Clark Kent: “Take this job and…”

He’s mad as hell and he’s not going to take it any more? Clark Kent quits the Daily Planet in Superman #13 while giving an Aaron Sorkin-style lecture on the media. It’s part of DC Comics’ New 52 reboot.

“This is really what happens when a 27-year-old guy is behind a desk and he has to take instruction from a larger conglomerate with concerns that aren’t really his own,” Sott Lobdell, the writer of “Superman” issue# 13 told USA Today.

“Superman is arguably the most powerful person on the planet, but how long can he sit at his desk with someone breathing down his neck like the least imprtant person in the world?”

I thought that Kent’s insignificance was the hallmark of Superman’s success at maintaining a secret identity. Not that I can explain why he wants one. Unlike mere mortals such as Batman, Superman could, after all, go around as himself all the time.

[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster for the story.]

8 thoughts on “Clark Kent: “Take this job and…”

  1. What I remember, from when I used to read Superman many years ago, is that the reason given for him needing a secret identity was to protect his loved ones, e.g. his adoptive parents.

  2. Not to mention the fact that Kal-el as Superman was an undocumented alien (quite literally) and might have trouble with the immigration authorities if he weren’t a superhero. I suppose the Kents managed to pass Clark off as a native-born foundling, and therefore a US citizen. But I daresay this issue has been debated in the comixfan world for many decades. I wonder if Clark Kent had a middle name. And where does he find phone booths these days?

  3. 27-year-old guy? More like pushing 127, surely? Ignoring the relativistic efects of his journey through space from Kypton to Earth, he must have been born around 1919 to appear as a young man in Metropolis for the first time in 1939. So he is at least 93 today.

  4. Well, the tinkering with the legend continues. He is dating Wonder Woman these days, and not Lois Lane. The associaltions are going to be hard to drop.

    Maybe he can fill in at the Huffington Post.

  5. “But I daresay this issue has been debated in the comixfan world for many decades.”

    Not really. Superman was granted citizenship of every country of the world by vote of the U.N. in Superman, issue C-31, November 1974.

    Of course he’s been through multiple continuities since.

    There was the endlessly breathlessly famous kerfuffle last year, of course.

    It’s rather more radical that DC changed Superman from married to Lois Lane to not married than from dating to not dating decades ago.

    Superman’s age has generally been between 29 and 35.

  6. Also, remember that Kal-El’s birthday is February 29th, so the Pirates of Penzance rule comes into play.

    The original reason given for him having a secret id as a reporter was so he could be alerted as soon as possible to events where Superman could help. That’s long been rendered irrelevant, due both to his increasing access (in the past continuities) to Kryptonian and other advanced tech that could monitor newsfeeds and things like the Web and Twitter.

    The current reasoning, although I don’t think explicitly stated in the current continuity, is a combo of him growing up as regular guy Clark Kent and not wanting to lose that, and the need for him to make connections with ordinary humans as a human in order not to fall victim to the absolute power corruption bit.

  7. A secret, regular-guy identify lets him wear something different whenever he wants, only I’ve never noticed that Clark Kent was much of a clothes-horse.

  8. Actually, its a wonder he does’t have four or five secret identities, depending on his mood. Why work for a newspaper when he could find all the gold or diamonds he needs to buy one — not from from a box on the corner, I mean buy the ownership of an entire newspaper! He could have the news fed right into his office, and whenever the teletype machine started to clatter, his super hearing would alert him, wherever he was! No need to come into the office any more often than he wants. He could build a private elevator to explain how he comes and goes without being seen (in fact, he flies in through the window). When Superman wants to pick up girls, he can become a billionaire playboy living from casino to casino on the French Riviera. When he want’s to be anonymous, he can put on working clothes and hang around on street corners, watching the passing parade of humanity. When he wants to collect stamps … who’s going to stop him?

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