By now, I'm sure you've seen the headlines in USA Today and elsewhere, spoiling a plot point in Superman (3rd series) 13, out tomorrow. In truth, it's a new twist on an old storyline, and when I say old, I mean, more than 40 years old.
In the 70's, editor Julius Schwartz and his staff of writers created a media conglomerate, Galaxy Broadcasting, which would buy the Daily Planet and link it up with WGBS, a Metropolis television station. Galaxy head honcho Morgan Edge would later be revealed as a master villain in his own right, as demonstrated during Jack Kirby's run on Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen. Edge stuck around, as memory serves, after Kirby left DC, and was downgraded as time wore on. In this storyline, Clark Kent moved from the Planet, transitioning into a TV news anchor, which would be his role for the rest of the pre-Crisis era.
Fast forward to today. Veteran writer Scott Lobdell is now writing Superman and has decided to pull Clark out of the Planet office again, this time with no other job available, which of course would allow Kent to spend more time as Superman anyway. How long this storyline lasts is uncertain, but unlike some of these other media-pimping news releases DC & Marvel have put out in recent months, this actually has some backbone to it. Literally. It's just how Lobdell runs with the story that will require some study, as this leads into a story arc running through all the books in the Superman line, at least through the early part of the winter.
Meanwhile, over at Marvel, Amazing Spider-Man ends with issue 700, and a new book, Superior Spider-Man, starts in January, and hints are that it won't be Peter Parker under the red webbed mask.
Let me invoke the words of George Santayana:
"Those who fail to remember history are doomed to repeat it."
In 1993, DC killed off Superman pro tempore, and introduced four new characters to star in the various books in his stead. Of course, the big guy returned a few months later, and the only quibble was that the time away gave him a longer hairdo. A year later, DC made another stupid decision and put Batman on the disabled list in order to "test out" Azrael as the Dark Knight, mostly to appease violence-obsessed fanboys who were tired of the traditional Caped Crusader, or so it seemed. "Az-Bats" went over about as well as, well, Crystal Pepsi, for example, which means to say, not well. Batman was back inside of a year.
What, then, makes Marvel think that tinkering yet again with one of their franchise heroes, in this case coming out of his 50th anniversary, will have any different result? Writer Dan Slott has all these ideas, but at the end of the day, in all probability, Peter Parker will return. Hasn't enough damage been done to this franchise in the last decade already under Joe Quesada, Dan Buckley, & Axel Alonso? Luckily, the newspaper strip is for now safe from such tampering, though Quesada tried to implement his "Brand New Day" story arc into the strip a couple of years ago, only for that to go over like a lead balloon. Personally, I'd rather read the newspaper strip and play my DVD's..........