Gordon, Ian: "The moral world of Superman and the American war in Vietnam." In: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics 6.2 (2015), S. 172–181.
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|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Gordon2015
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Keywords: "Superman", Ethics, Superhero, USA, War
Collection: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics
In Superman #216 (1969), Superman intervened in the Vietnam War. Until this point, DC Comics had kept Superman away from any of America’s wars in comic books. During the Second World War, Superman urged Americans to buy war bonds on the cover of comic books, but within the comics the closest he came to fighting was breaking up a spy network. DC had Superman go to Vietnam in part as a response to servicemen’s letters requesting his presence and indeed used this as a plot point within the story, with servicemen writing to the Daily Planet asking why Superman was not helping. Superman’s intervention occurred at a time when American public opinion had turned against the war, especially after the Tet Offensive in early 1968. The article discusses how DC handled these ethical and moral issues and the reaction of readers. The Vietnam War, the social upheaval of the 1960s and a shift in audience to slightly older readers which made the comic less of a children’s medium forced DC to break out of the small moral world they had created for Superman in which stasis and charity defined his character.
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