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Superman's Secret Identity - Why Can't Anyone Recognize Clark Kent is Superman?

Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Look up in the sky. It's a bird. It's a plane.  It's Superman. Yes, it's Superman strange visitor from another planet who came to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men. Superman, who can change the course of mighty rivers, bend steel in his bare hands, and who disguised as Clark Kent, mild mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper, fights for truth, justice, and the American way.  I know we already got all that, but why is it that Superman's mild mannered identity as Clark Kent has fooled everyone including those who work with him everyday like Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen for so long? Well, Lois is privy to that info now as his wife, but she never guessed decade after decade. Why?
Adventures of Superman Intro
How dumb was she? Well that's exactly what the evil villain from the future, Tempus wanted to know in the Lois and Clark TV series. Clip to the right, but here's how the dialogue went.

Lois: If you wanna kill Superman, I don't know why you're going to Smallville or 1966.
Tempus: She doesn't know yet. Oh, this is good. This is really good. Um, Lois, did you know that, in the future, you're revered at the same level as Superman? Why there are books about you, statues, an interactive game. You're even a breakfast cereal.
Lois: Really?
Tempus: Yes. But, as much as everybody loves you, there is one question that keeps coming up: "How dumb was she?"


Tempus mocking Lois Lane

Tempus: Here, I'll show you what I mean. Look (puts glasses on), I'm Clark Kent. (Takes glasses off) No, I'm Superman. (Puts glasses on) Mild-mannered reporter. (Takes glasses off) Superhero! Hello! Duh! Clark Kent is Superman. Ha, ha, ha. Well, that was worth the whole trip. To actually meet the most galactically stupid woman who ever lived.


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Sometimes it takes a villain to say what we have always thought in our subconscious mind, but were too goodie goodie to say so out loud.

On the CW series Smallville Clark who hasn't taken on the mantle of Superman yet, has only wore glasses once or twice in almost a decade of episodes. Now how in the world is Lois and the gang supposed to be suddenly duped the minute he shows up as Superman in the future with no glasses? Will Clark then start to wear glasses in his secret identity and Lois will somehow forget what Clark looks like without them?

Even Superman wondered how he's gotten away with this bit for so long way back in Superman #330 1978. He changes his voice a bit, slumps, and puts on the glasses.  As simple as it sounds somehow it's always worked.



In Superman #330 Superman ponders how ordinary people are so easily recognized when they wear glasses.

So what's the deal? Again from that same issue Superman notices something very strange. An artist draws Clark more frail in appearance than he actually appears while at the same time drawing Superman perfectly accurate.

The last two pages explains it all, and perhaps this may be the only time a Superman writer attempted to explain how Superman's identity fools everyone so easily. Superman by using glass from his rocket ship for his glasses, combined with his natural ability to hypnotize others,  was able to push his attempt at a disguise to the subconscious mind of those around him. Maybe be a little far fetched, but not as much as someone simply being fooled by a pair of glasses. This could be a way for television's Smallville to explain how Clark can fool Lois into believing he's not Superman with a simple pair of glasses in the future.


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Clark Kent mockingly confesses to Lois Lane he's Superman on Superman the Animated Series..

Tom Welling with glasses in a classic Clark Kent reporter look on Smallville.

 

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