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  1. #4606
    Astonishing Member Adekis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by llozymandias View Post
    Smallville was never a west coast town. It was in an east coast state.
    Correct, I said the wrong cardinal direction. Fixed it now!
    "You know the deal, Metropolis. Treat people right or expect a visit from me."

  2. #4607
    Astonishing Member TheRay's Avatar
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    I ship Clark and Jimmy....

  3. #4608
    Astonishing Member Adekis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRay View Post
    I ship Clark and Jimmy....
    So do I. Especially the versions of Jimmy and Clark that are close to the same age.

    Bisexual Clark is a big thing to me. I've thought of him as bi since like 2007 or so.
    "You know the deal, Metropolis. Treat people right or expect a visit from me."

  4. #4609
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tzigone View Post
    I agree with the assessment, but I don't like the change. I feel like superheroes have grown more and more divorced from the world.
    On the contrary, secret identities are far more of a barrier between superheroes and regular people than public identities or telling friends and family about their heroic alter egos. Just look at the way Superman and Hal Jordan treated their love interests in the Silver Age compared to now where they are more honest and open with them. The so called "gods among humanity" characterization has always been overstated, especially when it comes to DC. It's also a funny comparison since gods in numerous mythologies are pretty humanized.

  5. #4610
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    On the contrary, secret identities are far more of a barrier between superheroes and regular people than public identities or telling friends and family about their heroic alter egos. Just look at the way Superman and Hal Jordan treated their love interests in the Silver Age compared to now where they are more honest and open with them. The so called "gods among humanity" characterization has always been overstated, especially when it comes to DC. It's also a funny comparison since gods in numerous mythologies are pretty humanized.
    The barrier is that as secret identities have decreased so has supporting cast members who aren't an active part of super-heroics. It isn't just because of the loss of the secret identity since writers have increasingly removed everyday life from the stories even when the hero has a secret ID, but it is part of the trend to make the hero spend his panel time dealing only with heroics and other superbeings. When is the last time we saw Clark simply trying to get the facts on a news story? Or the last time we saw him interacting with supporting cast members who weren't part of the superhero world. We've had more panel time for Bruce and Diana than we've had for Jimmy, Perry or even the back-from-the-dead Kents.

  6. #4611
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Clark View Post
    The barrier is that as secret identities have decreased so has supporting cast members who aren't an active part of super-heroics. It isn't just because of the loss of the secret identity since writers have increasingly removed everyday life from the stories even when the hero has a secret ID, but it is part of the trend to make the hero spend his panel time dealing only with heroics and other superbeings. When is the last time we saw Clark simply trying to get the facts on a news story? Or the last time we saw him interacting with supporting cast members who weren't part of the superhero world. We've had more panel time for Bruce and Diana than we've had for Jimmy, Perry or even the back-from-the-dead Kents.
    If you ignore Lois, then yeah, Clark has spent more time with Diana and Bruce. Never mind that Diana and Bruce don't even show up that often in Clark's books and most of his interactions with them are in Justice League. The Kents have only recently come back and its likely they're being given a break because of how many fans keep complaining that Clark spends too much time with them.

    Even stepping away from Superman, this isn't true if you look at a lot of solo superheroes such as Miles Morales, Kamala Khan, and Wonder Woman who spend a great deal of time with non-superheroes. If it looks like superheroes spend more time with each other than non-superheroes, its only because there are a lot of team books composed of character who already have solo adventures. The heroes who have this particular issue are ones who never really had any particularly iconic non-hero supporting members such as Iron Man or Captain America.
    Last edited by Agent Z; 11-29-2021 at 08:39 AM.

  7. #4612
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    The loss of the secret identity, I think, also plays into how we've come to view heroes as soldiers rather than as noble outlaws or first responders.

    If you're fighting crime and hiding who you are, that's a pretty clear indication that you don't trust the "good guys" any more than you do the criminals. If you don't trust the cops with who you really are, there's likely a reason for that which ties into the base concept of the superhero; discontent with a inept and/or lax authority unable to get the job done.

    But if a superhero is just a soldier operating outside the chain of command then there's not much reason to hide who you are. Working outside the law is a minor, easily ignored issue and authority figures and institutions are willing to let you do your thing because otherwise they'd be knocking down the doors of your apartment, or your aunt's house, or whoever.
    "We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another, as if we were one single tribe."

    ~ Black Panther.

  8. #4613
    The Man Who Cannot Die manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    The loss of the secret identity, I think, also plays into how we've come to view heroes as soldiers rather than as noble outlaws or first responders.
    people don't see superman like that.period.Bats and spidey have kept some of that.But,clark hasn't.

    People see clark as the goofy powerful dude who wears underpants on the outside at best..(i kinda feel this is better than the alternative, which i feel is superficial.and therefore bad) or alien superjesus sent from the heavens to save things(alternative).
    I also think "savior" as a concept is outdated as heck.A savior comes with a lot of connotations for the world.More bad than good.
    "People’s Dreams... Have No Ends"

  9. #4614
    Astonishing Member Adekis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    The loss of the secret identity, I think, also plays into how we've come to view heroes as soldiers rather than as noble outlaws or first responders.

    If you're fighting crime and hiding who you are, that's a pretty clear indication that you don't trust the "good guys" any more than you do the criminals. If you don't trust the cops with who you really are, there's likely a reason for that which ties into the base concept of the superhero; discontent with a inept and/or lax authority unable to get the job done.

    But if a superhero is just a soldier operating outside the chain of command then there's not much reason to hide who you are. Working outside the law is a minor, easily ignored issue and authority figures and institutions are willing to let you do your thing because otherwise they'd be knocking down the doors of your apartment, or your aunt's house, or whoever.
    Very interesting take, and I definitely think there's a lot to this idea, especially as it pertains to the post-Ultimates Marvel world where Nick Fury or Tony "Military-Industrial-Complex Man" Stark can just show up at Peter Parker's Aunt's house in Queens and tell him to suit up for a black ops mission.

    But I do have one question. Where does the Silver Age concept of heroes as "Fully Deputized Agents of the Law" fit into this structure, when the characters work with and sometimes for local and international law enforcement but still retain closely guarded secret identities, except perhaps from President Kennedy?

    This isn't me trying to "Gotcha" you, I'm just curious what you think of that particular permutation of the concept. Is it just another attempt by the larger hegemony to recuperate the super-hero archetype?
    "You know the deal, Metropolis. Treat people right or expect a visit from me."

  10. #4615
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adekis View Post
    But I do have one question. Where does the Silver Age concept of heroes as "Fully Deputized Agents of the Law" fit into this structure, when the characters work with and sometimes for local and international law enforcement but still retain closely guarded secret identities, except perhaps from President Kennedy?

    This isn't me trying to "Gotcha" you, I'm just curious what you think of that particular permutation of the concept. Is it just another attempt by the larger hegemony to recuperate the super-hero archetype?
    I think it was just a reaction to the ebb and flow of American culture.

    Originally, your Depression era heroes were mystery men, fed up with the corrupt authorities and institutions that had let down the average man. So they're outlaws and freedom fighters. Depending on the character and story there might be cops and politicians who support them to one degree or another, but those are people within the system who recognize its limitations, trying to change it from within. Superheroes were noble outlaws, Robin Hood style; sticking it to the Man. Secret identities kept corrupt cops (and gangsters) from breaking down the hero's door in the middle of the night. Can't fight crime when you're stuck in jail too, right?

    Then the 50's roll around with their conservative bent, America benefitted from the post-WWII economic fallout, and the public perception of authority becomes more positive. Not to mention, nobody in entertainment wants to be blacklisted as a commie (publishers created the Comics Code as a preventative measure to protect themselves from Hollywood levels of scrutiny, for example). So the cops and politicians are more often allies and friends, the hero a kind of semi-legal deputy, but the secret identity concept is already baked into the DNA of the genre and at the time writers likely thought it was as necessary to the concept as spandex and super powers. So writers shifted the reason/s for it away from protecting the hero from corrupt cops, and shifted it more to protecting the hero's loved ones from supervillains.

    With 9/11, as we began to see our superheroes as super soldiers more than first responders, the need for a secret identity really declined. Soldiers don't go out of their way to hide who they are, unless they're on a Seal Team 6 style mission (and then, they simply don't talk about it or where they were afterwards)....and comics kept the mask as a kind of "square peg-round hole" parallel to that; it might not be a deeply hidden secret that Steve Rogers is Captain America, but he still wears the mask on missions.

    And who knows how it'll shift next? With the rise of the "uncivil war" and the crippling polarization that's gripped the world, in the following years we might see heroes take better care of their secret identities once again, as a response to Facebook stalking, misinformation campaigns, and citizens practically declaring blood feuds with their neighbors over simple, overblown disagreements. Or maybe they'll become even more of a relic as everyone is sucked into the social media "share all your life's details" mindset. Time will tell.

    And please, "gotcha" me any time you see a flaw in one of my arguments. An opinion is only as strong as the arguments against it after all, and I'm always willing to change my stance if I'm presented with a compelling reason to. Plus, your insights are always worth considering and I appreciate the feedback you and some other folks here come up with.
    Last edited by Ascended; 11-29-2021 at 02:33 PM.
    "We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another, as if we were one single tribe."

    ~ Black Panther.

  11. #4616
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    I think it was just a reaction to the ebb and flow of American culture.

    Originally, your Depression era heroes were mystery men, fed up with the corrupt authorities and institutions that had let down the average man. So they're outlaws and freedom fighters. Depending on the character and story there might be cops and politicians who support them to one degree or another, but those are people within the system who recognize its limitations, trying to change it from within. Superheroes were noble outlaws, Robin Hood style; sticking it to the Man. Secret identities kept corrupt cops (and gangsters) from breaking down the hero's door in the middle of the night. Can't fight crime when you're stuck in jail too, right?

    Then the 50's roll around with their conservative bent, America benefitted from the post-WWII economic fallout, and the public perception of authority becomes more positive. Not to mention, nobody in entertainment wants to be blacklisted as a commie (publishers created the Comics Code as a preventative measure to protect themselves from Hollywood levels of scrutiny, for example). So the cops and politicians are more often allies and friends, the hero a kind of semi-legal deputy, but the secret identity concept is already baked into the DNA of the genre and at the time writers likely thought it was as necessary to the concept as spandex and super powers. So writers shifted the reason/s for it away from protecting the hero from corrupt cops, and shifted it more to protecting the hero's loved ones from supervillains.

    With 9/11, as we began to see our superheroes as super soldiers more than first responders, the need for a secret identity really declined. Soldiers don't go out of their way to hide who they are, unless they're on a Seal Team 6 style mission (and then, they simply don't talk about it or where they were afterwards)....and comics kept the mask as a kind of "square peg-round hole" parallel to that; it might not be a deeply hidden secret that Steve Rogers is Captain America, but he still wears the mask on missions.

    And who knows how it'll shift next? With the rise of the "uncivil war" and the crippling polarization that's gripped the world, in the following years we might see heroes take better care of their secret identities once again, as a response to Facebook stalking, misinformation campaigns, and citizens practically declaring blood feuds with their neighbors over simple, overblown disagreements. Or maybe they'll become even more of a relic as everyone is sucked into the social media "share all your life's details" mindset. Time will tell.

    And please, "gotcha" me any time you see a flaw in one of my arguments. An opinion is only as strong as the arguments against it after all, and I'm always willing to change my stance if I'm presented with a compelling reason to. Plus, your insights are always worth considering and I appreciate the feedback you and some other folks here come up with.
    There is another factor I think you ignored; people have also noticed how anonymity has been abused by individuals claiming to be champions of the greater good or victims of oppression. Bendis mentioned this when asked about his decision to publicly out Superman in his run. And it isn't just that people developed more of a love for authority after 9/11. Vigilantism in the real world has always been controversial even with how popular superheroes are and private citizens avoiding accountability doesn't look too good.

  12. #4617
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Oh I didn't ignore that. It just completely slipped my mind while I was posting. Can't ignore what you're not even thinking of!

    Excellent points, good sir.
    "We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another, as if we were one single tribe."

    ~ Black Panther.

  13. #4618
    The Man Who Cannot Die manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    There is another factor I think you ignored; people have also noticed how anonymity has been abused by individuals claiming to be champions of the greater good or victims of oppression. Bendis mentioned this when asked about his decision to publicly out Superman in his run. And it isn't just that people developed more of a love for authority after 9/11. Vigilantism in the real world has always been controversial even with how popular superheroes are and private citizens avoiding accountability doesn't look too good.
    Why is that even criteria?looking good, i mean.Sort of thing ain't criteria for building a character or writing story.Contriversial things are often tackled.That becomes a criteria to sell.So they decide to ditch the noble outlaw thing.The true reason.profit.(Even that ain't true "good" guys sell less with "anti hero" trend).

    Another is,comics where for entertaining children(30s and 40s).They(higher ups) wanted no bad influence.Comics code became a thing.It's also interesting to note that comics where for working class children.Then middle class children(especially during this phase comics code restrictions where put to reduce bad influence) and then adult.The audience changed.This transition also cements the distinction i have in my mind of an old pulp fiction hero and Superhero.Anything after superman and batman is a superhero for me.

    My take,the secret identity is a hold over of old pulp heroes.It has nothing to do with modern superheroes.It was made famous by zorro.These guys including superman where outlaws that argued there is zilch accountability as it is in the system and the structures had become shackles.The big companies tech companies pry into everything you do online and use it for profit.

    The superheroes where a creation of the 50s but some of the stuff carried over from the old characters due to lack of concrete division between eras and copying the formula that is superman.it doesn't matter if a superhero hides or not.Old pulp fiction heroes hide.

    The difference between an old pulp fiction hero like zorro,hugo danner or doc savage ..etc and the superhero batman,superman,cap..etc is this:

    For people that cannot understand.Let me explain,protagonists of a superhero comic would never be this.Look at it,a guy being forced to weild a gun at the back of the head of a person who has intellectual disabilities.This is more of an old pulp fiction hero imagery.
    Last edited by manwhohaseverything; 11-29-2021 at 09:38 PM.
    "People’s Dreams... Have No Ends"

  14. #4619
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    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    Why is that even criteria?looking good, i mean.
    Because actions don't occur in a vacuum and if you're going to call yourself a defender of the public good, its important to have the public on your side.

  15. #4620
    The Man Who Cannot Die manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    Because actions don't occur in a vacuum and if you're going to call yourself a defender of the public good, its important to have the public on your side.
    Who does call himself a defender of public good? Outlaws remember.They did what they thought was right.That is it.They didn't have public support many of the time.
    "Spiderman is a menace"
    That's a perfectly valid position to take.
    "People’s Dreams... Have No Ends"

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