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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Mishandling Clark Kent

Since the last issue was the end of the Beta Ray Bill story, we're taking a break from Thor this week to deal with one of my pet peeves with Superman, specifically live action adaptations.  Especially after the Reeve movies, they treat Clark Kent as Superman with glasses.  If that's the case, anyone who didn't see through it would be a complete idiot.  "Lois Lane, how dumb was she?"  I think Lois and Clark and Superman: The Animated Series were the worst offenders, at least that I can remember.

Here are some examples:

Lois and Clark - Someone finds out Clark's secret and Dean Cain doesn't do anything differently.  No voice shift, stance shift, nothing.

Same thing here.  The only difference is clothing, nothing else.

Now here are some examples of how the difference should be handled:

This one of the classic Fleischer cartoons shows Superman and Clark to be two different people, right down to the voice.

Of course the best example of this is the late, great Christopher Reeve.  The way he played the part, it would be extremely difficult for anyone to even consider that Superman and Clark Kent were the same person.  Different height, voice, mannerisms, everything.


  1. I don't recall who it was, but in a discussion once in an interview got to talking about casting for superhero movies and said that you did not cast for the role - you cast for the alter ego. How did the actor work out as Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne, etc.? Recognizing that in the hero role the costume and action would be more dominant, not to mention that a lot of those shots are of stuntmen anyways. And it seems that the dialogue once the costume is on becomes more stilted, or simply almost sound bites.

  2. That is true, but there have been plenty of examples of the costumed identity and the alter ego being handled as being two different people. As far as Batman goes, Michael Keeton, Val Kilmer and Christian Bale all did a good job of drawing a distinction between Bruce Wayne and Batman, so it is definitely doable.