Tales of Superman saving the day have permeated our society since the late 1930’s. Facing off against villains like Lex Luthor, Mr. Mxyzptlk, General Zod, Brainiac, and countless others, those stories have entertained us with their tales of how Superman was able to defeat these villains. Yet did you know that Superman helped defeat real villains?
Deadline is reporting that Lotus Entertainment and Paperchase films have come together to produce the movie Superman Vs The KKK, the true story of how the Superman radio show in the 1940’s helped destroy the mystique the KKK had garnered when they experienced a resurgence. A young writer named Stetson Kennedy had infiltrated the Klan, Discovering the secrets to their rituals, their code words, and how they did business, all Mr. Kennedy had at the end of the day was a lot of material with no outlet to show it to.
Enter the Superman radio show. After World War 2, Superman needed to fight new villains. People simply weren’t going to buy him fighting Nazi’s anymore. Kennedy approached the producers for the show with the material he uncovered and the show came up with a sixteen episode arc called Clan of the Fiery Cross. When the arc was complete, the Klan was roundly mocked and its importance in society at the time was deflated.
I’m excited to see this project gain some steam. While the movie may end up as nothing more than a TV movie of the week, it’s an important story about why art, even silly art about superheroes, can be important in society. When the world throws a lot of bad news your way, you tend to want to cover your ears and ignore it. It’s human nature. In this particular instance, the writer could have written an investigative journalist piece for a major newspaper that a couple million people may have read and promptly ignored. By adding in a creative element, even something as silly as a radio show aimed at children, you’re going to be able to make your point without beating people over the head with it, thus making them think. And in this day and age, it’s something we need to be reminded of.
So what do you think? Were you aware that Superman actually beat real life villains? What role does art take in taking down societies villains? Sound off in the comments section below.
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