In “Action Comics” No. 900, Superman announces his plans to renounce his U.S. citizenship.In the issue, after appearing in support of protesters in the Middle East, Superman finds himself at odds with the U.S. president. Superman’s appearance has been construed as an official move by the U.S. government.
Superman thus plans to renounce his American citizenship at the United Nations the next day, and to work as a more global superhero.
The Man of Steel’s declaration, “I’m tired of having my actions construed as instruments of U.S. policy,” follows accusations that he caused an international incident in Tehran. Superman flew to the country during a huge protest, where..
he stood silent for one day, to show his support for the demonstrators. The 24 hours pass with a mix of appreciation (flowers and flags) and fear (hurled Molotov cocktails). But the government of Iran sees Superman as an agent of the United States and feels his action is an act of war. “Truth, justice and the American way – it’s not enough anymore,” Superman tells the president’s national security adviser. “The world’s too small. Too connected.” He then makes the decision to go before the United Nations and renounce his American citizenship.
The iconic nature of the hero has people discussing the announcement on the Internet and in comic shops. Stores across the metro area reported strong sales, with many selling out of the issue.
“I can see him wanting to be more global, not have people think that he’s pursuing a U.S. agenda,” said Eric Neal of Second Chance Books in Warr Acres.
It’s not the first time a comic character has been fed up with being seen as part of U.S. policy.
In the 1970s, Marvel Comics’ Captain America — aka Steve Rogers — gave up his famed suit and shield and adopted the identity Nomad around the time the Watergate scandal began heating up.
DC Comics says the story is not about criticizing the U.S. In fact, the publisher says, the Man of Steel remains as American as apple pie, baseball and small-town life.
“Superman is a visitor from a distant planet who has long embraced American values,” DC’s co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio said Thursday in a statement. “As a character and an icon, he embodies the best of the American Way.”
And, they added, Superman, like his U.S. citizen alter-ego, Clark Kent, remains, “as always, committed to his adopted home and his roots as a Kansas farm boy from Smallville.”
Neal points out that Superman simply announces his intentions, but doesn’t actually renounce his citizenship in the issue. So the story might play out differently than people expect.
“I suspect that since he doesn’t actually renounce his citizenship in the comic, it probably won’t happen,” he said.
Contributing: The Associated Press