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.
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.
This is shameless and disgusting. I mean, sure, with a weak, simpering, egotistical jackass like Barack Obama as the president, it makes it hard sometimes to be proud of my country, rather my country's so-called leadership; but I have never, ever wanted to renounce my citizenship.
This is a disgusting day in the history of Superman, but the writing has been on the wall. There was Superman Returns, where Superman was not only a creepy deadbeat dad, Perry White also bastardized and said "does he still stand for truth, justice, and all that other stuff?" No, Hollywood idiots, the correct phrasing is "Truth, Justice, and the American Way."
For Superman to say that the American Way isn't enough anymore, it shows he maybe never understood it in the first place, or at least the clowns who are scripting and plotting this nonsense never did.
My view is we get Batman to build us a Kryptonite fence, and remove Superman and his immigration bride Lois Lane from the country, and not allow them back in until they see the light.
This is the intro to my essay on Comics and Culture. Wanted to get the Superman stuff out there since it is current, to be discussed more later. So, enjoy this tease.