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Author Topic: Does Superman resent Clark Kent?  (Read 8179 times)
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JulianPerez
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« on: January 21, 2007, 08:01:47 AM »

Resenting your alter ego's unheroic pose is much more associated with Batman. Alan Brennert argued in his Batman stories that Earth-2 Batman resents Bruce Wayne, that all his real friends know him as Batman and that he hates being trapped in the playboy identity where he has to deal with phonies and shallow people...and worse, pretend to be one of them!

My favorite scene in BATMAN BEGINS used this characterization. That's the one where he kicks his friends out of his birthday party. I loved that scene because there was a sense from Christian Bale's performance that he wasn't entirely pretending when he called them all moochers and phonies told them to get out! Bruce Wayne - fundamentally a person of substance, rejects outright the suggestion he take up Polo.

But there's an element of Superman resenting Clark Kent in a lot of his stories. Superman in his own private thoughts calls Clark Kent derogatory things, like "pansy Clark."

There are a lot of Superboy stories especially where he resents having to pretend to be an awkward, ignored youth - something certainly harder on a teenager than an adult.

One Elliot S! Maggin story guest-starring Green Arrow has Superman overreact because that slick giggolo Ollie Queen was making time with HIS girlfriend, Lois Lane, and as Clark he has to sit there and do nothing. "Every time some big ape puts the moves on Lois I have to pretend to be meek...and I'm tired of it!"

Does Superman dislike having to play the wimp? I'm sure it's frustrating sometimes. But I'm sure there are occasions where it's just lots of fun to mess with people. The irony of it can be appealing. In one Cary Bates story, Clark Kent is hired to transport a secret test plane. When he explains why he was chosen, he says, "who'd believe a wimp like Clark would be entrusted with such a mission?" And the Curt Swan/Murphy Anderson art has him crack the biggest smile, as if he's in on a joke we're not.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2007, 09:19:13 AM by JulianPerez » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2007, 09:11:13 AM »

My first reaction when I saw the title of this thread was to wisecrack, "Uh, Julian, they're the same person!"

Does Superman resent Clark?  On the contrary, each loves that aspect of themselves that is superhero and schlub.

Clark finds millions of ways to use his powers while in his civilian clothes, just as Superman is not really enjoying life unless he is with his friends at the Planet, etc.  The little problems he experiences hiding his duo identity and making time for superheroics are what make life interesting and worth living.



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Permanus
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« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2007, 11:04:58 AM »

I'm sure Superman resents having to play the wimp every now and then, and I'm also sure that this is one of the things that has contributed to the success of the character for so long. Having accepted that Clark has to act like this every once in a while, the reader is rewarded for his forbearance when he turns into Superman; that's been there from the very first story, when those thugs muscle in on Lois and Clark's dance. When Superman later roughs them up and upends their car, the sense of release is terrific. Superman has to resent (or at least, feel frustrated by) Clark every now and then in order for reader identification to work properly.
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jamespup
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« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2007, 04:14:07 PM »

This is why I've always preferred the George Reeves portrayal of Clark Kent.....the wimpy element wasn't there....or to put it another way....If I had to choose, I wouldn't mind being the Reeves Kent, but i can't say the same for other depictions
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Uncle Mxy
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« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2007, 09:07:07 PM »

This is why I've always preferred the George Reeves portrayal of Clark Kent.....the wimpy element wasn't there....or to put it another way....If I had to choose, I wouldn't mind being the Reeves Kent, but i can't say the same for other depictions
Are any of the TV Clark Kents really wimps? 

To what extent does he resent his Superman identity?  How often do we see Superman say something that could be misinterpreted?  How does he deal with folks who pick apart his every word and gesture, the endless attempts by -everyone- to put a bug on him to track his movements, etc.  Superman would be the largest celebrity on the planet (and well beyond), but the only mainstream media that cares is the Daily Planet.  What about those investigative journalists from the world he saved?



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« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2007, 09:16:36 PM »

Why would Superman resent something that he himself created?
He wants to act that way, he could had made Clark Kent act a little tougher if he really wanted to, but he didn't. So the answer is no, why would he? 
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« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2007, 10:12:34 PM »

Why would Superman resent something that he himself created?
He wants to act that way, he could had made Clark Kent act a little tougher if he really wanted to, but he didn't. So the answer is no, why would he? 
I resent a lot of things I created, at least sometimes.  I take the good with the bad, try to fix up what I can't tolerate, and go on.
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« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2007, 10:24:53 PM »

He has full control over how Clark Kent acts. He could make Clark Kent act less wimpy if he wanted to.
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