Clark Kent or Superman as lead identity!

#1 Posted by Squalleon (4052 posts) - - Show Bio

I would like to hear your opinion on which identity should be the lead identity of Superman/Clark Kent.For me i think is Clark Kent,i always liked when superman called himself Clark not kal honoring the name his adoptive parents gave him.I think that is the reason why i didn't liked a big part of FOR TOMMOROW(although i loved the monologues with the priest :-P).

#2 Posted by supermanfan1234 (206 posts) - - Show Bio

i think clark as well

#3 Posted by TheAcidSkull (17158 posts) - - Show Bio

superman is superman, he puts on a costume to be clark kent

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#4 Edited by UltimateSMfan (1351 posts) - - Show Bio

Since the title of the comic is Superman,i think that shld be it.....but as Grant Morrison has shown us in his amazing run of the man of steel is that Clark and supes basically have the same personality and outlook on the world (the whole helping ppl and fighting for the little guy thing which in my experience wasn't brought to light alot in pre 52) he doesnt have to change it for his clark disguise,only clark has to act more goofy n stuff to maintain that he doesn't lead a double life....best actor in the world,Please read Birthright if u haven't.

#5 Posted by SmoothJammin (2331 posts) - - Show Bio

I'd like to see him humanized, I'll say Clark Kent.

#6 Posted by JonSmith (3980 posts) - - Show Bio

It depends on which side the story focuses on: If it focuses on Superman's humanity, and his human side, his upbringing and genuine wish for the betterment of mankind, then Clark is the leading identity.

If instead it focuses on his Kryptonian side, his not often seen isolation as the most powerful and most singularly alone individual on Earth, then Superman/Kal-El is the leading identity.

#7 Edited by YoggSaron (812 posts) - - Show Bio

Neither, Superman and Clark Kent are different sides of the same person, but still hold true to one singular personality.

#8 Edited by Captain13 (3240 posts) - - Show Bio

Superman is the lead identity. He's strong, righteous, humble, sympathetic, and kind. He has grit.

Clark Kent is a mask he uses to interact with people. He needs to make Clark all of the things that Superman is not so that people will not make a connection between the two. As Clark, Superman PRETENDS to be a bumbling, shy, weak, inneffectual, ungraceful dufus.

That's how it is in the comics.

I'd prefer it if it were more like the Timm and Fleischer cartoons where both men are strong and noble. It makes Clark more likable. And let's face it--just because Clark hunches and acts like an idiot wouldn't stop people from seeing that he's Superman. People don't recognize him because of the glasses. The bumbling is unnecessary because this is comics. If we can accept his flight, we should also be able to accept the simple glasses disguise.

#9 Posted by AtPhantom (14521 posts) - - Show Bio

@Captain13 said:

Superman is the lead identity. He's strong, righteous, humble, sympathetic, and kind. He has grit.

Clark Kent is a mask he uses to interact with people. He needs to make Clark all of the things that Superman is not so that people will not make a connection between the two. As Clark, Superman PRETENDS to be a bumbling, shy, weak, inneffectual, ungraceful dufus.

That's how it is in the comics.

...No? It hasn't actually been like that for, like 30 years.

Clark for me. Mostly because the idea of a God who thinks like a man is very appealing to me. Also because it provides an awesome contrast to Batman.

#10 Posted by ThanosIsMad (2191 posts) - - Show Bio

They're the same person. Clark just exaggerates certain aspects of himself when in hero mode. But otherwise, there's no mask.

#11 Edited by Captain13 (3240 posts) - - Show Bio

@AtPhantom: That's how it is currently. In Justice League, he is left out when Lois invites everyone out to lunch. He is forgotten because he is quiet and lonely. In Superman, Clark gets cock-blocked by that blonde guy (Jon Carrol?) dating Lois, and he shows his bumbling side when he screws up picking up Lucy Lane from the airport. In All Star Superman, he trips all over himself on his way to work.

#12 Posted by AtPhantom (14521 posts) - - Show Bio

@Captain13 said:

@AtPhantom: That's how it is currently. In Justice League, he is left out when Lois invites everyone out to lunch. He is forgotten because he is quiet and lonely. In Superman, Clark gets cock-blocked by that blonde guy (Jon Carrol?) dating Lois, and he shows his bumbling side when he screws up picking up Lucy Lane from the airport. In All Star Superman, he trips all over himself on his way to work.

1. All-Star Superman isn;t in continuity, and is in fact a throwback to the silver age Superman.

2. None of that changes the relationship between Clark and Superman, and the verdict is still that Clark is the more dominant side of the coin.

3. There is considerable disparity between the three portrayals of Superman in comics. JL Clark is the boring old Silver Age Clark which nobody notices, but that's just an offhand panel and Johns isn't writing Superman so who cares. Clark in Superman and Action Comics is a considerably more streamlined, willful and important figure, one who is noticeable and quite influential on the lives of people around him. There is also some disparity between Clark in AC nad Clark in Superman, but that's not important here.

Also, he forgot to pick up Lucy because he was in the middle of a Battle with Helspont, not because he was bumbling.

#13 Posted by joshmightbe (24469 posts) - - Show Bio

@TheAcidSkull said:

superman is superman, he puts on a costume to be clark kent

That's from Kill Bill, that speech proved that Tarantino doesn't know crap about Superman, Clark Kent isn't a critique of humanity Clark Kent is who Superman really is, Superman above all else just wants to be human. That's what keeps him from just conquering the world.

#14 Posted by TheAcidSkull (17158 posts) - - Show Bio

@joshmightbe: m haven't seen the second volume, who says that ?

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#15 Posted by sesquipedalophobe (4689 posts) - - Show Bio

@ThanosIsMad said:

They're the same person. Clark just exaggerates certain aspects of himself when in hero mode. But otherwise, there's no mask.

Pow. Everyone else's answers made me vomit a little.

#16 Posted by joshmightbe (24469 posts) - - Show Bio

@TheAcidSkull: Bill makes a big speech about it to prove the Bride was fooling herself about being anything but a killer and blatantly missing or ignoring the entire point of Superman all together. I guess it makes sense in Tarantino's world where even the good guys are god awful people that no one would understand the concept of a symbol of hope that doesn't murder everyone that even mildly annoys him.

#17 Posted by TheAcidSkull (17158 posts) - - Show Bio

@joshmightbe: i'm gonna watch vol 2 right now, thanks for your time man:)

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#18 Posted by OutlawRenegade (1251 posts) - - Show Bio
#19 Posted by joshmightbe (24469 posts) - - Show Bio

@TheAcidSkull: Its a good movie its just that one scene that pisses me off

#20 Posted by TheAcidSkull (17158 posts) - - Show Bio

@joshmightbe: already downloaded it, Watchin time

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#21 Posted by Jekylhyde14 (746 posts) - - Show Bio

This topic usually gets me into a lot of trouble, so I'll just keep it really simple: Superman is the real Clark Kent. Superman is his highest aspiration and his real career. The Clark Kent identity just keeps him from being hassled all the time and lets him stay close to those he protects. If you're Superman you never stop being Superman. It's a full time job.

#22 Posted by Squalleon (4052 posts) - - Show Bio

@Jekylhyde14: How do you think he sees himself Clark or Kal ?

#23 Posted by Jekylhyde14 (746 posts) - - Show Bio

@Squalleon said:

@Jekylhyde14: How do you think he sees himself Clark or Kal ?

I think he sees himself as Superman. Clark Kent, the young writer from Kansas, is part of who he is. Kal-El the last survivor of an advance race is another piece of his personality. At the end of the day, though, he chooses to use his limitless abilities to better the human race and his adopted planet. This is the decision that defines him. This is his true calling in life. All of the other aspects of his personality work to make Superman the hero he is. I don't think it's a simple as the Peter Parker/ Spider-Man relationship. Superman is always just Superman.

#24 Posted by supermanfan1234 (206 posts) - - Show Bio

there the same person but supermans just what he can do.

#25 Posted by Batnandez (511 posts) - - Show Bio

Kind of one in the same, but more Clark just because that's his moral foundation.

#26 Posted by Jekylhyde14 (746 posts) - - Show Bio

@Squalleon:

I've actually done quite a few blogs about this subject. I think the way most readers see Clark Kent nowadays really only started Post-Crisis with John Byrne: http://www.comicvine.com/myvine/jekylhyde14/man-or-superman-part-1-what-byrne-did/87-59444/

I believe that Superman had a much different personality before these alterations: http://www.comicvine.com/myvine/jekylhyde14/man-or-superman-part-2-the-man-of-the-silver-age/87-68478/

And I never really saw Clark Kent as being very interesting or much of a draw on the book even after Byrne made him the focus: http://www.comicvine.com/myvine/jekylhyde14/man-or-superman-part-3-why-you-wont-miss-post-crisis-clark-kent/87-71903/

I actually like Grant Morrison's Clark a lot more. In the New 52, Clark is passionate, driven to help others, has a strong personality, an actually has interests. However, I do believe that even with this version that Superman is the dominant personality as evidenced by his willingness to fake Clark's death once he thought that his activities as Superman would be put in jeopardy. This proves how his mission as Superman is more important to him than his life as Clark Kent. I'm glad he took Kent back up though. As Batman said, the world could use him.

#27 Posted by Mega_spidey01 (3078 posts) - - Show Bio

@YoggSaron said:

Neither, Superman and Clark Kent are different sides of the same person, but still hold true to one singular personality.

i think he will always be both. just like in all star superman movie.

#28 Posted by kasino (1320 posts) - - Show Bio

@Captain13 said:

Superman is the lead identity. He's strong, righteous, humble, sympathetic, and kind. He has grit.

Clark Kent is a mask he uses to interact with people. He needs to make Clark all of the things that Superman is not so that people will not make a connection between the two. As Clark, Superman PRETENDS to be a bumbling, shy, weak, inneffectual, ungraceful dufus.

That's how it is in the comics.

I'd prefer it if it were more like the Timm and Fleischer cartoons where both men are strong and noble. It makes Clark more likable. And let's face it--just because Clark hunches and acts like an idiot wouldn't stop people from seeing that he's Superman. People don't recognize him because of the glasses. The bumbling is unnecessary because this is comics. If we can accept his flight, we should also be able to accept the simple glasses disguise.

#29 Posted by AtPhantom (14521 posts) - - Show Bio

@Jekylhyde14 said:

I actually like Grant Morrison's Clark a lot more. In the New 52, Clark is passionate, driven to help others, has a strong personality, an actually has interests. However, I do believe that even with this version that Superman is the dominant personality as evidenced by his willingness to fake Clark's death once he thought that his activities as Superman would be put in jeopardy. This proves how his mission as Superman is more important to him than his life as Clark Kent. I'm glad he took Kent back up though. As Batman said, the world could use him.

I still think you're making a leap of logic there from "I must abandon my life to protect those I love" to "I must abandon my life because mission is more important".

#30 Posted by fodigg (6130 posts) - - Show Bio

Good question. What you're basically asking with this is, what defines Kal El more? Kansas or Krypton? Writers have focused on one or the other aspect over the years and told wonderful stories with either approach (and terrible ones too, of course), but I find that my favorite Superman stories (e.g., All-Star Superman, Superman: Red Son, Kingdom Come) have played up the superheroic aspect of the character over the homey farm boy aspect. I find the Fortress of Solitude more interesting than the Kent Farm (or the offices of the Daily Planet for that matter).

The only time in which I'd think you'd almost have to switch over to focusing on the "country boy" aspect of Superman over the "alien superhero" aspect is when he's rubbing shoulders with Martian Manhunter. When that happens, you either have to create circumstances where Superman doesn't overshadow MM (e.g., Darwyn Cooke's excellent DC: The New Frontier) or you have to focus on a guy named Clark from Kansas so J'onn can have the "alien in a strange land" archetype all to himself. This issue is one of the main reasons I supported removing J'onn in favor of Cyborg, who doesn't have overlapping themes with anyone else.

Then again, if they were to have simply had J'onn as an 8th member, they could have given both Supes and MM the alien archetype, but then played them off of each other as country vs. city, which would be inverted from their homes. Krypton was a bustling metropolis yet Clark was raised in Smallville (and yeah he moved to Metropolis but Lois still calls him "Smallville"), Mars is a barren wasteland but then J'onn decides to become an urban private detective. They could bounce some nice themes off of them that way. Usually that's done via Superman & Batman, but it would work just as well with Superman & MM. I'd still prefer Miss Martian as an 8th founder regardless since that would've added another female character to the roster, and provided some more variety as far as character "era". The new52 founding roster has way too much Silver Age in it.

So yeah, short version: Superman/Kal El, Krypton, & Fortress of Solitude over Clark, Smallville, & Kent Farm.

#31 Posted by Crash_Recovery (850 posts) - - Show Bio

Both interpretations are valid, and I'll admit, my favorite Superman work (All Star Superman) goes the opposite of my tastes...but for me it's:

Clark Kent.

Though genetically he's from Krypton and he was born with a Kryptonian name, he was raised with the identity and values of an average American. Sure, he's the ultimate immigrant, moving to a new place and adapting to the new place, merging its culture with his own, but he didn't even come to know of his heritage until he was older.

Superman is able to fight for the people because he understands where they're coming from and what it's like to be one of them. Rather than Batman, who, like the Scarlett Pimpernell, wears a foppish persona to distract from his real nature, Superman at his heart is mid-west values.

#32 Posted by Jekylhyde14 (746 posts) - - Show Bio

@AtPhantom said:

@Jekylhyde14 said:

I actually like Grant Morrison's Clark a lot more. In the New 52, Clark is passionate, driven to help others, has a strong personality, an actually has interests. However, I do believe that even with this version that Superman is the dominant personality as evidenced by his willingness to fake Clark's death once he thought that his activities as Superman would be put in jeopardy. This proves how his mission as Superman is more important to him than his life as Clark Kent. I'm glad he took Kent back up though. As Batman said, the world could use him.

I still think you're making a leap of logic there from "I must abandon my life to protect those I love" to "I must abandon my life because mission is more important".

Sorry, that's exactly why he almost abandoned the Kent identity. First, I'll quote from Action Comics #8 when Clark is talking to Mrs. Nyxly about how she accidentally discovered that he is Superman: "...If you decided to reveal my secret, Clark Kent would cease to exist, that's all. I'd turn up somewhere else as someone else." Next from Action Comics #11 after he fakes Clarks death and discusses the situation with Batman: "Then you saw through my disguise-- an assassin tracked me down-- I felt compromised. The explosion at the Star gave me a chance to retire Clark Kent. It felt like I'd outlived him. Superman seems to take up more and more of my time these days." There, he warned Mrs. Nyxly that she couldn't disrupt Superman by exposing Clark because he would just leave Clark behind. He felt like Clark had been exposed by Batman and Nimorod which could compromise Superman, so he did fake Clark's death. Let me point out he said that he felt he "outlived" Clark. If he saw his Clark Kent identity as being his actual life then he never would have felt like he outlived Clark. How can you outlive yourself? He was putting more time and effort in Superman's activities. Clark being exposed could have made Superman's life more complicated. He decided to fake Clark's death for these reasons. He ultimately changed his mind and we're all glad he did, but he had to be CONVINCED. All of this doesn't exactly sound like he feels that Clark is "his life."

Your stance is all residue from the Post-Byrne era. It was Byrne's Superman who really felt like he was Clark Kent in the same way that Peter Parker is Spider-Man. That was not the case with Superman before Byrne and that isn't the case now. To expand, in our human lives, we need money to fund our continued existence so we pick careers to gain us money and we often have ambition to move up in the ranks of our careers to our highest potential. New 52's Superman told Mrs. Nyxly that he does not need a lot of money when she asked him why he didn't use his powers to get rich. He told Batman that he felt like he was betraying his editor, George Taylor, when he took the job at Star. Being a reporter is Clark Kent's career but from all this it doesn't sound like Superman pursues this as his highest ambition as it would be ours or Clark's if he was the main identity. Notice that Superman does not use his capabilities to further Clark's career much farther than reporter though it's within his power to do so. Instead, his ambitions all rest in Superman as evidenced by his pitch to the Justice League to use their powers to solve poverty and hunger. His major responsibilities all come with being Superman as well. Next to this, Clark Kent's reporting seems just like a hobby. His love life is in Superman's side of the court as well. He passed up dating Heather Kelley and Lucy Lane as Clark Kent, but he's entering a relationship with someone who's his equal in Wonder Woman. Again, I think he gained a lot from his time growing up in Kansas as Clark. Ma and Pa Kent are his parents as much as Jor-El and Lara. He's just not attached to the identity like we are to our human lives. He's larger than life so to speak. Clark Kent is only a facet of his identity and not his entire life like it was Post-Crisis. This is the way things were Pre-Crisis. To me, it feels like Superman is back.

#33 Posted by r3d_rob1n (541 posts) - - Show Bio

I see it as Superman having 3 identities:

1) Superman

2) Clark Kent at the Daily Planet

3) Clark Kent at home in Smallville

I think that the third personality is the real Clark Kent. The Clark who went to highschool in Smallville and later goes back to visit his parents. After graduating Clark traveled the world before deciding to settle on staying in Metropolis. While there he makes a few saves and decides to adopt the identity of Superman. As he doesn't wear a mask, he needs a way to throw people off. As a result, he pretends to be more heroic and godly while in the Superman suit and more bumbling and clumsy as Clark. In reality his true self is shown either in the Fortress of Solitude or when visiting his parents in Smallville. It is easy to see in those instances that Clark isn't nearly as sure of himself as he pretends to be while in the suit, nor is he as clumsy and helpless as his portrayal shows while he is at the Planet. I have based most of this thought off the Man of Steel miniseries by John Byrne. I also do not believe we have seen enough (rather a more stable continuity) of Superman in the New 52 to make this decision yet.

#34 Posted by Bad_People (145 posts) - - Show Bio

David Carradine, gave a good observations on this point at the end of “Kill Bill” in which he says Superman is the true personality and Clark is a commentary on the mundane-ness of normal society. What he fails to realize is there isn’t just Superman and Clark it’s Superman and TWO Clarks. There is Clark from Metropolis and Clark from Smallville, these are also distinct personalities. In Metropolis he overplays his wimpy/geeky personality in order to separate himself from Superman as much as possible. He also does this in Smallville but to a much lesser extent so that even then he has an above average outward confidence level.

So the question is, is it Superman, Clark, or Clark?

#35 Posted by Deranged Midget (17599 posts) - - Show Bio

The appeal to some when regarding to Superman is merely the lust for power. The real attraction is that Kal never wanted to be praised like a god among me, but merely as a member of society. To simply fit in as a human, to help others when they're in need.

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#36 Posted by Joesoef95 (315 posts) - - Show Bio
@TheAcidSkull said:

superman is superman, he puts on a costume to be clark kent

#37 Posted by Lvenger (17887 posts) - - Show Bio

Clark Kent is the real deal. Superman is his way of using his abilities to help people but when he's not being bumbling mild mannered reporter Clark Kent, that's the true identity. A god like alien who was raised as a human and represents the pinnacle of everything morally and ethically correct about humanity.

#38 Posted by DrEgonSpengler (473 posts) - - Show Bio

Probably one of the only lines I liked from Lois and Clark is when Dean Cain says " Superman is What I Can Do. Clark Kent is Who I Am!

#39 Posted by Zoch81 (223 posts) - - Show Bio

@TheAcidSkull said:

superman is superman, he puts on a costume to be clark kent

#40 Posted by Skunkstein (591 posts) - - Show Bio

He is of cause both. His true personality is actually mostly shown when he is with people he trust and know (Lois, Batman, Jonathan and Martha Kent etc), this personality shines through no matter if he is wearing a sweatshirt or his superhero uniform.

When he is at work as Clark he is goofy parody if you will of his true self, when he is flying through the city saving people he is heroic parody of himself. Superman/Kal-El and Clark are both exaggerations of the same character.

Ive always seen a huge change in him when he is having a conversation with Batman, Martha or Lois no matter what uniform he is wearing...

Kal-El, with all the powers and responsibility is only half of what he is, Clark with all his humanity and humility is the other half and together they create a whole person who in himself make a perfect hero. And still he also uses both halfs and exaggerates them to use as covers/masks. When he is truely himself he melts both personalities together.

#41 Posted by Ollietheblur (6 posts) - - Show Bio

The Clark Kent who Grew up in Smallville is the true Identity, Superman is his way to relate to the common people..A Symbol for people to Strive for and the "Clark Kent" that works for the Daily Planet is his Mask. He dose it so can keep his ear to the ground, and find out when a problem is about strike."Clark Kent" Is also a way for him to escape from being called upon 247. when it comes to Kal-el, That's the part of himself that he lost and is searching to find.

#42 Posted by Squalleon (4052 posts) - - Show Bio

Mmm...my tastes have changed since then.
Nice to see that the character is forever changing and complicated in my mind.

#43 Posted by UltimateSMfan (1351 posts) - - Show Bio

Mmm...my tastes have changed since then.

Nice to see that the character is forever changing and complicated in my mind.

I had a similar experience, was pretty surprised to see what i thought about the topic back then.

#44 Posted by TheIncredibleSuperHulk8642 (1951 posts) - - Show Bio

They are both in my mind. Although the New 52 seems to be leaning more towards Clark is the mask.

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