Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 finale)

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Servo, May 17, 2010.

  1. Broccoli

    Broccoli Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

    It might make sense for him to go into TV news as a writer or someone on the production side of things. However, him being an on-air anchor makes no sense as his face is viewed by tons of people daily. Eventually, someone would make a connection. At least, as a newspaperman, his face is hidden from a vast majority of people.

    That being said, as someone who worked in TV news, Clark would have absolutely no time to sneak away to stop some disaster. It is way too busy, regardless of what your position is. It doesn't allow for the flexibility that working on a newspaper does.

    I dunno. Maybe I am biased as I never liked the concept of Clark as a news anchor.
     
  2. Checkmate

    Checkmate Commodore

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    Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

    If people as close to him as Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, or Perry White are, none of which have managed to make the connection (except in one-off stories, or the slight hint that they suspect as much -- though those hints have nothing to do with how he looks), I seriously doubt if people who only see him for half an hour a day, tops, would.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

    But... but he has the glasses on! ;)
     
  4. Broccoli

    Broccoli Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

    Fair point. But the risk factor opens up greatly if you are on TV. Also, at that time in the comics, Clark was acting much more bumbling and weak in order to keep up the illusion. Average Joe watching TV wouldn't see that, unless Clark delivered the news like the "Boom, Goes The Dynamite" Guy. But if he did that, his ass would be fired before the commercial break.

    I know the glasses are the conceit that you have to run with, but Clark as a news anchor just breaks my suspension of disbelief.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

    Well, the way I figure it is, lots of people notice that Clark Kent resembles Superman, but it doesn't occur to them that he is Superman, because Superman doesn't wear a mask and thus isn't thought of as having a secret identity. So they just figure Clark is one of those people who happen to look like celebrities. He probably gets people coming up to him all the time and saying "Hey, anyone ever tell you you look kinda like Superman?"

    See, that's the brilliance of the glasses. If it occurred to anyone that Superman had a secret identity, they'd assume he'd wear a wig and fake beard, maybe a fat suit, something complicated to really disguise his appearance. They'd never believe Superman would be dumb enough to think just a pair of glasses would work. And that's exactly why it does work! ;)

    I liked Birthright's take on it -- that the feature of Superman's face that everyone notices most is the vivid blue of his eyes, and so by wearing glasses that damp down their shade, he changes the way people perceive his face.
     
  6. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

    Essentially Smallville is a SUPERBOY show without being able to actually call Clark Superboy...I've skipped the entire thread because I've not really had anything to say except that I've been working on something called "Beyond Smallville: Metropolis" which is a reworking of seasons five onwards but instead of three extra seasons I've ended Smallville in seven so "Beyond" is three seasons. I've also rewritten season four entirely. I've been working on this and mentioned it in previous threads but have never posted it because I'm waiting for the series to finish.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

    That was its original brief, but for several years now, especially the past two seasons, it's been much more a veiled Superman show than a veiled Superboy show. All the Superboy trappings -- Ma and Pa Kent, Lana Lang, Pete Ross -- are gone now. Clark and Lois work at the Daily Planet in Metropolis, and Clark is a member of the Justice League. In every respect except the name, the costume, the flying, and the glasses, it's already a Superman show.
     
  8. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

    You know the first Iron Man film had an interesting way around that.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

    Well, actually, Iron Man would be one of the easier secret identities to keep, since he's completely hidden inside the suit and isn't likely to leave any DNA evidence lying around. On the other hand, I gather that modern voice-recognition technology is pretty good at identifying voices even when they're electronically distorted, so he might have to avoid talking.
     
  10. Lapis Exilis

    Lapis Exilis Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

    See that's where I'd argue. It's not about how Clark Kent becomes Superman at all. There is no real sense of Clark evolving towards a life as a public superhero, there's just "the adventures of a superpowered young man" and meanwhile they've used every stand by of the Superman mythos to spin Superman stories. The nods to the costume are the entire presence of the traditional Superman identity within the show - heavily reimagined to be sure, but there's nothing missing except for the public presence of a superhero named Superman. You can certainly argue that this means it cannot ever be a true treatment of the Superman mythos but I'd simply respond it is Superman in all but name and tights.

    And really, when you approach it that way - it's a far less frustrating experience, and a somewhat more interesting interpretation than any traditional Superboy or Superman series could ever have been. That is, if you forget the largely terrible writing.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

    The past two years have been all about Clark's evolution toward being a superhero. He already is a superhero who's famous and admired by the public. And this season we've seen him assuming a leadership role in the superhero community.


    Wait a minute, first you were saying it wasn't about Clark becoming Superman and now you're saying that it is about Clark effectively being Superman? Aren't those contradictory positions?

    The largely terrible writing ended when Millar & Gough left the show two years ago. It's gotten much better since then, though Chloe is still saddled with some of the worst attempts at faux-Whedonesque witty dialogue ever written.
     
  12. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final


    Really? I was reading up on voice-recognition tech for a CSI project and my impression that was that tech was nowhere good enough yet to compensate for electronic distortion. (I actually wanted to have Archie do something like that, but decided it was too unbelievable.)

    I'm not challenging you, I'm just curious.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

    Well, I'm no expert, but I remember reading an article about it a few years ago and it said that computer voice-recognition could still work even with a distorted voice. I have no better justification than that, so I could be wrong.

    And as for Archie doing things that are technologically unbelievable, the guy routinely extracts high-resolution images from blurry pixels just by hitting the "enhance" button. The only way he could do something more unbelievable than that is if he got out his old Transmorpher and turned into the Blue Power Ranger again.
     
  14. Lapis Exilis

    Lapis Exilis Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

    :confused: No. If you already are something then you can't be evolving toward becoming that thing. Which is my point. On Smallville Clark has been Superman for a long time - he just doesn't use that name and wear the traditional costume.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

    ^No, I don't agree. As I said, the arc of the past two seasons has been about Clark's evolution from a self-absorbed farmboy resisting his destiny (as Millar and Gough forced him to remain as long as they were in charge) to someone who was more and more embracing his destiny as a hero. Yes, he's been operating as a hero, but he hasn't been fully Superman yet, in terms of being the leading light of the superhero community. He's gone through a lot of growth into his role over the past two years, and has had setbacks along the way. It's not like the new writers just flipped a switch and suddenly he was Superman in all but name. You said there was no real sense of Clark evolving toward becoming Superman, but to me, that's exactly what the past two seasons have been about.
     
  16. Roshi

    Roshi Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

    Um... shouldn't the reflexion of the \S/ be backwards in Clark's eyes?
     
  17. Servo

    Servo Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

    Maybe he got Bizzaro's costume by mistake. Or Ma Kent screwed up big time.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

    That's one of his lesser-known superpowers.
     
  19. Broccoli

    Broccoli Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

    LOL! I didn't even think of that!
     
  20. Lapis Exilis

    Lapis Exilis Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

    Fair enough - I haven't watched the show regularly since about season three. My sense of it then though was that it was Superman in all but name - not in seeing the character evolve in any specific way because at that point he did not evolve, but meandered around a soap operaish territory of good-boy-bad-boy-lovesick-teen-memory-loss-personality-alteration-etc-etc - not unlike the way the character in the comics meanders around through various dramatic events involving a set of regular or semi-regular characters, villains and abilities which result in no character development but that keep the series going indefinitely.

    In other words, I'm not talking about approving of the direction of the character's development towards writing that makes him fit a heroic ideal, I'm talking about a narrative structure and exploration of a set of characters and abilities which make up the mythos. And in that way, Smallville has been a pretty full, if reimagined, treatment of the Superman mythos (as opposed to a prequel that is exclusively about leading up to the moment in time when a character enters the mythos proper with all its attendant characters and narrative structures) sans name and cape, for a very long time. If they are continuing with the prequel conceit in order to avoid using the name and costume, more power to them for sidestepping some of the more awkward trappings of superhero stories - though it's certainly a case of having your cake and eating it too. That never has stopped them from introducing every other element of the Superman mythos from Perry White to the Justice League. And I don't see how, if you have absolutely everything associated with Superman except for the word "Superman" and tights and a cape - it's not simply Superman that you're doing.

    As I said above, I'm talking more about a way to approach the material than I am about entering the story and trying to make it fit with the extablished mythos regarding when and how and what sort of person Clark was when he donned the cape.