It actually looks like something you’d see in a movie.  The headlines splashed up everywhere that Superman has turned his back on the United States.  One day after the announcement of Osama Bin Laden’s death, it is going to be hard to talk about anyone’s patriotism.  This story might also just fade away in light of recent events, but as I read more and more about it, I felt like I needed to weigh in on it.

First of all, in case you’ve been too wrapped up in the royal wedding and Bin Laden taking a dirt nap, in the latest issue of Action Comics #900, Superman renounces his citizenship.  Before you gasp out loud and start talking about boycotting all things Superman lets get some facts straight.  First of all, don’t listen to everything you see and hear on Fox News.  They’ve put a spin on this story that would make the Tasmanian Devil dizzy.

After attending a protest in Iran, Superman is accused of creating an international incident.  In response, he informs the national security advisor that he intends on renouncing his US citizenship.  “….I intend to speak before the United Nations tomorrow and inform them that I am renouncing my U.S. citizenship.  I’m tired of having my actions construed as instruments of U.S. policy. ‘Truth, Justice and the American Way’ — it’s not enough anymore. The world’s too small. Too connected.”

That’s the ends and outs of the entire story.  There doesn’t seem to be any anti-American undertones or anything that suggests that Superman has turned against the United States.  Later in the issue he says, “I’m an alien, Mr. Wright. Born on another world. I can’t help but see the bigger picture.”  Some people would have you believe that this is another attempt by the mainstream media to push anti-American rhetoric down our throats.  There is one critical piece of information that nearly everyone is forgetting.  IT’S JUST A DAMN COMIC BOOK!!!!

I don’t read Superman comics.  I’ve never been a particular fan of Superman.  Often times I have found him too one dimensional and honestly quite boring in his approach to being a superhero.  He’s too predictable more often than not and the blue boy scout image is difficult for me to get past.  That’s not saying I dislike Superman because I don’t.  He is what he is and like a force of nature you just have to accept him for that.  Superman is only interesting to me when he is in conflict with other characters or when he is vulnerable. 

The big question is do I think he’s now somehow unpatriotic.  No, not really and I will give you a few good reasons.  First of all, going back to my previous statement it’s a comic book character.  Second, it’s a comic book character.  Third, after reading the issue of Action Comics, I found nothing that would suggest that patriotism was even a factor.  The writers had a story to tell and that fits into their vision of where the character is going.  Things change in real life and people sometimes realize that something they’ve believed in their whole lives isn’t true anymore or the lines of right and wrong become blurred.

Has it ever been the case that if Superman was saving a group of people from a burning building that he would save all the Americans first?  There have even been times where he’s been an instrument of US policy.  Doing what the President ordered him to do whether it was right or not.  He did what he was told to do and as a result, Batman had to kick his ass for it.  Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns showed us just that.  I don’t know about you, but that made me really start to dislike Superman and perhaps it has carried through to today.

Aren’t there bigger issues going on right now than this?  Why is this even a topic for discussion?  I think people are losing sight on what they should be angry about.  It’s just a comic book and this time next week I doubt anyone will remember this even happened.

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