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Old 08-10-2012, 08:42 PM   #301
Smashlilman
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

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Originally Posted by Super Kal View Post
seeing that they're going with a heavy focus on his Kryptonian/alien heritage in the new movie, i wouldnt be surprised if they made Clark the disguise and Superman/Kal-El as the real person...

in fact, I'd welcome it
From my point of view Private Clark Kent and Kal-El are the same persona and Superman is the Symbol that represents the best of both his Earth and Kryptonian upbringing.

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Old 08-10-2012, 09:20 PM   #302
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

Superman should get his message and personality across by appearing on Good Morning America or something

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Old 08-11-2012, 03:01 AM   #303
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

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No, I didn't. I told you that the various Superman versions before Byrne were all different in many parts. Knowing that he is Kryptonian or not... Yet it was still "Superman Who Disguised As Clark Kent".
No you didn’t.

You said, in response to me stating that Superman had evolved as a character:

Stop lying to yourself. The idea was to make Superman a Marvel character and Byrne also wanted to turn the character into something he can write.

You said nothing about the versions of Superman before Byrne differing in many ways. You said nothing to acknowledge that the character had evolved over the years before MAN OF STEEL.

And the thing is, Superman is STILL disguised as Clark Kent. And Clark Kent disguises himself as Superman. This is an element that has really never changed since the character’s creation.

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"Marvel" approach was for older readers and a mixture of soap opera and slugfests. But not really "mature".

Yes, they got hot Marvel writer and artist John Byrne.

Why didn't they get Alan Moore?
Because A, Moore probably didn’t want to do it, because he didn’t like high profile, mainstream projects, even back then.

And B, because Alan Moore was probably busy working on something.

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In the pre-crisis days the only people who really knew him were Batman and Robin. And Vartox, that's why this character was awesome back in the day (and useless these days).
And Lori Lemaris…and the entire Legion of Superheroes…and Lana at some point…

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Saying that both, Superman and Clark are kinda fake and kinda real and the real person is in the middle is not very deep to me. It's pretty basic and applies to virtually every superhero.
You’re right. It does apply to almost every superhero. It’s the nature of superhero duality. And Superman was the first example of this type of character in superhero comic book mythology.

But I never said this is what makes Superman deep.

It’s just part of who he is.

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The idea that Superman is Superman but for whatever reasons pretends to be Clark Kent has much more interesting implications.
And this is INHERENT in both Pre-Crisis and Post-Crisis versions of the character.

When he becomes Superman, he changes some things about people’s perception of Clark Kent…and he uses that as a disguise of sorts...but Clark Kent is also a very real person, not just a disguise.

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And exactly how can "honor" both takes when they are pretty much the opposite of each other?
Because it can be done. There's a way to find a middle ground.

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That he does.
So basically you’ve got nothing to contribute to “Is he Superman or Clark” with the example you provided except “He remembers Krypton”?

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You shouldn't really confuse syntax and semantics. Yes, his legal name is Clark Kent but what is usually associated with the guy called "Clark Kent" is an act.
Except that it’s not an act. Not all of it. He was Clark Kent before he was Superman. How can him being Clark, when he was Clark before he was Superman, then be an ACT? It's not. The few elements that he adds to make people think Clark Kent is bumbling or cowardly or incompetent...these are the acts. But he's not like that all the time. Certainly not with most of his closest friends and family.

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It's the name in his passport. "Clark Kent" in general is the act he and his foster parents conceived as a way to let him have a part in society. Really, the name debate is silly. Superman is called Clark Kent, yes, but what
Clark Kent stands for is an act carried out by Superman. Whoa.
Yes. An act carried out by Superman. Who is, in turn, Clark Kent.

Whoa.

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Superman is the result of this. Not Clark Kent. Clark Kent is the act played by Superman which his parents helped to develop. His real self is Superman and that's what the Kents raised him as.
You just sound ridiculous now. I don’t think what you said even makes sense.
The Kents raised CLARK KENT to be a good person.

They didn’t raise SUPERMAN, because SUPERMAN didn’t exist yet when they were raising CLARK. CLARK KENT used what he learned from the Kents and others to BECOME Superman. But he is only Superman because he was raised to be a good man as Clark Kent, and because he possesses the powers of his Kryptonian heritage.

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John Byrne? I guess it was just my imagination that Superman says "Now time to return to my real identity." before he turned into Clark Kent in one of his stories. He has always made it clear that his Superman is just a job.
No, many writers have made it clear that Clark Kent is who he is. Because thats psychologically sound. He is Clark Kent, and was, before he ever became Superman. As the mythology wore on, he began to spend less and less time as Clark, as the demands of being Superman began to test and overwhelm him.

There’s a character evolution in the comics. He's always trying to find a balance.

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Clark Kent is an aspect of Superman as Superman for whatever reasons has to pretend he is him. But Clark Kent and Superman are so different they cannot be just fragments of his personality. Yes, everyone acts differently in different environment... but the difference between Clark and Superman is-just-too-big.
I like how you say “For whatever reasons” like you either don’t know, or don’t care. There are reasons...important ones, that even his creators gave him, back when Clark Kent was the "disguise".

Clark Kent and Superman are NOT that different. Fake Clark Kent and Superman are different.

But FAKE CLARK KENT is FAKE. He’s an act put on by the real Clark Kent.

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But let's look at it like that: Kryptonians, in some parts of the mythos described as a "race of Superman" look human but they are more advanced, more adapted to another environment, more sophisticated society they live in... So he cannot simply be raised as a human being.
He can be…and in some verisons has been, but in many versions of the mythos he isn’t just raised human. He’s essentially raised and taught by both Jor-El and The Kents.

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Yep, but that's how Siegel deliberately or subconsciously weaved a lot of things about himself into the character: the immigrant angle, the wish-fulfillment of the nerd who is truly a Superman, being overlooked by the pretty girls, Superman being bulletproof because his father was shot by a mugger...
Which is all well and good…but we weren’t discussing Superman’s inspirations.
Don’t act like I don’t know the history of Superman, when I’ve never discussed said history in detail, because that’s not the context of the conversation.

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doesn't change the fact that Clark never existed to begin with

Clark Kent is supposed to be a flesh and blood human being... and unless Kal-El gives up his powers, Kal-El will never be human, and the Clark persona will never exist.

and i really dont care about that Smallville/Byrne crap. all that "im a normal human with powers" is ridiculous... when I watched Superman as a kid, and even when i watch it today, i dont read it for Clark... I read it for SUPERMAN. Superman is the shining light for humanity in the comic book, not Clark. Superman is the hope of the future for mankind in the comic, not Clark. Superman is the character that the people of Metropolis look up to for inspiration, and is the awe-inspiring character that people of all ages read about and hope to be like, not Clark... Clark is the normal being that we all are and can't do anything about it. Superman is the person inside all of us that wants to do great things, to strive to make mankind better, and to make a positive change for this world, and when we read Superman, it is Superman, not Clark, that continues to inspire comic book readers into hoping for their own future.

Kal-El was born a Kryptonian. unless he gives up his powers, that will never change. Clark is his human cloak to fool the rest of the world into think he is a human, which is a blatant and obvious lie. There is only one thing Kal-El can do to truly become Clark Kent, but until he does that, Clark Kent will never truly exist.
(Shakes head)

This is just wrong.

A, Byrne never, ever presented Clark as a “normal human”. Quite the opposite, really.

B. Clark DOES exist, and Clark, REAL Clark, doesn’t deny that he’s Kryptonian. He’s still Kryptonian, he just doesn’t tell most people about that.

C. The rest, so much of it is just…wrong.

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and you forget one simple little truth about Kal-El:

no matter how much he wants a normal life, he will never have one
Clark doesn’ t want a normal life. If he did, he would not have become Superman. He wants to help people, and he wants to be happy. But he does not neccessarily want his life to be "normal". He would never allow himself this.

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"And who, disguised as Clark Kent,..."

Clark Kent is most definitely the disguise, while Superman/Kal-El is the real person...
No, Clark Kent is PART of the disguise.

But Clark Kent also existed first, so he can’t be JUST a disguise. That just doesn’t psychologically make any sense.

It didn’t even make sense Pre-Crisis, when he was still Clark Kent before he was Superman but got called a "disguise", and it doesn’t make sense now.

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I don't understand how people don't get the Clark/Superman thing. I read a really great article on psychology once where they talked about people's personalities. We have 3 personas, at home (completely open), in public (same person, only more controlled than the at home person) and the professional persona, the sided of your personality your coworkers know.

Just like at home, out at the supermarket or at work any of us will be the same person but different. The at home Omar wears his hair down and swears a lot, I'm not that guy out in public and I certainly am not out dropping f-bombs and having my hair all over the place like I'm Troy Palamalo at work.

Clark is all 3. His parents know all sides of his personality. People also know the professional Clark in his working environment, then there's Superman, the persona the world sees. All the same guy, just slightly different depending on what the situation needs.
Exactly.

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Old 08-11-2012, 08:02 AM   #304
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

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Originally Posted by UaalaDan View Post
You say like Superman is this alien who is not open to have friends and I don't necessarily agree with this. Even famous people have famous friends. It's similar to this. Batman is his friend, Wonder Woman, Jimmy, Bibbo, directors of orphanages, etc. Superman is not a normal celebrity. He is known to be the friendliest guy on Earth.
Actually, no, I don't say it like that at all

My post was indicating you can't claim that Superman is 'real' and Clark is 'fake', because it is my belief that NEITHER are 'real' without the other to complete them.

They are not two whole personalities, because if you cut one out, the other is a lie.

There is no 'real' Superman as the public percieve him. He did not show up on earth as an adult kryptonian, he is not completely alien to our world.

There is no 'real' Clark Kent as the public percieve him. He is not completely human. He has powers and an alien origin.

Neither of these personas is the 'true' persona, because neither is TRUE.

The real guy, is the one you can only know once you understand Superman and Clark Kent are the same guy.

Then you meet the 'real guy'. The one who arrived on earth from krypton as a baby. The one who had a human upbringing, but also has powers and things that make him different.

Of course he can have friends in both personas. But his friends do not know the real him until they know that.

And most of the people who know Superman, treat him with complete awe. Which is why the majority of his friends he makes in the Clark Kent persona. Because as humble as he is, he doesn't like being worshipped all the time by people.

You can't form any real relationships with people who just think of you as some out of this world God, when you think of yourself as just a guy trying to do the right thing with the gifts he has.

Batman's different. He knows who he is. Just like Lois or the Kents, he knows the whole man. The REAL man.

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Old 08-12-2012, 06:44 AM   #305
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

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Originally Posted by UaalaDan View Post
How does that even make sense?
Think deeper.


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Originally Posted by The Guard View Post
No you didn’t.

You said, in response to me stating that Superman had evolved as a character:

Stop lying to yourself. The idea was to make Superman a Marvel character and Byrne also wanted to turn the character into something he can write.

You said nothing about the versions of Superman before Byrne differing in many ways. You said nothing to acknowledge that the character had evolved over the years before MAN OF STEEL.
I've stated that in a post. I think it was a response to a post by hopefulsuicide.

John Byrne: "The traditional DC characters have been perceived as dull and bland because they don't 'abuse' their powers the way that Marvel characters do. The appeal of Wolverine is not that he is a tortured soul who struggles against his inner demons. The appeal of Wolverine is that he cuts people up. "


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And the thing is, Superman is STILL disguised as Clark Kent. And Clark Kent disguises himself as Superman. This is an element that has really never changed since the character’s creation.
He is not disguised as Superman since HE IS Superman.



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Because A, Moore probably didn’t want to do it, because he didn’t like high profile, mainstream projects, even back then.

And B, because Alan Moore was probably busy working on something.
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Then, Wolfman says, "sometime last summer [1985] I discovered that John Byrne was no longer under contract to Marvel. I called John and offered him a Teen Titans story, which he accepted. I essentially said to John, 'This may cut my own throat, but DC is interested in a new version of Superman. If you're interested, now that you're freelance, why don't you get in touch with them?' I didn't think he would, but I was hoping. I honestly felt that John's version of Superman and mine would be fairly similar because we were both fans of the same material: the Jerry Siegel and Jerome Shuster stories and the Paramount cartoons." (the early 1940's Max Fleischer cartoons) Exhibiting a lack of concern about the quality of the stories, Wolman also notes that having John Byrne on the book "would make it sell, and that's more important than anything else, as far as I'm concerned."

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And Lori Lemaris…and the entire Legion of Superheroes…and Lana at some point…
Lori Lemaris is just a minor character. The Legion is a Superboy thing. And when did Lana know in the pre-crisis days?

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You’re right. It does apply to almost every superhero. It’s the nature of superhero duality. And Superman was the first example of this type of character in superhero comic book mythology.

But I never said this is what makes Superman deep.

It’s just part of who he is.
That's pretty easy since he's often considered to be the first superhero. But then again you have Zorro and The Shadow and whatever way before that. What really set him apart was this:

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Jules Feiffer has argued that Superman's real innovation lay in the creation of the Clark Kent persona, noting that what "made Superman extraordinary was his point of origin: Clark Kent." Feiffer develops the theme to establish Superman's popularity in simple wish fulfillment,[169] a point Siegel and Shuster themselves supported, Siegel commenting that "If you're interested in what made Superman what it is, here's one of the keys to what made it universally acceptable. Joe and I had certain inhibitions... which led to wish-fulfillment which we expressed through our interest in science fiction and our comic strip. That's where the dual-identity concept came from" and Shuster supporting that as being "why so many people could relate to it". (from Wiki)
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And this is INHERENT in both Pre-Crisis and Post-Crisis versions of the character.

When he becomes Superman, he changes some things about people’s perception of Clark Kent…and he uses that as a disguise of sorts...but Clark Kent is also a very real person, not just a disguise.
What are you talking about? He clearly abandons "Clark Kent" completely as soon as he's exposed in "Whatever happened to the Man of Tomorrow", when he lost his powers in the wheelchair Superman stories he stopped being Clark Kent and was just Superman sitting depressed in his chair, that's why he has even considered trying out a "new secret identity".

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Because it can be done. There's a way to find a middle ground.
It's fundamentally different. I understand your take, still it's misguided. For some reason you simply cannot understand "mine" (which is in fact the one the best Superman writers embraced too).

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So basically you’ve got nothing to contribute to “Is he Superman or Clark” with the example you provided except “He remembers Krypton”?
You were downplaying it. No point in arguing here.
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Except that it’s not an act. Not all of it. He was Clark Kent before he was Superman. How can him being Clark, when he was Clark before he was Superman, then be an ACT? It's not. The few elements that he adds to make people think Clark Kent is bumbling or cowardly or incompetent...these are the acts. But he's not like that all the time. Certainly not with most of his closest friends and family.
He was Kal-El before he was Clark Kent. He is different. He hid his true self since he came to Earth. He had to. "Clark Kent" is his disguise to live under humans. When he is with his closest friends (actually he IS disguised as Clark Kent when he meets with his friends, only his Super-Friends now the reality) and family (which should be dead) he is SUPERMAN. No act. Just what he is.

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Yes. An act carried out by Superman. Who is, in turn, Clark Kent.

Whoa.
Whose legal name is Clark Kent. Whoa. Not his real personality.


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You just sound ridiculous now. I don’t think what you said even makes sense.
The Kents raised CLARK KENT to be a good person.

They didn’t raise SUPERMAN, because SUPERMAN didn’t exist yet when they were raising CLARK. CLARK KENT used what he learned from the Kents and others to BECOME Superman. But he is only Superman because he was raised to be a good man as Clark Kent, and because he possesses the powers of his Kryptonian heritage.
Seriously, you do not understand, do you? You are talking names again. Whatever he is called Superman or Mr Cape doesn't matter. The Clark Kent who was raised by his parents IS Superman. The Clark Kent who is out there in the world IS A DISGUISE. AN ACT. Full stop. He came to Earth as Kal-El, then he was named Clark. Then through the years he became Superman. That's just who he is. When he is with people he ACTS. An act usually referred to as "Clark Kent".

You are just way too confused by the names. Really.

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No, many writers have made it clear that Clark Kent is who he is. Because thats psychologically sound. He is Clark Kent, and was, before he ever became Superman. As the mythology wore on, he began to spend less and less time as Clark, as the demands of being Superman began to test and overwhelm him.

There’s a character evolution in the comics. He's always trying to find a balance.
Most writers that tackled Superman failed. Miserably. Sales do not lie.

And Byrne did exactly this, he stopped making a difference between Clark Kent and Superman. But they have to be two almost separate entities. The character demands it. Everything else is just half-baked ****.


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I like how you say “For whatever reasons” like you either don’t know, or don’t care. There are reasons...important ones, that even his creators gave him, back when Clark Kent was the "disguise".

Clark Kent and Superman are NOT that different. Fake Clark Kent and Superman are different.

But FAKE CLARK KENT is FAKE. He’s an act put on by the real Clark Kent.
There can be used multiple reasons. Getting stories, his hobby, his way to be a normal human for some time, whatever.

And Superman is just that Superman, the "public fake Clark Kent" is an act. The real Clark Kent is Superman. I guess this sentences confuses the hell out of you again, since you cannot distinguish between a name and semantics.

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He can be…and in some verisons has been, but in many versions of the mythos he isn’t just raised human. He’s essentially raised and taught by both Jor-El and The Kents.
And yet he is no ordinary human. That's why he needs Clark Kent to pull off being a normal human being. Still, an act.

Having two fathers and then losing both is a classic mythological concept.

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Which is all well and good…but we weren’t discussing Superman’s inspirations.
Don’t act like I don’t know the history of Superman, when I’ve never discussed said history in detail, because that’s not the context of the conversation.
Knowing isn't understanding.

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Old 08-12-2012, 08:07 AM   #306
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

Logically, psychologically, Kal-El can't be fully himself while being Superman. Superman has to be a professional persona by default, so it can't be 'the real guy.' And as much as Kal-El hides while he's at work or walking around in glasses, he is emotionally invested in that life, the friends he has as Clark Kent and very much serious about the job he has as Clark Kent. This unflattering 'Clark is Superman's critique on humanity' take is very interesting from a philosophical point of view, but not so useful when wanting modern cynical people to identify with and be entertained by Superman. While I appreciate Siegel and Shuster's work, it's time to advance the character beyond my daily life being a sham while my perfect sterling personality being the real person. It has to be deeper than that.

Fortunately, in Man of Steel, going by Kent and Jor-El's voiceovers, it will be. He will be a real person with choices and angst and human psychology and reasoning and emotional attachments to things like the name he was raised under. Not some transcendent being that needs Jimmy Olsen to exposit to so we can have a clue what he's about. I look forward to that, and perhaps finally, purists (I believe that's accurate and not derogatory here) can see how a more comprehensive view can include the prescience of the Superman persona without turning Metropolis Clark into a joke.

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Old 08-12-2012, 09:41 AM   #307
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

Ah, the eternal murky waters of Superman's "true identity." I think the fact that this is still an actual argument 74 years after Superman's creation is a testament to Siegel and Shuster's genius. You don't see arguments like this over Spider-Man or The Flash. The wealth of interpretation you can have over Superman is rather impressive for a comic book superhero.

There are two points of view I have. The first is that there are three persona's one real and the other two fake. The other is that there are two persona's one real (Superman) and the other one fake (Clark Kent). The former makes sense on a pseudo psychological level while the latter works better on a symbolic level.


In terms of the pseudo psychological level: First there is "Kal El," the man who was raised by the Kents. This is the "true" identity. Then there is "Superman." He is very similar to "Kal El" with his morals and his way of looking at the world but he keeps his true emotions at bay. A policeman would act like different person on duty than when he is with his family and friends. I think the same applies with Superman. Do you remember the final panel in the first issue of "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow" where Superman breaks down sobbing? That's not "Superman" crying. "Superman" would never cry. The person that is sobbing is the real man behind the legend, with all his fears and doubts finally breaking through the wall that he has built around himself.


And then there is the "Metropolis Clark" who I think we can all agree is an act but I think it's one with a smidgen of truth in. If "Superman" is all of "Kal El's" good strong quality's then "Metropolis Clark" is his all insecurities wrapped in one package.


Before COIE the "Kal El" persona was hardly seen. The Kent's were dead and Superman had no-one to share his "true" persona with. Because the "Kal El" persona was hardly seen, many had no reason to believe it existed. When John Byrne brought the Kents back, the "Kal El" or "Smallville Clark" persona was shown in depth for the first time. I think many assume that this means that "Clark Kent" is the real person. And it honestly comes down to what you mean by "Clark Kent." It's an argument of semantics really which is rather tiresome. Life is too short y'know?. The "Clark Kent" who was the man raised by the Kent's is "the real person." The "Clark Kent" that works in the Daily Planet is not.


On the more meta or symbolic point of view, Superman is wish fulfillment for every meek and mild mannered man in the world (me included!). Because underneath this shy awkward exterior is something more than our outward appearance suggest. We have something within us that could change the world for the better. Because what you see isn't the real us. Deep down we are strong, good looking and charming. Deep down we are so much more. Deep down we are Supermen. What this approach lacks in psychological validity (if you can call it that), it makes up for it's simplicity and reflection of us, the audience, as human beings.

I think, for me, the best writers of Superman manage to pull off a combination of both these approaches. They blur the lines between the Kal El persona and the Superman persona, making either approach perfectly valid from a certain point of view.

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Old 08-12-2012, 10:07 AM   #308
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

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And it honestly comes down to what you mean by "Clark Kent." It's an argument of semantics really which is rather tiresome.
I agree with most of what you said, but just wanted to call attention to this. I've been noticing this more and more over the last few pages.

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Old 08-12-2012, 10:56 AM   #309
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

IMO, the interesting thing about this eternal debate is everyone is right. There is no one way to look at this. Another reason I why love Superman. He is a truly nuanced character with many different facets. Those who assign him in purely black and white terms simply don't get him.

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I've heard so many people talk about how Superman would kill Lois if they ever had sex, but I've never heard someone make this point before and it's brilliant. If Superman's bodily fluids are so dangerous, then he'd have to use a kryptonite toilet every time he takes a dump.
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:37 AM   #310
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

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Originally Posted by the amazing fro View Post
Ah, the eternal murky waters of Superman's "true identity." I think the fact that this is still an actual argument 74 years after Superman's creation is a testament to Siegel and Shuster's genius. You don't see arguments like this over Spider-Man or The Flash. The wealth of interpretation you can have over Superman is rather impressive for a comic book superhero.
Well, I think Siegel and Shuster were actually pretty straight-forward and said what was going on. I think the main problem started when mainstream WASP Americans started to think about all of this a too much in the wrong way. Well, generally, American thinking is efficient and pragmatic but not very deep. Comes from the language I guess. That's why American (and English) philosophy and literature tends to be a materialistic and a little back lacking.

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There are two points of view I have. The first is that there are three persona's one real and the other two fake. The other is that there are two persona's one real (Superman) and the other one fake (Clark Kent). The former makes sense on a pseudo psychological level while the latter works better on a symbolic level.
Agreed, but I've already explained that also the latter part makes sense from a biological and psychological point of view. His advanced alien mind and abilities set him apart from ordinary humans thus he kinda has to step down by learning to take on the act of Clark Kent. This is absolutely sound.


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In terms of the pseudo psychological level: First there is "Kal El," the man who was raised by the Kents. This is the "true" identity. Then there is "Superman." He is very similar to "Kal El" with his morals and his way of looking at the world but he keeps his true emotions at bay. A policeman would act like different person on duty than when he is with his family and friends. I think the same applies with Superman. Do you remember the final panel in the first issue of "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow" where Superman breaks down sobbing? That's not "Superman" crying. "Superman" would never cry. The person that is sobbing is the real man behind the legend, with all his fears and doubts finally breaking through the wall that he has built around himself. [...]
Not going to comment on the other parts except that I appreciate that you tackle the "problem" from different sides.

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Old 08-12-2012, 11:53 AM   #311
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Originally Posted by TruerToTheCore View Post
Well, I think Siegel and Shuster were actually pretty straight-forward and said what was going on. I think the main problem started when mainstream WASP Americans started to think about all of this a too much in the wrong way. Well, generally, American thinking is efficient and pragmatic but not very deep. Comes from the language I guess. That's why American (and English) philosophy and literature tends to be a materialistic and a little back lacking.
Wow...

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I've heard so many people talk about how Superman would kill Lois if they ever had sex, but I've never heard someone make this point before and it's brilliant. If Superman's bodily fluids are so dangerous, then he'd have to use a kryptonite toilet every time he takes a dump.
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Old 08-12-2012, 01:11 PM   #312
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

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Originally Posted by DarthSkywalker View Post
His outsider perspective comes from his abilities though. He can fly above Earth and look down and see things others couldn't. He can hear millions of conversations at once.

But he isn't a J'onn or Kara. He wasn't raised in an environment where living on Earth or amongst humans is anything but normal. If Clark lost his powers tomorrow, he would be just as happy living his life amongst humanity.
While I agree with that last part, it still does not change that he's an outsider who can see the world differently. If you grew up being able to see through almost anything, able to hear a pin drop on the other side of the world, see the electromagnetic spectrum, you're not going to see things the same way as a normal human being. His senses give him access to things that normal people don't get a chance to perceive.

One of my favorite moments in All-Star Superman is when Lex gets Superman's powers briefly and he sees things the way Superman does. Lex is nearly overwhelmed and almost humbled by the experience.

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Originally Posted by DarthSkywalker View Post
While I agree he can appreciate Earth on another level, I think it is irrelevant, because Earth is somewhat inconsequential to his goal.

Much like Batman, Superman is looking at the people, not simply Earth. He protects Earth because it is where humanity resides. Like Batman protects the people of Gotham, not simply Gotham itself, Superman does so on a bigger level.
I think it's very important that he's able to see Earth on another level

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Originally Posted by DarthSkywalker View Post
They why distinguish by naming this disguise two different things?
I thought it was pretty clear that Metropolis Clark is the same Clark Kent that walks among people when he becomes and adult and chooses to become a hero.

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Originally Posted by DarthSkywalker View Post
It says he is half of Superman. I don't understand what I am missing. If he is the part of Superman that exist in all of us, is he not basically who Superman is without the powers?
People can't relate to having Superman's powers, but they can relate to a guy who's unassuming, mild-mannered, and gets picked on. But beneath that exterior, we all believe--or want to believe depending on your point of view--that there's a Superman inside all of us.

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Then explain all those years before Superman was even a concept in little Clark's mind? it isn't like his parents didn't know he had powers. It isn't like Clark was some figment of their imagination. They raised him every day from the moment they met him.
No one's saying his life before becoming adulthood is irrelevant.

The boy the Kents raised grew up and became Superman. From that point on, the Clark Kent that he presents to the world is the mild-mannered persona he assumes.

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Old 08-12-2012, 01:31 PM   #313
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No, Clark Kent is PART of the disguise.

But Clark Kent also existed first, so he can’t be JUST a disguise. That just doesn’t psychologically make any sense.
Clark Kent did not exist first...
before Clark Kent and before Superman, there was Kal-El, and there was only Kal-El... in order for Kal-El to live a normal life, Clark Kent had to be created, and in order to use his full potential, Superman was created, and all the while, his Clark Kent identity disguises who what he truly is: a Kryptonian.

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It didn’t even make sense Pre-Crisis, when he was still Clark Kent before he was Superman but got called a "disguise", and it doesn’t make sense now.
it actually made perfect sense in pre Crisis... Siegel and Shuster didnt see a problem with it, and neither did any of the artists, authors, or writers for 50 years... it wasnt until Byrne came along and added this completely unneeded dynamic which makes Kal-El into something he is not, and can never be, unless Kal-El dies

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Old 08-12-2012, 01:42 PM   #314
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

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Originally Posted by TruerToTheCore View Post
Agreed but I would not just resign "Clark Kent" to be his way to take a break, there is more about it. It's a useful tool, it's a touchstone, it's a memorial to his parents, it's his obsession, it's what he cannot really be... In some ways Clark Kent tells us a lot about Superman, yet he is not his "mild-mannered side" while "Superman" is his courageous part. That is just wrong.
I agree with that.

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Originally Posted by The Guard View Post
I'm still baffled as to why people insist on one version over another.

There's absolutely a way to present a very real, fleshed out, three dimensional Clark Kent character, who, due to a dream and a desire to help others, becomes a very real, fleshed out and three dimensional Superman as a result of his upbringing and his Earth and Kryptonian heritages, who has reverence for his Kryptonian identity of Kal-El and acts accordingly, and who uses a "Metropolis Clark" personality as a disguise in his more public private life, and who is a very different, three dimensional Clark Kent in his more personal private life. There is a way to honor every aspect of the mythology. Some people just seem to insist on this black and white mentality...and its silly.
This is how I view it:

Private Clark + Superman = Same guy

Metropolis Clark Kent = persona

I don't see how this approach makes him less three dimensional.

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Originally Posted by the amazing fro View Post
Ah, the eternal murky waters of Superman's "true identity." I think the fact that this is still an actual argument 74 years after Superman's creation is a testament to Siegel and Shuster's genius. You don't see arguments like this over Spider-Man or The Flash. The wealth of interpretation you can have over Superman is rather impressive for a comic book superhero.

There are two points of view I have. The first is that there are three persona's one real and the other two fake. The other is that there are two persona's one real (Superman) and the other one fake (Clark Kent). The former makes sense on a pseudo psychological level while the latter works better on a symbolic level.


In terms of the pseudo psychological level: First there is "Kal El," the man who was raised by the Kents. This is the "true" identity. Then there is "Superman." He is very similar to "Kal El" with his morals and his way of looking at the world but he keeps his true emotions at bay. A policeman would act like different person on duty than when he is with his family and friends. I think the same applies with Superman. Do you remember the final panel in the first issue of "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow" where Superman breaks down sobbing? That's not "Superman" crying. "Superman" would never cry. The person that is sobbing is the real man behind the legend, with all his fears and doubts finally breaking through the wall that he has built around himself.


And then there is the "Metropolis Clark" who I think we can all agree is an act but I think it's one with a smidgen of truth in. If "Superman" is all of "Kal El's" good strong quality's then "Metropolis Clark" is his all insecurities wrapped in one package.


Before COIE the "Kal El" persona was hardly seen. The Kent's were dead and Superman had no-one to share his "true" persona with. Because the "Kal El" persona was hardly seen, many had no reason to believe it existed. When John Byrne brought the Kents back, the "Kal El" or "Smallville Clark" persona was shown in depth for the first time. I think many assume that this means that "Clark Kent" is the real person. And it honestly comes down to what you mean by "Clark Kent." It's an argument of semantics really which is rather tiresome. Life is too short y'know?. The "Clark Kent" who was the man raised by the Kent's is "the real person." The "Clark Kent" that works in the Daily Planet is not.


On the more meta or symbolic point of view, Superman is wish fulfillment for every meek and mild mannered man in the world (me included!). Because underneath this shy awkward exterior is something more than our outward appearance suggest. We have something within us that could change the world for the better. Because what you see isn't the real us. Deep down we are strong, good looking and charming. Deep down we are so much more. Deep down we are Supermen. What this approach lacks in psychological validity (if you can call it that), it makes up for it's simplicity and reflection of us, the audience, as human beings.

I think, for me, the best writers of Superman manage to pull off a combination of both these approaches. They blur the lines between the Kal El persona and the Superman persona, making either approach perfectly valid from a certain point of view.
I like this post.

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Old 08-12-2012, 05:30 PM   #315
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

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IMO, the interesting thing about this eternal debate is everyone is right. There is no one way to look at this. Another reason I why love Superman. He is a truly nuanced character with many different facets. Those who assign him in purely black and white terms simply don't get him.
This. He is Clark Kent, and Superman, and Kal-El. And arguably always has been, even Pre-Crisis, because there are just inherent aspects of the mythos that intersect with each other. And that's the beauty of him as a character, that he can encompass and intersect with these different ideas and concepts. He can be all those things...and they need not be considered incongruities in his character.

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Clark Kent did not exist first...

before Clark Kent and before Superman, there was Kal-El, and there was only Kal-El... in order for Kal-El to live a normal life, Clark Kent had to be created, and in order to use his full potential, Superman was created, and all the while, his Clark Kent identity disguises who what he truly is: a Kryptonian.
We're kind of getting into semantics, which in the grand scheme of things, doesn't really matter in this argument. Because despite what Truer seems to think above, I'm not just talking about "names".

I'm talking about personalities. I'm talking about which personality existed first. And the reason I didn't mention Kal-El is not because I'm not aware of the element, but because I was only, in the particular conversation I was having, talking in terms of which came first between Clark or Superman, because I was trying to point out a concept to Truer, that of a particular version of someone existing before another version of someone.

Yes, Baby Kal-El existed before Clark Kent, but I would hardly argue that Baby Kal-El is where Clark Kent/Superman developed the dominant aspects of his personality. Which was kind of the core of our argument.

Kal-El, in most versions of the character (except maybe for SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE, which handles his "indoctrination/training" somewhat vaguely), is shown to be a baby who has not really been socialized at all until the Kents find him as an infant. Yes, he's Kal-El, but he's raised as Clark Kent. He never determines a Kryptonian personality as Kal El until later in life, after he's already done so as Clark Kent. There's no strong initial "Kal El" identity to speak of, other than thats what his parents named him.

Quote:
This is how I view it:

Private Clark + Superman = Same guy

Metropolis Clark Kent = persona

I don't see how this approach makes him less three dimensional.
It doesn't.

And that's more or less how it is, except that he's also Kal-El.

The issue here is that there's a bunch of people who mistakenly think that Clark Kent and Metropolis Clark Kent are the same thing,and both an act...and don't realize that even as Metropolis Clark Kent...he's not always just putting on an act. And that's not the material being vague...its them failing to accurately interpret whats on the page. Because the writers are pretty clear about his characterization. Even Pre-Crisis, there were very real elements to Clark Kent that weren't just an "act" on his part.

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Old 08-12-2012, 06:07 PM   #316
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I've stated that in a post. I think it was a response to a post by hopefulsuicide.

John Byrne: "The traditional DC characters have been perceived as dull and bland because they don't 'abuse' their powers the way that Marvel characters do. The appeal of Wolverine is not that he is a tortured soul who struggles against his inner demons. The appeal of Wolverine is that he cuts people up. "
This has to do with public perception of DC characters VS Marvel. This has almost nothing to do with what we were talking about, in terms of whether Superman has evolved as a character.

Why did you even bother to post this?

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He is not disguised as Superman since HE IS Superman.
There’s really not much else I can say to help you understand this.

He is both Clark Kent and Superman.

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Then, Wolfman says, "sometime last summer [1985] I discovered that John Byrne was no longer under contract to Marvel. I called John and offered him a Teen Titans story, which he accepted. I essentially said to John, 'This may cut my own throat, but DC is interested in a new version of Superman. If you're interested, now that you're freelance, why don't you get in touch with them?' I didn't think he would, but I was hoping. I honestly felt that John's version of Superman and mine would be fairly similar because we were both fans of the same material: the Jerry Siegel and Jerome Shuster stories and the Paramount cartoons." (the early 1940's Max Fleischer cartoons) Exhibiting a lack of concern about the quality of the stories, Wolman also notes that having John Byrne on the book "would make it sell, and that's more important than anything else, as far as I'm concerned."
At this point you’re no just posting random quotes that have little to nothing to do with the context of our discussion.

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Lori Lemaris is just a minor character. The Legion is a Superboy thing. And when did Lana know in the pre-crisis days?
Minor character or not, she was a very important part of Superman’s life Pre-Crisis.

The Legion is a Superboy thing, but the Legion knew he would become Superman. And it is part of the Superman mythos.

You told me almost no one knew his identity Pre-Crisis. You said:

“In the pre-crisis days the only people who really knew him were Batman and Robin. And Vartox, that's why this character was awesome back in the day (and useless these days).

I explained that this was not true. You’re dodging the issue here, which is that you were proven wrong about your statement that no one knew his secret.

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That's pretty easy since he's often considered to be the first superhero. But then again you have Zorro and The Shadow and whatever way before that. What really set him apart was this:
I don’t see what it being pretty easy has to do with anything. I’m not trying to make myself look smart here, I’m responding to points you’ve made. Zorro and The Shadow weren’t superheroes.

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Jules Feiffer has argued that Superman's real innovation lay in the creation of the Clark Kent persona, noting that what "made Superman extraordinary was his point of origin: Clark Kent." Feiffer develops the theme to establish Superman's popularity in simple wish fulfillment,[169] a point Siegel and Shuster themselves supported, Siegel commenting that "If you're interested in what made Superman what it is, here's one of the keys to what made it universally acceptable. Joe and I had certain inhibitions... which led to wish-fulfillment which we expressed through our interest in science fiction and our comic strip. That's where the dual-identity concept came from" and Shuster supporting that as being "why so many people could relate to it". (from Wiki)
I agree that this is partially what set him apart (along with his superpowers), but again, you keep posting quotes that have nothing to do with what we’ve been talking about.

We already talked about wish fulfillment being an important part of Superman’s creation/character. Why are you bringing this up again via this quote?

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What are you talking about? He clearly abandons "Clark Kent" completely as soon as he's exposed in "Whatever happened to the Man of Tomorrow", when he lost his powers in the wheelchair Superman stories he stopped being Clark Kent and was just Superman sitting depressed in his chair, that's why he has even considered trying out a "new secret identity".
I’m talking about Clark Kent, since his actions as Clark Kent are often REAL, being a real person, and not just him pretending to be something he’s not.

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE MAN OF TOMORROW is one story.

And it was considered an “imaginary story” to boot.

You cannot use it an an example that Clark Kent is not a real person in all forms of Superman mythology. There are far more stories that don’t involve Superman abandoning his Clark Kent identity.

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It's fundamentally different. I understand your take, still it's misguided. For some reason you simply cannot understand "mine" (which is in fact the one the best Superman writers embraced too).
Its not just my take…its what Superman is, and how he has been written since about 1960. Yes, Clark Kent and Superman are fundamentally different elements in some ways. That’s what makes them work together so well.

I understand your take perfectly.

You want things to be black and white, and only the way that Superman was when he was originally created, and you’d apparently like to ignore fifty years of stories that indicate otherwise because they are not your preference.

I do not want this. I want a more interesting character with more gray areas and psychological complexity. Which you have called "simple" for some reason.

I am not confused over this. Please stop saying that I am when nothing I have said indicates that I do not understand the character of Superman and his various incarnations.

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You were downplaying it. No point in arguing here
No, I think there is a point. Because you’re not correct about my intentions. I never downplayed it

YOU: Superman remembering Krypton.

ME: Ok, so he remembers Krypton. What does that prove?

YOU: That he does.

So basically you stated “Superman remembering Krypton is important because he remembers Krypton".

That does nothing to explain why you think Clark Kent is fake. It had nothing to do with the context of our conversation.

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He was Kal-El before he was Clark Kent. He is different. He hid his true self since he came to Earth. He had to. "Clark Kent" is his disguise to live under humans. When he is with his closest friends (actually he IS disguised as Clark Kent when he meets with his friends, only his Super-Friends now the reality) and family (which should be dead) he is SUPERMAN. No act. Just what he is
And what was Kal-El? Kal El was a baby, with little to no personality/persona.

If he was Kal-El before he was Clark Kent, is he only Kal El pretending to be Clark Kent AND Superman then? No. Because its not that simple.

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Seriously, you do not understand, do you? You are talking names again. Whatever he is called Superman or Mr Cape doesn't matter. The Clark Kent who was raised by his parents IS Superman.
What makes you think I don’t understand?

I am talking CONCEPTS. The concepts have names associated with them.

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Whose legal name is Clark Kent. Whoa. Not his real personality.
I thought I was the one who didn’t understand and was “talking names”. Why are you bringing up "legal names"?

If the names don’t matter, then it shouldn’t matter to you whether Clark Kent and Superman are the real persona…since they’re all just names.

But no, you keep insisting “It IS Superman”.

Even though much of Clark's personality was formed before “Superman” ever existed.

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The Clark Kent who is out there in the world IS A DISGUISE. AN ACT. Full stop
No. This is incorrect. He is not entirely an act. He is not written that way.
That is what you want him to be…but that is not how he has been written since about the 1960’s.

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He came to Earth as Kal-El, then he was named Clark. Then through the years he became Superman. That's just who he is. When he is with people he ACTS. An act usually referred to as "Clark Kent".
No. He does not always pretend his emotions and feelings for and toward people. This is not an act. You are incorrect.

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You are just way too confused by the names. Really.
Says the person who is insisting we call everything Clark and Superman does “Superman”.

I’m not confused at all.

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Most writers that tackled Superman failed. Miserably. Sales do not lie.
I don’t care about sales numbers compared to interesting character work. I'm not even sure why you brought this up.

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And Byrne did exactly this, he stopped making a difference between Clark Kent and Superman. But they have to be two almost separate entities. The character demands it. Everything else is just half-baked ****.
No he didn’t. There was a clear, discernable difference between the Clark Kent and Superman portions of the character’s life when Byrne wrote him.

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And Superman is just that Superman, the "public fake Clark Kent" is an act. The real Clark Kent is Superman. I guess this sentences confuses the hell out of you again, since you cannot distinguish between a name and semantics.
No, the real Clark Kent is Clark Kent.

Because he existed before Superman.

I can’t distinguish between a name and the meaning of words?

What does that even mean

Is English your first language?

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And yet he is no ordinary human. That's why he needs Clark Kent to pull off being a normal human being. Still, an act.
No…he needs Clark Kent because it was as Clark Kent that he developed most of his lasting relationships and friendships. Especially those with his family.

That wasn’t an act. That was Clark growing up. Him caring about his loved ones is not an act...and he doesn't suddenly become "just Superman" just because he starts being Superman.

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Knowing isn't understanding.
It can be. And you’ve yet to show how I don’t understand these concepts.

I won't be rude and accuse you of not understanding them yourself.

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Old 08-12-2012, 06:46 PM   #317
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This. He is Clark Kent, and Superman, and Kal-El. And arguably always has been, even Pre-Crisis, because there are just inherent aspects of the mythos that intersect with each other. And that's the beauty of him as a character, that he can encompass and intersect with these different ideas and concepts. He can be all those things...and they need not be considered incongruities in his character.
This


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I've heard so many people talk about how Superman would kill Lois if they ever had sex, but I've never heard someone make this point before and it's brilliant. If Superman's bodily fluids are so dangerous, then he'd have to use a kryptonite toilet every time he takes a dump.
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Old 08-13-2012, 06:27 AM   #318
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Originally Posted by charl_huntress View Post
Wow...
A little bit of a hyperbole, I know, but fundamentally not wrong.

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Originally Posted by The Guard View Post
This has to do with public perception of DC characters VS Marvel. This has almost nothing to do with what we were talking about, in terms of whether Superman has evolved as a character.

Why did you even bother to post this?
To show you what the idea was behind the reboot. Higher sales by appealing to the Marvel crowd. Not actually trying to improve the character based on what was there before.


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There’s really not much else I can say to help you understand this.

He is both Clark Kent and Superman.
This is just becoming repetitive.

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At this point you’re no just posting random quotes that have little to nothing to do with the context of our discussion.
It does. It shows that they were mostly interested in $$$ and not in "evolution of the character". Business is business I guess.

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Minor character or not, she was a very important part of Superman’s life Pre-Crisis.

The Legion is a Superboy thing, but the Legion knew he would become Superman. And it is part of the Superman mythos.

You told me almost no one knew his identity Pre-Crisis. You said:

“In the pre-crisis days the only people who really knew him were Batman and Robin. And Vartox, that's why this character was awesome back in the day (and useless these days).

I explained that this was not true. You’re dodging the issue here, which is that you were proven wrong about your statement that no one knew his secret.
...
It doesn't matter for most stories. Simple as that. The "Legion" wasn't even important for the mainstream Superman books since DC titles were mostly separate entities, loosely connected, until the 80s. You could also take Supergirl, but that only shows his distance from other people as well, since she is too Kryptonian.

The point was that he is isolated from ordinary people. That his contacts happen through Clark Kent The Disguise.

Repetitive.

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I don’t see what it being pretty easy has to do with anything. I’m not trying to make myself look smart here, I’m responding to points you’ve made. Zorro and The Shadow weren’t superheroes.
There is hardly anything that sets them apart from superheroes. They are proto-superheroes. Actually they are pretty much superheroes. Also, the Phantom. Whatever. Please tell me what doesn't make them superheroes?

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I agree that this is partially what set him apart (along with his superpowers), but again, you keep posting quotes that have nothing to do with what we’ve been talking about.

We already talked about wish fulfillment being an important part of Superman’s creation/character. Why are you bringing this up again via this quote?
That Clark Kent is an act. The innovative feature of Superman.

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I’m talking about Clark Kent, since his actions as Clark Kent are often REAL, being a real person, and not just him pretending to be something he’s not.
He is pretending to be someone he is not. He uses the bus. He could just fly. He is bullied when there is no reason for him to let that happen. Superman is his real self, a confident macho man.

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WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE MAN OF TOMORROW is one story.

And it was considered an “imaginary story” to boot.
An imaginary story that was celebrating the pre-crisis days. Alan Moore didn't come up with the things in this stories. I also used other examples.

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You cannot use it an an example that Clark Kent is not a real person in all forms of Superman mythology. There are far more stories that don’t involve Superman abandoning his Clark Kent identity.
Because he cannot try to abandon the identity every story. Your argument that "Superman has always been like he was post-Crisis" is really dumb and not supported by anything.



So Superman is Clark Kent is stammering around? Yeah right!


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Its not just my take…its what Superman is, and how he has been written since about 1960. Yes, Clark Kent and Superman are fundamentally different elements in some ways. That’s what makes them work together so well.
1960 is still the Silver Age. A time when the usual role of Clark Kent was just that Lois was convinced that he was Superman's secret identity. What you are talking about is the Bronze Age. There is secret identity had more to it, yet it was still an act.

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I understand your take perfectly.

You want things to be black and white, and only the way that Superman was when he was originally created, and you’d apparently like to ignore fifty years of stories that indicate otherwise because they are not your preference.
I only ignore the parts after 1986. There is nothing "Black & WHite" about my take on the Clark Kent act.

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I do not want this. I want a more interesting character with more gray areas and psychological complexity. Which you have called "simple" for some reason.

I am not confused over this. Please stop saying that I am when nothing I have said indicates that I do not understand the character of Superman and his various incarnations.
You said multiple times that it doesn't make sense. When I say it does.


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No, I think there is a point. Because you’re not correct about my intentions. I never downplayed it

YOU: Superman remembering Krypton.

ME: Ok, so he remembers Krypton. What does that prove?

YOU: That he does.

So basically you stated “Superman remembering Krypton is important because he remembers Krypton".

That does nothing to explain why you think Clark Kent is fake. It had nothing to do with the context of our conversation.
It explains that he is not just Earthman Clark Kent. You know, like in the Byrne reboot, you say is so true to the character and just an evolution. Where Superman, in fact, gave a rat's ass about Krypton.

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And what was Kal-El? Kal El was a baby, with little to no personality/persona.

If he was Kal-El before he was Clark Kent, is he only Kal El pretending to be Clark Kent AND Superman then? No. Because its not that simple.
Well, during the Silver Age has was already a toddler when he came to Earth. You are talking names again.


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What makes you think I don’t understand?

I am talking CONCEPTS. The concepts have names associated with them.
Then don't talk about that "Superman was raised as Clark Kent". Superman is just who he is. The "concept Clark Kent" is what he acts.


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I thought I was the one who didn’t understand and was “talking names”. Why are you bringing up "legal names"?

If the names don’t matter, then it shouldn’t matter to you whether Clark Kent and Superman are the real persona…since they’re all just names.

But no, you keep insisting “It IS Superman”.

Even though much of Clark's personality was formed before “Superman” ever existed.
Clark Kent is the guy who became Superman. But when he calls himself "Clark Kent" and is in public he is acting. When he is Superman he is himself.


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No. This is incorrect. He is not entirely an act. He is not written that way.
That is what you want him to be…but that is not how he has been written since about the 1960’s.
...
I've told you multiple times. He is an act. It's just that he is not entirely fake since it's a very important thing for Superman out of various reasons. But Clark Kent is definitely not just Superman's sensitive side or whatever.

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No. He does not always pretend his emotions and feelings for and toward people. This is not an act. You are incorrect.
Eh?


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Says the person who is insisting we call everything Clark and Superman does “Superman”.

I’m not confused at all.
I've made myself clear multiple times.

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I don’t care about sales numbers compared to interesting character work. I'm not even sure why you brought this up.
Because it's an objective way to tell you that the "new Superman" failed to connect with the readers.

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No he didn’t. There was a clear, discernable difference between the Clark Kent and Superman portions of the character’s life when Byrne wrote him.
The difference was that Superman was Clark Kent's duty and job. There was no real personality shift.

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No, the real Clark Kent is Clark Kent.

Because he existed before Superman.

I can’t distinguish between a name and the meaning of words?

What does that even mean

Is English your first language?
Grown-up-as-Clark-Kent-which-is-still-is-legal-name-although-his-true-self-is-now-Superman-who-uses-his-old-name-for-an-act-he-plays.

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No…he needs Clark Kent because it was as Clark Kent that he developed most of his lasting relationships and friendships. Especially those with his family.

That wasn’t an act. That was Clark growing up. Him caring about his loved ones is not an act...and he doesn't suddenly become "just Superman" just because he starts being Superman.
Another flow of words, heavy with meaning and trying to undermine my arguments by using emotionality. Of course sometimes his true self slips through the disguise, and some of his emotions are expressed through Clark. But still.

Superman specifically referring to himself that CLARK KENT WAS HIS SECRET IDENTITY. Not that he is Clark Kent or something:



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It can be. And you’ve yet to show how I don’t understand these concepts.

I won't be rude and accuse you of not understanding them yourself.
Okay.

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Old 08-13-2012, 09:34 AM   #319
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

I don't really see how you can reconcile the concept of Clark Kent as a total act when Earth is almost all he's ever known. I mean, surely he doesn't consider the Kents part of his disguise, does he? They didn't call him Clark Kent to help disguise him. They adopted him as their son and they gave him that name just like they would have given it to their biological son.

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Old 08-13-2012, 01:20 PM   #320
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I don't really see how you can reconcile the concept of Clark Kent as a total act when Earth is almost all he's ever known. I mean, surely he doesn't consider the Kents part of his disguise, does he? They didn't call him Clark Kent to help disguise him. They adopted him as their son and they gave him that name just like they would have given it to their biological son.
Some people feel like that "Clark Kent" "died" with the Kents, and became 100% full time Superman. This goes back to Siegel and Shuster's version in which Superman had more friends as Superman than as Clark Kent. Superman hung out, cracked jokes, and such, in true comic book fashion. This was before secret identities and relatability became a thing of note in comics, as they have always been in film.

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I think, for me, the best writers of Superman manage to pull off a combination of both these approaches. They blur the lines between the Kal El persona and the Superman persona, making either approach perfectly valid from a certain point of view.
I agree with this 100%. Neither Superman or Clark Kent are acts, they are different parts of the same person.

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Old 08-14-2012, 04:53 AM   #321
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

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doesn't change the fact that Clark never existed to begin with

Clark Kent is supposed to be a flesh and blood human being... and unless Kal-El gives up his powers, Kal-El will never be human, and the Clark persona will never exist.

and i really dont care about that Smallville/Byrne crap. all that "im a normal human with powers" is ridiculous... when I watched Superman as a kid, and even when i watch it today, i dont read it for Clark... I read it for SUPERMAN. Superman is the shining light for humanity in the comic book, not Clark. Superman is the hope of the future for mankind in the comic, not Clark. Superman is the character that the people of Metropolis look up to for inspiration, and is the awe-inspiring character that people of all ages read about and hope to be like, not Clark... Clark is the normal being that we all are and can't do anything about it. Superman is the person inside all of us that wants to do great things, to strive to make mankind better, and to make a positive change for this world, and when we read Superman, it is Superman, not Clark, that continues to inspire comic book readers into hoping for their own future.

Kal-El was born a Kryptonian. unless he gives up his powers, that will never change. Clark is his human cloak to fool the rest of the world into think he is a human, which is a blatant and obvious lie. There is only one thing Kal-El can do to truly become Clark Kent, but until he does that, Clark Kent will never truly exist.
Thank you for proving my point. Kal-El/Clark is the real person. Superman disguise used as the symbol for the public and Public Clark is the disguise used to hide amongst the public.

Also, Nature vs. Nurture.

Clark isn't suppose to be anything other then he is. When they named him Clark, when they raised him they knew he wasn't a normal human being. That doesn't change who he is and what lessons he has learned.

Remember who he calls mom and dad.

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and you forget one simple little truth about Kal-El:

no matter how much he wants a normal life, he will never have one.
Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?

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Old 08-14-2012, 09:09 AM   #322
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

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You don't have to know everything about someone no.

But we're not just talking about normal information.

We're talking about people acting they way they do around Superman because they believe he is an alien who only recently arrived on earth.

If they knew he had lived a fairly human life, been raised by human parents, went to school, has a job etc... the way they saw him, and the way they acted around him, would be completely different.

So I just don't see how that persona can be 'real'.

He can't ever form any real connection with someone who only knows Superman, and doesn't have a clue who he REALLY is.
I dislike the idea of Superman not being able to from connections with people. You say they wouldn't know who he REALLY is because people wouldn't know every biographical fact from his life. I disagree.

If you really wanted to get to know someone, what would be the better way? To read a biography about the person... or to actually spend time with the person?

The way I imagine him, Superman could make a meaningful connection with virtually every person he saves. Even if he's only there for 10 minutes in those 10 minutes he changes their lives forever. That's the kind of power I want the character to have.

To a person whose life was in danger the only fact that would matter was that he was there. Superman has the power to be anywhere, doing anything he wants to do, and he choose to be there helping them. The last thing on the mind of a person he spends time with would be what elementary school Superman attended.

Remember what Batman said: "It's what I dooooooooo, that defines me."

That's fairly true of Superman as well. When he does all these wonderful things for others, people see exactly who he REALLY is.

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Old 08-14-2012, 09:20 AM   #323
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

Kal-El/Clark as public Clark and Superman is completely capable of forming meaningful relationships, because each guise is him. A part of him. And in each guise, no matter what, the kind and understanding heart is there.

It is why Lois was able to fall in love with Clark Kent. it is why Superman is able to endear and even surprise his fellow superheroes with his ways.

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Old 08-14-2012, 09:35 AM   #324
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

Exactly.

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Old 08-14-2012, 11:46 AM   #325
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

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Kal-El/Clark as public Clark and Superman is completely capable of forming meaningful relationships, because each guise is him. A part of him. And in each guise, no matter what, the kind and understanding heart is there.

It is why Lois was able to fall in love with Clark Kent. it is why Superman is able to endear and even surprise his fellow superheroes with his ways.

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