What's So Funny About Truth, Justice & the American Way?

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"What's So Funny About Truth, Justice & the American Way?"
Cover of Action Comics 775 (March 2001).Art by Tim Bradstreet.
Publisher DC Comics
Publication date March 2001
Genre
Title(s) Action Comics #775
Main character(s) Superman
The Elite
Creative team
Writer(s) Joe Kelly
Penciller(s) Doug Mahnke
Lee Bermejo
Inker(s) Tom Nguyen
Dexter Vines
Jim Royal
Jose Marzan
Wade Von Grawbadger
Wayne Faucher
Letterer(s) Comicraft
Colorist(s) Rob Schwager
Editor(s) Eddie Berganza
Tom Palmer, Jr.
Collected editions
Superman: The Greatest Stories Ever Told, Volume 1 ISBN 1-4012-0339-6

"What's So Funny About Truth, Justice & the American Way?" is a story that appeared in Action Comics #775 as published by DC Comics in March 2001.

Written by Joe Kelly, pencilled by Doug Mahnke and Lee Bermejo, and inked by Tom Nguyen, Dexter Vines, Jim Royal, Jose Marzan, Wade Von Grawbadger and Wayne Faucher.

The title is a reference to the Nick Lowe penned rock song "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding".

Publication history[edit]

The story was largely conceived as a response towards the popularity of the Wildstorm Comics series The Authority, a deliberately provocative work that explored the moral responsibilities of human beings powerful enough to overturn tyrannical regimes single handed, and which became incredibly popular and influential within the comic industry during its original 29 issue run. "What's So Funny About Truth, Justice, and the American Way?" is largely seen as a rejection of the principles presented by Warren Ellis and Mark Millar, who wrote the original Authority series regarding the super-hero genre of comics.

The story's title is a play on the well-known Superman phrase "Truth, Justice and the American Way"[1] and "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding?", a song written by Nick Lowe and popularized by Elvis Costello.

Plot summary[edit]

This tale features The Elite, a team of super-powered antiheroes fronted by Manchester Black, who gained worldwide popularity for viciously killing their foes. Despite the acclaim and approval that the Elite are enjoying, Superman believes that they are in the wrong, continually defying the Elite even after they save a city. As tensions between them finally culminate in a mass showdown - taking place on Jupiter's moons at Superman's request - Superman, taking advantage of the fight being taped, makes it appear as though he has "killed" the Elite members - really using his speed to get them out of harm's way at the last minute so that nobody sees it - to show the public that violence is never a positive thing, stating that he will never stop fighting his way to show the world what it could be.

Collected editions[edit]

The story was originally republished in a number of trade paperbacks:

Reception[edit]

The issue was #47 in the Diamond Comic Distributors sales list, with an estimated sales figure of 37,076.[4]

That issue was called "the single best issue of a comic book written in the year 2001", was voted the #1 in the Top Ten Comics of the Decade, #21 in the list of "Top 100 Comics of the last 30 years"[5] and named the "Greatest Superman Story of All Time" by Wizard Magazine. However, it was also placed at #4 in the "Top 10 Overrated Comic Books" by Comics Bulletin.[6]

In other media[edit]

Film[edit]

The story was adapted into 2012's second DC Animated film, Superman vs. The Elite.[7]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]