In Man of Steel, Clark seems to be going from job to job without any clear purpose or plan. At first we see him working on a boat as deckhand or something (where he also ends up saving some people at a petroleum plant but as far as we know he wasn't planning to, it was just random accident that happened near him). Then we see him working as a waiter where he continues until he has a fight with someone (meaning he'd have continued working if not for that fight). Then he's seen carrying bags for Lois Lane.

Why is he moving from place to place taking up these random odd jobs? Does he have an overall plan?

We can assume that he is looking for some clues to his origin. But then, how does working as a waiter help (especially, when we realize that he wouldn't have left that job if he hadn't gotten into the fight)? Why does he need to waste time working at all (assuming, being Superman, he doesn't need food to survive) if his real goal is to discover his origins? Or is it all because he needs transportation (still doesn't explain the waiter job)?

  • 3
    "being Superman, he doesn't need food to survive" Patently not true.
    – Paulie_D
    Feb 7, 2017 at 17:06
  • So, he's picking up the odd jobs to pay for food?
    – Achilles
    Feb 7, 2017 at 17:11
  • ...and transport. Waiter jobs still pay money...mostly and they're somewhat easy to get.
    – Paulie_D
    Feb 7, 2017 at 17:15
  • All of those jobs are fairly unremarkable, easy-to-remain anonymous positions that probably don't require the most rigorous of background checking to acquire in the first place. In the Marvel universe, I believe Dr Banner followed the same M.O. in trying to keep Hulk as under the radar as a Hulk can be. May 24, 2017 at 15:19

3 Answers 3


He took the random jobs to try and blend in with society, while helping those who needed it, then moving on before anyone developed any kind of attachment. The purpose being he could move around, stay under the radar, and do what he felt was right. Once people started getting help from this blur or flying man, he had to re-invent himself to avoid any attention to what he could do. Of course, Lois was able to track everything leading to Clark and Martha Kent.

It would look weird to anyone paying attention for a guy to never have income but still survive-must be illegal or otherwise special.

  • Makes sense but then he should've become a reporter right at the beginning, right? The reasons that you mentioned are exactly why he took the reporter job at Daily Planet.
    – Achilles
    Feb 7, 2017 at 20:21
  • I do believe he was still looking for something that would suit his need to help others. He might have just not thought of becoming a reporter first. Feb 7, 2017 at 20:38
  • Maybe a cop or soldier or firefighter or something would've be more natural then. I mean it is a fictional story and all but the way they did things didn't just add up in some ways.
    – Achilles
    Feb 7, 2017 at 21:27
  • 1
    the problem with all of those jobs is that, eventually, something would happen where a normal person would be injured and/or killed, and Clark wouldn't. The times when Clark "moved on" to a new job were precisely those times he exposed his powers doing some mundane work and needed to leave. Now imagine a job where he routinely gets shot at or has burning buildings fall on him...
    – KutuluMike
    Feb 8, 2017 at 0:42

The answer requires knowing the source that this version of Superman is based on, which I've been unable to find a definitive target of.

For instance, in Superman Earth One, Clark attempts many interviews and different professions, trying to find where he fits best. It isn't until his powers are called on that he finds the inspiration to be a protector.

Modern retellings of Superman's origins show him going through this phase of "finding himself" before taking on the mantle of Superman, keeping it separate from "Clark", and beginning work at the Daily Planet.

  • Yep - exactly what I came to post.
    – Omegacron
    Jul 6, 2017 at 3:39

Superman: Earth One (a story Man of Steel borrows from) shows Clark going to numerous job interviews and Man of Steel shows Clark bouncing through various jobs. Clark was also trying find his purpose in the world bouncing through various jobs under different identities because whenever he has to use his powers to save people he then has to disappear and go under a new identity and look for a new job. How is it that hard for you to comprehend that?

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