When Superman debuted his new look in The New 52 back in September of 2011 (ah, memories), the reaction to it was polarized. Some felt it was too militaristic, others derided the fact it was armored (despite the fact Superman can’t be injured), and even more were not impressed over the overly detailed lines Jim Lee had etched into the suit. There were even some who felt they should been sitting shiva for Superman’s now discarded red underwear, arguably a relic of when the suit was part of the circus strongman’s outfit.
By the time John Romita Jr. took over the art on the main Superman title in June 2014, several artists had made their own tweaks to the suit, mainly reducing unnecessary lines. However, the upcoming issue of Superman will have a redesigned Superman suit for the New 52, and perhaps, even after the Convergence event this spring.
The militaristic collar has been replaced by a plain high collar while several of the extraneous lines have been permanently removed. The red belt now has a yellow buckle, giving a nice contrast to what has been a sea of blue in the present Superman suit. The boots have been adjusted somewhat, now sporting a chevron cut, and the sleeves have been extended over Superman’s hands. This unfortunately gives it the appearance of making him look like he’s wearing fingerless gloves, but other pictures show more clearly that the updated sleeves are covering the back of his hand.
In my personal opinion, this isn’t a bad update, and addresses some of the criticisms of the original Jim Lee designed New 52 suit. I only have a couple quibbles about the John Romita Jr. designed suit. The belt could be a little wider, creating some more separation and contrast in what is a mainly blue suit. Secondly, the sleeves might look a bit awkward. The real proof of the concept though is how other artists will draw it post Convergence, which is the likely time where the suit will be making regular appearances in multiple titles.
Overall it’s a decent redesign that addresses several issues with the present New 52 Superman suit while having a couple wrinkles of its own. Fan reaction seems to be slightly less polarized over this than over the original New 52 suit. We’ll have a better look at this suit when Superman #38 hits store shelves this week.
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