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Four Questions about Superman

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1. In the George Reeves television show intro, when the people shout, “Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s Superman!”, what are those first two people so excited about? There’s a bird in the sky? Don’t you live in a city? Aren’t their pigeons everywhere? And same with the plane, too. Is this the first time you’ve seen a flying machine? Why do you feel the need to jump and scream for everyone else’s attention. And how can one flying man be confused for both a one-foot bird and a several ton plane?!

"That's something, Bob! I don't know what, but I'm excited about it!"

2. Okay, I accept that, somehow, no one is able to recognize Superman with his Clark Kent glasses on. Yeah, people do look a lot different without their glasses. But how does Clark Kent explain those Superman-sized muscles? Come on, it looks like he works out more than the guys on the Jersey Shore. You don’t get that kind of body mass just by carrying your Steno pad around.

I had the same question about Russell Crowe in "A Beautiful Mind."

3. Given Superman’s reputation as the “ultimate boyscout,” how does he go to work at the Planet for eight hours a day, slugging through his assignments, when he can hear the voices of people crying out to be saved? Or is only Louis Lane worthy enough of a personal rescue? Does Superman not recognize his obligation to the starving people of the world? Couldn’t he spend his days transporting food, saving millions more lives than he does blocking Lex Luther’s latest real estate scam?

Superman obviously has a very good marketing department. That's certainly not in question.

4.  Does he license his identity for merchandising purposes? And if he doesn’t, does he actively prevent its use? Is he worried about the shoddy manufacturing in unofficial action figures that have lead to several cases of infant choking? To what extent should Superman be concerned about the use of his image? Should there be comic books depicting his exploits? Would they tell fictional stories, or merely summarize his actual adventures?

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Written by Greg Karber

February 25, 2010 at 4:20 am

One Response

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  1. Citizens of the Internet, please give me answers!

    Greg Karber

    February 26, 2010 at 12:20 am


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