Wanna Fly Like Superman

Neil Gaiman, who has given some thought to the nature of heroes and myth in his time, takes on “The Myth of Superman” with Adam Rogers in Wired this month. Unlike other comic book superheroes (or, in Cory Doctorow’s preferred usage, “underwear perverts”), they write, who have remained purely the creatures of their writers, Superman transcends his depiction in comic books, TV shows, radio shows, movies, and Atari games, and “…has evolved into a folk hero, a fable, and the public feels like it has a stake in who Superman ‘really’ is.”

Gaiman and Rogers track the appeal of Superman, the mythic quality, to the “internal war between Superman’s moral obligation to do good and his longing to be an average Joe” – a tug-of-war between doing the right thing and playing along, embodied respectively in Superman and his nebbishy alter ego, Clark Kent.

Other heroes are really only pretending: Peter Parker plays Spider-Man; Bruce Wayne plays Batman. For Superman, it’s mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent that’s the disguise – the thing he aspires to, the thing he can never be. He really is that hero, and he’ll never be one of us. But we love him for trying. We love him for wanting to protect us from everything, including his own transcendence. He plays the bumbling, lovelorn Kent so that we regular folks can feel, just for a moment, super.

I disagree, though. OK, in Superman II he falls in love with Lois Lane and rejects the difference that sets him apart, but more often what really plagues Superman is not that he is not like other humans but that he’s not unlike enough, not super enough. In many of the comic book cycles (as well as the first Christopher Reeve movie) Superman’s defining moment is his inability to save his adoptive parents from death, despite all his powers. In Superman: The Movie he is driven by his need to save both the world and the woman he loves.

What sets Superman apart from most superheroes is not, I think, his relationship with his alter ego but both the nature of his super-ness and his relation with the rest of us. Batman, Spiderman, Hulk, Captain Marvel, Captain America, Wonder Woman, and most other superheroes became what they are; Superman just is super. It’s his nature. There is no childhood trauma that drove him to fight crime, no nuclear or genetic accident that warped him, no pre-super Superman taunting him with lost normality. In this, Superman is more like a god than a prophet – his powers are his nature, not his gift. He am that he am.

Unlike other heroes, too, Superman is not so much defined by his opposition to super-villains. As Gaiman and Rogers note, there’s “bitter, bald Lex Luthor”, but Superman seems oddly untouched by his battles against Luthor’s schemes – unlike, say, the mutually defining opposition between Batman and the Joker. Luthor is, after all, just an incredibly smart human, rarely much of a match for Superman; his only real weapon against Superman is kryptonite, which is basically an accident of Superman’s nature, rather than the kind of moral or psychic flaws other super-villains exploit.

Superman’s real function is not protecting us against super-villains but protecting us from the worst aspects of our own nature. Superman catches thieves and spies, fights Nazis and Commies, and when a piece of technology goes awry – when lightning strikes a plane or a dam is about to burst – Superman is there to prevent the worst. Gaiman and Rogers see Superman standing “between humanity and a capricious universe” but I see him standing between humanity and itself, both its conscious evils and its mistakes.

As myth, Superman holds a unique place among superheroes. Other superheroes play out anxieties about science in our society – many of them are the products of Cold War nuke fears, acting out a decidedly Derridean deconstruction of the ambiguous nature of new technologies like nuclear power and genetic science – and about the loss of connection inherent in the shift towards an urbanized, anonymized society. Many superheroes live in worlds that are inherently chaotic, inherently threatening. Superman’s world, though, is inherently orderly. The government is fair, the newspapers are filled with hard-working journalists devoted to “the story”, science promises unlimited potential. Superman is there to assure that order is kept – he protects his orderly world from the chaos of technological failure and, more importantly, from the occasional misfit who simply cannot conform, cannot fit in.

Like Luthor. Or, indeed, like himself. Gaiman and Rogers miss the other great super-villain in Superman’s world – Superman himself. Or, rather, the negative potential inherent in anyone so far removed from the ordinary human realm, embodied by Superman’s other alter ego, his true alter ego: Bizarro Superman. In battling Bizarro – as with catching thieves and defeating Nazis – Superman wrestles with his, and our, worst tendencies.

In this sense, maybe he, too, helps us deal with anxieties over the dual nature of modern technology – like nuclear science, Superman’s awesome power can both save and destroy. But Superman is not as easily made into a template for the technological anxieties that plague us as other superheroes. Rather, Superman takes on our innermost fears about human nature. Not the everyday fears that hang on our consciousness, but the moral fears that hang on our consciences. At the end of the day, Superman is incorruptible, in a way that humans are not. For all his super powers, Superman’s ultimate strength is moral, not physical. Unlike the Fantastic Four or Daredevil or Spiderman or the X-Men, Superman stands for something. That’s right: Truth. Justice. And the American Way.

Seriously!

12 thoughts on “Wanna Fly Like Superman

  1. As a comic book fan I have to say that both you and Gaiman are wrong about a number of points.

    First, I find it odd that in the list of secret identities playing superheroes, Gaiman lists Batman. Bruce Wayne doesn’t play Batman, Batman plays Bruce Wayne. This can be seen in the most recent Batman movie (Batman Begins) and in Batman: The Animated Series as well as many comics. Bruce Wayne is the facade that allows Batman to continue his war on crime by providing financial resources, protection and political connections.

    In numerous Batman stories, there’s the party or major reception scene where the facade usually drops for just a moment. Batman will see something unusual (perhaps someone about to break into the party or a clue that someone at the party is involved in a crime). For just a moment the “Bruce Wayne expression” will change to a distinctive scowl (particularly in the animated series). For that small moment, the Bruce Wayne facade is dropped and Batman shows his true nature.

    In many other stories Bruce Wayne doesn’t even show up at all. The entire story will focus on Batman taking down a crime boss or obsessively tracking a murderer. This is unlike a Spider-Man story where Spider-Man story where, even if he is costume the entire time, Spider-Man will worry about his personal life and/or his actions will impact his life at home. In a Batman story, Batman’s actions rarely are shown to have any affect on the Bruce Wayne persona (and in some cases Batman purposely gives up “personal” things to continue being Batman and doesn’t care that they have been lost).

    Second, Superman since the late Eighties has partially been defined in terms of his opposition to Luthor. Unlike earlier portrayals of Luthor, John Byrne in revamping Superman in the late eighties made Lex Luthor the owner of the largest corporation in Metropolis. This is unlike the older Luthor who was a Bwwhaha mad scientist. Before Superman came along, the newer Luthor basically had complete control over metropolis. With Superman around, Luthor lost a lot of his celebrity and some of his control in metropolis (he couldn’t engage in certain illegal activities).

    The newer Luthor is the one that was seen in the most recent Superman cartoon (in the late 90′s). This Luthor is in a way the anti-Superman. He’s an ordinary man who weilds massive financial and political influence. Of all of the Superman villains, he (Darkseid, though Darkseid is more of villain to all DC superheroes) is the one villain that Superman can’t touch. No matter what Luthor does wrong, he can wriggle out of it through lawyers, bribery, etc. He’s the villain that Superman knows is courrupt and dangerour but whom the general public sees as an ordinary businessman. Luthor represents the fact that despite all of his power, Superman can not do everything and fix every problem in the world. In essence, Luthor is the symbolic emodiment of all that is evil in the world while Superman is the symbolic embodiment of all that is good in the world.

    Third, your also missing some other key Superman villains mainly Brainiac, Darkseid and Mxzxpdlk (hopefully spelled right). I’m not going to get into the many different versions of Braniac. Darkseid (pronounced: dark side) is a villain for the entire DC Universe but he has targetted Superman directly many times (in comics and cartoons). He’s one of the New Gods and the supreme dictator of Apokolips. His main goal is to find the anti-life equation which will allow him to destroy the free will of all sentient beings in the entire universe. When specifically targetting Superman, he usually wants to destroy or publically humiliate Superman (or brainwash him into attacking Earth) to destroy the will of people on Earth to resist his domination of the planet. In these stories, Superman in a sense symbolically represents the human spirit or freedom while Darkseid represnts oppression and dicatatorship. Like Luthor, Darkseid is nearly untouchable (he can shoot beams from his eyes which erase a person from existence). He’s more of a psycholigal villain than one who emphasizes brute strenght.

    Mxyzptlk is 5th dimensional being who can basically do anything with a thought. He is another untouchable Superman villain. He can only be defeated if he is tricked into saying his name backwards. Superman always has to use his brain to defeat him instead of brute force. I’d say he symbolically represents problems that can’t be solved by violence alone.

    Finally, I’d disagree that Superman just is super. Like other heroes, he became superman. Sure his powers are natural but there are numerous super-villains whose powers are natural. In most modern day portrayals of Superman, his heroic qualities are seen as a product of his upbringing. There’s a strong emphasis in the most recent cartons, television series and comics on his relationship with his parents. There are also a number of stories speculating what would happen if Superman’s rocket had landed on another planet or another part of earth. (See for example Superman: Red Son, Superman: The Dark Side or Justice League of America: The Nail). The conclusion usually drawn is that Superman would not be what he is without his parents up bringing. (In essence Superman becomes symbolic of family values).

    I would argue that the only superheroes who “are” superheroes as opposed to “became” superheroes would be artificially constructed superheroes (robots and various magical constructs) who were superheroes from there first moment of existence or certain magical creatures that are supposed to represente pure good (angelic superheroes, “good” magical spirit superheroes, gods etc.).

    (Apologies for any spelling or grammar mistakes).

  2. GSG: I agree on the issue of secret identities — I don’t think it’s a crucial part of the issue at all, which is why I dismiss the topic so readily. Now, as a non-comic book reader, I had to do a little research on Superman as I was writing this, and realized that the “post-Crisis” Superman seems quite different from the Superman of my youth and of the movies and TV shows and early cartoons. What I’m not sure of, though, is that the “new” SUperman is the same Superman that Gaiman, ROgers, and I are talking about. I did begin a short aside on the Superman of “Smallville”, which I deleted as not relevant, but there, too, the relationship between SUperman and Luthor is much more complex (judging from the 3 or 4 episodes I’ve seen). But I think Gaiman And Rogers do have a point when they describe Superman as somewhat dissociated from the work of DC’s artists — Superman has a place in the hearts and minds of non-readers that, say, Green Lantern or Wolverine never have and likely never will. The only one to come close is Batman, and even there I think there’s a major difference. Batman is Robin Hood; Superman is Hercules. One’s a legendary figure, the other mythic.

    On the last point, I’m not sure I agree. Yes, the morality that Superman stands for is a product of the Kent’s wholesome goodness, but Superman would’ve been super no matter whose backyard he’d landed in. And, I think, he would’ve been a moral (or moralistic) Superhero, no matter what. In “Red Son”, for example (the only Superman comic nook I’ve read since I was a kid), Superman is still a moralizer (even something of a stick in the mud) despite upholding a morality that is definitely different from the good Kansas values of the Kents (though I always think of the Kents as Iowan). “Red Son” makes good use of the fundamental difference between Superman and Batman — while Superman defends the Soviet status quo, Batman finds himself branded a criminal and moving through the shadowy underworld. And, hey, lo and behold, same thing in all the “normal” Superman stories. That is, I think, the main function of Superman — to defend the American (or Soviet) Way, not to change it. Batman, on the other hand — and especially since his rebirth in the ’80s — is a vigilante, perfectly content to operate outside the law. Spider-Man, too, is branded a vigilante. And Hulk. Superman is one of the few major superheroes that isn’t regularly hunted or shunned by the people he serves.

  3. Oneman, I’m kind of interested why you didn’t tie this post into the Jewish theme – after all most of these comic book heroes were Jewish creations around the years of WWII. Superman was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster, Stan Lee was originally Stan Leiber, Batman was created by Bob Kane, but helped out by Bill Finger and Jerry Robinson who were Jewish etc.

    Michael Chabon’s book The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay is well worth a read. Although his account is fictionalised he really ties the whole Superhero thing to the Jewish experience of WWII in the early years before the US went to war – comic books were fighting the war before the USA did. Here’s a nice interview with the author that taps into this stuff. Here’s a quote from Will Eisner (one of the early artists) as cited by Chabon “We [Jews] have this history of impossible solutions to insoluble problems, we have this narrative history of trying to come up with ways of solving the problems of the world through various kinds of mystical means, such as the golem.”

    The interview also points out the jingoism of early Superman, which you can see for your self in these early covers: Superdickery. Be sure to check out the other galleries on the site!

  4. Tim, I didn’t because I just posted about Barbie and Jewishness, and I figured if I was going to have two pop culture posts back-to-back, I didn’t also want to have two Jewish posts back-to-back. Also, I was commenting on Gaiman’s theme of Superman as a mythical figure, which is a different topic than Superman as a Jewish creation.

    But since you ask: like Barbie, Superman is decidedly not Jewish, at least not as Jews saw themselves in the ’30s; he is a fantasy of what Jews could be if they cast off their Jewishness. Superman has roots in the turn-of-the-century Zionist theme of muskeljudentum, the muscular Jew, which would emerge when Jews returned to the land and renewed themselves. Clark Kent, on the other hand, is deeply Jewish (and I hinted at this when I called him “nebbishy” — I couldn’t skip the topic completely!): a clumsy, unassuming, “mild-mannered” bookish type, a cultural outsider who replaced his foreign-sounding name with a mainstream American name. Heck, he even works in media! Kavalier & Clay’s “Escapist” plays directly on the underlying Jewishness of Siegel and Schuster’s creation — like Superman, he acts out the fantasy of striking out against the oppressors of Jews, the Nazis; as Jews “become white folks” after WWII, the raison d’etre of both Superman and the Escapist fades, and both enter their long decline. The ’60s and ’70s are rough for both; the ’80s and early ’90s see the rebirth of Superman, both in the popular imagination due to the Christopher Reeve movies, and in the comic books with the post-Crisis series. The Escapist, however, remains an obscurity, an arcane collector’s item, even in the Chabonian alternate universe depicted in “The Amazing Adventures of the Escapist, Volume 1″.

    But maybe Chabon can get Nicholas Cage to play him in the movie?

  5. GSG,
    I disagree with your analysis of Batman as “playing” Bruce Wayne. Of course, the most recent Batman movie portrays it as such, but overall, Batman is the alter ego of Bruce Wayne. I say this because the boy born Bruce Wayne made a conscious decision to don the mask and cape – the villian’s worst nightmare did not make a decision to put on an alter ego (like Superman did as a mild-mannered reporter). At most, a third “identity” looms behind both Wayne and Batman, who feed into each other through the conflict of following the rules vs. getting something done. Also, I think there is a nagging sense that Bruce Wayne is or easily could be constributing to the corruption Batman opposes (he is after all, very rich, even if he’s an honest richman, does that excuse it?) – a conflict many a social scientist faces (seeing flaws in the system and still participating?)
    What is striking about Batman apart from other heroes is that he actually lacks superpowers, but that’s another issue.

    As for Superman villians, I think Darkseid supports oneman’s original post, and I generally take the delightful Myxzptlk stories as “comic” relief.

  6. Oneman wrote:
    “On the last point, I’m not sure I agree. Yes, the morality that Superman stands for is a product of the Kent’s wholesome goodness, but Superman would’ve been super no matter whose backyard he’d landed in. And, I think, he would’ve been a moral (or moralistic) Superhero, no matter what. In “Red Son”, for example (the only Superman comic nook I’ve read since I was a kid), Superman is still a moralizer (even something of a stick in the mud) despite upholding a morality that is definitely different from the good Kansas values of the Kents (though I always think of the Kents as Iowan).”

    See the problem is that you can’t seperate Super Man’s identity from his fight “truth, Justice and the American way.” Sure the early Superman threw people of buildings but by the 1950′s (and today) Superman has become a symbol of certain set of semi-conservative “family values” (conservative in the modern sense. I say semi-conservative because they don’t contain an explicit religious component and also incorporate a no killing code [except for maybe sentient robots]). Without some representation of those values, Superman is not the Superman we know.

    In many of the stories where Superman’s rocket lands somewhere else he is not a moralizer. It’s only when Lois Lane comes into the picture that he becomes moral. In Superman: The Darkside, Superman’s rocket lands on Apokalips and he becomes Darkseid’s adopted son and personal soldier. He’s basically a killing machine who obeys Darkseid. It’s only after meeting Lois Lane on Earth that he becomes moral and rejects Darkseid.

    In Superman: Speeding Bullets, Superman’s origin is combined with that of Batman. His rocket is found by the Waynes and they get shot and in turn he becomes Batman. As Batman, this Superman kills criminals (throws them from large heights, burns them with his heat vision, etc.) and is portrayed as more bitter and angry than Batman. It’s only when Lois Lane shows up that he is humanized and becomes representative of the Superman’s “normal” values.

    In Superman, Inc. there’s a similar trajectory (see the summary here: http://www.supermanhomepage.com/comics/1999-post-crisis-reviews/c-review-1999.php?topic=superman-odyssey

    Also, I hate to get all comic book geeky here but depending upon what planet Superman lands on, he doesn’t become “Super”. If he lands on planet with a red son then he doesn’t gain super powers. Superman’s powers come from the yellow son.

    Oneman:
    “Superman is one of the few major superheroes that isn’t regularly hunted or shunned by the people he serves.”

    What about Captain America, the Fantastic Four, the Flash (yes most people don’t know the details of his life but they’ve heard the name and know his powers), Aquaman (Yes, he’s a joke to the general public but still isn’t shunned), Captain Marvel (the formerly Fawcett and now DC version who says Shazam. Not the marvel version which died of cancer), Wonder Woman and the Justice League (made up of some of the heroes listed above). With the exceptions of Spider-Man, the Hulk and the X-Men (most people only remember a handful, usually the ones created in the late 1970′s and 1980′s or shown in the most recent movies), most heroes that the general public know of are (at least from the public’s perspective) virtually flawless heroes.

    In response to Ariel:
    This really ignores a lot of the stories in both comics and television which portray Batman as the “full time identity” and Bruce Wayne as the tool that allows Batman to get things done. In the crossover between The New Batman Adventures (the sequel series to Batman : the Animated Serie) and the recent Superman cartoon, “Bruce Wayene” goes to metropolis to start talks with Lex Luthor about a joint business deal. Of course this is just an excuse, the real reason Batman is there is to find out about the recent Joker problems in that city.

    In the Batman Beyond cartoon, there’s a sequence which deals with this issue, too. This cartoon takes place 40 years in the future of the “present” Batman. At this point Bruce Wayne is retired as Batman and he is the mentor to a new Batman protogee. In one episode, a villain trys to make the older “Bruce Wayne” crazy by thinking he is hearing voices. It doesn’t work because (see mp3 from episode):
    http://www.worldsfinestonline.com/WF/beyond/episodes/shriek/03myname.mp3

    The Batman: Year One comic has the same thing. Batman acts as Bruce Wayne like a complete a-hole as a disguise (the makers of Batman Begins explicitly drew upon elements from Batman: Year One including Gordon’s corrupt partner, police commisioner Loeb, etc.).

    In other cases, Batman has no problem destroying aspects of “Bruce Wayne’s” life in order to continue being Batman. He misses dates (with women), dissappears for days at a time and generally doesn’t seem to care about how this impacts his life (unlike say Spiderman or more aptly Iron Man, another billionare superhero). Most of his semi-stable relationships with other people (both romantic or friendship) have involved other costumed heroes (and villains)or law enforcement types. (This would include Catwoman, Talia, Wonder Woman (recently), Sascha Bourdieux (recently), etc. for romantic entanglements and Superman, Jim Gordon, and Harvey Dent {before two-face) as friends). When he does have a romantic relationship with a non-superhero person, it usually ends because he’s Batman first and “Bruce Wayne” second while we almost never see “Bruce Wayne” with “friends” (the exception being Harvey Dent who becomes Two-Face).

  7. Are you aware of the Superheroes Conference held last year in Melbourne?

    Also, GSG, you jump back and forth between insightful anthropological commentary about superman as public mythology and geeky insider comments about superman the commodity churned out by a company always looking for new narratives. I think it is safe to say that many of the superman-the-commodity narratives have never entered the public consciousness which is more shaped by the various TV shows and movies than the various collector edition comic books. In this sense, I think the cold-war era patriotism is an important point. Superman isn’t just not-Jewish, he is out to get any jewish-pinko-fags that might threaten America’s Apple Pie.

    In this vein, my favorite spoof of Superman is the French Super Dupont, who captures Lois Lane from Superman because he has such a nice French accent …

    But I think it is safe to say that Superman’s patriotism became less important after the 50s and that today it is the Superman of the 1978 movie – or perhaps of the Smallville TV series – that captures the imagination. I haven’t seen Smallville, but my understanding that these shows are much more about character – about how much Superman wants to fit in as a human and how difficult that is. In this sense I think Superman’s original Not-Jew identity was no longer important. Or, to put it in another way, it was precisely his lack of ethnicity that made him so popular as he tries to fit in. Not unlike all the White people who began to discover their own various white (or even Native American) ethnicities around that time.

  8. Kerim writes:
    “Also, GSG, you jump back and forth between insightful anthropological commentary about superman as public mythology and geeky insider comments about superman the commodity churned out by a company always looking for new narratives. I think it is safe to say that many of the superman-the-commodity narratives have never entered the public consciousness which is more shaped by the various TV shows and movies than the various collector edition comic books.”

    I think part of my shifting back and forth represents a sort of generation break in terms of looking at Superman (and Batman). The mid 1980′s is when I first became aware of comics and super heroes (I was born in 1981). At this point in comics there was a massive shift in the portrayal of Superman and Batman and this shift did translate into wider mainstream interpretations of both heroes. This shift can actually be pinpointed to specific comic books. In the case of Superman it was John Byrne’s Man of Steel mini-series which reinvented Superman. All of the “modern” conventions in this series (corporate Lex Luthor, the Kents still alive, superman as a product of his upbringing, etc.) made there way into the major media portrayals in the 90′s and now (most notably the Lois and Clark tv series, Superman: the Animated Series and Smallville).

    With Batman you can pinpoint it to The Dark Knight returns by Frank Miller. This was a much darker take on Batman. This most notably affected the Tim Burton Batman movie in 1989 which led to Batman: The Animated Series and the most recent Batman Begins. This in turn has led to two different perceptions of Batman by the general public: (1). The sixties tv goofy Batman and (2). The “modern” “dark knight” interpretation (where “Bruce Wayne” is the mask).

    I think depending upon what interpreation you “grew up” being exposed to would affect how you see both Batman and Superman (as well as which media versions you have been exposed to). In this sense you can’t seperate Superman and Batman as a commodity from public interpretations of what each represents. The changes in the commodity have in turn led to changes in symbolic understanding. (For comic book afficianados, this in a sense represents the split between the “Silver Age” of comics and the “Modern Age” of comics [read: superhero comics]. I personally don’t like this periodization because it ignores much of the diversity in suphero comics and generally ignores important non-superhero comics).

    I would argue that in many cases these changes had to take place in order to attract new to people to these characters as commodities. Because of general changes in people’s entertainment preferences, what Superman and Batman symbolically represented were forced to change. So I’ll ammend my previous conclusion, oneman’s interpretation represents a sort of “older” interpretation of Superman whereas the “newer” interpretation. I think my posts sort of represent a mixture of both (I tend to write using stream of conciousness on message boards so often times my intented meaning becomes confused.) Of course people of the same generation could potentially hold both of these interpretations. It’s not like the earlier Superman movies dissappeared or that new Superman movies can’t reinvent things again. It will be interesting what happens when Superman Returns comes out in July.

  9. GSG,
    In two posts now you have cited evidence of Batman as Bruce Wayne by explaining that many episodes/movies/comics/etc. lack the “Bruce Wayne” identity and focus on the “Batman” identity – well, the show/movie/comic is called “Batman”, not “Bruce Wayne”! In Superman stories, however, there tends to be a larger focus on Clark Kent – most strikingly I am thinking of the (early 90s?) series “Superman: The New Adventures of Lois and Clark”. Is this because alter egos make a better storyline? I would certainly suspect so. Bruce Wayne is not INTERESTING except by virtue of being Batman. I still cannot buy that Batman falls with Superman in a category of “heroes playing at being normal people.” Superman is, as oneman says, inherently super. Batman is just really athletic (or smart, or gadget-laden), and unlike Bruce, free of social bonds. Bruce would have become Bruce whether or not he was Batman, Bruce Wayne is not a result of Batman.
    I apologize because I realize this is a tangent – I think the real point of the Batman-Superman debate is just that Batman does not hold the same symbolic sway as Superman. Superman is for everyone, he does transcend the comic books. Most recently I think his symbolic nature can be seen in Neo’s “superman flight” in the Matrix. The Superman symbolism has been completely taken from the DC realm, but still has recognizable impact.

  10. I think the key to superman and his Jewishness is the theme of the Outsider. Of all the popular superheroes (spiderman, batman, hulk, fantastic 4, x-men) it’s worth noting that superman really is an alien in a strange land, similar to the way Jews have been treated throughout history. Gentiles have reminded them time and time again, “You really don’t belong here in our country. We’ll use your talents, but remember you’re just a guest and we don’t accept you as us.”

Comments are closed.