Truth, Justice, and the 99%

Or, Superman Occupies Wall Street

I was minding my own tweeting business, when I got a tweet stating that Superman had joined the Occupy Wall Street Movement.  I was a little surprised by this since at this point, I figured OWS as a movement was about as dead as a doornail.  It had been months since an Occupier has pooped on a police car, and there had been little Occupy terrorism in several months.  What benefit could DC have in involving their flagship character, the most popular comic superhero in the world, with a fringe group of crackpots?

But following the link on the tweet it led me to DC Comics character description of the Man of Steel:

A universal icon, Superman means different things to the many diverse people he inspires: He’s an alien; an immigrant from a faraway land just looking to help; a country boy fighting the never-ending battle for truth and justice. And recent comics have truly spotlighted his role as the people’s hero: Following a neophyte Man of Steel still learning his powers’ limits, Superman fights the evil corporate tycoons and corrupt one-percenters that have overwhelmed the establishment.

What the hell?  “one-percenters?”  “evil corporate tycoons?”

One couldn’t also notice that the “American Way” had been excised from the truth and justice Superman unendingly battles for.  Not so much a surprise as Superman renounced his American citizenship in Action Comics 900.  Of course DC had been wrecking both their characters and their universe since their Crisis on Infinite Earths, DC’s 1985 series that eliminated all of its comic alternate universes.  It made a great storyline, but a massive comicsverse such as the ones DC and Marvel have can’t exist without multiple alternate universes.  They clear up continuity problems. And they allow a rebooting updating of the characters such as Marvel did with its Ultimate line.

Without alternate universes, DC has been trying to reboot its prime universe over and over, updating it to the point that none of the history a true comic geek knows about his favorite characters stays history.  Characters origins and previous adventures get altered and changed on a whim.  DC eventually corrected that, resurrecting the multiple universes, but their most recent reboot gave DC the chance to totally redo all of their characters.  An opportunity they apparently took advantage of by making decades old superhero, Green Lantern, gay.  DC did wimp out on this since they took another universe Green Lantern, Earth 2’s Alan Scott, as the gay lantern.  Still, is there really a comic market for that?

I get that artists and other fartsy types are likely to be left leaning.  A little politics mixed in with comics has been going back years.  During the seventies Green Arrow and Green Lantern would simultaneously fight aliens and racism in their own joint comic book.  The series had several sophisticated story lines involving what were then topical issues of the day;  poverty, class, Vietnam, and drugs.  Green Arrow’s sidekick Speedy had a heroin addiction.

But DC, why did you have to go and ruin Superman?

They’ve actually taken the most popular comic book character in the world and made him a lefty political extremist.  And DC wonders why sales of their comics continue to drop.

Since DC is determined to crush both their sales and the characters they had spent decades cultivating, they might as well let the characters go out with a bang before bankruptcy.  Why not reboot the DCU again (20th time’s the charm right?) and make Superman black. Superman, whose alter ego is a mild mannered reporter for Media Matters, can fight super villains like the Koch Brothers. As an illegal immigrant himself, Superman can kick down the border fence in Arizona, and fly back to Boston to smoke pot in the Commons with the other Occupiers by noon.

How can DC go wrong?

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