MANILA, Philippines – Before Superman #13, the factor that made Clark Kent different from the Wolverines or the Iron Men of the comics universe was that he was always a boy scout — the kind of hero who clocked in 30 minutes before work began.
His editor Perry White loved the fact that the ace reporter always followed orders as opposed to Kent’s rival and love interest, the strong-willed Lois Lane.
Today, though, Clark Kent finally decides to “go against” the newspaper he has been working for since the 1940s, The Daily Planet.
In the rebooted universe called “The New 52,” Kent quits being a reporter for the Metropolis newspaper to stand against its move to present more entertainment and less news.
“This is really what happens when a 27-year-old guy is behind a desk and he has to take instructions from a larger conglomerate with concerns that aren’t really his own,” writer Scott Lobdell explained to USA Today.
“Superman is arguably the most powerful person on the planet, but how long can he sit at his desk with someone breathing down his neck and treating him like the least important person in the world?”
Lois vs. Clark
In today’s continuation of the Superman story, The Daily Planet is owned by media conglomerate Galaxy Broadcasting, and Lane is a newscast producer.
The two bicker on what news should be about.
In one scene, Kent points out that the newscast Lane produced had a transcript of a government briefing as its lead story, a 4-minute story about a love child and an then an interview for a weekend blockbuster.
The famous couple is no longer married when the universe re-starts. Superman is also showing a romantic interest to Wonder Woman in the Justice League comic, where they appear kissing on the cover.
The new portrayal of the Kryptonian shows a different kind of immigrant who lives with the mantra “Truth, Justice and the American Way,” helping more people in the streets than spending time flying in the sky.
The next “Huffington Post”
The Daily Planet editor Perry White says, “Times are changing and print is a dying medium. I don’t like it but the only hope we have of delivering any news at all is to give what people want.”
Long-time supporting character and The Daily Planet entertainment reporter Cat Grant joins Kent in quitting print media. This presents character development for Grant who wants to be a legitimate journalist covering serious topics.
Grant and Kent will not look for another newspaper to work for, writer Lobdell said.
“I don’t think he’s going to be filling out an application [form] anywhere,” Lobdell added. “He 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,” Lobdell says.
Huffington Post and Drudge Report are internet news sites that have become alternatives to mainstream media in the US.
“Rather than Clark be this clownish suit that Superman puts on, we’re going to really see Clark come into his own in the next few years as far as being a guy who takes to the Internet and to the airwaves and starts speaking an unvarnished truth.”
Clark Kent became a journalist to have an outlet where he can speak about things that he could not do as a superhero.
Despite this, Superman “has been in this awkward position of everything he’s writing is certainly a shading to keep his identity secret,” Lobdell said. – Rappler.com
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