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It’s been a long seven years.

It’s a reunion seven years in the making: Superman and his red trunks will be together again in 2018.

For the first time since 2011, the Man of Steel will don the crimson, thigh-hugging briefs in Action Comics No. 1000, a special issue that commemorates the superhero’s legacy and his first appearance in 1938’s Action Comics No. 1. On the cover of that issue, Superman, wearing a bold undies-over-tights look — a visual allusion to circus strongmen of the era — is seen lifting up a car:


DC Comics
Action Comics No. 1.

Superman’s entire ensemble — cape, tights, “S” insignia, boots — is as recognizable and timeless as the character himself. But in 2011, during DC Comics’ New 52 reboot, his signature trunks were swapped out for something more monochromatic:


DC Comics
Superman’s trunk-free uniform for the New 52.

The removal of Superman’s undies seemed like an extension of the comics trend toward making superheroes more serious, more monochromatic, and thereby “cooler.” It brings to mind the 2000 X-Men film’s jab at the bright costumes of the comic books, or Man of Steel’s pronounced gloominess (both aesthetically and thematically). In that context, sure, the red trunks could be seen as a little cheesy.

In ignoring (or embracing) that perception of cheesiness, Action Comics No. 1000 and its red-trunked Superman is a callback to — and perhaps a restoration of — that earnest, enduring vision of Superman. Whether that vision will Read More Here