Over the weekend, DC Comics held their second annual FanDome event, chock-full of announcements and teaser trailers and all that good hype stuff. During Saturday's event, Chief Creative Officer and Publisher Jim Lee announced that Superman would be getting a new logo. "to better reflect the storylines that we are telling across DC and to honor Superman's incredible legacy of over 80 years of building a better world."
Superman has long been a symbol of hope who inspires people from around the world, and it is that optimism and hope that powers him forward with this new mission statement.
In other words, he will no longer be fighting for the American way, but for a better tomorrow instead.
This change makes sense but from every perspective. Sure, there is a cynical interpretation that this is pandering to anti-American progressivism. But also the fact that Superman's adventures have never been confined to the United States. Despite what actor Dean Cain might have you think, the idea of "truth, justice, and the American way" is not intrinsic to the character as originally created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in 1938. While truth and justice have always been central to the character, "the American Way" was added during the popular Adventures of Superman serial that aired during World War II. While the slogan was re-used for the television series in the 50s — a time when everything had to be anti-Communist propaganda — it still wasn't necessarily part of the character's comic origins. By the time the Super Friends cartoon launched in the 70s, the achingly pandering nationalism was replaced by "truth, justice, and peace for all mankind."
Whatever your political beliefs, this slogan just fits better with the character.
Image: tom_bullock / Flickr (CC-BY-SA 2.0)