(Doing a bit of housecleaning on the computer and stumbled onto this previously unposted bit. I have no idea what set this off, though I do freely admit to being loopy at the end…)
There is no way on this great green planet of ours that I’m the first person to make the observation that a lot of the classic comic book heroes worked for or were somehow connected with newspapers.
Superman – Clark Kent, Lois Lane, jimmy Olsen, Perry White of the Daily Planet
Spiderman – Peter Parker, J. Jonah Jameson (and a staff of millions) of the Daily Bugle
Batman – Vicky Vale (among many) of the Gotham Gazette
Daredevil – Ben Urich, also of the Daily Bugle
Green Hornet – Brit Reid of the Daily Sentinel
Howard the Duck – Lester Verde/Dr. Bong of various tabloids
I’m sure there are more, those are just the ones I can remember. I’ve come across Frank Miller referring to the reporter character in comics as an Everyman character, a stand-in for the rest of society, but I’m wondering if there isn’t something more in play. Often there is a give-and-take between the journalists gathering information that the superheroes use, and sometimes the superheroes supply the news themselves. The relationship is symbiotic, almost as if the newspapers were serving as publicity agents for the heroes, but even that’s not all.
Don’t these newspapers tend to operate under the same motto as Superman – to fight for Truth, Justice and the American Way? I’m wondering of it’s possible that the superhero is the visual manifestation of the “mild mannered” journalist, rooting out and exposing villains, serving for the good of the public.
I think that’s something I’d like to see, but it would be tricky to pull off: the superhero journalist comic book. I’m not talking about the reporter as a cover, but as the reporter as hero. I look around at what passes itself as news, what passes as “fair and balanced,” and think it would be nice if we could have some better comic book role models
Yeah, I’m a bit loopy right now.