DC Comics relaunched their entire line of superhero comics last year, and while there have been some big successes not everything has worked.
Trickiest of all remains Superman, that strange visitor from another planet whose adventures in Action Comics have proven popular while those in his self-titled book have struggled to catch on. While Action has focused on the adventures of the Man of Steel set five years in the past, as chronicled by comic’s superstar Grant Morrison, the Superman book– set in the present day–has seen a revolving door of top tier talent that just hasn’t managed to find Mr. Kent’s groove.
This Wednesday the publisher hopes that their SuperWorries are over when the latest creative team of writer Scott Lobdell and artist Kenneth Rocafort have Clark Kent quit the Daily Planet and start a whole new chapter in the life of Superman’s alter ego.
It’s not like Clark hasn’t quit the Planet– the newspaper that he’s worked at in one incarnation or another for half a century– before. It’s just that in this day and age working for a newspaper feels more and more like an anachronism. In a lengthy USA Today interview Lobdell talks about the career change:
“I don’t think he’s going to be filling put an application anywhere,” the writer says. “He is more likely to start the next Huffington Post or the next Drudge Report than he is to go find someone else to get assignments or draw a paycheck from.”
This career change will actually bring the “present day” Superman-starring Kent into line with his depiction in the “five years ago” Action Comics. That of a fiery crusading journalist, not the ink-stained wretch of the past few decades. While they’ve pulled this gag before, something about this time feels different. If for no other reason than a major metropolitan newspaper like The Daily Planet feels like it is increasingly as much a fantasy as a man who can fly.