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  1. #1
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    Default Should Superman's Clark Kent disguise fool Lois Lane?

    I saw an interesting article on Lois Lane and how she would able to identify Clark as Superman pretty quickly:

    https://www.google.ca/amp/medicalxpr...roid-rogers-ca

    I also thought Lois being fooled ny Superman's ID made her seem stupid. Sure Superman can fool the average citizen and Lex has some mental blindspots that prevents him realizing the truth, but Lois is supposed to be smart and has investigative skills and has seen both Supes and Clark in person, no way would she be fooled for long.

    Do you think Lois should be fooled by Superman's disguise?
    Last edited by The Overlord; 11-03-2016 at 06:20 AM.

  2. #2
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    I think the disguise has to be inexplicable, and has to work on everyone. There was a time where I thought Lois looked bad if she sniffed around the truth and couldn't figure it out, but the thing is that if she can figure it out, being close or not close won't stop others from doing the same.

    Quitely and Allred are the only ones I've seen who pulled off the trick of making them look different, maybe they're the only ones who have even tried. But even then, it's just not a good disguise if you go with trying to explain it. You don't have to be smart or a good investigator to figure it out.

  3. #3
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    I wonder why Lois Lane has special status among all the other friends and co-workers that are just as close to Clark. When Lois suspects the truth, Superman comes up with ways to prove that he and Clark are two different people. So why beat up on Lois Lane? Usually when Lois gets a lot closer to Clark (i.e. sleeping with him, married to him), she already knows his true identity.

    For all we know, Clark and Superman do look different to everyone in the comic book reality.

    Look at the two guys in this picture. How do we tell them apart and know that they're not identical twins?



    Well, one has hair flopping in his face, while the other has hair slicked back. One has his eyes obscured by a mask, while the other you can see his eyes. And they're each wearing distinctive costumes. Otherwise they would look virtually the same.

    That's how a lot of comic book art works. There are a few artists who do incredibly detailed, photo-realistic art--but most comic art is about simplifying details and getting an image down to its essential elements. And most characters fall into types, distinguished by basic details like glasses, hair-styles, hair colour, facial hair.

    For most comic art, Superman and Clark do look different. I can say that, most of the time with most artists, they always did appear like two different characters to me. I'd have to remind myself that they're actually the same guy--but I know that only because I was let in on the truth (thus Clark's wink to the reader at the end of a story). If comics were written so we never saw that the two characters were the same person, maybe that wouldn't be so obvious.
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    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    We can tell them apart because they're actually next to each other, haha. And in the same comic, we can see that they're completely different in height besides hair length. Damian and Jon weren't previously known to occupy the same spaces or interact with the same citizens, so no one would have reason to connect them and ultimately, the two kids combined aren't half as famous as Superman. Superboy hasn't even made a public debut, not sure about Robin.

    One of my favorite anecdotes is how shakira disguised herself in a similar fashion and went unnoticed as a museum curator. It shows the idea as plausible, though not sustainable or something that can be explained.

  5. #5
    Mighty Member manduck37's Avatar
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    Well, Superman is a pretty smart guy. So finding ways to fool even someone as sharp as Lois is something he has to do to keep his secret identity. Every time she starts to suspect, it used to be that Superman would pull some kind of stunt like a robot double to put them in the same place at the same time. It can be part of the fun, seeing the crazy ways Superman keeps people, even Lois, off his trail. Which is really the big part of all this, it's ok for something to just be fun. Keeping the secret is another way to add some drama and fun to story and challenge Superman beyond fighting villains.

    The other thing to consider is that what we see on the page is often depicted certain ways for our benefit but may actually appear different to the characters in story. Heat vision likely wouldn't be two red lasers from Superman's eyes. It's just shown that way so we know he's using the power. So seeing Clark and Superman looking similar may just be for our benefit, so no one suddenly says "hey, who's that guy?". Comics are for adults and kids. So some visual tricks to keep everyone on the same page are sometimes necessary. Just like in movies where the main characters may not wear helmets or masks so the audience can see their faces and know who they are. If you have a medieval battle with everyone's face covered and just hear voices, the audience would get confused about which one is the hero or what characters are where.

  6. #6
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    Height can easily be changed (shoes, slouching, muscle flexing)--and artists like Curt Swan showed that Clark made himself look shorter than Superman. Also in comics, different artists have different ways of drawing the same character. Damian seems to be a different height depending on which artist draws him.

    Even when two artists have very similar styles they may draw specific details differently. How do we know that Superman is Superman through all these different comics, when his appearance keeps changing? Well, he has a similar costume with a similar red S on the chest--but different artists can draw these differently--and he sometimes, but not always, has a curl over his forehead.

    Really, we only know that it's the same character because the story makes that clear (thus proving that comics still need writers). But I've often been confused when too many characters look similar and can't tell one raven-haired girl friend from the other or which brown-haired guy in a suit is supposed to be the scientist.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    I wonder why Lois Lane has special status among all the other friends and co-workers that are just as close to Clark. When Lois suspects the truth, Superman comes up with ways to prove that he and Clark are two different people. So why beat up on Lois Lane? Usually when Lois gets a lot closer to Clark (i.e. sleeping with him, married to him), she already knows his true identity.

    For all we know, Clark and Superman do look different to everyone in the comic book reality.

    Look at the two guys in this picture. How do we tell them apart and know that they're not identical twins?



    Well, one has hair flopping in his face, while the other has hair slicked back. One has his eyes obscured by a mask, while the other you can see his eyes. And they're each wearing distinctive costumes. Otherwise they would look virtually the same.

    That's how a lot of comic book art works. There are a few artists who do incredibly detailed, photo-realistic art--but most comic art is about simplifying details and getting an image down to its essential elements. And most characters fall into types, distinguished by basic details like glasses, hair-styles, hair colour, facial hair.

    For most comic art, Superman and Clark do look different. I can say that, most of the time with most artists, they always did appear like two different characters to me. I'd have to remind myself that they're actually the same guy--but I know that only because I was let in on the truth (thus Clark's wink to the reader at the end of a story). If comics were written so we never saw that the two characters were the same person, maybe that wouldn't be so obvious.
    Lois is special in this regard, because she spends a lot of time with both Clark and Supes and she is both smart and skeptical, she doesn't take things at face value, she would be a bad reporter if she did. Its not like fooling Jimmy, who is often portrayed as naive or fooling Lex, who is so arrogant that he believes Supes doesn't have a secret ID, Lois has the intelligence and most importantly the skeptical mind set to find out Supes right away and I think any tricks he tries to play on Lois would not stand up to her intelligence and skeptical, unless we are giving her plot induced stupidity to make her not find out. Not mention Superman is constantly saving Lois, Lois should find this a bit suspect and wonder if there is a connection between her and Superman.

    Let me ask you something, if you had a good friend and one day he tried to fool you into changing his look, attitude and posture, would you fall for it or would you know right away? I don't care how much Clark thinks he is changing his body language, but its extremely hard to change body language so completely that it is completely different, there are subconscious tells that people would give off with their body language without even knowing it and other people can pick up on them.

    I think the secret ID trope is a stable has been around for a long time and I understand its importance, but I think it works better on some characters then others, some characters just wouldn't be fooled, I don't buy Lois being fooled by Superman, given everything we see her do as an intelligent journalist. The secret ID trope doesn't work when it requires smart people to act stupid.

    The worst example of this secret ID disconnect is Batgirl and Jim Gordon. Gordon is supposed to be a smart detective, if he can't figure out that Batgirl is just his daughter in a costume, he looks really stupid. The only way Batgirl works is she never meets Gordon, if they met, he would see through her, right away, unless he gets a massive dose of PIS.
    Last edited by The Overlord; 11-03-2016 at 09:19 AM.

  8. #8
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    I always thought he should have some sort of low level telepathy. To throw people off if they start recognizing him. Give him extra powers he doesn't use very often like in the movies. Early on in the post-Crisis universe he would vibrate his head at super-speed so no one could get a clear look at his features. Like Flash does on the show. Which means no publicity photos.
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  9. #9
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    Actually, no one at the Daily Planet should be fooled by Clark's feeble disguise, but it's a Kryptonian thing. Consider it his "disguise power", the ability to cloud people's minds (maybe sort of like a fairy's glamour). It works even in photographs!

  10. #10
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    Well. I always liked that in the SIlver Age they kind of addressed the topic by having things like actors who really look like Superman in universe and thus plenty of other people who theoretically do.

    A lot of real life people look like famous celebrities or have passing resemblances. So it's not ever really been TOO shocking to me.

    Plus there's of course been the occassional other hero who acts like Superman which helps throw folks off. IE Martian Manhunter as Superman shaking Clark Kent's hand etc...

  11. #11
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    In the classic set up I'd assume Lois has the same type of blindness as Lex. She meets Clark and immediately dismisses him from her notice.

    He's not a story. He's not a potential romantic interest. He's just Clark.

    I picture a humorous scene where someone is testing Lois' perception. A police artist has her describe various people. From her desciptions he gets almost photographs of various people she has investigated. Jimmy looks like a cartoon child. And Clark is a cross between the Pillsbury Doughboy and a scarecrow with thin dark hair and glasses. And while she knows the last two aren't accurate she can't think of the details to let the artist refine them into more lifelike versions.

  12. #12
    Astonishing Member Tuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superduperman View Post
    I always thought he should have some sort of low level telepathy. To throw people off if they start recognizing him. Give him extra powers he doesn't use very often like in the movies. Early on in the post-Crisis universe he would vibrate his head at super-speed so no one could get a clear look at his features. Like Flash does on the show. Which means no publicity photos.



  13. #13
    Savior of the Universe Flash Gordon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    I wonder why Lois Lane has special status among all the other friends and co-workers that are just as close to Clark. When Lois suspects the truth, Superman comes up with ways to prove that he and Clark are two different people. So why beat up on Lois Lane? Usually when Lois gets a lot closer to Clark (i.e. sleeping with him, married to him), she already knows his true identity.

    For all we know, Clark and Superman do look different to everyone in the comic book reality.

    Look at the two guys in this picture. How do we tell them apart and know that they're not identical twins?



    Well, one has hair flopping in his face, while the other has hair slicked back. One has his eyes obscured by a mask, while the other you can see his eyes. And they're each wearing distinctive costumes. Otherwise they would look virtually the same.

    That's how a lot of comic book art works. There are a few artists who do incredibly detailed, photo-realistic art--but most comic art is about simplifying details and getting an image down to its essential elements. And most characters fall into types, distinguished by basic details like glasses, hair-styles, hair colour, facial hair.

    For most comic art, Superman and Clark do look different. I can say that, most of the time with most artists, they always did appear like two different characters to me. I'd have to remind myself that they're actually the same guy--but I know that only because I was let in on the truth (thus Clark's wink to the reader at the end of a story). If comics were written so we never saw that the two characters were the same person, maybe that wouldn't be so obvious.
    Exactly!

    These are fictional characters drawn onto a page, if nobody in Metropolis can tell that Clark Kent is Superman that's just what it is. This is a comic book about a flying man from another planet who fights corruption and tyranny. He punches facists in the face on the daily, and shrugs off blows from intergalactic enemies.

    THAT said, it has never been hard for me to buy the Clark Kent/Superman duality. Most artists do draw them differently. "Clark Kent" would not be a celebrity of any kind, he's a writer and a kind of aloof and private dude. Lois Lane is simply the first person to really examine him, primarily because she's just around him a lot.
    Last edited by Flash Gordon; 11-03-2016 at 11:01 AM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Overlord View Post
    Lois is special in this regard, because she spends a lot of time with both Clark and Supes and she is both smart and skeptical, she doesn't take things at face value, she would be a bad reporter if she did. Its not like fooling Jimmy, who is often portrayed as naive or fooling Lex, who is so arrogant that he believes Supes doesn't have a secret ID, Lois has the intelligence and most importantly the skeptical mind set to find out Supes right away and I think any tricks he tries to play on Lois would not stand up to her intelligence and skeptical, unless we are giving her plot induced stupidity to make her not find out. Not mention Superman is constantly saving Lois, Lois should find this a bit suspect and wonder if there is a connection between her and Superman.

    Let me ask you something, if you had a good friend and one day he tried to fool you into changing his look, attitude and posture, would you fall for it or would you know right away? I don't care how much Clark thinks he is changing his body language, but its extremely hard to change body language so completely that it is completely different, there are subconscious tells that people would give off with their body language without even knowing it and other people can pick up on them.
    Whenever this comes up in the media--which it does fairly often--they take a cursory look at Lois Lane, of all people, and make this snap decision without taking a hard look at the whole history of the character. If those people had to read every comic book featuring Lois Lane, before they could say a word about her intelligence, that would shut them up.

    The fact is Lois Lane was the first one to see that Superman and Clark Kent are one and the same--in "Man or Superman," SUPERMAN No. 17 (July-August '42). In fact, she would have learned Clark's true identity even sooner than that if "The K-Metal from Krypton" had been published in 1940. Time and again, after that, Lois has figured out the truth or suspected it--and time and again she's been offered irrefutable proof that Clark Kent could not possibly be Superman. On countless occasions, she saw the two of them in the same place.

    It got so crazy with Lois accusing Clark of being Superman every month, that there was a certain animosity toward Lois Lane. Why was she so obsessed with proving her claims? Did she really want to defeat Superman--out him to the world? Was this her master plan to get the Man of Steel to marry her? Like Doctor Phil would've said to Lois, "How's that workin' for ya?"

    Lois was pretty fed up with Superman screwing her around that by the '70s, she was playing it cool with the whole Superman's Girl Friend deal and she decided they should see other people. Finally, in the last really big messing her around, Clark slept with Lois, made her fall in love with him. And he did her head in so much that, after nearly dying, from her hospital bed she pleaded with Clark to fess up and admit he was Superman. Yet even after coming so close to losing the woman that he said he loved, Clark couldn't say that.

    That began a new understanding between the Girl Reporter and the Man of Steel. They just wouldn't talk about it. You can draw your own conclusions, but it seems to me that Lois knew that Superman had to be Clark--and yet his lack of faith in her destroyed any illusions she had that they could ever get married. So she stayed stum.

    That brings us up to the Crisis, where the clock starts ticking on the relationship all over again. And it wasn't long--in comic book time--before Clark told Lois that he was Superman. And that's how it stood for the next twenty years until Flashpoint.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Clark View Post
    In the classic set up I'd assume Lois has the same type of blindness as Lex. She meets Clark and immediately dismisses him from her notice.

    He's not a story. He's not a potential romantic interest. He's just Clark.

    I picture a humorous scene where someone is testing Lois' perception. A police artist has her describe various people. From her desciptions he gets almost photographs of various people she has investigated. Jimmy looks like a cartoon child. And Clark is a cross between the Pillsbury Doughboy and a scarecrow with thin dark hair and glasses. And while she knows the last two aren't accurate she can't think of the details to let the artist refine them into more lifelike versions.
    But that doesn't jive with her skepticism and investigative skills, I don't think Lois should ever take things as face value, she would be a bad investigative reporter if she did. if Lois just took things at face value, she would believe Post Crisis Lex is just a good hearted philanthropist, that is not the case. I think Lois not applying the same critical eye to Clark and superman, makes her look foolish and out of character. Lois should see the potential for stories everywhere, even close to home.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    Whenever this comes up in the media--which it does fairly often--they take a cursory look at Lois Lane, of all people, and make this snap decision without taking a hard look at the whole history of the character. If those people had to read every comic book featuring Lois Lane, before they could say a word about her intelligence, that would shut them up.

    The fact is Lois Lane was the first one to see that Superman and Clark Kent are one and the same--in "Man or Superman," SUPERMAN No. 17 (July-August '42). In fact, she would have learned Clark's true identity even sooner than that if "The K-Metal from Krypton" had been published in 1940. Time and again, after that, Lois has figured out the truth or suspected it--and time and again she's been offered irrefutable proof that Clark Kent could not possibly be Superman. On countless occasions, she saw the two of them in the same place.

    It got so crazy with Lois accusing Clark of being Superman every month, that there was a certain animosity toward Lois Lane. Why was she so obsessed with proving her claims? Did she really want to defeat Superman--out him to the world? Was this her master plan to get the Man of Steel to marry her? Like Doctor Phil would've said to Lois, "How's that workin' for ya?"

    Lois was pretty fed up with Superman screwing her around that by the '70s, she was playing it cool with the whole Superman's Girl Friend deal and she decided they should see other people. Finally, in the last really big messing her around, Clark slept with Lois, made her fall in love with him. And he did her head in so much that, after nearly dying, from her hospital bed she pleaded with Clark to fess up and admit he was Superman. Yet even after coming so close to losing the woman that he said he loved, Clark couldn't say that.

    That began a new understanding between the Girl Reporter and the Man of Steel. They just wouldn't talk about it. You can draw your own conclusions, but it seems to me that Lois knew that Superman had to be Clark--and yet his lack of faith in her destroyed any illusions she had that they could ever get married. So she stayed stum.

    That brings us up to the Crisis, where the clock starts ticking on the relationship all over again. And it wasn't long--in comic book time--before Clark told Lois that he was Superman. And that's how it stood for the next twenty years until Flashpoint.
    Here is a good question, how is any of that good writing? This kind of convoluted non sense and lack of story progression is what keeps new people from getting into mainstream American comic books.

    That is all just silly antics to keep does she or does she not know and keeping Lois from being a full partner to Superman just to extend a secret ID plot much longer then it needs to be going on. I think stuff like this does a disservice to the characters, you may as well have memory erasing kisses be the reason Lois can't figure things out. Lois should figure it within a month and Clark should admit and then they work together, none of this silly non sense you mentioned should happen. The stories you are describing make Lois look dopey or crazy and makes Clark look like a pathological liar, its gimmicky writing rather then actual character based writing.
    Last edited by The Overlord; 11-03-2016 at 11:32 AM.

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