Everyone idolizes Superman. He’s the world’s favorite all-American superhero, and has been the poster boy for heroism and morality since his debut in 1933. And quite rightly – he’s frickin’ awesome. But behind the incredible powers and the near-invincibility, there’s another side to Superman that is too often forgotten: our more humble bespectacled friend, Clark Kent. Although he might not don the famous Superman suit and crimson cape, Clark is every bit as super. And he’s done a lot in his time, proving to be a massive success even without putting on a cape.
And so we think it’s time we show some love for our favourite humble Daily Planet reporter, Clark Kent. And after digging through his history, we’ve found some moments he’d certainly be proud of. We like to think of it as Clark Kent’s Scrapbook of Memories, but you can call it Clark Kent’s 15 Greatest Moments.
15. His first kiss with Lois Lane
Who would have known when this pair first locked lips the a legacy they would create? It’s also worth bearing in mind that there was a time when the pair didn’t get on so great, and so their first kiss was a real turning point. Clark was lucky enough to experience a first kiss with Lois Lane twice. He got his first kiss with her as Superman, and his first kiss with her as Clark Kent.
The first ever kiss between the pair came in a comic strip, and unfortunately was between Lois Lane and Superman. The kiss wasn’t even shown in the panels, though – one panel they said they were about to kiss, and in the next they were talking about how great their kiss was. But Clark Kent didn’t have to wait much longer to get his turn with Lois, and his even made it into the panel. Take that, Superman.
14. His first time flying on Earth
Man of Steel was a great Superman film, but let’s not forget it was also a great Clark Kent film. It did a great job of showing the two sides of the man, as well as showing how Clark became Superman. And it gave us the chance to see some big life moments through Clark Kent’s eyes. One of these was the first time Clark flew on Earth.
He was, at this point, dressed as Superman, but it was really around the time that Superman and Clark started dividing into two separate identities as he was only just realizing the full extent of his powers. This was Superman’s origin story and so a big turning point in Clark’s life, and this is the moment he began to understand the full extent of Superman – not to mention he was realizing he could fly. Imagine the freedom and sensation of experiencing that for the first time – a whole world of possibilities opening up before you. So it wasn’t really just a Superman origin story – in a way it was a Clark Kent origin story too.
13. When he bench pressed the earth’s weight for five days
One of the powers Superman is most famous for is his super strength. But the word “super” might not be enough to describe just how strong he is, as this workout of Clark’s will show you. In a rare moment of showing off and pushing himself, Clark manages to bench press the weight of the entire Earth for five days straight. And what’s even crazier is that he wanted to do something heavier after all that.
Clark managed to do this with a piece of advanced technology that was able to replicate extremely heavy weights – but even that machine wasn’t able to go above the weight of the Earth. But it’s not just the weight that’s impressive; let’s not forget he did it for five whole days. And that’s without stopping, not even resting and having a quick protein shake. The fact that he could even last that long shows some incredible endurance and stamina too.
12. Being impersonated by JFK
It would be considered an honour for any American citizen to get the chance to meet with the president. What would make you more proud than that? Well, meeting a whole bunch of them. And that is a privilege that Clark Kent has been one of the few to have.
The long list of presidents he has met over the years include some that he’s met by time travel such as George Washington, some fictional presidents that he’s met, and most impressively a whole list of real presidents he’s met whilst they were in office. This list includes the likes of Barrack Obama, Ronald Reagan, and J.F. Kennedy. Although Kennedy’s feature in the comic wasn’t released until shortly after his assassination, he wore a mask and impersonated Clark Kent in an issue so that Clark and Superman could appear on TV at the same time.
11. Marrying Lois Lane
There’s no denying that Clark and Lois make a great match. They’re one of the most famous fictional couples of all time. Over the years, Clark and Lois have had several weddings, both in comic books and on TV, and each time it creates a big hype and gets fans excited. For the comic book wedding, they made it a big event by getting all the Superman artists of past and present to work on it.
Surprisingly, they’re not usually very extravagant ceremonies. In fact, they’re very much normal. Although when you think about it, that makes a lot of sense for Clark’s character – he’s spent his whole life trying to be normal and blending in. He even wants to be normal, and so a humble church wedding with the woman he loves is definitely good enough for him. If there first kiss was the moment they stared a legacy, then their wedding was the moment they solidified it. Here’s to a long and happy marriage.
10. Being voted “Most Likely to be drafted into the NFL”
Smallville was a hugely popular TV series among Superman fans. It allowed us to see a whole action-packed adolescence for Clark, as he becomes super and learns to fight for justice. It’s allowed us see Clark, and his alter ego Superman too, grow up into the man and icon we so often see in the movies and comics. It also got us to see some landmark moments for Clark that we don’t always get to see – like him going to prom.
But one moment that stands out, and shows how much promise Clark had from a young age, is being voted “Most Likely to be drafted into the NFL” on his senior year Who’s Who list. Not only does it show how talented he was at sports, but it shows him as being quite popular too, since he got the votes for it. And seeing these small “human” moments, makes Clark all the more relatable and makes us even more fond of him.
9. Winning two Putlitzer prizes for his novels
As it turns out, Clark Kent’s journalist and writing careers aren’t just to get some money and throw people off the scent. In fact, Clark Kent is wildly successful writer who’s published two award-winning novels. And not just any awards, but two Pulitzer prizes which are one of the most prestigious awards in literature.
It’s revealed Clark won these awards in the post “Crisis on Infinite Earths” reboot of Superman, as well as being later confirmed in Kingdom Come. His two award-winning novels are called The Janus Contract and Under a Yellow Sun. And we even see glimpses here and there of his hard work as a writer. When writing one of his books, he even suffers a serious case of writer’s block and has to begin dodging his literary agent. That it was so hard to write must have made it all the more rewarding when the book won such a big prize.
8. When Clark Kent the lead in a Superman movie
Way to get meta on us, DC. Yes, the guy who is Superman was cast as Superman in a Superman movie . It seems that someone finally saw through Clark’s famous disguise of glasses, and …well, just glasses really. A movie producer saw Clark and thought he looked like Superman, and decided that was good enough reason to cast him in a Superman movie.
It takes place in Superman #196, when a movie about Superman is being produced in Metropolis, called The Super-Saga. At this point, Clark was also conveniently available for the movies schedule and apparently it was as simple as that to cast a lead actor. Despite the lead actress (who Clark fell in love with) dying of a mysterious disease, they managed to make a full cut of the movie. And with that, Clark Kent can add “movie star” to his resume – one of his greatest moments for sure.
7. Having children
The question of Lois Lane and Clark Kent having children is a hotly debated issue among Superman fans. However, on multiple occasions there have been comic strips that show the pair with children. Some were insights into the future, some were a new storyline, some were just brief moments, some weren’t canon… but when all put together, they can’t really be ignored.
A few examples include Lois telling Superman she’s pregnant in 1946 in the Superman Dailies, them having a son in 1949 in the Superman Dailies, three adopted children in various comics between 1949 and 1956, various children in different issues of Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane. And then let’s not forget the comic Son of Superman in 2000.
That really is just to name a few – we’ve found at least 63 examples of children belonging to Superman or Clark Kent (and a few pregnancies). So despite the controversy, given that it’s happened potentially so many times, we think one of Clark Kent’s greatest moments would be having kids with Lois Lane.
6. Defused a bomb by disco-dancing
Many of DC’s recent movies, like Batman v Superman, have been criticized for being too serious – a habit they seemingly picked up from the notoriously gritty Dark Knight trilogy. But with all the seriousness, it’s easy to forget the camp of the DC superheroes. And boy, does Superman have a campy side. It’s that campy side which produces what has to one of the best way Clark Kent’s ever gotten out of trouble – all without a cape or Superman costume in sight.
This happens in the story “Super-Disco Fever” from Superman Family #196, where a groovy Clark Kent manages to defuse a bomb using super-vibrations, while covering it all up with disco dancing. This all happens at a local discos “Dance Like John Travolta” competition, which Clark was attending as a judge. In order to save the day from a terrorist plot he spots, Clark has to step up and join the competition. Some great moves ensue, and the phrase “shake your booty” is even thrown around a bit.
5. Getting offered a promotion
Clark Kent has been a loyal employee at the Daily Planet for a long time. Other than the odd disappearing act for a quick Superman mission, he’s been a pretty good worker. Thus it’s only fair that at some point he was offered a promotion from the company, and we’re pleased to say we found an occasion where that happened – even if it was quite some time ago.
We think Clark would be very proud to be offered a promotion. What’s interesting is that the job he was being offered at the time belonged to his soon-to-be lover Lois Lane, and it sent her down a notch – back to doing the lovelorn column. We even got to see an angry Lois Lane gossiping about Clark to her colleagues. And so while it may not have been one of Lois’ greatest moments, it certainly is for Clark – even if it does get him in some trouble with the missus.
4. Fighting the nazis, the KKK, and terrorists
As much as Superman and Clark are alter egos, they’re still the same person. Even though this is Clark Kent’s list, we couldn’t deny Superman a single entry. But that’s because we feel that Clark himself would be proud of his alter ego when it comes to serving justice. There’ve been many times Superman has served up justice, but we think Clark would be proudest when it comes to defeating humanity’s biggest villains in the real world – not just the superhero world.
As Clark is the normal person side of Superman, the villains he would consider greatest wouldn’t be the intergalactic beings, but earthly threats like the Nazis, the KKK, and terrorists. And just as Superman has fought nearly very villain, he’s fought these bad guys too.
In fact, one of the moments that show just how influential Superman is in the real world was when he fought the KKK. An activist named Stetson Kennedy had been looking to expose the secrets of the KKK, and decided Superman was the perfect way to do it. In a 16 episode series, Superman fought the KKK, and along the way exposed all their secrets. Within two weeks of broadcast, their membership was down to zero.
3. Defeating Superman in a fight
In the Superman movies, unsurprisingly usually upstages his alter ego Clark Kent. After all, he’s usually the one doing all the fighting and defeating villains. But in Superman III in 1983, Clark finally got a moment in the spotlight to win in a fight. He had a fight with… er, Superman. Yeah, himself. If you’re confused, don’t worry. We are too.
It all starts with a low Superman getting drunk in a bar, pouring himself shots. He then causes trouble, smashing things up by flicking nuts around. Soon enough, Superman stumbles into some kind of quiet junk yard area and comes across…well Clark Kent. The two start to fight it out and after taking a beating for a while, Clark manages to win the fight when he strangles Superman. Then he stands up, and opens his shirt to reveal… the Superman costume. And heroic music plays as Clark turns back into Superman and flies away. What can we say? The ’80s were a different time.
2. Becoming a successful DJ
It seems that glamorous, successful careers come fairly naturally to Clark. Not only has he been a successful journalist, novel writer, movie star, and secretly one of the world’s greatest heroes, he’s also had time to try his hands at DJing. And of course, he was a success at that too. Geez, some guys really do have all the talent, huh?
Clark Kent, known by his DJ name “Clark the K”, puts on a British accent to start a career as a British disk jockey. With a monocle as his new disguise, he lands himself a DJ job in a tiny British town called Wapshire after using his powers to cheat his way into the gig.
What’s probably the most frustrating thing about this story is that since it’s a comic, we never get to hear what his DJing sounds like. And even worse, we never get to hear him trying to do a British accent. We just can’t wait until he drops his next mix tape. Fire up those decks, Clark the K.
1. Being on the cover of Time magazine
Given that Clark is a dedicated journalist, we think he’d be exceptionally proud to have graced the cover of one the world’s most esteemed magazines. And yes, you could argue it’s Superman on the cover, but given that he’s still got the glasses on and is still ripping his shirt off, he’s technically still Clark transforming into Superman. It’s a nice way of having both Clark Kent and Superman on the cover in that kind of half-and-half transformation stage. We like to think that, given his journalistic background, Clark would want to take some credit for this moment – and he’d certainly be proud of himself and his super hero alter ego.
Superman graced the cover of Time back in 1988 in celebration of the 50th anniversary of his first appearance. It just goes to show the immense cultural impact that the character – both Clark and Supey – have had on the world, and how timeless they are. And let’s face it, Superman would be nothing without his slightly nerdier counterpart.
What’s your favorite Clark Kent moment? Share in the comments!