Superman abandons the Daily Planet
When Clark Kent reveals his alter ego he can change the course of mighty rivers and fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice and the American Way.
As Superman, he leaps tall buildings at a single bound but as the mild-mannered reporter he finds it an affront to write about the Lindsay Lohans and Kim Kardashians that are making headlines in that great metropolitan newspaper the Daily Planet.
So in Issue 13 of the ageless comic book, Clark Kent -- in a newsroom tirade -- announces he is quitting daily journalism, leaving behind longtime colleagues Perry White, Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane.
Great Caesar's Ghost!
How can he do that?
Kent has worked at that historic newspaper since he moved to Metropolis from Smallville. He was a reporter when the city still had phone booths that allowed him to change into his super hero garb right there on the sidewalk -- at super speed, of course.
Pat Robinson of the Columbus Book Exchange has known the legendary star of comic books, radio, TV and Hollywood longer than anyone in town so naturally I called him to find out what's going on with our favorite Man of Steel.
"He's changing with the times," said Robinson, an avid comic book collector. "They're taking him back to a time when Superman needed super villains. They will see how this story is received and if people don't buy it they can always change back."
Older readers trace the character's genealogy back to 1938 when he was a cub reporter trying to get his first job. We have followed him since Ma and Pa Kent found him on the side of the road near their farm.
Newcomers have known him for less than five years. They care nothing about those other 70 years. When they met him he was a hard-working crime fighter in a T-shirt and blue jeans.
Writers were trying to move away from the goody-goody Superman of the 1950s. Even someone more powerful than a locomotive can get boring and creators wanted a hero with an edge.
Kent has tried his hand as a TV news anchor but Anderson Cooper in tights didn't sell.
He has dealt with social issues. He married eternal flame Lois Lane but readers wanted to see him hitting on Wonder Woman.
Such things led to Kent standing up in the newsroom and ranting about hard news giving way to entertainment fluff. In this latest edition of DC Comics, it is revealed that he will be starting his own blog. We can assume it will be super.
Is Clark Kent's decision news or fluff?
"It's news because comic books are part of the American mythology," Robinson said. "They are trying to make Superman relevant again."
But can a blogger save the world?
-- Richard Hyatt is an independent correspondent. He can be reached at email@example.com.