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Professor

Please Settle An Arguement

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Okay, simple request here. An argument has raged in my house for an hour now. So please help me settle this.

Batman is the man and Bruce Wayne is the mask.

Clark Kent is the man and Superman is the mask.

Do you agree with these statements?

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Pretty much, yeah.

I'm surprised people still debate this, though I think it's awesome that you're in a house where such discussion can take place.

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I think that it heavily depends on which version you're talking about.

Clark Kent is most definitely the mask in the Christopher Reeve films, but Superman is the mask in most of the post-Crisis versions. Though, to be fair, there's not much of a mask with Superman; he's just a slightly shifted persona.

Ultimately, Bruce Wayne is only himself when he's alone in his cave, and Clark is only completely himself when he's alone at the farm in Smallville.

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Both of those are flawed arguments.

With Batman/Bruce: Batman is snarling, violent creature of the night, created to scare criminals. Bruce Wayne is an idiotic pretty boy. The real guy is the Detective, sitting in the Bat Cave, talking to Alfred, Dick and Tim.

With Superman: Superman is the uber-mensch, can't let anyone down ever. Clark is a weak, cowardly fool. The real guy is the farm boy that he is when he is with his parents or home with Lois.

EDIT: What Koete said.

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Koete said that Batman is himself when he's in the cave, and that Superman is himself on the farm. Which is also what I said.

EDIT: Oh, it was Knightwing. Fuck me.

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Everything Preston types I now imagine being spoken by John Wayne in True Grit. That last one is classic.

Edit: Coincidentally, Batman and Bruce Wayne meet when he pulls the cowl off of his head and sits infront of the view screen in the batcave.

I don't think there's a definitive Superman. I think he reverst to farmboy Clark when he's at the dinner table with the folks but I've seen a pretty deifnitive Superman wearing Clark's clothes at times.

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Edit: Coincidentally, Batman and Bruce Wayne meet when he pulls the cowl off of his head and sits infront of the view screen in the batcave.

Yeah, that's the exact image I think of when I try to imagine his "real" personality.

I don't think there's a definitive Superman. I think he reverst to farmboy Clark when he's at the dinner table with the folks but I've seen a pretty deifnitive Superman wearing Clark's clothes at times.

I agree with this.

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I think Clark Kent is the mask. He can't stop being Superman, so he hides it behind the Clark persona. They basically have the same personality and morals because he can't fake being anything different than what he is, a boy scout.

I don't think one could live without the other though.

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Like Preston says, in both cases the secret and hero identities are constructed personas developed to deal with the public. Bruce Wayne isn't really a shallow playboy, and Clark Kent isn't a bumbling klutz. Then again even Clark is skeptical about his Superman outfit at the start, and Batman's isolationism and mystique is something Bruce is deliberately cultivating. I think depending on the writer the characters can be blurred a great deal, especially Batman, but in the end the real personas are always present, the rest is just performance.

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