Should Superman Have a Secret Identity? (Great Debate)

“And who disguised as Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter for the Daily Planet…” The secret identity of Clark Kent/Superman has been an integral part of the Superman mythos for decades. But is it necessary?

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

Should Superman have a Secret Identity?

Great Debate - Secret Identity

Who do you agree with?

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

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July 8, 2022 7:24 am

My vote is yes. Forty years ago I might have said no, but only because of what the secret identity had become. Byrne was right that the Pre-Crisis version of Clark Kent was essentially a revenge fantasy. The setup limited Kal-El as a character because it prevented any genuine relationships with other people in either identity. Sure, the Post-Crisis Clark has to lie to many of the the people around him, but the Pre-Crisis Clark’s entire identity is a lie, the pose as a cringing loser. Byrne’s change to the character not only gave Superman a more realistic personal life,… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Carstonio
July 8, 2022 9:36 am

I can live without the secret identity, but I vastly prefer it. I’m okay with Clark being the real man and Superman being the disguise because it allows Clark to have a deeper, more meaningful personal life instead of just pretending to have a personal life for the sake of keeping up appearances. For as much grief as uneducated viewers give Superman for being “boring” and “unrelatable”, he is supposed to be an everyman, the character viewers are supposed to relate to the most or the easiest.If Superman doesn’t have a personal life, then it just makes him look like… Read more »

July 8, 2022 12:58 pm

I’m for the secret identity. Brando’s Jor-el said it best in Superman the movie when he said to his son that he “cannot help the world 24 hours a day.” His “help would be called for endlessly, even for tasks that humans can solve themselves.” And the second reason is that Superman‘s enemies could hurt Superman by “targeting those he loves the most.” Therefore a secret identity is a must for superman in order to protect everyone he loves.

July 8, 2022 5:07 pm

I would definitely say yes, because it is a large part of his identity as a character. The duel identity is a reminder of what many of us face in our lives every day.