- "Can you imagine how people on this planet would react if they knew there was someone like this out there?"
- —Perry White to Lois Lane on Superman
Perry started out as an investigative reporter and rose in the ranks until he was promoted to editor-in-chief.
Perry sent his best reporter Lois Lane to cover secret military operations on Ellesmere Island. When she returned with a story about an super powered alien and an alien ship taking off from under the ice, he disregarded it saying that he can't print stories like that in his paper and that she could've hallucinated half of it plus the Pentagon denied all of her story occurring.
After finding out that she leaked her story to internet blogger Glen Woodburn, his publishes demanded her to be sued and he called her into his office. He gave her 2 weeks of unpaid leave, but believing she saw something, he told her she did the right thing knowing the public wouldn't be ready to accept an Alien living amongst them.
Lois returned to the planet as a worldwide alien message from General Zod seeking Kal-El was spread to every technical device on the planet, Perry had everybody at the planet working on the story but Lois had already left to chase up her lead.
The next day as Perry came to the office with the world completely changed, the FBI was waiting for him with questions about Lois' knowledge of the alien General Zod was looking for but Perry couldn't help. He then switched the news on to find Woodburn milking Lois' leaked article to game fame and he rang Lois to warn her about the FBI.
Sometime later whilst in his office, Zod's huge ship Black Zero descended on the skyline of Metropolis. The ship began to launch a gravity beam directly into the city beginning to destroy a large portion of the city and bringing down skyscrapers.
Perry ordered the evacuation of his staff and then ran down outside the building into the terror. While trying to escape with Jenny Jurwich and Steven Lombard she got caught under rubble. Perry and Steve tried to move the rubble from her as the gravity beam terraforming the planet edged closer. Realizing that they had no way to get her out in time, the beam suddenly stopped.
Managing to get Jenny out, they make their way across the rubble to the epicentre to find Lois and the alien kissing as General Zod emerges from rubble and engages the alien in combat. Lois joins the 3 in making their way across town as they see the rubble of a satellite burning up in the atmosphere.
After the alien hero, Kal-El (now nicknamed "Superman") defeated and kills the malevolent General Zod, Perry finally published Lois' original article, with the added events of the past 2 days. He also employs a new reporter, Clark Kent whom he introduces to Lois (who instantly recognizes him as Superman in disguise) and Steve.
Perry operates the newspaper somewhat differently after Superman's arrival. The Daily Planet gives favorable mentions to Superman, unlike some of the other newspapers, most likely because Perry was grateful for having been saved by the alien hero during the Black Zero Event.
During the 2 years following the Black Zero Event, Perry quickly promotes Clark Kent from just a junior reporter, after the latter promptly displays exceptional insights and investigative skills, which leads to Perry assigning him bigger and bigger stories for the Planet. After only a year working as a reporter, Clark had already twice received the Elliot Prize for Investigative Journalism, being the first of any of the reporters on the Daily Planet staff to earn such prestige so quickly.
Perry sends Lois to Nairomi, Africa to interview the warlord leader of a faction in a civil war. Lois was accompanied by photographer Jimmy Olsen, who had a tracking device hidden in his camera. However, Jimmy was killed by the warlord, with Lois being held hostage, leading to her rescue by Superman.
"End of Love Affair With Man In the Sky?"
Several days later, Perry assigns Clark Kent to travel to Gotham City and cover the Metropolis vs Gotham football game, giving him the headline "Underdog Dreams Dashed - 10 Yards Between Gotham and Glory." At that moment, the news reports on Wallace Keefe vandalizing the Superman Statue in Heroes Park by spray-painting the words "False God" in red on the chest before he is arrested. Perry and Clark are both visibly saddened about this hate crime, with Perry referring to Keefe as a "poor son of a bitch", then giving his assistant Jenny the headline "End of Love Affair With Man In the Sky?"
Before Clark departs, Perry advises the former to watch himself in Gotham, due to the city's high crime rate.
Conflict with Clark
- "It's like a one-man reign of terror. This bat vigilante has been consistently targeting the port and the adjacent projects and tenements, and as far as I can tell the cops are actually helping him!"
- —Clark Kent to Perry at a staff meetingAt a staff meeting shortly after his return from Gotham, Clark lets Perry know of his interest in exposing the Batman vigilante through the press, bringing up Batman's repeated targets in the poor areas of Gotham and alliance with the local GCPD. Perry, however, only mocks him, and inquires whether or not Clark began working on the football story he had assigned him to. Clark insists that the Batman story is worthier of printing, as it shows that the common civilian matters, but Perry retorts by saying “the American conscience died with Robert, Martin, and John”. At that point, Lois enters the meeting, displaying a bullet found in Nairomi, letting Perry know that she intended to fly to Washington DC to further investigate, and briefly making eye contact with Clark.
As Lois walks away, Perry promptly approaches Clark, stating that Lex Luthor had insisted that Clark be the reporter to attend and cover his Metropolis library fundraiser event.
Second Conflict with Clark
Several days later, a furious Perry confronts Clark, outraged at the latter for having not covered the Gotham vs Metropolis football match or Lex Luthor's fundraiser for the Metropolis Library. Clark argues by saying that the press has the responsibility of showing integrity and exposing Batman, bringing up the fact that the Daily Planet had an upstanding reputation for displaying such character at its foundation. Perry responds by mocking Clark’s values, saying that “it’s not 1938” and life is no longer simple enough for someone like Clark to be admired for upstanding character alone; therefore, he is ordered to cease his pursuit of Batman, as no one will find such a thing interesting. Clark is agitated, but undeterred.
Warned by Lois Lane
Shortly before the hearing of Superman on Capitol Hill, Perry is called by Lois, with the latter revealing to him that Lex Luthor has engineered the incident in Nairomi to ambush and frame Superman, claiming that her anonymous source (actually Secretary of Defense Swanwick) can verify it all, and that the story must be run before the hearing. Perry, however, refuses to run the story, fearing that if Lois is wrong, Luthor could sue the Daily Planet "out of existence", so he insists that Lois first needs proof.
Emergence of Doomsday
Shortly after the Capitol bombing, Perry and his Daily Planet subordinates watch TV news coverage of the electrical disturbance coming from the US government-controlled Fortress of Solitude crash site near Heroes Park. He is then approached by Lois (who had just escaped from Lex Luthor's clutches), and she convinces Perry to authorize her to use the Daily Planet's helicopter, in order for her to aid Superman in his battle against Batman.
Approximately 30 minutes later, Metropolis experiences a temporary black-out, and then Perry and the others see footage of Doomsday, a monster that emerged from the Fortress while ferociously battling Superman.
When the United States government launches a nuclear missile at Superman and Doomsday (their battle having taken them into outer space), the resulting explosion is so gigantic, that it can be clearly seen at the ground level, as Perry, Jenny and others can be seen observing the carnage above from the window of the Daily Planet building.
Death of Superman and Clark Kent's Funeral
After Superman's apparent death (during the killing of Doomsday), Perry prints a special edition of the paper in honor of Superman and his efforts, headlining it "Superman Dead: Night of Terror, Morning of Loss". Clark Kent is also reported by Lois Lane to have died during the devastating battle, having chosen to carry out his duties as a reporter and cover it.
While mourning the tragic death of Superman (who had once saved him in the Black Zero Event), Perry doesn't attend his huge ceremonial funeral in Metropolis, and instead joins Jenny, Lois, and some other co-workers (along with Lana Lang, Pete Ross, and Daniel Leone, whom Perry is seen meeting) in attending Clark Kent's funeral in Smallville, honoring his fallen employee. Perry is last seen linked at the arms with Jenny, as they leave Clark Kent's grave, along with the other mourners, while Lois remains to stand over his grave a while longer alone before Clark is buried.
Perry is very prim and dedicated to his work, as the Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Planet. He is also very thoughtful and insightful, since despite actually believing her, Perry was quick to reprimand Lois Lane for publishing a story about her superpowered alien savior, understanding that the world was not yet ready for the revelation of such a being actually existing. He was also unwilling to publish stories that he knew would not be popular, thus discouraging Clark Kent from exposing the vigilante Batman through the press.
In extreme situations, Perry is remarkably selfless, brave and heroic, notably trying to rescue Jenny Jurwich from under a pile of debris during the Black Zero Event, refusing to abandon her, endangering his own life in the process.
- Man of Steel (First appearance)
- Man of Steel (Novel)
- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Prequel (mentioned only)
- Guide to the Caped Crusader/Guide to the Man of Steel: Movie Flip Book
- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Crossfire
- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
- Laurence Fishburne's portrayal of Perry White is the first interpretation of the character that is African-American.