Action Comics stirred up some controversy recently as their latest comic seemed very similar to the recent riots in Ferguson.
The comic featured Superman stripped of his normal cape and “S” costume. He is in jeans and t-shirt among a large crowd.
In the comic, Superman is in a town that is afraid of him. While he does have many supporters in the town, those supporters don’t include the police department.
The town is celebrating Superman’s return, but the police are there to break up the party. Soon thereafter, a riot ensues and the police are seen angrily screaming at the crowd.
A sample of the comic in Business Insider shows images of police in full SWAT and shield gear. They are shooting tear gas into the crowd. The crowd is seen trying to reason with police, but to no avail. Superman becomes frustrated and positions himself in between the crowd and police to stop the struggle.
The police continue, causing Superman to punch the police officer in the face. This is where the strip ends.
According to Bleeding Cool, the majority of the comments are negative towards the bold comic strip.
One commenter states, “Yeah, let’s glorify the Ferguson riots and criminals. Great idea.”
The president of the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association, Patrick Colligan, thinks the comic is painting the police department as villains in order to sell comics.
“They want to sell comics,” Colligan said. “Unfortunately it’s at the expense of some very great cops out there every day protecting the public…We are once again painted with the very broad stroke nobody wants to be painted with.”
Colligan feels that social issues have been at the forefront of comic books recently and thinks that “maybe they should go back to taking on superheroes and making people laugh.”
Dimitrios Fragriskatos, the manager of Midtown Comics in New York City, believes that while some older fans are a bit alienated by this new comic, younger fans are embracing this attempt to tackle social issues.
According to Fox News, Fragriskatos said that “Superman is merely standing up for the little guy like he has always done, except this time the law is against the civilians.”
“Some of the earliest stories involve [Superman] fighting corrupt landlords and businesses and that was to give depression era people something [to relate to],” he said. “When you look back it’s not surprising that he became popular when there was no real world hero to look up to.”