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  1. #31
    Ultimate Member Sacred Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zero Hunter View Post
    You are looking at this threw your well known golden age bias. That version of the character is not modern Superman. If he had not evolved and changed with the times Superman would have probably faded out decades ago. If he was portrayed now like he was in the Golden age he would be seen as an anti hero breaking the law to enforce "his"brand of justice. That simple black and white version from the golden age would not work anymore. The version most people know these days is the one where he IS Clark Kent. He grew up a fairly normal kid who just happened to develop superpowers. He did not arrive on Earth with his personality already formed.
    I disagree with this actually. I think now, more than ever, a Golden Age take would be entirely relevant. Not saying you don't tweak it, but the general concept, hell yes it could work. And, as he evolved before, he could evolve again. That most people these days know of the origin where its Man first and Super later, doesn't mean it has to stay that way. Indeed, its severely tiring out just like other eras have. It can change again. It should change again, so he can be relevant again. I don't take the New 52 example as that this kind of idea is rejected. The journey of the New 52 as a whole had far more to do with poor planning and implementation more than the general idea of the changes. Rebirth's fallen apart the same way despite resigning itself to returning to the familiarity of the 30-40 somethings. That's a DC problem.
    Last edited by Sacred Knight; 05-25-2020 at 01:01 PM.
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  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zero Hunter View Post
    You are looking at this threw your well known golden age bias. That version of the character is not modern Superman. If he had not evolved and changed with the times Superman would have probably faded out decades ago. If he was portrayed now like he was in the Golden age he would be seen as an anti hero breaking the law to enforce "his"brand of justice. That simple black and white version from the golden age would not work anymore.
    Seems to work pretty well for Batman.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zero Hunter View Post
    The version most people know these days is the one where he IS Clark Kent. He grew up a fairly normal kid who just happened to develop superpowers. He did not arrive on Earth with his personality already formed.
    Except Morrison had a baby Superman who had powers and the ability to reason out not to crush Martha's hand. Johns' origin had him in a costume as Superboy.

  3. #33
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiegePerilous02 View Post
    Except developing super powers when he was a kid wouldn't lead to him being a normal kid. He shouldn't be normal, he is an "other" passing as one of us, and knowing this while going on crazy adventures as a kid is a key development. It's why his bonds with Pete Ross and the Legion of Superheroes are so important.
    *Shrug*

    He doesn't have to be normal, but "shouldn't be" isn't necessarily true. When you put yourself in the shoes of any of the Kents, it can make complete sense not to "out" Clark in a way based on powers that aren't understood. That quote superduper has in his signature actually comes from the golden age comic.
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  4. #34
    Fantastic Member magha_regulus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    As is often the case, Sacred shares my exact opinion.

    The idea that "Clark" is the man and "Superman" is a mask works for very specific versions that limit themselves to one particular element of the Super mythos.

    However, saying "Clark is who I am" is perhaps the most limiting and wrong-headed idea you could possibly have about the Man of Tomorrow (and saying "Superman is who I am" is almost, but not quite, as bad). It turns him into a boring and vanilla blueprint of the superhero construct, stripping him of virtually all his nuance, depth, and innate inner conflict. It ultimately strips him of all the best, outlandish elements in his world, and leaves him as something that is neither relatable nor inspiring and is just.....there, soaking up empty lip service about his importance while delivering nothing note-worthy.
    EXACTLY!!! The public face of Clark Kent is a huge act. THis is a being who grew up being able to hear everything for miles all around him, let alone all his other super senses. This along with his super intelligence is going to have a HUGE impact on his personality and worldview.

  5. #35
    Astonishing Member Robanker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sacred Knight View Post
    Not at all no. It served this particularly incarnation of the mythos which was supposed to focus highly on the relationship and Clark over Superman. In the end it also applied fine for the Smallville mythos which I think ended up leaning in this direction as well. IOW, for certain specific projects, sure. Largely though, this should never be a basis of the character of Superman.
    This right here. In each era, one plays over the other, but as the character has progressed there's been a solid blend of the two and it's the only way to reconcile his history at this point. Neither is a disguise.

    He's equal parts Kal and Clark, though if someone asked his name, he'd probably reply Clark given his upbringing on Earth. That said, I don't see him ever correcting someone calling him Kal. It's true and it feels right. Much like you at work and you at home are different facets, they both feed into the same person. The same is true of Superman (and Batman, to be honest, but don't tell writers who can't juggle nuance).

  6. #36
    Fantastic Member magha_regulus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sacred Knight View Post
    I disagree with this actually. I think now, more than ever, a Golden Age take would be entirely relevant. Not saying you don't tweak it, but the general concept, hell yes it could work. And, as he evolved before, he could evolve again. That most people these days know of the origin where its Man first and Super later, doesn't mean it has to stay that way. Indeed, its severely tiring out just like other eras have. It can change again. It should change again, so he can be relevant again. I don't take the New 52 example as that this kind of idea is rejected. The journey of the New 52 as a whole had far more to do with poor planning and implementation more than the general idea of the changes. Rebirth's fallen apart the same way despite resigning itself to returning to the familiarity of the 30-40 somethings. That's a DC problem.
    I completely agree with you. Elements from the Golden Age are so relevant these days it isn't funny. We are grappling with many of the same societal issues now that inspired Superman's creation. I really wish that the writers would dig into these themes some more.

  7. #37
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Look, i am not against the humility, compassion of clark kent identity. For all season is my favourite postcrisis story. But, that doesn’t or shouldn't negate the exceptionalism of superman.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    It doesn't matter. What i am arguing for is that the titular identity is superman which is an action character.Anything that undercuts the value of that identity will be bad. So superman being not true identity or something he does will be bad. As said, in my previous post identites can meld and diverge. It depends on what the character and story feed to. Clark with ma would be different from superman with batman if they are talking about their vigilante careers. It would only be clark if the other is just his friend bruce or batman.

    Relaxing in fortress doesn't necessarily play into kal el identity. It only plays into that when kal is collecting archeology samples or conducting research. So yeah! The above would be just be still clark kent talking to barry allen. It would be different if they were exchange notes on some forensics. With diana, darkseid, new gods.. Etc, it's always kal el identity that's at forefront. Why? Because kal el's culture is what they connect to. Not really, you don't become a strongman in a day.He was always a strongman. It's just that identity was given a nmae with superman. So it being a fake is' nt an issue. Goldenage guy used regularly do the strongman training.

    Yes, Kal el is the first identity given to him(in continuity). It's both. That identity gets something to feed on when kal l is relishing in krypton its culture, that side of his family. Legion and pretty much anything alien that connects to that identity feed to that identity.

    Look, you are also conflating an issue. I never said anything about a true identity from Clark's perspective. I am talking from a readers perspective. In story there is not true or false identity accept for the act he does.But for readers an identity or voice must be there as an anchor. You are pointing to the overlaps and using perspective as to say it doesn't matter. It matters. perspectives drive story and attracts readers.Overlaps do not mean there aren't separations. Story focuses attest to that. Stories need a focus for the same reason it needs a protagonist. We as creature are designed to focus on one thing.
    Goldenage was about unadulterated superman.
    Silverage was about kal el.
    Modernage is about clark kent.
    That doesn't mean other identites didn't exist. It just mean others played a support. Superman being a support in his book for clark or kal is very bizarre in my opinion.Superman is who is or he should be. Why? Because superman is the titular identity. Therefore does not make any sense to have him be support. It would be like having harry potter be about hermoine granger.
    The only thing we really seem to disagree about is that you insist that the protagonist is "Superman".

    Spider-man is the title character over at Marvel, but the person the reader is getting the story through is Peter Parker. The guy running around Central City is Barry Allen (or Wally West). No one is going to dispute that these are the same exact characters regardless of whether or not they are in costume.

    But with Superman we are led to believe that the newspaper man and the costumed hero are different in some way. That in the exact same situation Clark or Superman would act and think differently. That's the whole point of "Clark is who I am". That somehow he is either Clark Kent putting on a costume to perform feats as Superman or he is Superman/Kal-El putting on a pair of glasses (and other traits) to be Clark. So depending on which you believe the perspective for how to read a scene where he is alone changes. Is that "Clark" or "Superman" thinking that Lois is exasperating?

    I tend to think some people say "Clark" and others say "Superman" but that they are literally thinking the exact same thing and calling it different names. So everything you say about Superman (sans the costumed feats) is what someone else would say about "Clark" To them Clark is the protagonist and wearing the role of Superman.

  9. #39
    Extraordinary Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    *Shrug*

    He doesn't have to be normal, but "shouldn't be" isn't necessarily true. When you put yourself in the shoes of any of the Kents, it can make complete sense not to "out" Clark in a way based on powers that aren't understood. That quote superduper has in his signature actually comes from the golden age comic.
    Choosing not to "out him" isn't the same as his childhood being completely normal. He can get close to normalcy, but that's because the Kents are actively trying to hide the strangeness until he's older and can deal with anything that comes his way.

    It's not like the Legion adventures force him to give up the act either.

  10. #40
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Clark View Post
    The only thing we really seem to disagree about is that you insist that the protagonist is "Superman".

    Spider-man is the title character over at Marvel, but the person the reader is getting the story through is Peter Parker. The guy running around Central City is Barry Allen (or Wally West). No one is going to dispute that these are the same exact characters regardless of whether or not they are in costume.

    But with Superman we are led to believe that the newspaper man and the costumed hero are different in some way. That in the exact same situation Clark or Superman would act and think differently. That's the whole point of "Clark is who I am". That somehow he is either Clark Kent putting on a costume to perform feats as Superman or he is Superman/Kal-El putting on a pair of glasses (and other traits) to be Clark. So depending on which you believe the perspective for how to read a scene where he is alone changes. Is that "Clark" or "Superman" thinking that Lois is exasperating?

    I tend to think some people say "Clark" and others say "Superman" but that they are literally thinking the exact same thing and calling it different names. So everything you say about Superman (sans the costumed feats) is what someone else would say about "Clark" To them Clark is the protagonist and wearing the role of Superman.
    While, peter might seem like a protagonist. Spiderman is still the driving force and reason for peter's conflicts and obstacles. Not the other way around. He was thrusted into being spiderman. Therefore the story. Moreover, stan lee calls him "the amazing spiderman". Batman is called the batman. Superman doesn't need all that to convey exceptionalism. Why? He is superman. The title itself conveys it adequately. Anymore would be overkill.with spiderman The thrust is on amazing. Superheroics is embracing exceptionlism. Not rejection of it. They don't say "just spiderman" or " just batman". Moreover, the runner in central or keystone isn't barry allen nor wally west, its the flash. Nobody largely knew (still may not) who that was. Case in point, the flash in jl tv show.

    No superman and clark don't think differently. It's just that their functions are different. Me as a parent and me as a son are my two identities. If i listen to an order from my parent i function as a son. But, if i order my offspring i function as a father. So there you go,the story of superman should be about the function of superman. Hence, the function of an action hero or vigilante strongman from space. As i said, perspective of a story is driven by the identity that acts as an anchor. By focusing, i mean putting emphasise on a function. Here, it's superman's function. Clark kents function is to be an investigative reporting, to focus on family,wife.. Etc. How can a story focus on a function of a character or identity,when the identity itself becomes a function? So postcrisis interpretation is bogus to that end.it made superman identity into a mere function.

    While, i do acknowledge the subjective nature of art. There are things that are written on paper and are factual. For instance, what is superman? What is clark kent? What is kal el? All are neatly defined on paper. They have domains and function. As said earlier, these domains might have overlaps. But, the distinction still remain. Clark kent cannot function as an alien. Why? He is farmboy reporter from kansas. Kal el cannot function as the man, either. Why? He is an alien with vastly different level of physical senses and cultural perspective. Both kal and clark cannot function as superman. Why? He is strongman vigilantes. He is about defending the defenceless , working out, flexing muscles, kicking bullies, save the day, breaking a few rules.. Etc as swashbuckling action hero. I will say it again, superheroics is embracing exceptionlism. It doesn't get any more exceptional than superman.

    In dcau, there is a seen where lobo says "that boy(superman) is a sucker for hard luck cases". This is true example for an overlap of all the identities that exist in the protagonist. It feeds kal l- the last survivor,clark kent- good hearted man and superman - defender of the defenceless
    Last edited by manwhohaseverything; 05-25-2020 at 03:28 PM.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    While, peter might seem like a protagonist. Spiderman is still the driving force and reason for peter's conflicts and obstacles. Not the other way around. He was thrusted into being spiderman. Therefore the story. Moreover, stan lee calls him "the amazing spiderman". Batman is called the batman. Superman doesn't need all that to convey exceptionalism. Why? He is superman. The title itself conveys it adequately. Anymore would be overkill.with spiderman The thrust is on amazing. Superheroics is embracing exceptionlism. Not rejection of it. They don't say "just spiderman" or " just batman". Moreover, the runner in central or keystone isn't barry allen nor wally west, its the flash. Nobody largely knew (still may not) who that was. Case in point, the flash in jl tv show.

    No superman and clark don't think differently. It's just that their functions are different. Me as a parent and me as a son are my two identities. If i listen to an order from my parent i function as a son. But, if i order my offspring i function as a father. So there you go,the story of superman should be about the function of superman. Hence, the function of an action hero or vigilante strongman from space. As i said, perspective of a story is driven by the identity that acts as an anchor. By focusing, i mean putting emphasise on a function. Here, it's superman's function. Clark kents function is to be an investigative reporting, to focus on family,wife.. Etc. How can a story focus on a function of a character or identity,when the identity itself becomes a function? So postcrisis interpretation is bogus to that end.it made superman identity into a mere function.

    While, i do acknowledge the subjective nature of art. There are things that are written on paper and are factual. For instance, what is superman? What is clark kent? What is kal el? All are neatly defined on paper. They have domains and function. As said earlier, these domains might have overlaps. But, the distinction still remain. Clark kent cannot function as an alien. Why? He is farmboy reporter from kansas. Kal el cannot function as the man, either. Why? He is an alien with vastly different level of physical senses and cultural perspective. Both kal and clark cannot function as superman. Why? He is strongman vigilantes. He is about defending the defenceless , working out, flexing muscles, kicking bullies, save the day, breaking a few rules.. Etc as swashbuckling action hero. I will say it again, superheroics is embracing exceptionlism. It doesn't get any more exceptional than superman.
    So who was the main character in Smallville, by your logic? He's identical to Superman in most other media (as a distinct function not in biological details) but is not called Superman until the last episode. He fills the Superman function but is not Superman. My point is that there is a core function to EVERY incarnation of Superman that is the same- the guy who wants to use his ability to better the world0 and that is true whether you call that function "Superman", "Clark" or "Kal-El". The guy in Smallville is the same as the guy in Action #1 (1938), Adventures of Superman (1951), Superman the Movie (1978), Man of Steel (2013) and Action #1000 (2018). The main driving force of the story might be reporting on the news or leaping tall buildings but he is the same guy in either function. The question in the thread is whether he is wrong to call himself Clark rather than Superman.

  12. #42
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiegePerilous02 View Post
    Choosing not to "out him" isn't the same as his childhood being completely normal. He can get close to normalcy, but that's because the Kents are actively trying to hide the strangeness until he's older and can deal with anything that comes his way.

    It's not like the Legion adventures force him to give up the act either.
    I wouldn't say "completely" normal anyway, though. If he flies across the field or leaps about the Metropolis skyline, that makes him abnormal but doesn't exclude him from normalcy. It doesn't have to make him an other or stop him from being genuine when interacting as Clark.
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  13. #43
    Mighty Member Johnny Thunders!'s Avatar
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    I like Superman to be as Superhuman as possible so at first glance, the I am Clark Superman what I do does not work for me. I think it's so strange people can except Superman as being physically unreal but change his intellect and that goes too far. I think Clark is just much more interesting than he gets credit. I don't think country means dumb, I think he would be Woody Guthrie or Will Rogers sharp but still accessing information at an almost Dr. Manhattan like level. Tom Strong seems to strike the right balance. I think Miracle Monday, it describes young Clark the best. There is a scene where he is projecting a grasshopper on his shop wall and explaining what he noticed with his microscopic vision. He processes information like an unrivaled Super computer, but he spends his time creating devices so he can share that experience with Pa Kent. To me Superman sees both Kents as being morally evolved. Jor El is intellectually evolved and Superman brings balance to both.
    Wait I mean Clark brings balance to both, never-mind I guess I don't agree Clark is Superman! "Superman is who I am and Clark is who I pretend to be."
    Last edited by Johnny Thunders!; 05-25-2020 at 03:50 PM.

  14. #44
    Astonishing Member stargazer01's Avatar
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    Not really, not quite because Clark also becomes Kal-El when he learns of his real alien origin. He is Clark but also Kal-El and also a famous superhero known as Superman. It's an interesting and complex mix of personas, in my opinion. He is the adopted son of Jonathan and Martha Kent, but at the same time he's the last son of Krypton. He has the Fortress of Solitude (I love that place) that reminds him of his lost planet's culture and scientific advances. He can spend the morning working as a regular Joe at the Planet with Lois and Jimmy, and the afternoon in space exploring or rescuing something important or of interest to him. His life is the definition of epic and normal depending what he is doing.

  15. #45
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Clark View Post
    So who was the main character in Smallville, by your logic? He's identical to Superman in most other media (as a distinct function not in biological details) but is not called Superman until the last episode. He fills the Superman function but is not Superman. My point is that there is a core function to EVERY incarnation of Superman that is the same- the guy who wants to use his ability to better the world0 and that is true whether you call that function "Superman", "Clark" or "Kal-El". The guy in Smallville is the same as the guy in Action #1 (1938), Adventures of Superman (1951), Superman the Movie (1978), Man of Steel (2013) and Action #1000 (2018). The main driving force of the story might be reporting on the news or leaping tall buildings but he is the same guy in either function. The question in the thread is whether he is wrong to call himself Clark rather than Superman.
    Smallville is about clark kent. I believe the creators themselves have said that much. Superman and kal l play support. Moreover, superman identity, clark kent and kal l were all fledglings. Did i say he needs to be called superman? I didn't, i said the opposite in my previous post. "The strongman always existed. He was just named superman later on" . Every "hero" or sometimes even "villain" wants to better the world. That isn't much of a story. It's the modus operandi that makes these identities and heroes/villains different. Superman is a strongman vigilante. So he is about pure unadulterated physicality. Clark is about language skills and search for truth. Kal l is about logic and reasoning .They all have same motives. (cough! Same guy who doesn't have disorder ). But, they all work differently. Well,it would be wrong in the sense that the modus operandi that was promised(in title) will not be delivered if clark is focused,not superman.like i said, harry potter book should absolutely be about harry. If it's about hermoine it wouldn't be wrong in universe. But, it would be wrong for the readers.You easily mitigate that, tell it upfront. Superman american alien was meant to be called clark kent:American alien. So, that identity, function.. Etc being focused wouldn't be wrong.

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