Is it time to deport Superman?
Superman is an illegal alien (very alien, coming as he does from the planet Krypton), whose doomed parents rocketed him to America as a baby while their planet was imploding. You might call him a DREAMer. However, in 1938, he burst onto the scene as a Man of Steel who was understood to be fighting not only for "truth" and "justice," but also, by the Cold War, for "the American way." He may not have been born in this country, but his values were all American.
That's all changed. DC Comics, which owns the franchise, has announced that Superman is "evolving" beyond American parochialism.
According to DC's Jim Lee, the same man proudly responsible for a line of comics that have given us a bisexual Superman who fights climate change and border control (Jon Kent, son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane), the new, evolved motto will be "Truth, Justice and a Better Tomorrow."
According to Erik Lundegaard, the first comic book Superman didn't have that all-American motto. Instead, the original Superman fought only for truth and justice in a big American city. One could say the "American way" was implied.
However, in the 1950s, when America was fighting those godless communists, Superman did fight for "truth, justice, and the American way." The phrase originated with a radio series but came to be known and remembered because of the TV show:
This, after all, was the same era in which the phrase "under God" was added to the Pledge of Allegiance.
The bit about "the American way" vanished during the 1960s and early 1970s — it probably wasn't going to make the comic more attractive to anti-war activists — but re-emerged with the 1978 Christopher Reeve Superman movie in an America gearing up to elect Ronald Reagan.
One could argue, therefore, that the phrase "the American way" is just a fad. But there's more going on here than just a fad. It's not that the phrase is occasionally considered "icing on the cake" or "it goes without saying" stuff for an American audience. This time, the DC press release makes clear that removing the phrase is an affirmative effort to make Superman less American for an international audience (emphasis mine):
"Superman's new motto of 'Truth, Justice and a Better Tomorrow' will better reflect the global storylines that we are telling across DC and to honor the character's incredible legacy of over 80 years of building a better world," said DC Chief Creative Officer and Publisher Jim Lee. "Superman has long been a symbol of hope who inspires people from around the world, and it is that optimism and hope that powers him forward with this new mission statement."
In other words, China doesn't like it when Superman fights for the American way, so we're making him less American.
At the opening of this post, I was kidding about deporting Superman. Sure, he's an illegal alien who is no longer interested in America's well-being, but I am aware that he's also a fictitious character. That fact alone will make deportation a challenge.
Here's what's important, though: when Superman was associated with truth and justice, we Americans understood that enshrining those values as of utmost importance was an intrinsically American view of itself. Today's leftists, though, mostly want a "better world," one in which earth worship is the world's religion, heterosexuals are a disfavored class, racism is enshrined with Whites viewed as the lowest form of human life, borders are a thing of the past, Islam is a religion of peace, etc.
None of those is among the classic American values, and it's no use pretending that an LGBT Superman who's interested in climate change and open borders cares one whit about America. Superman may be a cartoon, but he's not himself anymore, and it's time for him to go somewhere that will have him — perhaps China.
Ultimately, as it becomes ever clearer that America lost the Cold War — the Soviet Union may be gone, but her values are dominant here — perhaps a cartoon character who values "the American way" is hopelessly passé.
To comment, you can find the MeWe post for this article here.