Is Clark Kent a Disguise? (Great Debate)

Clark Kent or Superman? Which one is the real person and which one is the disguise? Is Clark Kent just an act? Or is Superman the persona he puts on?

In the latest instalment of our “Great Debate” feature, we ask the question…

Is Clark Kent a disguise?

Great Debate - Disguise

Who do you agree with?

Many thanks to our Great Debaters – Marc Lax and Mario Bennese.

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August 13, 2022 9:19 am

I really don’t like the idea of Clark just being a disguise for Superman or even the dichotomy of one identity being a disguise for the other. Superman, Clark and Kal-El are the same person, just using different names at the time.

Just like regular people show different sides of themselves whenever they’re around friends, co-workers and loved ones, Superman behaves in the exact same way.

August 13, 2022 10:22 am

Totally agree with this. All facets of the same character.

August 13, 2022 2:22 pm

Totally agree with VladimirAlpha. The original Clark Kent concept was partly a joke on Lois, the talented journalist who didn’t see that the biggest story was at the newsroom desk next to hers. John Byrne has called it a teenage revenge fantasy. But the double identity was probably also informed by the immigrant experience of that era, like the parents of Siegel and Schuster would have had. The pressure to assimilate resulted in many immigrants downplaying their culture when interacting with people outside their families or neighborhoods. Either way I never liked that approach to the identity, since it limited… Read more »

August 18, 2022 7:31 pm

I think the best option is that both the Superman and Clark Kent personas when around people have aspects of the real personality but also aspects to disguise his identity, at least at first. When he first arrives in Metropolis to work for the Planet, he would have a more mild mannered manner when around his co-workers while still being a crusading reporter and a more upright regal aura when saving the day as Superman in attempt to hide his real identity, the Clark Kent who grew up in Smallville and discovered his Kryptonian heritage in his teens. But after… Read more »