Thursday, May 31, 2012

Perry White

So last time I wrote about a Superman supporting player, it was Jimmy Olsen. I wrote about how the heyday of his stories is long over because the way comics stories are constructed now just won't allow it.

Perry White, as far as I can tell, never had a heyday.

He's just this guy. The editor of a major metropolitan newspaper. He's a bit of a cipher. He has been made memorable by performances. Frank Langella lends the character some gravitas in Superman Returns, but it has nothing to do with anything about the character. It's all the actor. That's pretty much how it goes for all the movies and television shows.

There are some lines made memorable by their oddity and by repetition: Great shades of Elvis! Great Caeser's ghost! Don't call me chief!

Strangely, this was the cover for a story about Perry White dealing with the internet.

White occupies a strange place. He's not a father figure. He's not a wizened mentor. He's not Superman's pal. He is, more or less, a character who's often there to advance the plot. In the old days, he gave Clark and Lois and Jimmy assignments. There was a recent issue of Superman (#706) where G. Willow Wilson gave Perry a story about dealing with the ever-encroaching presence of those rapscallion bloggers. It was ok.

Yeah, that's about all I have to say about Perry White.

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