s Thoughts from the Physics Chick: L is for Lois Lane

Sunday, November 30, 2008

L is for Lois Lane

My family used to watch the TV show "Lois & Clark" together every Sunday night. My brother was only 4 years old when the show premiered, but he already wore glasses at that age, and it was nice to introduce him to Clark Kent as a glasses-wearing role model.

One day, shortly after the show premiered, my mom and I were talking about the creator's unique take on the Superman "myth," when I started to make a point, saying "Well, Lois doesn't know that Clark Kent is Superman, so —" when my (know-it-all) little brother sharply interrupted me and exclaimed "Clark Kent is NOT Superman!"

We turned to stare at him and it dawned on us that this was his first introduction to the Superman story and . . . he hadn't quite caught on to the secret identity part, yet.

The ironic thing about this Superman / Clark Kent split is that Superman is so well known as an icon that pretty much everyone in the world knows the truth behind his "secret" identity; almost the only people who don't are a cheerfully clueless group of reporters at the Daily Planet. (Leading the pack is Lois Lane, who is supposed to be a first class reporter, yet who still doesn't see the big coverup right in front of her eyes. The writers of "Lois & Clark" once gleefully parodied this situation, when they introduced a character who came back in time from the future and made fun of Lois for being so dumb.) But, like I said, everyone in the real world knows that Clark is Superman. Well, almost everyone.

"OK, honey. Clark Kent is NOT Superman."

(You and Lois, kid.)


At November 30, 2008 10:24 PM, Blogger Mr. Fob said...

What?!?! Clark Kent is Superman?

At December 01, 2008 1:04 PM, Blogger Ethan said...

I could never understand how Clark Kent could hide his identity using only glasses. Totally unrealistic...unlike, you know, the rest of the Superman story.

At December 05, 2008 2:46 PM, Blogger Katya said...

Mr. Fob - Oops! Sorry!

Ethan - One of the things I liked about Lois & Clark was how they tried really hard to make the basic premise plausible. So, Clark wears glasses and hides his powers because he wants to fit in and have a normal life, but then discovers how much good he can do in Metropolis. And as for Lois not recognizing Clark as Superman, they played it more as a psychological issue — that she's sure she's got Clark Kent pegged from the moment she meets him, so it takes a long time for her to see who he really is. (Incidentally, she figures it out for herself in the third season.)


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