In the "Lois & Clark" pilot, Clark arrives in Metropolis, looking for a job and adventure. He wants to help people with his abilities, but does not yet have the idea of adopting a "super" alter ego.

Why is he wearing glasses right from the beginning of this episode? Of course, it is convenient that he is, as later when he decides to become a costumed hero with no mask, the glasses help prevent people from recognizing him.

Is there a way to explain the glasses other than laziness on the part of the writers?

  • Speculation: Maybe even as early as that he wanted to be percieved as a harmless individual? Glasses are very non-threatening.
    – Zibbobz
    Commented Mar 24, 2014 at 18:50
  • It genuinely perplexes me when people consider things like this... my brain goes.. "glasses aren't a disguise for anything... that's stupid"... then it reminds itself "we need to stop digging at that if we're gonna get on board with the flying man who shoots lasers from his eyes". and the thought goes no further.
    – SwiftD
    Commented Jun 6, 2022 at 12:52

4 Answers 4


There are three possible explanations.

  1. It's already part of his "secret" identity. Clark has been "super" all his life, and it's entirely possible that, even though he didn't have a costume, he did some feats of heroics earlier in life and wears the glasses to help confuse eye-witness accounts.
  2. It's a fashion choice. Clark Kent is trying to land a position in a traditionally bookish profession. He may have donned glasses for the exact same reason a natural blonde might dye their hair -- to avoid the implication that he's just a jock and not fit for reporting.
  3. He might really need them. Clark's vision powers in Lois and Clark appeared to be blocked by his glasses, and that implies that they may have served as a valuable check against accidental voyeurism or heat-blasting someone. It's also possible, since his entire active power set appeared to be consciously invoked, that he really does have vision in need of correction when he's not "going super."

The topic was not, to my knowledge, ever addressed on the series itself.


I've been able to find two in-universe reasons why Clark would be wearing glasses before assuming his Superman identity

1) The original script for "Lois & Clark : The Pilot, part 1" makes it clear that the glasses (along with his suit) are part of a general disguise to conceal his ridiculously buff physique;

THE BATTERED SUITCASE WITH THE INITIALS "C.K." rests on a cement sidewalk in downtown Metropolis.


CLARK KENT picking up the suitcase. In his late twenties, Clark has the wisdom of Solomon in his brown eyes, the power of Samson in his dark hair. His muscular physique is concealed behind a grey suit, but his sense of wonder at his new surroundings cannot be hidden, even behind thick black-rimmed glasses."

2) The other factor in that the post-Crisis Clark Kent is well known to be a fan of the film "To Kill a Mockingbird" starring Gregory Peck. The glasses that the main character wears are extremely similar to those chosen by Clark to form his initial disguise. It's very possible that he was wearing them (and assuming a similar hairstyle) as an homage to his favourite actor.

enter image description here

Out-of-universe, obviously he had to be wearing glasses. In the comic-book series, prior TV shows and films, Clark Kent always wears glasses. Had he turned up without them, audiences would have been immediately confused.


Its a disguise. Plain and simple.

There are plenty of episodes (and storylines in the comic) that deal with Clark's reluctance to reveal his powers, so I'm not going to provide a source for that. But, in-canon for "Lois and Clark" I couldn't see much rationale beyond "it's a disguise".

From episode 306 "Don't Tug On Superman's Cape"

                        (picks up glasses)
                  These glasses had me fooled for                               (X)
                  two years.                                                    (X)
                        (puts them on)
                  Boy, what a dope.                                             (X)

                  Hey, is it your fault I picked a                              (X)
                  brilliant disguise?                                           (X)

And the disguise seems to work on the witless folk of Metropolis (Episode 420: "I've Got You Under My Skin")

                 I can't believe it took me so long
                 to realize it was you.  I should
                 have seen it right away.

                 Well, don't feel too bad, honey.
                 The glasses fool everybody.

Feel free to mine through scripts to prove me wrong though.

  • I swear there was also a scene where Clark looks dips his glasses and through a wall in front of Lois and they talk about it some more. But I just spent more time looking at Lois and Clark scripts than I ever thought I would.
    – user20155
    Commented Mar 25, 2014 at 5:23
  • 1
    This doesn't really address why he wore glasses before becoming superman.
    – Valorum
    Commented Mar 25, 2014 at 5:33

It's a shame the tv series, Lois and Clark, never definitively addressed it. I mean, with all his super vision abilities, why would he feel the need to cover his eyes?

That there is probably the best answer.

I would have liked to have seen this explored in a flashback to Clark at maybe 10 years of age, and perhaps his x-ray vision or heat vision just starting, and causing him all sorts of problems.

The solution being special spectacles (lead glass and heat resistant glass combo as the lenses and titanium frame) that block his x ray vision and let him know if his eyes are emanating heat. This would serve to help him feel more human and keep those powers contained around others.

This would explain why Clark Kent would already have a long history of always wearing glasses, long before arriving in Metropolis, and why Superman is the disguise for this version of Superman with his eyes having no constraints, along with his choice of costume. This would also serve to explain why nobody Clark has ever known recognises Superman when he comes out of the closet so to speak, to be Clark Kent.

Therefore, Clark Kent equals a constrained who he is and Superman equals an unconstrained what he can do. To me, this is the definitive live action interpretation of Superman. It makes the most sense. In the pilot episode, the spectacles appear to be a natural part of who Clark Kent is.

Maybe Clark's lifetime choice of spectacles wearing could be explored in a new tv mini series called, "Lana and Clark"? Just sayin..

  • When posting an answer, you should focus on directly answering it, basing your answer as much as possible on evidence from one or more official sources, to lend it a degree of authority. This is purely a fan theory, combined with some related commentary that serves no purpose in answering the question. Commented Jun 6, 2022 at 9:31
  • If you'll take the tour, you'll see what's expected of an "answer" around here, as opposed to other places, where it's a free-for-all discussion.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jun 7, 2022 at 15:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.