Superman renounces his American citizenship
May 18th, 2011
10:06 AM ET

Superman renounces his American citizenship

By Omar Kasrawi, CNN

Superman, the world’s most iconic superhero, has announced his plans to renounce his American citizenship. The Man of Steel has apparently had enough of the world seeing him as a pawn of American foreign policy.

“I intend to speak before the United Nations tomorrow and inform them that I am renouncing my U.S. citizenship. I am tired of having my actions construed as instruments of U.S. policy,” said Superman in a story written by David S. Goyer.

Superman, the last survivor of the planet Krypton, first appeared in Action Comics #1 in 1938 and crash landed as an infant in Kansas. From there he grew up to fight for “truth, justice and the American way.” But after this story, which appeared in issue no. 900 of Action Comics, he might have to alter his catchphrase.

The tale features Superman peacefully standing by in support of protestors in Tehran. That leads the Iranian regime to declare this an act of war by the Americans.

DC Comics, the publisher of Action Comics, normally tends to shy away from using real life figures and places in its comics. Instead of New York they use cities like Metropolis (home to Superman) and Gotham City (Batman’s hometown). Rather than using the actual President of the United States they had Lex Luthor, the villainous arch-nemesis of Superman, as the Commander-in-Chief back in 2000.

“It’s an interesting choice by DC [Comics] to choose real world figures and locations for this story rather than their usual fictional ones,” said Samad Rizvi, an assistant manager at Midtown Comics, one of N.Y.’s largest comic retail outlets. “It happens sometimes in comics. Back in the ‘40s [Marvel Comic’s] Captain America used to battle Hitler and the Nazis.”

However this isn’t the first time that DC Comics has used the Iranian regime in one of their more controversial stories. Back in 1988, after the Batman’s arch-nemesis, the Joker, murdered Batman’s sidekick Robin, the clowned prince of crime gets rewarded for his deeds by becoming the Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations. An offer extended to him in person by the Ayatollah Khomeini, as depicted in the comic.

While Iran hasn’t yet responded to this latest story, it appears to have rubbed blogger Jonathan Last of the conservative Weekly Standard the wrong way. “Does he believe in liberté, égalité, fraternité, or sharia? Does he believe in British interventionism or Swiss neutrality? You see where I’m going with this: If Superman doesn’t believe in America, then he doesn’t believe in anything.” says Last in a recent blog post.

Fox News commentator Mike Huckabee called the storyline “disturbing” and said “It's part of a bigger trend of Americans almost apologizing for being Americans.”

The media jumped all over this story a couple of weeks ago but perhaps some perspective is in order. This is a comic book story for a character that is over 70 years old, and who has repeatedly fought to save people across the entire earth.

“Superman has been positioned as a global citizen going wherever his special kind of help is needed most,” said Devon Sanders, who reviews comic books for

“What we need to do here is realize there's a huge difference between the words, ‘denounce’ vs. ‘renounce.’ Don't worry, Clark Kent, the boy who grew up on a Kansas farm is still very much a U.S. citizen. Trust and believe this will always inform the Superman side of his life,” added Sanders.

While Superman may be giving up his American nationality, The Guardian points out that he still holds citizenship to every other country in the United Nations. But perhaps more interesting than waiting to see if Superman will renounce all his other citizenships, or whether Donald Trump will try to somehow jump on board the “earther” movement, is what does all this say about Superman’s foreign policy views?

Is Superman a neoliberal ready to fly in and bring you democracy whether you like it or not? Does he believe in balance of power? Is global interconnectedness his bag? Is realism his real Kryptonite. Let us know in the comments section below.

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Topics: Culture • Current Events • Diplomacy • Iran • United Nations • United States

soundoff (266 Responses)
  1. Rick

    Superman better check out Internal Revenue Code Section 877A. He'll have a big tax bill next year!

    May 24, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Reply
  2. Dan

    So Superman and DC comics has finally decided to join the terrorist regime of Ahmadejan of Iran, it is a good thing we have the Marvel Heroes to kick the DC butt, Go Avengers!

    May 25, 2011 at 11:26 am | Reply
  3. Screwey

    Well I find this article and the long list of comments to be ridiculous (if spelled right). A lot of people are arguing about superman who is a fictional character. I'm sorry if our 2D hero offends foreigners but once again superman is a fictional person and no one should be taking offense to his actions, if anything people should be more worked up about what "real" americans are doing instead of what a comic book hero is doing.

    May 25, 2011 at 11:52 am | Reply
  4. Mike

    wow, millions of little boys and girls who like Superman are going to say "I dont want to be an American anymore either" I know Superman isnt real, but for everything he's ever stood for "Truth, Justice and the AMERICAN way"......this counrty is going down hill, Im almost against the right to free speech because the only people talking are liberal A-holes.....This country needs a real life hero

    May 25, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Reply
  5. Kyle-Benjamin: Batenburg

    World News? Are you f-ing kidding me? Fictional nonsense makes headlines, yet we allow more than 20,000 people to die EVERY SINGLE DAY due to starvation and many other preventable cause? Are we really this imbicilic? Do you have any updates on Betty Boop? Rocky & Bullwinkle? How about Bugs Bunny?.......... WAKE UP, SHEOPLE!

    May 25, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Reply
  6. Laura Smith

    Wow, I thought I would never see the day when an American hero would turn against his own country. I agree, he (the comic writers) doesn't (don't) believe in anything!!!! He isn't a hero if he does this, a hero wouldn't turn his back on people when they needed him most. How very sad....

    May 25, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Reply
  7. Mike

    Does this mean they're not going to be selling us those $3.00 comics anymore?

    May 25, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Reply
  8. AJ

    For all the people who ignorantly claim that Superman would not be a legal US citizen...

    "Foundling Statue: a person of unknown parentage found in the United States while under the age of five years, until shown, prior to obtaining the age of twenty-one years, not to have been born in the United States," shall be citizens of the United States at birth."

    Additionally, the device which Jor-El used to transport his son to Earth, was actually an artificial womb. The moment that the Last Son of Krypton emerged in Kansas, he was actually born in the USA. This has all actually been dealt with in the comics, but people like to make snide, uninformed comments on Superman's legal status all the same.

    May 25, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Reply
  9. Coriolana

    DC Comics: paving the way to National Lampoon daily. Next story: Jimmy Olson clubs baby seals.

    May 27, 2011 at 9:49 am | Reply
  10. Adam

    Interesting to read all the ignorant posts which interpret through the conservative lens. If America is going to reclaim the position of international importance it once held we must assert it with more than lies about being the beat at everything and bankruptingly expensive military might.

    We must actually become the best at leading the world in many areas again. Production, education, and every form of wise leadership (sorry fundamentalists) all understand that for America to lead in the new global setting that we must become more than Americans by growing the roots of the American culture with wisdom.

    Sadly, conservatism and fundamentalism have merged into a powerhouse of ignorance that is destroying America with all manner of social decay. The ignorance that has seeped into this thread is clear evidence.

    Americans must rise above American egotism if America is going to truly continue to be a great nation.

    May 31, 2011 at 10:26 am | Reply
  11. Darrin

    This is plain stupid. If Superman wants to go the way of the hollywood elites, then it is time Patriotic American stop buying his comics and seeing his movies, and playing his video games. For me Superman is now no longer on my list of superheros. I am tired of Americans (liberals and Progressives) being so ashamed of being American and hating this country so moch. You do not like liveing here or being American, then please do me a favor leave my country and quite taking my money and the money of other Americans who actually love this country and think the founding fathers vision for the country is the greatest thing to have every happend to mankind!

    July 26, 2011 at 1:50 am | Reply
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