Superman loses shorts, gains new beginningWritten by Jim Beard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
“He’s the hero that all others aspire to be,” says JC’s Comic Stop’s Jim Collins of the most famous of them all, Superman.
“He’s the measuring stick. A noble, selfless, positive ray of hope and light. When all seems lost, he enables the ‘Never Say Die’ U.S. attitude and finds a solution.”
So why is DC Comics — the Man of Steel’s owners — changing him this September? It’s all part of the oldest comic company’s relaunching of its entire line of titles and characters — and Superman appears to be on the receiving end of one of its more radical revisions.
Advance word from DC seems to indicate that starting the Man of Steel over from the beginning — in a new “Action Comics” No. 1 — includes an attitude adjustment for the citizens of Earth concerning their hero.
“This Superman seems not to be welcomed with open arms from the public,” Collins notes. “Their distrust, I would imagine, comes from their not understanding why he does what he does. What’s his motive? [Superman’s] surrounded by college sports stars, politicians, reality ‘stars’ who do things only if it benefits their interests — the “What Do I Get Out of It?” society — [but] his only motive is to protect the planet and the people of the world he loves and calls his own.”
Two pieces of art have been released by DC showing covers for “Action Comics” No. 1 and “Superman” No. 1; interestingly, they illustrate what appears to be two different versions of the hero, both departures from the look we’ve known for more than 70 years.
“The new costume changes I’m most certain are a result of the ongoing lawsuit from the heirs of [Superman’s co-creator] Jerry Siegel,” speculates Collins. “It appears that some sort of ownership will revert to them. DC had to have a contingency plan ready to roll — what better time than now? The costume seems to ‘modernize’ him by getting rid of the silly shorts. It’ll seem more cool to kids these days, because they represent such a large portion of the comics-reading audience. I also question if this has anything to do with the new Superman film.”
Though his words are laced with wry commentary, Collins manages to find a point of interest in what could be a make-or-break moment in comic book history.
“All this being said, I will look forward to the new relaunches,” he explains. “Not so much because I’m excited about the changes, but more to see if the comics field I’ve been a part of for over 25 years now survives this risky experiment.”