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Whatever Happened to Alice From the Daily Planet?

This is "I've Been Here Before," a feature that deals with a term that I coined called "nepotistic continuity," which refers to the way that comic book writers sometimes bring back minor characters that they themselves created in the past as characters in their later work (we're talking after a break of at least two years or so). This is not an insult, it's just interesting to note it when it occurs.

Today is a bit of a twist, as the creator at hand here is not technically the creator, but come on, you'll see what I mean when I show you the journey of Alice, the Daily Planet intern.

Alice first showed up in Superman #5 (by John Byrne and Karl Kesel), when we see Clark Kent show up a little bit late for work after having an erotic dream about Wonder Woman (yes, seriously). She barely gets an appearance, but she's there...

For the next couple of years, she's strictly a background character. She really doesn't even have any lines for the most part. Heck, when she DOES show up, it's sometimes as a hapless sad sack getting embarrassed by Cat Grant while having no lines of dialogue, like this bit from Superman #35 (by Jerry Ordway and Denny Janke)...

Things changed, however, in Adventures of Superman #461 (by Dan Jurgens and George Perez) when she runs into Clark Kent (who she still calls "Mr. Kent" even though they've known each other for quite a while now and she has moved up from being an intern into working as a general staffer).

Ooooh...intrigue! Why doesn't she want Clark Kent to see what's going on in the storage room? Meanwhile, you'll notice that Clark just got offered a job as a Managing Editor at NewsTime magazine.

We find out in Superman #39 (by Jerry Ordway, Kerry Gammill and Bob McLeod) that Clark Kent IS taking the new job, which shocks everyone, Alice included!

You really have to wonder sometimes, though, what a guy like Clark Kent is thinking. You have a job that works pretty much perfectly for your schedule of being Superman, why would you think that becoming the managing editor of a magazine would give you anywhere near the leeway that you would need to continue fighting crime on your own time?

Anyhow, this leads into the 1989 Christmas issue by Roger Stern, Dan Jurgens and Art Thibert, which actually features Alice on the cover!

They discover that she has been living in the Daily Planet storage room for three years....

It's a really nice look at the plight of the working homeless. Alice obviously has it even better off than others, who cannot afford housing while technically working.

In the end of the issue, Perry White and his wife (also named Alice) allow Alice to move in with them for now while they try to find her a raise...

Okay, so while Stern and Jurgens didn't technically invent Alice, come on, they BASICALLY did, as she was this blank slate background character for three years before they decided to do something with her. Heck, I don't even know if she had a NAME until they started working with her. So while that doesn't technically make them her creators, you could tell that it added a certain amount of pride in the character for Stern and Jurgens.

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