Steve Lombard

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Steve Lombard
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceSuperman #264 (June 1973)[1]
Created byCary Bates
Curt Swan
In-story information
Full nameSteven Lombard
Team affiliationsDaily Planet
Galaxy Communications
Supporting character ofSuperman

Steve Lombard is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics.

Publication history[edit]

Steve Lombard first appeared in Superman #264 (June 1973) in a story written by Cary Bates and penciled by Curt Swan. When editor Julius Schwartz suggested adding a sportscaster to Clark Kent's news broadcast, Bates decided to create a workplace adversary for Kent to contrast with Kent's friendly relationship with the other cast members, drawing partial inspiration from the character Ted Baxter of The Mary Tyler Moore Show.[2] Lombard's physical model was real-life football star Joe Namath.[2]

For several years after Steve Lombard's debut, he appeared in nearly every published Superman story. Action Comics writer Martin Pasko later attempted to explain the character's popularity:

... Lombard is one of the few examples of a character that all of us Superman scripters at that time wrote in more or less the same way - as opposed to, say, the way Lana Lang seemed to be a totally different character when she'd show up in Action on occasion. I think that's because Lombard was one of the most sharply drawn and purposefully designed (though not particularly complex) characters I've ever handled - the most clearly communicated idea I've ever heard from an editor and the writer who co-created it: the jock doofus unwittingly trying to bust Superman's cajónes. The audience waits for it, knowing that a hotfoot with a match won't trump a hotfoot from heat vision, or whatever. And I gather the other Superman writers thought so, too. That's why Lombard became, for me, at least, one of the best examples of what, in sitcoms, we call the 'run-through character.' That's certainly what Ted Baxter was on TV: the character you knew you could 'run through' a scene and get laughs just from his showing up. ... The audience starts laughing when they show up because they're laughing at what they're imagining is gonna happen. They're 'waiting for it.'[2]

Bates wrote Steve Lombard out of the regular Superman supporting cast in Superman #384, though his final pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths appearance was not until Superman #413.[2]

Fictional character biography[edit]

Pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths[edit]

Steve Lombard's first appearance. Art by Curt Swan

In Pre-Crisis continuity, Steve "The Slinger" Lombard is a former quarterback for the fictional NFL team the Metropolis Meteors. Steve injures his knee while saving a baby falling from a building. An experimental radiation treatment cures his knee injury, but also produces an energy being that resembles Lombard. The energy being responds to Lombard's thoughts, and begins scoring touchdowns in his place. At first taking credit for the energy being's performance, Lombard is forced to confess the truth after the energy being goes on a rampage and has to be stopped by Superman. He is subsequently hired by Morgan Edge to become a sportscaster for Galaxy Broadcasting, working alongside anchor Clark Kent on the Six O'Clock News.[1] [3]

Steve is portrayed as brash and overly self-confident, and often plays pranks on Clark Kent, which he is usually able to counter with the subtle usage of his powers (referring to him by the unflattering nickname "Clarkie"). However, Steve also considers Clark one of his few real friends, since he takes Steve's attitude in stride and never bears him a grudge. Steve has a brother who is a doctor named Vernon Lombard. Steve has a nephew named Jaime Lombard.[4] Steve also has an aunt Kaye Daye who is a mystery novelist writer who works with the Mystery Analysts of Gotham City.[5] When Steve is tracked to Clark's apartment by a super-powered enemy (a former college roommate who did not shrug off Steve's pranks nearly as well as Clark does), Steve forces Clark to safety before confronting his opponent, although Clark, naturally, returns as Superman to rescue Steve.[6]

Post-Crisis[edit]

Lombard was not part of the original reboot of the Superman storyline that began in John Byrne's 1986 The Man of Steel mini-series. His first Post-Crisis appearance is as a news anchor on WGBS-TV in The Adventures of Superman #467 (June 1990).

As of the June 2008 storyline, Lombard works for the Daily Planet, as the editor of the Sports section.[7] Perry White states Steve Lombard has recently returned to the paper, so it can be assumed that Steve used to work there before leaving to work for WGBS. Action Comics Annual #11 (May 2008) gives the following information on Steve: "Sports Reporter. Steve Lombard played football in high school, college, and briefly for the pros. He sees himself as a man's man, everything Clark Kent is not in fact. He is a walking encyclopedia of sports trivia and put-downs. Lombard cannot figure out why Lois Lane does not throw herself at him." It is also stated that Steve Lombard often butts heads with Ron Troupe on nearly everything.

His personality is featured in the 2008 'Brainiac' storyline. He makes a crude sexual advance to Lois Lane right in front of Clark Kent. He insults Ron Troupe's choice of subject matter, thinking articles critical of sports means Ron 'hates' them. He takes great joy in assaulting colleagues with a football, laughing at their torment. However, once actual danger arises he is quick to take charge and work with others in order to make sure everyone is safe. For example, he and Ron save Cat Grant's life.[8]

The 2009-2010 miniseries Superman: Secret Origin established that Lombard, in post-Infinite Crisis continuity, was already on the staff of the Daily Planet when Clark Kent began working at the newspaper.[9]

Steve Lombard is shot in the shoulder when he attempts to stop a crazed gunman from killing various Daily Planet employees. He is later seen being led away from the building. [10]

Alternate versions[edit]

Earth-Two[edit]

There was an Earth-Two version called Steve Bard who appeared in the 'Mr. & Mrs. Superman' stories in the Superman Family title. He appeared first in Superman (first series) #29, as a jokester, resembling The Prankster.

Smallville[edit]

Steve Lombard is featured in the Smallville Season 11 digital comic based on the TV series.

Earth-Three[edit]

In the New 52 an alternate version of Steve Lombard was mentioned by Ultraman during his attack on the Daily Planet. He tells Jimmy Olsen that the Earth-Three Jimmy Olsen had skinned Steve Lombard for looking at his private collection of pictures of Superwoman. This was the only reference so far to the character.[11]

All-Star Superman[edit]

Steve Lombard appears as a minor supporting character in Grant Morrison's limited series All-Star Superman. This incarnation works as a sportswriter at the Daily Planet. His character and appearance are similar to that of the post-Crisis Lombard. In All-Star Superman #7, Steve proves immune to the Bizarro virus due to his use of performance-enhancing drugs. In the same issue, he risks his life to defend fellow employees from danger.[12] He also wears a toupee he denies exists.

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • While not actually appearing on the show, Steve's referenced in the Smallville episode Booster as a former Daily Planet reporter, whom recently walked over to the Daily Star.

Film[edit]

  • Steve Lombard appears in All-Star Superman voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson.
  • Steve Lombard appears in Superman: Unbound voiced by Diedrich Bader. It is implied during a talk with Lois that he suspects Clark is gay; he explains that Clark is secretive about whether he has a girlfriend and has a bodybuilder's figure, but isn't into sports. Later when Clark proposes to Lois, he claims he knew all along the two were romantically involved, with another reporter snidely pointing out he didn't.
  • Michael Kelly portrayed Steve Lombard in the Zack Snyder film Man of Steel. His bullying personality is totally downplayed due to mostly being relegated to being a background character. Near the end, he attempts to ask out fellow co-workers Lois and Jenny, but is turned down by both.

Miscellaneous[edit]

  • Though not appearing in The Batman, Steve Lombard makes a cameo appearance in issue #44 of the spin-off comic The Batman Strikes! in the Daily Planet.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Cary Bates (w), Curt Swan (p), Murphy Anderson (i). "Secret of the Phantom Quarterback!" Superman 264 (June 1973), DC Comics
  2. ^ a b c d Wells, John (September 2016). "Bullies and Blowhards of the DC Bronze Age". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (91): 16–18.
  3. ^ Action Comics #466 (December 1976)
  4. ^ Elliot S! Maggin (w), Curt Swan (p), Murphy Anderson (i). "World Beneath the North Pole!" Superman 267 (September 1973), DC Comics
  5. ^ Martin Pasko (w), Curt Swan (p), Frank Giacoia (i). "The Pizzeria Peril!" Superman 277 (July 1974), DC Comics
  6. ^ Cary Bates (w), Curt Swan (p), Dave Hunt (i). "Steve Lombard -- Down, Out, and Dead?" Superman 384 (June 1983), DC Comics
  7. ^ Geoff Johns (w), Gary Frank (p), Jonathan Sibal (i). "Brainiac, Part 1: First Contact" Action Comics 866 (August 2008), DC Comics
  8. ^ "Action Comics" #866-870 (2008)
  9. ^ Superman: Secret Origin #3 (2009)
  10. ^ Action Comics #989 (2016)
  11. ^ Justice League # 20
  12. ^ Grant Morrison (w), Frank Quitely (p), Jamie Grant (i). "Episode 7: Being Bizarro" All-Star Superman 7 (June 2007), DC Comics

External links[edit]