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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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