Did they stop drawing them prior to this? I’d only been checking sporadically.

§ March 12th, 2021 § Filed under superman, this week's comics § 11 Comments

So let’s celebrate this Friday with the fact that Superman (pictured here)

…doesn’t have those cuff-rings or whatever at the end of his sleeves.

Those little cuffs were the last vestiges of Jim Lee’s awful redesign of the Superman costume for the New 52 relaunch nearly ten years ago, which I presume were held onto stubbornly by DC editorial as they reverted all the other changes wrought upon the superclothes. I wrote about the problems with the costume here, and I hope it gets across the idea that it wasn’t a purely reactionary response to this new outfit in a “we fear change” Garth-from-Wayne’s-World sort of way. There were genuine messaging and conceptual issues with the costume, as well as basic aesthetic ones, as to why the redesign was so roundly rejected.

Anyway, if the cuffs come back next issue (or in Action, ignore this post. …And the comic itself felt like a reverting of tone to the pre-Brian Michael Bendis era. I do have to say every time I see Lois ‘n’ Clark’s super-son Jon Kent, there’s always the tickle in the back of my mind “so when are they going to decide to get rid of him?” Not because I dislike the character, but because his presence feels like a bending of the Superman premise perhaps just a tad too far, and sooner or later someone at DC (or someone in the Warner Bros. organization higher up than anyone at DC) is going to ask that everything in the franchise be changed back to how it was.

Or, you know, just have it all ended entirely and the Superman family of characters are handed over to the toy division for proper exploitation. Either or.

11 Responses to “Did they stop drawing them prior to this? I’d only been checking sporadically.”

  • Thom H. says:

    There’s a plasticity to comic characters in general and the big 3 at DC specifically — lots of different ways you can push and pull them — but Superman in particular always seems to return to his core concepts. Like his strong-man suit with the red trunks on top. And having no children, which I agree will eventually be undone.

  • Andrew L says:

    I have been hoping some writer would just come in and say that the whole Bendis era was just a bad dream from Mister Mxyzptlk, brought on by too much alchohol..at least that was my idea for everything. It would have spared us yet another Crisis fix too. Good to see the cuffs gone at least.

  • Voord 99 says:

    I agree that having no children probably will be undone, because that’s how comics are. But I think it’s something that could stick, in principle — Superman as Superdad is a pretty organic extension of the character.

    Sometimes changes do stick. Lex Luthor has a certain tendency to revert to the ‘80s businessman even when people try to go back to what he used to be before that. Arguably, that is the “real” Lex Luthor at this point.

    It’s not unthinkable that Superdad might end up being similar. It does something to help with one of the basic Superman problems — something that *was* once a defining feature of the character, the Superman/Lois/Clark love triangle (seriously, at one time one of the main things that everyone knew about Superman was that Lois Lane was interested in him but despised mild-mannered Clark Kent) has faded into the margins of people’s expectations.

    But without that, Superman is arguably a bit bland, whether Lois knows his secret or not. This gives him a different type of set of relationships for writers to play with.

  • Voord 99 says:

    That should be “having children will probably be undone,” obviously.

  • Brian says:

    The fact that the new “Superman & Lois” series on TV is is Clark-as-Superdad is likely a sign of how DC/Warners sees the concept as tenable. I have to wonder how much it’s the recognition of the aging of the characters (the fiver year timeline of the New 52 seemed an odd attempt at returning to the classic “Batman and Superman are always 28,” despite not only the pyramid of sidekicks below them but how fans have gotten used to them as more senior figures) alongside the need to fit together all the stories of continuity. I guess the real challenge of Superdad will be the various properties coming to an agreement about who he’s the father of exactly.

  • JohnJ says:

    Okay, I’m not the first to bring up “Superman and Lois” but it appears DC is fine with any writer, in comics, tv or movies, changing whatever they want. There seems to be some kickback on the twin boys and even more on the only black character being Lex Luthor, the main villain. We’ll see how that all plays out.
    Comic-wise, I’m still waiting to see if they can possibly explain this silly concept of all past stories being in continuity. I have a feeling the next bunch of writers will just ignore the whole thing.

  • Voord 99 says:

    I have to wonder how much it’s the recognition of the aging of the characters

    The other thing is obviously the aging of the fanbase. I’d argue that many adult superheroes, once upon a time, never really had a very precise age. They were “grown-ups,” because they were being seen from the perspective of a child.

    But many men among the readership are now themselves at an age where 28 seems not that much older than a teenager. :) And are, of course, themselves parents of children. I suspect that they’re very willing to see a dad as a hero.

    Damian Wayne seems to have a fair bit of sticking power, too.

  • Thom H. says:

    Maybe it’s just wishful thinking on my part that DC would eventually whittle down the number of children, sidekicks, and other extended family members. It seems to me that when you have *sets* of Superboys, Robins, and Kid Flashes, you may have gone too far. But I suppose every one of them is somebody’s favorite.

  • Allan Hoffman says:

    @Voord 99
    This year will mark 15 years since Morrison created Damian Wayne. Considering he’s lasted since pre-N52 I think he’s more or less a permanent member of the Bat-family.

  • Voord 99 says:

    Oh, indeed. The reason why I phrased it cautiously is because, well, Peter Parker was married for twenty years…

  • Snark Shark says:

    “Damian Wayne”

    FIRST thing I’d dump, if I ran DC!