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  1. #31
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    If Jor-El and Lara had identical twins, do we get two indistinguishable Supermen? I don't think so.

    Let's call the twins Clark and Calvin. They have the same genes (identical twins) and both are raised by the Kents. They might even decide to share the Superman role- posing as one hero. But they are unique individuals none-the less. Clark might marry Lois, while Calvin might marry Lana (or even Jimmy) and find Lois uninteresting as a potential mate.

    To me the question is whether you consider the OP question closer to "What if Clark (the specific twin) wasn't raised by the Kents"? or to "What if Calvin (someone genetically identical to Clark) wasn't raised by the Kents"?.

    Pre-Crisis most Imaginary Stories seemed to be taking the same person (the Earth-One Superman) and putting him in different scenarios. At the same time in-continuity stories (Earth-One, Earth-Two, Earth-Three) seemed more like identical twins. The characters were all the first-born genetic sons of their universe's "Jor-El and Lara", named "Kal" and raised by a couple named Kent but were distinctly different people.

    I would pretty much from a meta-physical standpoint picture the Earth-One Pre-Crisis Superman as having a different "soul" than the Earth-Two Pre-Crisis Superman. In the omniversal Heaven they both exist separately. But I picture only a single "soul" that existed as the Earth-One Superman, "the Superman Luthor killed in the original Death of Superman", "Clark (Batman) Kent" who took over the Superman role from Lex Luthor, a hero called Nova, and Hyperman of Canada in a sort of simutaneous version of reincarnation.

    So the specific Clark/Kal from a current Superman comic wouldn't become more similar to Homelander if Doctor Manhattan removed the Kents from history, but there could easily be a parallel world where a different Kal became Homelander-ish because he wasn't raised by Jonathan and Martha Kent.

  2. #32
    Extraordinary Member Vordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    I would disagree clark has true optimism or idealism .An optimism that is untested by hard and harsh realities tucked away in farmlands away from all the monsters.An idealism untested by thd trials and practicalities of the world and lacking the strength of conviction and resolve.An optimist is a person who goes through hardship still believing positive outcomes.An idealist makes compromises but will stand by his ideal even if the whole world says no.captain in mcu is idealist.All clark has is naivete.He is just a fish out of water constantly pining for it.ww in her movie was naive too.But,that at least work she is from a cutoff society which is practically very,very different.Clark feels like he has head in the soil.
    If he chose to just bunker down in Smallville his whole life, then yes he would never have faced challenges to his ideals. But he doesn’t live there he lives in Metropolis, and he gets challenged on his ideals all the time:




    It feels like you’re critiquing a strawman rather than the Superman that actually exists.
    Last edited by Vordan; 11-18-2020 at 06:11 AM.

  3. #33
    Extraordinary Member Zero Hunter's Avatar
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    There was a pretty close comparison. The Flashpoint Superman was found by the govt and raised by them as a lab rat. He was a little more violent with his powers, but still seemed good at heart.


  4. #34
    Astonishing Member Yoda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zero Hunter View Post
    There was a pretty close comparison. The Flashpoint Superman was found by the govt and raised by them as a lab rat. He was a little more violent with his powers, but still seemed good at heart.

    That would be the closest comparison, though Vought was descended from literal Nazi's and their objectives with raising Homelander were pretty different. I don't think "Subject 1" Superman was ever intended to be let out. It's likely he would have had a lot of the same issues Homelander has given his upbringing.

    The thing to remember with Homelander is that it's not just that he was raised by parents not quite as wholesome as the Kents, but no parents whatsoever. He was denied any kind of relationship with anyone pretty much. His entire life story is a lie and he was raised to be a weapon in a lab. His baseline drive is just to be loved but is completely incapable of forming any kind of real relationship or giving a shit about anyone other than himself. He also sees himself as a god and that nothing and no one is on his level. spoilers:
    The Amazon version of Homelander did have a little glimmer of decency - taking his son out of the restaurant comes to mind, but when pressed he gave up his son and didn't seem to care too much about Stormfront at all when Mauve threatened him with the exposure that would lose him the public support he craved at baseline.
    end of spoilers

  5. #35
    The Man Who Cannot Die manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post
    If he chose to just bunker down in Smallville his whole life, then yes he would never have faced challenges to his ideals. But he doesn’t live there he lives in Metropolis, and he gets challenged on his ideals all the time:




    It feels like you’re critiquing a strawman rather than the Superman that actually exists.
    He doesn't?The farmlands are far more of a focus than ever.Moreover,his idealism feels more like nostalgia rather than conviction.Cap is supposed to be the man out of time.Not clark,Yet he feels rather grounded in the movies.
    Finally,i don't see "not killing" as an ideal.It is moral rule clark put on himself.A principal he lives by.Non-violence is an ideal.Does clark embody that ideal?Ideals are generally much more abstract concepts like life,liberty,equality,freedom,justice,pursuit of happiness..etc.That which is tested in the manchester black situation is moral fortititude and resolve,not idealism.I don't remeber the bendis situation.But,that might be.First one though,can be considered a showcase of his ideal which is anti-social darwinistic and for equality.But,is it a test?i don't think so.It is a mere utterance of his beliefs.Test would have outcomes both good and bad.Take equality for instance,An idealist who embodies that would say there should be absolute equality for people.Yet,implimentation of equality of outcome through various measures have created tyranny of different magnitudes historically.Absolute Freedom can cause anarchy.
    Cap in the movies embodied liberty as his ideal.
    "Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty!"
    Cap is a fugitive by the end.
    Superman should be fighting for truth and justice.That is the fundamental ideals of the character.There should be considerable amount of themes to be explored.for example,justice and authority,justice and moral relativism/absolutism..etc.Paper thin is the material on the ideals that he is supposed to be exploring.
    Last edited by manwhohaseverything; 11-21-2020 at 02:11 AM.

  6. #36
    Mighty Member Lokimaru's Avatar
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    I hate Superman having a Hard No Kill Rule. I'd prefer he didn't kill because he believes in his heart of hearts that people can change if given time. That's how I feel about it but what do you do with those the can't change no matter how much time you give them? Or those that are far too powerful to contain for long? Funny how Superman's Answer to "What if he goes Rogue?" is to kill him. Also Injustice Superman may have stepped foot onto the Dark Path when he Killed the Joker but it was Batman's constant Attacks and Schemes that kept him walking down it.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lokimaru View Post
    I hate Superman having a Hard No Kill Rule. I'd prefer he didn't kill because he believes in his heart of hearts that people can change if given time. That's how I feel about it but what do you do with those the can't change no matter how much time you give them? Or those that are far too powerful to contain for long? Funny how Superman's Answer to "What if he goes Rogue?" is to kill him. Also Injustice Superman may have stepped foot onto the Dark Path when he Killed the Joker but it was Batman's constant Attacks and Schemes that kept him walking down it.
    I like the interpretation that Superman is so strong that he doesn’t really have the right to kill people. It gives an excuse as why he’ll suspend that rule for guys like Doomsday and Zod.

  8. #38
    Incredible Member OopsIdiditagain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Overlord View Post
    If Clark was not raised by the Kents, would he have ended up like Homelander? Homelander is a Superman pastiche that is the main villain of the series the Boys, someone who has the powers like Superman's, but grew up in a lab with no love and became a psychopath as an adult.

    There have been stories where Superman was raised by Stalin or Darkseid and was less heroic as a result, but was not as vile as Homelander.
    Only if he was raised by Type A sociopaths who taught him that he is the only thing that matters.
    december 21st has passed where are my superpowers?

  9. #39
    Savior of the Universe Flash Gordon's Avatar
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    Kal-El is inherently a good person. He might have shown it in different ways with different stimuli during his upbringing, sure- but this idea that Superman has no forward momentum of his own and needs to be told everything is ridiculous.

    The Kents offer him a safe, reliable space to develop and grow- but he becomes his own man through his own trials and tribulations.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flash Gordon View Post
    Kal-El is inherently a good person. He might have shown it in different ways with different stimuli during his upbringing, sure- but this idea that Superman has no forward momentum of his own and needs to be told everything is ridiculous.

    The Kents offer him a safe, reliable space to develop and grow- but he becomes his own man through his own trials and tribulations.
    That's not what's going on, it's acknowledging the impact the Kent's had raising him. Their guidance was a big influence on how Clark viewed himself and the world, he wasn't a blank slate until he left Smallville.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steel Inquisitor View Post
    That's not what's going on, it's acknowledging the impact the Kent's had raising him. Their guidance was a big influence on how Clark viewed himself and the world, he wasn't a blank slate until he left Smallville.
    But he also wasn't somebody with no self-determination whose path to herodom is entirely dependent on the Kents' teachings to know right from wrong. According to Morrison, Clark was able to realize with the pain he caused Martha while learning to use his own strength and change his own actions long before the Kents could "teach" him how to act.

  12. #42
    Savior of the Universe Flash Gordon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steel Inquisitor View Post
    That's not what's going on, it's acknowledging the impact the Kent's had raising him. Their guidance was a big influence on how Clark viewed himself and the world, he wasn't a blank slate until he left Smallville.
    They did have an impact on him, sure- I think it's overstated a lot though. It discounts Kal's own nature which is to be helpful and altruistic.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Clark View Post
    But he also wasn't somebody with no self-determination whose path to herodom is entirely dependent on the Kents' teachings to know right from wrong. According to Morrison, Clark was able to realize with the pain he caused Martha while learning to use his own strength and change his own actions long before the Kents could "teach" him how to act.
    I said they had a big influence as any parents do, not that he had no self determination. I don't see how that Morrison idea contradicts anything I said, all that does is mean he's not a malignant psychopath - which we already know. Morrison is also one among hundreds of people who have defined and redefined Superman for generations, which he's building on. Why is "teach" in quotes? Was Clark a fully developed person when they met him?

  14. #44
    Astonishing Member Robanker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lokimaru View Post
    I hate Superman having a Hard No Kill Rule. I'd prefer he didn't kill because he believes in his heart of hearts that people can change if given time. That's how I feel about it but what do you do with those the can't change no matter how much time you give them? Or those that are far too powerful to contain for long? Funny how Superman's Answer to "What if he goes Rogue?" is to kill him. Also Injustice Superman may have stepped foot onto the Dark Path when he Killed the Joker but it was Batman's constant Attacks and Schemes that kept him walking down it.
    The three Kryptonians capping Byrne's run and Zod's dead body say that Clark will pull the trigger if he must. Just ask Darkseid what it felt like to face the music.

    Clark will resort to lethal force at extreme situations, but he never takes joy in it and it's like once in a decade at most.

    One excuse is that what his senses, he can see an entire body die down to a cellular level and sees the light of potential fade from existence by his doing so it messes with him on a level we can't fathom. Others just that he knows there's a better way. He'll kill, but he's Superman. He can almost always find a better way.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robanker View Post
    The three Kryptonians capping Byrne's run and Zod's dead body say that Clark will pull the trigger if he must. Just ask Darkseid what it felt like to face the music.
    Don't forget Imperiex, Brainiac, Bizarro, the occasional demon.

    In fact, Byrne wasn't even the first writer who had Superman kill Zod. That was done in The Supergirl Saga.

    If anything, stories like Action Comics #775, Kingdom Come and Infinite Crisis do Clark a disservice by making his stance on killing so black and white.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flash Gordon View Post
    They did have an impact on him, sure- I think it's overstated a lot though. It discounts Kal's own nature which is to be helpful and altruistic.
    People aren't just born helpful and altruistic. They are raised and taught it as well as shown the right manner in how to channel such traits. The Kents aren't the only reason Clark is a hero but it would be disingenuous to claim their impact is overstated. It isn't taking anything away from Superman to acknowledge that his environment helped shape him.

    I feel like the backlash, for lack of a better term, towards the Kents is one of the many overreactions fans have to perceived faults, real or imagined, about the post crisis era.
    Last edited by Agent Z; 11-26-2020 at 02:35 AM.

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