Comic book culture was very, very different in the ’90s. The only successful superhero movies were Batman movies, some of them made by the late Joel Schumacher. And Superman — whose own film franchise had flamed out in the late ’80s — was regulated to TV. Over four seasons, the Man of Steel was seen on ABC’s Lois & Clark: The New Adventure of Superman, on which he embodied by Dean Cain. Cain is not as beloved among comic movies fans as, say, former Bruce Wayne Michael Keaton, partly because he turned out to be an outspoken conservative and Trump supporter prone to eye-rolling pronouncements.
The latest came Thursday, when he made a Zoom appearance on Fox News’ Fox & Friends, there to talk about a recent Time Magazine article calling for a cultural reckoning of superheroes. Cain spent most of his appearance criticizing the Black Lives Matters protests concerning police brutality. But when he was asked about his own former superhero, he had some thoughts.
“I promise you that Superman — I wouldn’t today be allowed to say: ‘truth, justice, and the American way,’” Cain responded.
The pushback online was fierce, with few giving him a pass as an erstwhile comic book hero. In fact, some pointed out that the staunchly conservative Cain was perhaps not, shall we say, typecast as Kal-El from the planet Krypton.
Superman is an immigrant adopted by a working class family whose archnemesis is a greedy tech billionaire, written by two Jewish Americans in direct response to the global rise of fascism.
So no, Dean Cain should probably not play Superman today. https://t.co/3wug0955cC
— Kyle Kallgren (@KyleKallgren) July 2, 2020
“Superman is an immigrant adopted by a working class family whose archnemesis is a greedy tech billionaire, written by two Jewish Americans in direct response to the global rise of fascism,” one person wrote. “So no, Dean Cain should probably not play Superman today.”
Others had similar thoughts.
Is Dean Cain aware that Superman is not even American? https://t.co/HgiL34cdZZ
— David Weissman (@davidmweissman) July 2, 2020
Funny because Superman is undocumented and has a uber wealthy businessman as his mortal enemy so ya'know….. eat shit Dean Cain. https://t.co/KMZkliiXPz
— Lady V drawing Inuyasha fanart (@valkyrie_art) July 2, 2020
Dean Cain is bitching about Superman not being able to say the American Way anymore.
What does the AMERICAN WAY mean? Ignoring science, treating BIPOC and the LGBTQ+ community like trash, a bad healthcare system and endless wars? Why would Superman believe in the American Way?
— ZAK HEARTS HIMBOS💗💜💙 (@Zakiyyah6) July 2, 2020
Some pointed out that the word “America” featured pretty prominently in the highest grossing film of all time, released only last year.
Good job the actual biggest movie of all time, released just last year, didn't star a character called Captain America or Dean Cain would sound like a fucking idiot https://t.co/ImYF0pDWtn
— Seb Patrick (@sebpatrick) July 2, 2020
Some did some general dunks on Cain.
Superman wasn't a liar. I promise you, Dean Cain today wouldn't be allowed to play Superman. https://t.co/qQsHohPfHW
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) July 2, 2020
Superman looks like he has been taking those “energy pills” on the display by the cash register in my local deli. https://t.co/8RBJL96OCo
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) July 2, 2020
Dean Cain is the Eric Trump of Supermans.
— 💙 Koko 🥁 💙 (@Kokomothegreat) July 2, 2020
Dean Cain is the James Woods of Scott Baios.
— Jesse D. Lifson (@DoYouEvenLif) July 2, 2020
And some said Cain was definitely not their Man of Steel.
Dean Cain can go suck eggs. The only true Superman was this guy. ❤💜💚💙 pic.twitter.com/36PAKNViq9
— Emily Shapiro1 (@EmilyShapiro1) July 2, 2020
Luckily, I grew up watching the real Superman and he thinks Dean Cain is a douchebag. pic.twitter.com/J0BVtXblf7
— trevor dorn (@trevordorn) July 2, 2020
First aired in 1993, Lois & Clark spent most of its not time not watching Cain’s Kal-El fighting crime and baddies but being engaged in a Cheers-style will-they-or-won’t-they with Teri Hatcher’s Lois Lane.