EDIT:// fixed a few typos.
And I grok the fullness of the Superman redesign totality!
There is absolutey no way that these two men could every possibly be the same character.
The mere suggestion is ludicrous.
Also, in all geekish seriousness, I should advise that Kal's disguise of Clark Kent is based not so much on blatant physical appearance, as it is on a projection of false character. Clark is portrayed as a bumbling doofus precisely so you never entertain the idea that The Man Of Steel and the somewhat timid City Beat reporter at the Daily Planet are one and the same.
Batsy pulls the same stunt with his Bruce Wayne shtick.
But, come on now. That build, those shoulders, that jawline; and the fact that Clark is never around when Supes is, and somehow always reappears right after the Big Red Boots flies away? Lois pondered this evidence at the tail end of the first Superman movie, but dismissed it only because she couldn't accept that the two totally opposite personalities presented, were in-fact the sole and very-same man.
You've summarized the basic argument that most people make when it comes to the concept of Clark Kent, and that argument is a completely logical one. The thing is, when you say that anyone could pick Clark out of a crowd and point out that he's Superman, you're not thinking realistically about the way humans observe what (or who) is around them. Think about it: if Brad Pitt sat next to you on the subway, would you really think to yourself "hey, that's Brad Pitt!"? Probably not. Chances are, you'd think "Hey, that guy vaguely resembles Brad Pitt...except he looks a lot older and shorter than Brad." I've actually witnessed this happen first hand. Now that Louisiana (where I live) has become a cost effective filming location, celebrities randomly pop up around here, and they walk around in relative anonymity. The only reason anyone knows it's them at all is because they publicly move here for six months and confirm their presence to local papers and such. Yes, beautiful, built people with squared jawlines are plastered on the front pages of tabloid magazines can indeed walk among regular people and go unnoticed, because the mystique that the camera adds is suddenly stripped away.
Now, so far I've only addressed celebrities...people who were born on the planet earth, who can't fly or shoot laser beams out of their eyes. People who we naturally assume live in houses and lead normal lives. The public perception of Superman is quite different. He has made it known that he is an alien. He came here in a space ship. He's given no indication to the public that he wears normal clothes or has a job. Do you really think that if Clark Kent (the corn-fed hayseed from Kansas who looks like he probably works out and was on the high school football team) sat down next to a regular person on the subway, that said person would connect him with alien who flies above Metropolis in red and blue pajamas, blasting lasers and throwing tanks? Probably not. They may think "hey, that guy looks a little like Superman!" Then, they would think "That can't be Superman...what would a guy who can fly be doing on a subway? Plus, Superman doesn't need glasses!"
It's funny that you're using the Donner movies to illustrate your point, because it's exactly that representation of Superman that I'm going against in this piece. As someone who was weaned on Post-Crisis Superman and Superman TAS, I can't stand to watch those old movies. Watching Superman act like a total dork, only to shed his costume and put on glasses to act like a bigger dork...it's just not right to me. In fact, the characterization of every character in those movies takes on a level of cartoonishness that borders on mockery. It's funny that the Bruce Timm cartoon was actually less cartoony than the movies, and that's the characterization that I tend to go with when I draw these characters. Clark isn't as stylish as my take, certainly, but he isn't a bumbling goofball either. He acts like a normal guy from a small town, and that's exactly how it should be.
Sorry about the long diatribe. Superman is my favorite superhero, and I get a bit passionate when discussing him.
First off, do not apologize about the length of your response. It was passionate and yet restrained and still quite civil. And for that you get props.
I recognize that we see this character from opposite ends of a somewhat seminal era in Superman's evolution.
I'll just comment that Superman has managed to make some terribly powerful enemies over his long career, and that there cannot be too much insulation between his Spandex activism and that other, relatively docile and domestic half of his existence. And so it is, that while a man with super-vision would not need glasses, it also helps that those who are observant and suspicious, would assert that a man who cannot open a bottle of beer also cannot catch bullets and missiles with his bare hands. Or that a man who trips over his words as much as he trips over his own feet, cannot stand in front of the world and deliver exactly the right speech for the occasion, with dignity and poise.
Kevin Smith's grudging acceptance of Clark's "disguise" should be addressed here.
Actually, one point of praise that Richard Donner gave to Chris Reeve's portrayal in Superman the Movie, is how Chris would hunch his shoulders and concave his torso to basically "shrink" his appearance while playing Clark, but then would allow himself to swell back out to his real measurements when in the blue tights. Watch the scene in Lois's apartment after the flying date, when Clark almost confesses his true identity, for the best example of this.
And the Superman is impeccable.
Extremely high accolades here.
But I meant you eliminated the red shorts and raised Superman's collar from the base of his neck to his throat and extended his sleeves over his wrists.
Your design has better Superman hair and the sunlight absorbing suit makes much more sense than what he's wearing in the comics right now.
In fifteen years his new suit will look dated, remember Superboy's costume in the '90s, the creators had the good sense to make the accessories a leather jacker and sunglasses, so he get rid of them as the times changed, but the costume itself was pretty sound.
Your suit is not bad at all, bud. The only problem I have with it is the S. I'm not against messing with the S, but I don't think I would go to that extent. Still, it's an overall nice retooling of the classic suit.
In the paragraph about his hair, the part about when he takes flight. Says is instead of his.