Superman Renounces US Citizenship

Skyknight

Lurker


The big topic in comics today occured in Action Comics issue 900, where Superman reveals his intention to relinquish his U.S Citizenship so he can concentrate on worldly affairs without being accused of being there on behalf of his nation's goverment

It's a brave choice, and a plot point that "Grounded" should have picked up on, hell I'd have placed "Grounded" AFTER this story so there would be a PROPER reason Supes had to go around America to reconnect with it's people

The story was written by David S. Goyer (Blade, the Nolan Batman flicks, and the new Superman movie),
 

Blue Saint

Member
This isn't a big deal. Despite being an American icon he was never defined by being American. Hell the whole "American way" bit was only tacked on during the whole "Seduction of the Innocent"/red scare toss up during the 50's. Superman is an American icon because he embodies the best aspects of what we all want to be, and if you get upset that he moves away from a political aliment in order to better help people than you fail at understanding his basic character. Personally I see this as a move of establishing Superman as something closer to the likes of the Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders, like everything else in fiction he is a reflection of our changing world.

Also honestly I think he already forfeit any claims to citizenship when he joined the military of an enemy state. Let's just be honest this story was unnecessary and more than likely will be forgotten. I mean people don't even remember when Superman was made a citizen, best I have heard is sometime during the Kennedy years.
 

Medivh

Member
Gotta say...an interesting move, albeit clearly motivated by modern events. I like the reasoning too. I'd like to compare and contrast it to Steve Rogers giving up the Captain America title, since I think it was for similar reasons, but I'm not up to par on Marvel side just yet, so yeah...

Part of me does wonder, though....isn't this just another 'Perfect' choice made by a character that's already seen as 'Perfect' and therefore just bland? I like it, but I'm a fan of Superman. I know there's more to him than what is sometimes shown. Doesn't this just add another notch in his Mary Sue belt? (using the definition very loosely and in the terms of the Sue always having the right answer for a situation)
 

MattComix

Super Moderator
As someone who has loved the character of Superman for near their entire life my feeling has always been that Superman, like with Captain America don't endorse the actions of a particular administration or America at the expense of any other culture or way of life. It's more about the universal ideals and dream of what America is and can be. So in that respect and given that Superman was raised by the Kents I was never put off by the "and the american way" thing even though I truly do think of Superman as not being an exclusively american hero or icon.

If there is anything about this citizenship story that I find exhausting, tedious, or anger inducing it's not that I feel it is anti-american. It's more that it just strikes me as the kind of over thought, cynical, and pretentious bullshit that has made superhero stories so goddamn miserably joyless in the very medium where so many of these wonderful characters were born. But hey, thanks comics for reminding me why I haven't had a pull-list in going on 15 years. Guess there's no need to check-in after all.
 
Watch this make all the "news shows" on tv and radio. HAH.
Already saw it on the 11 o'clock news.

Isn't it illegal to not belong to a country or something? I mean you got to be from somewhere.

Anyway I never believed he was an American. I mean we've never seen his birth certificate! *political humor*
 

nerefir

私の占いは当たる
Wasn't Superman born on another planet, anyway? Did he take the citizenship test?
 

wildwolf

Member
I'm assuming Superman is referring to his honorary citizenship.

During the Silver Age, Superman (and Supergirl) were granted honorary citizenship by USA and other countries around the world.

Clark Kent remains a US citizen, though. I think the Kents somehow had a birth certificate forged for him.
 

The Masked Mask

a friend of justice


Posting the panel before the citizenship one just because of the context that it adds.

I admit that I cringed when I first read the page just because I knew what the reaction would be, but I think there's a lot of storyline potential to be had in this. What Supes went through during the events of New Krypton was pretty major, and I'd like to see it acknowledged beyond him taking walks across America and unnecessarily using cell phones.

Mostly I'm just hopeful to start enjoying actual Superman stories again, and not just the delightful stuff that's been written for Lex Luthor.
 

Medivh

Member
Well, I think the trick for Superman kinda lies in the fact that he's...really...really overpowered. Ridiculously so. I mean...just take a moment and try to imagine a non-drama situation, that is to say a deathtrap or something akin to that, NOT using one of his known weaknesses, that Superman couldn't get out of.....personally it's tough for me to figure that out without going either into quantum physics or resorting to drama/hostage-taking of people he knows or cares about, and even then....

It's just tough to put him in a situation that he can't just...Superman himself out of. I think that's why they did alot with Luthor. He's easier to write for if nothing else.

Back on topic....the context does seem to make all the difference. Of my friends who have heard of it, when they come to me to hear the context and reasoning, they've all so far nodded their heads in understanding when they see the fact that all Superman wants is to be seen as his own person and his actions to not be tied to anyone else but him. It's just people raging, which amuses me.
 

The Masked Mask

a friend of justice
I didn't mean to imply that I disliked the Luthor Action Comics stories, though I can totally see how you got that impression! I actually loved them and would be pretty thrilled to see Lex get his own ongoing if he kept getting stories that were that good. My problems were with what was going on in the Superman ongoing while all this was happening.

I actually think Supes is less broken as a character than the way he's typically written would lead people to believe. The magic weakness is a pretty significant one, and the Kryptonite one is too, seeing as anyone seems to be able to get their hands on it for story purposes. What I want to see is more stories that deal with these weaknesses. More small moments, like Captain Marvel cold clocking Superman in JLA, would go a long way. I also really like stories that show how his innate goodness can be both a huge strength and one of his biggest weaknesses. New Krypton stuff was great for this.

If you ever need Superman story recommendations, I'd be happy to help. ;) Batman is my favorite superhero, but Supes is pretty special to me regardless.
 

Medivh

Member
I didn't mean to imply that I disliked the Luthor Action Comics stories, though I can totally see how you got that impression! I actually loved them and would be pretty thrilled to see Lex get his own ongoing if he kept getting stories that were that good. My problems were with what was going on in the Superman ongoing while all this was happening.

I actually think Supes is less broken as a character than the way he's typically written would lead people to believe. The magic weakness is a pretty significant one, and the Kryptonite one is too, seeing as anyone seems to be able to get their hands on it for story purposes. What I want to see is more stories that deal with these weaknesses. More small moments, like Captain Marvel cold clocking Superman in JLA, would go a long way. I also really like stories that show how his innate goodness can be both a huge strength and one of his biggest weaknesses. New Krypton stuff was great for this.

If you ever need Superman story recommendations, I'd be happy to help. ;) Batman is my favorite superhero, but Supes is pretty special to me regardless.
Heh, good to meet someone else who enjoys the Man of Steel. and I didn't think you disliked the story. I don't think anyone who's actually READ the Luthor bits dislikes it. Usually anything with Luthor typically wins. Even him getting an orange ring and/or hanging out with Larfleeze.

I agree to an extent that it'd be nice to see some more fallacy on Superman's part, but I'm not sure really what would be better. Do you wail him into the ground physically and re-enforce narratively his physical weaknesses, continuing to send the message that Americans like to tear down all their heroes? Or do you continue to prey upon his psyche and put him through interpersonal drama largely akin to what the common man has to endure but still ultimately pulls him down to our level?

Both could be constructed to work, I think. So long as you focus on Superman overcoming those problems. Personally, if I had to choose, I'd have to go with the psyche side. It's the least painful way to remind everyone that there's also a Man in Superman. I could also ramble on about the fact that it helps to teach the lesson that while everyone is a unique person, that doesn't mean that their experiences and problems are unique. In a society that preaches to it's children that they're all special snowflakes, it's a good idea to remind them that while they are indeed that, that doesn't mean their problems, struggles, and trials are unique to them.

Bah....I'm looking too far into it. Anyway...I do believe the hype on this is dying down a bit. It hasn't really gotten anywhere outside of maybe a footnote in other publications. I expect in a week the public, for all it's outrage, will have forgotten all about it.
 

MattComix

Super Moderator
I've always felt that Superman can be written well regardless of power level even if you're dealing with Bronze Age Elliot S. Maggin power levels. Also there's a laughable and annoying double-standard among comics fans when it comes to Superman. Wolverine's healing factor can bring him back from a spec of dust and Batman can have PrepTime for anything to the point where you feel like he was mailed a copy of the script for his own comic. So when other characters are overpowered it's ok but not when it's Superman. I guess you're only allowed to be powerful if you're dark and pissy. :laugh:

My personal preference is more in the ballpark of STAS or the Byrne reboot where he can take a hell of a lot of punishment but really what gets him back to his feet is not as much his invulnerability as the simple fact that if there is even one life to save then so long as he draws breath, he's not going down.

Also, the action aspect of the story can't always be about a fight with the big bad or a monster. One area where you get action in a Superman story is what I like to call the dynamic rescue. Just as offhand example take the space-plane sequence from Superman Returns. Yes, everybody knows Superman is powerful enough to stop that plane from falling. But tension is still there because he has a limited amount of time to figure out how to best apply his powers to that situation and his first idea doesn't work out.

The earthquake sequence in Superman The Movie is an even better example. Yes it's set off by a villain but now Superman is up against a force of nature spread across a wide area..and there's the double jeopardy aspect with the second missile. He can't just punch an earthquake.

Yeah there is the thing with turning back time which is probably not the best solution the writers could have come up with. But I've always felt it at least partly works because he saves every life except the one that is close to his heart. He's not supposed to change history but he defies that rule for an extremely human reason. (That's before getting into the behind the scenes stuff and how that was actually meant to be the ending for Superman II instead)

Something else I miss seeing is reporter stories where Clark is investigating something and it's more that he has to solve a problem as Clark Kent but being Superman is kind of his ace in the hole. I've always thought that it is as Clark Kent that he seeks truth so that Superman can bring justice.
 

Medivh

Member
Something else I miss seeing is reporter stories where Clark is investigating something and it's more that he has to solve a problem as Clark Kent but being Superman is kind of his ace in the hole. I've always thought that it is as Clark Kent that he seeks truth so that Superman can bring justice.
I'm reminded of The Gospel According to Lex Luthor at this. Admittedly Clark cheated alot, but hey, it was still fun. Especially since Lex was so self-absorbed the entire time that he didn't stand a chance of noticing.
 

Blue Saint

Member
Personally my biggest issue with Superman is how more often than not as of late the way he deals with a villain is in a knock-down dragged out fight. In part because writers like have villains that can now go toe to toe with the Man of Steel. I think how they handled Superman in STAS the best, since instead of just relying on his strength they did outwit a lot of foes. The Mxyzptlk episodes were a great example of this. I mean Superman may not be as smart as Batman or Luthor but he is a lot smarter than a lot of people like to portray him as and I think we may be able to blame Frank Miller for this too.
 
Top
Mastodon