Monday, December 14, 2009

Taps For the Daily Bugle

Spoilers for Amazing Spider-Man #614 below:

Over the years, Peter Parker's photography job has become an iconic, defining aspect of the Spider-Man mythos, but what happens in a day and age when anyone can take Parker-quality photos with a cell phone, and real-life newspapers are facing extinction?

For whatever reason, the Spider-writers have definitively moved away from the newsroom milieu in Amazing Spider-Man #614, where an amped-up Electro destroyed the DB building during his attempt to blackmail Dexter Bennett. Spider-Man, Bennett and J. Jonah Jameson were all in the building when it came tumbling down, and Bennett was critically injured. The Daily Bugle status quo has been in turmoil since the beginning of “Brand New Day”, when Jameson lost control of the Bugle, and things moved even further from the norm with JJJ’s surprise election as Mayor of New York, now this would appear to nail shut the coffin.

For longtime readers, Jonah’s mayoral win was surprising, but blunted by the assumption that at some point, everything would revert to normal, as they tend to in comics. Comic readers have been trained to expect a reversion to the status quo after drastic changes, and all things being otherwise equal, Jonah would most likely soon be back at the Bugle, screaming at Peter about needing pix for his latest Spider-Man Menace article. In this particular case, however, real world events may provide the finality that fiction usually won't. Newspapers ain't healthy, folks.

Sure, JJJ could always become the editor of Front Line, or a Bugle website and scream at Peter about needing viral video for his latest Spider-Man Menace LiveSpamTweetFeed, but it wouldn't be the same, would it? I’m not sure how much mileage Marvel can get out of Mayor Jameson (lots, I hope), but there’s probably more of a photography future for Pete there than at any newspaper.


MetFanMac said...

How long will it be before DC does the same thing with the Daily Planet?

Mego Thor said...

Meh, it makes no difference. Whenever the next movie/cartoon/video game comes out, it will be business as usual. Jolly J. Jonah will be back at the Bugle, and then, if it proves popular enough, the comics will back-peddle to get things back to the status quo. Also; man, is that some hum-drum art!

Jason said...

Not to mention the fact that Kraven is dead and Mysterio would have to grind levels till the cows come home before he's anything more than a headache.

Brian Hughes said...

I almost addressed that in this very article, but decided not to "muddy the waters"; since you bring it up, though, here's what I wrote:

"Meanwhile, over at the DC Universe, the Daily Planet continues to operate with occasional nods to difficult times, and DC has announced plans to produce yet another new origin of Superman with Superman: Earth One. The series promises to give Superman an Ultimate-style re-launch in the present day, yet will bring Clark Kent to Metropolis to work at the Daily Planet newspaper. It sounds like the Planet will be presented as a newspaper in decline, revived by Superman’s appearance, which seems a bit iffy to me. I can understand trying to keep things in line with the classic, but it seems to me a modern restart may as well go the full mile and have Kent work at a website or a cable TV news network. Hopefully, in a couple of years, the Newspaper industry will have fully recovered, and this whole article will seem as quaint as a Y2K scare piece, but as it stands, Clark may want to brush up his resume."

MetFanMac said...

Nicely written, sah.

Sea-of-Green said...

Well, there was a time when Clark Kent became a TV news anchor. That didn't last, though.

coco67 said...

But man, the sartorial splendor when Clark was on TV! The Swanderson art of the period was awesome, also.