DC Comics Officially Announces Superman Will No Longer Fight For “The American Way”

Source: Superman Vol. 4 #26 "Brains Vs. Brawn" (2017), DC Comics. Variant cover art by Jorge Jiménez and Alejandro Sánchez.

In one of the most audacious, yet unsurprising moves from DC Comics in recent years, the comic book publisher has announced that they will officially be dropping “The American Way” from Superman’s iconic catchphrase in favor of a more inclusive alternative.

Source: Superman Vol. 2 #53 “Truth, Justice, and the American Way” (1991), DC Comics. Cover art by Jerry Ordway.

Related: New Superman Jon Kent Does Away With “The American Way” In The Hero’s Decades-Old Catchphrase In Tom Taylor’s Superman: Son of Kal-El #1

As announced by DC Chief Creative Officer and Publisher Jim Lee during the October 2021 edition of DC FanDome, the Man of Steel’s iconic catchphrase will be updated from “Truth, Justice, and The American Way” to “Truth, Justice, and a Better Tomorrow” in order to “better reflect the global storylines that we are telling across DC and to honor the character’s incredible legacy of over 80 years of building a better world.”

“Superman has long been a symbol of hope who inspires people from around the world,” said Lee, “and it is that optimism and hope that powers him forward with this new mission statement.”

Source: DC Comics Official Website

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The iconic “Truth, Justice, and The American Way” line dates all the way back to the Superman radio dramas, where an iteration of the phrase is uttered in conclusion to the series’ opening, as the narrator announces, “Superman, who can leap tall buildings in a single bound, race a speeding bullet to its target, bend steel in his bare hands, and who, disguised as Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter for a great Metropolitan newspaper, fights a never-ending battle for truth and justice.”

“The American Way” line was eventually added to the slogan in 1942, making its debut in the intro sequence of Max Fleischer’s animated Superman serials in an attempt to boost patriotism and spirits at home during World War 2.

Source: Superman (1940), Paramount Pictures

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The first hints that DC would be moving to change Superman’s classic motto were first seen in Superman: Son of Kal El #1, wherein author Tom Taylor revealed that Clark’s son, Jon, would choose to fight for “Truth, justice, and a better world” after adopting his father’s heroic mantle.

However, it seems that, with the slight variation in wording and the fact that it was used first for Jon rather than Clark, the updated motto’s use in the issue was a ‘testing of the waters’, so to speak.

Source: Superman: Son of Kal-El Vol. 1 #1 “Truth, Justice, and a Better World” (2021), DC Comics. Words by Tom Taylor, art by John Timms and Gabe Eltaeb.

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Ironically, during an interview with Fox News given last year, former Superman actor Dean Cain told host Ainsley Earhardt, “I promise you, as Superman, I wouldn’t today be allowed to say ‘truth, justice, and the American way’.”

“With those telling negative stories having an agenda…they hate capitalism, they hate law and order, they hate America,” the actor continued.

Source: Action Comics Vol. 1 #803 “The Harvest, Part Two” (2003), DC Comics. Cover art by Dave Bullock.

According to DC, “The new motto, which will be used in main continuity for Clark Kent’s Superman, will be featured across all mediums including comic books, film, TV, video games and more.”

What do you make of DC dropping “The American Way” from Superman’s motto? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!

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