Author: JESSE SCHEDEEN last week’s Comic-Con is a more interesting news stories involving the return of classic Batman costume. Starting with Batman #53 next month, Caped Crusader will return to his Flashpoint costume, exterior underwear and all. This was a few months after Superman brought back his red pants. Although these seem to be unimportant and superficial changes to iconic characters, these costume overhauls actually represent a major change in DC’s approach to storytelling for superheroes.
Both Batman and Superman’s suitcases were the victims of the 2011 New 52 restart. Artist Jim Lee designed the stylish new suit, removed the outer underwear and switched to a more practical armor. In general, the design of superhero costumes has shifted from the golden age of the circus strongman style, DC clearly feels that these two roles need a good, modern transformation. The problem with these redesigns is that they fail to really improve the established formula. Both Batman and Superman’s clothing feel that they lack something that has no trunk and adds contrast to the extra dose. DC has launched several redesigns over the years, but between Action Comics #1000 and Batman #53, it seems that they finally gave up trying to replace the classics.
The return of these old garments is important because it represents a greater shift in the company in recent years. The new 52 is just a flawed effort at best. However, the praiseworthy DC is trying to revive its comic book series and attract new readers, always with new coercive qualities. DC seems to be self-conscious and even embarrassed by some of the more quirky qualities of its iconic heroes. Therefore, the transition from spandex clothing to armor and the emphasis on these characters are portrayed as avant-garde, young, contemplative heroes. Why do bulletproof characters like Superman need armor first?
New 52 also erased a large part of the history of the DC universe. Not only are Batman and Superman endowed with inferior new outfits, but they are the only ones they wear in a superhero career. The trunk disappeared without a trace, accompanied by many classic stories and key relationships.
The goal of DC Rebirth is to solve those storytelling errors and recover some of the missing errors in the DCU. The return of these classic costumes is a tangible sign of this transformation. DC is no longer so self-conscious about its publication. People are more accepting the idea that heroes do not need avant-garde to be noticeable. By acknowledging the existence of these old clothes, DC also acknowledged the story of the New 52 sweep.
The recently released Tom King Batman explores the decades-long relationship between Batman and Catwoman. Kim and his artists directly quoted old stories like Batman: first grade and snoring, which were considered discontinuous a year or two ago. For the first time since the Battle of Grant Morrison’s Batman, Batman writers have been able to reference and explore the entire 80-year history of franchising.
Whether you really like Batman’s classic outfit and his rebirth suit, DC is willing to recognize the fact that the trunk is a positive sign.