Comic Vine News

53 Comments

Off My Mind: How Does Clark Kent Keep His Job?

Isn't being Superman enough of a job? How has Clark avoided getting fired?

Is Superman Clark Kent or is Clark Kent Superman? That's been a question among readers. Superman has always strived to embrace his human upbringing. This helps him relate to those that he is trying to protect. He may be a Kryptonian by birth but he definitely considers Earth his home.

To maintain his human guise, Clark Kent has established himself as a top newsreporter. This is something he developed a passion for and it allowed himself the opportunity to run out to cover any big events while also saving the day as Superman.

Lately we haven't seen much of Clark Kent. Superman spent a year living on New Krypton and as soon he returned, he went on his walk across America. During all this, how has Clark Kent kept his job? Has he taken a leave of absence or is he still phoning in article submissions while on the road? More importantly, does Clark Kent even need a job?

== TEASER ==

Because he's Superman, he can easily do things at super speed. That means 'Clark Kent' could easily cover the breaking news and type it up at lightning speed in order to appease Perry White. Is this really the best use of his time? While it might only take him a few minutes total to get the story, talk to witnesses, type it up and send it out, those few minutes could be used to save someone from a burning building or a deadly car crash.

Superman needs his time as Clark to maintain his connection to his human side. Being Superman all the time could make him forget about the people he's trying to protect. If he became cold and sterile to the needs that humans have, it could affect his judgement when performing as Superman. But to maintain that human connection, does he really need to have a job as a reporter? It's not like he's soaking in all this time hanging out at the Daily Planet because he's hardly even there these days.

Because Clark has the advantage of essentially covering any story he wanted anywhere on the planet, combined with his speedy typing and filing, he could be the best reporter around. Due to his noble nature, Clark would never take advantage of his super-abilities to that extent. Clark is more than willing to let Lois take the big stories.

Pack it up, Clark, you're fired!

Lois Lane is the better reporter and Clark could let Lois be the breadwinner in the family. Clark could spend his human time being a regular writer if he wanted to have a job in order to fit in with the human race. He has written (at least) one novel before and writing from home gives him a way not to have to worry about disappearing whenever trouble pops up.

The question is how good of a reporter is Clark Kent? How good does he allow himself to be? Perry's been very forgiving allowing Clark to maintain his job when he's never around. I'm surprised he hasn't actually been fired (and not part of some secret scheme between Perry, Clark and...Superman).

Superman has the ability to fly anywhere in the world in seconds but he has plenty of other responsibilities with the Justice League and to his wife. The idea of having a job as a reporter in order to maintain a connection to humanity is silly if he's doing his reporting at lighting speed in between Superman's missions. He's never around the Daily Planet anymore so it's time Perry White gave the job to someone willing to commit to being a journalist, someone that actually needs the job. There's the chance that Perry White suspects Clark really is Superman, otherwise it doesn't make sense that he would allow him to keep his job...unless Clark earns a really low salary.

53 Comments
  • 53 results
  • 1
  • 2
Posted by perry_411

The real question, why hasn't he been laid off. After all, newspapers are dying

Posted by The Stegman

he's been fired several times, the question is, how does he keep getting his job back??

Posted by Migz13

Cause he's the goddamn Superman!
(still doesn't sound better as "The goddamn Batman!")

Edited by ssejllenrad

He kisses Perry and the old man forgets all of Clark's transgressions.

Posted by Battlepig
@perry_411 said:
The real question, why hasn't he been laid off. After all, newspapers are dying
Eh, not so much. That's what everyone tells you that they're doing, but really, newspapers are doing fine. Sure, there's still more people who could read, but we manage to come out on top year after year. Besides, many people still prefer paper over screen. And even if they prefer the screens, someone has to write the article. There might be a shift in how journalism is presented in the future, but newspapers will exist in one form or another.
 
As for him keeping his job, I can certainly explain the absence-part. As a journalist, nobody really cares where you're currently hanging out as long as the paper's finished when the deadline comes around. A boss of mine used to go skiing for a day or two in the middle of the week because he had his articles done. So he went and did whatever he pleased. Granted, this rarely ever happens because we've been dowsized a bit too much - to the point where they have to give us new people or they'll work us all to death - but if we're enough people, then you have certain freedoms. And so I could totally see Clark taking the afternoon off to fight the Cyborg Superman or skipping the morning meeting because Doomsday is attacking. After all, he'll get a cool story out of it, too.
Posted by God_Spawn

He's friends with Batman.

Moderator
Posted by NightFang
@perry_411 said:
The real question, why hasn't he been laid off. After all, newspapers are dying
Only in comics my friend.
Posted by twisted17

Last I remember, Bruce Wayne was the new owner of the Daily Planet, so at least that newspaper's still in business. Plus, after reading the "Grounded" storyline (since a lot of people hate it), it turns out that Clark is still doing his job covering the Superman walk-a-thon. In Superman #706, they dealt with the whole "newspapers vs. internet blog" argument. Yes, newspapers are dying out, but that doesn't mean that such organizations can't find another means of presenting the story.

Posted by GraveSp

it has been suggested that Perry knows that Clark is Superman but he refuses to acknowledge it.  Thats probably why he is kept around.  Either that or they know that Clark is the one who gets the best Superman stories even if he doesn't get them consistently.  In the future maybe Clark will be a blogger or something because like everyone says newspapers are dying 

Posted by Eyz

He writes super fast :D
 
He's been fired so many times over the years.. and just counting the post-crisis modern DCU :P

Posted by stuamerica

Newspapers have been declared to be dying since the radios were the entertainment center of the day.  They still seem to be here and read by quite a few people.   
One of the reasons Clark became a reporter was the flexibility provided and reasonably close to breaking events.  It has been said he provides good quality stories that people notice, so his superiors probably give him fairly wide latitude as long as he can keep the stories flowing in on time.
Posted by mikeclark1982
@perry_411: bruce wayne owns the daily planet. in the DCU, bruce is kinda like a mix of tony stark owning tech companies and military contracts and rupert murdoch, by owning media outlets. he would not allow clark to be fired nor would he shut down the daily planet. 
Posted by azza04

I like that idea of Clark being an author instead of working at the Daily Planet. Like Omni Man.

Posted by BatmansFist

He has good PR contacts and the body of a greek god. Perfect marketing material for the paper.

Posted by keithmoon316

I would say since Bruce owns the Daily Planet he tells PErry to give Clark whatever he needs.

Posted by Amegashita
@Battlepig:  Great comment.  I agree with every point you've made.
Posted by labarith

Wait... Bruce owns the DP?

Posted by Blastov

I always thought of Superman as the greatest weilder of dual identities. He never suffers the stigma that accompanies other heroes, like say Peter Parker, in that both Clark Kent is also competent at what he does and not just appearing as an idiot or a coward compared to his alter ego
Posted by karrob
@Battlepig said:
@perry_411 said:
The real question, why hasn't he been laid off. After all, newspapers are dying
Eh, not so much. That's what everyone tells you that they're doing, but really, newspapers are doing fine. Sure, there's still more people who could read, but we manage to come out on top year after year. Besides, many people still prefer paper over screen. And even if they prefer the screens, someone has to write the article. There might be a shift in how journalism is presented in the future, but newspapers will exist in one form or another.  As for him keeping his job, I can certainly explain the absence-part. As a journalist, nobody really cares where you're currently hanging out as long as the paper's finished when the deadline comes around. A boss of mine used to go skiing for a day or two in the middle of the week because he had his articles done. So he went and did whatever he pleased. Granted, this rarely ever happens because we've been dowsized a bit too much - to the point where they have to give us new people or they'll work us all to death - but if we're enough people, then you have certain freedoms. And so I could totally see Clark taking the afternoon off to fight the Cyborg Superman or skipping the morning meeting because Doomsday is attacking. After all, he'll get a cool story out of it, too.
My words thoughts exactly!!! 
Posted by Herx

Now there are many great explanations here but my quack theory is this. (hold onto your pants, you may want to rage), after he gets laid off, or vanishes from the Daily planet for so long he takes a little trip to that dimansional wall that Prime punched and gives it a little flick. The effect is that nobody remebers that Clark Kent went missing for so long and he always stays in his job. 
 
Well either that or Perrys' to conncerend with why Jimmy still has a bow tie and also contributes every trip and fall that happens in the office to Clark.

Edited by MutenRoshi

Superman is lame, sh*t, and his stories are very boring 
 
Why does the vine always have a Superman tribute of the month, he has no toon, his movie flopped and there are far more interesting comics out there 
Looking forward to the day the vine dumps these silly superman vids

Posted by Mrs. Tim Drake

I remember once Batman stated that Perry knows that Clark Kent is Superman (or vice-versa: Superman is Clark). But he doesn't say anything.  I think it was in the Hush story arc.

Posted by Psychotime

SUPER HYPNOTISM!

Posted by keithmoon316
@labarith: according to Batman #611 he does. Am I wrong?
Posted by Sylver

This does bring up a good point BUT....but...I think we're missing something important.  Although comics are detailed, although they try to show the normal side of heroes... comics aren't realistic. They never have been, never will.  There's always that little cushion of things in comics that's literally impossible. 
But that's why we read comics: because they aren't like us.  We enjoy the fiction and the awe at what can't be done.  Time has always been a subject under discussion w/ heroes, but we've really got to understand how some things can't happen, but when they do, we've just got to accept them. 
Putting too much screwtinization on comics and all their details isn't good.  It takes out the mystery.  Frankly, I think Clark as a reporter and Superman is pretty darn cool. :-) I've considered journalism for a long time, and I always think of how it'd be somethin' else to be like Clark. 
So, point of rant: lay off Superman and all other heroes on their schedules.  It's not real.  And that's a good thing. :-)
Posted by sa5m

He is fast Clark is the good reporter that is why he can keep the job =)

Posted by leokearon

I think it is due to the fact that Perry does know that Clark is Superman, as it mentions in the Essential Superman Encolypedia, Perry won't be a very good newsman if he didn't suspect something
Posted by Avenging-X-Bolt

he's just too good. he's been demoted before but i think he got his job back
Posted by kfhrfdu_89_76k
@MutenRoshi said:
Superman is lame, sh*t, and his stories are very boring  Why does the vine always have a Superman tribute of the month, he has no toon, his movie flopped and there are far more interesting comics out there Looking forward to the day the vine dumps these silly superman vids
Shut up, would you?
Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

I kinda figure maybe Perry knows deep down myself.  I mean it just makes no sense otherwise to have somebody away from work so long and yet still have the ability to retain their job.  It is comics I know but Im sure even hardcore comic fans will agree on this inconsistency.  Perhaps that is something that will be done in the revamp...the revelation that Perry White knows Clark Kent and Superman are one and the same?

Posted by Neuron

I don't think the "people are dying elsewhere" argument sticks at all.  You could easily extend that into getting rid of Clark entirely, but we know he needs that side of himself.
 
I think it would be surprising what one could do with little to no sleep.  And I bet he is just that good of a reporter: ethical, comprehensive, able to see from other points of view, and a commitment to truth.  Perry probably gives him a ton of latitude.  I suspect he keeps the job precisely because it does keep his senses of truth and justice finely honed.

Posted by AssertingValor

how will he afford new tights??............
Posted by SUPER-MAN 23

Low pay job, it's amazing that he doesn't let Lois work there by herself.

Posted by ChadwickDavis
@leokearon
 
Actually Batman has also alluded to the same "Perry White knows" revelation. Furthermore, even if he is absent regularly, he is a novelist, top tier reporter, and meets deadlines otherwise it would be a dead giveaway to the rest of the DP staff i.e Cat Grant. Point Blank even in his civilian alias, his name sells and as a result he has a degree of seniority and job security.      
Posted by FalcomAdol

He's not being laid off because he's already a freelancer?
 
Hm, maybe.

Posted by obscurefan

Forget having to balance being a superhero with a job, he works for a newspaper, how has he not already been fired?

Posted by UnosInfinitos
@Migz13: Try this: the motherfucking Superman
Posted by perry_411
@Battlepig: So, your assertion that newspapers aren't dying includes that your company is down-sized. Isn't that more evidence of them vanishing?
Posted by bigpicnic

A better question might be, WHY does Clark Kent keep his job? It wouldn't take much imagination to turn his powers into any number of other lucrative possibilities. Poker, for starters. Better still, get a job as Superman. A single endorsement would surely make more money than years of his middling newspaper career.

Posted by Primmaster64

Clark can get a better job, why he doesn't troubles me.

Posted by Gambit1024

If Perry never suspected anything after all this time, he's a terrible reporter.

Posted by Maki_P
@bigpicnic said:

A better question might be, WHY does Clark Kent keep his job? It wouldn't take much imagination to turn his powers into any number of other lucrative possibilities. Poker, for starters. Better still, get a job as Superman. A single endorsement would surely make more money than years of his middling newspaper career.

Supes is too much of a Boyscout to do something like that. Also I think he likes his job
Edited by digimod
@MutenRoshi said:


                Superman is lame, sh*t, and his stories are very boring  Why does the vine always have a Superman tribute of the month, he has no toon, his movie flopped and there are far more interesting comics out there Looking forward to the day the vine dumps these silly superman vids
           


You are certainly entitled to your opinion but that is all it is - an opnion.  There are many here who who do not feel the same as you and he (Superman) holds a very relevant and important role to us in historical and comtemporary comics.  His movie might have flopped but his TV series Smallville is probably the most succesfful ever for a comic book hero and just ended its 10th and final season with a bang.  Some of the story arcs in recent years - most notably penned by Busiek and Johns, have been very compelling.  You cannot ignore Superman's continuing contribution to the genre and I applaud this sites reccognition of that (even if I think some of these topics are a little silly.) 
Posted by Nasar7

Check Superman: Birthright. Clark is an honestly good reporter. He chose that profession because its one where he can't use his natural powers and intelligence as a crutch. He has to interact with people. It's one of the few things that challenges him.

Posted by oldgum

Just imagine what if J. Jonah Jameson is Clark's Boss.

Posted by Timandm

1: I'm more than willing to believe Perry White knows Clark Kent is Superman
 
2: Superman has access to every story in the word.  Every country, every city, every town, everywhere...  He can listen in on virtually any conversation, and can follow any lead or hunch...  There's no story he can't get.
 
3: Next to The Flash, he's probably the fastest typist in the world.  He can literally write a story in less than a second... 
 
4:  With the internet he doesn't really need to be in the office....
 
It seems to me that being a journalist is the perfect job for Clark Kent.

Posted by spideybigtime

I'm sure that nobody can go without making that connection for that long. I thing Superman does mess with the universe somehow to make sure nobody put's together two and two.

Posted by SunnyGirl22

cool 

Posted by sweatboy
Being a reporter is great for a hero cos it'll let them know of who needs help real fast. And it's another more civil way to help people.
@RedheadedAtrocitus said:
I kinda figure maybe Perry knows deep down myself.  I mean it just makes no sense otherwise to have somebody away from work so long and yet still have the ability to retain their job.  It is comics I know but Im sure even hardcore comic fans will agree on this inconsistency.  Perhaps that is something that will be done in the revamp...the revelation that Perry White knows Clark Kent and Superman are one and the same?
Aunt May knew about Spiderman! sorta. This topic reminds me of Marvel vs DC where JJJ replaced Perry at the Planet (and Parker became the new Jimmy Olsen (even though Olson was still around)) Parker deserves a break, you know from his LIFE, and at DC it seems like everything's so perfect and happy, so a boss like J Jonah Jameson WOULD be a pain in Superman's ass. Superman's so fast he'd save people all around the world and still have time on his hand. He gotta do something right? And he wants to help out his parents,  with the money...
Posted by maximon

That was funny, but journalism is hard to get into to, even harder to find a good journalist in the field. So Clark Kent may be just that good or they have a low budget and firing someone just to hire someone else may cost too much.

  • 53 results
  • 1
  • 2