Superman Actor Dean Cain: ‘Woke’ Superman’s Mission Is Neither Bold Nor Brave

Dean Cain, RealClearPolitics

DC Comics recently revealed that in an upcoming issue titled “Superman: Son of Kal-El,” the son of Lois Lane and Clark Kent would be bisexual, and that he’s going to fight “real-world problems” such as climate change, that he’ll protest the deportation of refugees, and date a “hacktivist.”

What exactly is a “hacktivist”? Isn’t hacking illegal? Is Superman supporting  criminal activity? It’s a chore to keep up with all the different iterations of the current superheroes, but DC Comics is calling  it a “bold new direction” for the character. I  see nothing “bold” about it.

I say they’re jumping on the bandwagon, but they’re fighting the wrong issues. They have a clear goal. It’s globalist, it’s anti-America, but it’s not bold and it’s not brave.  

Robin, Batman’s famed red-headed sidekick, came out as bisexual recently, and honestly, who is shocked about that one?  The gay Captain America has just been announced. The character of Alex (my daughter in the live-action series “Supergirl”) was lesbian.

It’s not unusual to see a superhero who is gay or bisexual in 2021. It’s banal. This is something I do not mind. I’m all for inclusiveness and acceptance and tolerance. However, it might be even more fascinating if they create New characters instead of retrofitting the identity of existing ones.

“Brave” would have been to do some of this 30 years ago. Or to depict Superman, or Jon Kent, fighting for the rights of LGBT people in Iran where they’ll throw you off a building for the “offense” of even being suspected of homosexuality.

And why doesn’t Superman fight the injustices that created the refugees whose deportation he’s protesting? Digging deep into those issues — that would be brave. This would prove to be extremely informative. I’d read that comic book.

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“Bold” would be fighting for the rights of Afghan women to attend school and be able to live free and go to work, and fighting for the right for boys to Not be raped by men under the supposedly newly enlightened Taliban.

Real evil exists in this world.  Real corruption and government tyranny.  There are many real world things you can fight. People being held in Chinese concentration camps for their faith. Or human trafficking — honest-to-God slavery — taking place all over the world today.  This is a real problem.

In our own area, right now. The drug cartels that traffic in drugs across the border and sexually molested young girls are responsible. These issues can be tackled bravely and brightened by being bold. I’d love to see the character doing that. I’d read that, too. 

“Truth, Justice, and the American Way” is no longer the catchphrase of Superman. Is this the new motto? “Truth, Justice, and a Better World.” Okay, I’ll buy that, but what’s the vision that accompanies this more expansive view of social justice? What would make for  a better world? What is Socialism? Communism? Forced equality

I believe a world with more freedom and autonomy is better. Protect yourself from overreach by the government and corruption. You can feel safe and secure. The idea of America. A government of the people, by the people, and for the people – concepts laid out by our Founding Fathers during the creation of the United States of America.

America is not perfect. We are constantly striving for a more perfect union, but I believe it’s self-evident that ours is the most free and fair and most equitable country — with the most opportunity — in the history of the world. That’s why so many people are desperately making their way here, through all manner of hardships, from all corners of the globe.

However, America’s current popularity makes it a great place to belittle. But I wonder if most of the people who do so have really traveled and spent real time in other countries — dealing with other governments to see what the rest of the world is like. 

It is not America. Most people in the rest of the globe lack individual liberty, equality of opportunity and the right to enter open markets. They also don’t have the means to achieve material success. We shouldn’t apologize for any of it. These values have brought waves of immigrants to the United States every year. We need to celebrate them.

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DC Comics (then Action Comics) published the 1938 story of an immigrant from another planet. This unique character, who was born on a dying planet, dedicates his adult life fighting crime and righting wrongs. This is not exaggerated. The Superman comic’s first strip features Superman as a superhero who ends up at the Capitol interrupting a corrupt deal between a lobbyist, and a lawmaker.

This, after convincing the governor to spare an innocent woman about to be executed for a murder she didn’t commit, roughing up a wife beater, and (of course) saving the life of Lois Lane. Superman was fast.

What makes America great isn’t our government, and it certainly isn’t an increasingly authoritative “nanny state.” Instead, it’s our commitment to freedom and our traditions of self-reliance. While we must acknowledge and improve upon our past, our country is not great due to them.

As Ronald Reagan said, “Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.”

As for the cultural gatekeepers busily rethinking which of our national heroes — or iconic superheroes, for that matter — belong on pedestals, I’d say this: Inclusiveness is healthy, but tinkering with the sexuality or political outlook of fictional heroes does not necessarily improve their character.

Here, after all, was the initial description of the man from Krypton: “Superman, champion of the oppressed. The physical marvel who had sworn to devote his existence to helping those in need!”

That’s a hard mantra to improve on, in my view, and is quintessentially American — it champions both strength and compassion.

RealClearWire granted permission to syndicate.

Dean Cain starred as Superman/Clark Kent in the 1990s TV series “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.”

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