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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon-El View Post
    The image of a regular looking guy with glasses opening up his shirt to reveal the S is so irresistible to me. It may not make sense but I love it!

    I wonder if part of the problem is how society views quiet Clark Kent types. Meek & mild isn't exactly in style. The workplace rewards confidence & aggression. I work in TV news & none of the top people are shy or awkward. For someone like myself who is fairly shy, the double identity is really appealing.
    I doubt that Meek & Mild were ever in style; popularity has always tended to attach to the flamboyant (I offer you Exhibit A: the US GOP presidential race). I do, however, agree with you that there's been a shift in popular sentiment: IMO, our populace is more narcissistic, and just can't get its head around the idea that a guy who could be indescribably famous would settle for anything less.

  2. #62
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Meek and mild has always been in style, at least in my generation (I'm 28).

    With the secret identity, I guess there's no point in holding up a staple because it's simply there, but I can't imagine a story good enough to do away with such a big part of the character. Even if the story is excellent, y'know?

  3. #63
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    It's the way the OP has posed the topic question that influences how I approach this topic: Does Superman NEED to be Clark Kent Anymore?

    The way I read it, we're assuming Superman has been Clark Kent in this continuity (otherwise there would be no need to say Anymore) and he no longer has the emotional need to be Clark. He's worked that out of his system and he's now willing to be Superman round the clock.

    This could be my misreading of the topic. Maybe looking at it from inside the fiction is wrong. The question might be does DC need Superman to be Clark Kent anymore? Which would be a question outside the fiction and in terms of the entertainment industry. Perhaps DC can get away with a version of Superman that abandons the Clark Kent concept and this would be a popular entertainment property. So then the question is whether DC could make money from that concept.
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  4. #64
    Formerly NotSuper Persona J's Avatar
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    Years ago I probably would have said "yes, he does need to be Clark Kent," and while I do think that he needs to have BEEN Clark Kent (both as a child/teen and Clark Kent, Reporter), I don't think it needs to be his status quo any more.

    I think the concept of Kal having lost the Clark Kent identity (which should be presented as a tragedy in its own right, something akin to Miracleman making a headstone for his alter ego before transforming for the final time) and having to find a different way to interact with humans (and super-humans) opens up more possibilities than it closes. One could always revisit past stories of Reporter Clark Kent, maybe even having Superman himself reminisce about the simpler days. Superman could spend more time in space, becoming a galactic hero as much as a terrestrial one, not needing excuses to justify long spans of time away to Clark's civilian friends and colleagues, and he could still write, both through pen names so no one knows it's Superman, as well as himself. He could be a super-powered Doc Savage, having every kind of adventure imaginable, unbound by civilian life. And as for Superman needing time to "relax," he still could, either lightly disguised on Earth, or chatting with aliens on another planet (I imagine a cosmopolitan galactic city-state where aliens of many different races all live, in a pluralistic culture, where each had their had customs but also had shared values as a city-state), who don't care he's Superman or an alien. Even just writing this makes new ideas come to me, you could really do much more and still have him recognizably being Superman. And for people who still dig the secret ID, there would be other worlds and characters, since DC seems willing to bring those alternate Supermen to the forefront rather than hide them away in the toy box--there's even a married Lois and Clark in the main universe(!), and that version of Superman could make a Clark-like public persona--the possibilities are endless.

    Believe it or not, I didn't intend to make this reply as supportive of the "no secret ID" as it sounds, but as I was writing it I started to get into the idea more and more.

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by NotSuper View Post
    Years ago I probably would have said "yes, he does need to be Clark Kent," and while I do think that he needs to have BEEN Clark Kent (both as a child/teen and Clark Kent, Reporter), I don't think it needs to be his status quo any more.

    I think the concept of Kal having lost the Clark Kent identity (which should be presented as a tragedy in its own right, something akin to Miracleman making a headstone for his alter ego before transforming for the final time) and having to find a different way to interact with humans (and super-humans) opens up more possibilities than it closes. One could always revisit past stories of Reporter Clark Kent, maybe even having Superman himself reminisce about the simpler days. Superman could spend more time in space, becoming a galactic hero as much as a terrestrial one, not needing excuses to justify long spans of time away to Clark's civilian friends and colleagues, and he could still write, both through pen names so no one knows it's Superman, as well as himself. He could be a super-powered Doc Savage, having every kind of adventure imaginable, unbound by civilian life. And as for Superman needing time to "relax," he still could, either lightly disguised on Earth, or chatting with aliens on another planet (I imagine a cosmopolitan galactic city-state where aliens of many different races all live, in a pluralistic culture, where each had their had customs but also had shared values as a city-state), who don't care he's Superman or an alien. Even just writing this makes new ideas come to me, you could really do much more and still have him recognizably being Superman. And for people who still dig the secret ID, there would be other worlds and characters, since DC seems willing to bring those alternate Supermen to the forefront rather than hide them away in the toy box--there's even a married Lois and Clark in the main universe(!), and that version of Superman could make a Clark-like public persona--the possibilities are endless.

    Believe it or not, I didn't intend to make this reply as supportive of the "no secret ID" as it sounds, but as I was writing it I started to get into the idea more and more.
    I get this argument. It makes sense for those of us that are long-time readers: give us something new. However, I'm not sure it's good for the Superman brand, because we long time consumers are few and waning. Those elements that made Superman and the superhero genre in general popular should probably be preserved, unless we're going to keep up the reboot-these-guys-every-decade thing.

  6. #66
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    I think Superman has assumed other identities from time to time. It makes sense to me that he would maybe maintain a few different personas around the world. He probably has it written into his contract as Clark that he gets enough time off during the year to do other things and then he goes off to other countries and other planets and lives other lives. That would be the kind of thing I'd expect Elliot Maggin to put in one of his stories--maybe he did.
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  7. #67
    Astonishing Member Prime's Avatar
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    Well he is Clark Kent. He would go crazy if he was Superman all the time. I think he should move on from being a reporter though.

  8. #68
    Astonishing Member misslane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prime View Post
    Well he is Clark Kent. He would go crazy if he was Superman all the time. I think he should move on from being a reporter though.
    Why should he move on from being a reporter? He loves to write, and it's a great way to make a difference without throwing a single punch. Having recently seen the film Spotlight about the Boston Globe's expose on the corruption in the Catholic Church that facilitated a massive cover up of sexually abusive priests, I am even more convinced that investigative journalism is the perfect vocation of Superman.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by misslane View Post
    Why should he move on from being a reporter? He loves to write, and it's a great way to make a difference without throwing a single punch. Having recently seen the film Spotlight about the Boston Globe's expose on the corruption in the Catholic Church that facilitated a massive cover up of sexually abusive priests, I am even more convinced that investigative journalism is the perfect vocation of Superman.
    "perfect vocation" imho can be argued, like for example a firefighter would be also such vocation,and the list goes on. if he were to continue to be a reporter, however, i would prefer that he do it outside the DP, in fact when he started his webnews with Cat i though that it could be such a great idea, that is until editorial (or johns himself, dunno who is the culprit at this moment) made him craw back to the old job status

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agniwolf View Post
    "perfect vocation" imho can be argued, like for example a firefighter would be also such vocation,and the list goes on. if he were to continue to be a reporter, however, i would prefer that he do it outside the DP, in fact when he started his webnews with Cat i though that it could be such a great idea, that is until editorial (or johns himself, dunno who is the culprit at this moment) made him craw back to the old job status
    Why is blogging better than investigative reporting that is published online for a major news organization? How does being a firefighter challenge Clark in the same way writing challenges him since it's just a scaled down version of what he does as Superman? Clark is a reporter because he likes to write. He can't write as a fireman. He also likes journalism because it's something that can have a real effect on exposing and changing the injustices of the world. It's a vehicle for truth and justice, if you will, and it's fun for him. He likes the work because it challenges him in a way that being Superman doesn't challenge him. Are there really other jobs, like being a fireman, that can tick all of the same boxes?

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by misslane View Post
    Why is blogging better than investigative reporting that is published online for a major news organization? How does being a firefighter challenge Clark in the same way writing challenges him since it's just a scaled down version of what he does as Superman? Clark is a reporter because he likes to write. He can't write as a fireman. He also likes journalism because it's something that can have a real effect on exposing and changing the injustices of the world. It's a vehicle for truth and justice, if you will, and it's fun for him. He likes the work because it challenges him in a way that being Superman doesn't challenge him. Are there really other jobs, like being a fireman, that can tick all of the same boxes?
    firstly being a firefighter was and hypothesis based on what he does - that is saving the day. can he only do it with the cape? i could even say that he could also work at red cross and still fell challenged
    secondly he was starting a new company with Cat cause he believed they could do it, it was suposed to be investigative reporting but outside the clutches of the corporate glamurous news (that was what the so serious DP had become). so yes he could still be a investigative reporter but in a new news organization, the idea was to go beyond blogging and i liked it.

  12. #72
    Astonishing Member misslane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agniwolf View Post
    firstly being a firefighter was and hypothesis based on what he does - that is saving the day. can he only do it with the cape? i could even say that he could also work at red cross and still fell challenged
    secondly he was starting a new company with Cat cause he believed they could do it, it was suposed to be investigative reporting but outside the clutches of the corporate glamurous news (that was what the so serious DP had become). so yes he could still be a investigative reporter but in a new news organization, the idea was to go beyond blogging and i liked it.
    But what's the difference in real storytelling terms between Clark blogging for his own website and Clark publishing online pieces for a new organization that has multiple media platforms? Although the DP has always been portrayed as a major metropolitan newspaper, I'd say more often than not it is also portrayed as one of the rare newspapers that eschewed corporate interests and glamour. It's only really the New 52 that presented the Daily Planet as a corporate sellout. I've always found the idea of Clark working to change a place like the DP from the inside far more interesting than working alone. I like the idea of him working to make something that was once good into something good again rather than giving up on it. It's that sort of challenge that I think is far more interesting for readers and for Clark himself.

  13. #73
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misslane View Post
    But what's the difference in real storytelling terms between Clark blogging for his own website and Clark publishing online pieces for a new organization that has multiple media platforms? Although the DP has always been portrayed as a major metropolitan newspaper, I'd say more often than not it is also portrayed as one of the rare newspapers that eschewed corporate interests and glamour. It's only really the New 52 that presented the Daily Planet as a corporate sellout. I've always found the idea of Clark working to change a place like the DP from the inside far more interesting than working alone. I like the idea of him working to make something that was once good into something good again rather than giving up on it. It's that sort of challenge that I think is far more interesting for readers and for Clark himself.
    Well, Im a proponent of keeping the Planet and updating it so that it looks and feels like a modern day, digital-based news outlet. We've been told since the early 00's that the Planet has made/is making the shift to the digital age but we never actually see it. It's still treated as if papers sell well, but in reality that hasn't been the case for ages. That has created a fission in Clark's job, where it feels just as fake as Superman flying and throwing tanks. Clark's job used to be a touchstone for reality; but treating the Planet as if it were still a successful newspaper (which is what DC does, despite the occasional lip-service we get every few years) just makes the Metropolis setting feel that much more disconnected. That sense of not being with the times has damaged the brand, along with several other factors that lead people to think that Superman no longer matters.

    Now, could Clark trying to turn the modern, sensationalist media around from the inside be a good story? Damn straight. The idea of one man single handedly trying to bring back the honor and integrity of the news media is a fascinating concept, and Im sure there are tons of reporters out there fighting that exact fight right now. That's a story worth telling.

    But the question isnt whether it would be interesting, or worthwhile. It most certainly *could* be either of those things. But there's two problems with the concept, as I see it.

    First off, bottom line, is DC capable of telling that story in a convincing way that is also entertaining? Given that editorial shied away from Clark's blog and told Lobdell to focus elsewhere, I'm inclined to say that no, DC is not capable of telling that kind of complex, layered story. So right there, all those good intentions become worthless.

    Secondly, is it a story worth telling within the pages of Superman? Such a story would require a large amount of Clark-time, lots of talking heads, and very little action. It would be a lot of Clark getting flack from his boss' bosses, and fighting for an abstract concept that many people dont even see a problem with in the first place. Is it worth investing that kind of effort and energy into a franchise that has been struggling for twenty years? Maybe, with the right people behind it, it could be part of a whole new rebirth for Superman. But odds are, it would just end up a distraction and get swept under the rug just like the blog.
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  14. #74
    Formerly NotSuper Persona J's Avatar
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    One thing DC could do is present the Daily Planet as being leagues ahead of the current situation with news--I'm thinking imagining the Daily Planet as something the news media will be in 30 or 40 years time. Instead of making it an Internet based company, it could instead be some kind of...decentralized digital network where reporters never even meet, they just record and publish in real-time, edited by some AI that edits based on what it observes from satellites. I realize this sounds jumbled, but I think the idea comes across, that of making the Daily Planet a possible future for news media. The downside is that you would lose that human, grounded, every day job focus, but given as things change so fast these days, why shouldn't the Daily Planet be "the news media of tomorrow, today"?

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by NotSuper View Post
    One thing DC could do is present the Daily Planet as being leagues ahead of the current situation with news--I'm thinking imagining the Daily Planet as something the news media will be in 30 or 40 years time. Instead of making it an Internet based company, it could instead be some kind of...decentralized digital network where reporters never even meet, they just record and publish in real-time, edited by some AI that edits based on what it observes from satellites. I realize this sounds jumbled, but I think the idea comes across, that of making the Daily Planet a possible future for news media. The downside is that you would lose that human, grounded, every day job focus, but given as things change so fast these days, why shouldn't the Daily Planet be "the news media of tomorrow, today"?
    Or maybe have the Daily Planet be the first paper to publicly hire superhumans, starting with Clark, using their skills to get ahead of the competition. It could spark a change in the world where superhumans start using their powers to earn a living.
    Last edited by SmokeMonster; 01-15-2016 at 06:31 AM.

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