Bring Back Ron Troupe

Hey, here’s a few characters who have appeared in various Superman comics and shows:

Oh wait, my mistake. In spite of how different they appear, those are all takes on the same character: Ronald Troupe. For those who can’t tell by the one physical feature that is a constant, Ron is basically the franchise’s most prominent black guy (not counting Steel, of course, but I’ll get to him later).

Ron is underused, but he’s also tenacious. Since first appearing in the early 90s, he’s not managed to become an indispensable part of the franchise, but he’s managed to always be around, even if only as a named extra in scenes set in the Daily Planet. Ron made it into the 90s animated show, where he did nothing but appear in the background and occasionally say a sentence. He had an appearance on Smallville that amounted to a cameo. He’s been an unimportant character in arcs like the Death and Return of Superman and All-Star Superman, which guarantee that people who seek out only the most famous Superman stories are technically able to see him. Even, the very week I write this, is there a man in a single panel of Superman’s latest comic who I am sure is meant to be Ron. He sticks around, but nobody notices.

It wasn’t always thus. In the 90s comics, when the supporting cast was at its most valued, we got stories in which Ron did things or was even the point of focus. Over the course of a decade, he went from an aspiring reporter to a successful one working at the Planet. He began a relationship with Lucy Lane, Lois’s sister, and they ended up married and had a child (Sam) together*. But, cameos and background appearances aside, nobody seems to care about Ron anymore. That’s a shame because I can still see a place for him in the franchise.

One complaint I’ve seen tossed Ronward is that he’s “boring”. As someone who proudly considers himself boring, I don’t see the problem. Boring people deserve representation in comics as much as anyone. If only to mock us.

As should be evidenced by my previous Superman Thoughts posts, I’d want to bring focus back to the journalism in the book and that means more Jimmy Olsen. Well, if Jimmy’s idiotic and overeager attempts at being a journalist by running toward danger are back, then why not have level-headed Ron there as his foil. Jimmy and Ron are a natural comedy team. There have been small hints at this in the comics already, but I say we go full-throttle into this. If there’s ever a new Jimmy Olsen book and Ron isn’t his co-star, they don’t know what they’re doing.

Apart from Jimmy, Ron has also been shown to have a rivalry with the Planet’s sports reporter Steve Lombard. Steve, whom I’ll cover one day, has been doing well for appearances in the last decade and the friction between him and Ron gives them both something to do.

Basically, I don’t think I’m saying anything revolutionary about Ron Troupe. I think that most writers who know he exists see how he fits into the Planet’s group dynamics. It basically only matters if that writer cares enough to write about the Planet, or if they’re just writing toward the next DC Universe event and don’t have time for the supporting cast.

* Just think: There was a time when Lois and Clark had a mixed-race nephew. There are people who would be so pissed off by that and those are the exact people who deserve it. Also, little Sam Troupe would give little Jon Kent someone to play with who isn’t a Batman character. That’s a plus in my books. The Ron/Lucy relationship is definitely something I’d want back.

Beekeeper Review: Gutierrez

Today’s beekeeper is the famous Gutierrez, best known as Andy Richter’s personal beekeeper. Okay, “famous” may be overstating it. Even “known” is not quite accurate. Actually, this is probably as obscure as any beekeeper review could possibly get.

It’s like this: One time on Conan O’Brien’s show in the 90s, they were doing a bit in which Andy Richter was hiding. Gutierrez was one of numerous people who were said to not know where Andy was. That’s it. That’s all we’ve got. He just shrugged and the camera moved on. Conan even stopped to comment on how much budget was probably wasted on the costume for such a stupid moment.

But now to review him: Conan says “He’s clueless, Gutierrez” but that’s only regarding his knowledge about where Andy is at that given moment. He’s probably good at the beekeeping. He’s a professional, after all. And that’s enough for now.

Two Honeycombs out of Five.

Gutierrez’s most important Beekeeper Power is the ability to be easily reviewed in about twenty minutes so that I can get a Review up before this month’s deadline without having to read a whole book or something. Thanks, Gutierrez!

Super Sunday: Life’s Dumb Mysteries

The Situation

A private eye is sent on a missing person case, only to find the missing person almost immediately, but it turns out that the real mystery is even stranger.

The Characters

Edwin Gream

Edwin was a regular private detective until one day a woman came in asking that he look for her son Johnson, who had gone missing. Edwin started his investigation by checking out Johnson’s usual hangouts. And he was right there.

Johnson Tommy

Johnson informed Edwin that the woman who hired him was, in fact, not Johnson’s mother. That woman was an imposter, he says. She was sent by a mysterious cabal who have been trying to ruin his life. Johnson convinces Edwin to help him investigate another mysterious woman who has been following him…

Hannah Gale

The woman who has been following Johnson turns out to be unaffiliated with the mysterious cabal. She’s actually part of a secretive cult who believe that Johnson might play a part in a prophecy that the cult’s leader thinks will bring about a New Age on Earth. But it turns out that the cult’s leader is not who they all think he is. He’s actually a robot!


Posing as the human leader of a cult, the robot m473bo7 has been trying to make find its way in the world by creating a new religion based around establishing himself as a god. But now m473bo7 is confused because a lot of the prophecies he was making seem to be turning true on their own and he doesn’t know why. When Edwin and Johnson blow his cover, he hires them to investigate.


I envision this show as being terrible. It’s like one of those shows where the writers are clearly making up the mystery as they go (The X-Files or Lost, for example) but we’re doing it on purpose. Writers on this show would not be allowed to plan anything out more than two episodes in advance, and every episode would be required to include one “mind-blowing twist”. No fan of this show would ever be able to make a theory about where it is all going, because it is going nowhere.

Clark Kent Collects Clocks

It’s good for a person to have a hobby. Even Superman. I have found that there are at least three references to Clark Kent having collected clocks. I grant that, over a period of eighty years, three references are not a lot. Some might say that they’re very very little. But I like the idea of Clark collecting clocks and I’m saying we should bring it back.

The advantages of bringing back Clark’s hobby:

  • Collecting clocks is a decidedly “unhip” hobby. There are constant attempts to make Clark “cool” but I don’t like it. Superman is the straight-lacedest of Superheroes. In spite of the attempts to change this, this is actually a thing that most of his fans like about him. They ought to embrace the idea that Clark is a “square” and this is a way to remind people of it.
  • It ties in with Jimmy’s signal watch. For those who don’t know, Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen is so danger-prone that Superman gave him a watch that, when activated, emits a sound that Superman can hear, so that the hero will come save him. Why a watch? Well, if Clark is a fan of timepieces, the answer to that question becomes obvious.
  • Stories could be based around clocks and stuff. It’s a good way to teach kids how to tell time and stuff.
  • Clocks could liven up the Fortress of Solitude. Ever since the Donner films, the Fortress has been depicted as this depressingly barren warehouse full of nothing but snow and crystals. It looks patently un-cozy. I’d love to see some rugs and some paintings to liven up the place, but we just need to throw in a couple fancy clocks (even alien clocks) and we’re headed in the right direction.

The disadvantages of bringing back Clark’s hobby:

  • There are none! Get outta here, chumps!

Bring back the clocks! Or at least someone start a band called Clark Kent Collects Clocks.