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Faster Than A Speeding Bullet, Superman Renounces His U.S. Citizenship

I learned a lot about Superman today.

First, I learned that he's still alive. I thought he'd been killed off a few years ago, but I must admit that I haven't paid much attention to his story arc since Jor-El cast sent him packing from Krypton in the 1978 film.

Secondly, I learned that he's a supporter of Iran's pro-democracy Green Movement, having paid a visit to Tehran in a nonviolent show of support for the antigovernment protesters.

Thirdly, I discovered that Superman is a U.S. citizen. Despite Superman's famous fight for "truth, justice, and the American way," I must admit that I'd never considered that superheroes actually have nationalities. The Hulk has an American passport? Who knew?

But it turns out that Superman intends to renounce his American citizenship. In Actions Comics #900, Superman says he's "tired of having my actions construed as instruments of U.S. policy."

Turns out that the Iranian regime interpreted Superman's visit to the antigovernment protesters in Tehran as reflecting the will of the U.S. president, and an act of war.

Come to think of it, there are some beleaguered rebels in Libya who probably wouldn't mind a visit from Spider-Man right about now.

-- Grant Podelco

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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