Superman first look: ‘Action Comics’ takes flight with new Man of Steel

June 10, 2011 | 12:13 p.m.
superman loses the red trunks Superman first look: Action Comics takes flight with new Man of Steel

(DC Comics)

Seventy-three years ago this month, a strange new vision arrived in American pop culture, a brawny figure in blue with a flowing red cape and the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound. The character of Superman has flown on into film, television, video games and every imaginable corner of entertainment, but he’s always remained tethered to his first home – Action Comics has been published every month since June 1938 and, in April, became the only American comic book title to reach a 900th issue.

But, in a move that is either audacious or desperate — or a bit of both – DC Comics is making a break, at least in numbering, from the grand old series. In September, celebrated Scottish writer Grant Morrison and rising artist Ralph “Rags” Morales will start the series over with Action Comics No. 1, the 21st century version, which is one part of a huge initiative to a reach a new audience with a new interpretation of the Man of Steel and the DC Universe.

In most DC Comics, Superman is getting a costume makeover, that, as shown at the right, gives him a slightly more cosmic look (the lined blue costume and red belt and boots suggest alien-tech sleekness, and then there’s that higher, band collar) and a less Speedo-informed fashion sensibility (he loses the red trunks that he’s been wearing since the FDR years). The character will look even more different in Action Comics, judging by the promotional image further down on the right (and published here for the first time anywhere);  that image might be the all-terrain version of his costume, or perhaps a one-time flashback to his Kansas farm-boy days?

superman rags morales Superman first look: Action Comics takes flight with new Man of Steel

A promotional image for "Action Comics" (DC Comics)

DC co-publisher and superstar artist Jim Lee might speak to that particular mystery on Saturday when he appears at the Hero Complex Film Festival, the four-day celebration of pop culture, sci-fi and superheroes. Lee will take the stage with Geoff Johns, his collaborator on “Justice League” No. 1, which on Aug. 31 ushers in this whole new renumbering “event” (with 51 titles starting at No. 1 in September) that cannot accurately be described as a reboot of the titles. These will not be new origin stories, for instance, and key moments of the past will be preserved.

In a sense, it’s DC the company that is changing more than DC the universe. Dan DiDio, Lee’s co-publisher, is well aware of the fan angst in recent weeks, but he has bigger concerns. He is at the top of a publishing enterprise that is finding it hard to connect with young consumers who are far more likely to engage Superman as a video game than in the oh-so-retro pages of an illustrated pamphlet. The bestselling monthly comics sell only in the tens of thousands, even though Batman, the X-Men and Iron Man power billion-dollar franchises for Hollywood studios and toymakers.

“We’re trying to move not just the company but even our industry to new areas and new audiences and, hopefully, for a more healthy business — this seemed like the right time and the right moment,” DiDio said. “This is a refocusing of the energies of the company into a way that really pushes the medium toward the widest and best audience possible. This isn’t about turning around a single character or telling a new story. This is about repositioning the company for the future. What we’re trying to accomplish is to widen the breadth of our stories and the appeal of characters and go after different distribution systems.”

superboy Superman first look: Action Comics takes flight with new Man of Steel

"Superboy" No. 1 (DC Comics)

Along with the new numbering, DC will make all of its titles available digitally via the DC website and the DC apps on the same day they hit the shelves at comic-book shops. That’s a seismic moment in the industry, and DiDio joked on Thursday that he might be working on his resume if this brave and bold charge into the unknown falls flat.

The numbering of comic book issues is an especially tender subject, and it goes beyond the obvious and considerable weight of tradition. Collectors also covet the first issue of a popular series, so the move by DC has been called a cynical stunt by many. DiDio says those fans are missing the bigger picture. “It’s more than over-boiled, I think they’re underestimating what this is that we’re doing,” DiDio said.

One thing that is clear: Among the top heroes, none of them will change more than Superman and Wonder Woman. The changes, such as a notable but still-secret shift in the status quo at the Daily Planet, will be met with fan ranting, but of course that’s part of the relationship here. The opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s apathy, and DiDio and his team will be more worried when fans aren’t debating comics and their true or proper mythology.

hcffteaser2 Superman first look: Action Comics takes flight with new Man of Steel

It’s routine for DC and rival Marvel Comics to selectively ignore years of published history; the lives of characters like Superman and Spider-Man are like the most famous beaches of the world — you recognize them when you see them, but on closer inspection they change constantly with the times, the tides and the Spandex fashion sensibilities. In the 1990s alone, Superman endured marriage, death and a mullet haircut, all changes made by editors, writers and artists looking for some new way to spark reader interest.

This feels different, though. And, through all of those changes, the venerable Action Comics kept going, the sun that always came up on the shifting sands of that creative coastline. That ends with issue No. 904 in August, and plenty of fans are upset about it. But Lee says that during the last few weeks, as DC has rolled out the new plan in a series of dramatic announcements, he has watched the fan and retailer reaction go from angry knee-jerk to an intrigued engagement. Lee, perhaps the most popular artist in all of comics the past 25 years, said the tide of fan opinion is turning and that he’s seeing people “retract some of the early statements.”

The stab into the digital marketplace, and retooling characters to shed decades of back story, is to make the comics stories accessible for all those consumers who have never read a comic book but might consider it after watching the “Smallville” series finale, seeing “The Dark Knight” on cable television or noticing all the new billboards with Ryan Reynolds in the glowing emerald costume of the Green Lantern.

supergirl Superman first look: Action Comics takes flight with new Man of Steel

"Supergirl" No. 1 (DC Comics)

DC and Lee learned with a recent (and unrelated) Wonder Woman costume redesign that fans and pundits get stirred up by any change to the iconography of heroes, but he said those risks must be taken on because new generations tend to smirk when they see the tights-and-capes look that seemed so cutting edge in the radio days of the 1940s. He said a “certain level of fearlessness” is needed among the artists, who should be inspired by the past but not paralyzed by it.

“If you do it right, you want the character to be recognized as the iconic characters they are, but at the same time you want to update some sensibilities … if  you’ve been reading comics for a very long time, you can kind of overlook the bright colors and the design. You internalize them and see them as normal or acceptable,” Lee said. “If you saw someone walking down the street in that, you would view it as odd … [so] when they were interpreted and put on screen and in video games,  modifications were made, and now the question is why in the world of comics should we be any more beholden to these designs?”

Lee points out that the history of Superman is really a thousand different histories that stretch across media. “Part of the fun of comic books is it’s not just one iconic book that is set in stone forever. It’s a massive, decades-long collaborative work that is unlike any other work in the history of literature.  And that’s one of the things we love about it.”

— Geoff Boucher


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98 Responses to Superman first look: ‘Action Comics’ takes flight with new Man of Steel

    • Geoff Boucher says:

      The farm one is new and is the only one from Action Comics

    • Nikki says:

      And even that wasn't a first look Rich, you got it from CBR you crafty so and so.

    • josh says:

      i sent rich those covers after theyd been posted at cbr so maybe he shouldnt act like he got this scoop himself or was the first to post it. your a useless excuse for a news reporter.

    • josh says:

      I sent you those cover rich after i posted them on the cbr forums. u reposted em without giving anyone credit and acting like you found them. you even watermarked em so other sites couldnt use them without giving you credit. now u give these people flack because you "scooped" them. classy guy.

      • Rich Johnston says:

        Actually, not true, I'd been URL farming all morning (failed to find Action Comics, did you have any luck?), and had already sent them to DC to try and get any kind of comment from them. Thanks though, I ended up getting several versions from all sorts of people that day. ANd I always appreciate it when people send me stuff.

  1. Jamie says:

    What a mess. And if anyone at DC is reading this, I would like them to know that I am currently ranting about the proposed reboot and no, I don't plan to purchase anything DC come September. So, I guess hate isn't better than apathy.

  2. Richard Jackson says:

    They have ruined Superman, they have OFFICIALLY ruined him. Not buying anything, its over DC – this was the last straw and I ain't coming back. 25+ years I've invested in this amazing hero has gone down the drain. Adios DC, hello Marvel.

    • Chris says:

      I was going to say goodbye, but I was actually interested until this announcement … Once again, not so sure. If I do leave, it will be the end of all comics for me – except for perhaps more indie stuff, like Boom. And I'm only a teen … tsk, tsk, DC.

      • bigfishmarc says:

        Ok, you’re not even twenty years old yet you still cling to your past like these mouthbreathers?
        Its sad to see characters from your childhood change, but having a bizarre, unfounded entitlement towards making a giant entertainment company keep corporate franchises unchanged just for your nostalgia shows more obsessiveness on your side then bad business or creative decisions on their side

  3. Nikki says:

    Any more information on the Supergirl title and Superboy title?

  4. Rich Johnston says:

    Also, the Perez book is just Superman, not Superman The Man Of Tomorrow. according to DC.

  5. Jon Loveless says:

    Geez, what a mess,……..

  6. The Todd says:

    I’m looking forward to this. You can’t keep the origins of these heroes stuck in the 30s, 40s, 50s…etc. They do need to be modernized; otherwise we have no explanation for 90 year old crime-fighters that haven’t aged in years. Smallville did an excellent job with Superman, giving him a modern take on how he was raised in the CURRENT years. Most of the super-hero movies have done the same. Iron Man was shifted from Vietnam to Afghanistan, Green Lantern was originally 28-30 when he premiered in the 60s (Hal would be near 80 now) and there has been so much new tech since then.

    I think you all can understand what I’m saying.

  7. hiran gonzalez says:

    bad idea, just bad.

  8. wrh says:

    This is utter nonsense. This nothing but a cash grab to build towards yet another universe changing 100 issue crossover that will return things to the status quo.

  9. Rebis says:

    I'm all over the Morrison-Morales reboot of Action Comics like wheat on a Kansas field.

  10. Rivchard Pachter says:

    Thanks, Geoff. Will an interview with Grant follow?

  11. David B. says:

    The new Superman costume is terrible beyond belief. Shame.

  12. Matt says:

    If anyone at DC is reading this, I would like them to know that I am a lapsed DC buyer and am very happy about the reboot and will definitely be planning to purchase several DC comics in September. Thanks for shaking things up; it's time for something new.

  13. lwaddhubbard says:

    Marvel did this with "Heroes Reborn". Stank then…Stinks now.

  14. Blue says:

    Make mine Marvel. Ugh. I've never been a huge fan of DC, except for Teen Titans, Legion, and JLA titles. This whole 'revamping' of the DCU just gives me a headache and will most likely mean that there will be less titles for me to purchase now.

  15. Joe says:

    Superman doesn't look too bad, neither does Supergirl…but, wtf is up with Superboy? Is he a robot? A cyborg clone thing? Ugh.

  16. raul sanchez says:

    I left the comic book world in 2001 at age 35. The reason was economic keep spending $50 to $75 a week on comics and related items or get car and health insurance. I was also tired of all the new directions / reboots. DC and Marvel have to realize the people with 25 years invested in the history are the ones that are the foundation for sales.

    • k8e says:

      I only agree in part. I will read more comics as they become available digitally, and my 3 year old son, who already loves Superman, will spend plenty of money on this stuff over his lifetime. I doubt he will spend a cent on decades-old, tired stories.

  17. zryson says:

    The new look DC is horrible and shows how truly desperate DC have become. I will be cutting back on many titles I currently buy.

  18. Scott says:

    Awful, Awful idea. Sorry, Superman has been popular for 70 odd years with pretty much the same costume… why tinker with a classic, why on earth would he need armoured boots? Mark my words, it will revert back to pretty much the current DCU & numbering within 3 years. Grant Morrison??? oh dear, I’m glad I won’t be around to try and decipher Morrison’s rambling, confused storylines like the ones presented in the Bat titles recently.

  19. Michael Burke says:

    I have been a fan of Superman since the 1940s and was thrilled when they made the 'new' movies with Chris Reeves. DC seem to think that Superman should have no humour. Reeves had a nice balance of humour. In the comics they have ruined the image with anger and violence and very little story, It seems that DC thinks that the comic-reading pubic are unable or are uninterested in real stories. That's a big assumption to make on our behalf. They should look again at the original artists like Wayne Boring and Curt Swan who gave Superman the iconic look that we all know, and think about the stories and flow of the artwork compared to the airbrushed or computer generated art they use today. All very clever technically but it doesn't have the feel or life of hand-drawn artwork. More importantly the movie makers should think carefully about how they present Superman and not turn him into a joke. The last Star Trek was handled well up to a point. They very nearly lost the plot when they killed Spock's mother. Unless there is a twist somewhere. Superman has to be handled with the same affection and care as Star Trek otherwise forget it.

    • Dax says:

      Say it again!!! They've made Batman so dark that I'm not sure I can survive another movie. Reboot, why? Because the bone-heads that did the last movie made it too much of a tribute and not enough of an original story? Frankly, I'd love to see that story continued (without Lex Luthor and another land grab plot). Shoot, I'd love to see the Smallville version of Superman take over the big screen. They may have been darker than the original but they still retained a sense of humor and warmth. Something totally lacking in the last Batman movie (Sure, Joker's humor made me laugh but I left the theater slightly depressed and very disturbed.) It would be nice if the heroes were more interesting than the villains. Maybe that's something DC needs Marvel or Trek writers to teach them.

      With the exception of the first Hulk movie, I've enjoyed Marvel's movie offerings and I was a die-hard DC fan when I was growing up. When the DC artwork and story lines descended and the prices ascended, I said goodbye to comic books. If DC doesn't learn from Marvel and Trek, I won't be wasting my money on outrageously high movie tickets either to see my favorite superheroes.

  20. Cass says:

    I'm actually not entirely against the idea of a reboot. However, I really do question DC's statement that they're trying to reach a new audience through a new interpretation, and having their new interpretation and business model in general include bringing back characters who (in some cases) last wore their respective costumes before their probable target audience's lifetimes.

    Like, take Flashpoint. Main character driving the drama forward? Barry Allen. I was two when he died, and while I know he's a character with a rich history and all that I don't feel any personal connection to him. Just the opposite, really, vague irritation that I was expected to be excited at his grand return. Barbara Gordon last wore her costume when I was five, other mediums (film, cartoons, etc) aside. I was 13 when Hal Jordan died.

    And it gets worse when you consider the people who are younger than me. 16 year olds excited by Steph suddenly being told that she's being sidelined in favor of someone from her mother's generation.

    I don't know. Maybe it'll be a festival of well written stories. Maybe it'll do well. But I kind of wonder if a business model which rejects the current readership of teens and 20 year olds is really a smart thing to do.

    • Steph says:

      I agree with the last part ….I mean I keep hearing statements from DC saying that they're trying to "reach newer audiences" in the comic book medium with the whole renumbering and restructuring of the DCU. Given your statement and DC's comments, I gotta say I feel a tad bit insulted….so teens and 20 year olds are not a "New" enough audience for you? How much younger are the audiences that DC is trying to target this time around? At the rate these comic book companies are going we're pretty soon going to start seeing stories and heros catered to the common 5-year-old….I shudder to think what that's going to be like…..

  21. The N.P.P. says:

    Wow! Now if only Coca-Cola would change its brand to market to a younger audience! Man! Wouldn't that be great. Then we could lump New Superman in with New Coke. And maybe, if they are lucky, these new characters (and they are characters just using established names) if they are lucky, these new characters will be as well known as Crystal Pepsi! I seem to remember a Tangent Superman not too long ago. I imagine this one will be remembered as Estrangement Superman.

  22. Animal says:

    DC better be careful, we all know what happened when they tried to change Coca-Cola. I refused to go see Superman Returns because of the change of color in his costume. If they want to reach more young consumers, they might consider a price cut. $4 to $5 bucks an issue is way overpriced. I'm 60 and they're overpriced for me. Superman has been my #1 comic hero since before I learned to read. Sadly, at the price per issue now, I can no longer (at my age) even justify todays comics as an investment.

    • Steph says:

      Agreed…I'm all up for the price cut instead of a major universe change…

      BTW to my older comic readers…didn't DC already try this once in the 80's? I seem to recall a little universe-shattering series called "Crisis on Infinite Earths"……did this not happen and was that all a figment of my imagination? And was it not "poor readership numbers" the main cited reason for why DC made the move to do this?

      I see a repeat of history here in the making…..

    • Lou says:

      I'm 61 and feel the same way about Superman. Many of the changes have been good over the years. This one feels wrong, dishonest (resetting the issue numbers), and untrue to the character. I'll give it until my subscription runs out and then make up my mind. It's not looking good…

  23. D M B says:

    "certain level of fearlessness” is needed among the artists, who should be inspired by the past but not paralyzed by it."

    That really is a terrible phrase to use for crying out loud, do I need to spell out how bad it is?

  24. Mike says:

    I love superman keep publishing great supercomics



  26. Gevalher says:

    They can do whatever they want to the characters, if they won it's OK, if they lost, they can reassume the classic figures… but restarting the numbers of things like Action Comics, Detectiveve Comics and others, should not be done… It's a very bad idea…

  27. Shelly says:

    DC is obviously not aware of what their audience want. When a story has been working fine for 70 odd years, you do not change it because then you are turning your back on all of your loyal readers. I feel that the readers understand Clark Kent's story better that those writers who continue to diminish him as time goes by. Now I which that I could muster enough energy to fight for this character, but the truth is, I don't think he really exists anymore. I hope that DC is happy because they certainly have saddened a lot of people. If they ever choose to bring back Clark Kent I would be happy to return as a customer. I have little hope of this happening.

  28. Angel Lorenzo says:

    why why why they always do this and u just gotta wait a year or two till they change them back i would be a little more divided if the new suit actually looked cool it kinda sucks it looks like something that might have been cool in like 1989 but it looks out of date right now if u wanna make him look more modern than do that dont add a couple lines and some oldschool iron man boots. it's not like when they changed spiderman to the black costume cause it was cool Supergirl looks awesome her costume is what id call modern

  29. i'm back says:

    awesome. i'm back for superman, getting back to his roots, through the pen of morrison. haven't bought a comic in 10 years DC. i'll be downloading this in your app on day 1!

  30. k8e says:

    I think it's a great idea! My 3-yr.-old already loves Superman, and he has no idea what the Reeve movies are, and he will never know what Smallville is–let ALONE the old comics. The new suit makes more sense in this era. I especially love Supergirl's uniform. The one piece suit with a regal cape makes a lot more sense than a cheerleading skirt/midriff-baring silly costume that looks like it was thrown together for a middle school pep rally. There's an awesome way and a silly, fanboy-ish way for women to show skin. This new Supergirl uni is the awesome way.

    I'm also really excited about the digital possibilities!

    I really and truly hope that this "reboot" isn't an excuse to go back and rehash the same ol' story with Clark…he arrives in Metropolis. He debuts as Superman, goes to work for the Daily Planet and is smitten by Lois Lane. The overused, tired, old triangle ensues, Lois gets famous b/c of one article, etc. etc. Reboot hopefully means something FRESH. The same story is so old and tired. No reason to make the greatest superhero's story be nothing more than a hamster on a wheel: DP, Lois, triangle, DP, Lois, triangle. Snore!

  31. Jerry Colburn says:

    Maybe they'll get campy, like the 1965 Batman. In this age of gender-preference confusion, maybe we'll have a Louis Lane, as well, Lois' brother, who also happens to be a "good" vampire who suffers from his identity crisis and seeks to ease the pain by sexual pleasure with a cluster f*** of all the restyled characters, including Lois, who strangely goes unpictured in this article.

  32. JelloShots says:

    Haven't the morons at DC comics looked around, and realized that Retro '40s looks are in, with today's WOMEN'S FASHION TRENDS? I also find it amusing that they think ditching Superman's undies will have any standing on the stories. At least Supergirl's skirt used to stand her apart from Powergirl. Now they simply look the same. It's been on a slippery slope, ever since they made Selena a prostitute – disgusting!

    Guess I should get rid of my SD Comicon tickets, and go on a real vacation instead this year, instead of putting up with the overwhelming Hollywood presence, to boot. Give me back the REAL comic creators, instead of a select few with narrow angle glaucoma, who rule the rest. Give us some REAL CREATIVITY, not regurgitated vomit!

  33. Bye Bye Fan says:

    Wow! DC really is out of touch with its fans. Apathy it is, goodbye.

  34. Alex Feterman says:

    Well, I say, about time those trunks went away, DC., but Supes needs a bigger polish than that. Stop writing him like a bumbling goody-two-shoes who can't make any of the tough choices (he gave his life to protect his people, after all). Remember the Superman who was a visitor from a distant planet, superior in strength, speed and mind? The Superman we could respect? The one that wasn't written as an idiot so that the Bat would have a niche? We want him back.

  35. J smith says:

    Good for you DC!

    Comic readers whine for everything. And they whine more about what is NOT in the comics than what is in it. Superman sales stink and he needs a shot in the arm,leg and head! Look at the success of the DC Online game. Good on them to try to make the characters modern and go digital.

  36. supermanfan says:

    I am 30 years old and have been a superman fan for as long as I can remember, and I appreciate the fact that DC has taken an interest in reinvigorating Superman. Even though I am a fan of his current costume, I can even understand DC wanting to update his suit…..but IMHO….I seen much better costume designs than this. C’Mon…….metallic boots? Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

  37. lbaxte13 says:

    I don't think we should be rushing to completely ditch DC yet. They've provided countless moments of amazing comics over the years and this new reboot may be a good idea if we give it a chance.

    I do agree that this maybe isn't the best idea and certainly wasn't for it when I first heard about it, but give the superhero in history a chance and maybe he will produce something great.

  38. Brett says:

    DC has systematically raped their cast of characters and destroyed their most valuable franchises. For what? New readers, well that's failed because the bulk of sales are from long term fans and the company isn't attracting new fans with this clap trap. There is a reason Supes costume has barely changed in 70 years, because it is iconic! Batman Inc, WW's new suit, GA a murderer? Really DC, honestly grow a collective brain read the comments on these pages and on your facebook posts they are resoundingly negative and I'll bet sales will suffer too. By bye DC hello Marvel.

  39. Jay says:

    Its not a bad idea people i`v been a huge fan of Superman since the death series and because after 900 plus issues of Action Comics its about time you revamp it. But do it with style not just a gimick to get more sales.Your true fans will always stick with Superman i sure did even though when you changed his suit back in 97 in issue 123 Superman i thought hey this is cool but will it stick? Hmmmmm think not just like Sups suit keep it real and keep it classic..But as far as Action Comics #1 i hope in hell you make the cover like the one in 1938 please please please..Just licking my lips to get a CGC 9.8 on it :-)

  40. Spiderluke says:

    Are you all seriously freaking out about the color of Superman's underwear? I've accepted the reboot. Been done before. Oh well. We'll forget everything and accept the new just the same fashion as when social networks force unwanted changes on us. After a while we just go on with our lives.

  41. enrique says:

    superman y batman son mis heroe favoritos

  42. Megan says:

    I'm a relatively new fan, just got into comics in the past year. I got hooked on Batgirl and loved Stephanie Brown, and bought up trades of the Cassandra Cain Batgirl run to catch up on old Stephanie appearances, and ended up loving Cass too.

    Neither character has even been mentioned in the reboot. For all I know, they no longer even exist in the new universe. Meanwhile every Robin that ever was (except Steph, of course) is headlining a book. It took me months as a new fan to catch up and figure out what was going on in all the Batbooks, and now the whole universe is getting rebooted with neither of my two favorite characters even attached to a book?

    I feel like I should just give up now while I'm behind.

  43. guest says:

    No problem at all with starting back most of the comics at issue 1, but there is no logical reason why they couldnt continue on the current numbering for Action comics and Detective Comics.
    seriously you are 8 years away from being the first us comic to hit 1,000 issues and your just going to wipe that out.

  44. John Mighoytas says:

    Thanks for Destroying DC comics BUTTHOLES!

  45. Charlie S says:

    "Truth, Justice…the UN Way" ain't gonna cut it, fellas; gfy'lvs and good luck.

  46. Rob Greer says:

    I cannot guesstimate how long I've been a fan of Superman, he has always been in my life it seems. From my Muhammad Ali vs. Superman and the old George Reeves shows, to me being upset that Superman isn't on Young Justice enough to down right being pissed about BRANDON ROUSH not being asked to return in the Man of Steel. But the thing that has irked me the most was the "underwear on the outside"… However 2004's Superman: Godfall, by the late Michael Turner, I thought was one of the BEST precursors to removing this 1930's faux pau. A friend of mine and I just added Superman's colors to the Kryptonian gear. If any would like to view it, I, (Rob_Greer), sent a tweet to DC Comics and George Perez… @dccomics @DC_NATION @perezartist Jesus Merino @GeoffBoucher Redone from Godfall – Feedback IS welcomed!

  47. Redruth says:

    Everything touched by Time-Warner is turned into trash. The company is run by out of touch idiots who think they are hip but are just a big joke.

  48. Who Knows... says:

    I'm going to post an email I sent to a friend regarding the state of comics:

    'I just can't get excited by what passes for the output of the big two.

    I think one of the problems is that the writers feel that they just have to add their personal statement to the character, forgetting that a well conceived character is the statement. The problem is that by doing this the characters are altered, sometimes to the detriment of the original intent. There is a lot of inflight storytelling (I came across this term in an interview with Mark Wheatey) in comics and the average person is left out. And when comics cost 2.99-3.99 for a 20-22 page story that requires too much back knowledge, who the heck has time or interest if your just a casual reader to read the back story at those prices.

    No new readers, no new interest. Movies don't translate to huge interests in the book themselves. Comics as published by the big 2 have become fodder for the junk that ends up in dollar store bins.

    I'll always love the form of comics. I just can't stand most of the content.

    Although these comics are from another era I can't help but think how the stories of Korak and Space Family Robinson (as published by Gold Key Comics) were enjoyable. You didn't need to read a years worth of comics to be able to enjoy them. If you missed 3 issues that was okay. It wasn't bound to a continuity. It was bound to a premise and a situation. The stories flowed from there. The characters didn't necessarily grow, because in a lot of cases they were, again, well conceived. We knew what they were about, what they stood for.

    It's like watching Bonanza. The characters don't really change, nor the setting(s). But we watch the show even this long after it has filmed it's last episode and it's stars have died. You don't have to know the whole history to enjoy any of the individual episodes…

    I don't see myself as a nostalgic reader of comics. It's just that in comparing today's comics to those created in the past, regardless of "flashy art and storytelling", hip, "critically aclaimed writers", today's comics come up woefully short.

    I wrote the above before I heard about the news by DC. Perhaps this move by DC will work, but I don't see it happening and it's too bad because the comics medium is such a rich way of storytelling. Regular people (those who don't read comics) may take a look at the first issues out of curiosity but I doubt they'll see the need to buy every issue just to follow a storyline that doesn't appear to end. Not
    at the price that comics cost now.

    A message to comic book companies. You don't need stories that go on for 3 or more issues, you just need stories that'll work for one issue. Constantly catering to the needs of the "fanboy mentality" has cost you the interest of the average reader, perhaps forever.The average reader just wants to be entertained right there and then. Keep the storytelling basic. The average reader that you need to reach to survive doesn't give a plug nickel about edgy storytelling with panels that go all over the place. The great storytellers like Jack Kirby, Roy Crane, the Hernandez Brothers, Alex Toth, Joe Kubert and Milton Caniff knew this. Like Jack Kirby pointed out: It's what's happening inside the panels that matters.

    And get back to the basic characterization. The classic comics characters have ceased to matter to a world that thinks that they exist only on the movie screen. What Darwyn Cooke had to say was on the money (here's the Youtube link:


    Should any readers decide to dip their toes into the water I would recommend "Usagi Yojimbo". It's not a DC (or Marvel) title and it's in beautifully drawn black and white and it's about a samurai rabbit. The storytelling isn't flashy and the stories are usually only an issue long, but it accomplishes what most comics from DC or Marvel fail to do: entertain.

    And one last thing: after around two decades of publishing, the creator of Usagi Yojimbo hasn't changed his characters outfit to stay relevant. He's just told good stories issue after issue.

  49. the kandorian says:

    lol wow the comments like bye DC hello Marvel makes me wonder if people ranting knows anything about comics lol Marvel are the kings of revamping and reboots …if you are complaining about a reboot evry 70 years you wont like marvel either lol whats happening is rite now is a good thing lol we can call it a marvelisation …DC has this old fashion romantism that was draging it down good move guys you are keeping our heros alive

  50. Jim says:

    this looks like garbage. that is not Superman and it certainly better not be what the costume in the new movie looks like. Thanks for throwing us a giant middle finger, DC.

  51. Marcos says:

    This new designs look terrible. Why they don´t find a good writer? You don´t need to change the design. Maybe the stories are boring because are all the time the same. Are they incapable of finding new and young writers with fresh but RESPECTFUL ideas?? This is just an insult to the intelligence of any comic book reader …. a shame.

  52. wakeuptime says:

    the top drawing in the article is pretty awful and looks like a 12 year old drew it. If this is the look and quality of the 'reboot' then it's failed from the start.

  53. eGG says:

    I love the new costume!

    I have to check this stuff out!

    Can't wait.

  54. Ruadhri says:

    Dc dont change superman hes amazing just the way he is dont go back to the begining with him

  55. Lerpeniere says:

    Superman used to be consumable for the _obvious_ target of the comic book segment: kids. They have turned Superman into an angry, snarling, anti-American bore frankly. No matter who they want to pander to these days — there is no way I will expose my kids to this stuff, and no way we will consume any more DC products — including the Snyder movie. DiDio is selling his brand out as he runs the company into the ground to drum up more business. He should spend more time coming up with engaging stories, and release versions of Superman for each demographic. Spare us the grizzled, leftist angry-young-man please.

  56. Davi Viana says:

    I guess the new Superman costume is mostly better than the previous one – I mean… he was the only guy who was still using his undies over the pants – but it is a little overdesigned just like the new Wonder Woman was last year… but now they edited it and it's near perfect. Why the high tech boots, that metallic thing on his knee, and all that sewing lines? I'm all up for some lines to create movement and draw the eye for some parts – but it's just too much. I think I'd perfer this with some elements of the unused concept art for the movie:

    I Think something like this… but without those red thinguies on the side:

  57. John says:

    Its all about money, Warner never new how to make a movie about DC heroes (except Batman, and Donner's Superman) so they probably went to DC and said change everything so we can figure out how to write a movie around the character. And with the Digital downloads being released the day/date as the print books for 2.99, watch the print books go up in price to $4-$5 per book in order to drive people to download the books instead, thus cutting out the retailer. The article says the biggest changes will be Superman and Wonder Woman, of course Superman, the Superman creators are suing DC/Warner for the rights to the character and right now the Siegel family controls the rights to parts of Superman's history like Lois Lane, Krypton, the two of them being Reporters, and the Daily Planet. I expect that during the relaunch, Lois, Krypton and the Daily Planet will no longer exist (which may be why the crumbling Daily Planet globe is in that image above), this way Warner can have their own Superman and when the rights to Superman revert back to the creators in 2013, they won't have to worry about royalties to the family. I figure in a few months when this idea tanks and sales plummet, they'll just go back to the regular stories and say this took place in an alternate universe. The best part about a number 1 book, it makes it that much easier for a collector to quit buying the title.

  58. Anthony says:


  59. Anthony says:

    This sucks, this is a very dumb and stupid decision, just to get other people to buy the comics. You guys want to make others buy the comics, make new stories, don't change the suits!

    Bring back the original suits!!!!!!!

  60. leo robinson says:

    Now i like what they did to supergirl now the new superman, i dont think so they should have kept the red speedos and kept the belt yellow but outline the red speedos in yellow

  61. Mystic says:

    I have no problem with a reboot. I would like them to tell the old stories but better. the old stuff, no offense sucked compared to new stuff. writing wasn't as good. plus art has gotten better. I'm 20 and I've tried reading the older comics and couldn't they looked like crap and stories weren't all that good. and I for 1 hate the damn underwear on the outside, I'm glad they got rid of it.

  62. Black Irish says:

    Why in the world does superman need armor. He's invulnerable for God's sake. I have no issues with redesigning a characters outfit if you can pay tribute to what has made him iconic, but to give a character like Superman armor is just moronic. I would actually like the idea of this outfit if the dropped the armored look and did something to fix his utility belt……hell the outfit looks like a bad repaint of batman's outfit from the dark knight movies. It's truly depressing to see a character who was an inspiration for so many artists and a hero for generations reduced visually to sell a new movie

  63. amoums says:


  64. Gats says:

    What a bunch a clucking old drabs-! I say Bravo, Morrison! 'All Star Superman' was a defining triumph. They can do whatever the heck they want with the costumes, etc. It will be a blast and I'm so glad I live at a time where these characters can be written and drwan in so many cool ways.
    As for all you girls saying "I'm never reading DC again-!!" jesus, eat some fruit or something. Superman will survive beyond all of us.

  65. Anne says:

    Hey, everybody… Before you go blaming the DC folks for all of the Superman changes, please remember that the whole "re-boot" thing is a mandatory reaction (at least in the case of Superman) to the legal case btwn DC and the Siegel-Schuster families. The families won the case for certain aspects of the Superman costume and mythos, and DC CANNOT use those aspects at a certain point in 2012. So, we get a re-boot of Superman. And to explain away THAT reboot, and b/c DC thinks that Marvel is outselling them purely on comic book content (and not all the marketing created by all the movies based on Marvel characters–Duh!), the DC people are re-writing their universe to make it more "hip". Ah, well… Comic books were getting kind of expensive for my budget lately anyway…

  66. Our Hero says:

    Fifty-one titles??? Time for another DC Implosion. In a dwindling market there is no reason to have this much product on the shelves each month.

    The relaunch is motivated by financial gain and press coverage. Nothing more. Marvel has done this time and again. DC has just taken longer to milk the cash cow.

  67. Dandy Forsdyke says:

    Superman is classic immortal and iconic image that has lasted very well for decades. It hasn't dated because it looks so retro and cool. Like a classic Frank Sinatra record. This? Well this just looks like a trendy imitation and will date and grow old very fast. You cannot fix what isn't broke.

    This is like remixing an old Nat King Cole record with a dubstep beat. Not necessary.

  68. Tarski says:

    OMG im so happy that there doing a reboot!! The new superman suit looks Amazing!!!!!! Lol it never made sense to me why a grown man would were red underwear and feel cool.. It was cool back in the day but not no more, DC gotta keep up with the times and im a very intelligent individual and love there move, great job DC!! :) :) I cant wait for the new action comics

  69. Anon says:

    Who ever so happens to stumble upon this i never read a comic book in my life but i started playing DCUO and its got me interested the old super heros look like old ppl would like them by doing this they defintly reached out to me (new generation) they all jsut look so much cooler then they used to i wouldnt read anything with a flying man wearing his underwear on the outside to me thats silly and no one for real would make a costume like that for themselves overall they look more dangerous

  70. bruce goldberg says:

    i have been a superman fan – since i first discovered comics — way back in the day — 1960ish —–
    i am proud to say that i still have all those comics to this day. i hung in there when supes went red and blue — i have hung in there for every thing superman — but — i dont know about this — i will always buy superman — but from 1 crisis to another crisis to blackest night to brightest day to flashpoint my head is spinning and quite frankly i have been enjoying the ride. dc must show the relationship of trust and friendship between superman/batman/wonder woman quickly or all is lost-i very much enjoy the best friend relationship beteeen superman and batman [dont lose that-please] anyway in closing

    thething that concerns me the most — is that now all these former marvel writers are now in charge of dc and if anyone can remember the disasters they almost brought marvel to its knees –how many times can the ff break up xmen-vs-everyone — avengers -vs- everyone — etc… oh yeah — the spiderman clone story line etc… you know what i mean /// hey who was the editor at marvel during this time…hmmm ????? anyway i will post again

  71. Randy says:

    It's all like some really bad hallucination.

  72. Eddy says:

    the jeans look horrible, horrendous, and cheap


  73. Paige says:

    While I understand the concern of the long running fans, the real issue to me I feel I have to address the fact that things change. Just because your favorite character wears a slight different suit doesn't mean he is completely different. I personally find it hard to recommend comics to my friends because of the sprawling backstories. You can go all over the place. There are hundreds of places to start in the DC universe. The renumbering more than anything gives people a consistent place to start. So maybe I won't be the only sixteen-year-old who reads comics. No one can deny that while 900+ issues is historic and great, for a first time reader it is a tad overwhelming

  74. Thank you says:

    Thank you, this really is the worst thing I’ve read

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