Superman question (possible open spoilers)

I’ve just begun watching Smallville on HDNet. It’s the third episode of the second season now, and although some of my questions have been answered already, one especially lingers. Did Lex Luthor ever know that Clark Kent was Superman? If so, when did he come to hate Clark? What happened between them? If not, why didn’t Superman just don his glasses and say, “Lex, it’s me, Clark.”? Wouldn’t that have made a difference to Lex?

…do you mean in comic continuity or tv show continuity?

And do you mean Golden Age or Silver Age? Pre-Crisis or post-Crisis?

Post-Crisis Luthor, at least immediately post-Crisis Luthor, was depicted as being incapable of believing that Superman would have a secret identity. He was presented with proof that Superman and Clark Kent are one and the same and flatly rejected it. No one with Superman’s power, his reasoning ran, would ever debase himself by pretending to be a mere mortal.

My recollection is that he wasn’t rejecting the notion of Superman having some secret identity (in fact, wasn’t this evidence the fruits of a concerted plan to discover Supes’ secred ID?) – he was rejecting the notion of Superman disguising himself as some mild-mannered working stiff.

I thought Liberal was asking his questions within the context of Smallville, not with regard to the non-Smallville continuities. I’d like to know too, actually.

In at least some continuities, Lex was performing a brilliant experiment (the creation of artificial life?), but his laboratory caught fire. Superboy rescued Lex from the fire, but in the process, accidentally destroyed the experiment, and incidentally also caused Lex to go bald. Lex never forgave Superboy for the destruction of his masterpiece, and I imagine that the hair loss served as a constant reminder to keep the greater loss fresh in his mind.

I don’t know if Smallville follows that notion, though.

Elliot S! Maggin wrote a few Silver Age - to immediately Pre-Crisis Superman stories. His Lex Luthor accepted that Superman had a secret identity, but thought this was trivial and not worth pursuing, as Lex himself maintained several alternate identities that he used and abandoned as needed.

(Disclaimer: I have never watched Smallville.)

Wow. I never knew there were multiple superverses. :wink: But yeah, I guess I’m interested in the Smallville one. I know how Lex got bald. It was from the meteor rocks. But I do wonder how they ever had a falling out. They had such a strong mutual respect.

(My suspicion was that it had something to do with Jonathon Kent, whom I can’t stand. What a stick-in-the-mud.)

Now you’ve made me go and dig up the comic. Jeez, my comics are in such a state of disarray. So, anyways, it’s in Superman #2 cover date Feb 1987. Luthor’s had one of his comely female assistants (he was only hiring comely female assistants in those days) feed all the information on Superman and Clark Kent into a computer to try to discover the connection between them. The computer spits out CLARK KENT IS SUPERMAN and the CFA exclaims “It’s so logical! So flawlessly logical!” To which Luthor responds “Logical? Is it? To a machine, perhaps. Yes…a soulless machine might make that deduction. But not Lex Luthor! I know better! I know that no man with the power of Superman would ever pretend to be a mere human! Such power is to be constantly exploited. Such power is to be USED!!” And then he fires the CFA, saying “I have no place in my organization for people who cannot see the obvious!”

As far as the Smallville TV show goes, I don’t think it’s fair to say they hate each other. Love-hate maybe, because Clark has all those secrets he never talks about, and Lex occasionally being the evil businessman. Everyone on the show basically loves Clark, in some form or other.

Whatever cements their arch-enemy type hate probably won’t happen until the show’s final season, whenever that is.

The short answer is that Lex gets progressively more devious and evil as the series progresses. And Clark still isn’t wearing glasses, which makes me wonder how Lex won’t figure out he’s Superman once he gets the cape and tights.

Well, one of the running gags on the show is how his friends consistently ignore the patently obvious.

“Clark! I was just on the phone with you and you were 30 miles away, how’d you get here in 30 seconds?”
“Oh I uh, just drove fast. Made all the lights.”
“Oh, hm you seem to do that a lot.”
“Ooh look, a shiny!”

I guess they just grow apart, then. Lex becomes increasingly cynical, possibly owing to a combination of his own father’s ethical corruption and Jonathan Kent’s irascible temper and four ton grudge. Also, I would imagine Clark’s friendship with Pete will develop much more, thus eating into his relationship with Lex. Is that the gist of it?

Your thread. You want spoiler tags or no spoiler tags?

Huh? Did I miss the season opener? I didn’t expect that until late September.

God no, I hate those things.

It may be on more than one network. As I say, I’m watching it on HDNet. It’s a new episode each day at 2:00 Eastern in high definition and wide screen.

I won’t say much, but no, Clark’s relationship with Pete is definitely not the reason Lex & Clark grow apart. But Pete’s going to get in trouble with the Luthor’s, which won’t help Clark’s opinion of them.

I don’t have anything to add, but to say that I too just recently discovered Smallville on HDNet. I never watched it originally, but my niece who moved in this summer loves it, so we started recording it for her. When it started over, she told me, and I’ve been trying to catch up (I’m still a week and a half behind HDNet though). I’m really liking it’s exploration of the mythos, though a few things bug me (I’ve already been told Lois shows up in smallville).

An interesting aspect of the relationship that’s been brought out on the show is that, even when they’re diametrically opposed, Clark and Lex each see themselves as the hero of the story, and each have some justification.

Extra marks for correct punctuation. :slight_smile: