Superman’s New Slogan is Bigger Than ‘The American Way’

Superman’s iconic slogan has been slightly changed in a new comic to reflect the Man of Steel for modern times: “Trust, tolerance, and justice.”

Warning! Spoilers for Batman/Superman #16 below.

In a new comic, the Golden Age version of Superman is revisited with an all-new-slogan that’s actually a perfect modern upgrade for the iconic hero. In DC Comics’ Batman/Superman #16, Superman’s iconic motto – “Truth, Justice, and the American way” – gets a fresh new (but old) take that perfectly captures the spirit of Superman and all that he stands for: “Truth, tolerance, and justice.”

Superman is arguably the most famous superhero of all time, one whose origins date back to the late 1930s. Superman’s catchphrase was first spoken during The Adventures of Superman radio series, however, it’s evolved over time. Originally, the radio show called Clark Kent a mild-mannered reporter, who fought a “never-ending battle for truth, justice, and the American way.” Superman was originally seen as a somewhat patriotic hero, as his creation coincided with when the United States fought in World War II. His catchphrase emphasized that the Kryptonian Alien hero represented the best of the American way, which, over time, has become a less and less important part of the character’s identity.

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Batman/Superman #16 – by Gene Luen Yang, Ivan Reis, Danny Miki, and Saida Temofonte – has a clear homage to the early days of the Man of Steel. The issue retells Superman’s origin, showing how he became the hero fans know today. The opening of the story (told through film strips) shows his arrival on Earth and his becoming a champion of the people, and of “truth, tolerance, and justice!”

Superman DC Comics

As Yang detailed on his Twitter account how the slogan actually was first uttered by Pa Kent in the 1948 Superman film serial before the “American Way” addition became popular via the Superman television series in the 1950s. Yang said that it was a fun reference that could provoke discussion. It’s a nice nod to the past, but also reflects the future of Superman. Here’s the original clip where Kent tells Clark about the importance of using powers in the name of “truth, tolerance, and justice.”

The catchphrase is honestly a much better representation of what Superman should be. He reflects truth, justice, and tolerance, and everything a hero should strive to be. The “American way,” part of his catchphrase made Superman feel like he wasn’t actually representative of the entire world. While Kal-El was raised in America, it’s not a core part of his identity, like it is for a hero like Captain America. That’s not to say his American roots don’t matter, but it’s not a staple of what he stands for. Pa Kent’s mission for Superman is much more appropriate for modern times, as he’s all about “truth, tolerance, and justice.”

Next: Justice League’s Flash Time Travel Homages Christopher Reeve’s Superman

Source: Twitter

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