Calling Superman A ‘Social Justice Warrior’ Misses The Point Of Superman

Senior Contributor
09.15.17 8 Comments

DC Entertainment

On Wednesday, we singled out Action Comics #987 as the best comic book of the week, because it dealt with some real questions about superheroes while staying true to the roots of Superman’s character. In the issue, a shadowy villain named Mr. Oz sets off a string of catastrophes across the globe showing off the worst of humanity: Animal poaching, terrorism, environmental collapse, and more.

One of those catastrophes is the unfortunately common image of a man, his hate and rage is boiling over thanks to Mr. Oz’s influence, attempting to murder a group of people, including women and children. Superman steps in to intervene because, well, he’s Superman. As he crushes the gun, he tells the man to his face he’s a monster. That the man is wearing an American flag bandana, and the people he’s attempting to shoot are what he believes to be undocumented immigrants, is beside the point, as far as Superman’s concerned. Superman stops murders, after all. Here are the pages in question:

DC Entertainment

DC Entertainment

But unfortunately, some people have missed the point, willfully or otherwise. Fox News opinion columnist Todd Starnes complains that Superman saves his contempt for the attempted mass murderer, not the Spanish-speaking people behind him:

Instead of rounding up the illegals and flying them back to where they came from, the Man of Steel snatches the white guy and with a menacing look snarls, “The only person responsible for the blackness smothering your soul — is you.”

Breitbart took it further, wailing that Superman was “no longer American.” But all of this is fairly bizarre, not to mention clearly second-hand: Both Starnes and Breitbart refer to The Hollywood Reporter‘s discussion of the comic, using the same panels from Twitter, not the comic itself. If they had, they might have noticed Superman deferred the legal aspect of the situation to the police, and flew off to fight, among other things, an arsonist attempting to burn down the homes of the rich while ranting about the one percent.

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