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Is Clark Kent a good reporter?

It doesn’t seem so. Yes, he gets “exclusive” interviews with Superman (by cheating, since he is Superman.) But:

When we see Clark start to work on a story, it’s because Perry White sends him to look into it. “A scaly green monster’s tearing up Suicide Slum. Kent, go find out what’s going on.”

But any decent reporter is constantly working the phones, checking in with sources and leads, and otherwise covering his beat and hunting down his next big headline — not waiting for his boss to tell him what to do.

What’s more, Clark is meek and mild-mannered. He doesn’t display the high-achieving reporter’s hunger for the big story. Lois Lane does; the comics have always presented her as a hard-charging investigator, always nosing around for any scent of a headline-grabbing scandal. But not Clark.

And yet:

Some quiet journalists get the stories that greedier, grabbier reporters never touch. The sole surviving witness to a religious cult’s mass suicide may be so shell-shocked and fragile that he would shrivel away from an aggressive interviewer who spits out questions like gut punches. But a quiet, polite guy like Clark, who can sympathize with someone who’s lost his whole world? He’d get that interview.

He could get the bad guys, too. Slick, smug shysters or fast-talking confidence men would see Clark — the former Smallville farm boy — as a bumbling, naïve hayseed whom they can fool easily. They’d get overconfident, let their guard down and make an offhand comment that Clark would use to pop their scams wide open.

What’s more, an unflashy, plodding guy like Clark would do the dull stuff that other reporters wouldn’t. For instance, he’d pore through endless, dusty title-transfer documents in a courthouse basement — and uncover a governor’s scandalous deal to get kickbacks from crooked builders who construct shoddy schools on toxic-waste landfill.

And all without even the advantage of being Superman.

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