Superman Renounces American Citizenship in Comics

American pop icon Superman renounced his American citizenship in Action Comics #900, which went on sale on Wednesday.

It’s not all bad. In the comic, Superman gets dressed down by a feckless Presidential administration for peacefully supporting the anti-regime protesters in Iran, which, because Superman is so closely associated with Americanism, was viewed by Iranian leaders as a US act of war.  So it does have that “Obama did nothing while Iran brutally suppressed a peaceful uprising” angle.

On the other hand, Superman says “Truth, Justice and the American Way — It’s not Enough Anymore” (emphasis theirs).

As a life-long Superman fan, I’m going with “Superman had to renounce his American citizenship because Obama is screwing things up so badly that it’s impossible to be decent and accurately represent America,” ignoring all evidence to the contrary.  I’m going to say that most of the explanation of the motivation found below is one comic blogger’s opinion and close my eyes to the rest.

Despite very literally being an alien immigrant, Superman has long been seen as a patriotic symbol of “truth, justice, and the American way,” from his embrace of traditional American ideals to the iconic red and blue of his costume. What it means to stand for the “American way” is an increasingly complicated thing, however, both in the real world and in superhero comics, whose storylines have increasingly seemed to mirror current events and deal with moral and political complexities rather than simple black and white morality.


It doesn’t seem that he’s abandoning those values, however, only trying to implement them on a larger scale and divorce himself from the political complexities of nationalism. Superman also says that he believes he has been thinking “too small,” that the world is “too connected” for him to limit himself with a purely national identity. As an alien born on another planet, after all, he “can’t help but see the bigger picture.”

This kind of thing is not unprecedented. Quintessential American Special Forces soldier GI Joe was transformed into the acronym “Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity” in a recent movie depiction.