Any analysis of Superman and Captain America should involve two main points.
1) They are every bit the caricature of honest goodness that they are said to be.
2) BEING a a caricature of honest goodness means not just fighting obvious villainy, but raging against institutional injustice, even when it comes from “Legitimate” sources.
There is a difference, however.
The Kent’s raised Clark with a strong moral compass, but also good sense. He’s very aware that, as Superman, anything he does comes with a tinge of Threat. He’s keenly aware that with the power he wields, the only way he can continue to operate is by appearing completely nonthreatening to the status quo. Unless he is preventing immediate, obvious harm, he has to be very careful with his intervention. He’ll see a city councilman skimming funds from schools, a factory illegally disposing of waste, or Cops inflating their quotas with bogus charges, and he’ll be outraged. But, Superman can’t do anything about those things. If he intervenes, people won’t see Superman protecting civilians from police abuse, they’ll see Superman Threatening A Cop. If Superman expresses any opinions besides the most milquetoast “Be Kind To One Another” stuff, it gets spun into “Scary Indestructible Alien Man Wants To Take Over The World”.
So, Superman takes all that rage, every injustice and abuse he sees, and those that he cannot solve as Superman, he gives to Clark Kent.
And behind the “Aw Shucks’ Kansas Farmboy affect, Clark Kent is RUTHLESS. He will pick apart your life and nail you sins the sky for all to see.
Like, everybody knows about Lois Lane, and she’s objectively the better journalist, but people always underestimate Clark. Those that remember anything about him usually think of him as harmless, the guy who comes to collect the statements your media people prepared, so you’re caught off-guard when the fangs come out. A Clark Kent interview goes like this:
First Question: Hello Police Chief Smith. So, how did you get involved in law enforcement?
Second Question: What are the key values that drive your police department?
Third Question: On September 14th, you called your officers together and told them to, and I quote “ Pull over every [racial slur] you can find out there. If they let you search, say you smell weed and bring them in. If they don’t, bring ‘em in for refusing to cooperate. Just get those [expletive deleted] in cuffs and paying fines, or else start looking for a new job”. Would you say this policy of deliberately targeting racial minorities is in line with the values you described earlier?”
And Clark Kent doesn’t stop after he gets his headline. It might end up on Page 3, but he’ll keep the story going until your career is torn to shreds and staked outside as a warning to others.
And then it’s back to human-interest stories and the feel-good beat until he selects his next target.
Superman is forced to overlook things, but he IS looking, and he won’t forget, and just because he’s not throwing you into the sun, doesn’t mean he intends to spare you.
Steve Rogers on the other hand will interrupt an interview to kick the shit out of a crooked real estate developer for driving people out of their homes. When arrested he’ll say “I’m sorry, how about we just chalk up the next time I save the world as community service”.