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A theory about Superman and the Phone Boot:
Narutaki
Dear Steve:

I would like to propose a theory about the strange phenomena of “Superman and the phoneboot”, as you named it at http://www.superm...honebooth.

The very point of your article is that “If you ask the average person on the street, ‘Where does Clark Kent change into Superman?’, nine out of ten people will answer ‘In a phone booth’. Why? Why has the phone booth become synonymous with Superman?”

As you claim, there were only some mentions to Superman changing in a phone booth: “in a Sunday newspaper comic strip in late 1942”. Also, “Bud Colliyer who voiced Superman in the 1940s radio series, would also sometimes state in an episode that he needed to duck into a nearby phonebooth for a quick change from his Clark Kent identity into the colorful garb of Superman.” Two times in "The Mechanical Monsters" [Fleischer Superman Cartoon] (1941) and in "The Bulleteers" (released March 27, 1942). and “A phone booth was used in the 1966 Broadway Musical ‘It's a bird, It's a plane, It's Superman!’".
If we count a Continental Insurance Superman Ad (1964) and four covers of comics (Action Comics #345, 1963 and #355, 1967, plus Superman #221, 1969 and Action Comics #421 (1973).

That amounts to only 10 references before Superman, The Movie (1978). As you wrote: “The thing is, the joke in "Superman: The Movie" works because, for some reason, everyone "knows" Clark Kent uses a phone booth to make his quick-change into Superman. But where did this "knowledge" come from? Not from the comics or newspaper strips. Not from the various TV shows. Not from the cartoons shown on television...” but from the Cartoons showed in theatrical release.

I offer another theory: The reason everyone "knows" Clark Kent uses a phone booth to make his quick-change into Superman is because a derivative work of superman: Underdog.

Underdog was a canine parody of Superman which debuted on NBC in 1964 and moved to CBS in 1966. Underdog's alter ego was "humble, lovable Shoeshine Boy". When summoned by TV reporter Sweet Polly Purebred, Shoeshine Boy dashed into the nearest phone booth and emerged in his heroic costume.

This was a running gag, showed almost every episode, and given that it was a popular tv series, when everyone saw "humble, lovable Shoeshine Boy" changing his clothes in a Phone Booth, everyone thought that Superman did the same in their own media (but he only did it 10 times, as you had documented) and that was the reason why the joke worked.

I would love to know your opinion about this.

Narutaki.
 
AKalel
I know I am not Steve but I hope you do not mind me chiming in with my 2 cents or however much it is these days due to inflation.

Anyway while I find your theory interesting I do not think its cause Underdog I think that while visuals of Clark changing in the phone booth for lack of a better term were kind of rare I think it is except for Underdog has there ever been any other comic book super hero who has even once seen doing a change into his or her costume in a phone booth? I cannot think of anyone.

Now while I am willing to admit I have not read every single comic book ever made so it would make sense for Clark to change into his supersuit in a phone booth cause in someways he is a unusual hero.

Also if you want to take it one step farther aside from a alleyway is there anywhere else Clark could go to change without anyone questioning him (sure he had a storage room or closet when he was at the Planet but he is not there 24 7. Also some people would identify Superman as a every person hero so they needed a place to change the every person could identify with . You could also look at it as how often do we generally see change into costume and our a public character. Either they appear to be on patrol all the time, operate in certain places or times as they would not have to worry about being spotted changing or perhaps just their life. As a example if you want to call it one look at Batman either he gets word of trouble by the bat computer or someone contacting him itts rare you would see Bruce Wayne talking with someone and he sees or hears of a situation and cause of the nature of situations he deals with on a regular basis vs what Superman does its not like Bats has to worry about a quick change. for help or sight a emergency.

Finally when I think of phone booths they up until the age where almost everyone has to have a cellphone what was always accessible plus factor in even before you got your cellphone how often would you pay attention let alone look at a phone booth. Usually you might look at one if you needed it, heard it ringing or a loud voice but thats about it.

Sorry for the ramble and hope I did not hijack your thread.
 
Poppy
This is slightly off topic, but... When I graduated from high school we had this tradition that every class printed up a t-shirt and wore for the last week, and then the night before graduation every class made a monument for themselves on the shcool yard.
Our class was a natural science class, and we had a teacher whose surname sounded similar to the Swedish word for Superman. So we made blue t-shirts with a symbol at the front looking like Superman's except it was an N (for "natural sciences"Wink instead of S, and a drawing of our teacher in Superman costume at the back.
Then we tried to think of a Superman themed monument for our class, and somebody came up with the idea of a phone booth. So we somehow got our hands on an old phone booth and had it attached to the asphalt at the school yard by cement.
 
AKalel
sounds neat poppy i cannot speak for others but thanxs for sharing.
 
A6K
On the subject of changing into the Superman costume, anyone else curious as to the New 52 costume works. Its armor, has a mandarin collar and low sleeves. So I don't think its under Clark's street clothes anymore.

I had this funny thought of and anime style sequence. Clark spinning and the armor appears out of nowhere and attaches it's self into segments one piece at a time. Then when the whole suit is together the lines on the suit glow and Superman puts his hands on his hips and say something cheesy like "Full Kryptonion Battle Power!"

But in all seriousness, any theories?
He's going somewhere to change. Maybe the restroom like in one early episode of Lois and Clark.
 
Hypoxic

>A6K wrote:


I had this funny thought of and anime style sequence. Clark spinning and the armor appears out of nowhere and attaches it's self into segments one piece at a time.


That's how Barry Allen's Flash costume works in the New 52: it shoots out of his ring in pieces and he runs into them as they attach to his body. Francis Manapul actually makes it look really cool.

Regarding Supes, perhaps the armour is jointed and the collar and cuffs retract. The armour could be thin, seeing as it's Kryptonian.
Easy, miss. I've got you.
_____

Get away from me, padre. You reek of the irrational. - Lex Luthor
 
A6K
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Uploaded with ImageShack.us


Well there you have it, he hides suits in bushes all over Metropolis.

Seriously though, I'm kind of dissapointed. Like they are just dodgeing the subject.
"We don't want to deal with it so we won't" - DC's expliation of how Clark puts on the Superman armor. (not really what they said)
 
Poppy

>Hypoxic wrote:


>A6K wrote:


I had this funny thought of and anime style sequence. Clark spinning and the armor appears out of nowhere and attaches it's self into segments one piece at a time.


That's how Barry Allen's Flash costume works in the New 52: it shoots out of his ring in pieces and he runs into them as they attach to his body. Francis Manapul actually makes it look really cool.

Regarding Supes, perhaps the armour is jointed and the collar and cuffs retract. The armour could be thin, seeing as it's Kryptonian.


The way it shows off his body it must be really thin.
 
A6K

>Poppy wrote:


>Hypoxic wrote:


>A6K wrote:


I had this funny thought of and anime style sequence. Clark spinning and the armor appears out of nowhere and attaches it's self into segments one piece at a time.


That's how Barry Allen's Flash costume works in the New 52: it shoots out of his ring in pieces and he runs into them as they attach to his body. Francis Manapul actually makes it look really cool.

Regarding Supes, perhaps the armour is jointed and the collar and cuffs retract. The armour could be thin, seeing as it's Kryptonian.


The way it shows off his body it must be really thin.


I think Hypoxic said it best when he said the lines will go away but the look will stay the same. Which is fine with me, it can still be some kine of untra thin flexable armor but the lines can go away.
 
A6K
I just realized something and I think we are going about this all wrong.

Its about a phoneboot, what is that? A phone inside a boot?
 
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