Superman's Secret Identity

Superman’s Secret Identity

Clark Kent’s glasses are both the most iconic and most ridiculed superhero disguise in comic book history. The disguise has been parodied in Saturday Night Live, called out as ridiculous in The Adventures of Lois and Clark, and called “the ludicrous glasses disguise” by David Goyer, one of the writers behind Man of Steel. How far can a pair of glasses and a changed hair style really get a person?

Well, actually, pretty far.

When confronted with this question in the Silver Age, Superman writers came up with a goofy explanation involving super-hypnosis and Kryptonian glasses. They didn’t have to try that hard. There are legitimate and believable reasons that people don’t immediately recognize Clark Kent as Superman.

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All-Star Superman

The Best Plot Twist that Never Happened

I make no exaggeration when I say that All-Star Superman is the best Superman story of all time. It’s also one of the best comic book stories in history, with everything meticulously and lovingly placed. Despite the obvious care with which it was written, though, my favorite part of the story isn’t technically there.

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New 52

Successes from DC’s New 52

In 2011, DC Comics kicked off the “New 52,” canceling all of their previous titles and rebooting their superhero universe with 52 titles in a brand new continuity. Despite an initial uptick in sales, it’s safe to call the experiment a failure, as the whole continuity got rebooted again in 2016 with “Rebirth.”

There were a lot of reasons why the New 52 failed, but it primarily boils down to a lack of consistently good writing. DC editorial tried to pick and choose from the old continuity, deciding that some things happened and some things didn’t, but never developed a consistent timeline that its creative teams could follow. Editors also heavily meddled in the direction of the books, often hamstringing talented writers. (Prime example: the excellent Gail Simone getting what should have been her dream project on Batgirl, only for the story to turn joyless and perfunctory as the character got sucked into Batman’s “Death of the Family” crossover.)

Despite its failings, the New 52 did have a few gems. Here are a few titles I found really enjoyable.

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Justice League

Crowning Moments of Awesome: The DCAU

When it comes to comic adaptations, the DC Animated Universe (DCAU) is pretty much the cream of the crop. Running for over a decade, the shared universe included Batman: the Animated SeriesSuperman: the Animated SeriesBatman BeyondJustice LeagueJustice League Unlimited, and various tie-in movies and comics. Each series was full of awesome moments.

A good number of the scenes below come from Justice League Unlimited, which is my favorite of the DCAU series, but that’s not intended as a slight to the other shows. Suffice it to say that most everything associated with the DCAU was awesome, and the shows generally got better as they went on.

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Death of Superman

The Original Death of Superman

The death of Superman is an iconic moment in comics that brought a new level of introspection and insight to comics. It should rightfully be regarded as a true classic.

Superman vs Doomsday

No, not that one. I’m talking about the original death of Superman, which was an “imaginary story” (basically DC’s version of Marvel’s “What-If” comics) that occurred in Superman #149.

Superman Kryptonite
All that plotting and the best line he could come up with was, “You’re in super-trouble?”

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Golden Age Superman

The Golden Age Superman was a Badass Vigilante (Part 2 of 2)

Last time we covered Superman’s brand of vigilante justice in Action Comics #1. That was the first of a two-part story, which continued in Action Comics #2. Part Two really highlights the wish fulfillment aspect of Superman standing up to corruption both in the United States and abroad. Continue reading “The Golden Age Superman was a Badass Vigilante (Part 2 of 2)”