In Action Comics #900, there’s a reflective look at Superman’s role in the universe by Paul Dini. But that’s not the real story.
There’s a storyboarded piece by Superman movie director, Richard Donner. But that’s not the real story.
There’s a story by Lost creator Damon Lindelhof about the last days of Krypton. But that’s not the real story.
Geoff Johns and Gary Frank bring the Legion over for dinner. But that’s not the real story.
And in the lead feature, Superman fights, well, God, in a story written by the outspokenly Christian Paul Cornell. But even that’s not the real story (though it helped the headline).
Because in another story David Goyer writes a piece in which Superman gets involved in riots in Tehran – without using any kind of fictional blur as usually happens in DC Comics titles. Iran, Tehran, President Ahmadinajad, all named, portrayed on the page. And Superman protecting those behind the uprisings from an oppressive government’s army through an act of non-violent protest. And in doing so causes an international incident for America, which leads to a confrontation with US government officials.
At which point Superman decides to renounce his American citizenship. And states that truth, justice and the American way just aren’t enough anymore.
This is the Authority-isation of mainstream comics. Ten years ago, the international aspects of Warren Ellis’ Authority, engaging with actual worldwide physical events away from international boundaries were considered rather radical, if attractive to some. Joe Kelly wrote What’s So Funny About Truth Justice And The American Way as a reaction against that, defending traditional superhero comics and creating a mock Authority team for Superman to oppose, published in Action Comics #775 in March 2001.
Ten years later, things have come full circle. And Superman is no longer an American.
When the Greek character Wonder Woman changed her costume to one with less stars on it, Fox News called in unamerican and unpatriotic, with some commentators calling her a communist.
I wonder what they’ll make of this?