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Is Superman an American character?

While I do think that Superman is a predominantly American character, I do not think it is a mutually exclusive relationship. Superman is representative of all immigrants in all countries, those who have experienced a change from rural to urban society, or those who value truth and justice heavily linked with morality and ethics. It just so happens, though, that these topics are very prevalent in American culture and life. Immigration, in particular, is something that Americans probably think about every day. We are a nation of immigrants who have bonded together under a common heading. All of our ancestors are from different places around the world and most people strongly identify with these heritages and keep them as a part of their daily lives. Because our nation was founded on principles of equality and choice, most people generally respect others’ rights to practice their particular cultural norms. In this way, we all adopt a second identity of being American. Superman and Clark Kent could be looked at in a similar way. Superman is the primary identity, or our ancestral cultural norms and talents that we practice in our own lives, whereas Clark Kent is the secondary identity, or our assimilation into a society of acceptance and tolerance. I feel Americans struggle with this identity crisis the same way that Superman does, always trying to define ourselves as one or the other when really, it’s a combination of the two. Whether or not it’s true, America often has the opinion of it, and is often seen by others, as the “guiding light” in a world of darkness or being an accurate moral compass. Superman is also very representative of this. He possesses an unwavering moral stance that he never compromises, and he is often looked to as the example of what the proper thing to do is. Also, America’s enemies are often, whether actually or just perceived that way, jealous of America’s position as moral leader and seek to discredit this line of thinking. They often feel that America has no right to be this leader. Superman’s enemies are often portrayed as having similar feelings. Superman is also pretty blatantly patriotic for our nation. He fights for “truth, justice, and the American way”. He wears a costume mostly composed of red and blue. All in all, I think Superman is definitely an American character, but that doesn’t mean that he isn’t relatable to people of other countries.


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