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Thread: Kal or Clark?

  1. #31
    Mighty Member Vordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    Hal doesn't call him Kal. I have never seen that
    Hence “I think I’d be ok”. I’m simply saying I’d be fine if a writer chose to have the GLs call Superman by his Kryptonian name.
    Last edited by Vordan; 02-10-2019 at 01:32 PM.

  2. #32
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    I'd figure most just call him Superman. Few know who Clark Kent is and even fewer would know Kal-El.
    Last edited by The World; 02-10-2019 at 07:24 PM.

  3. #33
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    His name is Clark. He thinks of himself as Clark. He grew up as Clark. His closest friends, the people who know him best, when it won't threaten his secret ID, will call him Clark. Kal-el is useful as a more personal name to give out without threatening the proper secret ID, and probably helps in off-world stuff. But he's Clark. Superman is just the name he lets people call him so Metallo doesn't try and kill his nearest and dearest, and Kal-El is a name he didn't even know about till he was fully grown. He's Clark, and his best friends would refer to him as such.

  4. #34
    Mighty Member kjn's Avatar
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    We had a follow-up discussion on this in the Wonder Woman forum, where I posted the following:

    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    Pretty much agree with Agent 86 here: it depends on Superman's self-identity, which changes depending on the writer.

    Given the exploration on Superman's identity that Tom King did in Heroes in Crisis (which to me was one of the few really interesting and insightful things to come out of that comic), I think Diana could be used as a useful shorthand for gauging his mental status. She can naturally switch between calling him Kal, Clark, and Superman depending on how he thinks for himself.

  5. #35
    Ultimate Member Sacred Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greatmetropolitan View Post
    His name is Clark. He thinks of himself as Clark. He grew up as Clark. His closest friends, the people who know him best, when it won't threaten his secret ID, will call him Clark. Kal-el is useful as a more personal name to give out without threatening the proper secret ID, and probably helps in off-world stuff. But he's Clark. Superman is just the name he lets people call him so Metallo doesn't try and kill his nearest and dearest, and Kal-El is a name he didn't even know about till he was fully grown. He's Clark, and his best friends would refer to him as such.
    That's not really accurate anymore, though. That was the verbatim post-Crisis way of thinking with the character. Superman is back to a much more nuanced, much more complex identity. And Kal-El isn't a name he only knew about when he was fully grown anymore. He learns details from the rocket now at a much younger age.
    "They can be a great people Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you. My only son." - Jor-El

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  6. #36
    Master Hero Vladimir
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sacred Knight View Post
    That's not really accurate anymore, though. That was the verbatim post-Crisis way of thinking with the character. Superman is back to a much more nuanced, much more complex identity. And Kal-El isn't a name he only knew about when he was fully grown anymore. He learns details from the rocket now at a much younger age.
    I guess the "Superman is what I do. Clark is who I really am." quote is the quickest way to make more than few fanboys angry in this forum. I used to think this quote was so powerful because it demonstrated that Superman was more than just his suit and powers, he was a person with problems and feelings, but now, it doesn't seem to come close at doing Superman justice.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by greatmetropolitan View Post
    His name is Clark. He thinks of himself as Clark. He grew up as Clark. His closest friends, the people who know him best, when it won't threaten his secret ID, will call him Clark. Kal-el is useful as a more personal name to give out without threatening the proper secret ID, and probably helps in off-world stuff. But he's Clark. Superman is just the name he lets people call him so Metallo doesn't try and kill his nearest and dearest, and Kal-El is a name he didn't even know about till he was fully grown. He's Clark, and his best friends would refer to him as such.
    I agree Here ....

  8. #38
    Incredible Member stargazer01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeroVladimir93 View Post
    I guess the "Superman is what I do. Clark is who I really am." quote is the quickest way to make more than few fanboys angry in this forum. I used to think this quote was so powerful because it demonstrated that Superman was more than just his suit and powers, he was a person with problems and feelings, but now, it doesn't seem to come close at doing Superman justice.
    I think this quote is still accurate to a point. But there are more nuances to his whole persona. There is the Clark Kent with Lois and his parents and close friends, and the Clark Kent at the Daily Planet who is a mild-mannered reporter. There is Superman the epic hero. And Kal-El the Kryptonian alien.

    I think it's cool and fascinating that he has all those sides.

  9. #39
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeroVladimir93 View Post
    I guess the "Superman is what I do. Clark is who I really am." quote is the quickest way to make more than few fanboys angry in this forum. I used to think this quote was so powerful because it demonstrated that Superman was more than just his suit and powers, he was a person with problems and feelings, but now, it doesn't seem to come close at doing Superman justice.
    I think among the general public, that line would still have the same kind of "Oh! So he's not just the unbeatable alien god! He's actually a person" reaction. They dont know better, most people figure Superman is just space jesus, and is about as perfect and flawless as it gets. But among the hardcore fans like us, the meaning is quite different. We already know he's more than just the unbeatable alien god and we know that he's a deeply layered, nuanced construct where no single "side" of him is less "real" than the others; no different from you acting differently at work than you do at home. And that line just brings up the deep wedge that was driven into the fandom by Byrne's reboot. The line didn't come from the comics, but it's become the accepted shorthand for the sensibility.
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  10. #40
    Incredible Member Robanker's Avatar
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    Yeah, my big problem with that line is he's essentially saying "... Thanks for the powers, but suck it Krypton." He outright says that Earth gave him all the matters. It has him essentially turning his back on the parents who spent the final moments concocting a way to save their son and the culture that made him possible, the very culture that gave a young, loving son to a couple who couldn't have one normally. In my mind, yes, Clark is likely the stronger identity to him as it's what he was raised on (thus betraying my belief on nature v. nurture), but his Kryptonian heritage should be precious to Superman. Hell, if for no other reason than it provides twice the narrative potential. Having him explore that side of his life leads to a whole host of cosmic stories (and yes, Krypto, which is awesome).

    Clark is a gracious person. I don't think he would ever view someone's contribution to enriching his life lightly. To think of Jor-El and Lara's sacrifice as nothing more than a curiosity of a life-not-lived is awkward for him.

    The answer is somewhere in the middle where both aspects are respected, even when one gains on the other.
    Last edited by Robanker; 02-11-2019 at 07:51 PM.

  11. #41

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    I personally lean more towards the "Clark" side of things. Partly because of something that Batman said in the "New Earth Era":

    It is a remarkable dichotomy. In many ways, Clark is the most human of us all. Then... he shoots fire from the skies and it is difficult not to think of him as a god. And how fortunate we all are that it does not occur to him.

    I think that a Superman that is more Kal than Clark risks the kind of purely pragmatic, logical and uncaring approach of the Eradicator and the well-intentioned but ultimately flawed approach of Kingdom Come!Superman, and greatly increases the likelyhood of overtly (Lawful) Evil! incarnations like Injustice!Superman or Lord Superman.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robanker View Post
    Yeah, my big problem with that line is he's essentially saying "... Thanks for the powers, but suck it Krypton." He outright says that Earth gave him all the matters. It has him essentially turning his back on the parents who spent the final moments concocting a way to save their son and the culture that made him possible, the very culture that gave a young, loving son to a couple who couldn't have one normally. In my mind, yes, Clark is likely the stronger identity to him as it's what he was raised on (thus betraying my belief on nature v. nurture), but his Kryptonian heritage should be precious to Superman. Hell, if for no other reason than it provides twice the narrative potential. Having him explore that side of his life leads to a whole host of cosmic stories (and yes, Krypto, which is awesome).

    Clark is a gracious person. I don't think he would ever view someone's contribution to enriching his life lightly. To think of Jor-El and Lara's sacrifice as nothing more than a curiosity of a life-not-lived is awkward for him.

    The answer is somewhere in the middle where both aspects are respected, even when one gains on the other.
    I don't see how that line reflects this mentality. Maybe if he said something like, "Kal-El is not my name" that would fit with what you're saying. But "Superman is what I do" doesn't seem inaccurate because Superman isn't his birth name or even real identity.

    And besides, no tow people's relationships with their birth culture is the same. Clark isn't selfish or unkind for identifying more with his human upbringing than his Kryptonian one.

  13. #43
    Incredible Member Robanker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    I don't see how that line reflects this mentality. Maybe if he said something like, "Kal-El is not my name" that would fit with what you're saying. But "Superman is what I do" doesn't seem inaccurate because Superman isn't his birth name or even real identity.

    And besides, no tow people's relationships with their birth culture is the same. Clark isn't selfish or unkind for identifying more with his human upbringing than his Kryptonian one.
    0dcizMR.jpg

    This is essentially the page that quote paraphrases and what it always reminds me of. He claims he'll cherish his heritage more as a curiosity than anything else. It comes across as quaint, like it's trivial at best because, well, Clark is who he is. He goes on to say that Earth gave him all that matters. It's even emphasized. That one page positions Clark in a way that does, at least when I read it, effectively credit Krypton for powers and naught else. It's a raw deal for his Kryptonian heritage.
    Last edited by Robanker; 02-11-2019 at 11:47 PM.

  14. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robanker View Post
    0dcizMR.jpg

    This is essentially the page that quote paraphrases and what it always reminds me of. He claims he'll cherish his heritage more as a curiosity than anything else. It comes across as quaint, like it's trivial at best because, well, Clark is who he is. He goes on to say that Earth gave him all that matters. It's even emphasized. That one page positions Clark in a way that does, at least when I read it, effectively credit Krypton for powers and naught else. It's a raw deal for his Kryptonian heritage.
    well,this some byrne era flaws,too eager let superman embrace earth,pushing too hard for his human side.ignore his krypton side(kal-el).but in other comics,superman embrace his krypton heritage and respect his gentic parents and krypton(and also separate from earth/his adopted parents,his emotion for earth/kents is family love,and for krypton/genetic parents is respect)
    Superman - The Many Worlds of Krypton-139.jpg
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  15. #45
    Astonishing Member DochaDocha's Avatar
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    Skip to about 1:15.

    In the case of this show, Superman is one big charade. Clark Kent, dude who wants to live a normal life, is the real deal.

    It works for a primetime drama, but not really what I want from a comic, cartoon, or movie series.

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