Superman Leaves ‘Daily Planet’ Newspaper For Third Or Fourth Time
The until recently mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent has had it up to here with the indignities of modern day journalism and will ragequit his job at the once venerable Metropolis newspaper, The Daily Planet, this week, citing disgust with his employers' reliance on vapid entertainment stories and their abandonment of proper news. We know this because it was reported by USA Today.
What was not mentioned is that this isn't the first time Kent -- also known as Superman -- has parted ways with the Planet, but it is the first time he's done so since publisher DC Comics rebooted the Man of Steel's mythology last year. To read DC coverage in the mainstream press and at certain comics news outlets, you'd think that our own reality has itself been annexed by the DC multiverse, as these kinds of items are typically presented as though they'd never happened before. In furtherance of this reconfiguration of collective consciousness, DC has published updated "Who's Who" material that indicates Superman first appeared in 2011's Superman (volume three) #1, and not in 1938's Action Comics #1, in a story created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Incidentally, back then Clark Kent worked for The Daily Star.
Look, if you are a citizen of this new universe, it's possible I am totally blowing your mind right now. I apologize and ask for your consideration. I am but a man out of time; a refugee from another world drawn with far fewer lines than the one which you have known lo these many years fourteen months; like ComicsAlliance's own kind of Psycho-Pirate... I remember.
In my universe there was a decade called the 1970s, and it was sometime within this ten-year window that DC published comics designed to reflect the state of affairs of that ancient society. To wit, The Daily Planet was purchased by Galaxy Broadcasting System, a major media corporation, and one of its star reporters, Clark Kent, was removed from the newspaper and installed as anchor of WGBS-TV. He was joined in this endeavor by Lana Lang, his childhood friend and/or love interest (Silver Age Facebook status: It's complicated).
In another universe and in another decade called the 1990s that I and I alone remember as if it happened just a few years ago, The Daily Planet was purchased yet again (but for the first time) by another corporate master, Lex Luthor. A constant target of the Planet's naked anti-supervillain agenda, Luthor bought the newspaper to silence the criticisms against him, fired nearly everybody -- including Clark Kent -- dropped the Planet's iconic rooftop globe sculpture into a garbage dump and relaunched the entire enterprise as an Internet media venture called LexCom, designed to publish his view of quality journalism.
In the new universe, the one in which I find myself marooned and the one in which you first heard of Superman fourteen months ago, on just one day from now (I can see into the future too), Superman (Volume Three) #13 will depict Clark Kent leaving The Daily Planet yet again (but for the first time) to create some kind of Internet-based media source designed to publish his view of quality journalism. He will be joined in this endeavor by Cat Grant, his co-worker and/or modern day love interest (Multiversal Facebook status: friendzoned).
Based on story pages released early by DC, Kent's reasons for quitting seem to include his editor Perry White's cynical dependence upon tabloid material to trick customers into buying a newspaper and the decaying business model of print periodicals. Writer Scott Lobdell suggested Kent is "more likely to start the next Huffington Post or the next Drudge Report than he is to go find someone else to get assignments or draw a paycheck from." While there's an obvious parallel between the Planet's problems with print and DC's own efforts to revitalize sales and cultivate a new digital audience, it remains to be seen why Kent would Jerry Maguire the hell out of there with only the Daily Planet's entertainment reporter in tow if he's serious about getting serious.
Of course, Clark's actions also have something to do with what USA Today characterizes as his "strong feelings" for ex-star-reporter, current TV infotainment producer Lois Lane -- with whom Clark has never hooked up in this universe, as she's attached to some other bro. We know this because the preview pages show Clark super-hacking Lois' cellphone to read some incoming private sexts from her BF and then leaving the room in a jealous huff (even though he's making out with Wonder Woman in another book), which is a moment that takes place in the same issue in which he sanctimoniously admonishes his beleaguered newspaper colleagues to stand up for truth, justice and -- "yeah, I'm not afraid to say it" -- the American way.
As I said, I am but a frightened visitor in this strange new universe of the future. The worlds I remember are gone, my memories of them are but the fevered dreams of a madman. What may seem endlessly confounding to me may merely be "thematically complex" and "socially relevant" to you, and that is chill. But what I think all ComicsAlliance readers and contributors can agree on is that the world's greatest superhero becoming a blogger is a very great idea. I for one am eagerly awaiting future issues of Superman where the Man of Steel writes an excessively snarky post about some silly entertainment news, answers emails from irritated PR representatives, and tries to ignore angry haters in the comment thread.