“Disguised as Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter for a great Metropolitan newspaper…” What male journalist hasn’t, at some time or other, thought he exactly fit that description? Sure, we’re all superheroes hidden in double-breasted jackets, reveling in our interplanetary superiority even as we get dissed by an ignorant editor and dismissed by the star lady reporter. We use phone booths not to contact a source but to change into our red-lettered costume; and instead of taking a taxi to a crime scene, we fly there. Christopher Reeve’s solid earnestness in the 1970s-’80s spate of Superman movies was of course inspired by the Shuster-Siegel comic book, but it also suited the new mold of crusading young journalists who’d do anything to save the planet, get the story and bring evildoers to justice.
Truth, justice and the American way: that was the motto for Superman and Woodward-Bernstein.
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