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Old 09-02-2010, 12:14 PM   #76
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

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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.
The original Batman regularly made snarky remarks while crime fighting, carried a gun, was more than willing to kill his enemies, and while obviously not a normal guy, the full extend to his psychological trauma was never touched upon. Cut to O'Neil's Batman. Much more intellectual, completely opposed to killing to the point of it being a neurosis, and a lot more haunted. O'Neil took Batman back to his thematic roots, of being a serious super hero with darker storylines, but the character did evolve enormously.

And as I pointed out, if you were to truly portray Superman as he was portrayed originally, then what you'd have would not be Superman as we know him at all. The most obvious difference would be fewer powers, but more importantly, his personality would be completely different. He would be a violent jerkass with pretty much no regard for the law or due process who used intimidation and threats to keep bad guys in line. Superman has evolved enormously since his creation, and some of those changes are for the better.


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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.
But Superman is very different from all of those guys, regardless of how is secret identity works. He's an icon, and archtype, and he fills a particular niche in his universe that no one else does or can.

You can't argue that he's not just a guy from Smallville. He was raised in Smallville, under a human name, by human parents. That simply has to be integral to his identity.

I've always thought this whole "Clark is the disguise VS. Superman is the disguise" argument was somewhat nonsense, because in reality neither can be fake. They're both who he is. They both express aspects of his life that he needs but has to keep separate.

Now, I won't argue that there isn't an element of dishonesty. That there isn't an element of him trying to be something he can never be. Out of the quotes you provided I probably agree with Gaiman the most. He wants to be a normal person, desperately. But that's because he was raised by normal people as a normal person. In terms of his identity, he sees himself as Clark Kent, and his parents as Martha and Jonathan Kent. In terms of his identity, being a country boy turned big city reporter is how he wants to live his life. But he can't be that completely. So, it's who he is and what he can't really be at the same time. That's complex. That's layered. And that's what makes him interesting. His uniqueness isn't that he's a god who chooses to humble himself. It's not that his Superhero persona is who he really is and his civilian persona is an act. His uniqueness is his complexity. It's the fact that Clark and Superman are both who he really is and at the same time both a disguise. How being a simple, ordinary guy is something he desperately wants and can never be, and simultaneously, in his heart of hearts, exactly what he is. Like most people, he's a paradox of desire and self image. Clark Kent is a complicated man, and I doubt even his woman fully understands him.

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Old 09-02-2010, 01:26 PM   #77
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

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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.
The character hasn't failed to connect to audiences for 25 years. Smallville has been running successfully for 9 years (will be 10), Lois and Clark had a 4 year run, and STAS aswell.

Superman Returns failed to connect to audiences. That's because it was using the Donner version as a basis, and Donner's Clark Kent is a disguise.

The reason Clark is a different kind of hero, and a more respected and trusted one, is BECAUSE of his humanity... he holds true to his human morals, he uses his human charm and passion, and he does everything he does because of his human feelings.

Half the other superheroes out there have lost a bit of their humanity, especially Batman. Wearing a mask definitely contributes to that I think.

It's still about wish fullfillment. We all wish we could be as good as him, and as strong as him.

I don't see why him having a lesser human side enforces that.

No one can relate to a guy who flew off to an ice castle at 18 and came out a superhero with tonnes of knowledge about the ways of krypton. The guy who does what he does because of the teachings of a dead man projected by a diamond.

EVERYONE can relate to the idea of an Orphan kid finding out that he was found in a spaceship, and developing Superpowers. The guy who has to spend his whole life keeping it a secret because he knows it's in people's nature to try to exploit him, and yet so strongly believes in the good in people that he risks everything to save lives wherever he can, just because he can. The guy who realises he can't just do nothing with the gifts he's got, and creates a complex double life just so that no one around him is in danger. The guy who inspires hope, not by being a symbol of something godly or unattainable, but by being a polite, law promoting role model for everybody, and a reassurance that there is good in the world.

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Old 09-02-2010, 01:27 PM   #78
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

Peter Parker is essentially a man trying to do his best to perform the tasks of a god. Clark Kent is the opposite, the god trying to be a man.

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Old 09-02-2010, 01:30 PM   #79
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

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Superman Returns failed to connect to audiences. That's because it was using the Donner version as a basis, and Donner's Clark Kent is a disguise.
No. Superman Returns failed to connect with audiences because it just wasn't very good.

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Old 09-02-2010, 01:33 PM   #80
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Aye, the faceless man speaks truth, says I, the polecat of superiority.

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Old 09-02-2010, 02:14 PM   #81
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

I love it when people think that they represent the GP and try to "speak" on their behalf.

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Old 09-02-2010, 03:00 PM   #82
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

While I definitely can get on board with the three persona mentality--Superman, Real Clark Kent/Kal-El, and Metropolis Clark Kent--I imagine that there isn't much of a difference personality between Superman and the Real Clark Kent, which is why I'd rather just say Superman's the real person. As Metropolis Clark, he's timid, and lacks a lot of confidence, and is ignorable. I figure he's putting on act there to create a distinction between Clark Kent and Superman.

I prefer it that way. It makes the shirt rip more dynamic, as Ruthmarks used to say. The whole "In every mild-mannered person is a Superman underneath" line. I like that.

Carry on...

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Old 09-02-2010, 05:07 PM   #83
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

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KalMart and 7heBoss, PLEASE, keep the manips coming!
This could be the best thread ever!

which is why I started it

Seriously, not may people know the reason for why Superman is maskless and knowing it would help, especially for film and tv adaptations

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Old 09-02-2010, 05:31 PM   #84
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

Superman has nothing to hide, which is why he is anti-mask. He does not want to be an anonymous vigilante, he wants to be a symbol of HOPE. A person is a mask can never be fully trusted, whereas with Superman, he gives people his trust by showing them his face obscured, and in turn the people trust him.

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Old 09-02-2010, 05:35 PM   #85
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

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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.
So you think the guys who created Superman and the best comics writers of the last 30 years are wrong, and the milk and cookies castrated Big Blue Boy Scout who exists to be Batman's ***** is the way to go?

I love how people claim to be Superman fans....then show complete contempt for the character, his creators, and all that he represents. It's...amazing to me.

"Superman's great...except when he's compelling, and inspiring, and self-sacrificing, and heroic. Oh, and let's never let him win and make sure he looks inferior to his peers at all times."

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The original Batman regularly made snarky remarks while crime fighting, carried a gun, was more than willing to kill his enemies, and while obviously not a normal guy, the full extend to his psychological trauma was never touched upon. Cut to O'Neil's Batman. Much more intellectual, completely opposed to killing to the point of it being a neurosis, and a lot more haunted. O'Neil took Batman back to his thematic roots, of being a serious super hero with darker storylines, but the character did evolve enormously.
Batman used a gun three times in those earliest stories, and of those three times, one was a mutated monster, one a vampire, and the other time he shot to injure. It's not like he was the Punisher, and other Golden Age heroes killed way more than Batman and it wasn't always of the "crook falls off roof when kicked" variety either. Hawkman cut through 100 warriors with a sword in one story. Comics were way rougher in those days. But when I speak of O'Neil going back to Batman's roots, I don't just mean Detective 27-37. For years even after the guns were long gone, Batman still operated at night, had a gothic feel, and was based on crime pulps.

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And as I pointed out, if you were to truly portray Superman as he was portrayed originally, then what you'd have would not be Superman as we know him at all. The most obvious difference would be fewer powers, but more importantly, his personality would be completely different. He would be a violent jerkass with pretty much no regard for the law or due process who used intimidation and threats to keep bad guys in line. Superman has evolved enormously since his creation, and some of those changes are for the better.
Superman in those early stories had a degree of cockiness, but Superman always had a bit of that until he was castrated in 1986 by a Canadian who was too highly influenced by Stan Lee. Every change and complaint Byrne had about Superman came word-for-word from Stan. Most importantly, what Superman had in those days a rough edge that put justice, not the law first. They should bring some of that back and in fact JMS is trying to a certain degree with his current storyline to have Superman address social issues again. And even though they both ended up working with the law, it's interesting and important to note that Batman was officially deputized in 1941 while police were still shooting at Superman as late as 1942. Being a little rowdy and rebellious against authority wouldn't hurt Superman one bit and might get him away from that establishment stooge stigma that Frank Miller stuck him with in his despicable Dark Knight Returns.

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But Superman is very different from all of those guys, regardless of how is secret identity works. He's an icon, and archtype, and he fills a particular niche in his universe that no one else does or can.
Not if he is stripped of what makes him unique. A lot of what they have done has made Superman just another face in the crowd.

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You can't argue that he's not just a guy from Smallville. He was raised in Smallville, under a human name, by human parents. That simply has to be integral to his identity.
It's been way over emphasized and it has terribly hurt the character. The whole emphasis on the "Midwestern" values has been part of how they have buried the Hebrew roots of Superman and turned him into some sort of Christian icon. That's why he is no longer an urbanite but a safe, simple "country boy". Siegel and Shuster were not farmer boys, and Clark Kent was created in their image. Superman was not meant to be Jesus, he was meant to be a mix of Moses and a Golem, and the son of a failed Noah in Jor-El. All this mess started with the movie, which was actually a parody.

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I've always thought this whole "Clark is the disguise VS. Superman is the disguise" argument was somewhat nonsense, because in reality neither can be fake. They're both who he is. They both express aspects of his life that he needs but has to keep separate.

Now, I won't argue that there isn't an element of dishonesty. That there isn't an element of him trying to be something he can never be. Out of the quotes you provided I probably agree with Gaiman the most. He wants to be a normal person, desperately. But that's because he was raised by normal people as a normal person. In terms of his identity, he sees himself as Clark Kent, and his parents as Martha and Jonathan Kent. In terms of his identity, being a country boy turned big city reporter is how he wants to live his life. But he can't be that completely. So, it's who he is and what he can't really be at the same time. That's complex. That's layered. And that's what makes him interesting. His uniqueness isn't that he's a god who chooses to humble himself. It's not that his Superhero persona is who he really is and his civilian persona is an act. His uniqueness is his complexity. It's the fact that Clark and Superman are both who he really is and at the same time both a disguise. How being a simple, ordinary guy is something he desperately wants and can never be, and simultaneously, in his heart of hearts, exactly what he is. Like most people, he's a paradox of desire and self image. Clark Kent is a complicated man, and I doubt even his woman fully understands him.
Of the quotes I listed I feel Maggin is the most correct, as he knows the character best and has written him better than anyone. But there are two Clark Kents-the real Clark and the construct. And not only does Lois not understand Superman completely, Superman himself doesn't know which part is the real him. Clark is an act to a point....but there is a lot of Clark that is his inner self. Other heroes lack this complexity. Batman is Batman at all times. WW has the birthright like Superman has, but Diana Prince is never anything but an act (why don't people question Steve Trevor's inability to guess her secret identity like they do with Lois? All she wears is glasses too, and he is supposed to be an intelligence officer. Plus there's no hiding that figure.) And he was not traditionally raised as a country boy. He knew from childhood that he was destined for a higher calling and was prepared by Jonathan Kent for that. Now I do agree completely that it was Ma and Pa Kent's guidance that made Clark Kent Superman. That is undeniable. But his rural upbringing should just be a small part of his character, and it now is the overwhelming main trait of his personality. But I fell all three guys I quoted-three of the most learned writers in the history of comics-were dead-on in their assessments as was Alan Moore in his portrayal.

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The character hasn't failed to connect to audiences for 25 years. Smallville has been running successfully for 9 years (will be 10), Lois and Clark had a 4 year run, and STAS aswell.

Superman Returns failed to connect to audiences. That's because it was using the Donner version as a basis, and Donner's Clark Kent is a disguise.

The reason Clark is a different kind of hero, and a more respected and trusted one, is BECAUSE of his humanity... he holds true to his human morals, he uses his human charm and passion, and he does everything he does because of his human feelings.

Half the other superheroes out there have lost a bit of their humanity, especially Batman. Wearing a mask definitely contributes to that I think.

It's still about wish fullfillment. We all wish we could be as good as him, and as strong as him.

I don't see why him having a lesser human side enforces that.

No one can relate to a guy who flew off to an ice castle at 18 and came out a superhero with tonnes of knowledge about the ways of krypton. The guy who does what he does because of the teachings of a dead man projected by a diamond.

EVERYONE can relate to the idea of an Orphan kid finding out that he was found in a spaceship, and developing Superpowers. The guy who has to spend his whole life keeping it a secret because he knows it's in people's nature to try to exploit him, and yet so strongly believes in the good in people that he risks everything to save lives wherever he can, just because he can. The guy who realises he can't just do nothing with the gifts he's got, and creates a complex double life just so that no one around him is in danger. The guy who inspires hope, not by being a symbol of something godly or unattainable, but by being a polite, law promoting role model for everybody, and a reassurance that there is good in the world.
The Donner version is an aberration from the traditional Superman in too many ways, and both Smallville and Lois and Clark took serious cues from it. Superman should not be overly naive and pure to the point of the Donner character. It was a parody that people took seriously. Superman should care deeply about people, yes. He should be very heroic, and should love humanity. That does not mean he should be unsophisticated and incapable of adult thinking, reasoning and realization. That is what puts Superman off to people and makes him hard to accept-that he is basically written as a naive man-child, close to retarded really. This also goes back to how Superman's intellectual side has been played down and he has been treated as a generic strongman character. It's all Marvelization really.


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Old 09-02-2010, 05:48 PM   #86
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

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I love it when people think that they represent the GP and try to "speak" on their behalf.
God I am so tired of having to preface EVERYTHING I say with 'IMO' just to stop posters like this trying to call me out for 'speaking on behalf of the GP' or 'stating fact'.

Is it not kind of obvious that everything I say is going to be my opinion?

No?

Fine. IMO the reason Superman Returns bombed was because it drew too much from Donner's Superman, and modern people don't relate to the 'Clark Kent' is the disguise depiction.

Better?

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The Donner version is an aberration from the traditional Superman in too many ways, and both Smallville and Lois and Clark took serious cues from it. Superman should not be overly naive and pure to the point of the Donner character. It was a parody that people took seriously. Superman should care deeply about people, yes. He should be very heroic, and should love humanity. That does not mean he should be unsophisticated and incapable of adult thinking, reasoning and realization. That is what puts Superman off to people and makes him hard to accept-that he is basically written as a naive man-child, close to retarded really. This also goes back to how Superman's intellectual side has been played down and he has been treated as a generic strongman character. It's all Marvelization really.
What cues did LnC take from Donner's version?

I'm sorry but they may as well be black and white too me. Which is why I adore the one, and find the other kind of meh.

I don't think he was written as at all naive in LnC, nor a man-child, nor close to retarded.

He was a sophisticated, well respected journalist. He was a confident and engaging man. He was intelligent, spoke many languages, had knowledge of various different cultures and often used his intelligence to get out of sticky situations.

Yes, he's totally dumbed down in Smallville, but I don't think it's fair to make that comparison with LnC. Totally different ball game.

IMO LnC was a perfect depiction of the character of Clark Kent/Superman. There is nothing about it I do not love, and it is and always will be the basis for my absolute adoration of the character.

And since LnC is a show that very much enhanced the idea of 'Clark Kent is the man, Superman is the disguise', you can see where my opinions come from.

A lot of the comics have gone down that route, and been very well recieved.

I'd like to see it tried in a movie, especially seeing as it never has been before...

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"The problem," Pa used to say, "is people. As far back as we go, we've always had problems with sharing. Seems everyone's too busy holding on to what they've got to care how their neighbors are doing."


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Old 09-02-2010, 05:55 PM   #87
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

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So you think the guys who created Superman and the best comics writers of the last 30 years are wrong, and the milk and cookies castrated Big Blue Boy Scout who exists to be Batman's ***** is the way to go?

I love how people claim to be Superman fans....then show complete contempt for the character, his creators, and all that he represents. It's...amazing to me.

"Superman's great...except when he's compelling, and inspiring, and self-sacrificing, and heroic. Oh, and let's never let him win and make sure he looks inferior to his peers at all times."
Way to warp what I'm saying. You want to know the Superman that I'm a fan of? The one that is a compelling, inspiring, self-sacrificing hero who might biologically be a god-like alien, but deep in his core is far more human than most people, and he draws his heroism and idealism from that core of humanity that was instilled in him by his blue collar Joe Schmoe adoptive parents in rural America. Superman is Clark Kent is Superman.

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Old 09-02-2010, 05:58 PM   #88
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

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Way to warp what I'm saying. You want to know the Superman that I'm a fan of? The one that is a compelling, inspiring, self-sacrificing hero who might biologically be a god-like alien, but deep in his core is far more human than most people, and he draws his heroism and idealism from that core of humanity that was instilled in him by his blue collar Joe Schmoe adoptive parents in rural America. Superman is Clark Kent is Superman.
*claps*

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I think back to my father. As a farmer, he had a natural understanding for the Earth. I remember him telling me this world is capable of providing for all its creatures. Even now, with so many more people, there exists enough food for everyone.

"The problem," Pa used to say, "is people. As far back as we go, we've always had problems with sharing. Seems everyone's too busy holding on to what they've got to care how their neighbors are doing."


*\S/T*
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Old 09-02-2010, 06:09 PM   #89
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Fine. IMO the reason Superman Returns bombed was because it drew too much from Donner's Superman, and modern people don't relate to the 'Clark Kent' is the disguise depiction.
I really don't think the general audience cares about these kinds of details. They don't care if the movie's based on Donner or Byrne or whoever. They care about action and witty dialogue, and that pretty much sums it up.

Plus, Batman's proof that a movie can succeed when it's about a superhero who's civilian identity is an act and his hero identity is his true self. And I quote..

Bruce: Batman's just a symbol, Rachel.
Rachel: [Rachel touches Bruce's face] No, *this* is your mask. Your real face is the one that criminals now fear. The man I loved - the man who vanished - he never came back at all. But maybe he's still out there, somewhere. Maybe some day, when Gotham no longer needs Batman, I'll see him again.

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Old 09-02-2010, 06:11 PM   #90
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What cues did LnC take from Donner's version?

I'm sorry but they may as well be black and white too me. Which is why I adore the one, and find the other kind of meh.

I don't think he was written as at all naive in LnC, nor a man-child, nor close to retarded.

He was a sophisticated, well respected journalist. He was a confident and engaging man. He was intelligent, spoke many languages, had knowledge of various different cultures and often used his intelligence to get out of sticky situations.

Yes, he's totally dumbed down in Smallville, but I don't think it's fair to make that comparison with LnC. Totally different ball game.

IMO LnC was a perfect depiction of the character of Clark Kent/Superman. There is nothing about it I do not love, and it is and always will be the basis for my absolute adoration of the character.

And since LnC is a show that very much enhanced the idea of 'Clark Kent is the man, Superman is the disguise', you can see where my opinions come from.

A lot of the comics have gone down that route, and been very well recieved.

I'd like to see it tried in a movie, especially seeing as it never has been before...
LnC was way off from what Siegel intended but at least Clark had a brain. I enjoyed a lot of the show except that they had Superman completely backwards. When Clark is no different from Superman I have a hard time caring much about him or Superman either. But I grew up with Maggin's Superman so that is where my roots come from. But yeah, I can stomach Superman only having one personality more when the one personality is at least mature and intelligent. The main cues it took from the Donner movies was the emphasis on the rural background, the movement of Smallville from the northeast to Kansas, and keeping the Kents alive (the movies kept Ma Kent alive which led to Byrne keeping both of them alive) and the "Clark goes home to momma" scenes that have pervaded the comics since that decision, one I do not care for at all.

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Old 09-02-2010, 06:13 PM   #91
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

Bruce Wayne is actually similar to Clark Kent in that they have three personas, so to speak. Bruce's two put-on personas are just more extreme, while Clark's is basically just emphasis on different aspects of who he is.

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Old 09-02-2010, 06:15 PM   #92
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

I agree, and that's exactly why I don't understand the aversion to everything but Byrne's interpretation. Batman's certainly deified by just about everyone in the world these days despite having a similar disguise to Superman.

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Old 09-02-2010, 06:19 PM   #93
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

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I really don't think the general audience cares about these kinds of details. They don't care if the movie's based on Donner or Byrne or whoever. They care about action and witty dialogue, and that pretty much sums it up.

Plus, Batman's proof that a movie can succeed when it's about a superhero who's civilian identity is an act and his hero identity is his true self. And I quote..

Bruce: Batman's just a symbol, Rachel.
Rachel: [Rachel touches Bruce's face] No, *this* is your mask. Your real face is the one that criminals now fear. The man I loved - the man who vanished - he never came back at all. But maybe he's still out there, somewhere. Maybe some day, when Gotham no longer needs Batman, I'll see him again.
I wasn't suggesting they care it was like 'Donner's version' as such, but that they couldn't connect with a character so similar to one that was popular in the 70s.

As for the Batman comment, I have absolutely no problem with Nolan's handling of him. I've had many an arguement FOR Batman being what Bruce is now, and there is not much of his old self left.

I just don't think that's what they should do with Superman.

Can you imagine this?

Clark: It's just a symbol, Mom.

Martha: (touching his glasses). No, this is your mask. Your real face is the one criminals now fear. The boy I raised - the one who vanished - he never came back at all. But maybe he's still out there somewhere. Maybe someday, when Metropolis no longer needs Superman, I'll see him again.



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LnC was way off from what Siegel intended but at least Clark had a brain. I enjoyed a lot of the show except that they had Superman completely backwards. When Clark is no different from Superman I have a hard time caring much about him or Superman either. But I grew up with Maggin's Superman so that is where my roots come from. But yeah, I can stomach Superman only having one personality more when the one personality is at least mature and intelligent. The main cues it took from the Donner movies was the emphasis on the rural background, the movement of Smallville from the northeast to Kansas, and keeping the Kents alive (the movies kept Ma Kent alive which led to Byrne keeping both of them alive) and the "Clark goes home to momma" scenes that have pervaded the comics since that decision, one I do not care for at all.
I understand that. The 'mommy' thing does sort of bring his 'coolness' down

It's weird how much we can love different parts of a Superheroes developement. You feel a deeper connection with one, and have a hard time caring about the other... and for me, vice versa.

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Old 09-02-2010, 06:22 PM   #94
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

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And he was not traditionally raised as a country boy. He knew from childhood that he was destined for a higher calling and was prepared by Jonathan Kent for that. Now I do agree completely that it was Ma and Pa Kent's guidance that made Clark Kent Superman. That is undeniable. But his rural upbringing should just be a small part of his character, and it now is the overwhelming main trait of his personality.
Where do you Live kurosawa? In a big city or in the country? Did you realize that people act differently depending on where they were raised? His rural upbringing means everything to him. It shapes him as much as having superpowers does.



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The Donner version is an aberration from the traditional Superman in too many ways, and both Smallville and Lois and Clark took serious cues from it. Superman should not be overly naive and pure to the point of the Donner character. It was a parody that people took seriously. Superman should care deeply about people, yes. He should be very heroic, and should love humanity. That does not mean he should be unsophisticated and incapable of adult thinking, reasoning and realization. That is what puts Superman off to people and makes him hard to accept-that he is basically written as a naive man-child, close to retarded really. This also goes back to how Superman's intellectual side has been played down and he has been treated as a generic strongman character. It's all Marvelization really.
Neither the Donner movie or the show LOIS and CLARK portray Superman as overly naive, overly pure, or close to retarded. Clark in the Donner movie ACTS naive....he isn't naive, he ACTS naive (you know, in an attempt to make people think he isn't the allpowerful Superman). The Clark portrayed in LOIS and CLARK is less naive than in the movies, but he again ACTS naive as part of his secret idenity. No one complains that Batman ACTS like a drunken wanker to protect his idenity....but let Clark act like he isn't all powerful and totally aware of what's going on around him, and it's time to shoot all the writers.

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Old 09-02-2010, 06:29 PM   #95
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

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I wasn't suggesting they care it was like 'Donner's version' as such, but that they couldn't connect with a character so similar to one that was popular in the 70s.

As for the Batman comment, I have absolutely no problem with Nolan's handling of him. I've had many an arguement FOR Batman being what Bruce is now, and there is not much of his old self left.

I just don't think that's what they should do with Superman.

Can you imagine this?

Clark: It's just a symbol, Mom.

Martha: (touching his glasses). No, this is your mask. Your real face is the one criminals now fear. The boy I raised - the one who vanished - he never came back at all. But maybe he's still out there somewhere. Maybe someday, when Metropolis no longer needs Superman, I'll see him again.





I understand that. The 'mommy' thing does sort of bring his 'coolness' down

It's weird how much we can love different parts of a Superheroes developement. You feel a deeper connection with one, and have a hard time caring about the other... and for me, vice versa.
I realize it's not the exact same scenario, but Clark could be a disguise for different reasons. The way I see it, Clark has always been sortof a disguise, since he's hid his powers all his life.

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Old 09-02-2010, 06:30 PM   #96
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Way to warp what I'm saying. You want to know the Superman that I'm a fan of? The one that is a compelling, inspiring, self-sacrificing hero who might biologically be a god-like alien, but deep in his core is far more human than most people, and he draws his heroism and idealism from that core of humanity that was instilled in him by his blue collar Joe Schmoe adoptive parents in rural America. Superman is Clark Kent is Superman.
This!

Neither is an act and to me that what makes Superman better than every hero.His disguise works because mankind is just stupid. LOL. They look at Clark and don`t see a living god. They see what everybody sees. Just a man. And thats the beauty of what Jerry and Joe intended: Beneath a simple ordinary man, lies a superhero. We are all superheroes if we put our gifts to help mankind.

And in Lois case, HG Wells put it brilliantly in the best episode of Lois & Clark:

"We are all blinded by love"

She just loves Superman so much and what he represents, being the guy who wasn`t suppose to exist, that she just doesn`t care for Clark. But that's only in the beginning of their relationship because as it progresses and she gets to know Clark more, she eventually finds out that they are the same person, really.


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Old 09-02-2010, 06:35 PM   #97
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

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I realize it's not the exact same scenario, but Clark could be a disguise for different reasons. The way I see it, Clark has always been sortof a disguise, since he's hid his powers all his life.
If you can call Clark Kent a disguise just because he's been keeping secrets from people, then i've used the 'Becky' disguise on numerous occasions... does that make me any less Becky?

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This!

Neither is an act and to me that what makes Superman better than every hero.His disguise works because manking is just stupid. LOL.

And in Lois case, HG Wells put it brilliantly in the best episode of Lois & Clark:

"We are all blinded by love"
As corny as it is, I always loved that

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I think back to my father. As a farmer, he had a natural understanding for the Earth. I remember him telling me this world is capable of providing for all its creatures. Even now, with so many more people, there exists enough food for everyone.

"The problem," Pa used to say, "is people. As far back as we go, we've always had problems with sharing. Seems everyone's too busy holding on to what they've got to care how their neighbors are doing."


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Old 09-02-2010, 07:16 PM   #98
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

ComicBookResources.com caught up with artist Gary Frank at the recent Fan Expo in Toronto, Canada and asked him about the 6-issue "Superman: Secret Origin" miniseries now that the final issue has shipped. Here's an excerpt from the interview...

Did you make subtle changes or nuances when drawing the pages and panels that featured Superman versus those that featured Clark Kent? And is that part of the fun, getting to draw both sides of the iconic character?

Completely. The eternal war which is raged on forums about whether Clark Kent is the real Superman or is Clark Kent a disguise is all rubbish. There is one character and there are different elements of this guy and in some circumstances, he will play up certain elements of his character for specific reasons but it doesn't mean that awkward Clark is a fake character. He's a guy that goes to a big city, he's grown up in the country, he works in a big office with office politics and back-biting and yeah, he can juggle tractors and things like that but that doesn't help you in that situation. To that extent, he is a fish out of water. He's nervous. The fact that he could demolish the Daily Planet building is irrelevant when you take the character out of context. He's never going to use any of his feats of strength against an ordinary person so how he's going to get confidence from that? He's still a fish out of water, he's still suffering the same problems that anybody gets in an environment with which they're not familiar.

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Old 09-02-2010, 07:47 PM   #99
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KalMart and 7heBoss, PLEASE, keep the manips coming!
This could be the best thread ever!

Haha, It is pretty sweet to receive credit when I didn't do anything. I'm afraid all the hilarious manips done so far were my KalMart.

However I figured I would try my hand at it since you already pointed me out.

So here you go, "Chris Nolan's Superman Alternate Costume"


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Old 09-02-2010, 08:02 PM   #100
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

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It's been way over emphasized and it has terribly hurt the character. The whole emphasis on the "Midwestern" values has been part of how they have buried the Hebrew roots of Superman and turned him into some sort of Christian icon. That's why he is no longer an urbanite but a safe, simple "country boy". Siegel and Shuster were not farmer boys, and Clark Kent was created in their image. Superman was not meant to be Jesus, he was meant to be a mix of Moses and a Golem, and the son of a failed Noah in Jor-El.
I think that's seriously over analyzing it. He was raised in a small town in Kansas, that was a part of his back story from the very beginning. Fleshing that out was simply a natural part of developing the character, not a conspiracy to hide his Jewish roots and turn him into a Christian icon.

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All this mess started with the movie, which was actually a parody.
No. It wasn't. At all. Richard Donner took the movie very seriously. It was one of the first comic book adaptations to actually try and make a good movie as opposed to a cheap action fest with corny jokes.

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Of the quotes I listed I feel Maggin is the most correct, as he knows the character best and has written him better than anyone. But there are two Clark Kents-the real Clark and the construct. And not only does Lois not understand Superman completely, Superman himself doesn't know which part is the real him. Clark is an act to a point....but there is a lot of Clark that is his inner self. Other heroes lack this complexity. Batman is Batman at all times. WW has the birthright like Superman has, but Diana Prince is never anything but an act (why don't people question Steve Trevor's inability to guess her secret identity like they do with Lois? All she wears is glasses too, and he is supposed to be an intelligence officer. Plus there's no hiding that figure.) And he was not traditionally raised as a country boy. He knew from childhood that he was destined for a higher calling and was prepared by Jonathan Kent for that. Now I do agree completely that it was Ma and Pa Kent's guidance that made Clark Kent Superman. That is undeniable. But his rural upbringing should just be a small part of his character, and it now is the overwhelming main trait of his personality. But I fell all three guys I quoted-three of the most learned writers in the history of comics-were dead-on in their assessments as was Alan Moore in his portrayal.
A few points...

1: Batman isn't Batman at all times. Bruce Wayne? Hello?

2: People rarely bring up Diana's secret identity because, for most of the past 25 years, she hasn't had one, and has been better off for it.

But back to Superman... I kind of agree that Clark doesn't know exactly which him is the real him, but I have to go back to my old point... it's because they're all the real him. He is Clark Kent. He is Superman. These are vital aspects of who he is. You say that when Clark Kent isn't a construct, it robs the character of complexity. I disagree, I think it adds complexity. On the one hand, he has to act timid and quiet while at work and Big and heroic while Superman-ing in order to maintain his lifestyle. On the other hand, there is a part of him that is just timid and quiet, and is big and heroic, and over time the lines between the act and his real identity have been blurred. To say that he is really Superman and Clark Kent is an act, that's simplistic. To say that he really is Superman and he really is Clark Kent and they're both, on some level, constructs, that is complexity. And it's real, and it's human, and it's relatable and inspiring at the same time.

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The Donner version is an aberration from the traditional Superman in too many ways, and both Smallville and Lois and Clark took serious cues from it. Superman should not be overly naive and pure to the point of the Donner character. It was a parody that people took seriously. Superman should care deeply about people, yes. He should be very heroic, and should love humanity. That does not mean he should be unsophisticated and incapable of adult thinking, reasoning and realization. That is what puts Superman off to people and makes him hard to accept-that he is basically written as a naive man-child, close to retarded really. This also goes back to how Superman's intellectual side has been played down and he has been treated as a generic strongman character. It's all Marvelization really.
He's not written as a naive man child or close to retarded, and his intellectual side has been played up enormously over the years. Some writers portray him as a dumb jack ass, but in his main book and in most mainstream DCU books, he's portrayed as an intelligent, insightful, caring person with simple tastes and strong morals. I don't see where you're getting this impression of his mainstream portrayal, unless the only things you've read of him were done by Frank Miller.

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