Remember back in August when we learned that Superman had dumped his longtime love interest Lois Lane for his fellow Justice League compatriot Wonder Woman? Yeah, well, today we learn of another pretty major lifestyle change in the life of Clark Kent / Superman. Almost since his creation back in 1940, Superman’s secret identity — the mild-mannered Clark Kent — has worked as a news reporter for the fictional newspaper The Daily Planet. Today we learn that Clark will be quitting The Daily Planet in Superman issue no. 13 … because he plans to start writing a blog. Yes, folks, the times they are a-changin’.
The Daily Planet has a new job opening. In Superman issue 13, the Man of Steel’s alter ego, mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent, quits the Metropolis newspaper that has been his employer since the DC Comics superhero’s earliest days in 1940. But that’s just one of many plot points of note in the new issue, available digitally and in comic shops Wednesday. Superman pushes the limits of his powers, Clark sees a disturbing text message regarding Lois Lane and her new boyfriend, and a new Kryptonian threat is also introduced that will begin a crossover story involving the stars of Superboy and Supergirl.
“I wasn’t going to test the waters. I was just going to do a cannonball in the Super-verse,” says new Superman writer Scott Lobdell, who began his run on the book alongside his Red Hood and the Outlaws artist Kenneth Rocafort last month with a special zero issue. DC’s “The New 52″ relaunch a year ago changed a good bit of Superman’s status quo, such as the fact that Clark and Lois weren’t married anymore. He’s moved on, of course — Superman and Wonder Woman recently shared a kiss in the pages of Justice League. However, his still-strong feelings for Lois, combined with Daily Planet editor in chief Perry White getting on his case for not enough scoops on the Superman beat and his boss’ boss Morgan Edge also giving him a hard time, leads to a Jerry Maguire-type moment where he quits in front of the whole staff and rails on how journalism has given way to entertainment — in a not-so-mild-mannered fashion. (The Daily Planet has also been moving more toward the real world, too, with the newspaper becoming part of the multimedia corporation Galaxy Broadcasting.) “This is really what happens when a 27-year-old guy is behind a desk and he has to take instruction from a larger conglomerate with concerns that aren’t really his own,” Lobdell explains. “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?” Lobdell’s favorite part? When Clark calls for his peers to stand up for truth, justice “and yeah — I’m not ashamed to say it — the American way,” a nod to the Man of Steel’s history. “While it has its problems, there are a lot of good things to say about America and the American way, and I’m glad Clark is standing up for her,” says Lobdell, who also writes Superboy and Teen Titans for DC. “I’m happy to be involved in that and his declarations.” Clark’s situation is one most any working stiff can relate to, when they’ve had enough and don’t want to take it anymore. And the superhero, who became a journalist in the first place because he wanted to speak out on things he couldn’t as Superman, “has been in this awkward position of everything he’s writing is certainly a shading to keep his identity secret,” Lobdell says, adding that Clark is in a sense Superman’s id. “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’s new employment status is part of Lobdell as well as DC wanting to explore Superman through a modern-day lens. The writer says Rocafort’s vision of Clark and Superman is one where “both have a lot of gravity but are also very light and young and sexy.” Plus, they talked about modern journalism jobs that may be more relevant than an old-school beat reporter for a newspaper. “When we started discussions,” Lobdell says, “they were like, ‘Yep, let’s see where this goes. Let’s take the sacred super-cows and start looking at Superman with a new set of eyes.’ “
I’m sure this news will only seem interesting to staunch comic book fans and crazy pop culture fans (like myself) but I couldn’t help but share. I think it’s great that these classic comic book characters who we’ve known and loved for DECADES are changing with the times. I’d hate to find out one day that the fictional Daily Planet has gone out of print for good but it does make sense for Clark Kent to break off and go his own way online. Superman is a blogger now, I can’t even begin to tell you how much that means to me … a real life blogger :) I know, it sounds dorky and nerdy but I can’t help it. This is pretty cool news to me :D