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Superman’s motto gets a contemporary update 83 years later: ‘Truth, Justice and a Better Tomorrow’

DC Comics ditched the mention of ‘The American Way’ from Superman’s motto in favor of the superhero fighting for a ‘better tomorrow.’ 

The 83-year-old character’s longstanding adage used to read ‘Truth, Justice and the American Way,’ but the company said that his new mission statement will be ‘Truth, Justice and a Better Tomorrow.’

Though DC remained mum on why they chose to ditch the patriotic portion of the slogan, the company maintained that they were focused on ‘evolving.’

Superman goes modern: DC Comics announced a departure from Superman’s longstanding motto ‘Truth, Justice and the American Way’ on Saturday and replaced the patriotic portion with ‘a Better Tomorrow’

‘To better reflect the storylines that we are telling across DC and to honor Superman’s incredible legacy of over 80 years of building a better world, Superman’s motto is evolving,’ said DC Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee said at the event. 

‘Superman has long been a symbol of hope who inspires people, and it is that optimism and hope that powers him forward with this new mission statement.’

The superhero’s backstory is about as American as it gets — a boy raised in Kansas by two farmers who wears a costume in shades of red and blue that nod to the American flag. 

The last time a Clark Kent centered film hit the big screen was 2013’s Man Of Steel with Henry Cavill playing the titular character. 

Superman: The last time a specifically Clark Kent centered film hit the big screen was 2013's Man Of Steel with Henry Cavill playing the titular character; pictured in Man Of Steel

Superman: The last time a specifically Clark Kent centered film hit the big screen was 2013’s Man Of Steel with Henry Cavill playing the titular character; pictured in Man Of Steel 

He also appeared as Superman in 2017’s Justice League and the 2021 extended cut: Zack Snyder’s Justice League. 

A nod to his American identity, in Justice League his character even says: ‘I’m from Kansas. It’s about as American as it gets,’ but Snyder said he had to fight to keep the line in the movie as he strove to find portray ‘that perfect mix of Americana,’ he said. 

History professor Julian Chambliss who specializes in superheroes and the American experience said in a statement to USA Today in 2013 that the ‘US experience’ as it the character’s core. 

‘The core narrative in Superman has been and continues to be the values and belief about the US experience being strong enough and good enough to address the troubles facing the generation engaged with the character.’ 

‘He’s always been the ultimate immigrant story,’ added comic book writer Mark Waid. 

American hero: The decision to drop the American Way essentially denounces the character's fundamental core, which is about as American as it gets — a boy raised in Kansas by two farmers who wears a costume in shades of red and blue that nod to the American flag; character pictured on US postage stamps issued September 2021

American hero: The decision to drop the American Way essentially denounces the character’s fundamental core, which is about as American as it gets — a boy raised in Kansas by two farmers who wears a costume in shades of red and blue that nod to the American flag; character pictured on US postage stamps issued September 2021

However, fans are torn on the new motto, with some proud of the superhero’s new motto and suggesting ‘the American Way’ isn’t as ‘American’ as people thing, while others slam the notion that Superman is anything other than American. 

One fan wrote: ‘I’m a fan of #Superman ‘s new motto: “Truth, Justice, And a Better Tomorrow.” It fits the character really well, sounds impactful, and hopeful. Overall I think it’s something a lot of people could stand to hear.’ 

Another fan encouragingly wrote: ‘Superman doesn’t fight for exclusively America. Him fighting for a better tomorrow is a better motto. He’s not the man of America, he’s for everyone.’ 

Fans are divided over the new motto, which some favoring the more inclusive stance, while others slammed it being that the character is born in Kansas by American parents and wears red and blue

Fans are divided over the new motto, which some favoring the more inclusive stance, while others slammed it being that the character is born in Kansas by American parents and wears red and blue 

The iconic superhero is known around the world, but others slam DC Comics for making ‘America’ the problem. 

‘An American icon, raised in America by American parents – created by a pair of Americans for an American comic book publisher. But “the American way” is a problem,’ one critic wrote on Twitter. 

Others questioned if ‘the American Way’ was even worth fighting, even by Superman. And that the new motto goes beyond just making Superman a fighter for everyone. 

‘Changing Superman’s motto tells you that the American Way has just come to mean “for profit and with as little concern for humanity as possible.” Fix that and maybe it’s worth fighting for.’ 

Superman’s motto isn’t the only thing changing in DC Comics. The company recently announced that the current Superman of Earth, Jon Kent (Clark’s son) would be coming out as bisexual. 

Former Superman actor Dean Cain slammed the new moves as ‘bandwagoning.’

‘They said it’s a bold new direction… I say they’re bandwagoning,’ Cain said in his on-air interview. ‘Robin, of Batman and Robin, just came out as bi or gay recently and honestly who’s really shocked about that one? I had some thoughts about that a long time ago.’

Evolution: 'To better reflect the storylines that we are telling across DC and to honor Superman's incredible legacy of over 80 years of building a better world, Superman's motto is evolving,' said DC Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee said at the event

Evolution: ‘To better reflect the storylines that we are telling across DC and to honor Superman’s incredible legacy of over 80 years of building a better world, Superman’s motto is evolving,’ said DC Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee said at the event

Cain also took aim at these issues, insisting that DC Comics could have done much more to highlight the impact of ‘real evil in the world’ like human trafficking, women’s rights in Afghanistan, or corruption.  

‘Brave would be having him fighting for the rights of gay people in Iran where they’ll throw you off a building for the offence of being gay,’ he said. 

‘They’re talking about him fighting real-world problems like climate change and the deportation of refugees and he’ll be dating a “hacktivist” whatever a “hacktivist” is, I don’t know. 

‘Why don’t they have him fight the injustices that created the refugees whose deportation he’s protesting? That would be brave, I’d read that. Or fighting for the rights of women to attend school and have the ability to work and live, and boys not to be raped by men under the new warm and fuzzy Taliban. That would be brave.

‘There’s real evil in this world today, real corruption and government overreach, plenty of things to fight against. Human trafficking, real actual slavery going on… it would be brave to tackle those issues, shine a light on those issues. I’d like to see the character doing that. I’d read that comic.’ 

Additionally the next Superman film is rumored to be starring a Black Superman for the first time. 

It was previously reported that J.J. Abrams would be producing the project and Hollywood Reporter insiders said that Warner Bros. and DC were committed to hiring a Black director.  

The Flash film producer Barbara Muschietti, also hinted that Cavill’s Superman may be making an appearance in the 2022 movie by way of a ‘liked’ Instagram comment. 

When one fan commented that they were hoping to see a ‘#henrycavillsuperman cameo’ Muschietti like the comment, as seen in a Twitter video obtained by The Flash Film News.  




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