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Old 08-06-2012, 12:46 PM   #151
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

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Clark Kent can't be just a disguise...because Clark Kent is the personality/person who was around before Superman. He is the morals and values that the Kents inspired, and Clark Kent's experiences, hopes and dreams. But he quickly began to discover that he wasn't just Clark Kent.

Here's the way I look at it: He grew up as Clark Kent, discovered he was Kal-El as a young man, and combined the two to become Superman. He uses elements of his public Clark Kent presentation as a disguise for Superman later on...but Clark Kent is still a very real person who shows his true self to his closest friends and allies. So he's very real.

But So is Superman. So is Kal-El eventually.

This character is unique in that he's not "pretending" to be these distinct things. They are not "disguises". They are all key parts of who he really is. Clark Kent is very real. So is Kal-El. So is Superman. And that's the way the film should approach it.
Completely agree. To approach it black and white is wrong. Clark is a multi -layered character and I hope the movie shows that. Or even through the course of the trilogy.

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Old 08-06-2012, 12:57 PM   #152
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

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So in other words...



*Clark Kent is the dude that's playing the dude that's disguised as another dude*
That's exactly what is so problematic about these "modern takes".

So there is "private Clark", there is "public Clark", there is "Kal-El", there is "Superman", there is "stuck-in-traffic Clark"...

Keep it simple.


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We need to note that in the Silver Age, Clark Kent was the disguise. You can argue that farmboy Clark is the "real" guy, but that's going by one interpretation.
Not only in the Silver Age, also in the Golden Age and in the Bronze Age and...


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This character is unique in that he's not "pretending" to be these distinct things. They are not "disguises". They are all key parts of who he really is. Clark Kent is very real. So is Kal-El. So is Superman. And that's the way the film should approach it.
No, he is unique because he is Superman and disguises himself as Clark Kent. But we've had this 1000 times.

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Old 08-06-2012, 12:58 PM   #153
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

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Completely agree. To approach it black and white is wrong. Clark is a multi -layered character and I hope the movie shows that. Or even through the course of the trilogy.
Superman is a multi-layered character because for some reason he reduces himself to "Clark Kent".

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Old 08-06-2012, 01:16 PM   #154
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

I always thought that Clark Kent is what Superman would be if he lost his powers (and I am not referring to Chris Reeve's version of goofy Clark Kent.)

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Old 08-06-2012, 01:18 PM   #155
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

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The closest to fact we'll ever come with this subject. Or at least that's how MOS will likely shape up and how it should be. Though I'd rather say he becomes Superman rather than dresses.
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This is my interpretation as well. I've worded it differently in the past, but this is it right here. This, to me, is the most interesting, narratively versatile version of Clark. You can tell a pure Superman story, you can tell a pure Clark story and you can tell mixtures of both, as well as a full features psychologically realistic story, because neither one is "fake" any more than a policeman is a "fake" person when they're in uniform or a parent is a "fake" person when talking to a small child.
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Clark Kent can't be just a disguise...because Clark Kent is the personality/person who was around before Superman. He is the morals and values that the Kents inspired, and Clark Kent's experiences, hopes and dreams. But he quickly began to discover that he wasn't just Clark Kent.

Here's the way I look at it: He grew up as Clark Kent, discovered he was Kal-El as a young man, and combined the two to become Superman. He uses elements of his public Clark Kent presentation as a disguise for Superman later on...but Clark Kent is still a very real person who shows his true self to his closest friends and allies. So he's very real.

But So is Superman. So is Kal-El eventually.

This character is unique in that he's not "pretending" to be these distinct things. They are not "disguises". They are all key parts of who he really is. Clark Kent is very real. So is Kal-El. So is Superman. And that's the way the film should approach it.
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Completely agree. To approach it black and white is wrong. Clark is a multi -layered character and I hope the movie shows that. Or even through the course of the trilogy.


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Keep it simple.
I think that pretty much sums up why you come to you're conclusions and the rest of us come to ours.

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Old 08-06-2012, 04:29 PM   #156
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

lol; heck, even in Nolan's take, Bruce had three somewhat different identities;....

1. Real Bruce (the one that only Alfred Knew of)

2. Batman

3. And heck, even to some extent, the billionaire playboy, since only a guy like that can get away with shacking up with Talia and ending the film with Selina. =P

So to go on from that, I could definitely see the whole thing being established in MOS where Clark is essentially the three sides mentioned above and how they're just extensions of himself as a whole.

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Old 08-06-2012, 05:38 PM   #157
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

I guess if you were really fussy the character has many stages in its persona. I guess identity stages is a better term than constant identity.

- Baby Kal-El (kryptonian alien, oblivious)

- Baby / child Clark (earth-bound alien and mostly oblivious/unaware, even with the powers)

- Teenage Clark (becoming humanized, but increasing selfawareness due to powers and origin will likely lead to identity crisis)

- Grown Clark / Kal-El / early Superman (more resolved about heritage combined with earthly upbringing, but still fuzzy about his place in the world)

- Adult Clark / Kal-El / established Superman / early Metropolis Clark (Superman getting foothold, maybe difficulties with time-consuming dual identities)

- Adult Clark / Kal-El / established Superman / established Metropolis Clark / Lois Lane love interest (maybe returning identity crisis from actually wanting to be a normal man again with Lois in his life)

- Future Kal-El / future Superman / Post Lois Lane (all loved ones and friends are gone, identity crisis? which persona is left? yada-yada...)


It could be more thought through, but you get the idea (I reckon).

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Old 08-06-2012, 06:09 PM   #158
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

And that's a legitimate take. Superman is an evolving character. You're talking about a character who basically evolves his entire life, literally and figureatively.

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Old 08-06-2012, 07:12 PM   #159
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

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Clark Kent can't be just a disguise...because Clark Kent is the personality/person who was around before Superman. He is the morals and values that the Kents inspired, and Clark Kent's experiences, hopes and dreams. But he quickly began to discover that he wasn't just Clark Kent.

Here's the way I look at it: He grew up as Clark Kent, discovered he was Kal-El as a young man, and combined the two to become Superman. He uses elements of his public Clark Kent presentation as a disguise for Superman later on...but Clark Kent is still a very real person who shows his true self to his closest friends and allies. So he's very real.

But So is Superman. So is Kal-El eventually.

This character is unique in that he's not "pretending" to be these distinct things. They are not "disguises". They are all key parts of who he really is. Clark Kent is very real. So is Kal-El. So is Superman. And that's the way the film should approach it.
Superman is far too much of an idealist for it to be "the real" Clark. Superman isn't allowed to be anything other then the idealistic symbol the people are to strive for. Superman's interaction with his superhero buddies allows a window to the real Clark, but that isn't what the public gets to see. The intentional way Clark uses the "public" Clark persona to throw people off doesn't allow him to express his true self.

The real guy does encompass all of that, but not to the degree in which he demonstrates while playing those rolls.

It is like the public persona of politician or hell crazy serial murderer.

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Old 08-06-2012, 07:27 PM   #160
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

Superman's public ideals are the same as his internal ideals.

Superman is Superman deep down, nothing more or less, because that is who he is. The man who wants to help people. Whether he was raised on a farm/alien world or not is negligible, plenty of other Supermen were not given their ideals from the farm, just like their are interpretations of Kal-El who didn't want to be Superman just because he had his powers from Krypton.

Superman is just inherently good. People need to stop trying to trace where his goodness originates. He just is good.

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Old 08-06-2012, 07:33 PM   #161
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

I think Clark's relationship with Lois does not really mix with the public ideals of Superman. It shows a selfishness, a need, a bit of putting yourself first.

I wouldn't say Superman is inherently good. There is a good nature v. nurture debate there, with the way other living Kryptonians have turned out.

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Old 08-06-2012, 09:07 PM   #162
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

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Which is wrong. Both are costumes. One is an impossible ideal used to inspire, while the other lets him live amongst. The real guy, the one that sits and talks with his mother or with his wife. That guy isn't Superman or Clark.
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Superman is far too much of an idealist for it to be "the real" Clark. Superman isn't allowed to be anything other then the idealistic symbol the people are to strive for. Superman's interaction with his superhero buddies allows a window to the real Clark, but that isn't what the public gets to see. The intentional way Clark uses the "public" Clark persona to throw people off doesn't allow him to express his true self.

The real guy does encompass all of that, but not to the degree in which he demonstrates while playing those rolls.

It is like the public persona of politician or hell crazy serial murderer.
I completely disagree with you. I've never bought the idea that Superman is presenting people with an impossible ideal. Honestly I think people get Superman's ideals mixed up with his powers sometimes. His powers? Definitely impossible. No one in Metropolis or on this message board will ever be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound or out race a bullet. But is that really what Superman is all about? Why does he even bother doing those things?

Superman is ALL about helping other people. That's the ideal that he presents and calls others to follow. He leaps tall buildings to come to the aid of a person in danger, he out races bullets to keep other people from being hit by them.

I'm willing to bet most of the people on this board have helped others before. Not because our parents told us we were destined to do it, not because our parents were gunned down in alley in front of us, but just because we saw someone who needed help and we reached out. Our ways of helping others might be different then Superman's, but the ideal is very much the same.

What's impossible about that?

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Old 08-06-2012, 10:24 PM   #163
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

That isn't Superman's only trait that he is suppose to inspire. he is truth, justice and the American way. He is example of pure selflessness and honesty. And yet he lies everyday of his life and puts Lois in constant danger do to his own selfishness. He is the guy who decides constantly what equals justice. Superman is suppose to be perfect. Clark clearly isn't.

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Old 08-06-2012, 10:59 PM   #164
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

I wonder how much time will be spent on Clark's career as a journalist.

One of the cool things about the current Action Comics run is that it shows him pursuing his mission not only as Superman where he fights crime, but even as Clark Kent, writing articles about corruption and injustice.

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Old 08-06-2012, 11:47 PM   #165
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

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I wonder how much time will be spent on Clark's career as a journalist.

One of the cool things about the current Action Comics run is that it shows him pursuing his mission not only as Superman where he fights crime, but even as Clark Kent, writing articles about corruption and injustice.
Hard to say at the moment; tbh, I'm not even sure if they'll have the time to considering everything that's going on in the film.

It's kind of a shame really that the only time we've seen Clark utilized as the journalists as he is was in Superman III as far as I know, and that was primarily because the film didn't have Lois to use for that department.


On another note, gotta say folks, that the shot of Superman looking at the sky, and slowly closing his eyes as he takes in his surroundings for the comic Con trailer, I thought that was well acted by Cavil. If anything, this will definitely provide the great opportunity of actually showing the very moment where Clark officially transformed into Superman instead of just glossing through that moment in a 12 years later plot device.

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Old 08-07-2012, 12:03 AM   #166
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

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I wonder how much time will be spent on Clark's career as a journalist.

One of the cool things about the current Action Comics run is that it shows him pursuing his mission not only as Superman where he fights crime, but even as Clark Kent, writing articles about corruption and injustice.
I really don't think we will see much of him working at the Planet at all. That feels more like sequel territory just because of how much they need to cover already.

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Old 08-07-2012, 01:33 AM   #167
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

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I really don't think we will see much of him working at the Planet at all. That feels more like sequel territory just because of how much they need to cover already.
Yeah, I agree about actually working in the Daily Planet being saved for the sequel. However, I could see him being a freelance journalist like he was in Birthright.

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Old 08-07-2012, 05:30 AM   #168
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

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I wonder how much time will be spent on Clark's career as a journalist.

One of the cool things about the current Action Comics run is that it shows him pursuing his mission not only as Superman where he fights crime, but even as Clark Kent, writing articles about corruption and injustice.
I completely agree.

I mean, even if they don't so much show Clark doing that, I hope that message is clear through Lois' journalistic ideals.

It's one of the things I love about the whole mythos. That being a hero isn't just about having powers. Sometimes it's about fighting corruption and injustice in ways that you can actually do in the real world.

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Old 08-07-2012, 05:34 AM   #169
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

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I think that pretty much sums up why you come to you're conclusions and the rest of us come to ours.
No, simplicity isn't bad.

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Old 08-07-2012, 06:04 AM   #170
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

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That isn't Superman's only trait that he is suppose to inspire. he is truth, justice and the American way. He is example of pure selflessness and honesty. And yet he lies everyday of his life and puts Lois in constant danger do to his own selfishness. He is the guy who decides constantly what equals justice. Superman is suppose to be perfect. Clark clearly isn't.
Why is Superman supposed to be perfect? Who decided that?

You mention that Superman sometimes has to lie and sometimes has personal desires (for Lois). I have no problem acknowledging that. It only reinforces the idea that he understands he isn't perfect.

I disagree when you say Superman constantly decides what equals justice. If he was doing that he would be placing himself in the position of judge, jury, and if he felt inclined, executioner. There would probably be some "death by heat vision" sentences dished out. But that isn't what we see 99.9% of the time. He hands criminals over to the authorities to receive a fair trial. He stands for justice but he doesn't decide it.

It all comes back to that first ideal I talked about in the earlier post. Superman's life is all about helping others. Would being something less than perfect prevent him from doing that? Again, I have to ask what is the actual in story purpose of having Superman deliberately mislead people into thinking he's perfect? What is the value in pretending to be something you're not?

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Old 08-07-2012, 06:10 AM   #171
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

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No, simplicity isn't bad.
No one is saying that simplicity is bad. Some people just view the identify situation as more complex due to the fact that the Superman character is a humanoid alien raised by earthlings, and he also has many human traits. Humans aren't cut and dry, so it's only natural that some don't view Superman as cut a dry.

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Old 08-07-2012, 07:13 AM   #172
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Why is Superman supposed to be perfect? Who decided that?
Clark did. It is an idea you hear in the newest trailer when Jor-El speaks. Superman is a ideal, an example for the people to strive towards.

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You mention that Superman sometimes has to lie and sometimes has personal desires (for Lois). I have no problem acknowledging that. It only reinforces the idea that he understands he isn't perfect.
Oh I know Clark knows he isn't perfect. But that is not what his Superman persona is suppose to represent. That is why Clark Kent doesn't go out saving the day and setting an example for mankind. Superman does.

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I disagree when you say Superman constantly decides what equals justice. If he was doing that he would be placing himself in the position of judge, jury, and if he felt inclined, executioner. There would probably be some "death by heat vision" sentences dished out. But that isn't what we see 99.9% of the time. He hands criminals over to the authorities to receive a fair trial. He stands for justice but he doesn't decide it.
Constantly would be wrong, but he does it on occasion. He executed three people. I don't remember him turning Wonder Woman over to the authorities after she committed murder.

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It all comes back to that first ideal I talked about in the earlier post. Superman's life is all about helping others. Would being something less than perfect prevent him from doing that? Again, I have to ask what is the actual in story purpose of having Superman deliberately mislead people into thinking he's perfect? What is the value in pretending to be something you're not?
The end of The Dark Knight showed exactly why.

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Old 08-07-2012, 07:36 AM   #173
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

The fact that Kal EL/Farm Clark must create a separate identify in order to be fulfilled proves that Superman doesn't encompass all that he is. The Clark Kent persona obviously gives the character something he needs to be happy. The two personas are different aspects of the same man, so defining one as the true self doesn't make sense IMO.

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Old 08-07-2012, 07:41 AM   #174
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

Superman and Clark Kent are aspects of a man. Neither is the true self. But it is not as if we do not see the true person the man born Kal-El is. We do quite often.

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Old 08-07-2012, 08:08 AM   #175
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

If Clark has to pretend he is someone else when he is Superman, it nullifies both the fact that Superman shows his face and the fact that he puts on glasses and acts like a nobody in the Planet.

Superman doesn't act differently when he puts on his cape, he just gets to he himself, he acts differently when he puts on the glasses. It's other people that think he is infallible, he doesn't hold press conferences where he can be this holier than thou saviour for humankind.

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