14 May 2011

Action Comics #900

Action Comics #900

Action Comics #900

Okay what I have to say is probably longer than the to do the news and blogs are making over this issue, so yeah there's that...

I'm a grown woman who must admit to being biased as I love, love, love Superman. I'm not such a geek that I can tell you who did what in what issue but I read my fair share, love the movies, pouted when Smallville ended tonight, etc. So when this issue came out I knew I had to read it instead of waiting for this arc to land in an Omnibus. Because of all of the 'don't buy this issue' campaigns, it of course sold out. Well I finally found it at a decent price, yay.

As someone who actually read the whole 96 pages my one sentence assessment of the drama is this - A big overblown drama by people who didn't read it and know nothing of comics.

My longer version of this? *SPOILERS* Well in one short story, Sumerman flies into Tehran fearing Ahmadinejad's regime will harm protestors as they had before. Superman gives us a speech about how he's good at fighting gimmicks but when it comes to everyday human issues and inhumanities, well, he's never been good at that... He doesn't actually try to stop anything. He just stands there, showing he's standing up for human rights. When the U.S. Government decides perhaps they need Kryptonite bullets to keep him in line as he's to take orders from THEM, as the world sees him as an representative of the U.S. government, he then decides well no he's for all humans. He's against violence and is for helping people, wherever they may be and rather than letting anyone on earth think he represents anyone specific he'll claim no citizenship. *END SPOILERS*

This is not such an unusual thing in comics. If you go back and look at comics from any generation you will find comics that will offend someone. Gender identities, issues of sexuality, political affiliations, race, nationality, whatever -- it's all been dealt with, sometimes brutally so, sometimes in way you'd find offensive at the time, sometimes in ways that were nice propaganda at the time but now are totally jaw dropping offensive. Comics are loved by kids but they do now and always have covered issues like this and if that offends you, fine but don't pretend it's new and shocking, it's not. Really the only thing that worries me about this issue is that sometimes these political figures are nearly forgotten 20 years later so kids who pick up old copies ask "Who?" history books don't always cover these guys so that one blurb in Superman may be all they know of that person.

There's been many a debate about if Clark Kent / Superman is "legal", a citizen. etc. He's been given citizenships (the comics presented them as real and honorary both I believe, I'd have to double check). But in the end if a comic book character says that helping all people and not playing political / national games = offensive to you then yup skip this and Superman, maybe comics in general, as he and they have never been for you.

Superman belongs to us all. If that's offensive, so be it. 5/5 stars



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