Do you remember the specific comic where Superman's white privilege is addressed? I would love to read it.
Okay so I found the comic I was looking for and the specific panels I remembered. Unfortunately, it’s less awesome to reread it. Which… sucks. It’s an issue of Action Comics I think, where Lois is interviewing Diana while dealing with her own internalized misogyny (it’s a thing…)
And this conversation happens:
Okay so while it brings up the clear fact that Superman came as far as he did because he has the privilege of looking like and being raised as a conventionally attractive white man (comparing him to both J’onn Jones and Black hero Steel), it’s also still very “well it’s not his/Diana’s fault that they have privilege and at least they use their powers for good”.
Which is not cool and I’m sorry I got your/everyone’s hopes up about this comic.
While the panels do spell out the basics “if Superman didn’t look white, he wouldn’t have the freedom he does to maneuver” which pokes even more holes in Supergirl’s whole “white aliens experiencing racism/if they date it’s interracial/whatever” nonsense, it’s not done in as progressive a way as I swore it did.
If you want a comic that more explicitly looks at the privilege Superman has and directly compares it to the lack of privilege a Black hero has in the same/a similar world, io9 has this piece up about Icon #16 which pits Superman up against his Milestone analogue Icon (who was raised as a slave in the South and whose slowed aging/near immortality means that he’s lived through some of the most dangerous times in history to be a Black man.)
It doesn’t get resolved the way I wanted but as with the other comic, this was written in the early 1990s and well… few comics ended the way I wanted them to, back then.
If you want me to try and hunt down the issue for you, let me know and I’ll answer you privately, but here’s a scan from the issue that io9 posted within their article:
This comic though, better than the one I’d mentioned earlier, is a much better example of the privilege Superman has and how that informs the kind of hero he is and how much power he has.
I’m sorry for my mediocre memory and i hope Icon #16 is more satisfying!
(I’m going to add a link to that post back to this so people can see this because man, while I wasn’t wrong about the comic… I wasn’t hella correct about what I was remembering. Ugh.)