This summer, mega-publisher DC Comics is revamping its entire superhero empire. Every one of its 52 titles will be relaunched with an all-new issue number one, complete with new story lines, new histories, and new costumes. Yup, some of the world’s most legendary crime fighters—and their arch enemies—are getting a makeover. “The goal was to modernize the mythology, to contemporize the look and feel of the characters,” says DC copublisher Jim Lee. “It’s something done continually by every major comics publisher, but it has never been done on such an all-encompassing scale.” The first series to get its makeover will be Justice League (drawn by Lee) and its iconic lineup: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and Cyborg (well, mostly iconic lineup). Here’s a peek at three heroes in their new duds.
Trunks: The most noticeable costume change is on the Man of Steel, who has lost his red trunks (ahem, they weren’t underwear). “He’ll be the most controversial,” Lee predicts.
Articulation: Superman and his colleagues have shed their spandex for a more armorlike, sculpted look.
Red Belt: Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman used to sport golden belts—Supes now has a red belt with a logo-shaped buckle. “We looked at all the characters together. We went with red because it looked better in a lineup.”
Wings: The Scarlet Speedster’s signature head-wings are now sharper and flare back to lessen drag. At high speed they function as rudders.
Velocity: Flash’s superspeed is depicted by electricity flares that spark off his body.
Change of clothes: Former Flash would stop and change into a spare costume he kept inside his ring. Now segments of the garb pop out of the ring and snap into place as he moves.
Trim: When Flash runs, his piping glows. The faster he goes, the hotter and whiter it gets.
Habitat: This King of the Seven Seas is more rugged than his predecessor. He’s unkempt, with a wilder hairstyle and some tough-guy stubble. “He does shave underwater, after all,” Lee says.
Armor: Aquaman has shed his traditional flat-orange fish scales in favor of a golden chain-mail motif and a sleeker trident.
Collar: The Nehru collars that Aquaman, Superman, and the Green Lantern now wear were inspired by modern-day dress uniforms of the Marines and the Navy.