What's So Funny About Truth, Justice & the American Way?
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|"What's So Funny About Truth, Justice & the American Way?"|
|Publication date||March 2001|
|Title(s)||Action Comics #775|
Wade Von Grawbadger
Tom Palmer, Jr.
|Superman: The Greatest Stories Ever Told, Volume 1||ISBN 1-4012-0339-6|
The title is a reference to the Nick Lowe penned rock song "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding".
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" and "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding?", a song written by Nick Lowe and popularized by Elvis Costello.
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.
The story was originally republished in a number of trade paperbacks:
- Justice League Elite, Volume 1 (collects: Action Comics #775, JLA #100, JLA Secret Files 2004, and Justice League Elite #1–4, 208 pages, 2005, Titan ISBN 1-84576-191-X, DC ISBN 1-4012-0481-3)
- Superman: The Greatest Stories Ever Told, Volume 1 (includes Action Comics #775, 192 pages, Titan, 2006 ISBN 1-84576-399-8 DC, 2004 ISBN 1-4012-0339-6)
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" 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.
In other media
- Lundegaard, Erik (June 30, 2006). "Truth, Justice and (Fill in the Blank)". The New York Times.
- Justice League Elite, Volume 1 profile at DC
- Superman: The Greatest Stories Ever Told profile at DC
- January 2001 Comic Book Sales Figures, The Comics Chronicle
- Wizard's Top 100 Comics of the last 30 years
- Slayton, Nicholas (April 27, 2010). "Top 10 Overrated Comic Books". Tuesday Top Ten. Comics Bulletin.
- Sands, Rich (February 13, 2012). "First Look: Pauley Perrette Plays Lois Lane in a New Animated Superman Adventure". TV Guide. Retrieved February 16, 2012.