With the beginning of DC’s New 52 initiative this week and its corresponding same-date digital comics offerings, I’m put in mind of the fact that all forms of print publishing are seeing their businesses turned upside down and transformed by the digital age, struggling to adapt to the demands of the 21st century. As it happens, I was thumbing through a back issue I picked up for 52 cents at my local comic shop’s midnight release event for Justice League #1, only to find some similar language… but they’re words written two decades before the arrival of the new millennium.
The panels below are from the first page of Action Comics #531, written by Marv Wolfman and illustrated by Joe Staton and Frank McLaughlin, and published in early 1982:
To catch people up, the fellow in the green suit beside Mort Waxman is Morgan Edge, the one-time owner of The Daily Planet, and apparently, even 30 years ago, he was worried about the sluggishness of newspaper publishing. Unfortunately, Waxman’s reference to updating to prepare for the 21st century doesn’t touch upon digital publishing.
Apparently, Waxman would get along famously with folks from News Corp. in the UK, give his love for trashy, tabloid journalism. I don’t know about you, but I’d be mesmerized by a front-page headline that read “SUPERMAN CAPTURES BRAINIAC.” Boring, Mr. Waxman? I think not. Then again, “Superman’s six sexy secrets” would probably move a lot of papers (especially in ’82, before the Planet would’ve had its own website).
You think Waxman’s ideas are upsetting, Clark? Wait ’til you see the costumes DC will have you wearing in three decades or so.
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