Superman stands for “Truth, Justice, and the American Way”, but was he really wanted by his writers … or should he never have said it?
A.D Superman he is best known as the most popular and patriotic hero of the company. Like one of, if not the oldest superhero ever created, Superman owes its genesis to tensions in Europe and World War II. This naturally led to Superman as the DC version of Captain America, and ultimately a man he would be known for “… fight for truth, justice and the America Way”. But the creation of the famous Superman smash was never created by its writers in the first place.
Created in 1938, Superman would soon resume his anthology book Action Comics and become one of the most popular heroes during the war period. The popular smash never appeared in any comics, but it got its start in The adventures of Superman radio serials (and was subsequently abandoned later in the war when it was clear that the Allies would win; the authors of the radio serial most likely wanted to present a unified front between the Americans, the British and the USSR). It was featured on the 1950s TV show The adventures of Superman played by George Reeves – but again, he never appeared in any comics.
Neither in the radio serial nor on the television show Superman actually did to say the famous phrase itself. It wasn’t until 1978 by Richard Donner Superman feature film that Superman, later played by Christopher Reeve, said the line (to which replied an incredulous Lois Lane “You will end up fighting every elected official in this country!”). Lois wasn’t the only one shocked by Superman’s sincerity; the phrase at the time was more often mocked than played seriously, especially in the aftermath of America’s turbulent 1960s.
In fact, DC Comics doesn’t even have a current trademark on the Superman tagline; the last one expired in 2003, and while numerous attempts have been made by the company to re-register the sentence, all have failed. This could be one of the reasons why Superman’s new smash is officially “Truth, justice and a better tomorrow”, although there are certainly other reasons. As an international brand, Superman is recognized everywhere in the world, even in countries that are at odds with America. From a business perspective, the new phrase certainly makes more sense (Americans would hardly have bought something called Captain USSR in the 1960s, for example).
Those who believe Superman’s slogan is integral to his identity are basing that assumption on who they believe Superman should be, not who he is. From a diegetic point of view, he is a hero to the entire planet, not just a single country – and from a non-diegetic point of view, Superman is a worldwide brand. of Superman The “American Way” slogan is an important part of its history, but it is certainly not its most important attribute.
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