Pop Culture

Read All About It: Superman's Alter Ego Quits Job

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In the upcoming issue of Superman, the man of steel's alter ego — mild mannered reporter Clark Kent — quits his job as a reporter. Audie Cornish and Melissa Block wonder what this says about the state of journalism and what might be next for Clark Kent.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN 1: Look, up in the sky. It's a bird. It's a plane. It's Superman.


Superman may be faster than a speeding bullet and more powerful than a locomotive, but starting tomorrow, he'll no longer do battle with deadlines, at least print deadlines.


Extra, extra, read all about it. Superman's alter ego, the mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent is quitting his newspaper job at the Daily Planet. DC Comics says that in the next installment of the Superman series, which is out tomorrow, Kent will leave his job after a heated discussion with the paper's owner.

BLOCK: Apparently the rift is over the role of new media, citizen journalism and the creep of entertainment into the news.

GLEN WELDON: Well, Superman is an ideal. He's larger than life. He's the thing that we aspire to be, so it makes sense that if he's going to stand for anything, he's going to stand for truth, journalistic truth in this case, with a capital T.

BLOCK: That's Glen Weldon an NPR pop culture blogger and author of the upcoming book "Superman: The Unauthorized Biography." He says it's not the first time Kent has quit the paper.

WELDON: Yeah, in 1971, he got a job as a roving television reporter. He got a sweet RV and he roamed the country. And then, later, he became a news anchor. He grew out his sideburns, got slightly wider lapels and if any natural disasters happened in Metropolis between 6:30 and 7:00 at night when he was behind the news desk, people were kind of out of luck.

CORNISH: We're not sure what happened to that storyline, but we can understand why Clark Kent might have tired of his boss, Perry White's constant yelling.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN 2: (as Perry White) I don't care what Kent said. I'm running a newspaper not a home for mental defectives.

BLOCK: But what will Superman's next career move be? Rumor has it he'll move to Internet news.

CORNISH: Blogging for truth, justice and the American way.

BLOCK: And Superman's alter ego does possess one skill that will be valuable in a Twitter-paced world.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN 2: (As Perry White) Not only does he have a snappy, punchy approach, but he's also, in my 40 years in this business, the fastest typist I've ever seen.


BLOCK: You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

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