comic books

What’s going on with the new Superbro-I mean, Superman?

superman superbro june 2015 dc comics

So if you’re a DC reader, then you probably know come June, DC are going to be changing things up quite a bit with their current line-up. This will include a major change in status quo for Superman, and although change can be good, what the heck are they doing? Of course we can’t judge this change to Superman’s character until after we read some full comics, but from the previews and information we have read, I don’t know how this is going to go.

The big change coming for Superman is June is two-fold: he will no longer have a secret identity, and his powers will be heavily limited. With that also comes a costume change and a haircut. Here’s the thing, change in comics can be good and is needed. When you’re looking at a character like Superman, who has been around for over 7 decades, you need to change things up so that you’re not telling the same, slightly altered story, again and again.

However when changing the character, the core of the character should remain, otherwise what’s the point. When I think about Superman, I don’t think of a high school jerk jock, whose got a lot of angst and anger. I mean sure you can have the occasional episode of Smallville where a teenaged Clark Kent gets infected by some red Kryptonite and then starts wearing leather jackets and riding around on a motorcycle. But in the main continuity of Superman, why would you turn Superman, into this Superbro?

whats going on with the new superman dc comics

Now from the previews we have seen, we know that Superman doesn’t really have all his powers anymore, hence the riding of motorcycles. He also doesn’t have his costume anymore, because the Fortress of Solitude ripped that away from him, as it didn’t identify him as worthy Superman anymore, because of his lack of powers, hence the t-shirt and jeans. As for the haircut? I don’t know.

But right now we’re just talking about physical appearance, what about his personality? Well in the previews he’s still coming off as Superbro. He’s super angsty and pissed off, and kinda coming off as a jerk.

divergence superman lois lane

Now I know poor old Clark is going through a lot right now. Lois Lane revealed his identity to the world and his powers are reduced and his costume is gone. He has the right to be pissed! But let’s not dwell on angsty Superman for too long. Because Superman is at his best when he takes a bad situation and finds a way to turn it into a positive, into an opportunity. An opportunity for growth, an opportunity for something better.

So as I said, I don’t mind changes, as long as they serve some kind of purpose. Gimmick changes piss me off. Change a character so that they grow as a character, not so they become someone else entirely. Stick to the core of what makes Superman, Superman, and I’m all good.

superman 43 cover john romita jr

And of course this is the world of comic books, so it’s not like we’re going to get t-shirt and jean wearing Superman forever. I’m expecting we will be back in the costume, at the very latest, by the time Batman v Superman comes out. So for now I guess we’ll have to wait and see what DC plan on doing with Superman, and if it actually serves a purpose and helps the larger story arc of Superman.

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12 replies »

  1. Can’t say I like the new look. Looks too much like a Superman fan rather than actually being Superman.

    I think you are probably right that it will be back to the costume by the time Batman V Superman comes out.

    Graham

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    • Hahah yeah exactly! Hopefully, I mean they just gave him a new costume, and then like a month later took it away, so I’m guessing he’ll be back into soon

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      • It seems like the writers have been depowering superman lately. My guess is they don’t know what else to do with him. I used to think that was the biggest problem with supes but now im not so sure.

        I’m thinking the whole goody two shoes aspect doesn’t work anymore with him. Goyer and snyder thought about this before man of steel. The only character it genuinely works for is captain America who comes from a different time period.

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      • I don’t even think that the New 52 Superman was overly powered anyways. But yeah I guess they’re just trying to keep people interested in his character, and maybe try to make his character more conventionally ‘cooler’, hence the motorbike lol

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  2. His costume and motorbike are giving definite Conner Kent– Teen Titans era Superboy vibes here. I get wanting the changes to suit a bigger story, but this current iteration of Superman will have basically had everything taken away from him compared to the Superman I read in the comics previously– parents dead when they had been central characters, Lois Lane not only not his wife, but not even his friend at all, no secret identity– which again, since his parents are already dead doesn’t really matter that much. . .

    But, keep in mind we’ve seen MORE radical changes to Superman that he has come back from fine, and at least some of which made for good stories– notably he died, and at one point he was changed into an electricity being and then split into two separate versions of said electricity being.

    Looking back, the New 52 Action Comics jeans and t-shirt Superman was the most interest Superman stories that have happened since New 52 started, so I’m willing to give anything a chance. That said– not a single Superman book is currently on my pull list.

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    • Yeah there have definitely been crazier changes to his character in the past. But there has to be a line between serving a story’s purpose, or just being pure gimmick. If these changes make for a good story and grabs attention of people that aren’t even that interested in New 52 Superman as yourself, then that’s good

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  3. The only things I liked about New 52 Superman were during Grant Morrison’s run on Action Comics being surreal, crazy, and sometimes fun (like almost any GM comic) and Superman Unchained where despite it changing from an ongoing to a limited series (seriously DC promoted it as an ongoing, WHY the sudden change to a limited and not market it as such? I get Snyder and Lee are busy, but c’mon!), it did feel like a good “modern” Superman story. Aside from that, Supes hasn’t been exactly a likeable character in other books, having been angsty and facial expressions that make him look like he’s constipated, and the relationship with Wonder Woman for some contrived reason (no joke, DC said they take inspiration from Twilight for their romance stories). Shirt and pants look is fine for Superman in his early years, but also has a strong Conner Kent vibe and makes me wish THAT version of Superboy was back instead of New 52 version

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    • Yeah I didn’t like how a lot of the writers were characterising him as super arrogant and angsty. Thankfully though Pak’s Action Comics run has been really good and has been handling this changed Superman pretty good, so hopefully we get a better run for Superman stories now

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