September 14, 2011
DC Comics (and yes, I know the name is redundant) has a long history of “revamping” and updating its comic universe. Ever since Crisis on Infinite Earths back in the 80s, and now with the new launch of virtually every major title, the DC superheroes are starting fresh. For those not familiar with rebooting, DC has essentially started over, updated the setting and time, and is telling new versions of their old heroes.
While this may sound like just recycling old storylines, it can work very well for the franchise. Star Trek had a reboot with the 2009 movie and it made Trek cool again. Likewise, the Battlestar Galactica series was a reboot, a retelling of the basic premise in the original 1970’s show. It also worked.
Now, DC is getting another one. Superman no longer wears his undies on the outside and Barbara Gordon can walk again. Overall, I’m curious as to how this will pan out and if comics can survive.
However, one comic shop owner has already deemed the reboot far too offensive to have on his shelves. It’s not the supervillains, the death, or the overall violence.
Apparently, Superman, in the new issue showing his new continuity, cursed. And he didn’t just curse. He said “god damn.”
Well, he didn’t really say it. Here. Take a look.
I find it amazing that this lone wolf of the comic book sales profession would suddenly be disgusted with Superman taking the Lord’s name in vain. It’s a slap in the face to Christians everywhere, he said. Superman is intended to be pure, the paragon of human achievement and morality. He is supposed to be the perfect Superhero.
Apparently, he forgot that Superman is an alien. He’s not a human. He may look human, but he’s one hundred percent alien. In fact, his origin story, the fleeing of a doomed homeland for a better future, is reminiscent of the stories of early 20th century immigrants, specifically Jewish immigrants. And has anyone stopped to ask if he’s a legal immigrant? He couldn’t be! His civilian identity is fake.
On top of that, during The Dark Knight Returns, Superman became a political pawn and was used to wage war on the Soviet Union. He was even called in to battle Batman and take him in (Bruce kicked his ass), and if you want any more proof of Superman acting like a jerk, just look here.
Of course, our comic salesman is aghast that someone would place so blatantly a non-Christian element into writing. Taking the Lord’s name in vain? That has to be the worst thing you can do as a Christian, right?
How about rape? Sue Dibny, the wife of the Elongated Man, was not only raped, but later murdered by another superhero’s wife. The rapist? Well, he wasn’t put in jail, or tried. The Justice League wiped his memory of the event.
What about mass murder? In Kingdom Come, Captain Atom goes nuclear and wipes out Kansas. Hell, the entire comic is an exercise in brutality.
And the Joker? Oh geez. He killed Jason Todd (Robin), paralyzed Barbara Gordon (Batgirl) before stripping her naked and torturing Gordon with pictures of his daughter in agony, killed Gordon’s second wife, he nearly undoes reality itself after torturing Batman to death and bringing him back to life over and over again, and, well… you know what? It’s the Joker. If I have to spell out why he’s the guy that other supervillains use to scare each other, you should really just leave the site.
Our comic store owner is fine with the rape, murder, and severe psychological trauma, but a younger Superman is apparently shot by a tank and he curses and it’s too much?
Comic books can be whimsical and funny or dark and brooding. And frankly, if you’re reading a comic book wherein the hero’s entire civilization was wiped out for the sake of getting him to Earth and the most dangerous man on Earth runs around dressed in a Kevlar-lined bat-shaped suit, you better be ready for some weird stuff.
And Superman can curse all he wants. In fact, he can do ANYTHING he wants.