CLARK KENT and SUPERMAN!
by Elliot S! Maggin
Clark Kent is Superman's demon—I said that specifically in the
I've always thought of him that way. Superman is the real person and Clark is the construct.
Clark is a brilliant character and the creation of Superman. My take on Clark is a lot like what
Chris Reeve said Clark was when he did the
first movie: "Either Superman is a consummate actor or Lois
Lane is an idiot. I don't want Lois to be an idiot, so Superman must be a good actor."
Everybody has a demon, everybody has a hobby, a habit that is part of his character and he can't break. Superman's is Clark. Mine is writing, Bill Clinton's is the saxophone, Jimmy Carter had to teach Sunday School, even when he was president. Luthor's demon is Superman. Superman needs Clark the way most of us need dreams.
I think the idea that Clark is the real character and Superman is a device is completely wrong-headed—because at some point, Clark has to die... and probably Superman won't, at least not permanently. I did a
prose story for Martin Greenberg, for one of the anthologies he's putting together, that explores the triangle among Clark, Lois and Superman, over the course of about 150 years. Lois lives to be about 125 in my continuity and Luthor lives another 50. Superman tells the story hundreds of years in the future, as a great grey eminence flying through space, looking for a world to live in. It's the Superman/Lois love story... and Clark is an addendum to it. I think that's the way it is. Clark is there to make Superman accessible. Not the other way around.