Inqlings: Superman on the ground in Philly

In a scene from Superman No. 701, the panel says the setting is "Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - the South Side."
In a scene from Superman No. 701, the panel says the setting is "Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - the South Side."
Posted: July 11, 2010

Look! Out on the sidewalk! It's Superman!

This week, DC Comics will launch a comic-book series in which the Man of Steel will walk across America, doing good deeds along the way.

The first issue in the series is set in Philly - specifically, according to the script, starting at 48th and Larchwood Streets, which is identified as, um, "the South Side." He stops at a diner for a "Philly cheese steak sandwich" but is short on money, so the waitress allows him to work it off by cleaning the storeroom. He also thwarts drug dealers by setting their stashes on fire with his X-ray vision and talks a woman off a ledge. Standard stuff.

Why ground Superman? "We're coming up off a major story line set in space," said Dan DiDio, DC's copublisher. "We want to connect him to his human side, the farm boy who grew up in Kansas."

Writer J. Michael Straczynski "really wanted to get a sense of America," DiDio said. The 12-issue series, called "Grounded," will run through next June, and people in other cities have been asked to send in story ideas.

Moving bodies at NBC10

Change has come to NBC10, and the two most apparent involve Renee Chenault-Fattah, who was one of the few main anchors in town assigned to one show per day. She has gone back to coanchoring at 6 p.m., joining Tim Lake, her 11 p.m. partner.

The second is the reassignment of Lori Wilson from entertainment-focused The 10! Show (11 a.m. weekdays), after four years, to the anchor desk. She's coanchoring at 4 p.m. with Dawn Timmeney and the 10 p.m. report on MYPHL17, as well as reporting for the 11 p.m. news.

For most of her 12 years in TV, Wilson was a morning person, and now, "I'm trying to figure out when I'm supposed to be awake and when I'm supposed to be sleeping," she said. Wilson says she's not sure why she was reassigned - she's in contract negotiations and hopes to re-up - but doesn't seem to mind. "My goal has always been personal growth, and so this is a good thing," she said.

Bill Henley will have various fill-ins at his side on 10! until a replacement is named. Lu Ann Cahn will be on for the next two weeks.

Competition I

As you read this, Tad Ward of the Main Line hopes to be somewhere west of New York City, behind the wheel of his 2004 Lamborghini, bound for Las Vegas, as he joins 100 drivers who kicked in $20,000 apiece to join a road rally called Bullrun. Any similarity between Bullrun and the old Burt Reynolds flick Cannonball Run is purely coincidental, as Ward - who owns the auto-finishing business Detail Inc. in Haverford - is quick to point out. "We can't throw caution to the wind out there," Ward, a first-time road-rallier, says, adding that such excursions do become cat-and-mouse games with police, including mass pullovers of the souped-up cars. Ward also is concerned about his car, whose odometer had about 12,000 miles at the start and will churn over 3,000 miles over six days. When offered the chance to join the rally, he said he'd do it only if his wife, Barbara, approved. To his surprise, she did.

Competition II

In his day job as a lawyer for Comcast Sports Group, Randy Houston has to think on his feet in a sports setting. Much like what he does at night, as an improv comic with ComedySportz, whose stage is covered in artificial turf. Houston, who relocated recently to Philly from Austin, Texas, will join his Texas team Thursday through Saturday for ComedySportz World Championship, which will gather improv teams from 20 cities at World Cafe Live in nightly shows/battles. Houston, who took up improv about 10 years ago when someone told him it would help his lawyering, hopes to eventually join Philly's ComedySportz team, whose "home field" is the Adrienne Theater near Rittenhouse Square. The Philly team includes Kevin Dougherty, Alli Soowal, Jason Stockdale, Kristin Finger, Kristine O'Brien, John Zak, Mary Carpenter, Eoin O'Shea, Kelly Vrooman, Kelly Jennings, Josh Rubenstein, Todd Rodenheiser, and Steve Roney. Proceeds of the championships benefit the Greater Delaware Valley Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Briefly noted

Venus Williams, here Thursday for World TeamTennis at the Pavilion at Villanova, stopped at Borders in Center City to autograph her new book, Come to Win, and visited the Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education Center, where she greeted 800 students and parents. Her sister Serena will join Comcast SportsNet's Michael Barkann in a celeb doubles match against the Flyers' Scott Hartnell and WIP's Howard Eskin on Tuesday at the Pavilion, during halftime.

Actor Michael Boatman (The Good Wife, Arli$$) was at Fishtown's Songs of Wisdom Productions on Friday to read the narration for the pilot of an episode of Philadelphia: The Great Experiment, which Sam Katz and his partners at History Making Productions are producing.

Contact columnist Michael Klein at Follow his blog at and on Twitter @phillyinsider.

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