Superman Earth One Analysis

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Everybody knows about the classic superhero story: a villain tries to destroy everything, the hero intervenes, saves the damsel in distress and the whole population is delighted and accepts him. Yet, behind the familiar, innocent narrative put forward is hidden a much darker tale of support to the elite. The conservative ideology publicized by superhero stories tends to support a worldview in which the interests of the upper-class and the stability of the system are protected. In that narrative, individuals are not expected to think critically or defy authority, but to follow orders and use their natural skills to benefit society as a whole. Benevolence, obedience and security are valued over individuality, creativity and progress. Hence,…show more content…
However, while the main storyline overall does promote the conservative ideology, multiple scenes of the book contain specific attacks on conservative elements. In particular, the story distinctly shows a rejection of the subjection to authority, the passivity of the community and the mindless preservation of stability. To begin with, according to the conservative view, obedience to authority is fundamental. To integrate into the society, individuals are expected to follow orders without questions rather than make their own choices. Consequently, promoting obedience benefits the upper-class by helping them maintain their status and control over the community without being challenged. While it might not be evident at first glance, this subjection to authority is opposed many times in Superman Earth One. Specifically, Clark’s internal debate leading to his decision to assume his Superman role, hence following his father’s advice, gives interesting insight on obedience. In this scene, Tyrell, the villain, is launching an attack on Metropolis. Trying to take pictures for the journal he works for, Olsen puts himself in danger by approaching enemy war robots. At the last minute, Clark saves him by destroying the robot, but without being seen. A…show more content…
Keeping in mind the ultimate goal of maintaining stability, the community’s passivity is essential to prevent the advent of change that would disrupt social order and endangers the dominant classes’ status. Reversely, an active community, helping individuals integrate, would be promoting change, which opposes the conservative ideology. The advocacy for passivity, ignoring the individual’s need for help, is opposed repeatedly in Superman Earth One, for instance in the second volume, after Clark’s second battle with the villain, a “Parasite” absorbing people’s energy. Right after the battle, Clark, still dressed as Superman, has to drag himself on the street, completely powerless, weak and unable to fly. Despite his injuries, he manages to change his clothes and walks back to his apartment, meeting many people on his way but never receiving any help. Once in his building, his neighbour and love interest, Lisa, welcomes him and takes care of him when he passes out from weakness until he wakes up. In the first place, the community is portrayed as extremely passive, as no one extends a helping hand when Clark is walking around the city, obviously weak and injured. People simply ignore him and he has to manage by himself. Additionally, this passivity is depicted as normal and expected, such that it suggests the very
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