It’s safe to say these are extraordinary times; with levels of racism and xenophobia climbing with each passing day, we’re looking for a hero to aid us. May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, but this year definitely hits differently given the horrible discrimination Asian communities have been facing during this pandemic. However, perhaps the hero we’ve been looking for is Superman? In a recent adaptation of the 1946 Adventures of Superman, there’s a storyline called “Clan of the Fiery Cross” in which we see the Man of Steel facing off the KKK.
Not only does the legendary hero unmask these villains as ridiculous bigots, but the comic is centered around an Asian family. Superman Smashes the Klan is an adaptation of the original story line written by Gene Luen Yang and illustrated by the Japanese art team Gurihiru. Yang, the author of such acclaimed graphic novels as American Born Chinese and Dragon Hoops, admits to Entertainment Weekly his fascination with a Chinese-American family being at the center in the original tale. He states,
I feel ambivalent about a Chinese-American family being the center of the original story because the circumstances around that aren’t super-awesome. But this retelling gave me a way of exploring all of that.
The Lee family’s struggles to fit in a mostly white neighborhood is extremely relatable. Also, it’s not lost on me that Superman, an immigrant in his own right fights back against the Klan. I think the KKK has found their match; get Superman Smashes the Klan today.