as well, and what is notable was the realization that Clark Kent (in this case helping people reclaim farmland and plant crops) can sometimes be more effective than Superman. Clark the human, Clark the American. That’s at the core of my profound disappointment here. The action of renouncing his citizenship is antithetical to the character.
I have to question the motives at DC on this. I mean, it smacks of cosmopolitan Intellectualism, of people with such open minds that their brains have leaked out. This isn’t revolutionary, it’s not creative, this decision is cowardly. It says, “Lets try to appease the rest of the world by showing how ashamed we are of our homeland.” . America isn’t perfect. But it is a special place, a remarkable place. This is an experiment in liberty that most people 200 years ago never expected to succeed, and certainly never expected the US to become as influential as it has been. It deserves better than this.
You know what? So do I. Perhaps it’s time for me to renounce my citizenship in the DC Universe and immigrate over to Marvel.