Why does Superman even need a secret ID anymore?

#1 Edited by 4_color_image (218 posts) - - Show Bio

It seems this "new status quo" is quite serious. In an interview with the Associated Press, Johns and Lee hinted that the other elephant in the room, Lois Lane's previously-thought destined relationship with Clark, simply doesn't exist. AP writer Matt Moore even went so far as to say "She's still around, but the two have never dated, nor are they likely to."

My question is why does Superman even need a secret ID anymore? All the people he loves (Diana [WW], Kara [Supergirl], Kon-El [Superboy]) are some of the most powerful people in the DCU. His folks (Krytonian & Human) are dead so he should just let Clark die as well. That way he does not have to worry about the punny human's in his life getting hurt. DC is really doing a great job of making Superman & Wonder Woman more relatable!

#2 Posted by sinestro_GL (3122 posts) - - Show Bio

@4_color_image: Suppose that that Kal El = Clark Kent, reporter for the Daily Planet.

The villain then ambushes the Daily Planet, killing everyone in the building whilst keeping Superman occupied elsewhere. Like Batman once said, "Clark is the most human out of all of us." - so you can see why he needs human contact - he was raised as one.

But why does Superman need to be Clark you ask? Working for a newspaper helps Kal El keep informed with the happenings all over the world, and as a reporter, allows him to attack sections of society causing grief to the less fortunate citizens of Metropolis and America.

#3 Posted by 4_color_image (218 posts) - - Show Bio

But the New 52 Clark feels isolated & alone. And if Clark 'dies' why would the Planet be attacked. How many of his foes know Superman has a secret ID?

#4 Posted by Aiden Cross (15562 posts) - - Show Bio

well i don't know about New 52 Superman but the pre-superman didn't just do it to protect his loved ones. it was to keep him grounded, to feel like a human being. He wanted interaction so he wouldn't feel himself being 'above' them. Clark isn't Superman, Superman is Clark. =) That's just who he really is.

#5 Posted by Eternal19 (2076 posts) - - Show Bio

in action comics superman faked clarks death in order to spend more time as superman. but, he realized that he misses being with his friends and living a semi-normal life. superman needs a secret identity so he can do this if, a villian knows his secret identity he can take this away from him.

#6 Posted by Jekylhyde14 (747 posts) - - Show Bio

@Eternal19 said:

in action comics superman faked clarks death in order to spend more time as superman. but, he realized that he misses being with his friends and living a semi-normal life. superman needs a secret identity so he can do this if, a villian knows his secret identity he can take this away from him.

This. Also, he realized that he can do some good as Clark Kent with his crusading exposes.

I'm a big proponent of Superman being the man's true identity. However, keeping a secret identity is important. Being Superman, it would be far too easy for him to become completely disconnected with the human race and to start making nasty decisions based on this distance. He needs to be Clark to remind himself of what life is like on the ground and through their eyes or he will lose sight of the people he protects and why he protects them. Plus, he does love Lois, Jimmy, Perry, and the rest. Even with Supergirl and Boy, those characters have always been the true Superman Family.

#7 Posted by azza04 (1503 posts) - - Show Bio

He doesn't really, I think he likes being Clark Kent for the normal human interaction.

#8 Posted by Sovereign91001 (4181 posts) - - Show Bio

@Eternal19 said:

in action comics superman faked clarks death in order to spend more time as superman. but, he realized that he misses being with his friends and living a semi-normal life. superman needs a secret identity so he can do this if, a villian knows his secret identity he can take this away from him.

Nailed it.

#9 Posted by danhimself (22447 posts) - - Show Bio
#10 Posted by Guardiandevil83 (5501 posts) - - Show Bio

@danhimself said:

Dope.

#11 Posted by KnightRise (4785 posts) - - Show Bio

@danhimself said:

You win the internet

#12 Posted by ltbrd (561 posts) - - Show Bio

I think if you look at it there are some positives that could come with Superman being his sole identity in the world (and other heroes knowing his real name is Kal-El).

1) He's no longer based in a single city and can be written solely as a global character rather than a city character that can operate globally when required.

2) Writers wouldn't have to worry about creating ways for him to change from Clark to Superman or have his absences at work explained (and to be honest, what company would really have kept Clark Kent on the payroll by this point).

3) Nearly all of his villains have the ability to conduct global operations (LexCorp, Intergang, Brainianc) or have abilities that rival his own (Doomsday, Darkseid, Cyborg Superman). If he's not confined to Metropolis than his fights won't be confined to the city either.

4) More stories can take place in space. If he doesn't have to worry about a job, we can get more story arcs in which he deals with space-based threats or incidents and at times his absence from Earth gets played out in other titles when he can't be contacted for aid.

5) He can still interact with the normal world by disguising himself as Clark (not Clark Kent, just Clark). He wants to go see a movie, walk around town without anyone knowing who he is, interact with Lois, Jimmy, or Perry. He can still do that. The twist. Lois, Jimmy, and Perry know its Superman they are talking to.

6) Going along with #5, his origin can be changed slightly that he [Superman] became friends with Lois and Jimmy when he first started operating in Metropolis (not as a rival reporter but that his global travels had brought him to Metropolis and he began operating in the open rather than from the shadows or zipping in and out of a situation) and together the three solved a story Lois had been working on. Perry was brought into this circle at the conclusion of that investigation when confronting Lois and Jimmy about their contact and how they survived the incident. In this way Superman and Jimmy could still be friends, Lois and Superman could work together by Lois passing him information (and through continued interaction grow into a relationship if DC wanted to go that way), and Perry could act as a counsel for Superman and a way to keep him grounded. One thing to make this all stick a bit better as well, Lois, Jimmy, and Clark are all the same age rather than Jimmy being younger.

6) Going along with #5, he could still meet with other heroes in their public identities using the identity of Clark.

7) It would eliminate the writers need/requirement to emphasis specific personality traits for each of his identities. For example, needing to make Clark Kent nerdy, soft-spoken, and shy while Superman needs to be stoic, strong, and a bit aloft from everything. Instead we can get a character that is just a normal guy with superpowers. In the big debate of his true personality, most people forget that the true identity of the character is the one that is only seen when around (pre-Flashpoint) Lois, his parents, or his closest superhero friends (well, really just Bruce and Diana). Every other part of his life is an act, whether it be as reporter Clark Kent or Superman. If we eliminate the need for that then the only identity readers and characters will know is the one that was normally reserved for only his closest contacts. Writers wouldn't need to bounce between personality types. Even when he's hanging out as Clark it can still be the same personality as when he's talking with the public as Superman because he doesn't truly have a dual identity, there is no "normal" life to protect.

8) He could still be with Lois Lane. For all those that are waiting for the day DC puts them back together, it would still be possible.....and it would keep DC from re-marrying them. They wouldn't write it so Lois Lane publicly married Superman, because all his villains would come after her any time he was off-planet. They couldn't marry her to Clark Kent because he technically wouldn't exist anymore. But, they could still be out in public together in his disguise as Clark and at the same time the relationship would be completely honest from the start as Lois would understand why he would have to leave as things came up. It would actually be quite progressive on DC's part, as the number of co-habitating couples has steadily risen over the past 15-20 years as successful marriage numbers have fallen. Yet, to my knowledge, there are no comic book couples that simply live together or in long-standing relationships without being married. That could be a good angle for Superman comics to explore in the years to come.

Its not like the idea is without precedence. Marvel has been doing this for decades with the Fantastic Four, X-Men, Captain America, and Iron Man (at specific time intervals) to name a few characters they have that don't abide by the concept of a secret identity. As long as writers kept a Clark disguise that would allow him to interact with people like Jimmy and Lois that should be enough to bring a human side to the character, especially in the new 52 with both Kent's being dead.

What do you all think? Would this help Superman's titles at all? Would it be too drastic a change to his origin that old readers wouldn't go for it?

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

@sinestro_GL said:

@4_color_image: Suppose that that Kal El = Clark Kent, reporter for the Daily Planet.

The villain then ambushes the Daily Planet, killing everyone in the building whilst keeping Superman occupied elsewhere. Like Batman once said, "Clark is the most human out of all of us." - so you can see why he needs human contact - he was raised as one.

But why does Superman need to be Clark you ask? Working for a newspaper helps Kal El keep informed with the happenings all over the world, and as a reporter, allows him to attack sections of society causing grief to the less fortunate citizens of Metropolis and America.

Great write-up.

Clark needs that human contact, not just crime-busting with other super heroes. And, as such, he can't do this as Superman, since his enemies know they could attack his friends to get at him.

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