Notes   /   17 October 2022

Discussion notes for Superman Smashes the Klan

For the majority of today’s class, I’d like you all to carry out a discussion with people nearby. These could be your webcomic groups, or anyone — no more than about four. In your group, first make sure you all know each other, then consider each of the following questions. For each, record take note of the best ideas or your consensus as a group, and at the end of class, I’ll ask groups to take turns sharing.

  • This story focuses on Roberta’s point of view. Why?
  • Why does Uncle Matt break from the Klan and attack Superman on his own? Does that separation impact the story’s critique of the Klan?
  • Why does Chuck ask Tommy if it’s “really all that bad to want to live around only people who look like you?”
  • We talked the other day about how this story deals in relative absolutes (compared with Watchmen, at least). Do you see any exceptions to that? Gray areas or nuance?
  • The radio show that inspired Superman Smashes the Klan was apparently effective in discouraging KKK membership in the 1940s. With similar neo-nazi and other extremist groups evidently on the rise again, could mass media / popular culture play a similar role today? Podokesauruses