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Private Life of Clark Kent Private Life of Clark Kent
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Private Life of Clark Kent

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Fred Hembeck

Private Life of Clark Kent
Uploaded June 25, 2000

For all of the abuse that's been heaped on John Byrne over the years, there's still one continuity change he's implemented that I've been fully supportive of: he toughened up Clark Kent.

I never liked the wimp characterization that Clarkie had been stifled with over the years. That whole meek, self-effacing, sensitive-to-the-point-of-making-Phil-Donahue-look-like-Rambo, submissive fašade just seemed incredibly overblown, almost to the point of caricature. Yes, the point was to portray Clark as the complete opposite of his alter ego in every respect, but really - the degree to which he was portrayed as a wuss would only have brought attention to himself, which presumably would defeated the purpose of having a secret ID in the first place.

The goof in the second strip is Steve Lombard, a supporting cast character from the WGBS newsroom. (In the early seventies, Clark had been moved into the television anchor chair, leaving the Daily Planet and perennial damsel-in-distress Lois Lane behind.) Lombard was the sports commentator on the nightly broadcasts, and in homage to great stereotypes everywhere, was portrayed as a loud-mouthed, obnoxious, ex-jock jerk.

I'm sensing there were some leftover high school anxiety issues on the part of DC's writers and editors. That would also explain why most comic book heroines have busts the size of some small countries.

A 'Clark Bar', incidentally, is a "chocolatey coated peanut butter crunch" bar of some kind, presumably available where all fine candy bars are sold. Never had one myself, but I'm sure they're quite tasty.

- NP

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