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”.
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?
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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 →
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 →
[The cover to Batman: Death by Design] What if Bruce Wayne wanted to demolish Penn Station in order to surreptitiously construct an auxiliary Batcave beneath the new building? That, in essence, is the plot of Chip Kidd’s new graphic novel Batman: Death by Design. Though a few familiar faces –and grins– make an appearance, Death […] Continue reading →
Having survived the Pinkney bombings, the Gotham earthquake, and No Man’s Land, the Gotham City Police Department Headquarters is one of the oldest and most resilient landmarks in the city. Located in Old Gotham, the Cyrus Pinkney-designed building serves as the primary headquarters for the dedicated officers of the Gotham City Police Department. Though the […] Continue reading →
From: Handcarts and Hellholes: A Brief History of Gotham City by Aristotle Rodor (Dennis O’Neil) It is said that when Solomon Zebedia Wayne finished his first tour of Gotham Village, he gazed upward and mumbled a prayer of thanksgiving. He had found his home, his vocation, and the source of his eventual fortune. When young […] Continue reading →
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 →
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 →
Graphic designer and writer Chip Kidd may be famed for his book jacket designs but he’s also an enormous Batman fan. Kid previously wrote the book Bat-Manga! The Secret History of Batman in Japan, but his next foray into Batman lore is an entirely new graphic novel entitled Batman: Death by Design. The story, according […] Continue reading →