Clark Kent Is Leaving the Planet, the Daily One

Today we got a preview of Superman #13 (in print and digital on Wednesday, October 24th) where Clark Kent leaves the Daily Planet.  This was conveyed by USAToday (not exactly the Daily Planet).  DC Comics is promoting interest in Superman.  There’s a 75th anniversary coming up as well as the Man of Steel movie in 2013.  Plus a third Superman book in the Spring is being added to be written by Scott Snyder (Batman) and drawn by Jim Lee (Co-Publisher).

At first this news was a slug in the gut as there have been a borage of changes to Superman, Clark, and Lois Lane for several  years before and since the reboot started.  But this one, I’m semi-okay with.  Yes, it’s another change. But Clark will still be an in-the-trenches journalist.  Leaving the Daily Planet – that’s where it gets sore.  But I’m remembering what Andy Diggle said at NYCC – nothing lasts forever in comics.  (As Superman fans are TOO well aware of).

One of the reasons Clark Kent worked at a newspaper in 1938 and decades later was to be on the frontline of the information/news so he could go into action as Superman.  In his early days, he patrolled Metropolis, but in later times moved his monitoring to the entire world and the universe that surrounds it.  Newspapers in his early origins used something called Telex or teletype machines to convey news reports from around the world.  These would have been located at the Daily Planet building causing him to report into work on a daily basis.  Teletypes became obsolete in the 1980s with the advent of the fax, personal computers, broadband and the Internet.

Now people have access to information/news on their cell phones, computers, and multiple televisions in their homes.  Print newspapers have been losing subscriptions for decades.  Papers have gotten smaller in page size as well as the number of pages to compensate for this.  Long standing print establishments have diversified into digital especially with the cost of ‘less than green friendly products’ of ink and paper.   It was announced recently that Newsweek would go completely digital.  And DC Comics moved to same-day digital and digital-first programs last year.   DC Comics would know the world of print in these times.

The Daily Planet in the new 52 has been bought by Morgan Edge and consolidated into his conglomerate whose previous print products were ‘scandal rags.’  Clark has not been happy about this since Superman #1.  It seems to be a bone of contention between him and Lois as she has moved to the new media division as an Executive Producer of television and new media.  Clark’s specialty was human interest and social justice stories.  With Lois moving to her new position, he was given the Superman beat.  In Superman #13, Clark has been missing for five days (not on a mission with the Justice League either).  He’s been testing the limits of his superstrength and didn’t realize the length of time he was gone from his day job.  When he returns, he has no Superman story and Perry White, his Editor-in-Chief reads him the riot act.

In Action #0 (in the 5 years previous timeline), we learned that before Clark went to Metropolis and began working at the Daily Star, he had blogs (plural).  Lois Lane, intrepid reporter at the Daily Planet, read and loved them.   Eventually Clark went to work for the Daily Planet as a reporting partner with Lois.  We don’t know when he made that transition as this is within the mysterious ‘five year gap.’   So Clark quitting the Daily Planet to go back to blogs isn’t such a stretch.

Apparently Cat Grant will be leaving the DP with him and is ‘bringing a whole other set of skills’ (yea, I went there, too) to their next venture.  Cat is/was the Entertainment reporter.  Part of the reason Clark is leaving the Planet is so he can do REAL news and not gossip rag infotainment fluffed up with color pictures and graphics (see Superman Annual #1).  I’m thinking that Cat has digital/advertising skills (webmaster) and will keep his blog in the forefront for peeps who don’t want to mess with newsprint.   Somebody has to watch the viability of the product while he’s gone for days at a time.

Since nothing is permanent in comics (except perhaps the absence of Stephanie Brown and Wally West), maybe Clark’s blog will be under the Daily Planet umbrella eventually.  And maybe Lois will join him later since you can’t keep a good newshound behind a desk doing fluff (no matter if it sells).  This all will take time to build.

Yes, I will miss the Daily Planet.  Maybe part of Lois’ story is her fight for real news and keeping the integrity of the DP intact.  She would have to do that from within.   This would give her an independent story from Clark/Superman.  If anyone could clean up the corruption/sleaze of the news media, it’s Lois Lane.

I’ve missed Clark Kent, journalist, FOR YEARS.  Scott Lobdell is keeping this part of his dual identity and Clark is influencing people with his words, thoughts and truth.  That’s a plus.  Clark quit the Daily Planet not just because of his stance on what the DP has become, but also because Lois may move in with her not-so-new-but-rarely-seen foreign correspondent  boyfriend.  What’s the point of sticking around the DP if Lois has moved on?  Clark has strong feelings for Lois, we’ve seen this, albeit sporadically, over the past year, but something held him back from being closer long before Justice League #12.  Some of that may be revealed over the next four months (real time) so we can see why Clark and Lois never dated and why their relationship hadn’t developed more than it did over the mysterious five year period.

One thing the article in USAToday did say about Superman #14 —  in the first 7 pages, Lois Lane is going to be pounding on her close friend, Clark Kent’s door demanding answers.  Lobdell has guaranteed fans that Lois will figure heavily in Clark’s story.  And it was reported he is not going to be dropping any subplots while the Super crossover H’El on Earth plays out these next few months.

Clark and Lois will have to make an effort to be close to one another.  Each will have to realize what the other means to them and act on their feelings.  The long triangle-for-two simmer has begun, and perhaps Lois will interact MORE with both Clark and Superman in the coming months.

Lobdell said from the beginning he is enjoying writing about Clark as Superman’s id, where the man can express his views without judgment or misconstruing when it is pronounced from Kryptonian armor.  Clark Kent will be Superman’s global voice.   Many more people have electronics than any one (sometimes foreign) newsprint paper.

Action Annual #1 comes out October 31st and in it, Sholly Fisch will bridge the five year gap.  There’s a story about the Kryptonite Man.  Lois is in, at least, one of the panels.  Grant Morrison leaves Action Comics after #17 (February) and has stated there will be a death of Superman story in 15 through 17.  And is anyone else wondering what the deal Clark made with Mrs. Nxyly in order to get his Clark Kent identity back? (Action #12)  What did that cost him?  In March, Andy Diggle takes over the Action duties and has expressed great delight in writing Lois Lane.   He submitted 12 issues of stories, but won’t be able to work with those ideas until some of the other storylines in the current books make room for them.  Sometime this Spring, Scott Snyder will begin writing a-yet-unnamed-titled Superman book.  Lois will be in the feature story.  Lois Lane means the dual identity will be going strong.  The triangle-for-two has always been a key part of the Superman mythology.

So as a long time reader and fan of Superman, what do I need?  Superman doing the right thing with his great powers and heart.  Clark Kent reporting the truth.  Lois Lane being an intrepid reporter and Clark’s heart’s desire.   Truth, justice, and the American Way.

The Daily Planet will be there as will Metropolis, Jimmy Olsen, and all the other things fans love about the Superman mythology.

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October 22, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . BaudyBlahBlahBlah, Superman.

7 Comments

  1. House of Rao (@HouseOfRao) replied:

    Thank you. These days so many people are hung up what comic book characters are famous for, instead of who they are. I love it when I see that there are readers out there who still understand who the character is and are not hung up on what feats that character performed.

    • baudyhallee replied:

      Thanks for the comment. Nothing is permanent in comics. Do I think Clark will return to the Daily Planet’s digital umbrella? Possibly. But it will probably be on his terms. He has to be successful enough for that to happen. Journalism has always been a part of Clark’s connection to humanity. It’s the one thing where a Superman doesn’t have an advantage — the expression of words and thoughts to influence and inform.

      The new 52 has turned a lot of things on its head. Lois knowing the secret being one of them. That places the responsibility of the triangle-for-two on CLARK. Also with Superman being this powerful alien (& he’s announced it in Action) doesn’t it make more sense to make this modern Superman ‘mild mannered’ so as not to ruffle too many of the public’s feathers and allow Clark to be the more ‘assertive’ and outspoken of the two?

      I’ve seen people worry about Lois’ place at the DP, now that Clark has declared it infotainment. Within the panels, Lois is pre-occupied with another event in her life so she really doesn’t address what Clark is stating at that moment. That is why I’d like to read the entire book of #13 first and then see her first 7 pages in #14 before I draw any conclusions as to where this may go for our intrepid reporter.

      That said, I can’t help but remember Lois stating the reason she was staying at the DP was to fight for its integrity (and real news) despite being bought by the dubious Morgan Edge. Perhaps, as I stated in the article, this is what her story arc will be. She has to fight for truth, justice and the integrity of the Fourth Estate from inside PGN. I’m waiting to see if that comes to fruition or not.

      There were guarantees from Lobdell and some encouraging statements by Diggle and Scott Snyder about the other Superman books. We’ll see if the execution is as promising. Morrison has given us a lot of clues in Action 12. I’m betting that issue is pivotal for what is yet to come, not only in that book but the others as well.

      Sorry, to be so long winded. Thanks again.

  2. Sephiroth replied:

    Did I misinterpret something? It looks as if Lois is partly to blame for his leaving, given her relationship with Jonathan(moving in with him and all).

    I honestly have no idea what to expect now from DC…

    • Sephiroth replied:

      And another thing I forgot but it had me reeling, this is so OOC Lois that seriously something more should be explained in those panels. She’s basically not paying attention to Clark’s rants and yet such news stories would have had her in an uproar. I thought she also stood for truth and justice in the media.

      And who gave Clark the right to spy on her emails? Isn’t that Superman abusing his powers?

      I do not know these characters any more…thanks DC

  3. baudyhallee replied:

    Hi Sephiroth,

    Thanks for commenting, Sephiroth. I’ve just read the entire issue #13 and still need to see issue #14.

    I don’t think Lois is to blame. It has nothing to do with blame at all. She definitely is a reason, or more accurately, Clark’s strong feelings for Lois are a reason why he left. He begins to do some soul searching — but is called away to save the world from danger.

    I will be writing more about this in another article.

    Thanks again.

  4. Seraphina replied:

    I really like the way that this is developing, but I’m more and more convinced that Lois suspects that Clark is Superman, and the reason that they have not developed a relationship in the five years they’ve been friends is because he hasn’t been honest with her. She seems angry at Clark in the panels mentioned above, but I think it could also be linked to his relationship as Superman with WW.

    • baudyhallee replied:

      Thanks for the comment, Seraphina. Sorry, I got long winded.

      We asked George Perez if Lois knew the secret and he told us “She does. She’s known from the very beginning.” I love this new view of the triangle for two — unfortunately the new 52 isn’t writing that story yet. I like what you said about Lois being ‘angry’ because after 5 years he doesn’t feel he can trust her. It’s evident he has feelings for her, but he just can’t cross that line and commit. She supposedly started dating Jonathan before Clark kissed Wondy. That first meet in Superman #1 was supposedly the catalyst for the despondent Clark. Lois being Lois obviously realized at some point that Clark just wasn’t going to make a move (which is utterly ridiculous), Lois doesn’t pine, so when Jonathan appeared, she figured ‘why not?’ Apparently we’ll be seeing how Lois and Jonathan met very soon. (oh good — sarcasm) I’d be a little perturbed if the guy I had a close relationship with (Clark) — just didn’t make a move — despite his ‘secret.’

      I think part of her anger in Superman 13 may be because she knows he’s a better reporter than to say “slow week for news” — and if Clark were truly thinking, he should be wondering why he was pumping iron for FIVE DAYS. No Superman emergencies? WW didn’t need her tiara polished? I think alternate realities are coming into play, especially if you look at the difference between Superman Annual and Superman #13. Also Lois does not seem ecstatic about this move or event in her life. And there stands Clark giving her grief about her productions when he basically may have been the catalyst for this new venture. No one in that room is happy for various reasons.

      Clark has ‘moved on’, but never mentions the name of the person he’s now with. The editor had to tell us what he was referring to — and he didn’t mention a name either. Some big relationship! (more sarcasm) Clark ‘thinks’ he’s moved on, but his heart is definitely telling him that’s crap. He just can’t shake Lois ‘moving in . . . moving on’ out of his consciousness.

      I’ve seen some people criticize Lois for taking the text. But if they noticed Lois is in casual clothes as if she just stopped in to check on something on her day off — or maybe Perry called her in when he found out Clark had finally deigned to make a presence at his place of work. Perry has seemed to need Lois as backup or an interpreter when it comes to Clark (which is ridiculous if he was his editor for years). And it isn’t out of the realm of possibilities that Perry knew that Lois was moving in with Jonathan that day — and thus allowed the texting. Why Clark is unawares about what is going on with Lois since he’s supposed to be ‘besties’ with her, I don’t have a clue. Why didn’t he know about Jonathan in the first place? Guy has superpowers and doesn’t seem to be afraid to use them when it comes to Lois. He seems to be willing to cross that line — but not make a step to ‘date’ her. I’m hoping this may be explained in the 5 year gap in Morrison’s last few issues, but I’m not holding my breath. Superman’s storyline has been stalled and now going into crossover mode with not much character development (despite three creative teams). He doesn’t know who he is and neither do we.

      The thing I find most annoying, is DC shoving that kiss cover at us at every turn. It’s a rip off of a Superman and Lois panel from For Tomorrow . . . and yet, it’s amazing, new, and edgy (greater sarcasm). It did not sell all that well even with a reprint — at least it didn’t outsell Batman (who only had two issues, not three) by that much. I know DC has been planning this for two years but it’s really falling flat with the fan base. Superman is not in Wonder Woman’s book at all, yet DC feels ‘obligated’ to make mentions of the bullship in his book. Action seems to be spared while it is in the past for the time being.

      DC personnel have been giving interviews constantly mentioning the fauxmance and yet completely leave the perception and control of the articles with whomever wants to add some ‘let’s kick Lois Lane like a dog’ at every turn. Lois needs respect. Her 75th anniversary is coming up this Spring, too. DC should monitor that if they want to celebrate the 75th anniversary. It has been Lois Lane by Clark/Superman’s side these last 7.5 decades not Wonder Woman. Johns brought back Steve Trevor in a big way in JL — giving him and Diana lots of chemistry — I don’t understand why the most mythic couple in comics (Clark and Lois) have to wait for this paltry bullship. Oh yea, I forgot, the Trinity War. Well, let’s get on with it. It’s dragging on too long.

      Sorry to rant on. Dumping the new 52 Superman completely is looking real appealing to me. Who needs the aggravation of the bullship and Lois-deprecating promotions. I love the character of Superman, at least I did, — still do in Smallville Season 11, cause he has his act together and we know who he is.

      I’ll buy the books when Clark becomes more like his iconic self. I don’t mind him being a blogger and actually portraying a true 4th estate — which in today’s world is actually fiction. What I do mind is him holding Lois at arm’s length for 5 years, probably having Cat on his couch soon and then floating around the Watchtower (why???) and saying lame dialogue to WW who is usurping Lois Lane’s role in his life. All to the seeming glee of DC head honchos. Who either mock Lois or have interviewers kick her when she’s down. Meanwhile, it makes Clark look like a douche.

      Hey maybe that’s it. In the Silver Age, we had superdickery — in the new 52, we have superdouchery. How edgy!

      And on that thought, I’ll say thanks again. 😀

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