Superman Goes Rogue
“I think it’s a part of a bigger trend of Americans almost apologizing for being Americans,” said Mike Huckabee, Republican politician and US presidential hopeful. He was on Fox News, reacting to reports that Superman is renouncing his American citizenship, news that’s common knowledge by now. “‘Truth, justice and the American way’ - it’s not enough anymore,” grumbles Clark Kent’s alter-ego. “I’m tired of having my actions construed as instruments of U.S. policy.” In reply, the Tea Party’s blog has written, “This is very socialistic of Superman wanting a Socialistic world with people like Obama at the helm of this movement [sic].” Although the takedown of Osama bin Laden may persuade Superman to reconsider his decision, perhaps his publisher Action Comics is simply hoping to expand its star’s market reach at a time when the truth is getting harder to discern, justice has become a tradeable commodity and the American way seems as toxic as kryptonite.
American superheroes have long dominated the Australian imagination, but many countries have superheroes of their own, including Australia. Ours include Wraith and Diabla. Many Australians are familiar with Monkey, but what about China’s Double-Faced Man? Indonesia boasts Kapten Bandung, Argentina has Fly Man, Ireland has Judge-Sergeant Joyce, Iceland has Sportacus, India Sabu, Japan Spectreman and Israel has the Golem, among others. In fact, it’s possible that Superman could trace his family tree back to Yiddish folklore. At the time of the 2000 release of his bestselling novel, The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Klay, Jewish-American author Michael Chabon speculated that the golem was the precursor of the modern American superhero.