The Man of Steel has faced many supervillians in his time here on Earth: Lex Luthor, Doomsday, Ultraman, Jax-Ur, Bizarro, and of course… General Zod. But now Superman is dealing with an all-too-real foe… the right-wing blogosphere. So just what has the superhero who vows to fight for “truth, justice, and the American way,” done to invite conservative consternation?
The fury against the Last Son of Krypton revolves around a story included in the 900th special edition of “Action Comics,” the DC title which brought us Superman’s debut back in 1938. In addition to its main story, the 96-page issue features short stories by a host of people including David Goyer, the co-screenwriter of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Goyer also gets a writer’s credit for the forthcoming film, Man of Steel, as an observant Last Word watcher pointed out on our Facebook page (thanks Jon).
In crafting the stories told in both of the aforementioned Batman films, Goyer has brought realism to a superhero’s story. In this story written for “Action Comics” Goyer is merely doing the same thing. In the tale, Superman decides to renounce his U.S. citizenship after aiding protesters in Iran… an act that is seen by the Iranian president as an act of war from the United States (yeah… if you didn’t know, comics these days often use real events and don’t shy away from political and geopolitical commentary). As Laura Hudson explains for the blog Comics Alliance:
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… 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.
Instead of accepting this for what it is - an interesting work of comic fiction that is not likely to have any influence on the continuing Superman storyline because it’s merely a separate short story - conservatives are crying foul even though it’s unclear from online reports if Superman actually follows through with his plan (no spoilers: the answer is on the shelf of a comic book store near you!). The FOX News folks across 6th Avenue from The Last Word HQ included a quote in their online story from a GOP activist saying the story is “riddled with a blatant lack of patriotism.” Uber-conservative Michelle Malkin’s site accuses The Man of Steel of “giving up Hope” (Hope is presumably capitalized as a dig at President Obama). Glenn Beck’s website, The Blaze, infers that Superman is now as anti-American as those dreaded workers’ unions (the horror!). Conservative-leaning DC site, The Daily Caller, on the other hand just compares the Metropolis Marvel to a member of the Ku Klux Klan (seriously? joke or not, that’s beyond the pale).
You can read more about “Action Comics” #900 on the DC Comics website and from the delightfully geeky folks over at Wired.com.