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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Superman, citizen of the world?
The Man of Steel, in the latest issue of Action Comics which hit newsstands on Wednesday, said he intends to renounce his U.S. citizenship in a speech before the United Nations.
"I'm tired of having my actions construed as instruments of U.S. policy," Superman said in a short story in the issue, Action Comics No. 900 from the Time Warner Inc unit DC Comics.
In the comic, Superman never actually renounces his citizenship, he only talks about his plans to do that.
But conservative commentators reacted with disgust to the new storyline, given that the fictional superhero has long proclaimed he stood for "Truth, Justice and the American way."
In a blog post at The Weekly Standard, senior writer Jonathan Last questioned Superman's beliefs, now that he seems to have rejected the United States.
"Does he believe in British interventionism or Swiss neutrality?" Last wrote. "You see where I'm going with this: If Superman doesn't believe in America, then he doesn't believe in anything."
The new plot twist for Superman comes as the superhero visitor from a distant planet, who was raised by a Kansas farmer and his wife, looks to take on a more global mission for his battle against evil.
"The world's too small. Too connected," Superman said in the comic book.
Superman, who was first introduced in the 1938, has a long association with the United States. But Joe Shuster, the artist who helped create the character with writer Jerry Siegel, was born in Canada.
And critics have described Superman's life story as a metaphor for the immigrant experience, because he is an alien.
DC Comics co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio seemed to downplay their landmark superhero character's latest declaration, in a joint statement.
"In a short story in Action Comics 900, Superman announces his intention to put a global focus on his never ending battle, but he remains, as always, committed to his adopted home and his roots as a Kansas farm boy from Smallville," they said.
Editing by Dean Goodman