Published April 29, 2011
Like most boys my age, I grew up watching “Adventures of Superman” on our family’s black and white RCA TV. I can still quote the introduction from memory: “Faster than a speeding bullet; more powerful than a locomotive; able to leap tall buildings at a single bound…” At the end of the introduction, viewers were assured that Superman fights “a never-ending battle for truth, justice and the American way.”
From news reports, it appears Superman is going global. Like so many other American traditions that have been debunked or discarded by the liberal elites, an new issue of the DC Comics book has the “man of steel” abandoning America. In the latest version, Superman says he’s going to the UN and renounce his citizenship because, “I’m tired of having my actions construed as instruments of U.S. policy.”
Construed? Would comic book readers have heard of such a word? This storyline sounds as if it was written by an acolyte of the Obama administration.
The occasional big (for comic book readers) word and a left-wing plot are what make me think someone has hijacked Superman. Perhaps Lex Luthor has found another piece of kryptonite, that rock from the planet Krypton that is the only thing that can weaken Superman. If not Luthor, then maybe someone who was educated by one of those leftover hippies from the 60s who now teaches at an Ivy League university, or at Berkeley.
The real Superman would never abandon America. Even though he was an illegal alien, he has done enough good to “earn” his citizenship. This story is new age pap.
Even in the unlikely event that Superman has undergone a transformation, we thankfully have enough superheroes to fill any gaps. There’s Batman and Spiderman (who is busy trying to save his Broadway show). There is the lovely Wonder Woman. Though she is preoccupied with fittings for her new costume, W.W. can still sling that magical golden lasso and catch a criminal.
If for some reason these other super heroes fail us, a rodent might save us. We could turn to Mighty Mouse (“Here he comes to save the day…”).
There are also superheroes who have been dormant for some years. Captain Marvel was one of my favorites as a kid. His alter ego was a young Billy Batson.
As the Wikipedia website remembers, when Billy said “Shazam” (the name of the wizard who gave him his powers), he was immediately struck by lightening and imbued with the powers of six legendary figures. His uniform had a lighting bolt and a yellow cape, which contrasted with Superman’s red and blue outfit (though for the first two years of the series before it was shot in color, Superman’s costume was brown, gray and white to film better in black and white).
But what if Superman’s defection is for real? As Perry White, editor of The Daily Planet, might have reacted, “Great Caesar’s ghost!”
I’m not buying it. I don’t believe Superman would ever abandon America. That’s not who he is. Besides, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olson wouldn’t let him.
If the left wants a super hero of their own, they need not mess in our superhero gene pool. They already have one of their own who is United Nations-friendly. He is the creation of Ted Turner and his name is “Captain Planet.” There’s a reason Captain Planet never caught on like Superman did. That’s because he’s not nearly as attractive and the only thing he could leap over in a single bound is a compost heap.
Cal Thomas is America's most widely syndicated newspaper columnist and a Fox News contributor.