Dirk Armstrong

Dirk ArmstrongSupergirl‘s mid-season finale left us with yet another character to speak about, the secondary antagonist of the episode. In Hostile Takeover, in fact, Cat Grant is victim of a massive hacking that threats to expose all her dirty little secrets to the public, and she orders Kara to find out who the hacker is…and it turns out it’s none other than Dirk Armstrong, portrayed by Peter Mackenzie, a member of the CatCo board who apparently has something to say about Cat’s way of leading the society, and who wants to take it from her with any means possible. Dirk comes directly from the comics, even if in quite a different version, since the original one is a journalist just like Cat Grant. Let’s see together.

Not much is known about Dirk Armstrong’s early life: he lived and worked in Metropolis, and he was a right wing columnist. At a certain point in his life he got married, and he had a daughter, Ashbury, who was completely blind: the girl was also gifted with a sharp intellect and was very resourceful, so she grew up pretty independent (especially for a blind girl), but Dirk was nevertheless extremely protective of her, especially from the moment that Dirk’s wife died. The opinionist’s professional life changed for the better when publisher Franklin Stern hired him as a columnist for the Daily Planet, Metropolis’ first newspaper. Dirk was chosen to meet the tastes of the right wing readers, and his conservative ideas and style surely were perfect for that purpose. His way of jumping to conclusions dirkarmstrongcomics1and taking aggressive and uncompromising positions over pretty much everything soon put Dirk at odds with some of his colleagues, especially Lois Lane and Clark Kent, but even with editor-in-chief Perry White, who didn’t exactly apreciated his way of doing journalism. When Superman‘s powers changed, making him become a being of pure energy, Dirk Armstrong created quite a case by defining the world’s most trusted hero a “super-menace”, insisting on the fact that he probably didn’t know how to control his new form, and that nobody was sure he could still be trusted. When Lex Luthor was arrested, Dirk wrote flaming columns on his right to a fair trial, and his opinion managed to move the public one, so that Superman himself was ultimately forced to trust the system and to ensure Luthor the defense he wanted…to the point that he eventually came to blows with his best friend Batman to retrieve the Kryptonite Ring, an essential item Luthor claimed to restore his good name.

Thanks to his successful crusade to defend Luthor’s civil rights, Armstrong became one of the few journalist in the Planet that the genius billionaire actually liked. When he was cleared of all charges and sent back to his civilian life, Luthor first of all bought the Daily Planet, imprinting a brand new direction to the newspaper. Most of the journalists and reporters were fired and replaced with others, but Dirk Armstrong was one of the few who kept his position, keeping writing his usual, anti-Superman columns his new employer apreciated so much. Not everybody, obviously, liked his editorials, and Dirk learned it the hard way when a madman, enraged with him for what he had written on the Planet, decided to take revenge on him by kidnapping his daughter Ashbury. Dirk suffered greatly from the event, and did his best to save his seventeen-years-old child, but luckily enough she was rescued by Ceritak, a heroic alien going by the name Scorn who lived in the bottled city of Kandor. Albeit he was dirkarmstrongcomics2obviously greatful to Scorn for what he had done, Armstrong soon changed his mind when he realised that Ashbury actually liked him. Eventually, Ashbury and Ceritak started dating, and the xenophobic and anti-alien Dirk wasn’t exactly happy in seeing his beloved daughter hanging out with a blue-skinned extraterrestrial. Eventually, for love of Ashbury, he even arrived to accept Ceritak and to apreciate his good heart and character…but it took quite some time. In the meanwhile, he kept working for Luthor, and he entered LexCom (the communication and media division of LexCorp), where he kept writing his columns the usual way. Metropolis wouldn’t have been deprived of his voice anytime soon.

Dirk Armstrong is a smart and self-confident man, who more often than not believes to own truth itself rather than expressing his personal opinion. A conservative columnist, he sincerely and honestly believes in everything he writes, and even the most extreme positions he expresses in his pieces are never written to meet the readers’ favour only, but are genuine expressions of his beliefs. Dirk’s only soft spot is for his daughter Ashbury: for everyone else, he has hard and aggressive sentences.

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