The Daily Planet.
It’s a fictional media outlet that’s embedded in American culture. It’s the New York Times (or Wall Street Journal, depending which publication you prefer) of the DC Comics universe, or DCU if you speak Nerdanese.
Its star reporters: a vibrant, strong-willed lady named Lois Lane and a visitor from another world who can fly and see through walls disguised as a mild-mannered wordsmith.
Well, until this week.
Clark Kent, Superman’s eyeglassed and stuttering alter ego, departed from the Daily Planet this week. He didn’t hang up the notebook and pen, but he did hang up the editorial process that puts several sets of eyes on every story to make sure it’s balanced, credible, etc.
Supes is a blogger now.
Superman no. 13, part of DCU’s New 52 reboot broke the news.
The timing on this couldn’t be weirder.
I recently canceled my subscriptions for both Superman titles. Action Comics, penned by Grant Morrison, tells tales of Clark’s early days as the Man of Steel. The regular Superman title tells of his later years. That’s the title where he went rogue as a journalist.
The reboots were underwhelming, but I stuck with them. I think comics readers want to like their characters, no matter how terrible the story arcs become at times. They stick with them. They’re loyal. So it went with Superman and me.
Then one day I just couldn’t do it anymore. I’d been the chump blinded by love for a spouse who had just gone sour in recent years. I did it because of our history, because of memories of being 10 and getting my first treasury of vintage Superman comics from my dad and being BLOWN AWAY by the Richard Donner movie.
I just wasn’t that into him anymore. His stories had just gotten weird, even boring in some cases. This character I idealized wasn’t living up to expectations, so I decided to focus on the times he exceeded them: stories like “Birthright”, “Red Son”, and “Earth One.” Ones where I closed the book after finishing and thought, “Now that was Superman.”
I’m narrow-minded when it comes to ol’ Faster Than A Speeding Bullet. It’s the same way I approach the ‘Alien’ movies. In my mind, the story ends after the second one. All the other weirdsmobile crap, including the recently disappointing ‘Prometheus’ prequel is just a bad dream.
And right after I canceled the books, this drastic identity shift happened. C.K. decided to join the squad claiming to be this edgy alternative to the “lamestream media” I’m part of. You know, the kind with editors and all sides of the story.
Supes, you’ve just changed so much.
But maybe you’ll come back someday. Maybe you’ll be in some organic coffee shop scratching your beard and adjusting your scarf while writing about how contrails are poisoning some rare species of endangered bird that would mean blah blah and blah blah. Maybe you’ll just stop, shut your laptop, and run for the nearest phone booth where you shed your hemp shirt and fair trade jeans before changing back in to a tie and slacks.
We’ll see. Point is, I miss you, buddy. I’ll always be here for you.