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Metropolis Architecture: The Daily Planet

first daily planet

The first appearance of the iconic Daily Planet building in the “The Arctic Giant,” the fourth episode of the Superman cartoon created by Fleischer Studios. Original airdate: February 26, 1942

This is an interesting article from Design Decoded:

Though well known today, the Daily Planet building wasn’t always so critical to the Superman mythos. In fact, when the Man of Steel made his 1938 debut in the page of Action Comics #1, it didn’t exist at all. Back then, Clark Kent worked for the The Daily Star, in a building of no particular architectural significance because, well, there was no significant architecture in those early comics. The buildings were all drawn as basic, generic backdrops with little distinguishing features that did little more than indicate some abstract idea of “city”.

superman daily star

Clark Kent working at The Daily Star in Action Comics #1. Rest assured, Superman puts a stop to the wife-beating mentioned in the final panel. (image: Art by Joe Shuster, via Comic Book Resources)

As noted by Brian Cronin, author of Was Superman a Spy? and the blog Comic Book Legends Revealed, Kent’s byline didn’t officially appear under the masthead of a paper called The Daily Planet until the 1940 Superman radio show, which, due to the nature of the medium, obviously couldn’t go into great detail about the building. That same year, The Daily Star became The Daily Planet.

But the lack of any identifiable architecture in these early representations of the Planet hasn’t stopped readers from speculating on the architectural origin of the most famous fictitious edifices in funnybooks. Unsurprisingly, Cleveland lays claim to the original Daily Planet. But so too does Toronto. And a strong case can be made for New York. So what was the true inspiration behind the iconic Daily Planet building?

Continue reading on the Design Decoded blog…

The Real Arkham Asylum

Danvers The Danvers State Hospital, also known as the Danvers Lunatic Asylum Arkham asylum was first created by Dennis O’Neil in 1974. He named the asylum after a town in the stories of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. Lovecraft originally created Arkham as an apocryphal analogue of Salem, Mass. The Lovecraft story, “The Thing on the Doorstep” […] Continue reading →

Gotham City History: Arkham Asylum

Arkham Asylum map FICTIONAL HISTORY Arkham Asylum is the home for the criminally insane denizens of Gotham City. But, as Director Jeremiah Arkham will tell you, it’s much more than that: “Arkham Asylum is not just any institution for the criminally insane. It’s the Ivy League of insanity.” Arkham Asylum was founded by Amadeus Arkham after his mother, […] Continue reading →

Gotham City Architecture: Gotham’s Architectural Historian Supervillain

gotham-furst-1 One of the great storylines in the Batman comics was “Destroyer” published in 1992. Written by Alan Grant, the premise is sure to please any disgruntled architect or uncompromising disciple of Howard Roark: an overzealous architecture historian / Navy SEAL bombs abandoned and derelict “soulless concrete” buildings that obscure the Neo-gothic architecture of the city’s […] Continue reading →

Gotham’s Architectural Historian Supervillain

gotham-furst-2 One of my favorite plots in the Batman comics—for reasons that will be painfully obvious— was a storyline titled “Destroyer” published in 1992. Written by Alan Grant, the premise is sure to please any disgruntled architect or uncompromising disciple of Howard Roark: an overzealous architecture historian / Navy SEAL bombs abandoned and derelict “soulless concrete” […] Continue reading →