This week DC has been revealing new looks for its core characters, including some startling fashion changes. The new looks have been revealed in various places We’ve cobbled it all up for you below but here’s the shorter version:
• Batman is now a robot or something. Scott Snyder calls it “the boldest, weirdest, biggest thing we’ve ever tried on the book.” Maybe the suit is an eco skeleton or something…his ears are now antenna-thingies that have distant echoes of a cross between Doom PAtrol Cliff, Batman Beyond and Ultron.
• Superman now looks like..Channing Tatum. After he trashed his tights the other day he’s put on some comfy jeans that give him mobility and a sporty vibe. This look debuted in the Morrison/Quitely Action Comics, but Superman has a shorter, more contemporary haircut. And no capes because Edna Mode.
• Wonder Woman has gotten a VERY thorough update that also seems to include body armor as well as big wrist spikes (ala Wolverine) and a logo treatment that…well, it resembles Captain Marvel just a weeeeeeee bit. I don’t really like loincloths, but whatever floats your boat.
• Also Harley Quinn has kneeepads…dont’ know how long that has been going on but NOT GOING THERE.
While I don’t expect to see any of these looks on toasters or immersion blenders any time soon, a shake up is good, and I’m sure all the stories behind these changes will be exciting (The Batman robot one looks promising). In the meantime here’ amore of DC’s new June look:
Here’s the lineup:
Written by SCOTT SNYDER Art by GREG CAPULLO and DANNY MIKI
Cover by GREG CAPULLO
THE JOKER Variant cover by SEAN MURPHY
On sale JUNE 10 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for more information.
The all-new Batman makes his debut! Who is he, and what happens next? Find out here as a new era begins in Gotham City!
ACTION COMICS #41
Written by GREG PAK and AARON KUDER / Art and cover by AARON KUDER
THE JOKER Variant cover by DARWYN COOKE
On sale JUNE 3 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
The epic new storyline “TRUTH” begins! For Superman, there’s no more holding back!
HARLEY QUINN #17
Written by AMANDA CONNER and JIMMY PALMIOTTI / Art by CHAD HARDIN
Cover by AMANDA CONNER / THE JOKER Variant cover by EDUARDO RISSO
On sale JUNE 10 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
They’re here – the Gang of Harleys has arrived! Because the world demanded more Harley Quinn, Harley has answered the call – will a dozen more Harleys do the trick? Meet Carli Quinn, Harley Queen, HanukQuinn, and many, many, MANY more in a story that will have your sides splitting!
Written by CULLEN BUNN / Art by BRAD WALKER and ANDREW HENNESSY
Cover by MARTIN COCCOLO / THE JOKER Variant cover by JOSHUA MIDDLETON
On sale JUNE 17 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
There’s a traitor in the Sinestro Corps who has set New Korugar on a path to certain destruction! The smart move would be to evacuate the Korugarian refugees from the planet, but Sinestro knows finding the identity of the traitor is more crucial, which leads to an unexpected betrayal from someone you would never expect, and a punishment from Sinestro that will alter someone’s life irrevocably!
Written by TOM KING and TIM SEELEY / Art and cover by MIKEL JANIN
THE JOKER Variant cover by DAVE JOHNSON
On sale JUNE 24 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Everything changes as Helena takes over SPYRAL! Plus: Grayson gets a new partner!
WONDER WOMAN #41
Written by MEREDITH FINCH
Art and cover by DAVID FINCH and
THE JOKER Variant cover by BRIAN BOLLAND
On sale JUNE 17 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US RATED T
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.
A daring new direction begins with the arrival of a brand-new villain! But while he may be new to us, he’s not new to the world he seeks to tame. And speaking of villains, Donna Troy’s quest to destroy Wonder Woman ratchets up another gear (if that’s even possible!), while the games of the Gods bring dark portents to the ultimate Amazon!
GREEN LANTERN #41
Written by ROBERT VENDITTI
Art by BILLY TAN and MARK IRWIN
Cover by BILLY TAN
THE JOKER Variant cover by BEN OLIVER
On sale JUNE 3 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
“Renegade!” Beginning a new chapter in Hal Jordan’s life as he becomes the universe’s most wanted outlaw! And wait till you meet Hal’s new partner, Darlene. She’s definitely not what you’re expecting!
DETECTIVE COMICS #41
Written by FRANCIS MANAPUL and
Art and cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL
THE JOKER Variant cover by PATRICK GLEASON
On sale JUNE 10 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Following the events of “Endgame,” get ready to ride with the GCPD in a whole new city! Harvey Bullock is leading a Bat task force, but what are his duties, and can he be trusted? And what kind of welcome awaits his new partner, Renee Montoya?
SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN #18
Written by PETER J. TOMASI
Art by DOUG MAHNKE and others
Cover by PAULO SIQUEIRA
THE JOKER Variant cover by CLIFF CHIANG
On sale JUNE 17 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
The epic new storyline “TRUTH” continues! As the pressure mounts, a relationship is tested!
Also here’s a look at the Batman/Superman #21 cover where you can see the robotic bats in all its glory.
Here we go, it’s the final week! Let’s cut straight to the chase and talk DC’s Week 4 of their “DC You” initiative.
After last week, I’m feeling pretty good, and ready to read! What do they have in store for me?
Side-note: my LCS didn’t get Teen Titans this week, so it is omitted from this list. I didn’t want to buy it anyway, to be honest.
Aquaman #41: My second shot with a Cullen Bunn book after Lobo landed with a thud. The last time I tried this Aquaman title was when Jeff Parker was on board, and I had trouble getting into even then, and I often enjoy Parker’s writing. Conceptually, Bunn is doing something interesting: the usage of a flashback-dual narrative structure isn’t new but it remains somewhat enticing, though the idea of it probably grabbed me more than the story itself. I don’t think Bunn is a particularly gifted dialogue writer, and I still generally find Aquaman mostly a bore, but if it keeps up this format, I’ll be down for another issue maybe….maybe. I’m at least curious to see if both threads pick up steam, provided that they continue to exist and it wasn’t just a first issue thing (I’ve read no interviews to know either way). There’s a bit of this new Aquaman tonally that also somewhat reminds of Kurt Busiek‘s far too short-lived Conan inspired run. I like that, on the other hand Trevor McCarthy‘s art was rather messy, and somewhat unclear, reminding me a bit of his rushed Batwoman arc where he took over for Amy Reeder.
Verdict: On the fence
Batgirl #41: I legitimately think Batgirl gets better every single issue, which for a mainstream superhero comic, is a pretty rare feat. This installment was another winner and provided one of the best looks at the new Batman status quo, while still relaying a “big” story through the lens of what Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher, and Babs Tarr have laid down from the beginning of their run. Also of note, this is the first issue that Stewart did not provide layouts for Tarr, so what we get here, and in subsequent issues to come, is all Tarr. There’s one moment of male gaze that’s probably going to catch some ire, and it’s a weird miscalculation. But outside of that one panel, I’m a big big big fan.
Verdict: Already on my pull and staying there
Deathstroke #7: Yikes, what a disaster this book is. Sub-Image 90’s garbage. To add insult to injury, Hephaestus is completely out of character from how he was presented in the Brian Azzarello/Cliff Chiang Wonder Woman run, one of the best New 52 launch titles. This book is representative of the kind of stuff that people accused the New 52 of being: obsessed with EXTREME storytelling. Tony Daniel is a gifted artist, and at times (“Batman R.I.P.”) produces really nice looking work, but as a writer…well, at least he’s relegated to a book I don’t care about at all, and have no reason to at this point.
Verdict: Stopping here
The Flash #41: Good lord, the exposition! It had been a minute since I’d read a Robert Venditti–Van Jensen co-written comic, but wow, was this an awkward read! I’m not sure if previous issues of their run tried as hard to tie into The Flash television series, but they’re really bending over backwards here to shoe-horn in not only the “father wrongly imprisoned” subplot, but also a Joe West stand-in. Brett Booth, who I am decidedly not a fan of, doesn’t help much, but the painfully overwritten narration and dialogue isn’t his fault. Perhaps for those who have been reading this run regularly, this issue pays off better, but I found myself rolling my eyes more often than not.
Verdict: Stopping here
Gotham By Midnight #6: A decent read, and I think Juan Ferreya makes for a slightly clearer if somewhat duller artist for this “supernatural side of Gotham” series than Ben Templesmith. Ray Fawkes, whose creator-owned work I generally enjoy, really hasn’t quite grabbed me during his DC tenure and this issue doesn’t do much to change that. This is basically a book I like more in theory than in actual execution, having tried a couple of different issues at this point. I want to like a Jim Corrigan/Spectre series so badly, but I’m just not sure this is ever going to be a book that scratches that itch for me. I sure liked the ghostly imagery though!
Verdict: Stopping here
Grayson #9: Remember how much I liked Batgirl this week? I think I liked Grayson even more. I know I go on and on about it, but the Tom King scripted issues of this series are absolutely some of the best adventure comics DC has released in years. From the hilarious opening bit that takes a different angle on the first issue’s train sequence, to the introduction of a new cabal of spies that has pretty big ramifications to DC’s larger espionage picture, to more tongue in cheek moments between Dick and Agent 1, this is basically the DC comic that I never knew I needed in my life. Now that I have it, I never want to let it go. I’m also glad to see Mikel Janin on a book better suited to his talents, as King gives him some wonderfully cinematic moments here. That two-page spread of the necklace heist was my favorite action beat of the week.
Verdict: Already on my pull-list and staying there
Green Lantern: Lost Army #1: Now here was a surprise! I really don’t care about Green Lantern much at all, and I generally checked out of the character about a year into Geoff Johns‘ New 52 run. I’ve dabbled here and there since, but I’ve never felt much of an urge to return. Even this month’s opening chapter to the “Renegade” storyline only somewhat intrigued me enough to probably pick up next month’s offering. Here, Cullen Bunn does the flashback thing again, but it works a good deal better this time, playing with the story tropes of LOST (which in turn was riffing on Watchmen). These “stranded in an unknown galaxy” stories can either go really well (Legion Lost) or really badly (Star Trek: Voyager), but Bunn has produced a solid enough cast to start out with, that I think this is a title with stronger promise than anything else he’s working on right now. It’s nice to be excited about a Green Lantern book again, and if they can capture the wonder and unknowns of space exploration, this’ll be one to keep an eye on. I already somewhat think that’s the case already.
Verdict: Going onto the pull-list
Justice League 3001 #1: Totally impenetrable, good Howard Porter art though. I really don’t have much to add here, as I find this book about as shrug-worthy as I did when I picked up the first three issues of Justice League 3000. I just don’t think it’s a strong enough title for me to tough out its learning curve, and this new Justice League simply doesn’t engage me at all.
Verdict: Stopping here
Superman #41: Good, though maybe a little stiff, as I’m finding many of the recent better DC runs’ first issues have been. I’m fascinated by how this story gets to where Superman is in Action Comics, and I think Gene Luen Yang is going somewhere cool with the character. I especially like just how human Clark is when faced with a threat that his powers can’t do anything about. You can’t solve everything with your fists, and that sort of existential crisis is just the kind of tale that can get me re-engaged with Superman again. For the first time in a long time, DC has two worthwhile Superman titles, I’m very glad to see it.
Verdict: Going to the pull-list
We Are…Robin #1: Badly conceived teenage dialogue masks what could have been a pretty enjoyable read. I like the fact that Duke Thomas is the star of the book, but I found everything that came out of the character’s mouth to be cringe-worthy. I bet if you took the dialogue balloons away, you’d have a pretty enjoyable tale of teenage rebellion in the face of a city-wide catastrophe. It’s amazing how badly one aspect of a story can drag the whole thing down, but there it is. How funny is it that 58 year old Paul Levitz can better capture that youthful voice than not-even-40 Lee Bermejo was able to?
Verdict: Stopping here
So that’s it! I’m done! What did I think of the DC You launch month on the whole? The Batman line is stronger than ever, with a number of great titles under its belt, Superman is off to a cracking start, both Justice League books are pretty enjoyable and DC’s has a number of titles on the fringe that are must-reads. I’d say on the whole, DC’s commitment to creator vision this time around has led them to a much more successful launch than the New 52. Will sales show it? Who knows, but I sure had a great time reading these books (for the most part) and I’m so glad that I’m finally re-energized about DC Comics again.
The Essential New Titles: Black Canary, Constantine: The Hellblazer, Doctor Fate, Green Lantern: Lost Army, JLA, Midnighter, The Omega Men, Prez, and Starfire.
And, of course if you’re not already reading Batgirl, Grayson, or Gotham Academy, you’re really missing out.
Thanks for sticking with me on this journey!
By Nick Eskey
DC Collectibles has another exciting line up for this upcoming year. We’ll be seeing much in the way of artist inspired work: from action figures, to statues. For the high-end collector, comic inspired artwork is typically high on the priority list. And what other company produces such detailed pieces from beloved franchises such as DC?
Jim Fletcher, showing off his action figure graveyard jacket.
Interesting bag view.
Kevin Kiniry, playing fortune teller with the DC Tarot Cards.
This year’s DC Collectibles sneak peak is a fun atmosphere, with DC’s Jim Fletcher in full action figure regalia, and DC’s Kevin Kiniry sporting a turban and reading tarot cards. The tarot cards are actually the “Just League Tarot Cards,” designed by Sara Richard, and releasing this November for $24.95.
Bronzed Batman Statue.
DC’s statue franchises have done very well for the company. It’s no surprise that they’ll eventually decide to bronze one of the best loved super heroes. This “Bronzed Batman Statue” captures the awesomeness of the caped crusader in mid flourish. No date yet on this beauty.
Coming in the way of the DC movies, we have three wonderful pieces inspired by the upcoming film “Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice” and sculpted by the artist James Marsano. Each of these resin statues look true to life, as much as a comic book can be of course. Batman and Superman will retail for $150 apiece and are dated for January 2016, whereas the Armored Batman will be released March 2016 and is yet to be priced.
The best selling DC Comics Bombshells will be seeing some additions to their lineup that were designed by Ant Lucia. A short skirted “Cheetah” will be making her debut, as well as this snow bunny version of “Killer Frost.” Each will retail for $124.95, with Cheetah releasing in March and Killer Frost in June respectably.
Kryto, Hoppy, Streaky, and Dex-Starr.
DC Super-Pets will introduce a line of soft plush dolls that feature super powered pets. “Krypto, Hoppy, Dex-Starr, and Streaky” all range from 6 to 9 inches, and were designed by Art Baltazar. Dex-Starr and Streaky will be available this November, where Krypto and Hoppy will be March 2016. No price has been set on them yet.
One of Batman’s signature “toys” is of course the “Batmobile.” This version of his iconic vehicle is from the Batman the Animated Series. A number of figures will be releasing from the same show, but this Batmobile is the best thing by far. It measures at 24 inches long, with independently moving wheels. To add to the cool factor, the headlights, breaks, and engine all light up as well. It releases this October for $99.95.
Man-Bat, Azrael, and Professor Pyg.
The biggest additions this year however will be coming from DC’s action figures. Following with the “Batman Arkham Knight” video game by Rocksteady, DC was showing off their “Man-Bat, Azrael, and Professor Pyg.” These figures were all designed by Rocksteady, and offer over 20 points of articulation. will all be out February 2016 and retail for $25 a piece.
Firestorm, Green Lantern, The Joker
Another line coming to stores will be DC Comics Icons. Designed by Ian Reis, the series will include: “Firestorm” from the “Justice League”, “The Joker” from the “Death In the Family” comic story arc, and “Green Lantern John Stewart” from “Mosaic.” Each one also features over 20 points of articulation, as well as interchangeable accessories. They will be releasing May 2016 for $25 apiece.
Harley Quinn, Super Girl, and Adam Strange.
Superman, Lex Luthor, and Batman.
Exciting things are also coming from their designer line. From Darwyn Cooke, we’ll be seeing his versions of “Batman, Supergirl (complete with Krypto and Streaky), Harlequinn (with mallet accessory), and Adam Strange (with Raygun).” And artist Lee Bernejo will be coming out with his designs of “Batman (with Batarang and interchangeable hands), Green Lantern (with Lantern and interchangeable hands), Superman (with interchangeable hands) and Lex Luthor (with briefcase and interchangeable hands).” Each one will retail for $25, with Cooke’s line coming out June 2016, and Bernejo’s in April 2016.
But the most exciting toy will be “DC Comics Blueline Edition Batman.” Designed by the much sought after Jim Lee, this limited edition figure looks like a black and white sketching. Each package comes with either a signed sketch of Batman, the Joker, or Harley Quinn. Unfortunately, this baby is a Comic-Con exclusive. If you happen to be at the convention, it retails for $300.
I’m super excited over the level of collectibles coming out over the next twelve months. For those who’ll be able to get their hands on them, I’m as equally jealous.
Guest post by T Campbell.
Can the soul of Western civilization be found in a pair of red briefs? Was our first great superhero at his strongest, his noblest, his superest, before modern interpretations stripped him of his underwear? Is there a connection?
A generation ago, when those red briefs were an inseparable part of Superman’s design, he was the most familiar superhero by a wide margin, leading the field in film adaptations, headlining cartoon shows, and even winning over famous media critics who were fiction writers in their own right. Even now, if you believe superheroes have anything to say to American culture or the human experience, you sort of have to start with him, because he’s the prototype.
Umberto Eco called him “the representative of all his similars”  and Harlan Ellison described him as one of “only five fictional creations known to every man, woman, and child on the planet.” Born in the early hours of a visual, easily reproduced medium, he was popular enough to codify most of what being a superhero meant. The Oxford English Dictionary even mentions him by name in its definition of “superhero”:
su·per·he·ro ˈso͞opərˌhirō noun: superhero; plural noun: superheroes; noun: super-hero; plural noun: super-heroes. a benevolent fictional character with superhuman powers, such as Superman.
And yet, Batman emerged a year later with no superhuman powers at all, and he was far from the only superhero to flout that membership requirement. What really seemed to make a superhero a superhero, in the minds of the public, was the benevolence, the codename and the costume.
Superman is a strong man created by weak boys. Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster were nerdy teens when they came up with their first “Superman,” a madman with mental, not physical, powers. Their second draft, far closer to the version we know, had what appeared to be a streak of white in his hair and a bare chest. And those trunks, which persisted through other versions for eighty years.
Lacking any personal experience being strong, S. & S. took Superman’s powers from their beloved science fiction, and his costume from the circus.
Underpants on tights were signifiers of extra-masculine strength and endurance in 1938. The cape, showman-like boots, belt and skintight spandex were all derived from circus outfits and helped to emphasize the performative, even freak-show-esque, aspect of Superman’s adventures. Lifting bridges, stopping trains with his bare hands, wrestling elephants: these were superstrongman feats that benefited from the carnival flair implied by skintight spandex. Shuster had dressed the first superhero as his culture’s most prominent exemplar of the strongman ideal, unwittingly setting him up as the butt of ten thousand jokes.
Grant Morrison 
Actually, Siegel and Shuster thought of Superman’s other clothes as the mockable ones. To fully understand the significance of Superman’s costume, look at him when he’s out of it—when he’s Clark Kent.
In virtually every version of Superman, Clark is an exercise in patient self-restraint, the ultimate man pretending day by day to be the ultimate common man. In his early days, this restraint was a superstrongman feat all its own, because Clark was extra pathetic—the better for Siegel, Shuster and the readers to identify with him.
I had crushes on several attractive girls who either didn’t know I existed or didn’t care I existed. So it occurred to me: What if I was really terrific? What if I had something special going for me, like jumping over buildings or throwing cars around or something like that?
Jerry Siegel 
Kent looked like Shuster, who later lifted weights for five years but never developed the bodybuilder’s confidence. If Kent’s daily humiliations echoed Siegel’s past, they also predicted part of Shuster’s future. When Shuster’s worsening eyesight drove him out of cartooning, he went back to deliveries, showing up at his former publisher carrying a package and wearing a ratty, worn-out suit.
It’s not hard to imagine nerdy Shuster stammering “Sign here, please” in the same voice that Kent used to ask Lois, on their first date, if it wouldn’t be “reasonable” to let a bullying gangster have just one dance with her.
Yet Shuster also drew Clark with a rock-hard physique that threatened to burst out of his jacket and pants at any moment. Every so often, after meekly tolerating an editor’s blustering or Lois’ icy contempt, “Clark” would crack a smile: if only they knew. For him, the angst Siegel and Shuster had felt in real life was just a pose, a suit he put on sometimes. And then he’d hear someone in trouble and strip off his shirt to reveal the S-shield underneath. The red trunks would soon follow. Underwear, for the underself.
It was all just a game. Everything was going to be all right. Superman cheerfully presided over a world of bright rainbow colors where hurts and humiliations were temporary. Indeed, after a couple of years he developed a code against killing—a code most superheroes also followed.
They also imitated the briefs, especially his most immediate peers—the original versions of Batman, Robin, Hawkman, Hourman, Starman, Dr. Fate, the Spectre, the Atom, and the Star-Spangled Kid all rocked the look as seen below.  And yes, more than half of those heroes also followed his “Somethingman” naming convention.
The 1960s and 1970s still saw plenty of new trunks-wearers among Avengers like Giant-Man and the Vision, mutants like Magneto, and gods like Orion. The Thing wore only trunks, and the Hulk torn purple pants. Other gods and mutants (Thor, Darkseid, the early X-Men) wore onesies broken up with a belt. Strangely, two X-Men who each disdained the other’s sense of style—Cyclops and Wolverine—went full trunks-over-pants from the 1970s into the 1990s.
This tendency to assign the look to gods and mutants, though, instead of more central figures like Captain America, Mister Fantastic, and Spider-Man, may have been an early sign that it was on its way out. These newer Marvel characters stood out from the first generation by being more fully realized people in their civilian identities, if not eliminating the dual identity altogether. Of the marquee Marvel heroes, only Thor, whose fashions and godly nature made him the exception that proved the rule, was introduced with a Clark Kentish self-denying secret identity.
Superman’s influence continued to erode as the decades wore on. Newer heroes showed less interest in the code against killing or in names ending in “-man.” And costume redesigns left the trunks behind. The X-Men got into black leather for a while, and their later, more colorful costumes still left the briefs out.
Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman film “de-briefed” comics’ second most famous underwear wearer. Batman never went back to the briefs in any succeeding movies: they began to fade from the comics as well, as shown in this sample of Ben Moore’s larger survey of Bat-suits seen in various media, covering the period from 2005-2012.
The look could still show up in the deliberately retro stylings of a film like The Incredibles; despite fashionista Edna Mode’s disdain for capes and insistence that “I never look back, darling, it distracts from the now,” her creations had an old-fashioned flair that matched the traditional values of their wearers, the kind of nuclear family that seemed to headline most sitcoms from the 1950s to the 1980s.
Superman, for many years, seemed content to be a bit old-fashioned. His brand hadn’t been about “cool” for a long time: it was more about safety and stability. The comic-book Superman of 1962 or 1988 was more scientist than slugger, often approaching problems from a cool remove. His peers honored him as the one who came first, and therefore someone who didn’t need to follow the trends. He had, after all, defined them.
Nevertheless, as superheroes and popular entertainment in general grew increasingly impatient with the “no kill rule,” the temptation to challenge Superman for wearing last year’s morals was overwhelming. The movies of the 1970s and 1980s danced around the issue by making Superman’s foes inanimate or leaving their fates uncertain. But many of his best-loved adventures, the ones that could claim to influence his canon, saw him sorely tempted to end a life—or even saw him succumb.
However, this was always an ending for the character as we knew him, as proved by what came next. In one such story, Superman instantly punished himself by giving up his super-powers and retiring. In another, he died along with his foe. In a third, he had a mental breakdown and went on a long journey of soul-searching before returning to duty with an even firmer vow, “Never again.” In multiple stories of a world not our own, a world gone wrong, Superman deciding to kill is his first step toward villainy. And at least once, he used magicians’ stage tricks to fool the world into thinking he’d broken his rule—just to show how terrible a Superman unchecked by restraint would be.
The conservatism is unmistakable but charming. Nearly all fictional franchises create a moral universe that rewards readers for following them, and Superman is no exception. However much he struggled with it, refusing to kill would always be The Right Choice. Other heroes would always look to him for guidance, saluting his cape as if it were the flag. Underwear on the outside of your pants totally works.
The super-briefs stayed on for generations, in comics, movies, TV, Halloween costumes and branded, official kids’ underwear—an incentive to finish toilet training if ever there was one. 
And then everyone seemed to reject them at once. In 2011, Jim Lee redesigned all DC Comics’ top-selling characters, giving them the scratchy, slightly self-conscious “edginess” that had made Lee famous. But the artist who had kept Cyclops and Wolverine in trunks now broke precedent. The red of Superman’s trunks shifted to his belt, and its buckle took a shape echoing the chest symbol. The trunks vanished.
I think you have to go for the core elements that are critical to the costume and freely change what looks dated… For me, the red trunks on Superman, you didn’t notice. It gets colored in blue anyhow.
In the same year’s Action Comics, Grant Morrison and Rags Morales emphasized the populist strain in Siegel’s early, Depression-era stories. Theirs was a Superman for the 99 percent, and his costume was the believable result of a reporter’s salary: a screen-printed T-shirt, short cape, and jeans.  Morrison explained:
We felt it was time for the big adventures of a 21st-century Paul Bunyan who fights for the weak and downtrodden against bullies of all kinds, from robot invaders and crime lords to corrupt city officials. The new look reflects his status as a street-level defender of the ordinary man and woman.
The filmmakers of 2013’s Man of Steel found the trunks clashed with their concept of the costume as alien armor. Even director Zack Snyder, whose adaptation of Watchmen had featured two trunks-over-pants designs to the comic books’ one, now found himself breaking precedent.
The costume was a big deal for me, and we played around for a long time. I tried like crazy to keep the red briefs on him. Everyone else said, “You can’t have the briefs on him.” I looked at probably 1,500 versions of the costumes with the briefs on.
Who stole Superman’s undies? Morrison takes responsibility for his part in it, Lee shrugs about careless colorists and readers, Snyder bows to the input of unnamed advisors. Their earlier output, though, suggests they had no dislike for the design, just a need to follow popular taste rather than acting as if Superman still shaped it. But fashion, as ever, sends a message about its wearer.
In Man of Steel, the blue is navy, the yellow rusty and gritty. Smallville’s Clark operates without a costume at all. Both versions of Superman are painfully unsure of themselves, closeted, desperate, and far less successful than earlier versions at preventing collateral damage. Smallville averaged one death per episode in each season. Superman’s first TV outing, The Adventures of Superman, averaged none—and lasted six seasons to Smallville’s ten.
Analyst Charles Watson puts the Man of Steel death toll at 129,000, with the last of those deaths by Superman’s own hand. Contrast this with Superman: the Movie, in which Superman saves everyone at risk from a devastating earthquake except Lois Lane, whom he then rescues via time travel. Man of Steel opened in eight times as many theaters as Superman: The Movie. An influential new beginning, and by his old standards, an inauspicious one.
Man of Steel Superman may scream in anguish after killing General Zod, but unlike in the other stories where he crosses that line, he seems to get over it pretty fast. One scene later, he’s cheerfully knocking an Army drone out of the sky. He actually seems more relaxed and happy after the killing is done! No doubt Lois’ approval helps, but even so.
Man of Steel screenwriter David Goyer appears to be weaving some acknowledgments of that issue into its sequel. He would like to assure you that the Superman you remember from your childhoods isn’t gone—he’s just not fully reborn yet.
Our movie was, in a way, Superman Begins; he’s not really Superman until the end of the film. We wanted him to have had that experience of having taken a life and carry that through onto the next films. Because he’s Superman and because people idolize him, he will have to hold himself to a higher standard.
It’s true that Smallville and Man of Steel focus on a young Superman who hasn’t had a chance to become the graceful legend of earlier works. But these have been the portrayals to reach the widest audience in the last decade.  Even in current comics, though they have a lighter color scheme and mood, he’s an impulsive younger man with a quick temper. The latest Superman project to be announced, TV’s Krypton, will take place thirty years before his birth.
Put it all together and you’re left with the impression that Superman’s 21st-century caretakers would rather invoke the smiling, life-preserving, cool-headed circus superstrongman than actually show him. Will the next film change that? Will it give him the power and certitude to preserve all intelligent life in his path with a calm soul and a wink at the viewer? Or is that Superman no longer filmable, a relic to be tossed out like a pair of outgrown briefs?
Tights may tell.
 1978’s Superman: The Movie earned nearly six times its budget and spearheaded the only superhero film franchise of the following decade.
 Some variation of Super Friends, always with Superman as the headliner, appeared on TV from 1973-1986.
 Eco and Natalie Chilton. “The Myth of Superman. The Amazing Adventures of Superman. Review.” Diacritics, 2(1), pp. 14-22. Spring 1972.
 Ellison, Foreword to Dennis Dooley and Gary Engle, Superman at 50: The Persistence of a Legend, 1987.
 Oxford English Dictionary entry, 2014. Found via Google search, November 22, 2014.
 Batman later used gadgets as sort of substitute super-powers, but other figures—the first Atom, Wildcat, and the Spirit, among others—used nothing but ordinary fists.
 Jerry Siegel (illustration by Joe Shuster), “The Reign of the Superman,” Science Fiction: The Advance Guard of Future Civilization #3, 1933.
 Les Daniels, Superman: The Complete History, 2004, p. 17.
 Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Action Comics #1, 1938.
 Grant Morrison, Super Gods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human, 2012.
 Gerard Jones, Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters and the Birth of the American Comic Book, 2005, p. 63.
 Tom Andrae with Geoffrey Blum and Gary Coddington, “The Birth of Superman,” Nemo #2, 1983.
 Craig Yoe, Secret Identity: The Fetish Art of Superman’s Co-creator Joe Shuster, 2009; Brad Ricca, Super Boys: The Amazing Adventures of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster—The Creators of Superman, 2013.
 Joe Simon, My Life in Comics, p. 188, 2011.
 Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Action Comics #1, 1938.
 Alex Ross for Alex Ross and Paul Dini, Superman: Peace on Earth, p. 7, 1938.
 Editor Whitney Ellsworth was the driving force behind this rule, as early as 1940, years before the Comics Code Authority.
 Art by Jerry Ordway, Who’s Who in the DC Universe #12, 1986.
 Tim Leong, “A Venn Diagram of Superhero Tropes,” Super Graphic: A Visual Guide to the Comic Book Universe, 2013.
 Art by Jim Lee for X-Men #11, 1992.
 Dr. Donald Blake is more complicated than we can cover here,
 Wikipedia’s “List of notable superhero debuts” shows a tapering off of such names after the 1960s.
 Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely, New X-Men #114, 2001; Joss Whedon and John Cassaday, Astonishing X-Men #1, 2004.
 Selected from Ben Moore’s 2012 “Batman Infographic: Every Significant Bat-Suit Ever,” found at Screen Rant, http://screenrant.com/batman-infographic-every-batsuit-benm-144238/.
 Brad Bird, The Incredibles, 2004.
 Image by Jim Lee for DC Comics.
 In Superman: The Movie and Superman Returns, natural disasters are the chief problem; in Superman III and IV, the main villains are destroyed but arguably not truly alive.
 Superman II.
 Alan Moore, Curt Swan and Kurt Schaffenberger, Action Comics #583, 1986. Source of the image below and the last “Silver Age” Superman story.
 Dan Jurgens, Superman #75, 1992. The famous, notorious “Death of Superman.”
 John Byrne, Superman #22, 1988; Jerry Ordway, Adventures of Superman #450, 1989; Roger Stern and Kerry Gammill, Superman #28, 1989; George Perez, Action Comics #649, 1989. John Byrne’s last Superman story, and a heavy influence on Man of Steel in terms of who Superman kills and why.
 Central premise of the video game Injustice: Gods Among Us, released in 2013, ongoing storyline in the Justice League/Justice League Unlimited animated series (2001-2006) and invoked in the climax of 1996’s Kingdom Come by Mark Waid and Alex Ross.
 Joe Kelly and Doug Mahnke, Action Comics #775, 2001. Adapted into a 2012 direct-to-DVD animated film, Superman vs. The Elite.
 Photo from http://savinginsalinas.blogspot.com/2011/09/yard-sale-finds.html. Superman has had many adaptations but this was true of virtually all of them until 2011.
 Geoff Johns and Jim Lee, Justice League #1, 2011 (image source), and George Perez, Superman #1, 2011. Lee’s career goes back to 1987.
 WonderCon 2013 panel, “WC13: Jim Lee Talks DC, Answers Fan Questions and More!,” Comic Book Resources, March 30, 2013, http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=44604.
 Grant Morrison and Rags Morales, Action Comics #2, 2011.
 Dareh Gregorian, “Bird? Plane? Superdude!,” The New York Post, July 18, 2011.
 Nite Owl wore them in both versions, but Ozymandias picked them up in the movie. Comics 1986-1987, film 2009.
 Reed Tucker, “‘Steel’ this movie,” The New York Post, November 25, 2012. Image from Man of Steel, 2013.
 In addition to the film itself, see Emma Dibdin, “‘Man of Steel’: Zack Snyder defends Superman’s ‘collateral damage,’” Digital Spy, August 30, 2013.
 According to smallville.wikia.com. In some seasons it was as high as three.
 1952-1958; 2001-2011.
 Graphic by Chris Ritter, “The Insane Destruction That the Final ‘Man Of Steel’ Battle Would Do To NYC, By The Numbers,” Buzzfeed, http://www.buzzfeed.com/jordanzakarin/man-of-steel-destruction-death-analysis, June 17, 2013.
 Box Office Mojo. http://boxofficemojo.com.
 Devin Faraci. “Find Out Superman’s Situation In BATMAN V SUPERMAN,” Badass Digest, December 15, 2014.
 2013 speech at the BAFTA and BFI Screenwriters’ Lecture series.
 2006’s Superman Returns was far less profitable and problematic in a different way.
 Johns, Lee, and Morrison have confirmed this is deliberate.
 Lesley Golberg, “Syfy, David Goyer Developing Superman Origin Story ‘Krypton,’” The Hollywood Reporter, December 8, 2014.