Truth, Justice, and the American Way (No More)

Superman’s slogan in no longer Truth, Justice, and the American Way. It’s now Truth, Justice, and a Better Tomorrow.

What do you think of this? Was there something wrong with this 80 year old slogan?

On the community this slogan was only viewed with positivity but do you think the change was valid?

@msgtv You are a veteran and people used this to honor you and people like you who fought and served our country, and the American way. What do you think now that it is being discarded?

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The reason for the change is because Superman should not be centralized to U.S. or America. While the 40s emphasized American values, especially during war, now that war is over, people are becoming more global and reflect that in their art. I still find it a little odd to no longer hear “the American Way”, but I understand the expansion.

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I think if one was to try to distill what they mean by “the American Way,” what they really mean is essentially “a better tomorrow.”

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I don’t have any real objections to the change as Superman’s slogan has varied over the years anyway. The very original from the radio show and the Fleischer cartoons was that he fought “a never-ending battle for truth and justice.” That changed in the early days of World War II when they introduced “truth, justice, and the American way.” That fell by the wayside with WWII ending, but it was brought back for the TV show when Communism was viewed as a major threat. For the Filmation series Adventures of Superman it was “truth, justice, and freedom.” It was the movie Superman (1978) that brought “truth, justice, and the American way” back, where it was actually spoken by Superman. Anyway, in many ways this is just yet another in a long run of changes to Superman’s slogan. Beyond the fact that the slogan has varied over the years anyway, there’s also the fact that Superman has acted as a champion for all mankind almost from the very beginning of the character. Looking at it that way, “a better tomorrow” makes more sense than “the American way.”

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I think it is a stupid change (comes off as a corporate maneuver rather than some principled decision), but there’s no portion of this phrase demanding to be used in the 21st century. None of the characters say it. Narrators have fallen out of favor for film and television. The comics may use it, but there’s no reader expectation that it be there. There’s never a point in the plot where it is necessary to remind everyone of three positive values that Superman likes, among others. If they changed it to “Truth, justice, and low, low prices”, it would still have zero affect on the plots

If something is going wrong and Superman is around, he intercedes. There’s no “truth/justice/American Way” test being applied to dire situations before they’re deemed worthy of his time.

The change understandably will anger some American fans, and no one was complaining about the absence of the phrase for the last 40 years. So seems like going out of the way to create a problem

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I think it is a good change, and reflective of superman’s place in dc world, while metropolis is still his city. I think there is a push last couple years for superman to be a more global hero, If he hears a train falling off a bridge doesn’t matter if it is in the US, China, Italy, Japan, Brazil or wherever, if superman can help people he will. :grinning: :grinning: It what makes him so awesome, and he’s saying should reflect that

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I think the commenters in the thread you linked to summed it up very well that the American Way is unique in the world and the Liberty and Freedoms we provide in our written Constitution is a shining example to the rest of the world. Are we perfect? No. Are our ideals worth striving for? Yes.

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I like ‘and the American Way’ for all it should represent about the best of our values, but in a globalized market place I can understand broadening the statement to ‘better tomorrow.’ Honestly, these are things I tend not to get too upset about. If I were writing Superman (and really DC, I would pay you to let me do it) I would find a way to let Superman exemplify and actually use the phrase “and the American Way” in a story. No matter how global he may seem in the DCU, he would still be viewed by many as an American, cuz he is.

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Yes I agree. I mentioned how long it has been around for and you brought up how it became irrelevant in recent decades so yeah, it could have just been something they left with the history books instead of brining back just for it to be changed.

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I would like to say though that the market for Superhero Comics is still American/Eurpoean consumer dominated. Manga has become much more of a global seller meanwhile and still has much more pride for the country of Japan.

I have multiple platforms for which I talk DC comics with people and I discussed with one man who was from Egypt about how he could use other comic forum websites but couldn’t access this one so if DC wants to say they support the world globally why would they allow only certain countries to access their website?

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I really like the change. As some have pointed out, the “Truth, Justice, and the American Way,” slogan really hasn’t been used for a while in comics. So, pointing out this change may be a bit more corporate than artistic at the moment, but I think it’s a good step at establishing a clear goal with the character. Maybe it would have been more natural if it was woven into a story in a line of dialogue rather than announced at DC Fandome.

I get why some Americans may prefer, “the American way,” because of what it symbolizes to them. The goals and ideals they want America to strive for, but it’s also important to remember that those things are not really unique to America and are universally shared by people around the globe at their core. Not to mention that America as a concept understandably represents some unsavory things to people outside of the country.

So, “a Better Tomorrow,” does a great job at better explaining what we ACTUALLY mean by “the American Way,” while also being a bit more inclusive. Which I think is a good thing for a character from another world that represents the best of mankind, not just Americans.

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Well said. :us_outlying_islands:

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My feelings about it are more nuanced than most opinions I’ve read so far. The American Way to me is summarized in our Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

I never had and never will have an issue with using The American Way in Superman’s slogan. I’m quite proud to be a citizen of a country that strives towards those ideals. To echo @TravisMorgan, we are not perfect, but we have made great strides in our pursuit, perhaps more than most other countries.

I also don’t have any issues with “A Better Tomorrow”. I mean, who doesn’t want that? It may describe the story they’re trying to tell well, with Jon wanting to take a more “active” role in changing the world than his father. For my money though, I would have been more interested in stories that exemplify what the American Way is, based on that very excerpt from the Declaration of Independence.

Either way, not something I’m going to get worked up over. Will read the stories and see how they hold up.

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I’ve been trying to figure out the right way to word how I feel about this and I see others who have said similar to what I am feeling so I’ll add my voice in.

I love the change. I think that “American Way” was somehow dated. “A better tomorrow” is a better way to express what “American Way” was trying to say.

The idea of an ‘American Way’ has changed since it was first introduced, and I think this update is a good way to address that. Superman isn’t just an American hero. He is a hero for the whole world. To limit Superman to just America feels like a disservice to Superman.

Anyway, yeah, I like the change. I like what DC is trying to say with it. And I don’t think it is a slight against America at all. It is just saying that Superman is for everyone. Not just one country.

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Another thing that I want to bring up is pride. There is many different forms of it. You can have pride for gays, transgenders, people of color but you can also have pride for ones nation. Pride for your homeland is very important because it’s an easy way to bring your fellow citizens together who may not agree on every topic.

I read all the replies and one from @Jay_Kay was about how a better tomorrow is basically the American way. I have to say that I disagree though because the American way is that and so much more and if they had the same meaning the change would have not been necessary.

We have things such as Justice League Queer which is pride for gays. This slogan was part of the pride for America until they changed it. Why is one form of pride celebrated while the other is removed?

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I don’t think it is “removed” per se. From Phillip Kennedy Johnson, current Superman writer:

Another tweet from him:

If Johnson’s confidence is not misplaced, I would interpret this change as more of how Superman is marketed to the world as a character, as opposed to abandoning or “removing” his history.

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I guess I didn’t make it clear. I know DC Comics is centralized in U.S. and the market is focused on U.S. customers. I meant the stories written by writers affiliated with DC Comics no longer just focus on a problem within the U.S.- the superheroes expand to global areas. With the internet and social media, more beliefs can be learned and that gets shown through the comics.

Essentially, while you are focusing on the consumer viewpoint, I was writing in regard to the producer viewpoint.

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I see and they go all intergalactic 2 so partly agree

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I think the slogan has been mishandled for a while, so I prefer this change to the slogan randomly getting interrupted or hand waved away. Superman has been acting in a more global capacity for years now, so I can see this change reflecting that as well, since different people may interpret ‘American Way’ to mean different things. Also, Jon spent half his life off planet, so I think the change fits him in particular.

In general I do think it’s a bit sad that strong/historic patriotic ties seem to be downplayed nowadays.

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I’ll admit, to me it doesn’t feel like a drastic change. If anything, it reflects the times of right now in history, just like how “and the American way” did during it’s time. The former slogan will live on in my heart, and I imagine it will for many others, as it aligns with classic Superman, but I think that in terms of today, with modern day Superman, it’s more inclusive, which I believe is something many of us want today for everybody. I’d like to think of it more as… an update to the slogan, perhaps!

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