Friday, April 25, 2008

Superman Red State/Superman Blue State

A few weeks back, I broke down the political alignment of the Avengers line-up based on their iconic status quo more than continuity minutiae. That's how you have to roll when you read Marvel Comics as sporadically as I have since our falling out in the early 90's. DC Comics, on the other hand, I followed religiously until a few years back. This allows me much greater familiarity with their characters, so I'd like to discuss their alignments in greater detail.

Might as well start at the top of the hill with the Man of Steel. However, Superman is tricky, as part of his appeal is being all things good and right to all peoples of the world. Well, not miserable bastards like me who'd like to see Marshal Law pound the nails into his crucifix, but I'm talking about normal people. Let's look at the evidence...


  • Superman crusaded for social causes in his earliest appearances.
  • Superman was a close friend of President John F. Kennedy, and seemed fond of Bill Clinton.
  • Superman appeared in many PSAs in the 60's and 70's promoting racial harmony.
  • Since the mid-80's, Superman has routinely opposed the agenda of politically independent but decidedly conservative tycoon Lex Luthor.
  • Worked closely with lesbian police chief Maggie Sawyer for many years.
  • He can tolerate Batman for extended periods of time.


  • Despite being resolutely blue collar, Kansas consistently votes Republican.
  • Kansas, and quite obviously Superman, skew toward high-minded moralism and against liberal causes like abortion rights, freedom in the arts, and are possessed of a downright libertarian dogged self-determinism. In fact, Kansas seems to openly hate liberals, skewing far to the right.
  • I'm not sure a non-white character appeared on a Metropolis street before the 1970's.
  • I don't recall any recurring non-white characters who worked for the Daily Planet before the early 90's.
  • I don't recall any recurring female characters at the Daily Planet besides Lois Lane prior to the late 80's.
  • Since the late 80's, Lex Luthor has been one of Metropolis' most beloved and influential figures.
  • Superman abandoned most social causes by the mid-1940's to become an authority figure most concerned with foiling theft and maintaining the status quo.
  • Superman was a close friend of President Ronald Reagan.
  • When Lex Luthor was a mad scientist, he went to jail at the end of every appearance. When Lex Luthor became an evil businessman, he rampaged largely unchecked until winning the presidency, and even after resigning in scandal he remains at large.
  • Lois Lane is a self-possessed ball buster that would send Ann Coultier crying to mama.
  • Excepting Luthor, most of Superman's foes are underprivileged, disfigured, and are often illegal aliens.
  • Most of Superman's foes are either far stupider or exceedingly more intelligent than himself.
  • Pretty near all of Superman's foes are far less powerful than himself.
  • When in doubt, Superman punches something.
  • He calls himself "Superman."
  • Superman is anti-interventionist with regard to foreign conflict, except when he takes a personal stake, like when he used to invade the Arab nation of Qurac on the third weekend of every month. Come to think of it, how often has Superman had trouble with non-Arabic nations?
  • His best "pal' wears a bow tie.
  • Once a year, Superman likes to read his mail and bestow token wish fulfillment to people. Also, he sometimes try to feed the world's hungry for a day. The he goes back to punching the Parasite for the other 364 calender days.
  • Superman is one of the most powerful beings in existence, but chooses to remain hands off in most instances.
  • Despite his power, he takes a high paying white collar position at a major metropolitan newspaper, where he writes columns instead of housing the homeless.
  • Three words: Fortress of Solitude.

    Jeez, I thought this would be more fair and balanced, but I'm just droning on at this point about what a total GOP the MOS happens to be...

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