In 1946, The Adventures of Superman radio series pitted the Man of Steel against the Ku Klux Klan. Stetson Kennedy, a human rights activist who had infiltrated the KKK used his findings to strike a powerful blow against the organization’s growth in the northern United States. He contacted the producers of the radio show and proposed a story where Superman battles the Klan. The producers eagerly agreed and “Clan of the Fiery Cross” began airing on June 10, 1946.
Inspired by the 1946 radio drama, author Gene Luen Yang created Superman Smashes the Klan, a three-part story set in 1946 in which a Chinese-American family, the Lees, move to Metropolis, but find themselves threatened by the local Ku Klux Klan. The children, Tommy and Roberta, find themselves especially threatened while new friends like Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane, and Inspector Henderson try to help but are then similarly targeted. Meanwhile, Superman’s own efforts to assist the children are complicated by disturbing visions that prove to be linked to his own self-doubts and confusion about his own self-identity.
Superman Smashes the Klan first hit shelves last October with the third and final issue being released in February of this year. Beginning May 12, readers can enjoy Superman Smashes the Klan as a single volume graphic novel. You can check out the trailer above and pre-order the book now.
Superman Smashes the Klan
Written by Gene Luen Yang
Art by Gurihiru
Lettered by Janice Chiang
On sale everywhere books are sold on May 12, 2020
The year is 1946. Teenagers Roberta and Tommy Lee just moved with their parents from Chinatown to the center of Metropolis, home to the famous hero, Superman. Tommy makes friends quickly, while Roberta pines for home. Then one night, the family awakens to find their house surrounded by the Klan of the Fiery Kross! Superman leaps into action, but his exposure to a mysterious green rock has left him weak. Can Roberta and Tommy help him smash the Klan?
Inspired by the 1940s Superman radio serial “Clan of the Fiery Cross,” New York Times bestselling author Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese, Boxers and Saints, The Terrifics, New Super-Man) and artist Gurihiru (Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Unstoppable Wasp) bring us a personal retelling of two different immigrants finding ways to belong.