, Volume 49, Issue 3, pp 284-290
Date: 29 Mar 2012

The Roots and Routes of Michael Jackson’s Global Identity

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In 2011, the realm of American popular culture experienced a jolt when an American icon decided to go global. In DC Comics issue #900, Superman renounced his US citizenship. A stalwart of “the American way,” Superman decided that his mission for justice should encompass people and phenomena beyond the territorial boundaries of the U.S. after feeling morally compelled to support non-violent protesters in Iran. The repercussions of Superman’s actions created complications for US foreign policy, and forced the aegis of American heroism to officially differentiate his stance from that of the US government. Yet while Superman continues to see the world as increasingly interconnected and strives to become a global citizen, DC Comics publishers Jim Lee and Dan Didio insist that Superman remains committed to his American base. After all, Superman’s alter ego, Clark Kent, grew up in the heart of Americana.

It is not only fictional icons who represent some facet of “all-American” identity who hav ...