For years, Superman has been heralded as the champion of “truth, justice, and the American way.” But the editorial staff at DC Comics has dared to challenge this ideal by creating a controversy of global proportions. What does it mean for the U.S. if Superman is no longer American?
This week, Superman made news headlines by declaring that he intends to go before the United Nations and renounce his American citizenship. In “The Incident,” a story featured in the 900th issue of Action Comics, Superman is questioned by the U.S. national security advisor regarding the hero’s recent appearance in Iran.
What happened was this: Superman heard about protests in Tehran against Ahmadinejad’s administration. Knowing that past protests had led to violence and protest leaders being arrested, he decided to make sure things didn’t get out of hand. He landed at the protest and stood â€” neither moving nor speaking â€” for 24 hours. Then he left.
Considering the already tense state of affairs between the U.S. and Iran â€” not to mention the situation in countries like Egypt, Libya, and Syria â€” it’s no surprise that Superman’s simple appearance at a protest could spark concern from both governments. To Iran, this must have looked like America holding a nuclear bomb over their heads.