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Old 08-30-2010, 09:36 AM   #51
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

So... the people who see Clark every day would be able to piece together that he's Superman. To this I say, so? Unless they play up the Lois-Clark-Superman love triangle, there's no reason for them to expose it, or even mention it to Clark.

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Old 08-31-2010, 01:51 AM   #52
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

Clark should wear a fake tom selleck moustache.

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Old 08-31-2010, 05:25 AM   #53
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

He is hiding in plain sight. As his creator, Jerry Siegel explained:

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This Superman would lead a double-life. As headline-hunting newspaper reporter Clark Kent, he would hide behind a false front of pretended timidity, so that no one would suspect that he was secretly the crusading, all-powerful Superman. As a furthering disguise, meek, mild Clark Kent would wear eyeglasses, which would give a somewhat intellectual, inhibited appearance.

For romantic interest (romance makes the world go 'round, and it could add zest to the "SUPERMAN" comic strip), I would add a very gutsy and extremely beautiful girl reporter, Lois Lane, into the strip's cast of characters. Lois would scorn klutzy Clark. She would have a crush on Superman, totally unaware that Clark and Superman were one-and-the-same person!

This time I almost fell out of bed in my haste to get it all down in script form on paper. Much later, I returned to bed, one happy guy. I felt I had come up with sure-fire ingredients for a smash-hit comic strip.

Supie, you know and I know that much of that premise came out of my own personal frustrations. I wore spectacles and was a high school boy who wrote for the school newspaper. Introverted, my thoughts kept dwelling on science-fiction, thriller pulp magazines and the movies.

There were some lovely high school girls who I admired from afar. They were not the least bit interested in me. I was not Clark (Kent) Gable. I was just another face in the crowded, busy high school corridors.

Those attractive schoolgirls in the classes and corridors didn't care that I existed. But!! If I were to wear a colorful, skintight costume! If I could run faster than a train, lift great weights easily, and leap over skyscrapers in a single bound! Then they would notice me!

Very early the next morning, I didn't bother to eat. I ran all the way, twelve blocks, to Joe's apartment where he lived with his family.

Joe read the script. Instant approval. He loved the new "SUPERMAN" format. Like me, he, too, was bespectacled and inhibited.
It's not just a pair of glasses, it is an entire facade of timidity, meekness, lack of confidence and intellectualism. Clark Kent is a non-threatening introvert, an intellectual. He puts people around him at ease by his very laid-back, "mild-mannered" manner. Basically there are three personas: "Metropolis Clark", Superman and private life Clark. It's best left vague which is the real person, and in fact Superman himself isn't entirely sure which identity is the true him:



Whoever plays Superman has to play not one character, but two or maybe three. It's the complexity of the Clark Kent/Superman duality that makes Superman so much more interesting than characters like Iron Man, Spider-Man or even the Batman. They are the same person in and out of costume. Superman by his original design, is not. Being Superman 24/7 is too much for even him, and he has to assume the Clark Kent construct and walk among mortals to cope.


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Old 08-31-2010, 11:12 AM   #54
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

^This. I liked the steps Nolan took on showing the three personalities of Bruce Wayne. The real Bruce, the playboy and the Batman. Hope they go with something similar in Superman.

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Old 08-31-2010, 12:30 PM   #55
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

Man...giving Superman a mask is literally the worst idea anyone has suggested. It completely goes against everything--like, I don't even know where to start explaining. Can this thread be destroyed?

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Old 08-31-2010, 12:31 PM   #56
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

The meek, unconfident Clark Kent went out with the rest of Pre-Crisis DC. The modern Clark is far more capable and confident as a reporter and thus it makes sense why someone like Lois Lane would be attracted to him.

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Old 08-31-2010, 02:47 PM   #57
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

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The meek, unconfident Clark Kent went out with the rest of Pre-Crisis DC. The modern Clark is far more capable and confident as a reporter and thus it makes sense why someone like Lois Lane would be attracted to him.
It also makes it that much harder to conceal his identity of Superman, though. I think there's a good balance between the two...and perhaps the more 'capable' side of Clark frustrates/confuses Lois out of jealousy or what have you.....like beating her to a scoop, or his spelling skills, etc.. That's another thing that can keep him from being an obvious/likely suitor...the fact that he's competition.

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Plus, is the infatuation that teenage girls have with pseudo-vampires any less sad than your infatuation with men in spandex and Heath Ledger? Its probably more justifiable for them. :)
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Old 08-31-2010, 03:01 PM   #58
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

Lois seems like the type who'd welcome a challenge and see it as attractive.

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Old 08-31-2010, 03:04 PM   #59
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

LOL at those Alex Ross Superman pics. Keep 'em coming!

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Old 08-31-2010, 03:55 PM   #60
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

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Do those stars have regular jobs where people talk and interact with them on a daily basis and - of course - don't recognize them in spite of everything?

It's okay...take your time with it.
Have you ever seen the show "I get that a lot" it's a hidden camera tv show in which a celebrity pretends to be some regular joe. Often people simply don't recognize them or have a hard time placing but think "hey you look like somebody" the celebrity replies "yeah i get that a lot". It's funny b/c it made me think of Superman. Only a few people would be around him and clark enough to notice the similar appearance but he could always play it of as "yeah i get that a lot" . Also in everyday life i've seen people who look like celebrities but a no time do i honestly think that's really the person, just a regular guy or girl who happens to be a celebrity look-a-like.

So in the film they would need is for Superman to be fast so his picture isn't everywhere and not sit around giving interviews ect, he's always rather brief. Then have clark with a much more defined personality, kind of geeky maybe very talkative with obscure facts, and mild mannered a strong contrast to Superman. Lastly have him employ holograms or something so show clark kent with lois while Superman flys overhead. All he would need to do is fool a few people ie the DP staff. And to do that he just needs for Superman and clark to be seen at teh same time. Just creating enough disbelief so they can't be too sure about it no matter how much they look alike.

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Old 08-31-2010, 04:16 PM   #61
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

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Lois seems like the type who'd welcome a challenge and see it as attractive.
I dunno...maybe eventually, but at first her ego would put up a some considerable resistance.

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Plus, is the infatuation that teenage girls have with pseudo-vampires any less sad than your infatuation with men in spandex and Heath Ledger? Its probably more justifiable for them. :)
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Old 08-31-2010, 08:59 PM   #62
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

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The meek, unconfident Clark Kent went out with the rest of Pre-Crisis DC. The modern Clark is far more capable and confident as a reporter and thus it makes sense why someone like Lois Lane would be attracted to him.
That Marvelized portrayal of Clark has been gone for some time now and a more classic, Jerry Siegel type Clark has been rightfully reinstated. Now her attraction to Clark was more along the lines that she first knew there was more to him than just the outer facade of timidity. She assumed he did that so people would underestimate him. Which is how it was originally...from time to time the real person would show through, just enough to keep Lois interested.

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Old 08-31-2010, 11:04 PM   #63
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

I've never really seen the whole "Clark Kent is a facade" thing. It just never made sense to me. It certainly always baffled me, the idea that he wouldn't think of himself as Clark Kent when he was raised as Clark Kent. I always thought the more multifaceted approach felt more organic. I honestly don't think either Superman or Clark is an act, per se. He is Clark Kent, a guy from Smallville who goes by Superman when he's helping people. Clark Kent is quiet and unassuming, and tries not to call attention to himself, not because it's an act, but because that's the kind of guy he is. Yeah, he emphasizes it a bit because he doesn't want anyone to suspect that he's Superman, but he's at heart a simple, decent guy who likes to live a quiet life where he can write, spend time with his friends and family, and just relax. He's Superman, obviously, because he wants to help people and fulfill his responsibilities, but having that alternate identity allows him to fly around and lift super heavy things and give inspiring speeches and be a symbol of hope for people without having any of that ruin his life. He consciously acts differently when being Clark or Superman to maintain is secret, Clark doing everything he can to be inconspicuous while Superman trying hard to be very conspicuous, but at the same time leaving no information other than "he flies and he helps people," but neither is his "real" self. They're both his real self. And I'm not saying that to be wishy washy, it's a fact. They're both aspects of his life that are extremely important to him that he needs to keep separate in order to maintain both of them, and be himself in specific ways that he couldn't if he were all one or the other.

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Old 08-31-2010, 11:29 PM   #64
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

Very good points in characterization from Kurosawa and The Question.

And KalMart is pure genius! HAHAHA

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Old 09-01-2010, 12:30 AM   #65
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

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I've never really seen the whole "Clark Kent is a facade" thing. It just never made sense to me. It certainly always baffled me, the idea that he wouldn't think of himself as Clark Kent when he was raised as Clark Kent. I always thought the more multifaceted approach felt more organic. I honestly don't think either Superman or Clark is an act, per se. He is Clark Kent, a guy from Smallville who goes by Superman when he's helping people. Clark Kent is quiet and unassuming, and tries not to call attention to himself, not because it's an act, but because that's the kind of guy he is. Yeah, he emphasizes it a bit because he doesn't want anyone to suspect that he's Superman, but he's at heart a simple, decent guy who likes to live a quiet life where he can write, spend time with his friends and family, and just relax. He's Superman, obviously, because he wants to help people and fulfill his responsibilities, but having that alternate identity allows him to fly around and lift super heavy things and give inspiring speeches and be a symbol of hope for people without having any of that ruin his life. He consciously acts differently when being Clark or Superman to maintain is secret, Clark doing everything he can to be inconspicuous while Superman trying hard to be very conspicuous, but at the same time leaving no information other than "he flies and he helps people," but neither is his "real" self. They're both his real self. And I'm not saying that to be wishy washy, it's a fact. They're both aspects of his life that are extremely important to him that he needs to keep separate in order to maintain both of them, and be himself in specific ways that he couldn't if he were all one or the other.
They're all different parts of his psyche but there is clearly a side of Clark that is a construct. But yeah, he has to be both sides to cope. Just like Batman's clashes with criminals have given him some psychological scars, so too has Superman's need to cope with his incredible responsibility manifested himself in parts of the Clark Kent identity.

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Old 09-01-2010, 12:37 AM   #66
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They're all different parts of his psyche but there is clearly a side of Clark that is a construct. But yeah, he has to be both sides to cope. Just like Batman's clashes with criminals have given him some psychological scars, so too has Superman's need to cope with his incredible responsibility manifested himself in parts of the Clark Kent identity.
I don't think it's a complete construct. I think he just knows how to not call attention to himself when he needs to. I honestly think, on some level, what he desires most is to live the life he lives as Clark all the time, and be that guy, but he can't because of his powers and his responsibilities. At the same time, because he has those powers, he wants to use them because they're apart of who he is, but he also needs to be able to without having to live apart from society to get a moment's peace. So, his solution to this dilemma is to have a secret identity, and the way he makes that work is by affecting his mannerisms in both identities to throw off suspicion, as well as keeping a low profile as Clark and keeping an unusual kind of high profile as Superman. To say that one is simply a construct, I think, makes the character less complex and interesting, and ultimately robs him of the aspects of his character that make him very human.

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Old 09-01-2010, 02:30 AM   #67
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

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I don't think it's a complete construct. I think he just knows how to not call attention to himself when he needs to. I honestly think, on some level, what he desires most is to live the life he lives as Clark all the time, and be that guy, but he can't because of his powers and his responsibilities. At the same time, because he has those powers, he wants to use them because they're apart of who he is, but he also needs to be able to without having to live apart from society to get a moment's peace. So, his solution to this dilemma is to have a secret identity, and the way he makes that work is by affecting his mannerisms in both identities to throw off suspicion, as well as keeping a low profile as Clark and keeping an unusual kind of high profile as Superman. To say that one is simply a construct, I think, makes the character less complex and interesting, and ultimately robs him of the aspects of his character that make him very human.
Don't really agree as I see Superman more in the way as his creators intended for him to be. He loves being Superman and helping people. There are parts of Clark that are personal expressions of Superman, and parts that are pure construct. That's why it's best left vague. Spelling it out definitively one way or another takes a lot away from the whole thing. Pa Kent was described by Maggin as a man who was constantly underestimated, a man with quiet, mild manners, but who could step in with a calm confidence when needed. I like to think much of Clark's personality comes from his father. Clark is to me an expression of Superman's vulnerability and humility. He has to have Clark to walk among men. And you can learn a lot about people from how they treat a person like Clark.

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Old 09-01-2010, 01:49 PM   #68
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

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I don't think it's a complete construct. I think he just knows how to not call attention to himself when he needs to. I honestly think, on some level, what he desires most is to live the life he lives as Clark all the time, and be that guy, but he can't because of his powers and his responsibilities. At the same time, because he has those powers, he wants to use them because they're apart of who he is, but he also needs to be able to without having to live apart from society to get a moment's peace. So, his solution to this dilemma is to have a secret identity, and the way he makes that work is by affecting his mannerisms in both identities to throw off suspicion, as well as keeping a low profile as Clark and keeping an unusual kind of high profile as Superman. To say that one is simply a construct, I think, makes the character less complex and interesting, and ultimately robs him of the aspects of his character that make him very human.
Personally i think the comic Superman Birthright handled it best, take a look at these panels:



read that last panel. Now see how he develeops his metropolis persona:






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Old 09-01-2010, 03:31 PM   #69
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Don't really agree as I see Superman more in the way as his creators intended for him to be. He loves being Superman and helping people. There are parts of Clark that are personal expressions of Superman, and parts that are pure construct. That's why it's best left vague. Spelling it out definitively one way or another takes a lot away from the whole thing. Pa Kent was described by Maggin as a man who was constantly underestimated, a man with quiet, mild manners, but who could step in with a calm confidence when needed. I like to think much of Clark's personality comes from his father. Clark is to me an expression of Superman's vulnerability and humility. He has to have Clark to walk among men. And you can learn a lot about people from how they treat a person like Clark.
The thing is, Superman as the creators intended him isn't really the Superman of today at all. As the creators intended him, he was an angry violent crusader with little regard for the law who was, power wise, comparable to Spider-Man. Heck, they originally intended Superman to be a bald, super intelligent master criminal who's arch enemy was a (completely human) crusading journalist. The character has evolved a lot over the years, both at the hands of other writers and the original creators. I think he's come a long way since he first appeared and developed into a much more well rounded and human character.

In any event, if there are parts of Clark that are pure construct, then I argue that there must be parts of Superman that are pure construct as well.

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Old 09-01-2010, 03:50 PM   #70
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

No mask for Superman.

It's silly to think that people would think that Clark Kent was Superman. People's perceptions are very affected by their emotions. People would "see" Superman as being much larger and more handsome than Clark because Superman is Superman and Clark is Clark.

It's only because we, the reader or viewer, know they're the same person that it becomes a problem.

In "real life" if there was a Superman I'll bet Clark could walk into the Daily Planet wearing the suit and people wouldn't see him as Superman as long as he didn't do anything super.

No mask is needed.

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Old 09-01-2010, 05:02 PM   #71
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

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The meek, unconfident Clark Kent went out with the rest of Pre-Crisis DC. The modern Clark is far more capable and confident as a reporter and thus it makes sense why someone like Lois Lane would be attracted to him.
Lois is attracted to him for so many reasons, and I think his meekness is one thing that intrigues her. The fact that he is such a capable reporter, and so quitely confident but still manages to maintain his polite country boy manner and always let her lead. It's comforting. He feels safe and honest and worth her respect all at the same time.

His meekness isn't gone just because he's not portrayed as a bimbling idiot anymore. It's just different.

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I've never really seen the whole "Clark Kent is a facade" thing. It just never made sense to me. It certainly always baffled me, the idea that he wouldn't think of himself as Clark Kent when he was raised as Clark Kent. I always thought the more multifaceted approach felt more organic. I honestly don't think either Superman or Clark is an act, per se. He is Clark Kent, a guy from Smallville who goes by Superman when he's helping people. Clark Kent is quiet and unassuming, and tries not to call attention to himself, not because it's an act, but because that's the kind of guy he is. Yeah, he emphasizes it a bit because he doesn't want anyone to suspect that he's Superman, but he's at heart a simple, decent guy who likes to live a quiet life where he can write, spend time with his friends and family, and just relax. He's Superman, obviously, because he wants to help people and fulfill his responsibilities, but having that alternate identity allows him to fly around and lift super heavy things and give inspiring speeches and be a symbol of hope for people without having any of that ruin his life. He consciously acts differently when being Clark or Superman to maintain is secret, Clark doing everything he can to be inconspicuous while Superman trying hard to be very conspicuous, but at the same time leaving no information other than "he flies and he helps people," but neither is his "real" self. They're both his real self. And I'm not saying that to be wishy washy, it's a fact. They're both aspects of his life that are extremely important to him that he needs to keep separate in order to maintain both of them, and be himself in specific ways that he couldn't if he were all one or the other.
Agreed, especially the bolded part.

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Personally i think the comic Superman Birthright handled it best, take a look at these panels:



read that last panel. Now see how he develeops his metropolis persona:





Defo one of my favourites

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Old 09-02-2010, 02:17 AM   #72
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The thing is, Superman as the creators intended him isn't really the Superman of today at all. As the creators intended him, he was an angry violent crusader with little regard for the law who was, power wise, comparable to Spider-Man. Heck, they originally intended Superman to be a bald, super intelligent master criminal who's arch enemy was a (completely human) crusading journalist. The character has evolved a lot over the years, both at the hands of other writers and the original creators. I think he's come a long way since he first appeared and developed into a much more well rounded and human character.

In any event, if there are parts of Clark that are pure construct, then I argue that there must be parts of Superman that are pure construct as well.
1938 Superman is way more powerful than Spider-Man. And one of the reason Batman retains popularity and relevance is that O'Neil wisely took him back to his roots in the early 70's...while Superman is constantly being taken further and further from his roots and most of what Jerry Siegel intended him to be is long gone. As is the character being successful at all. The only similarity to the first draft Superman and what Siegel created in 1934 was the name.

Quote:
He is Clark Kent, a guy from Smallville who goes by Superman when he's helping people. Clark Kent is quiet and unassuming, and tries not to call attention to himself, not because it's an act, but because that's the kind of guy he is. Yeah, he emphasizes it a bit because he doesn't want anyone to suspect that he's Superman, but he's at heart a simple, decent guy who likes to live a quiet life where he can write, spend time with his friends and family, and just relax.
I just cannot agree less. He is not just a guy from Smallville like Spider-Man is a guy from Queens. The base elements of Siegel's design, those of projection and wish fulfillment, are the elements that the best comics writers and scholars like Jules Feiffer, Alan Moore, Elliot S! Maggin, and Neil Gaiman recognize as essential. You make Clark the reality, Superman the disguise, then Superman is no different from Batman, Spider-Man, Robin, Green Arrow, Iron Man, Captain America, Green Lantern, Flash, The Atom, Hawkman, Daredevil, etc, etc, etc. Clark is to a great deal a construct or Superman doesn't work at all and the failure of the character to connect to audiences for the last 25 years proves that beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Quote:
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For Superman, it’s mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent that’s the disguise – the thing he aspires to, the thing he can never be. He really is that hero, and he’ll never be one of us. But we love him for trying. We love him for wanting to protect us from everything, including his own transcendence. He plays the bumbling, lovelorn Kent so that we regular folks can feel, just for a moment, super.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules Feiffer
The particular brilliance of Superman lay not only in the fact that he was the first of the super-heroes, but in the concept of his alter ego. What made Superman different from the legion of imitators to follow was not that when he took off his clothes he could beat up everybody—they all did that. What made Superman extraordinary was his point of origin: Clark Kent.

Remember, Kent was not Superman's true identity as Bruce Wayne was the Batman's or (on radio) Lamont Cranston the Shadow's. Just the opposite. Clark Kent was the fiction.

Superman had only to wake up in the morning to be Superman. In his case, Clark Kent was the put-on. The fellow with the eyeglasses and the acne and the walk girls laughed at wasn't real, didn't exist, was a sacrificial disguise, an act of discreet martyrdom. Had they but known!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elliot S! Maggin
Clark Kent is Superman's demon—I said that specifically in the second book. I've always thought of him that way. Superman is the real person and Clark is the construct. Clark is a brilliant character and the creation of Superman. My take on Clark is a lot like what Chris Reeve said Clark was when he did the first movie: "Either Superman is a consummate actor or Lois Lane is an idiot. I don't want Lois to be an idiot, so Superman must be a good actor."
Everybody has a demon, everybody has a hobby, a habit that is part of his character and he can't break. Superman's is Clark. Mine is writing, Bill Clinton's is the saxophone, Jimmy Carter had to teach Sunday School, even when he was president. Luthor's demon is Superman. Superman needs Clark the way most of us need dreams.

I think the idea that Clark is the real character and Superman is a device is completely wrong-headed—because at some point, Clark has to die... and probably Superman won't, at least not permanently. I did a prose story for Martin Greenberg, for one of the anthologies he's putting together, that explores the triangle among Clark, Lois and Superman, over the course of about 150 years. Lois lives to be about 125 in my continuity and Luthor lives another 50. Superman tells the story hundreds of years in the future, as a great grey eminence flying through space, looking for a world to live in. It's the Superman/Lois love story... and Clark is an addendum to it. I think that's the way it is. Clark is there to make Superman accessible. Not the other way around.
Now I like a more vague take than this, and I think Clark is part construct, part alternate personality, which makes Superman very very very mildly dissociative, but Clark being the true persona and Superman a disguise is 100% the opposite of what Siegel and Shuster intended when they created Superman. When this was lost they lost Superman. People quit caring when Superman became like every other character.


Last edited by Kurosawa; 09-02-2010 at 02:25 AM.
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Old 09-02-2010, 04:20 AM   #73
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

Superman needs to be more human than the other human heroes, otherwise he's unrelatable. His uniqueness comes from the fact that he's practically a god, but was raised in Smallville, USA (an all-American, down-to-earth anytown if there ever was one) as a good, honest humble man.

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Old 09-02-2010, 10:23 AM   #74
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperFerret View Post
Superman needs to be more human than the other human heroes, otherwise he's unrelatable. His uniqueness comes from the fact that he's practically a god, but was raised in Smallville, USA (an all-American, down-to-earth anytown if there ever was one) as a good, honest humble man.
Oh..the exact same story as Spider-Man, except Queens is more urban? No, the uniqueness comes from the fact that he is practically a God and he chooses to humble himself. It's a subtle difference on the surface but it makes a huge difference. Clark Kent exists for Superman to be relatable, while as Superman he is inspirational. The country boy junk is a huge part of what has made Superman a joke for years now. It's why even modern writers who claim to like him and write him well sneer at him. The power cuts and constant jobbing took the Super out of Superman, but even worse, the "Big Blue Boy Scout" crap took the MAN out of SuperMAN.


Last edited by Kurosawa; 09-02-2010 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 09-02-2010, 10:32 AM   #75
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

So you want an unrelatable god pretending to be a man? Yeah, that's real comforting. If that's Superman, I'm siding with Lex.

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