3

When Superman first appeared in comics he worked for The Daily Star (first refereed to in Action Comics #7, Dec 1938 ). Then in the 1940s that all changed, without any in-story explanation and during a multi-issue story line, the paper had suddenly become The Daily Planet.

enter image description here

According to Wikipedia:

the fictional newspaper's name was changed to avoid a name conflict with actual papers that had "Star" in their titles.

enter image description here

This explanation seems a little... lame (for lack of a better word), especially as Superman co-creator Joe Shuster named the Daily Star after his hometown's Toronto Daily Star which he related to be 'a great influence on his life.'

enter image description here

Does anyone know anything further about this change, perhaps gleamed from a biography or other historical text on comics in general or Superman in specific?

4
  • Well there are newspapers called the Planet as well (ex. Twin Cities Daily Planet, Telluride Daily Planet & Berkeley Daily Planet to name a few). So why was Planet better then Star? And why make the change after 2 years? It just seems there could be more to this change than that one line on wiki, that's why I'm asking. I don't know much about Superman's publishing history and I thought someone here might... – 22nd Century Fza Feb 4 '14 at 9:40
  • I'm not saying one is better then the other. I'm just trying to understand why it happened. And in fact the Telluride Daily Planet was founded in 1898. So there clearly were papers with the name 'Daily Planet' in them at the time. I can't say how many nor if the 'Daily Star' was more or less popular. This is why I'm asking the question. – 22nd Century Fza Feb 4 '14 at 10:06
  • Communism? "The Daily Star" sounds like a crafty Rooskie rag to me. – Paul D. Waite Feb 4 '14 at 10:46
  • @22ndCenturyFza - In 1940 there were over 20 US newspapers called "The Star" or "The Daily Star" or "The [something] Star" so it made sense to change the name when they went national in newspapers. – Valorum Feb 4 '14 at 21:06
5

Henry Mietkiewicz, the last person to interview Joe Schuster described the reason for the change as being "on orders from a New York editor".

Because there's no direct quote from Schuster he may have simply been speculating (e.g. as opposed to having been told) but I see no reason to assume that that's the case.


Prior to 1940, the newspaper was named the Daily Star. Siegel and Schuster had recently pitched the new and improved comic strip (shortly to be made into a nationally broadcast radio show) to the McClure Syndicate, who then resold the cartoon strip to hundreds of newspapers nationally.

Although the radio show's first episode accidentally described the newspaper as "The Daily Flash" this was hastily retconned by the second episode and on the day after the radio show was launched, the newpaper strip, comic books and radio show all changed to "the Daily Planet".

In 1940 there were over 20 newspapers across the US named "The Daily Star" so in order to avoid the suggestion that Superman worked for an existing newspaper (or because of the connections with the very recently bankrupted "New York Star") it made sense for them to rename it.

As to the identity of the fabled "New York Editor", my guess would be that it was alleged Fascist Agent(!) and Owner / Editor-in-Chief of the McClure Syndicate, Richard H Waldo.

Before: Daily Star

After:

Daily Planet

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.