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Wednesday, April 27, 2011 

Superman forced to forfeit his US citizenship

I'm not sure he actually has one - that is, I don't think Clark Kent carries an ID in his Man of Steel guise - but in another absurd turn following the "Grounded" storyline, he's renouncing his US citizenship in Action Comics 900:
Superman announces that he is going to give up his U.S. citizenship. Despite very literally being an alien immigrant, Superman has long been seen as a patriotic symbol of "truth, justice, and the American way," from his embrace of traditional American ideals to the iconic red and blue of his costume. What it means to stand for the "American way" is an increasingly complicated thing, however, both in the real world and in superhero comics, whose storylines have increasingly seemed to mirror current events and deal with moral and political complexities rather than simple black and white morality.

The key scene takes place in "The Incident," a short story in Action Comics #900 written by David S. Goyer with art by Miguel Sepulveda. In it, Superman consults with the President's national security advisor, who is incensed that Superman appeared in Tehran to non-violently support the protesters demonstrating against the Iranian regime, no doubt an analogue for the recent real-life protests in the Middle East. But since Superman is viewed as an American icon in the DC Universe as well as our own, the Iranian government construes his actions as the will of the American President, and indeed, an act of war.

Superman replies that it was indeed foolish to think that his actions would not reflect politically on the American government, and that he therefore plans to renounce his American citizenship at the United Nations the next day -- and to continue working as a superhero from a more global than national perspective. From a "realistic" standpoint it makes sense; it would indeed be impossible for a nigh-omnipotent being ideologically aligned with America to intercede against injustice beyond American borders without creating enormous political fallout for the U.S. government.
So let's see if I have this right - Superman turned up in Tehran, and in sharp contrast to the stories written by Marv Wolfman & Jerry Ordway in the late 80s where he raided the more suitably fictionalized country named Qurac and wrecked their weapons arsenal, he makes no attempt to do the same here. But the real problem is why they would even write a story like this at all, if it doesn't make sense to smash Iran's Big Brother mechanics in fiction while the regime is still standing in real life. I hesitate to think of what this story would be like if he didn't even search out their nuclear weapon development facilities and at least destroy those.

The worst part is that he's renouncing the citizenship he doesn't officially have as the Man of Steel at the United Nations, which has been coddling Iran for plenty of time, and technically recognizing their own corruption. David Goyer, the writer of this storyline, seems to be another one of the fools in showbiz who thinks there's nothing wrong with "globalism" and shunning identity.

And is the claim that his penetration of Iran is "indeed, an act of war" supposed to suggest the Iranian dictatorship is legitimate?!? Shudder.

It reminds me of the Captain America story from the early 70s where Steve Rogers became Nomad and parted with his identity over the shady actions of one mere president/administration. That was not such a good story, but if he didn't go to the UN to renounce, at least they weren't going out of their way at the time to act as though they're literally better in every way. How exactly is being American supposed to get in the way of doing good for the rest of the world? Especially when the chances are that Superman might not even do anything even to help fictionalized countries in allegorical storylines in any stories that follow.

Stories like these where nationalism is dragged pointlessly into the mix are only a recipe for alienating the American public even further. I wonder if this is Time Warner's revenge upon the Siegel & Shuster estates for filing suit against them? They're not helping any by taking out their anger on what they've still got left and potentially giving anyone who supports the heirs' position another reason to view loss of copyright as justified. This is just downright embarrassing.

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Maybe it would help if he was a semi-villain? In the final issue of volume one (2002), the Thunderbolts' Fixer managed to attack and take down Saddam's weapons arsenal, and it was portrayed as a good thing. If the Fixer can do that, I can't see why Superman couldn't.

But then, the politics weren't as nasty in 2002. Couldn't happen, today, no way.

I'm not a big patriotic kinda guy, but this globalism business is mostly fluff-headed crap.

It's particularly idiotic when it's being forced, Procrustean-style, onto a character that has- FOR 70 YEARS- been particularly known as an all-American hero.

I mean, what's the point? It's not like DC is gonna sell big in Greenland or Mozambique. Maybe they're setting up for the next awful movie, I don't know.

It's almost as silly as Cap being assaulted by a snake ~with an oddly familiar face~ on that notorious cover of my childhood.

Please, writers, stop abusing long-standing comic characters
for lame politicized nonsense. Stick to your incoherent, obscenity- laden twitter mumblings if you really must do that.

People used to say 'shut up and sing.' Now it's time for 'shut up and punch Luthor.'

Might as well turn Supes into a crossdresser or comic writer or something equally tacky. It'd about as dumb as this.

I'm starting to believe the reason why the writers and the comic book companies constantly continue to put out this same leftie tripe (aside from the the fact that it seems to be the only thing they can write) is because they believe, perhaps with some justification,that the only people still reading comics in their 30s and 40s are people who, ahem, "think" the same way they do.

"Shut up and punch Luthor," that's good.

http://hotair.com/archives/2011/04/27/great-news-superman-to-renounce-his-u-s-citizenship/

Allahpundit chimes in, which should help ease the pain.

I actually liked Goyer's work, but, who knew?

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