Superman - All American Essay

This essay has a total of 1726 words and 6 pages.

Superman - All American

Superman, All-American Hero
Gary Engle describes Superman as the ultimate American, "Superman is the greatest American
hero" (Engle, 677). After reading three comic books I notice an occurring theme of wanting
to protect what is good, even though the comic books chosen span over eleven years.
Several distinct things to Superman's personality are his cape, the respect he has for
others, the respect others have for him, his intelligence, his protection of all life and
what is right, his origin, and the sacrifices he makes. Superman is considered to be the
greatest American hero of all time.

The Superman epic has gone on for years and years; yet the story line has always remained the same:
The core of American myth is Superman consists of a few basic facts that remain unchanged
throughout the infinitely varied ways in which the myth is told - facts with which
everyone is familiar, however marginal their knowledge of the story. Superman is an orphan
rocketed to Earth when his native planet Krypton explodes; he lands near Smallville and is
adopted by Jonathan and Martha Kent, who inculcate in him their American middle-class
ethic; as an adult he migrates to Metropolis there he defends America - no, the world! no,
the universe - from all evil and harm while playing a romantic game in which, as Clark
Kent, he hopelessly pursues Superman, who remains aloof until such time as Lois proves
worthy of him by falling in live with his feigned identity as a weakling. That's it.
(Engle, 678).


This is the same in any tale of Superman, the same occurring theme. This adds character to
Superman, and explains why he is so all-American.

Firstly, Superman is an alien, to the United States and to the world. But is he really
that different from you and me? We are all descended from people who were immigrants to
America. Engle writes: "All Americans have immediate sense of their origins elsewhere"
(Engle, 678). So doesn't it make sense that everyone that fights or works for our natural
freedoms are aliens, the soldiers, the doctors, the teachers, and Superman himself? "Like
the peoples of the nation whose values he defends, Superman is an alien" (Engle, 678).
Like all aliens the reason for coming to this country is to make something better of ones
self. Where one may run any kind of business they please and not worry about someone else
intervening because they simply can. Superman fights for these inalienable rights to live
and prosper.

Superman is a very respected and respectful person. He is the calmest person there is,
even in the most extreme conditions. One example is in comic book Superman: Superman and
the Spirit of America, 178, March 2002. Superman is confronted by another superhero named
Uncle Sam. Superman is in Smallville for the opening of his adopted parent's new business.
As he is about to leave another superhero hits him in the face because of corrupted
thoughts put into his mind by Superman's enemy Lex Luthor, who also happens to be
president at the time. Instead of beating him to death with his vastly superior powers he
uses what Uncle Sam is mad at him for and uses it against the conflict. Superman still
refers to Uncle Sam as sir. After the conflict is resolved in a discussion they go off to
talk more about important things that makes them want to be superheroes. Superman said
"When I heard you speak - the words you chose. The phrases. ‘Alien Codes of
noninterference.' That wasn't you. Worse, that's not American." (Loeb, 17). This is
something Uncle Sam called him during the battle, and then they discussed how the strength
of America comes from all cultures, even aliens. Then they talked about how by being a
superhero one is obligated to do the right thing, no matter how difficult it may seem to
be sometimes.

In an older issue Superman: Truth Justice and the American Way!, 53,March 1991, he is
faced with a conflict more so with the United States military. The plot starts off how he
has to transport a corrupt president of Quarac to justice in the American court for
terrorist activities against the US. Superman has a personal grievance with this man
because he has attacked Metropolis before and killed innocent lives; Superman basically
wants to kill this person. But as the all-American who does what is right he takes the
mission to transport this person putting his personal grievances aside. He puts aside his
personal grievances because his priority lies in completing a mission for his country,
which shows his acknowledgement of duty for his country. After he is transported to the US
several attempts on their lives have been made because this person was wanted dead. One of
the people involved was a government official. Because of Superman's intelligence he was
able to see this before the journey and had a decoy set up so that the real prisoner was
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