Abandoned By Superman
by E.C. Gach
Most fans of Superman will know that this past week, in Action Comics #900, the Man of Steel went from being a citizen of the U.S. to a citizen of the world.
I know what you’re thinking. How much did George Soros have to pay D.C. to turn the “Big Blue Boyscout” into some U.N. respecting, bleeding heart liberal that would betray his own country. Has anyone started investigating this illegal alien? Did he choose to leave the country before being shamed out by some blowhard real-estate mongul for not having a birth certificate to show? Why would he leave the planet’s most “exceptional” country? How long has he secretly hated America?
Oh wait. You mean you weren’t thinking any of those things? Superman’s departure isn’t just another manifestation of how our country has been taken over by wimpy, cosmopolitan elites who care more about international peace than upholding American values and promoting its interests abroad?
Maybe that’s because you’ve missed this journalistic gem from Cal Thomas. What does said Fox News contributor and “America’s most widely syndicated newspaper columnist,” have to tell us about this recent development?
First he insults readers of comics:
In the latest version, Superman says he’s going to the UN and renounce his citizenship because, “I’m tired of having my actions construed as instruments of U.S. policy.”
Construed? Would comic book readers have heard of such a word? This storyline sounds as if it was written by an acolyte of the Obama administration.
Of course Mr. Thomas. Clearly, that is the only explanation. Now let me see if I’m getting this: Who else but socialist Presidents would use such language? Oh, and if you read comics you’re probably dumb, right?
But I assume, because of his love for the Kryptonian, that Thomas is also a fan of comics. And isn’t he smart? So clearly not ALL readers of comics would be so baffled by this language.
Ooops! I forgot. Thomas didn’t actually read “The Incident,” but rather gleaned what he now decries, “from news reports.”
He then goes on to parade out his limited knowledge of other superheros, like Captain Marvel, one of his, “favorites as a kid.” Clearly it is not one of his “favorites” as an adult, or else he would know that Captain Marvel is still kicking alongside the rest of the Justice League. He has not, in the words of Thomas, “been dormant for some years.”
So I’ve learned three things. You can be for protecting the world, or for protecting America… not both. If you enjoy reading comics you probably never got past an 8th grade reading level. And if you enjoy reading Mr. Thomas’ columns you probably never graduated elementary school.
I am not outraged by the sentiment of what Thomas is saying, which I will generously “construe” as a longing for the less globalized times of the 1950s and 1960s, and a desire to see superheros stand for protecting something simpler like “the American way,” then the condescending and superficial way he goes about trying to say it.
I am not an avid reader of his columns. So perhaps he’s just a fish out of water here, and isn’t very familiar with the pop culture of comics and superheros. Perhaps, on other topics, he is much more cogent, illuminating, and insightful. Perhaps, he just didn’t know what to write about this week.
All I would like is for the medium and the culture it produces to be given more respect. Clearly, Thomas takes it seriously, or he and many others wouldn’t be so upset. In fact, Thomas’ column is a complete contradiction, feigning outrage even as he denigrates its cause.
Prior to the Cold War, Superman stood for truth and justice. It was not until after WWII, and the introduction of the televised, black and white, “Adventures of Superman” that he was put in the untenable position of upholding both truth and justice AND “the American way.”
That the Superman mythology has grown up in this way, making a point of acknowledging that Superman is earth’s protector, and not simply the enforcer of any one superpower’s political agenda, is welcome step forward.
That such a small but iconic part of American pop culture is willing and able to mature in this way, and bring the man of steel into the 21st century is reassuring.
That other “grown-up” and more powerful elements of American society still believe we are the only nation a Christian God would care about, or the only one Superman would defend, is not