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Before Supergirl fought Manchester Black, there was Superman vs. The Elite

By Dany Roth
superman vs the elite

One of the major plot points of Supergirl's fourth season on The CW has been about what makes for an ethical hero: What is it that a person with powers should do, and what constitutes over-extending?

Kara Zor-El, for her part, tries to follow the rules of the DEO where she can, but she often finds herself on the outs with the government. Even then, though, Supergirl herself takes a reserved approach when it comes to punitive measures for aliens and other super-powered beings causing chaos on Earth. This season that conservatism also extended to human hate groups also causing chaos and violence, but this time toward innocent alien refugees.

In the midst of all that is a team-up of individuals including Manchester Black, Managerie, and Hat, three powerful individuals who feel that Supergirl doesn't do enough to rid the world of villainy, especially bigoted human villains.

But long before that there was a Joe Kelly Superman story called What's So Funny About Truth, Justice & the American Way, which was released by DC back in 2001. And that story was adapted into an animated film in 2012 called Superman vs. The Elite.

On today's episode of Every Day Animation, assistant editor for The Mary Sue Princess Weekes talks about Superman vs. The Elite and how it tries to analyze the morality of superpowers. It's a very different take on Manchester Black et al. than Supergirl (not least of which is because Black is, uh, white in this version). But it's interesting to see the difference between this animated film, which is telling something outside of history, and Supergirl, which is clearly trying to speak to history as it happens.

And if you're still watching along with us, get ready for a theory to end all theories about cartoons. Tomorrow comedian Celeste Yim is bringing us the Canadian teen drama 6Teen. And if that doesn't sound like a genre joint to you, think again. 6Teen is set in a mall in Canada, but it's also secretly set in The Matrix. Stay tuned for that very serious conspiracy theory when we reveal The Truth tomorrow!

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