It is a melancholy object for those who peruse these message boards to read of long-suffering Superman fans yearning for a human protagonist that they can relate to. Being forced to read the fantastic exploits of a nigh-invincible character soaring through the cosmos in tights has pushed them to repeat their desperate plea again and again: “What about Clark Kent?” These abused fans simply wish DC to acknowledge that the core of Superman’s character originates in the heartland of Kansas and not in the far-reaches of space. They know that Clark’s purest aim lies in fitting in with the human multitude that surrounds him and not in surpassing them to reach for something better. To my great shame, I once counted myself as their philosophical adversary. I used to clamor for an all-powerful Superman who was much bigger than the confines of his mundane alter-ego. No more, my friends, as I come again before you a changed man willing to spread the virtues of one Clark Kent. In that regard, I offer up this modest proposal for making Superman a more relatable character in the decades to come.
First, we must address the criticism that Superman is over-powered. Let’s face it, the amount of things that the man can do is ridiculous. No one alive is that powerful and you can’t realistically kill the man. How can you possibly enjoy a story about a man who can’t die? My solution is to just get rid of his powers altogether. Why not? Most readers like the character for who he is on the inside anyway. Since his personality obviously carries the book then there’s no need for unrealistic superpowers. They just get in the way of character development. Moving from there, we can also do away with that garish costume and cape he’s always wearing. I mean, who dresses like that outside of the mentally ill and perverted fetishists? Getting him out of that costume and into a normal mix of business attire and casual wear will further ground him to reality and make him a man that dresses like the rest of us. That brings me to his war on crime: What’s the point? We all know what happens to real vigilantes and the poor fools who think that they can be real-life superheroes. They all get hurt or locked up. It’ll be much safer and more realistic if our Kent fights for truth and justice during his everyday activities rather than stick his neck out fighting mobsters and alien invaders. Finally, with his powers, costume, and war on crime out of the way, is there any reason for us to call him Superman? I think not, fellow fanboys. Therefore, I suggest we keep the title of Superman around merely for nostalgic purposes and rename the title: Superman-The Adventures of Clark Kent.
Now that we’ve taken care of fixing the man himself, let us turn our attention to tweaking his background and day-to-day life. The first thing we really have to do is get rid of all that Krypton and space business. Only crack-pots and children believe in aliens and other planets supporting life. We won’t even mention it. Instead we’ll make Jonathan and Martha Kent his natural parents. That way he’ll be an honest to goodness human and AN AMERICAN and not some illegal space immigrant like he was before. We’ll also keep his parents alive and well into Clark’s adulthood to make sure he doesn’t stray from the path of Midwestern values. In fact his values are central to the misadventures Clark has in the big city of Metropolis. My proposed series is about how Clark moves to the city to become a reporter while still keeping his honest, Christian values in tact amid all the bustle and sin. Will he ever reach his career goal of becoming an editor or the personal milestone of marrying the girl of his dreams, Lois Lane? Stay tuned reader and you might just learn the answers.
A Phone by Any Other Name…:
Clark is in the market for a smart phone to aid him in keeping up to date with the latest news, but he can’t decide between an iPhone and a Samsung. Jimmy informs him that Apple uses the Samsung processors in all their phones, anyway. Yet, Clark wonders if this invalidates the status of having an iPhone. Readers will be shocked by Clark’s final decision!
Annoyed by the rude behavior of certain passengers on the Metropolis metro system, Kent posts a stern status about being raised to learn manners on his Facebook timeline. He becomes disheartened at the fact that Lois neither “likes” nor reposts his words…
It Takes Two:
Made uneasy by the romantic advances he’s receiving from single mother Cat Grant and wishing she would get back together with her ex for their son’s sake, Kent contacts his minister back in Smallville for help. Will their cunning ruse involving a dinner party and a jammed elevator work to bring this family back together?
Black Out or Black Listed?:
Clark is frustrated at being overlooked at The Daily Planet next to the charismatic reporting skills of newcomer Chip Dawson. He searches for evidence that Dawson is falsifying stories. Instead he finds pictures on the Internet of Chip getting sloppy at a bar the night before a big International Conference. Clark struggles with the moral quandary of whether or not it’s right for him to capitalize off these photos and forward them to Perry White.
Occupy Common Sense:
Jimmy is planning on attending an Occupy Metropolis protest and asks Clark if he’d like to go with him. Instead, Clark lectures Jimmy on the values of centrism and of not rocking the boat. Only good, old-fashioned moderate politics ever fixes anything and no one has ever gotten anything by whining. Will Jimmy listen to Clark’s good sense or will he be lured into temptation by punk girls in cut-off shorts and acoustic jam sessions? Only time will tell…
Waiting for Luthor…:
After spending an exhaustive amount of time picking the perfect cable package that fits both his budget AND his interest in the Hallmark network, Clark embarks on the perilous task of arranging an installation appointment with the cable company. Unfortunately, Kent is set up with the most notoriously lazy cable man of all time: Lex Luthor! Will he hook the cable up in time or will Clark have to do the unthinkable and miss a day of work?
Christmas for the Kents:
After her father gets stationed in South Korea, Clark invites Lois to spend Christmas with his family in Smallville. The vivacious, thrill-seeker is initially hesitant, but Clark hopes the most exciting Kent tradition will get her to change her mind: Making a tree ornament based on your favorite scene from It’s a Wonderful Life.
As you can see, my Clark Kent is a much more human and relatable figure than the current iteration we are subjected to. I can’t take all the credit, of course. I simply took the man who was so well crafted under the likes of John Byrne and Dan Jurgens in the 1980’s and 90’s and got rid of all the superfluous junk. This character finally gets to the root of what the fans want to read: A normal man living his life. Until the writers and editors of Superman realize that it’s Clark Kent and not Superman that makes this book special, the readers will continue to suffer the unrealistic and needlessly exciting plots churned out month after month. I urge DC to turn away from their current mistake and start printing stories that the common man needs. Goodbye Superman! Long live Clark Kent!
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