Even if this movie didn’t present it this way, things like this are why I’ll always believe Clark Kent is the man and Superman is the disguise. Despite the alien powers, he’s just so human.
This is a way bigger topic that is worthy of a much longer response but…I don’t think it’s one or the other. I think he’s both. I think there have been times in history where depending on the creative bias in charge of the character he has swung more one way or the other. But I think the most significant and best understanding of him is that he’s both all the time.
The dual identity is vital to Superman. It’s part of why Lois is unique and vital from all the other women in his life. When the story understands her, he loves her as both Clark and Superman and she loves him as both Superman and Clark.
That’s why it was weird to me when people in Smallville fandom were getting upset about Lois having a strong connection to Clark’s hero persona. Her heart still belonged to Clark Kent. But she was drawn to his hero persona without knowing it was him. And she should be. It’s an equal part of him. Some people in fandom got nervous that Lois seemed to have feelings for Superman and Clark at the same time and it’s like…guys….you know they are the same person, right? :)
Well said! What I said was just a little blurb about my feelings, but I definitely could have clarified.
I don’t think Superman and Clark are at all mutually exclusive. They are both a reflection of the man as a whole. I think of the “real” man as a happy middle-ground, a man more comfortable in plaid shirts and jeans than he would be in brightly colored spandex, but who also does the dishes at super-speed and will gladly fly off at a moment’s notice to help anyone in need. A man who is confident in all aspects of his life, the “regular” and the “super.”
What I mean by him being Clark is that he really is that sweet-hearted mild-mannered farm boy that the Kents raised. He really is an intelligent, talented (though not as talented as Lois) reporter. Later on, he really is a man in love, a fiancee, a husband. And he really is Super, too. But I believe Superman was created by Clark because of the values instilled in him by the Kents, because of his big heart and his unconditional love of people. And yes, the powers are a big part of who he is, but they aren’t Who He Is.
It’s an artist’s right, of course, but I don’t jive with the things I see that show him practically forsaking that when he becomes Superman, and playing up a bumbling, clumsy reporter only when he has nothing else to do to with his time. When watching things like Superman Returns I have to wonder why Clark is even around at all, when Superman is obviously who he sees himself as and he occasionally puts on glasses and fumbles around the newsroom for… shits and giggles, I guess?
Anyway, those are mostly my feelings on the subject. Everyone is allowed to see the character differently, but this is my idea of who he is.