The 'New' Superman: Truth, Justice, and... Other Stuff

The 70-year-old comic book superhero Superman has always had the longtime slogan, "Truth, justice, and the American way." But in the latest movie reincarnation of the Man of Steel, the slogan is a little different: "Truth, justice and all that stuff."

The makers of the movie claim that "the world is different" than it was in the 40's and 50's, and that the film has to be applicable for movie watchers around the world.

Says Hollywood Reporter:

While audiences in Dubuque might bristle at Superman's newfound global agenda, patrons in Dubai likely will find the DC Comics protagonist more palatable. And with the increasing importance of the overseas boxoffice -- as evidenced by summer tentpoles like "The Da Vinci Code" -- foreign sensibilities can no longer be ignored.

One of the writers of the screenplay, Dan Harris, says "the American way" doesn't mean the same thing anymore.

"So, you play the movie in a foreign country, and you say, 'What does he stand for? -- truth, justice and the American way.' I think a lot of people's opinions of what the American way means outside of this country are different from what the line actually means (in Superman lore) because they are not the same anymore," Harris says. "And (using that line) would taint the meaning of what he is saying."

Since there are multiple versions of the film made in many different languages, couldn't a version solely for Americans include the classic line?

Harris insists that Superman belongs to no country.

"The truth is he's an alien. He was sent from another planet. He has landed on the planet Earth, and he is here for everybody. He's an international superhero."

So instead of the Man of Steel, Superman is more like the Man of Aluminum, Captain Planet, a superhero with no country who fights off wicked industrialists who pollute the earth.

Captain Planet was part of a TV series called "Captain Planet and the Planeteers." The lyrics to the opening theme song are:

Verse 1:

Captain Planet, he's our hero

Gonna take pollution down to zero

He's our powers magnified

And he's fighting on the planet's side.

Verse 2:

Captain Planet, he's our hero

Gonna take pollution down to zero

Gonna help him put asunder

Bad guys who like to loot and plunder

Looten Plunder: You'll pay for this, Captain Planet!!

Verse 3:

We're the planeteers

You can be one too

Cause saving our planet is the thing to do

Looting and polluting is not the way.

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