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mygif

I’m confused. I thought comics were supposed to completely reinvent themselves every three years or so, rebooting to allow outsiders to easily understand continuity and make sure that writers never have to figure out character growth or long-term ramifications of story events.

That’s why people read comics rather than books, right? The closed, limited, looping universes?

*DISCLAIMER: Snark administered by non-comics-fan who is infinitely grateful to film and television for making these characters accessible to her, and who is infinitely grateful to various wikis for catching her up on all the drama she’s missing by lacking the time and money to follow or catch up on any noticeable fraction of any major comic titles

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mygif

Clark Kent leaving his job to be a blogger only really makes sense if the Daily Planet isn’t roughly equivalent to the Times or the Post.

I think DC -could- tell interesting stories with Clark as, essentially, the journalistic equivalent of a private investigator or hitman. “If you have a story, and no-one else will tell it, maybe Clark Kent will” isn’t a bad hook for both reporting adventures involving Clark, Superman adventures, and mixes of the two.

But leaving him at the Planet can generate so much more drama. Forcing Clark to deal with an editor who in turn is forced to deal with owners, advertisers, and the fact that his medium is basically dying is also a source of good stories.

I think I see what DC is stretching for here; they know print is becoming less relevant, and they have the (right) idea that Superman should be relevant in some way, so they’re moving him online to be an independent journalist.

I just don’t think they understand why print is dying, and I’m not sure anyone there has any idea how online-based independent journalism WORKS. There actually aren’t a lot of investigative reporters working via the medium. It’s mostly policy wonks (guys with actual credentials and expertise in a proven area, like economics) or opinion wonks (who tend to be affiliated with a larger institutions, e.g Andrew Sullivan and the Times/Atlantic/etc.)

Clark Kent is neither of those. Do they know HOW to use him online? I bet no.

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SilverHammerMan said on October 27th, 2012 at 5:39 pm

I’m with Murc on this.
I actually really like the idea of Clark Kent as some sort of rogue journalist who gets the truth out when no one else will. I would totally read that series.
I feel like we’ve never actually gotten a story that really explores the idea of the Daily Planet dying. That might just my ignorance since I haven’t been interested in any Superman other than Morrison’s Action Comics for quite a while.

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mygif

SilverHammerMan: The problem with doing a story about the Daily Planet dying is that it would require focusing on the Daily Planet for a while, even if it was just as a side story, and I don’t think DC will muster that kind of focus for Superman these days. But I think it could be really interesting, and would be a good lead in for Superman starting his own news website if, instead of quitting the Planet, he was hit as part of a massive layoff of Planet journalists.

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mygif
MonkeyWithTypewriter said on October 27th, 2012 at 6:57 pm

I just have this image of Superman wearing his Clark Kent hat and blogging as he flies.

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mygif
highlyverbal said on October 27th, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Does Superman need money?! Any child can come up with (legal) ways to make money with his powerset (x-ray vision to salvage lost treasures, that’s a few issues right there!), not to mention hitting up people/governments he has saved, or borrowing from Batman or Aquaman (who else is rich? Blue Beetle?). Seriously, if Superman asked YOU for a million, you’d try to help him out, right?

Profit doesn’t really seem to be Superman’s main focus, nor would running the website for political influence make sense (since as Superman, he wields enormous influence; and for the short-term, print dinosaurs still hold more influence and get better access).

The whole plot arc only makes sense if Superman really cares to any degree about having a successful, lucrative career. Otherwise, it is a distraction from life saving and villain defeating, etc. Running an independent journalism website is a 24-7 labor of love. Matt Drudge and Andrew Sullican are not fighting crime in their spare time. Superman doesn’t need a reason to stay at Daily Planet, he only needs a believable COVER reason. Huge difference.

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mygif

A huge amen to everything you wrote.

And, as highlyverbal said, running your own successful website, journalism or otherwise, is a massive undertaking. I always saw Clark Kent working for a large publication as a way of making himself invisible, a cog in the machine. Having him run something changes that whole dynamic, how can he get away to change into the red and blue?

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Les Fontenelle said on October 27th, 2012 at 11:47 pm

I can see it now: the EXCITING adventures of Clark Kent poring through his site’s comments section to weed out rude/racist/offensive comments. Can Superman stop people from being Wrong On The Internet in time to save the kitty stuck on a tree? Will Luthor hire a legion of trolls to spam Clark’s site in order to keep him too busy to investigate Lexcorp corruption? When the blog’s server is down, will Clark fail to update the blog on a timely manner when the Earth is in danger – and will his advertisers and readers understand the lack of informatives updates in a moment of crisis, or will they leave for a more dependable site? THIS IS IT, TRUE BELIEVERS!

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mygif

“I do not trust that Scott Lobdell has any stories to tell.”

Fixed that for ya.

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mygif

If they REALLY wanted him to be “reporting stories no one else will”, they should turn him into Art Bell.

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mygif

Superman is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, literary inventions of the 20th century. If you can’t make money with Superman, it’s not Superman’s fault.

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mygif

Does anyone else spot the bitter, bitter irony of DC publishing a comic about print as a dying medium?

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mygif

Less bitter irony and more like complete cluelessness?
Just reading the comments above makes me believe the idea that “clark kent leaves the Daily Planet” was discussed as a joke, but some idiot with power at DC thought “Best Idea Ever!”
I got a dollar that says by a years time Clark will be back working at the Planet.

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mygif

As someone who does some online content writing for extra money, I have really been enjoying this post and the replies. Especially the reply by Les Fontenelle. That was brilliant.

After following the link over to Comics Alliance and seeing Clark Kent complaining about the Planet covering reality show stars and stories of that nature… All I can say is that he better start his own blog.

If Superman wanted to do online content writing for most of the sites I’m aware of, he would get disgruntled in a hurry because–based on what gets the page views–many people who spend a lot of time on the Internet are more interested in things such as a hoax about Justin Bieber allegedly having cancer, what Kim Kardashian has been wearing lately. or weird stuff that happened on Honey Boo Boo than they are in real news most of the time.

If Supes wanted to be financially successful, he would probably have to hire some freelancers to generate the same kinds of fluffy content that he doesn’t like seeing in the Daily Planet. Or at the very least, do Cracked or iO9-style articles about nerdy pop culture stuff (“14 movies you loved as a child, but you shouldn’t because of the huge glaring plot holes”) in order to generate some traffic.

“He’s going to be the non-douchebag version of Drudge” isn’t very plausible as a business plan. It’s easier for me to believe in x-ray vision.

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mygif

@Brian T. – Is this the kind of unbelievability you’re talking about?

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mygif

Kirala, that is a hilarious article.

However, I was thinking more about the kinds of stuff they really publish over at the Huffington Post.

Right now, they have a bunch of substantial political articles and a big story about the freak storm on the East Coast. But they also have front page stories about Jennifer Aniston getting married, wardrobe malfunctions, “Madonna Booed at Concert” and a story about Kim Kardashian going to a costume party dressed as a mermaid.

Not exactly the hard news Superman would want to see on the front page. Unless he wanted to know why Leigh Weingus has decided to stop watching Suburgatory, I guess…

What I’m saying is, generally speaking, the Internet is worse than print in terms of generating the type of content that caused him to quit.

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mygif

I can see Superman’s tell-all blog now:

“Ever Seen Batman and Bruce Wayne in The Same Room Together? SHOCKING EXCLUSIVE!”

“Sex and the (Bottle) City (of Kandor)”

“Which Costume Hero Has The Most Nip Slips? Pics Inside!”

“Lex Luthor Wins 2012 World’s Biggest Douchebag Award”

“Shocking Pics of WW on Themyscira Nude Beach: Wonder Woman Needs Wonder Bra”

“Is Guy Gardner: Warrior Actually Guy Gardner: Gay?”

(If Superman is a mean drunk, he’d be more terrifying as a tabloid writer.)

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mygif

I’m actually okay with Clark leaving the Planet.

I can’t remember the last time that the Daily Planet was used as anything other than a convenient holding area for supporting characters that never get developed.

Periodically someone will try to do something interesting with Perry or Cat or Jimmy but then the next writer will come along and the whole slate gets wiped clean again.

I started reading Superman back issues during that brief window when Clark was a television reporter for WGBS. So the idea of Clark as a traditional print reporter was always a bit of step back for me. Besides, if we’re going to embrace the whole nu52 mantra of no sacred cows, this seems like a good place to start.

Not that it matters truthfully, in a less than a year I suspect Clark will be holding down a desk again at the Daily Planet and the status quo will grind on.

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mygif

Y’all wanna impress ME, do it like the first season of the old George Reeves show, all film noir and everything.

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mygif

Elasticlad I was thinking something similar while reading some of Jimmy Olsen’s late seventies/early eighties stories, where he’s actually a competent reporter. As a supporting character in the more recent superbooks, he never seems to be competent at anything, but nobody’s going to go full Silver Age goofball … so he turns up sort of pointless, except one of those characters with a permanent sinecure.

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