Comic 242 - Blind Date 3

15th Jul 2011, 7:59 AM
Blind Date 3
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mathias42 15th Jul 2011, 1:26 PM edit delete
Is DC Backpedaling on Superman?

I’ve already gone into great detail about my dissapointment (perhaps hurt feelings would be a better term) over Action 900 and the citizenship issue. I needen’t re-hash all of that here.

That said, I’ve observed some intresting developments over at DC in the last month or two. Paticularly as I was reading Superman #713 – a borrowed copy. I’m not buying DC or Superman right now, but I wanted to be on the lookout for something almost exactly like this:

As Clark discards the costume Superboy asks "What about Truth, Justice and the Americian Way?" Clark replies "Those are all good ideas, worth defending" (then he continues that he'll keep defending them, just not as Superman)

I’ve pretty much thought the Superman-walks-the-earth story was dumb. In this one he’s pulling a “Spider-Man no more” (all that’s missing is the costume in the alley trashcan) kind of thing. It’s almost predictable. However, in this issue, I’ve heard more about “Truth Justice and the American Way” and moreover the virtues of “The American Way” than I’ve seen in YEARS.

A beautiful page has a couple mentioning "Superman didn't care that this wasn't out native country. He helps EVERYONE that needs him. That's the American way."

This is what I’m talking about…and it’s what the “Superman Returns” movie didn’t get; lifting up “The American Way” isn’t an ego trip, it’s not imperialistic, rather it’s idealistic and inherently inclusive.

The apologists keep pointing out “DC must have been surprised at the reaction to what was just a BACKUP story in action 900″. Really? You didn’t see that this was (at best) in poor taste and (at worst) diminishing to the character? What about the mixed message DC sent with a picture of Superman holding an American Flag towards the back of that same issue where he renounced his citizenship? It’s all just so….foolish.

Then there was the announcement of a shelved story with Superman teaming up with a young Muslim superhero. (I remember him from when he appeared as Sinbad years ago. I went out of my way to get that storyline because Curt Swan was returning as a guest artist. It was great to see him penciling again). Axing this story is an overreaction, but an understandable one. The pity is that this is the epitome of what Superman is about and yet his actions in #900 (Which were contrary to his character) created an environment where this story could be looked on as controversial . Honestly, I’m not happy to see this story shelved, and even less happy with the krypto story that replaced it, but I get that DC seems to be in damage control mode and trying to make the events in Action 900 right.

I’m not ready to break my Superman stuff back out of storage yet, but this is a good step in the right direction towards making me feel better about the character again…and it was quick. I suspect the response to Action 900 was far more negative that we are being led to believe, and I really want to see the letters page in next month’s Action Comics…if there is one. They may have side stepped the issue with the upcoming reboot (which may well wash away the missteps of the recent past anyhow).

Still, the thing is I WANT to like DC. I want to forgive them. They are the home of my favorite Superhero universes. Many of my most beloved heroes dewll there (or at least used to – such as The Shadow or Captain Kirk). Perhaps I’m being more charitable than I would if it were a Marvel thing, but Superman is very close to my heart, and I don’t want to be down on him.

There's another panel where Superman is described as an ASPIRATIONAL hero. He makes us want to be better people, by being one himself. And that’s the thing. Honestly, I don’t want to fly, or be superstrong – I just want to be Superman. I want to do the right thing, because it’s the right thing to do. You can’t say that about any other Superhero. More than any others, he’s a figure to look up to.

I hope I CAN look up to him again.
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