View Poll Results: After "Truth", should Superman have a secret identity again?

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  • Yes

    33 64.71%
  • No

    12 23.53%
  • I don't care either way

    6 11.76%
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  1. #31
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myskin View Post
    Well, Auguste and Ascended already said whatever I could have said. Probably better than me..
    Oh, I dont know about that. That post of yours was quite eloquent and well written. Yes, what you said. That's what I mean and have been trying to say all this time. Thanks man.

    And misslane, you're right in that I dont have any hard evidence to support my opinion (which is all this is, based on evaluation and observation, but I have no paper trail). However, do you have any hard evidence that DC/WB are open to allowing Superman's status quo to drift far from course for any meaningful length of time? I doubt you have a paper trail either. So yes, we'll have to agree to disagree.

    And Im not saying exceptions to the rule exist either, because they clearly do. Nightwing for example, Arsenal for another. Hell, most of the original Titans got to evolve beyond their sidekick status. But a part of that was likely the introduction of well liked and popular replacements. People love Tim Drake, Cassie Sandsmark, and Bart Allen. If those characters hadn't worked out so well, we might have seen Nightwing go back to being Robin (or more likely adopting Red Robin ala Kingdom Come) and Donna become Wonder Girl again. And we did see Clark and Lois get married and Wally West become Flash. Those changes lasted decades, and despite being cancelled out now that's still a respectable amount of time. But these instances are rare; for every Nightwing, there's dozens of Electric Supermen.
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  2. #32
    Phantom Zone Escapee manofsteel1979's Avatar
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    At the end of the day, the secret ID will be restored. Realistically this is the only way this storyline ends. There's "tradition" and all the other excuses,but it all comes down to two things: Warner Bros marketing department, who continues to market and will continue to market, the classic set up and the fact it is one of the "toys" that future writers will want to play with. I mean, if one day Grant Morrison comes back to Superman, (or some other future or current superstar for that matter) with a great story idea, but among their stipulations is that the classic secret identity set up has to return for their story to work, or even because they prefer it that way, you think DC editorial will say "No Grant, you can't have that toy to play with anymore."? So really, no matter how this arc fares in terms of reception to this idea, it's not a question really of IF we will see things reversed to a version of the recognizable status quo...but when. That "when" could be six months or 4 years...but rest assured it will happen.

    The ONLY caviat is if the idea of an "intergrated" Superman catches on in the larger pop culture ...which I seriously doubt. Note that these developments (Lois revealing his identity, his "costume" changing etc) haven't gotten any mainstream press attention outside of comics fan circles. Other similar "events" like his death, the marriage, electrosupes, the new 52 reboot and even the WW/S pairing got some play in major ways. Frankly I'm surprised the "Lois Lane 'betrays' Superman!" angle didn't even get a mention on one of the Morning chat shows or a newspaper blurb when it was first announced last month,but maybe it's just the mainstream media are tired of reporting these "shock" stories because they are par for the course these days. Still, it doesn't bode well for the concept. It could be a monster hit in the comics and end up boosting Superman sales to 70,000 issues a month each,but that's just a drop in the bucket among the millions that know the "classic" status quo. DC could try to market it in animation etc, but more people are likely to look at it say "thats not Superman!" and dismiss it before giving it a chance, if they even care to look.

    However I agree that this should be used as an opportunity to "freshen up" the concept. There is a way to make BOTH identities relevant and redefine them somewhat and evolve the reasoning for both the Glasses wearing journalist AND the caped alien demigod without remaking both into something un recognizable, whilst also adding a few toys to the toybox. Hopefully that will be the end result of the next years worth of comics.
    Last edited by manofsteel1979; 06-06-2015 at 08:37 AM.

  3. #33
    Astonishing Member Prime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manofsteel1979 View Post
    At the end of the day, the secret ID will be restored. Realistically this is the only way this storyline ends. There's "tradition" and all the other excuses,but it all comes down to two things: Warner Bros marketing department, who continues to market and will continue to market, the classic set up and the fact it is one of the "toys" that future writers will want to play with. I mean, if one day Grant Morrison comes back to Superman, (or some other future or current superstar for that matter) with a great story idea, but among their stipulations is that the classic secret identity set up has to return for their story to work, or even because they prefer it that way, you think DC editorial will say "No Grant, you can't have that toy to play with anymore."? So really, no matter how this arc fares in terms of reception to this idea, it's not a question really of IF we will see things reversed to a version of the recognizable status quo...but when. That "when" could be six months or 4 years...but rest assured it will happen.

    The ONLY caviat is if the idea of an "intergrated" Superman catches on in the larger pop culture ...which I seriously doubt. Note that these developments (Lois revealing his identity, his "costume" changing etc) haven't gotten any mainstream press attention outside of comics fan circles. Other similar "events" like his death, the marriage, electrosupes, the new 52 reboot and even the WW/S pairing got some play in major ways. Frankly I'm surprised the "Lois Lane 'betrays' Superman!" angle didn't even get a mention on one of the Morning chat shows or a newspaper blurb when it was first announced last month,but maybe it's just the mainstream media are tired of reporting these "shock" stories because they are par for the course these days. Still, it doesn't bode well for the concept. It could be a monster hit in the comics and end up boosting Superman sales to 70,000 issues a month each,but that's just a drop in the bucket among the millions that know the "classic" status quo. DC could try to market it in animation etc, but more people are likely to look at it say "thats not Superman!" and dismiss it before giving it a chance, if they even care to look.

    However I agree that this should be used as an opportunity to "freshen up" the concept. There is a way to make BOTH identities relevant and redefine them somewhat and evolve the reasoning for both the Glasses wearing journalist AND the caped alien demigod without remaking both into something un recognizable, whilst also adding a few toys to the toybox. Hopefully that will be the end result of the next years worth of comics.
    How much you wanna bet it's going to be Mxy going to be the one to restore Superman's ID

  4. #34
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    Cant think of another way to change it, but wouldn't it be disappointing to have Mxy change it with some kind of a spell or wave of the wand?

  5. #35
    AT EASE, LOO-SUH! Superlad93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manofsteel1979 View Post
    At the end of the day, the secret ID will be restored. Realistically this is the only way this storyline ends. There's "tradition" and all the other excuses,but it all comes down to two things: Warner Bros marketing department, who continues to market and will continue to market, the classic set up and the fact it is one of the "toys" that future writers will want to play with. I mean, if one day Grant Morrison comes back to Superman, (or some other future or current superstar for that matter) with a great story idea, but among their stipulations is that the classic secret identity set up has to return for their story to work, or even because they prefer it that way, you think DC editorial will say "No Grant, you can't have that toy to play with anymore."? So really, no matter how this arc fares in terms of reception to this idea, it's not a question really of IF we will see things reversed to a version of the recognizable status quo...but when. That "when" could be six months or 4 years...but rest assured it will happen.
    I get what you mean, and I know you're just making an example, but I think any superstar writer like Morrison will find a way to make it work. Just look at his JLA run. There Morrison had to deal with electric blue Superman. Remember how he made due with that? He had him push the moon back into orbit and wrestle an angel to a stand still. Remember how he couldn't us Hawkman? Well that's how we got the character Zauriel and his rich unappreciated myth. I could honestly go on and on about all of the times DC has told Morrison that he can't do or use something only to have him make something cooler.

    Same thing would go for if one of my other favorite writers Hickman came over to write Superman (DO THIS, DC!!!!!!!) He has had many thing mandated onto his books since he started at Marvel yet he does nothing but make them work.

    What I'm getting at is that I think a truly creative writer could make it work. I remember instances where they would find ways to simulate the old versions of the characters for a moment in order to tell there story. Or they'd find ways to get their same point across with the new character.

    Now that I think about it I'd very much like to see a Morrison, Hickman, Millar (he wouldn't do it), or Ewing take a crack at this new Superman. I wounder what they'd have to say about the character now and what got him to this point, and what new story can be told with him.

  6. #36
    Fantastic Member MeloDet's Avatar
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    I think that what I want most from this is to be truly convinced of whatever their intended conclusion is. I don't particularly care whether or not he ends up with his ID intact or not, but I want Pak and Yang to truly explore this. I want them to have gone into this with as little prejudice as possible and actually let themselves wonder whether the secret ID is necessary or not. I don't want them to have started this run with the mindset of "how do we prove that the secret ID is necessary?" because that's often how we end up with less than convincing reasons for it.

    As much as I loved Morrison's run I never really got the sense that he let himself wonder this while writing his death of Clark Kent story. Even then though, I suppose he was exploring something fundamentally different; the necessity of Clark Kent, not the necessity of a secret ID.

  7. #37
    Astonishing Member misslane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    And misslane, you're right in that I dont have any hard evidence to support my opinion (which is all this is, based on evaluation and observation, but I have no paper trail). However, do you have any hard evidence that DC/WB are open to allowing Superman's status quo to drift far from course for any meaningful length of time? I doubt you have a paper trail either. So yes, we'll have to agree to disagree.
    Since you were the one making the claim, the burden of proof was on you.

    In some cases the burden of proof is set by the situation. For example, in American law a person is assumed to be innocent until proven guilty (hence the burden of proof is on the prosecution). As another example, in debate the burden of proof is placed on the affirmative team. As a final example, in most cases the burden of proof rests on those who claim something exists (such as Bigfoot, psychic powers, universals, and sense data). (Source)

    I was never claiming anything as fact or the truth but was simply questioning your certainty. There is no way for either of us to know why and how much the trappings of Superman's traditional mythology mean to the many people involved in Superman related properties, so suggesting that the people using and working on the character begrudgingly use them to make your point is ineffective.

  8. #38
    Astonishing Member misslane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myskin View Post
    In short, there are only two real reasons to preserve Superman's classic version, that is: tradition and marketing strategies (which are reciprocally connected elements, by the way). Aside from personal and subjective tastes there is no other reason, and I think that the majority of the arguments which envision the classic version of the character as the only "indispensable" one are tainted by the fact that it's the most familiar version, and therefore any reasoning is "forced" to have that version as the "necessary" conclusion. If we had to follow a logical argument a bit more seriously and fairly, we would come up with a version of Superman which is very different from the classic one.
    Something being tradition and profitable is not mutually exclusive with it being irrelevant and disliked.

    For example, if we had to strictly follow the logic "Superman mustn't reveal his public identity because it would put his friends in danger", at the end of it all Superman shouldn't have any public human relationship at all. Doesn't the nickname "Superman's pal" put Jimmy Olsen in constant danger?
    While true to some extent, Superman can limit how close those connections appear intimate by connecting with Jimmy as Clark like he did in Geoff Johns' recent issue. He can keep a safe, professional distance in his public persona while getting close in his private life.

    Again, the fact that Superman MUST be a journalist because this allows him to keep in touch with real-world problems. First of all, I have never seen Superman portraited as a realistic journalist in 75+ years aside from a couple of occasions. But if he really wanted to keep in touch with real-world problems, aren't there better ways to do it? Shouldn't he join Médecins Sans Frontières, for example? Shouldn't he really dedicate his life and career to this?
    Why does the silly argument that Clark's journalism career is poorly justified by the "be close to the action" excuse an issue here? Clark doesn't do it to be close to the action, but he does do it to be close to the smaller issues and dramas affecting society. He writes articles about crime, corruption, and the like to affect change on a social activist level as much as he does as Superman on a grand scale. Being a part of Doctors Without Borders would only be addressing one area of need. Being a doctor was even explored as an option in JMS' Earth One and ultimately rejected because, like New 52 Clark, he likes having a job where his superpowers aren't the best help; writing powerful prose isn't something x-ray vision makes easier.

    It's not that forced logic really bugs me (it's a comic book, logic is always forced on a certain level), but the fact that DC always chooses blindly to regain the classic features just because of marketing strategies or tradition, not because a real, discernible reason is really SHOWN within the stories (rather than TOLD by the book), or because in the classic version the features are really coherent and "click" well one with the other (hint: they don't).
    You have no evidence that DC or anyone "blindly" keeps classic features out of habit or greed. Meanwhile, there is evidence of stories which show why Clark uses glasses and wants a disguise. I believe this article covers the issue nicely. Morrison covered reasons why Clark Kent was important and invaluable in his Action Comics run, including the good Clark did as a social activist reporter and his desire to be with his human friends as a peer instead of hanging out on rooftops. Beyond that, Morrison is a big believer in the power and utility of the original myth. He wrote about it in Supergods, for example:

    This virtuoso kinetic overture alone would be worth ten cents from the pocket of any fantasy-starved reader of the Depression. But Siegel and Shuster were not yet done. They still had a masterstroke to play. Just when we think we have this incredible Superman concept figured out, after witnessing the Man of Steel’s prodigious strength and determination, we are treated to Clark Kent—the man behind the S—a man with a job, a boss, and girl trouble. Clark the nerd, the nebbish, the bespectacled, mild-mannered shadow self of the confident Man of Steel. The boys had struck a primal mother lode.

    Hercules was always Hercules. Agamemnon and Perseus were heroes from the moment they leapt out of bed in the morning until the end of a long battle-crazed day, but Superman was secretly someone else. Clark was the soul, the transcendent element in the Superman equation. Clark Kent is what made him endure. In Clark, Siegel had created the ultimate reader identification figure: misunderstood, put-upon, denied respect in spite of his obvious talents as a newspaperman at Metropolis’s Daily Planet. As both Siegel and Shuster had learned, to their cost, some girls preferred bounding heroic warriors to skinny men who wrote or drew pretty pictures. But Clark Kent was more than the ultimate nerd fantasy; everyone could identify with him. We’ve all felt clumsy and misunderstood, once or twice, or more often, in our lives. Just as everyone suspects the existence of an inner Superman—an angelic, perfect self who personifies only our best moods and deeds—there is something of Clark in all of us.

    Page 3 introduced Daily Star reporter Kent on his way to work, where a phone tip sent him in pursuit of an alleged wife beater, but it was Superman who arrived on the scene. He found the bully threatening his victim with a belt looped in his meaty fist. He smacked the brute against the wall, cracking the plaster, and yelled, “YOU’RE NOT FIGHTING A WOMAN NOW!” whereupon the bully fainted, allowing Superman to switch back to his Kent identity in time for the police to arrive.

    There was still one more foundation stone to lay in the Superman template. Page 5 now, and the pivotal player in an absorbing ménage à trois that would fascinate readers for decades arrived in an oddly understated introductory panel. Back at the office, Kent introduced us to cool, dismissive Lois Lane, his rival on the news beat, with the words “W-WHAT DO YOU SAY TO A—ER—DATE TONIGHT, LOIS?” Her first words defined her for the ages: “I SUPPOSE I’LL GIVE YOU A BREAK … FOR A CHANGE.” On the date, Kent managed half a lopsided dance, but before long he and Lois were menaced by Butch Matson, a gorilla-like mobster. Clark quivered and quavered, but Lois, without hesitation, slapped Matson a hard one, and warned him to back off. As her taxi pulled away, she turned her withering scorn on the meek, undeserving Kent, there on the sidewalk. “YOU ASKED ME EARLIER IN THE EVENING WHY I AVOID YOU. I’LL TELL YOU WHY NOW: YOU’RE A SPINELESS, UNBEARABLE COWARD.”

    Considering that Clark was an ace crime reporter for a respected newspaper and with a good apartment in the city, it was hard to believe Lois would hold him in such low regard, but the stories made it hard to disagree with her as Kent fabricated excuse after elaborate excuse to conceal his true identity. Clark complained of nausea or headaches every time his sensitive ears picked up a police alert and Superman was needed. As a justification for this subterfuge, he made constant dark references to underworld enemies who would be able to strike at him through his loved ones if they knew who he was. He had created a total disguise, a persona so much the reverse of his true Superman self, it would throw off any snoop and allow him a taste of normal life.

    By the time the first Superman story concluded, thirteen pages after its breathtaking opening scene, our hero had apprehended no fewer than five lawbreakers and taken a moment to root out corruption in the US Senate. Every new reveal made both the individual story and the overall concept seem even more exciting. It gave the medium a character innovation to call its own. He gave the world the first superhero. Thirteen pages—unlucky for the enemies of the oppressed.

    In short, the Clark Kent identity is part of what made the character special and what brought out important themes in the Superman myth about appearance vs. reality and the metaphor that within each ordinary person is the capacity to be a superhero. What's evolved since the early days of the character is that Clark Kent became someone that Superman genuinely identified with and loved, and he provided him the opportunity to do things and be with people that he loves without the glare of the spotlight.

  9. #39
    Astonishing Member protege's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auguste Dupin View Post
    For the record, I didn't vote anything.
    What I want is first to have the new status quo to explored for a pretty decent amount. A Superman with his secret exposed is a pretty unique situation, and I want to see where the character would go without it, to use this as a template for new interactions, new agendas. I want this storyline to prove that the whole "glasses Clark is something I need to remain human" to be shown as the whole of BS it has always been.
    And when they go back to the classic dual identity, I want this experience to be used to create a better Clark Kent. Not necessarily one with a better disguise (although I guess it wouldn't hurt it they found a way while keeping the iconic elements), but one with a better role, a better purpose.
    Finally, I want Kentville to remain a thing (although I guess they would have to change the name for something like "Superville"). Myskin on another tread suggested the idea to have Clark's neighbours still being aware of the fact he's Superman and still supportive of his actions. I think it would be interesting.
    Kentville? I'm not aware of this. Sounds intriguing.

  10. #40
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    Since "Truth" is predicated on the most idiotic concept ever, namely, that Clark Kent has NEVER experienced life as a human being (despite being powerless up to a certain point) I most definitely want the status quo back.

    My theory on this entire storyline is that Myxyzptlk is involved. He's not yet been utilized in the post-Flashpoint continuity, and we know from Morrison's run that he and Superman have a history we have not yet seen.

  11. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xon-Ur View Post
    Since "Truth" is predicated on the most idiotic concept ever, namely, that Clark Kent has NEVER experienced life as a human being (despite being powerless up to a certain point) I most definitely want the status quo back.

    My theory on this entire storyline is that Myxyzptlk is involved. He's not yet been utilized in the post-Flashpoint continuity, and we know from Morrison's run that he and Superman have a history we have not yet seen.
    You know I had logged in to make a VERY similar post! Myxyzptlk is the easy-out if they ever need one and I for one WELCOME that scenario I would not be surprised at all.

  12. #42
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misslane View Post
    Since you were the one making the claim, the burden of proof was on you.

    In some cases the burden of proof is set by the situation. For example, in American law a person is assumed to be innocent until proven guilty (hence the burden of proof is on the prosecution). As another example, in debate the burden of proof is placed on the affirmative team. As a final example, in most cases the burden of proof rests on those who claim something exists (such as Bigfoot, psychic powers, universals, and sense data). (Source)

    I was never claiming anything as fact or the truth but was simply questioning your certainty. There is no way for either of us to know why and how much the trappings of Superman's traditional mythology mean to the many people involved in Superman related properties, so suggesting that the people using and working on the character begrudgingly use them to make your point is ineffective.
    If this were a court of law then yes, I'd have to prove my point. But this isnt a court, and Im not trying to "prove" anything. Im just stating an opinion.

    But its not hard to see where myself and others who share the same opinion (such as Myskin) come to this conclusion. Hell, just look at the blog. That was a contemporary and natural evolution of Clark's beginnings as a reporter. It managed to do all the things working for the Planet did originally (except for help him stay up to date with world events, which hasnt been a consideration for most of Superman's existence). It made him and Lois rivals again, kept him interacting with the Planet staff, it allowed Clark an outlet and a voice with which to use to fight for justice, and it gives him an excuse to rush into dangerous environments without raising suspicion. Where is the blog now? Gone, and Clark is back to working as a newspaper reporter in the 21st century.

    Im not saying the blog was superior, nor am I saying that the blog should have been the final destination on Clark's journey into modern day journalism. But instead of forging forward with a direction that was true to the spirit of the character but not limited by history, DC just went with tradition, as if nothing had happened.

    Its a shame that the blog was put in the background by editorial, but ultimately thats a non-issue. Clark's job at the Planet has already been put on the back burner, so clearly there's no real divide there either.
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  13. #43
    Astonishing Member Prime's Avatar
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    How would they integrate Mxy in this story?

  14. #44
    Spadassin Extraordinaire Auguste Dupin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by protege View Post
    Kentville? I'm not aware of this. Sounds intriguing.
    It's in AC 41. Basically, it's Clark's old neighbourhood where a big portion of the population made public their support to the Man of Steel, notably with a nice big "we stand with Superman" entrance.
    Hold those chains, Clark Kent
    Bear the weight on your shoulders
    Stand firm. Take the pain.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myskin View Post
    In short, there are only two real reasons to preserve Superman's classic version, that is: tradition and marketing strategies (which are reciprocally connected elements, by the way). Aside from personal and subjective tastes there is no other reason, and I think that the majority of the arguments which envision the classic version of the character as the only "indispensable" one are tainted by the fact that it's the most familiar version, and therefore any reasoning is "forced" to have that version as the "necessary" conclusion. If we had to follow a logical argument a bit more seriously and fairly, we would come up with a version of Superman which is very different from the classic one.
    But that depends on what you want out of Superman. If you want a more earthbound social crusader and design Superman to fit that role you get a different character than if you want to play up the star-spanning, planet juggling universal legend version. Clark works as the inconspicuous reporter digging up the dirt on who crusader Superman will target, but planet-hopping Superman might find Clark a burden when he has to be gone from Earth for a mission. Clark can be the everyday connection with the reader- the guy holding down a job, getting ignored by Lois and bullied by Steve Lombard while Superman is the outlet where Clark gets the girl, saves the day, and is idolized by everyone. Or you can have a Superman like Astro City's Samaritan where Clark is really just a small detail that could be removed from the hero's life without anyone noticing.

    None of that has anything to do with tradition and impacts marketing only as it relates to what audience you are looking to attract. And reducing Clark Kent down to just a hold over from Action Comics #1 that no one in 75 years had the guts to remove is a bit simplistic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Myskin View Post
    Again, the fact that Superman MUST be a journalist because this allows him to keep in touch with real-world problems. First of all, I have never seen Superman portraited as a realistic journalist in 75+ years aside from a couple of occasions. But if he really wanted to keep in touch with real-world problems, aren't there better ways to do it? Shouldn't he join Médecins Sans Frontières, for example? Shouldn't he really dedicate his life and career to this?
    To be fair does any superhero have a realistic "job"? I'm not talking about the types of jobs they hold- but about realistically showing those jobs. Would you buy stock in a company run by a man who spends more time fighting Thanos than managing the company? Would most people prefer seeing Matt Murdock spending hours researching case law instead of breaking up street crimes? Are Flash fans better served by showing a real police lab or letting Barry be a TV CSI who does field work, lab work, and is an expert in using all the equipment? I put Clark and Lois in the same category as Brenda Starr or a TV cop/scientist where the job is just a broad excuse to answer "How the hell do they get involved with the crisis of the week".

    On the issue of why Clark is a reporter. It provides the broadest window for getting involved while allowing him not to be supervised in the process. On the crime beat Clark can investigate Glenmorgan or Mannheim along with everyone else. Noone is questioning him being at a crime scene but he also isn't telegraphing to the crooks that Superman is looking. Covering a fire let's Superman do the rescue while Clark can observe and gather facts for the story- he's able to use the time Superman is in action as part of his Clark Kent time. If Clark were working as say a fireman he'd have points where Clark was needed in one place and Superman at another (Clark hosing down a hot spot conflicts with Superman holding up a collapsing wall).

    Quote Originally Posted by Myskin View Post
    It's not that forced logic really bugs me (it's a comic book, logic is always forced on a certain level), but the fact that DC always chooses blindly to regain the classic features just because of marketing strategies or tradition, not because a real, discernible reason is really SHOWN within the stories (rather than TOLD by the book), or because in the classic version the features are really coherent and "click" well one with the other (hint: they don't).

    As far as I am concerned, Pak's current version makes more sense than the classic one and when (if) they will go back to classic Superman, they should find a very good and discernible reason to have him as a glasses-wearing metropolitan journalist. Basically they should behave as if Superman as a character had been conceived in 2015.
    I'd meet you halfway. The reboot in 2011 should have taken the opportunity to examine Superman and update him for 2011. But for my tastes I'd have wanted them to take the traditional Superman as the starting point and change things to keep as much of the classic as possible where you seem to be looking for a new 2011 hero who'd only take the basic concept of Superman but update everything. Different strokes and all that ....

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