Do you think Superman would be a fearless liberal and openly bash the ones opposing his ideals? Or would he maintain a discreet but diplomatic stance on politics instead?
It looks like even fictional characters can’t outrun real-life politics as a fresh debate amongst comic book fans stews up about whether or not Superman should be apolitical. And while the discussion seems to have divided fans into two extremes, as it often happens in such cases, a DC writer himself has peppered in with his opinion and has put forth a gripping argument with regard to the same.
A Twitter user recently posted about Superman, claiming that if people believed the superhero to be a diplomat with a politically neutral point of view toward things, then they’d “grossly misunderstood” him in the first place. And Tom Taylor, someone who’s brought Superman to life on the pages of DCU, seems to be in assent.
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Why Tom Taylor Thinks Superman Isn’t Meant to be Politically Neutral
A New York Times bestselling author and a comic book author, Tom Taylor is popular for his significant contribution to numerous comic book series, including DC’s Injustice, Nightwing, Superman, and Suicide Squad, and has even worked on various Marvel comic book series like X-Men Red and Superior Iron Man, to name a few.
Weighing in his perspective on the prospect of Superman being politically neutral, the Australian playwright took a firm stance against the notion, claiming that he is “a refugee who chose to be a journalist” to advocate “truth and justice.” The character’s very first appearance involved barging through the house of a governor all to rescue a prisoner and stop his execution, and that probably relays the message about his political beliefs.
Taylor further pointed out how his arch-rival, Lex Luthor, is a conniving billionaire whose sole mission in life is to dominate the planet, something which seemingly corroborates the fact that Superman is vividly intolerant of inequality and injustice.
Superman is a refugee who chose to be a journalist to champion truth and justice. In his very 1st appearance, he broke down the doors of a governor’s mansion to stop a prisoner’s execution. And his arch-rival is a billionaire who wants to control the planet. https://t.co/lf8Bv4Ilv8
— Tom Taylor (@TomTaylorMade) March 22, 2023
This isn’t the first time that the 44-year-old screenwriter has expressed his political standpoint in relation to fictional characters. Just last year, he collaborated with Nicole Maines, DCU’s very first trans actor who portrayed Dreamer in Supergirl, on Superman: Son of Kal-El #13 issue as they announced Dreamer’s appearance in the DCU comics.
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Back in 2021, Taylor also introduced Josh Kent’s Superman as bisexual in Superman: Son of Kal-El #5, claiming how he was honored to infuse queer storylines and characters in the series instead of sticking to the format of “another straight white savior” as the emblem of hope.
So his perspective on Superman’s political attitude makes sense given how he’s an adamant liberal himself.
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Fans Are Split Between Backing Tom Taylor’s Stance And Opposing It
For the most part, fans seem to side with Taylor on the fact that Superman’s personality isn’t the type that would allow him to be politically neutral, something which is perhaps conspicuous by his righteous actions.
A lot of his early stories in the late 30s early 40s is literally him going around fighting for social justice. He would fight corrupt politicians and businessmen and fight for the rights of citizens generally superhero’s have always been political
— . (@JaValemcgeeforg) March 22, 2023
Superman is OG Woke.
— John Dimas (@jadimas) March 22, 2023
— Alex Castro (@acastro924) March 22, 2023
Superman is literally the embodiment of what a certain group hates. They just can't see past the muscles.
— Remicks13 Chicago 6/2 Detroit 6/10 (@Remicks131) March 22, 2023
And also he stopped a wife-beater, which it helps to understand more what you are saying
— José Manuel (@JoseManu8890) March 22, 2023
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I am baffled anyone could possibly see Superman as friendly to conservatives.
Yeah he stops criminals but he's always looked out for the little guy and been critical of power and mobs.
— Alladar (@DinoAlladar) March 22, 2023
However, there are also those who seem to believe otherwise as they claim Superman to be an apolitical character through and through.
With all that he is a very apolitical character. He stands for doing the right thing, politics is when people can’t agree on what the right thing is.
— Franny (@510Cisco) March 22, 2023
Doing the right thing and politcs are separate things. Not exclusive but separate.
— Humberto Jerez (@hum_el) March 22, 2023
I would even argue he has the responsibility of being politically neutral, and has demonstrated that again and again as a being who could sway national or global politics with the flick of a wrist.
— Barlow Adams (@BarlowAdams) March 22, 2023
But one thing’s certain, Superman is one of the good guys, with or without politics. And that speaks volumes.