Frank Miller has used Superman as a tool of the US government before in his seminal work, The Dark Knight Returns. In his latest DC mini-series, Superman: Year One, Miller re-imagines the legacy DC character as enrolling in the U.S. Navy right out of high school. Also of note, this book falls under DC’s new Black Label line, which becomes fairly obvious when it shows an attempted rape scene of Lana Lang which Superman foils.
Year One shows us the traditional origin story of Superman that we all know, but with some very subtle twists. We spend more time exploring the topic of when it’s acceptable to initiate violence. We also see Clark Kent playing high school football and deciding to simply win for once. That seems unfair, but it is a logical mini-step towards exploring the notion of the Man of Steel wearing a U.S. armed forces uniform. To the other powers of the world, this decision would be just as unfair as it would be to a competing high school team in football.
The entire story is setting up for a Watchman style exploration of when it is acceptable to be a tool of the state doling out violence upon command.
Those interested in getting in on this series can pre-order the collected hardcover at your LCS this month!