Friday, November 15, 2019

Superman #17


   Industry news sites have been hinting for some time now that Superman is going to take off the glasses and reveal his secret identity to the world.

   (This is not a spoiler because it hasn't happened yet. Next issue, it might be a spoiler.)

   This issue spends its energy setting up the payoff (presumably) next issue.

   There's a reason why certain heroes maintain a secret identity. It's because, if you take that away, it has severe results (all documented in the recent past with the unmasking of Spider-Man, Daredevil and yes, the "New 52" Superman). For example:

   1) It destroys the supporting cast. If Clark Kent is revealed to be Superman, he can hardly go on hanging around with his pals at the Daily Planet - he's going to be busy stopping evil threats from destroying his old workplace.

   2) It puts their loved ones in danger. I know, modern writers will say, "Policemen don't have secret identities." Of course, law enforcement officers also don't have to face Brainiac or Luthor or Mongul on a regular basis. All those villains will immediately target Lois, Jimmy, etc.

   3) It ends a classic trope. Part of the genius of the civilian identity is that it allows Superman to interact with regular people. Take that away and he just runs around with fellow superheroes.

   4) I don't like it. That's the best reason of all, of course. I love the idea that a regular guy (Clark) can also be the powerful Superman. 

   So of course I expect them to do this. The sales will be huge, they'll get media coverage (maybe), and interest will spike.

   But they'll also find themselves written into a corner, and like every other time the hero has unmasked, they've eventually had to cook up a cockamamie way to turn things around and make the identity secret again. 

   Save yourselves the heartbreak, DC - keep Clark's secret life a secret. We'll all rest easier.

Grade: B



Mr. Brooks said...

Superman Vol #1 #296-299,"The Double or Nothing Life of Superman".

"I am Clark. I need to be Clark. I'll go crazy if I was Superman all the time"!
Superman-"The Late Mr. Kent" Superman The Animated Series

"Clark is who I am. Superman is what I can do".
Clark Kent-LOIS & CLARK, The New Adventures of Superman

This REEKS of Dan Didio.

Anonymous said...

I somehow see Batman saying, "Well, that's a dumb idea."

Chuck said...

It's basically fan fiction. "What crazy thing can I do with this character that no one will expect?" The thought of "How will the affect the character in the long term" never occurs to anyone.

Mr. Brooks said...

This is pure stunt. Multiple interviews, press releases, social media. This smells of stunt. Is it me or is Bendis Didio's Geoff Johns (minus the respect for the characters)?

Chuck said...

I think Bendis is a really good writer who occasionally gives in to his darker impulses (which usually involves killing off some fan favorites - or revealing secret identities). Or perhaps his editors drive him to it.