There seems to be a foofaraw boiling over Superman and his recent decision in Wednesday's Action Comics #900 to renounce his American citizenship.
Fox News went straight for the controversy, though I think anyone with even half a level head is going to be okay with this.
Written by The Dark Knight screenwriter David Goyer, Superman finds himself standing in solidarity with the people of Iran when they stage a peaceful protest against their government. In a very clear headed scenario, Goyer has Iran threaten the United States with retaliation, explaining that Superman's actions in inspiring the people of Iran were an act of war perpetrated by the United States.
Not wanting to deal with these sort of petty politics, Superman tells a state department official that he'll be renouncing his citizenship in front of the United Nations. "I'm tired of having my actions construed as American policy. 'Truth, justice, and the American way' -- It's not enough anymore."
And it makes perfect sense.
Superman is supposed to be the best of us. Our ideals. And he should be above the petty and, frankly un-American, concern over borders and citizenship. People are people no matter where they're from and they all deserve to be represented by the best of us. If the "American way" wants to survive, it needs to globalize and raise itself to a higher level. Hopefully, Superman can help lead us there.
But there are those not so happy about it.
Fox News quoted a GOP Activist (Angie Meyer) as saying, "Besides being riddled with a blatant lack of patriotism, and respect for our country, Superman's current creators are belittling the United States as a whole. By denouncing his citizenship, Superman becomes an eerie metaphor for the current economic and power status the country holds worldwide."
Comics superstar and conservative firebrand Ethan Van Sciver suggested on his Facebook page that this is completely out of character for Superman and has asked for people to start a letter writing campaign to DC Comics to reverse this.
Personally, I disagree with these reactions. I don't see what's un-American about Superman wanting to stand up for the rights and lives of the down-trodden the world over, regardless of what country they're from. And if Superman becoming a citizen of the world to prevent the endless saber-rattling of leaders like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, then I would say more power to him. To be honest, I think this IS the American way.
And I would like to remind people upset about this that renouncing America is substantially different than renouncing American citizenship. Especially if it spares the United States the position of having to be responsible for Superman's actions.
Why would it be so bad for Superman to adopt the whole world instead of just the United States?
Besides, Clark Kent is still as American as apple pie.
Bryan Young is the editor of geek news site Big Shiny Robot!
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