Friday, 24 January 2014

And Also...Astronomy

Clark Kent is from the stars but so are we. Or rather, he is from a planet of one particular star whereas we are from them all. Our bodies are composed of elements that were generated by nuclear fusion inside stars which then exploded, spreading their matter through space where it formed a second generation of stars and planets that were able to produce life.

Clark spends hours looking through a telescope, thinking:

"Who am I? Where do I come from? How did I come to be on Earth...?"

- Alan Grant, Smallville: Curse (New York, 2004), p. 80.

In the unlikely event that any reader does not know that Clark is an extraterrestrial, this would have been a good way for them to find out. The passage continues:

"...where I have superstrength, and supervision, and superspeed?" (ibid.)

That phrase, I think, is less effective because it trades on readers' existing familiarity with super-powered superheroes. In Smallville, everything should be seen as if for the first time.

Superman comics used to avoid references to religion except maybe for the Kryptonian god, Rao. John Byrne said somewhere that Clark Kent had to have been brought up as either Methodist or Lutheran. In Superman For All Seasons, the Kents had a Pastor Lindquist (?) whereas Curse, with a more up-to-date take on the characters, says that Clark's foster parents are not church goers and that Clark has never before been in the Smallville church which, however, is efficiently incorporated into the plot of the novel.

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