DC’s updated motto for Superman, which has him now standing for “Truth, Justice, and a Better Tomorrow” as opposed to the “American Way”, has a supporter in the Man of Steel’s animated series voice actor, Tim Daly.
In a new interview, Daly told Bleeding Cool that he likes the new one as it belies how Superman has transcended borders and become meaningful to so many people around the globe.
“I like it,” he said. “Superman has expanded beyond the borders of America, and he’s admired by the world audience, so I think ‘a better tomorrow’ is a beautiful sentiment and perfectly Superman, so I like it.”
Daly may be okay with the change, but it has been met with disapproval from others with a link to the character, including former Superman actor Dean Cain and Superman: Son of Kal-El colorist Gabe Eltaeb – in fact, Eltaeb said as much in an impassioned message discussin to the DC honcho he disclosed in a recent vlog.
They think of the updated motto as a betrayal of the character’s essence and the sacrifices of those in the country that spawned him, such as his creators, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, who toiled and never made a dime off Superman in their lifetime.
Still, Daly looks at the transnational stature Superman has nowadays – though, surprisingly, he does tie it back to the Man of Steel’s reflection in the American psyche.
“I didn’t realize when I was doing the Animated Series how important Superman was, not just the kids for a Saturday morning cartoon, but to adults,” he told BC. “Superman has wheeled his way into the American collective consciousness, and I think he represents something that an anthropologist could probably describe better than me.”
“There’s something in US human beings that longs for the attributes that he has,” he added. Almost everybody has had dreams, sleeping dreams are active dreams, of flying, having superpowers and saving people,” and “being…a force of good.”
Further, Daly noted, “It’s gratifying that people are still clinging to that. As dark as Batman is going, Superman’s still just a being who is not vengeful or bitter or angry. He’s just trying to help humanity be better.”
This sentiment goes back to George Reeves’ portrayal of Superman in the 1950s, which Daly himself and countless other Baby Boomers grew up on. And, like them, Daly considers Reeves a favorite for how the late actor’s time in the cape embodied the concept of the American Way.
“That was kind of awesome,” Daly said. After discussing the “psychologically dark” shift Batman underwent since Adam West, he would add, “But that Superman remains the sort of beacon of light and goodness, and I like that about him. I think we need that more than ever at this moment in time.”
The remastered Superman animated series that aired on Kids WB! is available on Blu-ray and to stream via HBO Max.
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