T Nation

DC: Superman Renounces Citizenship


If I understand correctly, Superman will still stand for truth and justice, but as for the American way, not so much.

Story at: http://www.comicsalliance.com/2011/04/27/superman-renounces-us-citizenship/



Were I in his shoes I probably would have declared myself Emperor of the World a long time ago; so simply opting not to appear as a pawn in political maneuvering is fairly benign by comparison.


Thoughts? Superman was borne of innocence back when America had a very clear enemy that was in no way righteous or good. The world isn't so black and white anymore....nor are we so innocent as to believe that our own government is without fault or that no one who opposes an ideal we represent could be good in any way.

Realistically, it is tragic that we lost that innocence...but it is also to be expected considering we have already lost our privacy and much of our freedom.

If Superman were real, being an "American" would make it impossible for him to help anyone outside of our own borders without getting the UN involved.

Comic books are becoming more and more based in reality. They are not just for kids anymore.


Beyond question, if Superman were real, it would be a valid point that as he has been portrayed to date, his actions would tend to be taken around the world as "America's" actions. That would indeed be a legitimate problem.

On the other hand, the original conception, and one held for many years, is that Clark Kent is supposed to be a real and three-dimensional person.

I haven't been following Superman lately but last time I was reading, Clark Kent had been pretty much discarded anyway.


There's also the viewpoint or philosophy that when others accuse one wrongly, it's not necessary to bend over backwards to accomodate and respect their wrong accusation.

E.g., when accused "You're acting on behalf of or with the approval of the US government" and that is not so, it really is not necessary to renounce one's citizenship in response.

However, there are people who do bend over backwards like that, it's true.


It seems to me that DC wants to make Superman more of a global figure than purely an American one. I think this is a logical next step for him, to be honest. The idea of globalization has taken hold so firmly now that it was inevitable that a superhero like Superman, who has essentially worked on behalf of a particular govt, now works for the whole globe and will help humanity wherever it is in danger regardless of who it is.

I don't really know what the writers are trying to say by having this split occur in such a manner though. It may simply be some sort of bastardized version of a "statement" about the state and direction of U.S. foreign policy now. As tempting as it is to read further into this about-face of Superman's, I think what's really going on here is that the writers are simply trying to "say something" and they're using Superman and his citizenship as a vehicle to denounce whatever actions of the U.S. govt that may anger them.

I don't think this says as much about the U.S. as it does about the state of comics either. Back during WWII comics were helpful in ramping up patriotism and a lot of the characters (Batman is the first that comes to mind) even urged their readers to buy govt-issued war bonds inside the pages of the comics. Even during the Vietnam War the major comic books didn't play to the anti-war/student protest crowd nearly as much as they played to the fervent patriot crowd. I think comics have always been kind of slow in that regard. There wasn't a real move toward the anti-hero type of character until Batman's renaissance in the mid 70s, the introduction of characters like the Punisher and the overall darkening of the tone of a lot of the comics, even though that movement had taken place in American literature much earlier and in American film back in the late 60s. I think what seems to be a pretty overt way of levying criticism against the U.S. govt and its foreign policy is the next natural step as comics slowly crawl toward being overtly political in an anti-govt sort of way. At least, it's moving toward the mainstream now with a character as intrinsically-connected to America as Superman.


I don't know the comic very well, but how did Superman get his citizenship anyway? Didn't he just fall from the sky and some nice family took him in? Wouldn't they have had to had forged papers to make him legal?

Was he ever granted citizenship legally?


Geek Mode Activated

In Smallville, they actually went into great detail about how they faked his adoption. Lex Luthor's father, Lionel created an adoption agency for the soul purpose of hiding clark...who was found in a field at the same time Lex lost his hair.

Backstory: Lionel was part of secret organization who was aware of Kryptonians coming to Earth before Clark for centuries. They used this as a training ground before reaching full maturity.

So, if you follow Smallville, yes, he was faked into being an American citizen by the Luthors.


Yeah, I did watch the first few seasons of Smallville (I can't believe it is still on) and that is what I thought happened.

But if he is illegal, why make a big fuss about renouncing citizenship then? We should have deported his ass years ago.


Dude, come on. Everyone knows that Smallville isn't considered part of Superman canon. Geek Mode Activation: FAIL


Ha. I was wondering if Smallville counted. I know TV shows and movies don't follow the storylines exactly.

The question is the same though. Is he really a U.S. citizen?



I am still curious about this whole Superman/citizenship thing. I can't yet find a definite answer, but I am discovering that Superman has always been political. I never knew he uncoded the KKK.


Yes epic FAIL.
Smallville is a fictional representation of the fictional character of superman.
I cant watch smallville, as it does not even coming close to telling the real superman story.
tweet tweet


The thing that's silly is if you don't want Superman to seem too "American" then just don't have him mention America or whatnot....to go right out and have him renounce his citizenship is just going to irk too many people.

Like if you have a falling out with a friend and you two don't talk anymore. Well then, you don't talk anymore...if you go up to the guy 6 months later and say "Don't talk to me!" then you're just stirring up shit.


It's more of a business decision than anything else. DC comics are marketed globally and in a myriad of different languages, Superman has certain markets where he sells well and others where he's not that popular. If you make his national allegiance more ambiguous, then you can sell him all over.

Batman is more of a global commodity because of he guards an almost faceless city (Gotham) it can almost be any city in Germany, England, France, etc... Plus Batman will always be cooler than Superman


And hes always ready to shove kryptonite up the alien's ass when he steps out of line. I agree with superman being global although I think they could've come up with a better way than renouncing his fake citizenship.


Superman is better than Batman.

I have nothing to support this.


Just for that I'm taking all your chewing gum, jerk.


Yeah, well, when Superman reads this thread, we know whose side he'll be on!