Part 4 of my Superman: the animated series piece is up over at Mockingbird. This part of the essay is a little ode to the genius of the DCAU take on Brainiac. I see Brainiac as a brilliant narrative embodiment of the evil of Krypton, the sin nature of Krypton incarnate, if you will. I also believe the DCAU Krypton/Lutbor polarity does a great job of revealing how Superman's legacy has evil in it, whichever legacy he turns to.
Superman's recent renunciation of American citizenship probably won't amount to much other than a publicity stunt in the end, but that renunciation shows that perhaps like a Confederate, perhaps like an ex-patriate American author who flees the U.S. and makes a reputation for himself in Europe which gives him retroactive heroic status, Superman is a character through whom Americans continually work out what they think about being American, even if that means Superman, like many Americans, wants to disavow his American heritage and legacy. Some of the people I've met who hate America most are most quintessentially American in their values and culture.
This part of the essay is arguably the most "Harlemanic" in terms of style and content. Let the reader understand and if the reader doesn't understand I'll be explaining what that means in later essays. Superman is just one member of the Justice League, after all. ;)