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Ohio’s Man of Steel license plate won’t say ‘Birthplace of Superman’

The Siegel & Shuster Society's concept of what the Superman plate might look like

When Ohio finally releases a specialty license plate honoring the Man of Steel, it won’t include the slogan “Birthplace of Superman.”

The phrase is a nod, of course, to Cleveland, where in 1932 teenagers Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created the character that would become a culture icon. However, the Plain Dealer reports Warner Bros. and DC Comics took issue with the term “birthplace,” insisting Superman was born on Krypton.

“DC and Warner Communications have been cooperative,” Michael Olszewski, president of the nonprofit Siegel & Shuster Society, told the newspaper. “When we talked to Warner Communications, there was some discomfort over saying ‘birthplace,’ so we said we could fix that easily.” He and Siegel & Shuster Society founder Irving Fine, a cousin to Siegel, have come up with 10 alternative slogans.

The license plate bill didn’t clear the state Senate’s transportation committee before the summer recess, but is on track for the fall. The bill passed unanimously in the House, and is expected to fly through the Senate.

No matter what slogan ultimately appears, supporters say what’s important is for the plate to appear in time to celebrate the Man of Steel’s 75th anniversary. “We want everyone to remember that Superman was created here in Ohio,” said state Rep. Bill Patmon, who introduced the House bill. “It’s one more thing the state is known for.”

The Siegel & Shuster Society began the push for the plate in 2011. A portion of the proceeds from sales of the specialty plates will go to the group to fund Superman projects.

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3 Comments

As a Clevelander, I’m pretty much in agreement with the SS&S. It would be cool to tout “Ohio: birthplace of Superman,” and that is sort of the point of the whole project, but I can see why it makes someone at DC feel antsy. I’m content that the project is going to happen in some form, and hopefully they can work out some alternate wording that still gets the message across.

I would love to grab one of these for my brother once they’re available, though I imagine that sales of these plates on the secondary market will be fairly lively, so we’ll see.

Warner Bros sez no fun allowed up in hurr.

I’m just hoping the delay will make it so it’s not on the hideously ugly plates they have now. (Though, I will admit the sky is at least somewhat appropriate for Superman. Unlike the kittens I’ve seen on some plates.)

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