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  1. #31
    Phantom Zone Escapee manofsteel1979's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sacred Knight View Post
    Indeed, Perez played with it a bit. Even Lobdell to a degree. But yeah, Perez's run I find to be a bit underrated. What it hurt it to me was its rehashed fight scenes from issue to issue. But the themes and shifts it brought about were interesting, fresh ideas for a rebooted Superman. Lobdell didn't play much with the GBS angle but he did play off a consequence, that being Clark and Cat leaving the Planet. Yet another intriguing turn.

    So what do they do with it all? Bring in Geoff Johns, who promptly reverts everything back to his boring status quo then bolts once he's vanilla'd everything.
    To be fair to Johns though, Lobdell and co were not all that interested with even exploring those ideas and were more concerned with the never ending crossovers of H'el on Earth/Return of Krypton/Doomed. Sure, Johns didn't need to drop all of it,but when the creators prior weren't either bothered with developing those ideas or weren't allowed to for whatever reason,I don't blame Johns deciding "I'm not interested in dealing with something that wasn't that well defined anyway." and just going back to basics for the story he wanted to tell. Heck for all we know that could have been Berganza's call as the PGN/Clarkcatopolis stuff originated with Matt Idelson.

  2. #32
    Astonishing Member misslane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lorddominicus85 View Post
    Me personally, I really loved the early issues of Truth over in Action Comics where Pak was introducing a new status quo for Superman in Kentville, merging the two personalities of Clark/Superman into one being and giving us the readers an entirely new dynamic to look forward to. I hope now that Truth is over that Pak can go back and explore this new dynamic and this new life. We really haven't been given enough story with the current writers to decide whether or not Superman can operate without the 9/5 Clark persona or whether the two personalities merging into one can work. I think they can, the same as Steve Rogers and Captain America have become one personality. Superman being out in the open as Clark Kent, living and breathing among the people who either hate or worship him grounds him a new way that we haven't seen before. It could create some truly amazing stories if a writer was given the chance to really explore it.
    Clark's identities have always been merged for him. What's different now isn't him, but how people treat him. When Clark was being his "Clark" persona, he wasn't being inauthentic. He really was a guy who liked to hang out with his friends, investigate and write stories, and play video games. It would be like if someone was gay and they knew it, and maybe their family knew it, but one day they decide to be out and proud by not hiding it anymore from others. That person's sense of themselves as gay would have been true before and after. So it confuses me when you speak of "personalities" merging into one all of a sudden. They'd always been merged; people around him maybe just didn't know it. Even your reference to exploring how people react to Clark, now that he's outed as Superman, isn't different considering people were able to react to Superman -- hate him or worship him -- before they knew he was Clark. In fact, they didn't need to know he was Clark to feel those things and express them. In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, we see rallies of haters and supporters without a secret identity reveal.

  3. #33
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ManSinha View Post
    I almost want Clark to become a reclusive magnet behind a very successful publishing house. The publishing house of course would be powered by the JL , stories interviews etc - unethical? Maybe but I have often wondered why Karen Starr can be a successful industrialist and Clark cannot?
    Because Clark isnt interested in being an industrialist?

    Even if you discount Clark's intellect, which by rights should be well beyond anyone on earth (aside from, perhaps, Luthor) his other talents, skills, and abilities give him more than adequate standing to become one of the richest and biggest businessmen in the world. I mean, the guy could sell the secrets of Kryptonian tooth brushes to the world and become incredibly rich. So why doesnt he? Because he's not interested in doing so. He likes to write, he likes being a reporter.

    One of the few things JMS' Earth-1 really got right were the scenes of Clark looking into different careers. He failed when it came to Clark "settling" for the Planet, but him looking into pro sports and science and business were spot on.
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  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by misslane View Post
    Clark's identities have always been merged for him. What's different now isn't him, but how people treat him. When Clark was being his "Clark" persona, he wasn't being inauthentic. He really was a guy who liked to hang out with his friends, investigate and write stories, and play video games. It would be like if someone was gay and they knew it, and maybe their family knew it, but one day they decide to be out and proud by not hiding it anymore from others. That person's sense of themselves as gay would have been true before and after. So it confuses me when you speak of "personalities" merging into one all of a sudden. They'd always been merged; people around him maybe just didn't know it. Even your reference to exploring how people react to Clark, now that he's outed as Superman, isn't different considering people were able to react to Superman -- hate him or worship him -- before they knew he was Clark. In fact, they didn't need to know he was Clark to feel those things and express them. In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, we see rallies of haters and supporters without a secret identity reveal.
    People knowing that Superman is Clark and Clark is Superman completely changes his whole dynamic as a character, or at least it should under a good writer and Pak was exploring that. Using your example of a homosexual person keeping that side of himself hidden, once they come out the world can completely change for them from reactions from family to friends to the world they're now able to openly explore and love. Kentville is a perfect example of where this line of story telling started, people embracing Superman as their neighbor as opposed to the holier than thou god like figure he was. To the people who knew Clark from around Metropolis, Superman is now more human to them than ever before. Before Superman was a news story or a gif on the internet, a being of such power that he is almost incomprehensible and then they found out that he's the guy in the apartment next door who loaned them some sugar. I just feel like we've had 75 years to explore the dynamic of Clark and Superman as separate but the same person, why not a year or two to explore Clark/Superman as completely the same? That's my point, I feel it opens up story possibilities that weren't there before.

  5. #35
    Astonishing Member misslane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lorddominicus85 View Post
    People knowing that Superman is Clark and Clark is Superman completely changes his whole dynamic as a character, or at least it should under a good writer and Pak was exploring that. Using your example of a homosexual person keeping that side of himself hidden, once they come out the world can completely change for them from reactions from family to friends to the world they're now able to openly explore and love. Kentville is a perfect example of where this line of story telling started, people embracing Superman as their neighbor as opposed to the holier than thou god like figure he was. To the people who knew Clark from around Metropolis, Superman is now more human to them than ever before. Before Superman was a news story or a gif on the internet, a being of such power that he is almost incomprehensible and then they found out that he's the guy in the apartment next door who loaned them some sugar. I just feel like we've had 75 years to explore the dynamic of Clark and Superman as separate but the same person, why not a year or two to explore Clark/Superman as completely the same? That's my point, I feel it opens up story possibilities that weren't there before.
    It doesn't change a person's identity or their personality, though, which were the words/terms you were using. It might allow or limit expression of certain traits, but those traits already existed and found expression before just in different ways. More importantly, as readers with an omniscient view, we've already seen the range of Clark's personality. Thus, the impact is not as drastic or illuminating as it may be in theory.

    So, ultimately, I don't think the dynamics of his character change that significantly. In fact, the architects of this arc seem to agree given how much more significant Clark's power loss has been to this story line as opposed to his identity reveal. Since only the people of Kentville, Smallville, and The Daily Planet can really relate to being close to Clark before the reveal, there isn't much left to explore in terms of people reacting to their "neighbor" or "friend" being Superman. They've told that story in microcosm, too, so telling another "Kentville" type story would feel redundant.

    Help me understand what "possibilities" you see.
    Last edited by misslane; 01-05-2016 at 12:16 PM.

  6. #36
    Fantastic Member llozymandias's Avatar
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    How about this? The "Clark Kent" identity could be Superman's personal/private tribute to the Kents. At least part of the time living the life he would be living if they were his birth parents. As well as continuing to feel connected to them. Unimaginative people have claimed that the Kents being dead meant that Kal had nobody to protect. By keeping his Clark id secret. What about their extended families? Brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, cousins, & so on. The Kent & Clark families were probably very lucky that the reveal coincided with him losing his powers. Otherwise the result could have been a major bloodbath, anyone who is at least 10th cousin to either Jonathan Kent or Martha Clark Kent is hunted down & killed. By enemies who want to hurt Superman.
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  7. #37
    Astonishing Member misslane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by llozymandias View Post
    How about this? The "Clark Kent" identity could be Superman's personal/private tribute to the Kents. At least part of the time living the life he would be living if they were his birth parents. As well as continuing to feel connected to them. Unimaginative people have claimed that the Kents being dead meant that Kal had nobody to protect. By keeping his Clark id secret. What about their extended families? Brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, cousins, & so on. The Kent & Clark families were probably very lucky that the reveal coincided with him losing his powers. Otherwise the result could have been a major bloodbath, anyone who is at least 10th cousin to either Jonathan Kent or Martha Clark Kent is hunted down & killed. By enemies who want to hurt Superman.
    A whole identity as a tribute is still massively weird and screwed up. If my parents died, it would be crazy for me to start adopting traits I don't identify as my own merely to honor them. I would be like my parents because they helped make me who I am not because I chose to be like them as a tribute. Clark is like the Kents because he is a Kent; it is that bond that is his connection to them.

  8. #38
    Fantastic Member magha_regulus's Avatar
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    I've said it before and i'll say it again here, Superman needs to become a Super Journalist now. Clark Kent the Super Reporter who shares stories about his superheroic exploits with the world. He'd continue to expose the truth about injustices to the world in a way that only he could. He could really spend some time developing the Super Blog and maybe have it as an extension of the Daily Planet to show loyalty to his old team. He could expose Luthor's deal with Owlman, or he could report on Doc Magnus' or Ray Palmer's latest scientific pursuits for example.

    I think the proper response to the reveal is to make the Clark Kent work Super.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by misslane View Post
    A whole identity as a tribute is still massively weird and screwed up. If my parents died, it would be crazy for me to start adopting traits I don't identify as my own merely to honor them. I would be like my parents because they helped make me who I am not because I chose to be like them as a tribute. Clark is like the Kents because he is a Kent; it is that bond that is his connection to them.
    But there are people who do take up something as a tribute to a deceased person that they wouldn't have otherwise. I can see a more confrontational Superman adopting Clark's more laidback attitude in an effort to be more like Jonathan. Or the Silver Age "diary" he kept in the Fortress starting out as continuing Martha's scrapbook of his career. So while I agree Clark isn't just a memorial to the deceased Kents, I can see some of Clark's quirks being more an attempt to continue Martha and Jonathan's ways than being those he'd naturally be drawn to.

    For example, I've seen a few instances where Kal-El becomes a farmer (Kingdom Come, Exile) when removed from both his Superman and Kent roles. Just personal opinion but I don't see him as a farmer at heart and see that as Clark trying to continue the Kent tradition of farming as a tribute to the man who raised him. I can equally see him altering smaller things he does everyday to be closer to the way his adoptive parents would have done them.

  10. #40
    Astonishing Member misslane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Clark View Post
    But there are people who do take up something as a tribute to a deceased person that they wouldn't have otherwise. I can see a more confrontational Superman adopting Clark's more laidback attitude in an effort to be more like Jonathan. Or the Silver Age "diary" he kept in the Fortress starting out as continuing Martha's scrapbook of his career. So while I agree Clark isn't just a memorial to the deceased Kents, I can see some of Clark's quirks being more an attempt to continue Martha and Jonathan's ways than being those he'd naturally be drawn to.
    Yes, people do take up interests and hobbies to feel connected to those they have lost. No one except nutjobs would actually adopt a completely separate identity as a tribute. If Clark adopts some of his parents' interests, then it's because he cares about them as their son. It's something any person might do, and it has nothing to do with creating a personality to play act.

    For example, I've seen a few instances where Kal-El becomes a farmer (Kingdom Come, Exile) when removed from both his Superman and Kent roles. Just personal opinion but I don't see him as a farmer at heart and see that as Clark trying to continue the Kent tradition of farming as a tribute to the man who raised him. I can equally see him altering smaller things he does everyday to be closer to the way his adoptive parents would have done them.
    Just choosing to farm like his father when times get tough isn't analogous to manufacturing a whole separate identity that includes an apartment, a career, friends, hobbies, etc. Doing things loved ones used to do to feel closer to them is something any human being or individual could do in the wake of loss. But these smaller things are not part of creating a wholly distinct fictional persona. Clark would do these things because he is Jonathan and Martha's son. He doesn't need to farm to be Clark Kent. He farms because he is Clark Kent.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by misslane View Post
    Just choosing to farm like his father when times get tough isn't analogous to manufacturing a whole separate identity that includes an apartment, a career, friends, hobbies, etc. Doing things loved ones used to do to feel closer to them is something any human being or individual could do in the wake of loss. But these smaller things are not part of creating a wholly distinct fictional persona. Clark would do these things because he is Jonathan and Martha's son. He doesn't need to farm to be Clark Kent. He farms because he is Clark Kent.
    It is when Clark chooses farming over journalism or some other pursuit that we might expect a powerless Superman to undertake.

    Clark deciding to live a double life rather than just letting his civilian life drop after he left Smallville in those continuities where the Kents died- when he could have simply become Superman 24/7 and let the fate of Clark kent remain a mystery- is that his choice or an obligation he felt to the Kents? It's not like he was close to Lana and Pete, for example, where he couldn't just vanish from their lives like other classmates who moved away did. It's not like he needed a paycheck as Clark to put food on the table or put a roof over his head. Heck in Man of Steel with Martha still alive you get the impression he hadn't used the name Clark Kent for years in dealing with anyone else. So when you have had a Clark Kent with no close friends prior to his settling in Metropois, why is he "Clark" at all as opposed to Joe Smith, drifter ... if it isn't because he wants to stay connected to the two people who are his parents?

  12. #42
    Astonishing Member misslane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Clark View Post
    if it isn't because he wants to stay connected to the two people who are his parents?
    It's because what connects Clark to his parents is who he is: their son. If Superman is Clark Kent, the son of Jonathan and Martha Kent, then he is connected to his parents. Clark doesn't have to be like Jonathan and Martha to stay connected to them. Clark is connected to Jonathan and Martha and is like them because he is their son. Superman wouldn't allow Clark to fade even if his attachments faded because he is Clark Kent. Those years and times when he abandons Clark because he thinks that it's meaningless without his loved ones are always presented as mistakes or periods of crisis meant to be overcome.

  13. #43
    Fantastic Member llozymandias's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misslane View Post
    A whole identity as a tribute is still massively weird and screwed up. If my parents died, it would be crazy for me to start adopting traits I don't identify as my own merely to honor them. I would be like my parents because they helped make me who I am not because I chose to be like them as a tribute. Clark is like the Kents because he is a Kent; it is that bond that is his connection to them.

    Did you read everything I wrote here before posting your condescending response? I was referring to the fact that Kal-El is a Kent by adoption not birth.
    John Martin, citizen & rightful ruler of the omniverse.

  14. #44
    Astonishing Member misslane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by llozymandias View Post
    Did you read everything I wrote here before posting your condescending response? I was referring to the fact that Kal-El is a Kent by adoption not birth.
    Your original post said nothing of the sort. This is what you said:

    Quote Originally Posted by llozymandias View Post
    How about this? The "Clark Kent" identity could be Superman's personal/private tribute to the Kents. At least part of the time living the life he would be living if they were his birth parents. As well as continuing to feel connected to them. Unimaginative people have claimed that the Kents being dead meant that Kal had nobody to protect. By keeping his Clark id secret. What about their extended families? Brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, cousins, & so on. The Kent & Clark families were probably very lucky that the reveal coincided with him losing his powers. Otherwise the result could have been a major bloodbath, anyone who is at least 10th cousin to either Jonathan Kent or Martha Clark Kent is hunted down & killed. By enemies who want to hurt Superman.
    You do go on to discuss the Kent and Clark families, but those families would be understood as part of Superman's adoptive family with his closest family -- Martha and Jonathan -- dead. More importantly, your first few lines do explicitly state your view that Clark be Clark as a "tribute" to the Kents, which is the part of your post I struggled with. It's also not a statement that I think could be interpreted as a mere clarification that Kal-El is a Kent via adoption. Your specific point, the one I reacted to, was that Clark would uphold the Clark Kent identity as a tribute and way of remaining connected to his adoptive family. To me, Clark shouldn't engage in a lifestyle and a whole identity as a tribute that honors the dearly departed. He should do it because it's already a part of who he is, and as such it wouldn't even be a choice.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarvelMaster616 View Post
    I was watching Man of Steel recently and I found myself asking this question more than once. I think it's a relevant question to ask, given the evolution of Superman over the past two decades. And I think the recent events of Truth have finally begun to address it, albeit it in a limited manner.

    One of my favorite parts in Man of Steel was the early scenes showing Clark just living as a nomad, working odd jobs and never really establishing himself in one job or one place. I think that made him feel like a genuine outsider, which is exactly what he is. He's an alien. And even among other humans, those different from others often live on the outside looking in. I think on some levels, that's the best possible state for Superman to be in. The movie showed how he could help people just living as a nomad. There's nothing about that life that would've kept him from saving the world from Zod or any threat for that matter. I think him being Clark Kent, mild mannered reporter, is somewhat unnecessary now.

    I know it's an iconic part of Superman's character, having a secret identity and a career within that identity. But I think it's less pragmatic now than it was years ago and I don't just say this because phone booths are extinct and cell phone cameras are everywhere. I say this because for most of his history, being a reporter had a pragmatic purpose for Superman. It allowed him to keep up with ongoing events in the world, which gave him the opportunities he was looking for to help people. But that world is no more. Now anyone with a cell phone and a Twitter feed can keep up with the major events of the world. Clark doesn't need to be a reporter or worry about concealing his identity, which has always been somewhat of a joke considering his lack of a mask.

    I get that being a reporter has been part of Superman's identity for years. However, I think the way he's been going about it is dated. I sincerely hope that the effects of the Truth arc will explore this, especially after he gets his powers back. I really don't want to see DC try and revert everything back to the way it used to be because that way is just not pragmatic anymore. If instead Superman became more like a drifter, working odd jobs and saving the world whenever a crisis arose, that would make him a better character overall. But that's just my opinion. I'd like to open it up for discussion.
    The first problem is that you watched that abomination made by people who don't even like the character enough to feature his name in the film without some sort of joke or derisive context.

    Clark Kent is essential to the Superman mythos, but more to your question, Clark Kent does, in fact, need to be Clark Kent. Not only is he Clark Kent initially (and perhaps primarily) he also needs the life of Clark Kent to escape to. Without it, we have a full-time Superman that's not terribly interesting, human, or relatable.

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