Rich Johnson dropped comics fans a little surprise over at Bleeding Cool on Saturday. It’s supposedly the cover to Superman #39, featuring John Romita Jr’s newly redesigned costume for Nu-Supes. It apparently got leaked over on the Internet’s hub of scum and villainy, 4Chan. Of course, Uncle Rich didn't share that part, but we are, as well as the image.
It’s less of a total redesign than a tweaking of the abomination created by Jim Lee. There are less “seams” for the Nu-52 Kryptonian armor. The boots more closely resemble those of the classic Superman uni. The belt belt has been modified, adding a round yellow buckle.
It also looks like one of the more annoying issues of the the old costume, the collar, has been done away with. Romita has apparently switched out the “mandarin” style collar for something more akin to a mock turtleneck. It will hopefully make the new uni a little less aristocratic looking, which was an issue with Lee’s design.
The biggest modification is that Superman’s sleeves now end in fingerless “gloves.” This may of may not have something to do with the promise that The Man of Steel would have new powers. Readers will have to wait for Superman #38 or #39 to find that out, presumably.
Take the “gloves” away, and the costume looks more similar in some ways to the Man of Steel film Superman costume. This is especially true for the wing-like seams around the abdominal area. The film version “wings” were kind of hard to see, but in a way they made the suit more athletic-looking.
The new uni is a slight improvement over the Lee redesign, but it still has some of the same flaws. The fact that Kal-El still looks more like a super-diplomat than a Superman is the main problem. It will have to do until DC has an epiphany, and goes back to the classic Superman costume for good.