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  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bored at 3:00AM View Post
    You'd be surprised how many criminals are caught these days thanks to surveillance cameras

    Facial recognition tech, on the other hand, is not yet legal to use in criminal cases, but is becoming more and more widespread.

    Here are a few good articles about it if you are interested.

    https://www.wired.com/story/few-rule...on-technology/
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.cfe855e6e794
    Both of those articles state that there are questions about the accuracy of the software- the government stats seem to only be in the 80-90% range and even the more accurate systems would still offer Clark as part of a group of possible matches depending on the size of the databases he was compared to. Which was my point, outside of crime fiction these tech solutions aren't going to out Clark or Bruce accurately, even barring the counter measures superheroes have that don't exist in the real world.

  2. #47

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    I wish that this would be revived, but i guess with the way people feel about the "true" superman not being 'diluted' to whatever degree, I guess it's not an option. I guess that the Silver Age version 'still exists', somewhere in HyperTime or whatever.. but oh well...

  3. #48
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    M take on it is that Clark is never Superboy in the present, only in the future when he hangs out with the Legion

  4. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    I'm sure with the resources Clark has, he's more than capable of keeping the cameras off him and the facial recog software confused.

    A slight super-speed vibration to blur his face, emitting low-level radiation from his eyes to scramble any cameras he's facing.......I really don't get why we get so hung up on the secret identity. Of all the things Superman can do and all the things he deals with on a daily basis, this shouldnt be more than a bump in the road.
    I think there's always clever ways of getting around it, but the plausibility of the secret identity is always going to be a sticking point for a certain percentage of the audience, so I can see why the concept is either getting discarded or ignored more and more.

    I particularly enjoyed Waid's notion in Birthright that Superman uses his super-vision to avoid being seen on satellites and other forms of secret surveillance.

  5. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Clark View Post
    Both of those articles state that there are questions about the accuracy of the software- the government stats seem to only be in the 80-90% range and even the more accurate systems would still offer Clark as part of a group of possible matches depending on the size of the databases he was compared to. Which was my point, outside of crime fiction these tech solutions aren't going to out Clark or Bruce accurately, even barring the counter measures superheroes have that don't exist in the real world.
    Agreed, but when you start to compound that 80-90% match with other evidence like Clark and Superboy both being in Smallville at the same time, then both moving to Metropolis, both being closely linked to Lois Lane, and so on, it can begin to strain credulity that the average person doesn't point out the obvious

    I don't know if there necessarily is a solution that will satisfy people for whom the secret identity remains a sticking point. I know that a lot of creators bristle at ideas like Clark's Kryptonian lensed eyeglasses or all the other explanations they've come up with over the years to hand-wave it away, because they think audiences should just accept the conceit and move on, but I'm not sure if that's a good idea if these characters are going to appeal to future generations who are being raised in a world where notions of privacy are very different than they were when most of these characters were created in the mid-20th Century.

  6. #51
    Fantastic Member Spiderboy12's Avatar
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    I would revive Superboy, but not as the superhero of Smallville. Rather, make young Kal-El the superhero of Kansas, or an area perhaps focused on the Kansas Cities that encompasses parts of both Kansas and Missouri. This is where you make use of the fact that he comes from a planet with a vastly superior technology, some of which is no doubt embedded in the spacecraft that brought him here. He might even be guided to Earth by an AI, and that AI continues to aid him—a computerized Alfred in a sense—as he grows up and begins his superhero career. The AI could help him develop an advanced monitoring system that's like an early version of the one Superman later keeps in his fortress. Thus, Superboy would keep track of events all over the area he's guarding, and he would also engage in a regular patrol. There would be no concentration of activity that would definitively link him with Smallville.

    There are so many ways I think you could play a young Clark Kent acting as Superboy that I'm not really sure what the best approach would be. As the only active superhero between the "Golden Age" of the Justice Society and the "modern age" of the Justice League, he could function as a bridge between the two eras. As Superboy, Clark could interact and even train with members of the JSA, who could mentor him "behind the scenes." Or he could form an unofficial team with a young Bruce Wayne in training. Bruce might have learned about Clark's secret identity, and then, with the help of Alfred and the resources of Wayne Enterprises, help him keep it from the federal government or anyone else seeking his identity. I'd love some teenage team-ups between the two characters.

    Yes, I certainly think Clark as Superboy should still join the Legion, but I'd stick with the original "mindwipe"; Saturn Girl just keeps him remembering anything about his own future and those of his loved ones, or the near future of Earth. He would still remember his adventures with the Legion, for in practical terms, when he returns to his own time, he should benefit from the experience gained in those adventures. His adventures in his own time should be more mundane (though not necessarily less interesting) than his adventures in the future. I'm all for his powers developing gradually rather than all at once. It would be part of his growth experience.

    To keep Superboy distinct from Superman, I'd keep Clark in street clothes during his Superboy years; like Kon-El, he could even have a different color scheme. Let his hair hang out as a kid, and be shorter as an adult. And keep in mind that he's an alien. There's no rule that says he has to develop like a human teenager. He comes from a long-lived race; his adolescence might be correspondingly longer—and no one notices because of the years in the future that he spends with the Legion.

    To create a clean break even in appearance, perhaps Superboy vanishes for a year or so while he's of college age—and Clark physically matures while he spends a few years exclusivley with the LSH in the future. Thus he looks distinctly taller, older, and more developed when he returns and debuts as Superman. And with a different hairstyle and costume, people might not even know at first that Superman is Superboy all grown up. At least not until he chooses to tell them.

    Teen Clark could also be a controversial superhero, just as one might expect from the first public superhero since (perhaps) masked heroes were banned by Congress in the 1950s (or whatever end time you choose for the JSA). As Superboy doesn't wear a mask or even a costume and people know his real name—Cal L. (a form the government allows to give him some anonymity), he can be a public superhero. But his inexperience, his methods (which may straddle the legal line), and just the fact he's allowed to work as a superhero at all could create controversy. And the reason he disappears might only add to the controversy.

    But when Superman debuts, the same controversy doesn't exist; he's experienced, he works firmly within the law, and people find him far more inspiring. Perhaps Clark never flies (at least in his own time) until he's Superman. That could be one reason Superman perhaps lets people wonder for a little while whether he and Superboy are the same person before he finally tells all to Lois Lane in her Pulitzer Prize-winning story.

    Those are my thoughts on "Teen Clark as Superboy."
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  7. #52
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bored at 3:00AM View Post
    I think there's always clever ways of getting around it, but the plausibility of the secret identity is always going to be a sticking point for a certain percentage of the audience, so I can see why the concept is either getting discarded or ignored more and more.

    I particularly enjoyed Waid's notion in Birthright that Superman uses his super-vision to avoid being seen on satellites and other forms of secret surveillance.
    As you say, the current views on privacy make a secret identity a difficult topic no matter what. There are people who take issue with Batman, and he covers most of his face. This is something that you either roll with or not, damn little that is said or done on the page is going to change a person's bias about the privacy/secret ID debate.

    And I think the idea that Superman would even *want* to be Clark Kent is something a lot of people struggle with now. When everyone wants to be a Youtube and twitter star, and they share and post every stupid, mundane, pointless aspect of their lives, the idea that a person like Superman would want to stay out of the spotlight and have a slice of blissful anonymity must seem far more alien to these kids than Clark being an actual alien.
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  8. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    As you say, the current views on privacy make a secret identity a difficult topic no matter what. There are people who take issue with Batman, and he covers most of his face. This is something that you either roll with or not, damn little that is said or done on the page is going to change a person's bias about the privacy/secret ID debate.

    And I think the idea that Superman would even *want* to be Clark Kent is something a lot of people struggle with now. When everyone wants to be a Youtube and twitter star, and they share and post every stupid, mundane, pointless aspect of their lives, the idea that a person like Superman would want to stay out of the spotlight and have a slice of blissful anonymity must seem far more alien to these kids than Clark being an actual alien.
    Exactly. The idea that the most powerful and admired man on the planet actually wants to live as mild-mannered reporter is absolutely key to why the character is so great, which is why I think it behooves creators to spare a little shoe leather trying to make the concept more plausible for the younger generation.

  9. #54
    Master Hero Vladimir
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    To be honest, I've always considered Clark's Superboy phase as unnecessary to the larger mythos. Yes, Clark could be a teenage superhero but it wouldn't have the same impact in his life or the world in general as Superman has. I'm more content with Superboy being a relic of the Silver Age instead of being constantly reimagined for the modern era, especially when that involves retcons and the constant production of origin stories. When you have a character with such a long history as Superman, there comes a time when you have to stop looking back and instead start looking forward.

  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeroVladimir93 View Post
    To be honest, I've always considered Clark's Superboy phase as unnecessary to the larger mythos. Yes, Clark could be a teenage superhero but it wouldn't have the same impact in his life or the world in general as Superman has. I'm more content with Superboy being a relic of the Silver Age instead of being constantly reimagined for the modern era, especially when that involves retcons and the constant production of origin stories. When you have a character with such a long history as Superman, there comes a time when you have to stop looking back and instead start looking forward.
    But it's not looking backward to have Clark as Superboy anymore than it is to make Lex a businessman is "looking backward" simply because the idea originated in 1986.

    Originally Krypton was suggested as a 10th planet in our solar system- one that went the way of the supposed planet between Mars and Jupiter. That has of course been updated since 1938, but we don't consider Krypton some remnant of the Golden Age to be tossed.

    And as for new origins- if they had just left the old one with Superboy in place …..

  11. #56
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    There's this urge to strip down Superman to the basics and I sometimes support that idea, but when you lose all the fantastic things in the mythology and you're left with this basic Superman, it's not as fun. Eventually, the writers have to build up another mythology to replace the old one--which is what happened in the Jurgens years.

    Once National Comics embraced the idea of Superman having been Superboy--at first the stories were treated as not quite canon in the 1940s, but once the character became so popular there was an interrelationship with the Superman stories--then a lot of mythology sprang out of those early adventures of Superman: the Kents, Lana Lang, Pete Ross, Krypto, Bizarro, Mon-El, the Legion of Super-Heroes, young Lex Luthor.

    When they retconned Superman in 1986, they tried to cut Superboy out of the story but leave almost everything else still in place. And it's like one of those pictures, where a figure has been removed but you can tell that someone was there because of everything else around him.

    I can understand why that Superboy was so popular with young readers (myself included), because you got to see Superman when everything was new and just starting to happen. He hadn't grown up and got a regular job, he hadn't settled down and got married and had a kid--he was still a kid himself. I sometimes think that's the more interesting story rather than Superman all grown up, when he's accomplished everything and gathered a large rogues gallery.
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  12. #57
    Astonishing Member phantom1592's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    There's this urge to strip down Superman to the basics and I sometimes support that idea, but when you lose all the fantastic things in the mythology and you're left with this basic Superman, it's not as fun. Eventually, the writers have to build up another mythology to replace the old one--which is what happened in the Jurgens years.

    Once National Comics embraced the idea of Superman having been Superboy--at first the stories were treated as not quite canon in the 1940s, but once the character became so popular there was an interrelationship with the Superman stories--then a lot of mythology sprang out of those early adventures of Superman: the Kents, Lana Lang, Pete Ross, Krypto, Bizarro, Mon-El, the Legion of Super-Heroes, young Lex Luthor.

    When they retconned Superman in 1986, they tried to cut Superboy out of the story but leave almost everything else still in place. And it's like one of those pictures, where a figure has been removed but you can tell that someone was there because of everything else around him.

    Agree with all this. Superman really shouldn't be 'mundane'. He's had so many copies, clones, ripoffs over the years... that he really needs that grand sweeping mythology to keep him as SUPERMAN.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    I can understand why that Superboy was so popular with young readers (myself included), because you got to see Superman when everything was new and just starting to happen. He hadn't grown up and got a regular job, he hadn't settled down and got married and had a kid--he was still a kid himself. I sometimes think that's the more interesting story rather than Superman all grown up, when he's accomplished everything and gathered a large rogues gallery.
    I like both... I love a good 'learning the ropes' story with a fallible character who can screw up and try to fix things later... which is a great Superboy concept.... but I also love Superman being Superman. The one who always wins no matter what and is the bestest, strongest, fastest, cleverest hero around. Superman is SUPERMAN... making him too weak or too flawed or too human really erodes at the power fantasy that is the core of Superman.

    Frankly I think that's why we've had so many origin stories for Superman. Green Lantern, Flash, Batman.... they just don't get the same number of retelling and reimaginings that Superman seems to. Writers want to have the perfect Superman in the present... AND write a younger flawed version too.

  13. #58
    Fantastic Member Jon-El's Avatar
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    I’m pretty excepting of Superman having never been Superboy. It was a fresh idea to me when it was introduced in the late 80’s. I’m fine with that. However, I grew up with the Superboy stories so that will always be my favorite version. There was some story where a character remarks about how much experience Superman has. Something about how he’s been doing this since he was a teen. I always liked that. I loved stories where he would’ve fly to some strange universe trying to test the limits of his powers. They don’t have much place in modern comics but I love that stuff. I love the adventures with the Legion even though the concept makes no sense. How did he attend monthly meetings which I remember him doing. How did he know what exact moment to travel to? It’s goofy but I like it anyway.

    Even the interpretation of the character was always different. The version I read in solo Superboy comics didn’t seem like the same guy as the funky ultra 70’s guy from the Legion stories. Honestly, there was a point as a kid where I thought Superman was a different person than Mike Grell’s Superboy!

    9453F25F-EC20-4172-92ED-6FCE38DFB3A9.jpg

    5BAB7D61-CAC8-45F9-9B7F-5391FF04CD9D.jpg
    Last edited by Jon-El; 11-24-2018 at 07:57 PM.

  14. #59
    Astonishing Member superduperman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon-El View Post
    I’m pretty excepting of Superman having never been Superboy. It was a fresh idea to me when it was introduced in the late 80’s. I’m fine with that. However, I grew up with the Superboy stories so that will always be my favorite version. There was some story where a character remarks about how much experience Superman has. Something about how he’s been doing this since he was a teen. I always liked that. I loved stories where he would’ve fly to some strange universe trying to test the limits of his powers. They don’t have much place in modern comics but I love that stuff. I love the adventures with the Legion even though the concept makes no sense. How did he attend monthly meetings which I remember him doing. How did he know what exact moment to travel to? It’s goofy but I like it anyway.

    Even the interpretation of the character was always different. The version I read in solo Superboy comics didn’t seem like the same guy as the funky ultra 70’s guy from the Legion stories. Honestly, there was a point as a kid where I thought Superman was a different person than Mike Grell’s Superboy!

    9453F25F-EC20-4172-92ED-6FCE38DFB3A9.jpg

    5BAB7D61-CAC8-45F9-9B7F-5391FF04CD9D.jpg
    I actually have that Superboy #1 issue!
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  15. #60
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    Julius Schwartz was the primary Superman editor from 1971 to 1985; however, he didn't edit all of the family and he seemed to stay away from Superboy up until 1978 when Superboy joined SUPERMAN FAMILY as a feature and after that when Schwartz was the editor of THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERBOY (1980 - 1984). Murray Boltinoff was the editor of SUPERBOY when the Legion made their comeback (circa 1973), first with Dave Cockrum and then with Mike Grell.

    With time travel, it was easily possible for Superboy to have all the adventures with the LSH and it not seem like any time has passed for him in the 20th century. But wouldn't it be interesting if the order in which the Legion had their adventures was not the order in which Superboy experienced them? Like, suppose that the Grell Superboy & the Legion stories took place in his senior year of high school, but the Levitz stories took place in Superboy's junior year.
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