In 1938, the Last Son of Krypton made his official comic book debut. The creative forces that drove the minds of Jerri Siegel and Joe Shuster gave the world it’s first true comic book superhero. The rest, ladies and gentlemen, is history. Superman ushered in a new age of superheroes. He has been standing tall, watching over the foundations America was built upon – truth, harmony, and justice. DC has finally changed Superman’s status. he is no longer a guardian of the values that uphold the American Way of life. As revealed in DC FanDome 2021, Superman now stands for “Truth, Justice, And A Better Tomorrow”.
Once described as the protector of truth, justice and the American Way, Superman’s motto has been changed by DC. It is now more inclusive and represents the whole world. Superman doesn’t just represent America anymore. He speaks for the entire planet, no matter your race, religion, and/or nationality.
How Superman Came To Represent The American Way
In the 1940’s, Superman had a myriad of mottos in his arsenal. The Superman radio show in that same decade was the first to coin the iconic motto. Superman stood for truth, justice and the American Way when the United States entered World War Two. Superman became a champion of the values of the Free World led by America.
The phrase was later changed to truth, tolerance, and justice. When the Red Scare took over America during the Cold War, the original American Way phrase became more popular. The show Adventures of Superman included it in its broadcast. The Christopher Reeves movies of the ’70s and ’80s also used the same slogan. The Superfriends cartoon tried changing it to “truth, justice, and peace for all mankind”. But the cultural impact of the original American Way slogan has been so long-lasting it has been difficult for DC to dissociate it from the Man of Steel ever since.
Superman Has Let Go Of His American Ideals In The Past
In 2006’s Superman Returns, Perry White openly asked the same question about Superman. He said – “Does he stand for truth, justice… all that stuff?”. Superman had gone to a distant part of the universe to search for his true home. In a way, he had let go of his American roots and was trying to find his actual ones.
In 2013’s Man of Steel, Superman openly fought the US Military in a standoff. New age media about Superman seems to keep Superman’s fervent nationalism at a distance. DC is subtly trying to make the hero a global one. Even in the comic books – 2011’s Action Comics #900, we could see the repercussions of Superman letting go of the American Way. He renounced his US Citizenship right in front of the United Nations. The hints have grown from being subtle to right in your face.
A Better Man Of Tomorrow
Superman’s status as an alien refugee is something the comic books have recently started to showcase. Superman’s son – Jon Kent, has been way more socially aware and active than his father. Helping out a horde of refugees from another nation and even getting himself arrested as a sign of solidarity with the refugees who were put in handcuffs the moment they arrived shows that DC is ready to experiment with what represents Superman. Jon Kent’s Superman stands for “truth, justice, and a better world”.
In line with these recent developments, DC Comics is making Superman a beacon of not just American but global peace and harmony. Free of all geopolitical trappings, will this version of Superman become a better Man of Tomorrow? Only time will tell.