History YMMV / Superman

2nd Dec '17 11:31:57 AM fruitstripegum
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** One comic from 1945 showed Lex Luthor creating an "atomic bomb" in order to instigate chaos in Metropolis. Months later, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed.
22nd Nov '17 9:08:10 AM MasterHero
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* VanillaProtagonist: It's an easy trap to make Superman fall into this, and a lot of his stories across the ages have made Superman a little too goody-two-shoes and overpowered to be relatable. And in many cases it is true, especially in the Post-Crisis era, that the likes of Lex Luthor as a VillainousUnderdog is maybe more interesting than Superman, and Batman who had the same problems in an earlier era was made interesting by making him a {{Foil}} to Superman. Other writers made Superman work by giving him a strong sense of loneliness out of his status as LastOfHisKind; a perennial confusion about his SecretIdentity and which one is really him, or if either of them are real, and in the case of the ''Franchise/{{DCAU}}'' his fears about growing so powerful that he would have permanent PowerIncontinence and hurt the people around him. A common complaint of Superman in the movies, is that despite the best efforts of the actors, the character is treated too much as a cultural icon and folk myth than a character.
21st Nov '17 11:27:05 AM JulianLapostat
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* VanillaProtagonist: It's an easy trap to make Superman fall into this, and a lot of his stories across the ages have made Superman a little too goody-two-shoes and overpowered to be relatable. And in many cases it is true, especially in the Post-Crisis era, that the likes of Lex Luthor as a VillainousUnderdog is maybe more interesting than Superman. Other writers made Superman work by giving him a strong sense of loneliness out of his status as LastOfHisKind; a perennial confusion about his SecretIdentity and which one is really him, or if either of them are real, and in the case of the ''Franchise/{{DCAU}}'' his fears about growing so powerful that he would have permanent PowerIncontinence and hurt the people around him. A common complaint of Superman in the movies, is that despite the best efforts of the actors, the character is treated too much as a cultural icon and folk myth than a character.

to:

* VanillaProtagonist: It's an easy trap to make Superman fall into this, and a lot of his stories across the ages have made Superman a little too goody-two-shoes and overpowered to be relatable. And in many cases it is true, especially in the Post-Crisis era, that the likes of Lex Luthor as a VillainousUnderdog is maybe more interesting than Superman, and Batman who had the same problems in an earlier era was made interesting by making him a {{Foil}} to Superman. Other writers made Superman work by giving him a strong sense of loneliness out of his status as LastOfHisKind; a perennial confusion about his SecretIdentity and which one is really him, or if either of them are real, and in the case of the ''Franchise/{{DCAU}}'' his fears about growing so powerful that he would have permanent PowerIncontinence and hurt the people around him. A common complaint of Superman in the movies, is that despite the best efforts of the actors, the character is treated too much as a cultural icon and folk myth than a character.
21st Nov '17 11:26:13 AM JulianLapostat
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** Superman fans vs. Franchise/{{Batman}} fans. The latter thinks Superman is an overpowered, boring one-dimensional goody two shoes and his fans are children with a lack of understanding of the world. The former thinks that Batman is an overrated, wangsty, ineffective man-child of a CreatorsPet and that most of his fans are biased, overly-cynical jackasses that don't actually read comics and think cynicism equals realism.

to:

** Superman fans vs. Franchise/{{Batman}} fans. The latter thinks Superman is an overpowered, boring one-dimensional goody two shoes and his fans are children with a lack of understanding of the world. The former thinks that Batman is an overrated, wangsty, ineffective man-child of a CreatorsPet and that most of his fans are biased, overly-cynical jackasses that don't actually read comics and think cynicism equals realism.realism, and whose combination of absurd wealth and CharlesAtlasSuperpower is no more or less realistic than a FlyingBrick who works a day job as a reporter.



** Superman first got many of the features of his WorldBuilding from adaptations: Kryptonite from the radio show, and most crucially the power of Flight from the ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheatricalCartoons''. Likewise, Creator/ChristopherReeve can be credited for making many people buy the ClarkKentDisguise as more than TheArtifact and codified the idea that Superman is a MasterActor, making many {{Handwave}} in the SilverAge (such as Superman apparently using subtle Kryptonian hypnosis and whatnot) needless. It was made part of RetCannon like all of the other elements mentioned here, including Creator/GrantMorrison's ''ComicBook/AllStarSuperman''.

to:

** Superman first got many of the features of his WorldBuilding from adaptations: Kryptonite from the radio show, and most crucially the power of Flight from the ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheatricalCartoons''. Likewise, Creator/ChristopherReeve can be credited for making many people buy the ClarkKentDisguise Clark Kent disguise as more than TheArtifact and codified the idea that Superman is a MasterActor, making many {{Handwave}} in the SilverAge Silver Age (such as Superman apparently using subtle Kryptonian hypnosis and whatnot) needless. It was made part of RetCannon absorbed into the mainstream like all of the other elements mentioned here, including Creator/GrantMorrison's ''ComicBook/AllStarSuperman''.


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** Harvey Kurtzmann can be credited for introducing one of the most common Superman tropes, i.e. the LetsYouAndHimFight between Superman and Captain Marvel[=/=]Shazam. It was his landmark ''Magazine/{{MAD}}'' parody "Superduperman" that first had the title character fight against Captain Marbles in a crowded populated city, as a riff on their real-life legal rivalry. Once Billy Batson became DC, this showed up in real continuity, albeit with all kinds of flimsy justifications, leading to such stories as ''ComicBook/KingdomCome'', ''Public Enemies'', the DCAU episode "Clash" and even SupermanSubstitute like ''ComicBook/{{Miracleman}}''.


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* VanillaProtagonist: It's an easy trap to make Superman fall into this, and a lot of his stories across the ages have made Superman a little too goody-two-shoes and overpowered to be relatable. And in many cases it is true, especially in the Post-Crisis era, that the likes of Lex Luthor as a VillainousUnderdog is maybe more interesting than Superman. Other writers made Superman work by giving him a strong sense of loneliness out of his status as LastOfHisKind; a perennial confusion about his SecretIdentity and which one is really him, or if either of them are real, and in the case of the ''Franchise/{{DCAU}}'' his fears about growing so powerful that he would have permanent PowerIncontinence and hurt the people around him. A common complaint of Superman in the movies, is that despite the best efforts of the actors, the character is treated too much as a cultural icon and folk myth than a character.
21st Nov '17 11:11:42 AM JulianLapostat
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* UnpopularPopularCharacter: Mr. Mxyzptlk. In-universe most of the cast thinks he's an annoying little snit. Out-of-universe he's one of Superman's most endearing and well-known enemies, albeit with a concept and power-skill that is so innately tied to the comics medium that it makes him hard (the showrunners of ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries'' stated they considered their take on Mxy to be one of their best episodes but it was also so hard to write and animate that they couldn't come up with enough plots in the production time they had). Thanks to Creator/AlanMoore, he is the terrifying villain of one of Superman's greatest stories, an appearance that in and of itself puts him in the rank of Superman's greatest enemies.

to:

* UnpopularPopularCharacter: Mr. Mxyzptlk. In-universe most of the cast thinks he's an annoying little snit. Out-of-universe he's one of Superman's most endearing and well-known enemies, albeit with a concept and power-skill that is so innately tied to the comics medium that it makes him hard to adapt (the showrunners of ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries'' stated they considered their take on Mxy to be one of their best episodes but it was also so hard to write and animate that they couldn't come up with enough plots in the production time they had). Thanks to Creator/AlanMoore, he is the terrifying villain of one of Superman's greatest stories, an appearance that in and of itself puts him in the rank of Superman's greatest enemies.
21st Nov '17 11:09:14 AM JulianLapostat
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* SacredCow: Superman himself, as the originator of the superhero genre and one of the world's biggest icons of fiction. While some people dismiss him as an unrelatable InvincibleHero, many of his fans strongly believe that he's a universally-loved character, and will adamantly defend him from outright criticism. Some have noted that this making of Superman as a sacred cow, either as a folk hero, or as a quasi-religious allegory to a Jesus and/or Moses, has come at the detriment of making him a rounded relatable character. It's been noted that a major problem with Superman's Live-Action films and its constant [[LostInImitation repetition of elements]] from Creator/RichardDonner's films is that the movies treat Superman less as a character and more as a cultural icon and folk hero, and it often leads to Superman being the least interesting and complex character in his own movies.

to:

* SacredCow: Superman himself, as the originator of the superhero genre and one of the world's biggest icons of fiction. While some people dismiss him as an unrelatable InvincibleHero, many of his fans strongly believe that he's a universally-loved character, and will adamantly defend him from outright criticism. Some have noted that this making of Superman as a sacred cow, either as a folk hero, or as a quasi-religious allegory to a Jesus and/or Moses, has come at the detriment of making him a rounded relatable character. It's been noted that a major problem with Superman's Live-Action films and its constant [[LostInImitation repetition of elements]] from Creator/RichardDonner's films is that the movies treat Superman less as a character and more as a cultural icon and folk hero, and it often leads to Superman being the least interesting and complex character VanillaProtagonist in his own movies.



* UnpopularPopularCharacter: Mr. Mxyzptlk. In-universe most of the cast thinks he's an annoying little snit. Out-of-universe he's one of Superman's most endearing and well-known enemies, and the terrifying villain of one of Superman's greatest stories.

to:

* UnpopularPopularCharacter: Mr. Mxyzptlk. In-universe most of the cast thinks he's an annoying little snit. Out-of-universe he's one of Superman's most endearing and well-known enemies, albeit with a concept and power-skill that is so innately tied to the comics medium that it makes him hard (the showrunners of ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries'' stated they considered their take on Mxy to be one of their best episodes but it was also so hard to write and animate that they couldn't come up with enough plots in the production time they had). Thanks to Creator/AlanMoore, he is the terrifying villain of one of Superman's greatest stories. stories, an appearance that in and of itself puts him in the rank of Superman's greatest enemies.
21st Nov '17 11:05:36 AM JulianLapostat
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* MyRealDaddy: Many of DC's own staff will point to Mort Weisinger as being this for Superman, as it was his direction as editor that expanded Superman beyond being a guy who could lift cars, jump high, and run fast into the super-powerful FlyingBrick fighting other evil super-powerful aliens, as well as turning Lex Luthor into the implausibly intelligent MadScientist.

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* MyRealDaddy: Siegel and Shuster did create him, and it's important for legal, and ethical reasons, given the rights' issues that this should be emphasized. Having said that:
** Superman first got many of the features of his WorldBuilding from adaptations: Kryptonite from the radio show, and most crucially the power of Flight from the ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheatricalCartoons''. Likewise, Creator/ChristopherReeve can be credited for making many people buy the ClarkKentDisguise as more than TheArtifact and codified the idea that Superman is a MasterActor, making many {{Handwave}} in the SilverAge (such as Superman apparently using subtle Kryptonian hypnosis and whatnot) needless. It was made part of RetCannon like all of the other elements mentioned here, including Creator/GrantMorrison's ''ComicBook/AllStarSuperman''.
**
Many of DC's own staff will point to Mort Weisinger as being this for Superman, as it was his direction as editor that expanded Superman beyond being a guy who could lift cars, jump high, and run fast into the super-powerful FlyingBrick fighting other evil super-powerful aliens, as well as turning Lex Luthor into the implausibly intelligent MadScientist.MadScientist. Weisinger as editor also saw to expand on the Kryptonian WorldBuilding (Brainiac and the City of Kandor) and introduce the powerful sense of loss and longing for his lost world to Superman's stories which bridged the Silver and Bronze Age.
** As many observers point out, ''ComicBook/{{Shazam}}'', [[IAmNotShazam the superhero formerly known as Captain Marvel]], while famously painted in a legal battle as a copy of Superman and an infringement of him, was more or less bought and co-opted into Superman's legal world, with many of Superman's cast, altered to fit that of his competitor:
-->''While it would take them a while to finally acquire [[ComicBook/{{Shazam}} Captain Marvel]], they got something more important out of it than the character. They got Otto Binder, the writer of those classic Captain Marvel Adventures stories, who would go on to be the definitive Franchise/{{Superman}} writer of the ’50s, and certainly one of the most influential of all time. His tenure at DC saw the creation of some of the most popular elements of Superman, the stuff that’s still in use today. Supergirl, Kandor, Bizarro, the Legion, the concept of the out-of-continuity “imaginary story,” — those are Binder stories. He didn’t create Jimmy Olsen (Jimmy, the Harley Quinn of his day, was an import from the radio show), but he certainly defined his character and with it, the feel of the Silver Age. And he did it by just continuing the style he and CC Beck had been honing on CMA...The irony of DC suing Captain Marvel [[LostInImitation because he was too similar to Superman, and then hiring a writer to make Superman more like Captain Marvel is staggering]].''
-->-- [[http://comicsalliance.com/dc-comics-marvel-golden-age-silver-age-comics-history/ Ask Chris #172: 'The Problem']]



* SacredCow: Superman himself, as the originator of the superhero genre and one of the world's biggest icons of fiction. While some people dismiss him as an unrelatable InvincibleHero, many of his fans strongly believe that he's a universally-loved character, and will adamantly defend him from outright criticism.
* ShipToShipCombat: Between Superman/Lois fans and Superman/Wonder Woman fans.

to:

* SacredCow: Superman himself, as the originator of the superhero genre and one of the world's biggest icons of fiction. While some people dismiss him as an unrelatable InvincibleHero, many of his fans strongly believe that he's a universally-loved character, and will adamantly defend him from outright criticism.
criticism. Some have noted that this making of Superman as a sacred cow, either as a folk hero, or as a quasi-religious allegory to a Jesus and/or Moses, has come at the detriment of making him a rounded relatable character. It's been noted that a major problem with Superman's Live-Action films and its constant [[LostInImitation repetition of elements]] from Creator/RichardDonner's films is that the movies treat Superman less as a character and more as a cultural icon and folk hero, and it often leads to Superman being the least interesting and complex character in his own movies.
* ShipToShipCombat: Between Superman/Lois fans and Superman/Wonder Woman fans.fans, at least in modern times.



* UnpopularPopularCharacter: Mr. Mxyzptlk. In-universe most of the cast thinks he's an annoying little snit. Out-of-universe he's one of Superman's most endearing and well-known enemies.

to:

* UnpopularPopularCharacter: Mr. Mxyzptlk. In-universe most of the cast thinks he's an annoying little snit. Out-of-universe he's one of Superman's most endearing and well-known enemies.enemies, and the terrifying villain of one of Superman's greatest stories.
27th Oct '17 1:48:28 PM lillolillo
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** ''ComicBook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths'' and the 1986 reboot ''splintered'' the fandom and the rift hasn't yet healed after several decades. The real identity is/should be Clark Kent or Superman? Superman should be able to move planets or ''only'' mountains? He must be the only survivor of Krypton or characters like [[ComicBook/{{Supergirl}} Kara Zor-El]], ComicBook/KryptoTheSuperdog and General Zod are essential to the mythos? Krypton provides excellent world-building and storytelling opportunities or must be reduced to mere background excuse for the powers? The debates will NOT stop.
** Talking about Supergirl, the fanbase is polarized between fans of the original Supergirl Kara Zor-El and fans of the other Supergirls that DC spent eighteen years attempting to replace Kara with. Kara's fans feel she's the only Supergirl who actually makes sense, worked fine during twenty-six years until DC killed her off, and her death and failed attempts to replace her with short-lived substitutes led to a gigantic ContinuitySnarl. Other Supergirls' fans think Matrix, Cir-El... are better characters and resent Kara's increased popularity and exposure since her return in 2004.



*** And then [[Anime/OnePunchMan Saitama]] entered the mix, creating a three way rivalry between fans of the characters. Debates on who would win are never pretty.
** Superman fans vs. Franchise/{{Batman}} fans. The latter thinks Superman is an overpowered, boring one-dimensional goody two shoes and his fans are children with a lack of understanding of the world. The former thinks that Batman is an overrated, wangsty, ineffective man-child of a CreatorsPet and that most of his fans are biased, overly-cynical jackasses that don't actually read comics and thinks cynicism equals realism.

to:

*** ** And then [[Anime/OnePunchMan Saitama]] entered the mix, creating a three way rivalry between fans of the characters. Debates on who would win are never pretty.
** Superman fans vs. Franchise/{{Batman}} fans. The latter thinks Superman is an overpowered, boring one-dimensional goody two shoes and his fans are children with a lack of understanding of the world. The former thinks that Batman is an overrated, wangsty, ineffective man-child of a CreatorsPet and that most of his fans are biased, overly-cynical jackasses that don't actually read comics and thinks think cynicism equals realism.



* AlasPoorScrappy: Subverted. Superboy-Prime's apparent demise in ''ComicBook/BlackestNight'' elicited this response, but it was undone barely a year after and he was just as bad as ever.
** Played straight however, for ''[=New 52=]'' Superman, since Savage Dawn finally had him acting ''like'' Superman before the very next arc killed him off. His [[FaceDeathWithDignity dignified acceptance]] of his impending demise, and selfless prioritization of ensuring Earth's protection all while heading towards the inevitable was enough of a tearjerker that even some readers who never got on board with the character were genuinely sorry to see him go.

to:

* AlasPoorScrappy: AlasPoorScrappy:
**
Subverted. Superboy-Prime's apparent demise in ''ComicBook/BlackestNight'' elicited this response, but it was undone barely a year after and he was just as bad as ever.
** Played straight however, for ''[=New 52=]'' Superman, since Savage Dawn finally had him acting ''like'' Superman before [[ComicBook/TheFinalDaysOfSuperman the very next arc arc]] killed him off. His [[FaceDeathWithDignity dignified acceptance]] of his impending demise, and selfless prioritization of ensuring Earth's protection all while heading towards the inevitable was enough of a tearjerker tear-jerker that even some readers who never got on board with the character were genuinely sorry to see him go.



** The writer of The Screamsheet has had a love/hate relationship with Superman over many years, resulting in a number of different interpretations, from [[http://screamsheet.wordpress.com/2010/12/22/what-would-superman-do/ a cynical dick]] to [[http://screamsheet.wordpress.com/2011/01/17/the-why-of-superman/ a desperate outcast wanting acceptance]] to [[http://screamsheet.wordpress.com/2011/01/12/im-sorry-superman/ a straight-up awesome guy]].
** Website/{{Cracked}} has pointed out that for a person who is fighting for truth among other things, he has chosen a way of living with separate identities that is not only inconvenient but involves a lot of lying to some of the people that are closest to him. Does he have a psychological need for being not only the next-to-invincible alien but also a regular human?



* AssPull: Silver Age Superman stories were notorious for coming up with convenient new powers for the main character all the time.

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* AssPull: AssPull:
**
Silver Age Superman stories were notorious for coming up with convenient new powers for the main character all the time.



** That time Bizarro managed to assemble an army of Comicbook/{{Supergirl}}s from across the multiverse.

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** And let us not forget that Silver Age Supergirl headbutted planets out of course, kicked the Moon back into orbit, tanked black holes, flew across dimensions and [[ComicBook/WarWorld beyond the boundaries of reality]] ''accidentally'' and threw one object so quick it ''time-travelled''.
** That time in ''Superman/Batman'' that Bizarro managed to assemble an army of Comicbook/{{Supergirl}}s from across the multiverse.



** Starting late in TheSeventies comics, Lois was written to be more assertive to avert this trope, and needed rescuing much less often, including in her solo stories in ''The Superman Family.'' This included Lois having mastered a Kryptonian form of martial arts named "klurkor."

to:

** Starting late in TheSeventies comics, Lois was written to be more assertive to avert this trope, and needed rescuing much less often, including in her solo stories in ''The Superman ''Superman Family.'' This included Lois having mastered a Kryptonian form of martial arts named "klurkor."



* FoeYay: With guess who... and Lois. Doesn't help that he has the same initials as all of Clark's [[FridgeBrilliance major love interests]]. Though technically he's ''Alexander'' Luthor.

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* FoeYay: With guess who... and Lois. Doesn't help that he has the same initials as all of Clark's [[FridgeBrilliance major love interests]].interests. Though technically he's ''Alexander'' Luthor.



** In Superman #1 (1939), Superman investigates the murder of a man named [[UsefulNotes/JohnFKennedy Jack Kennedy]]. Even though this was printed in the 1939, it is eerie how the comic predicted the murder of a president by gun. Worse, the murderer happened to be a blonde like Creator/MarilynMonroe, who has often been tied up in JFK conspiracies

to:

** In Superman #1 (1939), Superman investigates the murder of a man named [[UsefulNotes/JohnFKennedy Jack Kennedy]]. Even though this was printed in the 1939, it is eerie how the comic predicted the murder of a president by gun. Worse, the murderer happened to be a blonde like Creator/MarilynMonroe, who has often been tied up in JFK conspiracies conspiracies.



* HoYay: His comments about how Jimmy looked in a bow-tie were not subtle. This is arguably a variation on KissingUnderTheInfluence since he had just been exposed to pink Kryptonite. This was also a spoof of the [[UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver Age]], where that sort of Ho Yay happened ''all the time''.

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* HoYay: His comments about how Jimmy looked in a bow-tie in ''ComicBook/ManyHappyReturns'' were not subtle. This is arguably a variation on KissingUnderTheInfluence since he had just been exposed to pink Kryptonite. This was also a spoof of the [[UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver Age]], where that sort of Ho Yay happened ''all the time''.



--->''Is it a bird? Noooo! Is it a plane? Noooo! Oh my gosh, it's Mighty Mouse!'' - Actual [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBcu6Gc5sCU pow-wow song]] by the Black Lodge Singers.

to:

--->''Is ---->''Is it a bird? Noooo! Is it a plane? Noooo! Oh my gosh, it's Mighty Mouse!'' - Actual [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBcu6Gc5sCU pow-wow song]] by the Black Lodge Singers.



** General Sam Lane crossed this in War of New Krypton
** Zod trying to kill his son to make an example out of him.
** Luthor, after curing his sister of a disease, made her ill again [[MadScientist just to prove he could.]]

to:

** General Sam Lane crossed this in War of New Krypton
''ComicBook/NewKrypton''
** Zod trying to kill his son to make an example out of him.
him in ''ComicBook/LastSon''.
** In ''Adventure Comics'', Luthor, after curing his sister of a disease, made her ill again [[MadScientist just to prove he could.]]



** Superboy Prime, though as of ''ComicBook/BlackestNight'', he [[RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap may become a decent character.]]
* StrawmanHasAPoint:

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** Superboy Prime, though as of ''ComicBook/BlackestNight'', ''ComicBook/BlackestNight'' hinted he [[RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap may might become a decent character.]]
* StrawmanHasAPoint: StrawmanHasAPoint:
17th Oct '17 6:24:47 AM Youtubenut
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*** "Take your hurt feelings and go."
17th Sep '17 8:02:57 AM ImperialMajestyXO
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** Cracked has pointed out that for a person who is fighting for truth among other things, he has chosen a way of living with separate identities that is not only inconvenient but involves a lot of lying to some of the people that are closest to him. Does he have a psychological need for being not only the next-to-invincible alien but also a regular human?

to:

** Cracked Website/{{Cracked}} has pointed out that for a person who is fighting for truth among other things, he has chosen a way of living with separate identities that is not only inconvenient but involves a lot of lying to some of the people that are closest to him. Does he have a psychological need for being not only the next-to-invincible alien but also a regular human?
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