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  1. #1
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    Default Superman Renounces U.S. Citizenship in 'Action Comics' #900

    http://www.comicsalliance.com/2011/0...s-citizenship/

    After recently undertaking a journey to walk -- not fly -- across the United States in the "Grounded" storyline and reconnect with the country and everyday Americans, Superman appears to be taking another step that could have major implications for his national identity: 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. However, since Superman is viewed as an American icon in the DC Universe as well as our own, the Iranian government has construed his actions as the will of the American President, and indeed, an act of war.



    Superman replies that it was 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.

    While this wouldn't be this first time a profoundly American comic book icon disassociated himself from his national identity -- remember when Captain America became Nomad? -- this could be a very significant turning point for Superman if its implications carry over into other storylines. Indeed, simply saying that "truth, justice and the American way [is] not enough anymore" is a pretty startling statement from the one man who has always represented those values the most.

    It doesn't seem that he's abandoning those values, however, only trying to implement them on a larger scale and divorce himself from the political complexities of nationalism. Superman also says that he believes he has been thinking "too small," that the world is "too connected" for him to limit himself with a purely national identity. As an alien born on another planet, after all, he "can't help but see the bigger picture."

    Do you think the shift to a more global role makes sense for Superman? If he really is going to renounce his U.S. citizenship in order to function as a more international figure, how do you think it will affect the character?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tantive View Post
    Do you think the shift to a more global role makes sense for Superman? If he really is going to renounce his U.S. citizenship in order to function as a more international figure, how do you think it will affect the character?
    Well he is renouncing the citizenship, not America itself, its possible that future comics could focus on that but I doubt it, I mean how well defined was "The American Way" in Superman comics anyway? Apart from some quarrelling with Batman about differences between them about whether they should be an ideal to which wrong doers may one day aspire to resemble or a figure of terror which wrong doers fear I dont recall anything at all.

    I just see this as reflecting a shift from the national to super-national in terms of consciousness and cultural norms or values. Its globalisation.

  3. #3
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    Marketing tool. With the fall of the American image, they're appealing to the global marketplace.

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    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    There was the "Red Son" storyline though, Superman was adopted by a Soviet Collective Farm.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Viridian's Avatar
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    The US's image overseas does seem to have become more Lex Luthor-ish, especially after the Madoff scandal.

  6. #6
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenaphor View Post
    Marketing tool. With the fall of the American image, they're appealing to the global marketplace.
    That's my interpretation as well...personally, I view it as a gratuitous slap to the face, and it makes me even less likely to give a shit about any DC character not named Batman. Interestingly, it could also be construed as an anvilicious attack on the Obama administration's foreign policy.

    I suppose I take these kinds of things more personally than most; I still refuse to watch G.I. Joe: the Rise of Cobra and the recent Superman movie because they jettisoned the mythos in order to appeal to anti-American sentiment.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    That's my interpretation as well...personally, I view it as a gratuitous slap to the face, and it makes me even less likely to give a shit about any DC character not named Batman. Interestingly, it could also be construed as an anvilicious attack on the Obama administration's foreign policy.

    I suppose I take these kinds of things more personally than most; I still refuse to watch G.I. Joe: the Rise of Cobra and the recent Superman movie because they jettisoned the mythos in order to appeal to anti-American sentiment.
    Really? I watched both of those and didnt think they exhibited any of that, I dont like anti-americanism and I'm pretty aware of it in films.

  8. #8
    Senior Member knight's Avatar
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    superman is changing from champion of americans to champion of humanity
    o nice.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    What does god need with citizenship?

    [YOUTUBE="WYW_lPlekiQ"]What does god need?[/YOUTUBE]

    I can't help but think of this terrible movie...

  10. #10
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    I dont believe superman was meant to be God, I also thought he was supposed to be a US comics alternative to the Ayran superman of Nazi Germany, werent there comics wars in which the nationalist hero archetypes of each nation were featured?

    To be honest it sounds like Superman wants to spare the US the consequences of his foreign interventions, it'd be a bit like multilateralism or internationalism replacing US unilaterialism in foreign policy.

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