The 6 Coolest Newspaper Reporters in Comics
It’s my birthday this weekend, and I’ve been racking my brain to come up with a neat List of Six to commemorate the celebration. I thought about a list of the coolest comic book characters named Sean. Or maybe my personal Bucket List. But I couldn’t find six entries for either — my Bucket List right now is only ‘visit Australia’ and ‘write a novel’, which I’m pretty sure everybody has.
So how about a List of Six of the coolest, niftiest newspaper reporters in comics? That’s my day job, after all, and I’m a big fan!
Newspaper reporters have been around since the very beginning of comics. It’s a fun profession, and newspapers have big mouths. Who doesn’t love J. Jonah Jameson and his latest ‘Spider-Man is a Menace!’ headline? And there’s nothing I’d love more than if a masked vigilante moved into my neighborhood and I got to write newspaper articles about him or her!
Join me after the jump for the six most awesome newspaper reporters in comics!
Honorable Mention: Clark Kent
He’s one of the first, but he’s not the best. You’d think that Superman himself would be at the top of this list, but you’re wrong. Make no mistake, Clark Kent is a fine reporter. But writing stories about himself as Superman? That’s as unethical as it comes! Just like Peter Parker taking pictures of Spider-Man for The Daily Bugle. Reporters aren’t supposed to make the news and then write about it themselves. So yeah, I’m saying it: Superman is a charlatan!
6. The Phantom Reporter
We’re gonna start this list off with a bang! The Phantom Reporter is the only comic book hero I found who actually used his profession as his superhero identity! And if I don’t someday dress as him for Halloween, I will be an embarrassment to my profession. The Phantom Reporter is Dick Jones, hailed on the 1940 cover of Daring Mystery Comics #3 as “ex-All American fullback, ex-collegiate boxing, wrestling and fencing champ”! Cub reporter by day, Jones grew angry with all of the corruption he was seeing, so he turned to dapper costumed vigilantism to try and make things better. I’m almost ashamed that I hadn’t thought of that yet.
5. Jack Baxter
Phantom Jack is a newspaper reporter who can turn invisible, and he uses that ability to get the scoop on all the best news! That guy definitely has his unseen priorities straight. Or maybe he’s just better and more noble than all of us. His story was told in a brief mini-series from Image Comics back in 2004. After being an awesome supernatural reporter — which I want on my business cards — Jack Baxter eventually travels to Iraq to help his soldier brother. There, he teams up with an invisible secret agent, once again reminding him that he’s probably wasting his power.
4. Vicki Vale
Vicki Vale essentially has my dream job, in that she gets to be a newspaper reporter who writes about Batman on a daily basis. And not just in the ways I write about Batman, she gets to do it as part of her real day job writing for the Gotham Gazette. Man, that would be sweet. Granted, you’d probably be the target of a million different criminal psychopaths, but she gets to write news stories about Batman! She also gets to sleep with Bruce Wayne on occasion, a perk that I would probably pass up. Still, Vicki Vale has been the ‘go-to’ reporter in Batman comics since the 1940s, and that’s some character staying power!
This is also a good time to remind you that Vicki Vale is the object of desire in one of my favorite superhero tunes of all time, Aquaman’s Lament.
3. Spider Jerusalem
Gonzo journalism is real journalism, and if you think otherwise, you don’t know enough about Hunter S. Thompson. Apparently that guy was awesome. And so is Spider Jerusalem, the crazy, drug-addicted, psychopathic gonzo journalist in Transmetropolitan, who uses the power of the press to do battle with the widespread political corruption in his comic. He’s the psychopath with the heart of gold, the crazy man doing the right thing, and all in the name of free press. I really need to read Transmetropolitan for some career advice.
2. Ben Urich
Nobody in comics is as old-school as Ben Urich, long-suffering crime reporter in Marvel’s version of New York City. Longtime ally of both Daredevil and Spider-Man, Urich is the best, most important writer at the Daily Bugle. He’s the sort of guy who can stand up to J. Jonah Jameson and still have that flintsmith publisher respect the hell out of him in return. Urich is a name to be feared, respected and hated in the criminal underworld, at least when he’s not going on wacky adventures with Spider-Woman.
1. Lois Lane
Here she is, the best of the best! The top dog! The ace reporter we all wish we could be! Lois Lane is to journalism as Superman is to truth, justice and the American way! She breaks news, she chases down the big stories, she has an embarrassingly insane comic book series from the Silver Age. Most modern portrayals of Lois are pretty stellar, though, and she’s always getting a bigger, better push in every revamp of the Superman series. Sometimes she keeps Superman’s secret, sometimes she’s still in the dark, but she’s got more integrity in her big toe than that Kansas hick Clark Kent in his whole muscly body! I don’t know any superheroes who have won a Pulitzer!