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Mama Deb
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December 2010
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Mama Deb [userpic]

I'm reading Smallville fic right now, and I just read the latest issue of Metropolis - okay, the *last* issue of Metropolis, which is a shame and I'm glad that the Bat version of that, Gotham Central, appears to be doing well. Um. Metropolis was meant to be only a year in duration.

Anyway, I just realized something.

Smallvilleverse. Clark Kent grows up and flies to Metropolis to become a reporter and a superhero. He puts on the tights, he saves the space shuttle or whatever spectacular thing he does to get noticed. And he gives himself the interview of a lifetime, where he reveals he's from another planet called "Krypton."

He's not a total idiot, and does not reveal his weakness to the funny glowing rocks. And he does not say he has another "self" wandering around.

Part of how comicverse Clark Kent keeps his dual life a secret is that no one suspects either *has* a dual life. Superman doesn't wear a mask, after all, so he's not hiding anything, right? He's just always *there*. Clark Kent, on the other hand, has an exciting and well-known career, what with the column and the books and the Pulitzer prizes. The glasses are not a disguise so much as a misdirection - Superman has to have perfect vision; Clark Kent clearly does not.

Plus those are probably actual prescriptions. In the comic series "Birthright", Clark is wearing old glasses of his father's. The heavy prescription distorts his face and changes the color of his eyes.

And that's perfectly believable. My husband has a very strong prescription. He has refractive lenses, but they're still very thick. As he's near-sighted, the effect is to make his eyes look tiny and his head sort of indented - "peanut-head" is what he says. He does look different without glasses. Not even close to looking like someone else, but different.

So - misdirection; too large clothing and just that no one *thinks* that Clark Kent might be hiding something - or that Superman might be anything but an alien superhero.

Except. A lot of people know that Clark reacts odd to the funny glowing rocks. And that it wouldn't take all that long for a supervillain to find out about Kryptonite. And once one does, everyone will know. And everyone probably already knows where the meteor rocks come from. And someone *will* remember that the Kents adopted a little boy at the same time as the rocks fell, and that boy was always different. And...huh. He looks sort of familiar.

And the people of the Planet are going to wonder about the new reporter who showed up at the same time as Superman and comes from the Source of Kryptonite on Earth and is surprisingly wellbuilt and seems to be able to get in touch with Supes when necessary. And they *are* reporters, trained to observe.

And if Lois is either Chloe's cousin or her *self*, the secret would be totally out.

Without krypto mutants, it might be possible to keep it a secret. If there were deposits of kryptonite all over the Earth, it might work.

As it stands - it won't stand a chance.


1. If you like Gotham Central, then you may be happy to hear that Greg Rucka will be taking over the writing of Adventures of Superman in April. The new direction will include a new cast of Metropolis cops - with Maggie Sawyer's replacement at the head - and Clark Kent's new assignment as a crime reporter. Should be fun.

2. I've been pondering how the Smallville Clark Kent can ever hope to have a secret identity. Batya is even quite convinced that Lex will have to know that Clark is this Superman fellow. I think that events will unfold that eliminate a lot more of the people who know. The number of dead meteor freaks will grow. Lionel - already doomed to death at his son's hands, anyway - won't tell. And Chloe? Alas, I think she doesn't live to become Lois, that her murder at Lex or Lionel's hands is what impels the real Lois Lane to become a journalist.

But certainly, there are enough reasons to think that the writers of Smallville have not quite thought through the path that will essentially divide the powers and the costume of Superman from the man in them. At the very least, Clark nees to start wearing glasses and baggy clothes a lot sooner than in Birthright. (BTW, I love Waid's take on how Clark invents Superman and reinvents himself.)


Clark *has* glasses now. He even looks good in them, and he should wear them more often. He *does* wear baggy clothes, or at least oversized flannel shirts.

He hasn't developed the famous spit curl yet. :)

(BTW, I found it amusing that in "Lois and Clark", Dean Cain wore slicked-back, parted hair as Superman and more touseled and less gelled hair as Clark, which is the opposite of the comics.)