DCAU #287: Clark Kent Is Superman and I Can Prove It!

IN THIS ONE... Clark's high school nemesis figures out his secret.

CREDITS: Written by Mark Millar; art by Neil Vokes and Terry Austin.

REVIEW: Secret identity dilemmas were done frequently in the Silver Age, and the DCAU Superman comics certainly have a strong Silver Age vibe, at least to their story ideas, but the modern twist on it can't prevent an outrageous Silver Age resolution. Rubber masks? Clark posing as Lex at a LexCorp party so Luthor can be "Superman", and Bruce Wayne posing as Clark? And how did they know whistle-blower Brad Wilson was going to be there, and try to force Superman's hand by falling off a building? It doesn't stand up to even the most shallow scrutiny.

Everything leading up to that moment is pretty good, however. Brad uses different light and sound frequencies to screw with Clark Kent, making him think his secret is exposed while everyone around him is actually oblivious. Clark playing innocent when old school bully Brad breaks into his apartment. How he has a ticket stub for a Superman fancy dress costume in his wallet for just such an eventuality (hm, did Brad check the date on that?). Superman flying through sewers to avoid being followed. But as you can see, there are logic problems even here.

The final page, an illustrated letter from Brad to Clark, apologizing and thanking him for the job he next gets at Waynetech might be a nice moment and an expression of Superman's forgiveness, or it might be cheesy and out of character for an angry ex-jock turned criminal. I'm not sure I know.
IN THE MAINSTREAM COMICS: Brad Wilson is a stand-in for Kenny Braverman/Conduit who would serve the same role after Zero Hour. Though Kenny DID appear in the animated series' New Kids in Town, Brad is the jock who pestered Clark a few issues ago in "Yesterday's Man of Tomorrow".

REREADABILITY: Medium - A retro story with a better set-up than resolution.


Toby'c said...

I remember reading this one in the early 2000s, at some point after I first saw the Christopher Reeve movies - I also remember recognising Brad from the first and third movie, which I guess may be where he originated from? In any case, he certainly predates Kenny.

Siskoid said...

Gosh you're right! Brad was played by Brad Flock in Superman: The Movie and by Gavan O'Herlihy in Superman III.

Delta said...

".. a better set-up than resolution."

This would be my summary of Millar's entire oeuvre.

Siskoid said...

Dude does seem to be all premise sometimes.


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