New US lawmaker to swear in on rare Superman comic book
Robert Garcia to pay homage to his immigrant background, having learned English from superhero stories; comic inspired by Jewish writers’ experiences growing up in migrant families
An incoming US congressman intends to pay homage to his comic book enthusiasm and immigrant background by taking his oath of office on a highly rare Superman edition.
Robert Garcia, 45, set to become a Democratic House member representing California, will swear in on the US Constitution, his citizenship certificate, a photo of his parents who died of COVID-19, and an original-edition Superman No. 1 comic book from 1939, his office told the New York Post on Tuesday.
The Peru-born Garcia, whose family immigrated to the United States when he was 5, “learned to read and write in English by reading Superman comics so it’s especially exciting he was able to borrow this rare copy from the kind folks at the Library of Congress,” his spokeswoman Sara Guerrero said.
Superman, which tells the story of a superhero born on a fictional planet and sent as a baby to Earth, has often been cited as an allegory for the Jewish immigrant experience, impacted by its Jewish creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster growing up in immigrant families.
The Library of Congress features the largest comic book collection in the US, in addition to many more rare artifacts, and has a pristine copy of the very first edition featuring Clark Kent as the Man of Steel, another copy of which sold last year at an auction for a record $5.3 million.
Since being elected in November, Garcia — whose election logo resembled the vintage Superman logo — has nerded out on Twitter about the library’s comic book collection.
Will be proudly sworn-in to Congress on the U.S. Constitution. Underneath the Constitution will be 3 items that mean a lot to me personally. A photo of my parents who I lost to covid, my citizenship certificate & an original Superman #1 from the @librarycongress. ???????????? pic.twitter.com/YGW43OLsIp
— Robert Garcia (@RobertGarcia) January 3, 2023
I’m going to have a hard time deciding which one to check out first. ???? pic.twitter.com/j0X40U40Lk
— Robert Garcia (@RobertGarcia) November 14, 2022
I mean look at my logo pic.twitter.com/NiQ34QEOGZ
— Robert Garcia (@RobertGarcia) November 20, 2022
His swearing-in was originally slated for Tuesday, but has been postponed along with other new lawmakers’ due to Republicans failing in three votes to elect Kevin McCarthy as House speaker, a precondition for swearing in new members.