Superman eschews longtime patriot act
Nevermind Superman’s sexual orientation. Here’s another identity-related question that is likely to spark controversy as the Man of Steel soars into theaters nationwide this Fourth of July weekend in Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Superman Returns”: Is Superman still American?
Ever since artist Joe Shuster and writer Jerry Siegel created the granddaddy of all comic book icons in 1932, Superman has fought valiantly to preserve “truth, justice and the American way.” Whether kicking Nazi ass on the radio in the ’40s or wrapping himself in the Stars and Stripes on TV during the Cold War or even rescuing the White House’s flag as his final feat in “Superman II,” the Krypton-born, Smallville-raised Ubermensch always has been steeped in unmistakable U.S. symbolism.
But in the latest film incarnation, scribes Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris sought to downplay Superman’s long-standing patriot act. With one brief line uttered by actor Frank Langella, the caped superhero’s mission transformed from “truth, justice and the American way” to “truth, justice and all that stuff.”
Something else for the righties to whine about.
Let’s face the facts… Superman came from the planet Krypton. He never became a United States citizen. For all we know, he never even got a green card. If the right-wing Republicans had their way, he would have been deported back to Krypton and Perry White would have been heavily fined (if not jailed) for hiring him at the Daily Planet.
What possible incentive would Superman have to fight for “the American way?”
Update: Erik Lundegaard penned an op-ed for today’s New York Times entitled “Truth, Justice and (Fill in the Blank).” He puts the lie to the statement that “Ever since artist Joe Shuster and writer Jerry Siegel created the granddaddy of all comic book icons in 1932, Superman has fought valiantly to preserve ‘truth, justice and the American way.'” He concludes:
Some people are now objecting to the fact that “Superman Returns” omits the phrase. Perry White asks his reporters to find out more about the Man of Steel after his five-year absence. “Does he still stand for truth, justice, all that stuff?” he says. Right-wing blogs are already red-faced at the slight.
There’s no reason to be upset. Superman is right back where he began: fighting a never-ending battle for truth and justice. That should be enough to occupy any man. Even a Superman.
Even an illegal alien.