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I worship at the television altar
tariel22
tariel22
Smallville 9x19 - Charade
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cbrownjc From: cbrownjc Date: April 27th, 2010 06:29 pm (UTC) (Link)

Triangle for Two - Part II

And while I will fully admit the show could have gone much more into the duality issue this season than it did (because lord knows, we didn't need another episode with Oliver fighting against his dark side or whatever) it isn't something that just came up for the first time in this episode. It was also part of what was going on with Clark and Zod's Butch & Sundance adventure last week. Notice how Clark remained dressed in his "Blur" attire during that whole Bromance adventure with Zod.

Someone more articulate than me said somewhere else that one of the overall legacies of Smallville to the Superman mythos will be that it rejected the idea that only one person - Clark or Superman - is the "real" person. Both sides are equally real and equally important, which is what this version of the triangle confirmed. But again, that comes from understanding what the meta-commentary of the triangle for two is about and what it says about this issue over the decades.
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 28th, 2010 04:39 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Triangle for Two - Part II

Beautifully stated and I agree with everything that you said.

You know what's funny? I know that that line from "Lois and Clark" about Clark being "who I am" and Superman "just what I can do" is pretty famous. But, personally, I always thought that was an over simplification even for THAT show. When you go back and watch the interactions between Superman and Lois, particularly in the first season, it seems fairly clear that Clark was showing a different but equally REAL side of himself to Lois when he interacted with her as Superman. A side of himself that he did not show her as Clark. In the 3rd season episode, "Ultrawoman," Clark felt like a shell of his former self after his powers were transferred to Lois. He missed being out there saving people and he felt empty without his job as Superman. Then I think about the way "Superman" became a part of their relationship. In the later seasons, Clark's duty to the world as Superman was an equal player in their marriage. I think the line worked for the show in the sense that Lnc was so heavily based on the Bryne revamp. It was supposed to be such a direct contrast to the Silver Age in making Clark the real person. But to me, that famous line isn't exactly accurate even when you are talking about that version of the myth.

The crazy thing is that Smallville, even with all the changes that it has made to the mythos, is actually much closer to where the modern comics have taken us. Superman is very much a part of Clark's identity in the modern comics and consequently his duty as Superman and his passion for Lois are very connected.

I personally love what Smallville has said about Clark's identity. It's so much more complex than what we got on LnC or the Superman films. It's the closest we've gotten to bringing Superman off the pages of the modern comics.

But I think you hit the nail on the head that everyone is going to look at this based on their perceptions of what the triangle is about and who the real person is. (And I'm not talking about this thread per se because I think most people on here have knowledge about the Superman canon and understand the changes that have been made over the years.) Some Superman fans adore the Triangle for 2. I've seen some fans say that they just love it in every incarnation no matter how it plays out...no matter who the "real" person is. Then I've seen other Superman fans say that they are really never a fan of it. So this is an issue that people seem to have strong opinions about depending on who you ask.

This is kind of random, but I remember getting into a debate with Derek over at the ShoE boards a few months back because he stated that Lois was supposed to be falling in love with Superman and not Clark. And I was like...ummm...not in the modern canon she doesn't. He was talking about the Silver Age. So we started talking and I was trying to remind him exactly what you said...that Lois falls in love with the "real" person. So, yes, that's where he was coming from with this perceptions about the Silver Age. But I reminded him that Lois falling in love with Superman and finding Clark unattractive is not the party line when it comes to Superman canon. Depending on what age and version you are talking about...you are going to get a different answer. But Smallville has thrown this all on its head by introducing us to such a COMPLEX Clark Kent who doesn't just have one REAL persona. His true persona is a combination of both his human and his alien side. He is the farmboy, the reporter, the alien, the superhero. They are all real.

Thanks for your insightful response!

MJ
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