Superman Officially Has A New Motto In The DC Universe

DC's flagship hero Superman is not only widely acknowledged as the first comic superhero, one of the most powerful heroes in comics (certainly in DC), and one of the most popular comic book characters of all time, but he's often portrayed as the embodiment of hope in the DC universe. While the "S" logo adorning the hero's chest was originally set to mean "Superman" or to represent the 'House of El' as of "Superman: The Movie," Mark Waid and Leinil Francis Yu's run on "Superman: Birthright" explains that the 'S' itself means "hope," deeply associating Superman with the principle of hope across the universe.

With that new definition, comes changes for Superman's longstanding comic motto, evolving from its origins in "Truth, Justice, and the American Way" (derived not from the original run by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster but from an early-1940s Superman radio serial) to a new motto. The new Superman motto, announced by DC Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee in conjunction with DC Fandome, is now "Truth, Justice, and A Better Tomorrow."

At DC Fandome, Lee said:

"We're excited to announce that to better reflect the storylines that we're telling across DC and to honor Superman's incredible legacy of over 80 years of building a better world, Superman's motto is evolving. Superman has long been a symbol of hope who inspires people, and it is that optimism that powers him forward with his new mission statement: Truth, Justice and a Better Tomorrow."

...For a Better Tomorrow

This isn't the first time that Superman's motto has changed as the eras progressed. The 1940s slogan had been invented to support the U.S. World War II war efforts and revived for the 1950s "Adventures of Superman" TV series (at the peak of McCarthyism). In the 1960s, the motto was shifted to "truth, justice, and freedom" for the cartoon series "The New Adventures of Superman" before being shifted back for 1978's film "Superman: The Movie." The "American Way" history had since been dropped from subsequent adaptations as early as the 1993 series "Lois & Clark" (which adapted the motto into 'truth and justice').

While "the American Way" was initiated in Superman's motto for contextual political reasons, it always struck an odd chord because Superman, while raised on a Kansas farm, is a properly global (if not universal) hero. In a press statement, Jim Lee explains that the new change is intended "to better reflect the storylines that we are telling across DC and to honor Superman's incredible legacy of over 80 years of building a better world."

The best part of the new motto? Fighting for a better tomorrow ties the hero back to the value that he represents the universe-over: hope.