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Author Topic: Does Superman resent Clark Kent?  (Read 8421 times)
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jamespup
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« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2007, 01:19:36 AM »

I thought you said on another thread: "Superman is a fictional character; he doesn't do anything. "He" is just lines on paper. "   so he really has no more control than allowed by the writer  Grin

Seriously, though, in certain incarnations,  it may be more regret in establishing himself as being too extreme in his mild-manneredness


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Aldous
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« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2007, 05:19:44 AM »

Quote from: JulianPerez
Superman in his own private thoughts calls Clark Kent derogatory things, like "pansy Clark."

I've never read that, to my knowledge. Can you tell me which comic this is in, please?

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Does Superman resent Clark Kent?

No. I think the asking of this question betrays a lack of understanding of the two identities. Clark is Clark, and Superman is Kal-El's expression of his might, his super-power, his alien heritage, his world-shaking strength. Clark exists for a reason, and it's not as if Clark prevents Superman from being Superman; he doesn't. He's a different beast entirely.

Quote
"Every time some big ape puts the moves on Lois I have to pretend to be meek...and I'm tired of it!"

Nope. Doesn't make sense. OK, so let's imagine it was actually Superman standing there with another man coming on to Lois. Would Superman walk over and smack the guy silly? No. He would mind his own business. Superman isn't a bully and he is not full of himself when it comes to women. Superman wouldn't smack down Lothario any more than Clark would.

I tend to go with Telle's opinions on the matter.

Quote from: Permanus
.....and I'm also sure that this is one of the things that has contributed to the success of the character for so long.

Definitely.

Quote from: Permanus
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.....

True.

The character is VERY intriguing. Clark can't win Lois. But Superman REFUSES to win her. He is happy with soppy worship (check the early stories, and even the later Silver Age ones). WHY?! Such a complex character. If Lois wanted Clark, he would have her. Why is Superman, from the very first comic, treating Lois (the woman he desires) this way?

This man doesn't resent Clark Kent. He IS Clark Kent.

Quote from: Uncle Mxy
To what extent does he resent his Superman identity?

A great comeback question. I personally feel that if Kal-El were forced to choose between Kent and Superman, he would choose Kent.

Quote from: Super Monkey
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?

May I just add, if you will permit me, that Pa and Ma Kent also created Clark. He is their son. Their son is Clark Kent. Yes, there is an element of invention to Clark, but then, there's an element of invention to all of us in our daily lives and relationships. He's real. He's the son of Pa and Ma.

Quote from: jamespup
Seriously, though, in certain incarnations,  it may be more regret in establishing himself as being too extreme in his mild-manneredness

I disagree, because the alter ego is Superman; and, for some reason, that's the point some people are missing.
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TELLE
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« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2007, 08:32:05 AM »

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 retract my earlier statements --Superman can't resent anything.  "He" is just lines on paper.

 Smiley
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2007, 07:00:34 PM »

Quote from: SuperMonkey
Why would Superman resent something that he himself created?

I don't know if that's an accurate assessment of how Clark Kent came on the scene: as a conspicuously artificial creation of Superman he can take away at any time. Cary Bates argued that Superman and Clark Kent came on the scene so early their lives were intertwined...there's no separating one from the other.

A lot of Clark Kent was developed by others' perception of him - it would be understandable for Superman to feel "trapped" on occasion, having to imitate mannerisms that are clearly not his own: cowardliness, for instance.

Think of it like this: Clark Kent is nowhere around when danger strikes. People get it in their heads Clark Kent is a coward. So, Superman has to act cowardly so he can change unobserved.

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

Good point - there must be a reason that Superman made Clark the way he is. What makes Clark Kent so "real" in a sense is Superman's fundamental humility. Superman could have his secret identity be anyone, but he chooses to be an easily ignored schlub. And he no doubt relishes playing up Clark's fragility and his playing chicken so that no one would ever guess Kent is Superman.

BUT...there are occasions where Superman does feel conflicted about the Kent identity, where it can be frustrating instead of fun. I'm not saying Superman resents Kent all the time.

Quote from: Aldous
I've never read that, to my knowledge. Can you tell me which comic this is in, please?

Okay, here's one occasion fresh in my mind: in SUPERBOY #184 (1972) which I was just talking about in the laser-surgery thread, Clark Kent throws himself overboard and thinks, "Exit namby-pamby Clark...and enter SUPERBOY!"

For one that you might be able to look up right now...I haven't checked this site's comics section in a while, but isn't there a Superboy story where he attempts to prove Clark Kent's masculinity with a boxing contest, and gets fed up with Kent being a milquetoast all the time?

Quote from: Aldous
Nope. Doesn't make sense. OK, so let's imagine it was actually Superman standing there with another man coming on to Lois. Would Superman walk over and smack the guy silly? No. He would mind his own business. Superman isn't a bully and he is not full of himself when it comes to women. Superman wouldn't smack down Lothario any more than Clark would.

That wasn't a theoretical example that popped into my head, but a paraphrase of an actual quote from Elliot Maggin's ACTION COMICS #445 (1974). Here's EXACTLY what Superman was thinking:

SUPERMAN (thinking): I'm sick and tired of having to act mild and meek as every gorilla in town tries to put the make on LOIS!"

SUPERMAN (thinking): And Oliver Queen has an obnoxious habit of attracting women the way flame attracts moths!

SUPERMAN (thinking): Ollie's supposed to be my FRIEND...and he should know BETTER!

Later, he, ah, "discourages" Ollie from taking the matter further.
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« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2007, 12:58:34 AM »

When I say he created Clark Kent, what I mean is the wimpy Daily Planet version.
That version wasn't created until he left college and Smallville. Note, in his college stories, he doesn't act wimpy at all. The Superboy Clark Kent is not any more wimpy than any other small town kid, and some girls even like him! He acts the same around his parents as he does around his friends (well, minus the powers bit). It is only after he goes to Metropolis that he starts to act like a mild mannered wimp.

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Aldous
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« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2007, 04:27:12 AM »

Quote from: JulianPerez
Clark Kent throws himself overboard and thinks, "Exit namby-pamby Clark...and enter SUPERBOY!"

Then I will have to take you to task over your original quote, Julian. You misrepresented it. You used a different word and also I don't agree this is "derogatory". You changed the spirit of what was said. I think I have this comic.... You are seeing what Superboy means all wrong, I believe. There is no disgust there at all. I won't even try to explain the purpose of that quote, as I'm sure you can figure it out for yourself. But it sure ain't Superboy being derogatory about Clark.

Quote from: JulianPerez
That wasn't a theoretical example that popped into my head, but a paraphrase of an actual quote from Elliot Maggin's ACTION COMICS #445 (1974). Here's EXACTLY what Superman was thinking:

SUPERMAN (thinking): I'm sick and tired of having to act mild and meek as every gorilla in town tries to put the make on LOIS!"

SUPERMAN (thinking): And Oliver Queen has an obnoxious habit of attracting women the way flame attracts moths!

SUPERMAN (thinking): Ollie's supposed to be my FRIEND...and he should know BETTER!

Later, he, ah, "discourages" Ollie from taking the matter further.

You goose. Wink  I have that comic and know it well (although I'm not sure if your issue number is correct). I am saying I think that first quote is out of character. (If I'm remembering the exact scene correctly, it's Swan-Schaffenberger and takes place in the corridors of Galaxy.)
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