Superman has just made public his return to Earth after a five-year absence by saving a group of astronauts from certain doom and then safely crash landing an airplane in the middle of a baseball stadium, while a game was in progress. He mugged for the cameras, made a small joke, and then flew up, up, and away, leaving people with plenty of questions.
Daily Planet editor-in-chief Perry White assembles his staff of reporters and photographers to give them their marching orders. The story is Superman, Superman, Superman, White explains, and people are going to want to know Everything.
Why did he leave? Why did he come back? Does he have a new girlfriend? How will this affect the economy? Is he still for "truth, justice, all that stuff"? You get the idea.
One reasonable interpretation of the scene would see it as a spoof on our obsession with celebrity. In fact, ace reporter Lois Lanewho was on the plane that Superman savedis somehow the only person in the room capable of any distance.
Sure, Superman's return is a big story, she grants, but what caused the mishap with the rocket and the plane? It turns out that Supe's old nemesis Lex Luthor is behind it, and it is a sign of much worse to come.
Now think with me for a minute. If we wanted to construct as unreasonable a reading of the scene as possible, could we do any better than the reaction of many of America's conservative culture warriors?
They were informedvia stories in the New York Post and the Hollywood Reporter that "the American way" had been "removed" from the normal run of things that Superman stands for, and, well, they promptly lost it:
On the blog of the Independent Women's Forum, the usually sensible Charlotte Allen called for conservatives to ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more