Graphic courtesy of Becka Kottke

The Planet rotates for it’s 80th year

7 mins read

Dusk breaks over the city of Metropolis and the warm beams of morning sunlight encapsulate the city’s golden beacon of truth, justice and hope in a warm glimmer of light. This beacon crowns the rooftop over the headquarters of Metropolis’ greatest newspaper, inspiring all that gaze up at the familiar ringed globe.

Truth, justice and the American way. These ideals are not only adopted by Earth’s mightiest hero, Superman, they’re also fostered by the internationally recognized news organization, the Daily Planet.

The Daily Planet is best recognized as the galactic paper of record which chronicles the Man of Steel’s fantastic adventures. 

In it’s fictional context, the Planet was founded during the golden age of print journalism. Over time it evolved from solely print news to a multimedia organization made to include television, radio, social media and the constant maintenance of a strong online presence.

The Daily Planet has produced groundbreaking headlines and news for generations. This famed publication has chronicled the adventures of Superman within the pages of DC Comics since the beginning. 

When Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster first created Superman and all related characters in 1938, they made the conscious decision of making the Man of Steel’s alter ego a journalist. Their reasoning behind this was simple; back in 1938 there wasn’t a more noble profession than journalism. 

Superman co-creators Shuster and Siegel originally employed Clark Kent and Lois Lane at the Daily Star but decisively felt obligated to change the broadsheet newspaper’s masthead soon after.

  • 1938 ⁠— In the beginning

    Photo courtesy DC Comics

    A wrongfully accused woman faces the death penalty, a group of gangsters kidnap the illustrious Lois Lane and a smashing green vintage 1937 DeSoto meets its fate. What do they all have in common? They all played a vital role in the first appearance of Superman in “Action Comics no. 1.” 

    The Man of Steel leaps to the rescue in this iconic comic book that started it all, and which broadsheet newspaper captured all the action and excitement? Well, it’s not the one you’re thinking of.

    When Siegle and Shuster first conceptualized the popular version of Superman, his alter ego, Clark Kent, and gal pal Lois Lane worked for the Daily Star, which was under the tenure of Editor-in-Chief George Taylor. 

    The original name choice stems from Shuster’s childhood recognized Canada-based newspaper, the Toronto Daily Star (now known as the Toronto Star), where he worked as a newsboy growing up. 

    The decision for the name change came from possible copyright issues with real world based newspapers.

  • 1939 ⁠— Igniting the spark

    The Daily Star first became the Daily Planet in a daily newspaper strip on November 13, 1939. The decision for the name change may have been the Superman radio show, which debuted in February 1940.  Simultaneously,  the name change was carried into the comic book, beginning with Action 23. Photo courtesy the Smithsonian Archive

    The Daily Star first transitioned to the Daily Planet in a daily Superman comic strip on Nov. 11, 1939 but the name didn’t resonate until April 1940 when “Action Comics no. 23” and the Superman radio show debuted. 

    When taking possible name change choices into consideration, Siegle and Shuster went through a variety of possibilities. They played around with association terms like “Globe” and “Mail” but eventually settled into the Daily Planet.

  • 1940 ⁠— Making it official

    When DC Comics published “Action Comics no. 23” in April, 1940 (It was originally sold in February), it was official. The Star had fallen and the Planet was befittingly born. 

    The name change didn’t come ceremoniously. In fact, it was hardly noticed. In the beginning the broadsheet still possessed the iconic ringed globe logo, but the news publication’s headquarters was shockingly indistinguishable compared to the Planet of today.

  • 1942 ⁠— Continuous rotation

    On Feb. 26, 1942, Metropolis’ most iconic landmark, the Daily Planet globe, made its first appearance in the fourth episode of the Superman Fleischer Studios cartoon titled “The Arctic Giant.”

    The golden ringed globe triumphantly crowned the news moguls headquarters and also sat proudly above the building’s main entrance, both of which are still considered staples to this day.

    The globe was so popular that it gravitated its way into the pages of Superman comics, allowing Metropolis’ skyline a distinguished look that’s still unique nearly 80 years later.

  • 1950 ⁠— Spheres for Titano

    The front cover of “Superman no. 138” from July 1960. Photo courtesy DC Comics

    The globe’s first cover appearance took place with an almost obvious twist when a giant mutant gorilla, known as Titano, fell into temptations grasp and climbed the side of the Daily Planet building in order to snag the iconic globe stationed at the rooftop.

  • 1978 ⁠— Blockbuster recognition

    “In times of fear and confusion, the job of informing the public is the responsibility of the Daily Planet, a great metropolitan newspaper whose reputation for clarity and truth had become a symbol of hope for the city of Metropolis,” a narration in “Superman: The Movie” said.

    In the opening sequence of Superman’s first cinematic blockbuster appearance, the Daily Planet was recognized as a main character by its own right. The self-rotating globe was briefly shown for the first time in a live action setting and was the introductory piece for the entire film.

  • 1986 ⁠— Rebranded post crisis

    John Byrne’s version of the Daily Planet as it appeared in “The Man of Steel no. 2” in 1986. Photo courtesy DC Comics

    After the “Crisis on Infinite Earths’” event, all of DC Comics’ main universe received a necessary upgrade, including the world of Superman. John Byrne reiterated Superman in 1986’s “Man of Steel no.1” with a more realistic light, backing his story, powers and everything else with factual information and theorized explanations. 

    The Daily Planet experienced a similar upgrade at this time and became the leading paper of record for this brave new world of DC Comics. It wasn’t just a setting for the wacky exploits of Jimmy Olsen, or the location for the unfortunate take on Lois Lane, which had her constantly pining for a marriage with Superman while simultaneously trying to expose his secret identity. 

    The Daily Planet received its own backstory and had readers believing that it was a legitimized newspaper that could contend in such a competitive market. In many ways, this rendition of the Planet helped inspire generations of journalists urging them to go out and become truth seekers in their own right.

  • 1992 ⁠— Devastation at the Planet

    In what is considered one of the most infamous moments in all comic book history, the multi-issue “Death of Superman” saga saw the Metropolis Marvel from Krypton meet his tragic end in the arms of his beloved Lois Lane at the stoop of the Daily Planet Building.

    In an event that literally shattered the Planet to its core, Superman died at the hands of Doomsday in the January 1993 issue “Superman Vol. 2 no. 75.” Immediately following the last son of Krypton’s death, DC heroes of every creed felt it necessary to meet in remembrance of their fallen comrade atop the roof beneath the iconic globe. 

    The rooftop has been a go-to meeting point for teams, heroes and lovers for generations but the sorrowful ambience from a multitude of broken hearted heroes meeting to mourn in a despondent downpour is something that hasn’t happened since.

  • 1993-1997 ⁠— Romanticizing the Planet

    Dean Cain’s Superman and Terri Hatcher’s Lois Lane as they appeared in the 1993 series “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.” Photo courtesy DC Universe streaming service

    Emerging from this tragedy, a new era of the Daily Planet began at the helm of the popular show “Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.” In the series that was rooted in the romance genre, “Lois and Clark” brought out the best in Metropolis’ dynamic duo of reporters. 

    In the bullpen of the Daily Planet building, Clark and Lois’ relationship grew from admiration and flourished into love. Taking inspiration from the 90’s DC Comics Superman titles, the show popularized Lois and Clark’s relationship. It also gave a new dynamic to the love triangle Lois found herself ensnared in when it came to Clark Kent and his alter ego, Superman.

    The Daily Planet’s reputation grew along with this legendary affair. Utilizing the Planet’s resources, the influential reporting team of Lane and Kent exposed corruption and constantly brought the truth to light.

  • 2001-2011 ⁠— Straight from the source

    Erica Durance as Lois Lane and Tom Welling as Clark Kent on the Daily Planet set of “Smallville.” The set was intentionally designed with classic Superman colors. Photo courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment

    “Smallville,” the series that bolsted the brave and bold superheroes of DC Comics into the 21st century, also assisted in the digital introduction of the Daily Planet. As a young Clark Kent began to mature into his powers, a historic Daily Planet began transitioning into the digital era. 

    Based in the gleaming utopic city of Metropolis, the Daily Planet reflected on its background and ambled forward slowly. Still focused on print in the series, the Planet directly alleviated its content fixating on the pursuit of truth and justice just as it always has. 

    Around this time in comics, the digitization of media was becoming more prevalent in the lives of the Daily Planet’s top reporters. In reflection of this, DC Comics divulged an online first new magazine during their “52” storyline in 2006 and 2007. For the first time in history readers could keep up with the universe of DC through an assortment of pieces penned by the Planet’s finest scribers.

  • 2014 ⁠— Where heroes are born and the story continues

    Graphic courtesy Karli Kruse

    In February 2014, inspired by decades of the Daily Planet’s vividly documented history, I started @DailyPlanetDC on Twitter. Since I first witnessed Lois’ journalistic strides in the pages of Action Comics and on the series “Smallville,” I’ve wanted to be a journalist at the Daily Planet. 

    In an effort to make that dream a reality, I started the multimedia platform originally constructed around fandom. @DailyPlanetDC is an “unofficial” handle for the Daily Planet in the real world. It’s very interactive, allowing outside work to be published on a variety of social media feeds accumulating over 20,000 followers.

    I strive to allow others with similar dreams a chance to express their creativity while reporting on the planet, daily on a well established online outlet.

  • 2020 ⁠— Reporting on the planet, daily

    The Daily Planet globe from “Batman vs. Superman” and “Man of Steel.” Photo courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures

    In a digital first society, Metropolis’ greatest and most well respected newspaper is now publishing news in real time online, circulating the same events within the prestigiously ink stained pages of their storied newspaper the next day.

    Like any news organization of today, the Daily Planet continually fights against injustice while repeatedly reporting credibly, ethically and with absolute certainty. When it comes to journalistic integrity, there is no better DC Comics news organization than the Daily Planet. Here’s to 80 more years, Planet.

This article was featured in the Daily Planet’s first magazine. For other features, check out our magazine section.

Zack Benz

Zack Benz has been a fan of the Daily Planet since he was eight years old. The Daily Planet has always been a beacon of hope for him and it’s his life’s mission to make it shine in a similar light to so many around the world. Zack graduated with a degree in journalism and art from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2019.

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