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So American...

“What Makes Superman So Darned American?” contained a very well-put argument. However, it neglects one small detail that is touched on in the other reading, “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow: An Examination of the American Monomyth and the Comic Book Superhero.” Simply put, what it means to be American has changed drastically since Superman’s conception.

Where there was once idealism and a greater overall trust in the government, there is now widespread cynicism. It seems that public opinions of good and evil have become much more vague and inconsistent than they were when good American soldiers went overseas to fight the evil Nazis. Now people are unsure of who can be trusted and who cannot, and struggle daily to find the right decisions for themselves.

Consider the path of Captain America, as described in the latter reading. His original job was indeed to fight the Nazis, including the iconic Red Skull. However, after experiencing a Watergate-like scandal, the Captain lost faith in the government and gave up the job, calling himself Nomad. Though he did return to his old job, he was never quite the same character.

Even in modern storylines such as Civil War (which we will read later in the semester) the Captain struggles with decisions of the greater good. Although he is usually found on the side of the government, he is no longer quite as obedient to his superiors. The presence of this doubt changes the character drastically.

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