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  1. #31
    Senior Member adkal's Avatar
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    The crux of the 'problem' with regards to the secret identity is that:

    We're in on it.

    We see 'everything'; the characters don't.

    As others have posted, there are numerous stories where Clark and Superman have been seen together in the same place and at the same time. There are photographs and video footage of them together.

    Heck, there was even a 'time' when someone theorised that Superman and Batman were the same person...


    The other misconception is that the DP-staff spend a lot of time with and around Clark. They don't. More often than not, Clark probably isn't at his desk - neither would Jimmy, Lois, etc be, either. At most, they probably have two hours of face-time over an entire day.

  2. #32
    Junior Member planetman's Avatar
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    Like adkal says there the contact time between Clark and the other characters is exagerrated for story purposes. Superman as Superman doesn’t really need any disguise. Only the people who are personal associates of Clark at the Daily Planet might, on occasion, wonder why Clark and Superman are never seen at the same time. In a busy newspaper office, and I worked in one, you might not see colleagues for weeks, not just days, if they were on an assignment not related to what you were doing yourself.


    Of course, it’s unrealistic that Lois doesn’t recognise that bespectacled Clark is Superman. This is partly an in-joke between S&S and the readers. We know that Clark is Superman and that Lois’ infatuation with Superman is an amusing folly which reflects a reality that unrecognised potential of “ordinary” people was and is rife in society and therefore an important social commentary on the importance of universal education and equality of opportunity being available to all.


  3. #33
    Power, Unlimited Power MythicBrawn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mat001 View Post
    That had the benefit of Clark and Superman being seen together. You had Jimmy take two separate pictures of the two of them, thanks to Supergirl/Matrix when she used her shape shifting powers to look like Clark. Then you had J'onn J'onzz on more than one occasion doubling as Clark when needed. In JLA #16 and 17, J'onn posed as Clark while Superman gave the media a guided tour of the Watchtower. Later in "That Healing Touch", J'onn talked to Perry White on the phone as Clark, while Superman was sitting with Lois while she was in surgery. Not to mention when Clark was an energy being, Perry White had once dismissed the idea as Superman being blue couldn't possible allow him to have a secret identity. Hell, when Jimmy thought this, he mistook it for Collin Thornton and not Clark Kent. Then you have the Superman robots and Bruce Wayne using Alfred's theatrical make-up background to disguise himself as Clark and there you go. Plus, you had Lex see a battered Clark Kent on three separate occasions, one of which he inflicted himself and there you go. It works.
    Those are all "recent" developments. How long was it before Clark had Supergirl/Matrix, J'onn, or the robots covering for him? Lois, being a smart, investigative reporter should have figured it out pretty much from the start. Superman and Clark were hanging around the Daily Planet too much for Lois, Jimmy, and Perry not to put it together. Lex figured it, or his computers did, in Superman (1986) 2, but he just refused to believe it. Imagine if Lex wasn't a self-absorbed megalomanic, and the things he could have done, if he would have believed his computers.

  4. #34
    Inf‚me et fier de l'Ítre Auguste Dupin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MythicBrawn View Post
    Those are all "recent" developments. How long was it before Clark had Supergirl/Matrix, J'onn, or the robots covering for him? Lois, being a smart, investigative reporter should have figured it out pretty much from the start. Superman and Clark were hanging around the Daily Planet too much for Lois, Jimmy, and Perry not to put it together. Lex figured it, or his computers did, in Superman (1986) 2, but he just refused to believe it. Imagine if Lex wasn't a self-absorbed megalomanic, and the things he could have done, if he would have believed his computers.
    The robots are from the Silver Age. So "recent" isn't the word .
    One interesting thing Superman used to do in the Golden Age was to use make up and his acting performance to imitate someone else, to the point where even the relatives of said person couldn't tell the difference. It was notably used in two stories where Superman disguise himself as a football player who was a member of the team for years (and manages to fool his teammates) and one where he pretend to be a former boxe champion, fooling his agent and all the reporters for an extended period of time.
    So, from these examples, I would say that Clark's disguise in the Golden Age had probably more to it than simple glasses, like make up (probably a simple one) and acting, making him harder to recognise than it seems to us.

  5. #35
    Senior Member adkal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MythicBrawn View Post
    Those are all "recent" developments. How long was it before Clark had Supergirl/Matrix, J'onn, or the robots covering for him? Lois, being a smart, investigative reporter should have figured it out pretty much from the start. Superman and Clark were hanging around the Daily Planet too much for Lois, Jimmy, and Perry not to put it together. Lex figured it, or his computers did, in Superman (1986) 2, but he just refused to believe it. Imagine if Lex wasn't a self-absorbed megalomanic, and the things he could have done, if he would have believed his computers.
    Actually, with regards to Lex and his computer figuring it out:

    1 - he had access to data no one else had access to (the scrapbook (note: this is also how Batman deduced the Secret as well (see Dark Knight Over Metropolis))
    2 - the timeline is skewed as the stories in Superman are supposedly set after the end of the Man of Steel mini-series which, itself, ends 5 years after Kal's 'debut'; however, I think it may be reasonable to interpret issue 2 of Superman (vol 2) to be set a couple of years after his debut (Lex wasn't around (according to MoS) for at least the first year of Superman's career).

    Also, 'hanging around too much' is an exaggeration, though. Superman, time-wise, was likely only there for a few minutes at a time. He was (and is) globally active.

  6. #36
    Power, Unlimited Power MythicBrawn's Avatar
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    Ok, now we're arguing different ages. Yes, the robots have been around since the golden age, silver age, etc., but Superman was rebooted in 1986. Many, if not all, of the examples given were post-1986 reboot. And, I meant recent by looking at 1986 and moving on from there. Since the reboot, Superman didn't use robots, J'onn, Matrix, or whomever to disprove the Clark/Superman connection until much later. As a result, there was plenty of time for Lois, Jimmy, and Perry to put 2 and 2 together. Lois is supposed to be a smart, inquisitive, observant investigative reporter and she never made the connection in all that time. Jimmy is smart enough to build a signal watch, by issue 4 i think, but he doesn't figure it out. Perry is their boss, encounters Superman and Clark frequently, but he doesn't figure it out.

    Lois, when she saw Clark at the Daily Planet for the first time, should have confronted him and said "What kind of game are you playing?!?!? You fly around town saving people, give me an interview, and NOW you're wearing glasses trying to make people believe you're not Superman? Is that your idea of a disguise? Who do you think you're fooling??!?!" And, then he could say "You", give her the amnesia-inducing kiss (circa Superman Movie 2) and everything would be right with world.
    Last edited by MythicBrawn; 03-09-2012 at 06:56 AM.

  7. #37
    Elder Member Mat001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adkal View Post
    Actually, with regards to Lex and his computer figuring it out:

    1 - he had access to data no one else had access to (the scrapbook (note: this is also how Batman deduced the Secret as well (see Dark Knight Over Metropolis))
    2 - the timeline is skewed as the stories in Superman are supposedly set after the end of the Man of Steel mini-series which, itself, ends 5 years after Kal's 'debut'; however, I think it may be reasonable to interpret issue 2 of Superman (vol 2) to be set a couple of years after his debut (Lex wasn't around (according to MoS) for at least the first year of Superman's career).

    Also, 'hanging around too much' is an exaggeration, though. Superman, time-wise, was likely only there for a few minutes at a time. He was (and is) globally active.
    From about page 16 or so of MOS #1, when Clark returns home after rescuing the Constitution to the end of MOS #6 covers a seven year period. When the three titles started back up again, all three took place only a few days after MOS ended. Superman #1, Action Comics #594 and Superman #2 take place over a short period of time. The first couple of issues of AOS take place afterwards, since those first two issues are a two parter.

    Quote Originally Posted by MythicBrawn
    Ok, now we're arguing different ages. Yes, the robots have been around since the golden age, silver age, etc., but Superman was rebooted in 1986. Many, if not all, of the examples given were post-1986 reboot. And, I meant recent by looking at 1986 and moving on from there. Since the reboot, Superman didn't use robots, J'onn, Matrix, or whomever to disprove the Clark/Superman connection until much later. As a result, there was plenty of time for Lois, Jimmy, and Perry to put 2 and 2 together. Lois is supposed to be a smart, inquisitive, observant investigative reporter and she never made the connection in all that time. Jimmy is smart enough to build a signal watch, by issue 4 i think, but he doesn't figure it out. Perry is their boss, encounters Superman and Clark frequently, but he doesn't figure it out.
    Prior to "Exiled", Clark was able to fool everyone because none of them figured that Superman had a dual identity. According to Superman #52, Lois said that she had suspected for a while, but thought it was too preposterous. Hence she never questioned it until Amanda McCoy got her thinking. In the aftermath of "Millennium", Lois visited the Kent farm and saw Superman hugging Lana and thought something was up. Jonathan and Martha came in at that point and lied, saying that Kal-El arrived a couple of days before or after Clark was born. They then raised both boys together. Lois bought into it and was angry at both Superman and Clark Kent, because she thought that they had been toying with her affections for years. And she even thought that any time she beat out Clark on a story, she now thought was a pity move on their part. This was in Action Comics #597, I think it was. In "The Earth Stealers", she forgave Superman and she forgave Clark after "Exiled", when she thought he was dead for a while. Perry, as I noted, never suspected it. Jimmy didn't build the watch as noted in "World Of Metropolis" #4, it was Clark who did it. He was thrown off the trail when Matrix posed as Clark with Superman. In fact it was during "Exiled", that while Superman was offworld, Matrix filled in for him.

  8. #38
    Inf‚me et fier de l'Ítre Auguste Dupin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MythicBrawn View Post
    Ok, now we're arguing different ages. Yes, the robots have been around since the golden age, silver age, etc., but Superman was rebooted in 1986. Many, if not all, of the examples given were post-1986 reboot. And, I meant recent by looking at 1986 and moving on from there. Since the reboot, Superman didn't use robots, J'onn, Matrix, or whomever to disprove the Clark/Superman connection until much later. As a result, there was plenty of time for Lois, Jimmy, and Perry to put 2 and 2 together. Lois is supposed to be a smart, inquisitive, observant investigative reporter and she never made the connection in all that time. Jimmy is smart enough to build a signal watch, by issue 4 i think, but he doesn't figure it out. Perry is their boss, encounters Superman and Clark frequently, but he doesn't figure it out.

    Lois, when she saw Clark at the Daily Planet for the first time, should have confronted him and said "What kind of game are you playing?!?!? You fly around town saving people, give me an interview, and NOW you're wearing glasses trying to make people believe you're not Superman? Is that your idea of a disguise? Who do you think you're fooling??!?!" And, then he could say "You", give her the amnesia-inducing kiss (circa Superman Movie 2) and everything would be right with world.
    We actually don't know he didn't use the robots. For example, if we use Cooke's Kryptonite story, he used robots fairly early in his carrer, like, before the end of Man of Steel (and at the end of it, you have a Jimmy who can testify he brought a wounded Superman to Clark's appartement.....with Clark opening the door to them). It's kinda hard to say "hey, they're one and the same" in those conditions.
    Now let's face it, no superhero has a believable disguise anyway. Even Spider-man would get spoted by Aunt May by his voice the second he talks to her (and I'm not even talking about body language). An idiot could figure out who Batman is without even meeting him (so, young and handsome, check, insanely rich, check, has a backstory that would be believable for someone who is hunting down criminals, check, mysteriously disapeared for years, check....is there any one else than Bruce Wayne that could fit at all in Gotham?). So, it's really a question of where you put your suspension of disbelief.
    And...Lois suspected it in almost all versions. The Superman from the 50's passed like half his episodes finding a way to put her offtracks. It's just that it's hard to accuse Clark to be Superman when Superman just pass by at this moment. You kind of look like an idiot when it happens. And before the robots, well, she needs proof. Without it, Clark can keep pretending not to know what she is talking about and she can't do a thing about it, except looking like a psycho who's harrasing the poor new guy.
    But , deep down, the only answer is.....Superman is DeNiro. He's capable of making these performances where people think "wahou, that movie star is unrecognisable". Except that, when we watch the movie, we know the star is in there. Now, I remember watching "Tropic Thunder". Tom Cruise was in this movie, and I didn't know it. I recognised him at the very end. Since then, I checked with a few friends, I told them that a famous actor was playing that guy.....And no one recognised him. Not. A single. Guy. Recognised. Tom Cruise.
    That's the kind of performance Superman can do.
    "I'm going to paraphrase Nietzsche, when you judge a work, the work judges you."

  9. #39
    Power, Unlimited Power MythicBrawn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auguste Dupin View Post
    But , deep down, the only answer is.....Superman is DeNiro. He's capable of making these performances where people think "wahou, that movie star is unrecognisable". Except that, when we watch the movie, we know the star is in there. Now, I remember watching "Tropic Thunder". Tom Cruise was in this movie, and I didn't know it. I recognised him at the very end. Since then, I checked with a few friends, I told them that a famous actor was playing that guy.....And no one recognised him. Not. A single. Guy. Recognised. Tom Cruise.
    That's the kind of performance Superman can do.
    That's not a good comparison. Tom Cruise was balding, overweight, and wore glasses. Wait, maybe glasses do work. Although, his voice didn't change. No one in the public recognized him, but would Cruise's assistant, girlfriend, or someone else he interacted with regularly recognize him? Clark does the clumsy, meek thing but his change in appearance isn't nearly that drastic. But, I'm sure people would argue that it is. You could have also used Donnie Wahlberg from Sixth Sense. He's another actor whose look was so drastic from his normal appearance that people didn't recognize him in that movie. I'll just keep suspending disbelief, but I'll always believe that, at the very least, Lois, Jimmy, and Perry should have figured out the Clark/Superman connection. They never figured it out because the story demands that they didn't.

  10. #40
    Inf‚me et fier de l'Ítre Auguste Dupin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MythicBrawn View Post
    That's not a good comparison. Tom Cruise was balding, overweight, and wore glasses. Wait, maybe glasses do work. Although, his voice didn't change. No one in the public recognized him, but would Cruise's assistant, girlfriend, or someone else he interacted with regularly recognize him? Clark does the clumsy, meek thing but his change in appearance isn't nearly that drastic. But, I'm sure people would argue that it is. You could have also used Donnie Wahlberg from Sixth Sense. He's another actor whose look was so drastic from his normal appearance that people didn't recognize him in that movie. I'll just keep suspending disbelief, but I'll always believe that, at the very least, Lois, Jimmy, and Perry should have figured out the Clark/Superman connection. They never figured it out because the story demands that they didn't.
    I understand your position. I think one of the trick is that Clark probably isn't that noticable to begin with. When the comic started, the only one he was interacting with as both was Lois, and it was obvious that her biais against Clark "the spineless worm" was supposed to blind her from the truth? That and maybe the use of make up. But he is supposed to change his voice too when he is "Clark".
    For a better comparaison, how about Samuel Jackson in Jurassic Park? It took me a while to figure out he was in the movie. But his "disguise" is very simple: glasses, a little mustache, work clothes. And I needed to check the credits to be sure it was him. And I think it was because he wasn't expected and because he was a very background character. Maybe that's Superman's best weapon: why would he pretend to be Clark Kent, of all people?
    "I'm going to paraphrase Nietzsche, when you judge a work, the work judges you."

  11. #41
    Elder Member Mat001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MythicBrawn View Post
    That's not a good comparison. Tom Cruise was balding, overweight, and wore glasses. Wait, maybe glasses do work. Although, his voice didn't change. No one in the public recognized him, but would Cruise's assistant, girlfriend, or someone else he interacted with regularly recognize him? Clark does the clumsy, meek thing but his change in appearance isn't nearly that drastic. But, I'm sure people would argue that it is. You could have also used Donnie Wahlberg from Sixth Sense. He's another actor whose look was so drastic from his normal appearance that people didn't recognize him in that movie. I'll just keep suspending disbelief, but I'll always believe that, at the very least, Lois, Jimmy, and Perry should have figured out the Clark/Superman connection. They never figured it out because the story demands that they didn't.
    Apply that logic to everything about superheroes and you have your answer. That said, according to Jonathan and Martha in MOS #1, the glasses did have a unique way of making Clark's face look different once he put them on, compared to when they put their own glasses on. Add in the slight slouch, the slicked back hair and the slight change to his voice and it was enough early on. BR #3 amended that by saying that the lenses toned down the brightness of Clark's blue eyes and also helped. Lois does look at Clark when they meet at the Planet on his first day, but she dismisses the similarities and resumes what she is doing. In that story, Clark also mentions how he took acting lessons to help make himself seem different. In SO #1, the lenses are larger and more round, which helps to detract from Clark's face. In issue three, Lois does notice that Clark appears to be creating a false front, but doesn't know why.

  12. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by adkal View Post
    The crux of the 'problem' with regards to the secret identity is that:

    We're in on it.

    We see 'everything'; the characters don't.
    To me it's like getting a behind the scenes tour of a magic show and then claiming how easy it is to see through the illusions. There is no way to make the Clark Kent disguise work once you know that he is Superman. No explanation offered will suffice because the person who knows can just claim it wouldn't fool them and there is no way to test the premise. If I decide after seeing the credits that I recognized a particular actor all along- who could prove me wrong?

  13. #43
    Elder Member dupersuper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adkal View Post
    1 - he had access to data no one else had access to (the scrapbook (note: this is also how Batman deduced the Secret as well (see Dark Knight Over Metropolis))
    Batman learned his secret from the scrapbook in the Adventures of Superman issue right before Action Comics #600. Dark Knight Over Metropolis was a year or 2 later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mat001 View Post
    Hence she never questioned it until Amanda McCoy got her thinking.
    Lois never knew Amanda McCoy.
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  14. #44
    Elder Member Mat001's Avatar
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    You sure. I'm pretty sure that was Amanda in Adventures Of Superman #449, during "Invasion".

  15. #45
    Elder Member dupersuper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mat001 View Post
    You sure. I'm pretty sure that was Amanda in Adventures Of Superman #449, during "Invasion".
    She was, but she never met Lois. After the PI she hired was killed by Intergang, she confronted Clark with the ring, but freaked out afterward - afraid she had accidentally killed him - and ran off in a panic. She was killed in a mugging as she was running scared, leading to Dark Knight Over Metropolis.
    Last edited by dupersuper; 03-14-2012 at 06:11 PM.
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