As you know, Superman is wildly protective of his Clark Kent identity. What you might not know is exactly how far this alien nutbag is willing to go to protect that secret.
For example, above.
You see, in the '50s and '60s, no comic book writer had any idea how to create an adventure for a man who could do fucking everything. So dozens of Superman stories each month were just nosy people trying to expose him. It drove both Superman and his writers mad, and soon Clark Kent's disguise became the most important thing in the universe. Here are the truly insane things Superman is willing to do to protect it:
#6. He Lets Lois Suffer In Every Conceivable Way
Superman's need for a civilian identity is often justified by his need to protect the ones around him. Well, Lois Lane is kidnapped or dropped from the sky several times a day, and Jimmy Olsen has been exposed to more genetic-altering material than a Neutrogena cat dumpster. It's all Superman's fault. If he told the world he was Clark Kent, they couldn't possibly be in any more danger. Let's look at a 1964 Superman story.
This seems stupid as shit! Looks like a job for Superman!
While on a walk, Clark Kent and Lois run into an escaped mental patient who mistakes Clark for John Dillinger and threatens to shoot his girlfriend. And all that takes place in the first panel. Five seconds next to Clark Kent moves faster than 12 episodes of Boardwalk Empire.
Clark knows if he punches out the madman, Lois will think he's Superman. So he decides to go along with it, pretending to be John Dillinger and building him a bomb. But only until he can spot an opening, right? No. No, let me show you how Superman solves problems. He agrees to the escaped mental patient's deranged plan to test some old bulletproof vests. On Lois.
Superman, you're going to just watch her get shot!? Ha ha, fuck!
So "Clark" watches as Lois is sprayed with bullets by an unhinged man's fully automatic gun who miraculously hits her only in the vest. Which probably should have killed her anyway. And if you look carefully at her thought bubbles, none of it mattered, because she knew he was Superman the whole fucking time. So she almost died for nothing. Less than nothing if you consider how this secret isn't even worth keeping. Why is he doing all this, and who would believe it? It's like John Travolta telling the guy on his dick they're asleep and it's all a dream.
There goes Lois again. Jumping to her death. I'd bette- you know what? Enjoy the fall, dingbat.
Superman would almost rather watch his girlfriend die than trust her with a secret she already knows. And Lois knows that, too, so she uses suicide as a dare. Jumping out of a window is a normal part of their arguments, but Superman never gives her the satisfaction. He'll watch that mouthy harpy fall into a tomato truck before he admits she's right.
Hey, Superguy! You and the dame mind solvin' yer domestic crap somewheres that don't cost me five grand in tomatoes?
So we've seen Superman is willing to let his girlfriend get mentally or physically destroyed for the tiniest chance at hiding his identity. Would he behave the same if the stakes were a little more ... rapey?
"Did he say rapey? I don't like where this is going."
In what turned out to be a very ordinary day at the Daily Planet, a super villain burst in and paralyzed the staff with a stun-ray so he could destroy evidence. Clark Kent could have easily stopped him, but not without exposing that the stun-ray didn't work on him -- absolute proof he must be an outer-space super alien. So Clark sat back and watched. After all, what's the villain going to do, put his mouth all over his girlfriend? Come on, that'd be crazy. R-right?
"Ha. The joke's on him. My penis has been on those lips. What's space dong taste like, foul fiend!?"
He did nothing while his girlfriend was molested four feet away from him! And look at his face! He's into it! Is pointless, bad secret-keeping Superman's sexual fetish? That ... that would actually explain a lot. Though, as you're about to see, it does not explain enough.
#5. He Creates Impossible, Stupid Gadgets
Since 1949, Superman has maintained a fleet of super strong, flying robots that look exactly like him. So how does he still have any secret identity drama in his life? He could send them to do his newspaper job on a busy day. Or if being Clark Kent is so important, and it isn't, he could do that while the robots saved Earth. But these amazing miracles of robotics are used exclusively to trick nosy assholes. And here's the problem: The nosiest asshole of all, Lois Lane, knows all about them.
Lois might know the robots better than she thinks.
It creates an interesting problem. In order to maintain the "illusion" of Clark Kent and Superman being different people, he may have to prove he's in two places at once, and also that neither of him are robots. In one "adventure," Lois assembled a gigantic electromagnet in her office to expose Clark's lie. If he tried any of his robot-duplicate bullshit, the magnet would expose him. That's how she spent her workday. Lois Lane is the kind of woman who'd give herself a black eye and fill your computer with child pornography just to see if you'd cheat on her in prison.
So once again: If Superman is stunned or speechless when I surprise him with a giant magnet, it's proof the man he's carrying is him! Got it?
Here's how Superman handled it:
Ha! Little did they know, it was a balloon I was pretending to make talk wi- you know, I'm starting to think everyone is screwing with me.
Superman created an inflatable man with working motor functions and lips and used "super ventriloquism" to make it talk. Fine, I buy it. He built in one day what 17 different adult toy service representatives tell me is impossible. But wouldn't Lois find the balloon floating around later and piece it all together?
It exploded in the fiery hot depths of space!? Man, this guy thought of everything!
The writer of this story is why bellyflop contests no longer allow pregnant entrants. However, that's not why it bothers me so much. See, Superman has all these ridiculous abilities like super balloon-making and super ventriloquism, but he also has super senses. He heard the terrified screams of every person who died. And given the world they lived in, some of them were specifically screaming, "Why is Superman letting me die!?" He heard it all ... while he fucked around gluing eyelashes to a sex doll so Lois Lane's dingy magnet scheme would fizzle. I feel like I'm not even speaking English when I try to describe it.
Look, I hate to put it like this, but literally thousands of people would still be alive
if you could mind your business, you abominable human cow.
Superman has been through this nonsense so much, he can make a Superman out of anything. In a story called "The Girl Cops Of Metropolis," three sassy girl cops discovered his secret. They hound him for weeks before he finally locks himself in jail and makes a Clark Kent out of a prison blanket while one of them does her makeup. That's not some ironic sexism joke -- it's exactly what happened. The women in Superman's world are just embarrassing things used to hold up tampons while they clumsily try to ruin him.
Oh, curse my girl cop vanity! I've let another prisoner escape!
Lois Lane has demonstrated -- for decades -- that she can't recognize Superman if he changes his clothes. In one "exciting tale," she suspected he worked at the Daily Planet, so she planned a corporate retreat at the beach. She knew the Man Of Steel would not be able to hide his ripped physique in shirtless circumstances. So how could Superman get out of this one? Stay in the office? Wear a shirt? Think dumber: He buried himself in the sand next to a fake rubber arm he had stashed for just such an occasion.
What? I honestly think the readers would understand if Superman just threw the awful hag into space instead of fussing with all this crap.
The truly amazing part of that story is that Lois caught Clark in the act of changing into Superman three times in that story and only thought he was making fun of her. The man spends thousands of hours preparing robots, dolls, and loose limbs to trick this one specific woman and finds out she's such an idiot he could have been changing in front of her the whole time? There's a solid chance if you pretended to throw a tennis ball, Lois Lane would run out the window and solve 80 percent of Metropolis' problems when she landed.
Ha ha, you sure have, buddy. All worth it.
In case I haven't, I want to be clear before we move on with this Superman article: Lois Lane is the unimaginable worst. She never learns, has no sense of consequence, and should be dead a million times over. If she were a real person, she'd be going on her 37th date with Bill Cosby right now.
hrrrk ... yooou ... biiiiiiiiiiiitch ...