For all the questions I have about Dean Cain’s return in ‘Supergirl’ (the stunt-casting of actors through the CW Berlanti shows is both immensely fun and utterly bewildering), I have to admit I’m reminded of why I enjoyed his work back in the 1990s: His Superman never quite hit the mark for me, but his Clark Kent seemed spot-on.  Christopher Reeve’s take on the mild-mannered reporter always seemed too milquetoasty, while George Reeves had a lot more swagger than my impression of Clark.  But somehow, Dean managed to balance ‘Kansas farmboy’ with ‘strongest man on the planet’ in a most believable way, which leads us to today’s secret identity query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) also liked Tom Welling’s take, although that character’s youth and the convolutions of the plot always made it hard to consider him Superman, rather than a soap opera-style take on Superman tropes, asking: Which actor does the best live action Clark Kent (if not necessarily the best Superman)?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. Malone_hasco on

    Bearded Henry Cavill had the best look for Kansas farm boy, unfortunately script didn’t do any favors to his character. Dean Cain had a good reporter Clark. Reeves and Reeve share the #1 spot for best Superman.

  2. I think Tom Welling is underrated by many fans (I say many; not all, not most, but still a large number) of the comics who just hated what Smallville did wrong over what it did well. I’m not the biggest fan of the show myself, but I do think he pulled off an incarnation of Clark quite well.

    Tied is the most recent, whatsisname that was also Martin on “7th Heaven” who is now Clark/Superman on “Supergirl”. It was that first scene (I think) that sold it, when he was on the cell phone and being scolded by Perry White for using such an out-of-date term. His Superman was so-so, but his Clark really felt like Clark.

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