April 18th, 2018 marked the 80th anniversary of Superman’s beginnings. And though I may not be an avid comic book reader, Superman has always been a personal favorite of mine. He is undoubtedly the super hero of all super heroes- he can fly, is super fast, super strong, and the list goes on and on. I would have to say, (quite obviously) that in a debate of who would win in a fight between Superman and Batman, I’m going with Superman- duh.
But besides the fact that he is the greatest super hero of all time (him and Black Panther of course), one thing that goes undiscussed, is his obvious correlation to Black people. And Batman, thus being correlated to white capitalist men.
Some may think that this idea if far fetched, but when analyzing the characters–their strengths, weaknesses, and character flaws, demographically they represent and hold true to one racial identity more than the other.
Superman has come to earth as an alien. Juxtapose his home planet with Africa, and earth with America, and you have the story of the transatlantic slave trade; where roughly 11 million people were transported from Africa to America. These were all aliens to the lands of America.
Now, in the comics, it is known that Superman gets recharged by the sun. Considering high amounts of melanin allows for easy bodily consumption of the sun’s rays, only a darker skinned person (who has higher melanin levels), biologically, can take in the sun the way that Superman is described as doing. Melanin is also an essential component to neurological assistance, in that, it assists in the transferring of neurological information. This would go to the say that the sun increases neurological functioning, which is why people are more aroused in the summer than in any other time of year.
Just based on some of the innate abilities Superman has- super strength, super fast, and whatnot- when comparing these to the world of sports, and the sort of athletes that too innately carry these traits; they’re predominantly Black. This, if not anything else, should be a key indicator that Superman is Black, and is exemplifying what we see in Black athletes in the real world.
Though Superman has all of these innate super powers, and could destroy any one person or groups of people, he is heavily compassionate. This stops him from doing major bodily harm to the bad guys, and his willing nature to forgive and give second chances. This can be witnessed in the overall group dynamic of Black people, where, for years, Black people have undergone some of the most horrific historical trauma, yet, on a massive scale, have not retaliated against the people and groups of people who have caused such trauma. Instead we are some of the most endearing, and compassionate people, to not only those of our own racial group, but to those who are not, also.
Though Superman has shown great compassion and mercy, and time and time again he assists the nation, he is still considered a threat and enemy of the state because of his innate abilities that could be used on humans that do not posses these. Clearly this is the case with Black people in America- where we are always considered enemy of the state. And though, time and time again, it has been the innovation of Black minds, and the use of Black bodies to push this country forward, it has been those same Black minds and Black bodies that have been disparaged.
When it comes to Superman’s weakness, kryptonite–the green rock substance that weakens Superman’s powers down to almost nothing and leaves him susceptible to bodily harm; when correlating it to black people, it would be that of crack cocaine. I don’t have to say much about the affects that the crack epidemic has had on the Black community, but it’s obvious that, Black people under the influence of crack, are not operating at their strongest, most full potential (or any non-herbal drug for that matter).
So clearly, Superman is Black, should be seen and represented as such.
On the other hand though, Batman is a full representation of white people and the white invention of capitalism. This will be brief but, here we go:
He’s a wealthy billionaire who uses his money to buy weapons, gadgets and tools for his own use. Not only this, but he lacks any real super power, and his own means of survival against characters with real power, is to use their weaknesses against them. I don’t think that I need to go into the history of white people to accurately say that Batman personifies this history.
White capitalist keep resources for themselves–as does Batman; then wage war on those who are a threat to their sense of entitlement to those resources–as does Batman; white capitalists use tactics that will distract others from turning on them, which is similar to Batman using others’ weaknesses against them for his own gain. Batman is a white capitalist (like how he is accurately depicted), but Superman is Black and should be depicted as such.
Superman and all that he embodies, is that of Black people, plain and simple. Batman is accurately depicted as a white capitalist which is fine; but the problem is that without the correct depiction of my favorite superhero, the underline political story is missed. There’s a reason why, even with rational consideration, the story line of Batman versus Superman, always ends with Superman losing, as if in a realistic scenario, that would ever be the case. This is because white capitalist would like to believe that their gadgets, wealth, and connections to the government will always overpower innate abilities that can’t be bought. I don’t think is true.
Either way, I’m looking forward to the next Superman movie to accurately depict him as he truly should be: a Black man.