Chief Parker

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Chief Parker
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Adventure Comics #225
(June 1956)
Created by Alvin Schwartz
Curt Swan
In-story information
Full name Douglas Paul Parker
Supporting character of Superboy (Kal-El)
Superman

Chief Douglas Parker is a supporting character in stories published by DC Comics featuring Superboy, the younger version of Superman. He first appeared in Adventure Comics #225 (June 1956).

Fictional character biography[edit]

Pre-Crisis[edit]

Douglas Parker first encountered the future Superboy as a rookie officer on the Smallville Police Department (although Parker remained unaware of this fact). Parker apprehended the Pumpkin Gang while being secretly assisted by Clark Kent, who was still a toddler at the time. The capture earned the officer a promotion to captain.[1] He would steadily advance in the ranks, eventually becoming Smalllville Police Chief.

Chief Parker was a staunch ally of the Boy of Steel. In fact, Superboy entrusted him with a signal device linked to a lamp in the Kent home. The lamp would flicker whenever Superboy was being summoned. Professor Lewis Lang (Lana's father) and the President of the United States were given similar devices.[2]

As the chief law enforcement official in Superboy's hometown, Parker often encountered the Boy of Steel's allies and enemies. He helped restore Superboy's reputation after a rash of incidents engineered by the Kryptonian teenager Dev-Em.[3] He and his wife Leah briefly welcomed teenager "Marie Elkins" into their home, unaware that she was actually Duo Damsel, a member of the futuristic Legion of Super-Heroes who was hiding from the sorcerer Mordru.[4] Most notably, Parker was frequently forced to contend with Superboy's most persistent enemy, the teenage scientific genius Lex Luthor.

After the deaths of Jonathan and Martha Kent, an eighteen-year old Superboy left Smallville for Metropolis and eventually changed his name to Superman. Parker retired from law enforcement, occasionally visiting the vacant Kent home to ensure that it did not fall into disrepair.[5]

Post-Crisis[edit]

Following the Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series, Superman's history was revised, such that Clark Kent did not begin his public superhero career until adulthood, and thus never operated as Superboy.[6] While most of the Boy of Steel's supporting characters (Lana Lang, Pete Ross, the Kents) were reinterpreted for the revised continuity, Chief Parker was not. He has made almost no comic book appearances since the conclusion of Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1986. However, it has been established that — in post-Infinite Crisis continuity — Parker was indeed the Smallville Police Chief during Clark's childhood.[7]

In other media[edit]

Following the 1959 death of actor George Reeves and the cancellation of the Adventures of Superman television series, DC Comics (then known as National Periodical Publications) and the producers of the TV show decided to launch a new series about the hero's teenage exploits in Smallville. A pilot episode for The Adventures of Superboy was produced in 1961. Chief Parker makes his only live-action appearance in the episode, portrayed by actor Robert Williams. The pilot was never picked up for broadcast, but can be viewed today on various Internet websites, and was included in the DVD box set Smallville: The Complete Series (which was released in November 2011).

Other live-action series depicting a teenage Clark Kent do not include Chief Parker or the Smallville Police Department. On the 1988–1992 Superboy television series, Clark attends college (and later works for a government agency) outside of Smallville. On the long-running Smallville television series, the Kansas town is identified as part of the fictitious Lowell County, and law enforcement is overseen by the County Sheriff — first Ethan Miller (Mitchell Kosterman) and later Nancy Adams (Camille Mitchell).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Superman #152 (April 1962)
  2. ^ Superboy #88 (April 1961)
  3. ^ Adventure Comics #288 (September 1961)
  4. ^ Adventure Comics #369-370 (June–July 1968)
  5. ^ Action Comics #494-495 (April–May 1979)
  6. ^ The Man of Steel #1 (October 1986)
  7. ^ Superman: Secret Origin #2 (December 2009)