Brought to you by the letter \S/
ohyeahpaulchin:

Day 9: Your favourite cartoon/anime character
All-time favourite comicbook character: Superman.  Anyone who makes the argument that Superman is “boring”, “shallow”, or “too powerful” to be an interesting superhero truly doesn’t understand the character at all.  As the ultimate immigrant with no obligation to use his abilities for the good of humanity, Superman is pretty much the gold standard in heroism and the responsibility-to-power ratio.  His greatest strength and weakness are not the yellow sun and Kryptonite, but both lie in the humanity he constantly chooses into.  Many look at Clark Kent as the secret identity but Clark Kent is the costume while Superman is the character’s truest identity.  There’s no way another superhero comes close.  And for the record: screw the New 52 version of the costume; red briefs for life.

Clark Kent with the glasses in public in Metropolis is the costume, but that doesn’t make “Clark” any less his “true” identity than Superman does.  When Clark is at home with Lois, his parents, or anyone that knows both of his personas is the “truest” identity.  Neither Clark, Kal, or Superman is any more real than the others.  They are all equal and valid in making him who he is: the Kryptonian, the superhero, the man raised in Kansas.  

ohyeahpaulchin:

Day 9: Your favourite cartoon/anime character

All-time favourite comicbook character: Superman.  Anyone who makes the argument that Superman is “boring”, “shallow”, or “too powerful” to be an interesting superhero truly doesn’t understand the character at all.  As the ultimate immigrant with no obligation to use his abilities for the good of humanity, Superman is pretty much the gold standard in heroism and the responsibility-to-power ratio.  His greatest strength and weakness are not the yellow sun and Kryptonite, but both lie in the humanity he constantly chooses into.  Many look at Clark Kent as the secret identity but Clark Kent is the costume while Superman is the character’s truest identity.  There’s no way another superhero comes close.  And for the record: screw the New 52 version of the costume; red briefs for life.

Clark Kent with the glasses in public in Metropolis is the costume, but that doesn’t make “Clark” any less his “true” identity than Superman does.  When Clark is at home with Lois, his parents, or anyone that knows both of his personas is the “truest” identity.  Neither Clark, Kal, or Superman is any more real than the others.  They are all equal and valid in making him who he is: the Kryptonian, the superhero, the man raised in Kansas.  

shardsofblu:

"Not a perfect soldier, but a good man."

Steve Rogers may be a superhuman who could jump off planes without parachutes, but he’s also just a kid from Brooklyn. 

Clark Kent may be a god who shoots fire from his eyes, but he’s also just a farm boy from Smallville.

"Make a better world than ours."

Steve Rogers, orphaned and frail and impoverished, who would speak up when nobody would, who would fight and claw at bullies twice his own size, who would throw himself over a rogue grenade to protect his comrades. 

Clark Kent, lost and hated and rejected, who would risk exposure rather than stop helping people, who would let bullies punch him rather than hurt them, who would inspire his own tormentor because of kindness instead of bitterness.

They do not become Superman or Captain America because of that emblazoned S or that star-spangled shield. But because of who they are before the world gets to know them. Because of who they are since the very beginning of their stories, and who they have continued to be, despite all the struggles and difficulties.

danceandmore:

I love the way she says this.

Ok but let’s talk about how Clark apologized and then asked if she had one.  He didn’t get huffy, he didn’t mansplain, and he didn’t say “because your a woman blah blah bullshit”.  He apologized and then asked the correct way.  

fipindustries:

incognitomoustache:

catbountry:

nerdgerhl:

wondygirl:

thefingerfuckingfemalefury:

mcstack:

kumeko:

Oh Billy, you look so small right there…

Superman’s sheer anger over Billy Batson’s situation is a sight to behold. Batman and Robin get away with it because he knows it’s the world’s best internship and that Bruce is willing to put out all the stops to protect him. But Billy? He doesn’t have anyone looking out for him. And that pisses off Superman more than anything.

Seriously, Clark’s face here

He is ready to kick the ass of whoever put this boy in this situation SO HARD

Next page he really lets the Wizard Shazam have it.

Shit, son. I might have to buy this book for those last two panels alone.

When Superman is written well he is an amazing goddamned character.

these few pages are some of my favourite in comic book history. So good. For anyone wondering what the next few pages look like, here you go:

image

image

image

image

image

image

This is a bigger deal than some of you might think, because Superman is one of the heroes in the DC Universe who keeps his secret identity pretty damn secret, because as probably the most powerful and influential person on earth, a lot of people do not wish him well - and would jump at the chance to hold people dear to him as leverage.

Yet, he trusts this poor, scared little kid. To comfort him, and entrust him with his biggest secret - just as Billy did for him.

Superman is just really important, ok?

this for people to truly understand superman

I had to bold that because THIS

wombatking:

fipindustries:

incognitomoustache:

catbountry:

nerdgerhl:

wondygirl:

thefingerfuckingfemalefury:

mcstack:

kumeko:

Oh Billy, you look so small right there…

Superman’s sheer anger over Billy Batson’s situation is a sight to behold. Batman and Robin get away with it because he knows it’s the world’s best internship and that Bruce is willing to put out all the stops to protect him. But Billy? He doesn’t have anyone looking out for him. And that pisses off Superman more than anything.

Seriously, Clark’s face here

He is ready to kick the ass of whoever put this boy in this situation SO HARD

Next page he really lets the Wizard Shazam have it.

Shit, son. I might have to buy this book for those last two panels alone.

When Superman is written well he is an amazing goddamned character.

these few pages are some of my favourite in comic book history. So good. For anyone wondering what the next few pages look like, here you go:

image

image

image

image

image

image

This is a bigger deal than some of you might think, because Superman is one of the heroes in the DC Universe who keeps his secret identity pretty damn secret, because as probably the most powerful and influential person on earth, a lot of people do not wish him well - and would jump at the chance to hold people dear to him as leverage.

Yet, he trusts this poor, scared little kid. To comfort him, and entrust him with his biggest secret - just as Billy did for him.

Superman is just really important, ok?

this for people to truly understand superman

Why Superman is the best.

mayak46:

scifigrl47:

since1938:

scifigrl47:

You know what was cool about Lois and Clark? Lois was as important to the story as Clark. I mean, she came first in the title! I miss that show.

Man, I loved Lois and Clark, right up until it went off the dang rails over the whole ‘will they or won’t they’ question.

But oddly enough, it’s the only version of Superman I cared about, because it was’t Superman.  It was Clark Kent, the guy he CHOSE to be.  The human being I could relate to.  The guy who loved his friends, and loved his job and wanted to help people.  To make the world better.  Even when he wasn’t wearing the tights.

People have said that Batman is the real person, and Bruce Wayne is the mask he wears.  I think that Clark Kent is the real person, and he puts on the guise of Superman.  Despite being alien, at his core, despite being DIFFERENT, Superman is the ultimate immigrant tale.  

He is more human than the humans around him in Lois and Clark, because he prizes that.  He prizes the ability to be human, to be accepted as human, as opposed to the ‘other,’ the ‘alien,’ the ‘foreign.’

I had FEELINGS for Lois and Clark, okay?

Wow, I wanted to like what you were saying until I got to the bottom and you basically made it sound like there was something “wrong” with being “other ” and “alien” and “foreign”, which is a huge slap in the face to the Superman fans that ARE (or treated as, in the U.S. at least—-even when we were born here) “other”.

So instead of going on yet another diatribe about why Superman being “other” is AWESOME and why maybe there are people (like me) that find that part of him something to relate to in spite of him being a cis-het, white, male hero, I’m just gonna paraphrase my point:

“ As Clark Kent, he gets to avoid having people react to his biology, because he can “pass” [as human] but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t look at the world differently than humans do.  Clark being different is not wrong.  He shouldn’t need to feel accepted on Earth, however the way he views and is inspired by humans is a major part of his characterization, but he is also not blind to human flaws.  He recognizes that because he is an alien raised amongst humans, he is in a unique position to see humanity from an objective point of view…The fact that he feels compelled to appear unthreatening [in the eyes of humans] is not unfamiliar to those that face institutionalized oppression on a daily basis.  The problem is that it takes more effort on the part of the “minority” to accomplish this goal in everyday life, when the stereotype is already so pervasive, than it does for those that hold those perceptions and the institutional power to either act on or actually eliminate those perceptions.  That is the definition of privilege." — Me, Examining Privilege in the Comic Book Narrative (a working paper)

And comic books, from ALL the major publishers, have a very problematic history of dealing with civil rights and immegration issues using cis, het, white males. This is a sort of fake representation that makes the situation palatable to the majority of their white, het, male readers without providing actual representation for women, POC, and people with alternate sexualities, among others.

A recent, and interesting, look at the issue concerning Marvel and the X-Men (a group that stands for the repressed ‘other’ while remaining mostly made up of cis het white dudes) is here:http://www.hoodedutilitarian.com/2013/12/what-if-the-x-men-were-black/Interesting take, and a question that needed to be asked.

That being said, I think the issue is, no one wants to be seen as an outsider. It implies a default. It implies that there are people who are NOT. It is not a matter of being ashamed of who you are, or not accepting who you are, or losing ones culture or ones unique viewpoint on life. It is about the establishment, and the society, and individuals who view you as the ‘other’ in a pervasive and systematic system of oppression.

I read an article by a trans*person (and as I cannot find the original article, I do not wish to misgender the individual who wrote it, so I apologize for the blanket term) who objected to the term ‘passing.’ Because as a trans*person, this person had no way of controlling how the world viewed them. That impetuous was on the VIEWER, not the VIEWED. The author encouraged the use of the phrase ‘being passed,’ because that forces everyone to acknowledge that no person has a choice in how they are precieved. That perception is fully on the person who is doing the viewing.

In my original post, it was about being accepted as human, as opposed to being preceived ‘other’ or ‘alien.’ To be Clark Kent. American Citizen. Citizen of Earth. He chooses Clark, in “Lois and Clark” because this is how he wishes to be preceived. And unlike an actual human being, facing actual prejudice, he has that luxury. Because we pass him.

Disclaimer: I wasn’t a big fan of LnC and part of my problem was I felt the show dismissed Clark’s alien heritage.   I had my issues with Smallville but what I thought they got right was Clark’s difficult childhood always having to hide who he is in fear that other people will not understand and fear him.   

Clark in Smallville also wished to be perceived as human and I think that was a lot of what his relationship with Lana was all about.  He didn’t want to be an alien with super powers.  He was denying part of himself.  

Clark in LnC, I felt, just ignored that side of him.   The “Superman is what I can do, Clark is who I am”  line bothered me from day one.  I’ve always felt it was more complex than that.   If you have to worry about throwing the ball too far then it’s more than what you can do, it defines how you interact with people. 

He has to learn how to control these powers and to make sure the neighbors don’t find out.  That means he’s hiding a very important part of himself.   

I also feel that by stripping LnC’s Clark of his alienness they diluted the importance of Lois’s love of the man.  

Smallville’s Clark tells Lois in Scion that he always felt like an outsider and a freak and the only time he felt normal was with her. This is more than a “TAKE THAT LANA/CHLOE!” moment.  It’s a key moment where Clark acknowledges that Lois shouldn’t have to choose between the human and alien.  She wasn’t asked to prove she loved the “human” Clark Kent and merely accept the Blur side.  She loves who he is at his core.  

That conversation in Charade when the Blur says good-bye to Lois?  He’s gutted. It’s tearing him apart not to be able to talk with her because that super powered alien needed somebody he could share that side and not just find acceptance but joy and wonder.  Those conversations were his lifeline because he could be honest and true to a side of himself he had to hide all his life. 

Meanwhile in LnC, Clark expects Lois to fall for only one side of him.  By *not* acknowledging that Superman is much more than what he can do and that Superman is a part of who he is, he’s putting all the onus on Lois.  Come on, there is this great guy in front of you, see him, don’t be dazzled by the powers.  I think it reduces Lois’s love for Superman to an unreal fantasy crush instead of showing she sees in Superman the same she sees in Clark, his soul if you will. 

When she falls for both sides who are hiding part of themselves, we have Lois put those pieces together to make the whole man.  She’s not expected  to fall for only one part of the puzzle.   This is how I see Clark/Superman/Kal.  A sum of those parts of the puzzle. 

I see him as an alien raised by humans who has had to hide a part of who he is in fear he’ll be rejected.   His wanting to belong to humanity is a wish and what makes the relationship with Lois so powerful is with her he finds that he doesn’t have to deny part of himself to belong.  He don’t have to pass.  

He can be an alien raised by human parents, he can love pretzels with mustard and all his environmental human upbringing trappings but at the same time can take her to the fortress and share all manner of wonders. He’s not hiding any part of himself. 

Waid’s Birthright has a great scene when Lois meets Superman for the first time and Superman tells her not to fear him.  She replies that she doesn’t and he flies off with such joy thinking “she’s not afraid”.   

This is meaningful because so many people would fear a man who can do what he can do.  

Clark isn’t a human being.  He is in his very dna an alien. He is raised on this planet by humans who love him but his experience is very different than his adopted parents.   

I’m raising bi-racial children, they are brown like me.  My son’s experiences growing up because of the visual (brown south asian looking teen who people profile as looking “middle eastern) will be different than his dad’s.  I’ve had to warn my son how to behave if stopped, something his father wouldn’t even think to worry about. 

Clark has things he has to worry about his parents wouldn’t even think about but do because he is theirs and they love him. 

I think it’s important to underscore though, Clark being alien doesn’t then mean he isn’t part of the planet or a Kent.  He is.   However, he is also Kal-El, the loved son of Jor-El and Lara.  He represents the brightest of both worlds and that is what makes him so powerful, in my estimation at least. 

scifigrl47:

since1938:

scifigrl47:

You know what was cool about Lois and Clark? Lois was as important to the story as Clark. I mean, she came first in the title! I miss that show.

Man, I loved Lois and Clark, right up until it went off the dang rails over the whole ‘will they or won’t they’ question.

But oddly enough, it’s the only version of Superman I cared about, because it was’t Superman.  It was Clark Kent, the guy he CHOSE to be.  The human being I could relate to.  The guy who loved his friends, and loved his job and wanted to help people.  To make the world better.  Even when he wasn’t wearing the tights.

People have said that Batman is the real person, and Bruce Wayne is the mask he wears.  I think that Clark Kent is the real person, and he puts on the guise of Superman.  Despite being alien, at his core, despite being DIFFERENT, Superman is the ultimate immigrant tale.  

He is more human than the humans around him in Lois and Clark, because he prizes that.  He prizes the ability to be human, to be accepted as human, as opposed to the ‘other,’ the ‘alien,’ the ‘foreign.’

I had FEELINGS for Lois and Clark, okay?

Wow, I wanted to like what you were saying until I got to the bottom and you basically made it sound like there was something “wrong” with being “other ” and “alien” and “foreign”, which is a huge slap in the face to the Superman fans that ARE (or treated as, in the U.S. at least—-even when we were born here) “other”.

So instead of going on yet another diatribe about why Superman being “other” is AWESOME and why maybe there are people (like me) that find that part of him something to relate to in spite of him being a cis-het, white, male hero, I’m just gonna paraphrase my point:

 As Clark Kent, he gets to avoid having people react to his biology, because he can “pass” [as human] but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t look at the world differently than humans do.  Clark being different is not wrong.  He shouldn’t need to feel accepted on Earth, however the way he views and is inspired by humans is a major part of his characterization, but he is also not blind to human flaws.  He recognizes that because he is an alien raised amongst humans, he is in a unique position to see humanity from an objective point of view…The fact that he feels compelled to appear unthreatening [in the eyes of humans] is not unfamiliar to those that face institutionalized oppression on a daily basis.  The problem is that it takes more effort on the part of the “minority” to accomplish this goal in everyday life, when the stereotype is already so pervasive, than it does for those that hold those perceptions and the institutional power to either act on or actually eliminate those perceptions.  That is the definition of privilege." — Me, Examining Privilege in the Comic Book Narrative (a working paper)

And comic books, from ALL the major publishers, have a very problematic history of dealing with civil rights and immegration issues using cis, het, white males. This is a sort of fake representation that makes the situation palatable to the majority of their white, het, male readers without providing actual representation for women, POC, and people with alternate sexualities, among others.

A recent, and interesting, look at the issue concerning Marvel and the X-Men (a group that stands for the repressed ‘other’ while remaining mostly made up of cis het white dudes) is here: http://www.hoodedutilitarian.com/2013/12/what-if-the-x-men-were-black/ Interesting take, and a question that needed to be asked.

That being said, I think the issue is, no one wants to be seen as an outsider. It implies a default. It implies that there are people who are NOT. It is not a matter of being ashamed of who you are, or not accepting who you are, or losing ones culture or ones unique viewpoint on life. It is about the establishment, and the society, and individuals who view you as the ‘other’ in a pervasive and systematic system of oppression.

I read an article by a trans*person (and as I cannot find the original article, I do not wish to misgender the individual who wrote it, so I apologize for the blanket term) who objected to the term ‘passing.’ Because as a trans*person, this person had no way of controlling how the world viewed them. That impetuous was on the VIEWER, not the VIEWED. The author encouraged the use of the phrase ‘being passed,’ because that forces everyone to acknowledge that no person has a choice in how they are precieved. That perception is fully on the person who is doing the viewing.

In my original post, it was about being accepted as human, as opposed to being preceived ‘other’ or ‘alien.’ To be Clark Kent. American Citizen. Citizen of Earth. He chooses Clark, in “Lois and Clark” because this is how he wishes to be preceived. And unlike an actual human being, facing actual prejudice, he has that luxury. Because we pass him.

Of course media in general sucks at full and accurate representation of underserved groups, but that’s not the topic at hand.  But I will address your first paragraph.

Is Superman a fake representation of the minority experience?  Or is it that cis-het-white-males have appropriated him when he was originally the creation of two Jewish men in 1938, right in the middle of World War II.  Let’s address a couple of things first: of course Superman is white-appearing, because Jerry and Joe knew who their intended audience was, but that does not negate the very Judaic origin of the character, up to and including his Semitic sounding name that was changed to an Anglo-American sounding one to better “assimilate”.  And yes, over the last 75 years, his brand has been appropriated to continue to appeal to that cis-het-white-male demographic, but that does not erase the fact that parts of his narrative also appeals to women, to lgbt, and to PoC.  That also doesn’t mean that he is the ONLY fictional character to fill this role, as there are female, lgbt, and PoC characters, low in number they may be, that are relateable on a more immediate basis.  But that doesn’t mean that we “minorities” can’t also find a piece of Clark that we want for ourselves.

Secondly, the point of my original response was in response to the, possibly unintentional usage of “other” “foreign” and “alien” in a negative connotation.  If that was not your intent, then I fully recognize that, but you also have to understand how someone like me that falls under one of those institutional descriptors could take that the wrong way.

Here’s the thing: no matter how much we may want to belong, there is still nothing wrong with being in the “othered” groups.  There is nothing wrong with Clark NOT being human, because he isn’t.  Whether he wants to assimilate and be one of us or not, the point I’m making is that he shouldn’t have to try that hard.  We *should* accept him for who and what he is.  Even if he weren’t raised by human beings, he would still garner our respect if he wasn’t raised in human society and culture.  But the fact of the matter is that Clark is not “either” human “or” alien.  He is an alien raised as human.  There are some fans that like to focus on just his human upbringing as being the true persona, but that just reeks of a “colorblind” philosophy.  And no matter what Clark’s outward physical appearance may be, there is still something meta going on with his alien/human duality. His alien heritage is not a character flaw that we need to ignore in order to enjoy his narrative.  His powers are not just “what he can do” (and I really love LnC); they are a huge part of him that he’s had to hide for his entire childhood for fear of being “othered” (or at worst killed).  If it is us, as you say, as humans that are “passing” him, maybe we need to examine why we feel the need to do that instead of just accepting him as he is without ignoring an extremely important side of him.

mayak46:

So, I just LOVED  Smallville season 11 issue 12, the last chapter in Guardian.   If you haven’t read it then turn away now.  Spoilers ahoy!

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