Look! Up in the Sky! It’s.. who?!

When I was growing up, Superman was my favorite superhero.  I had the figures, watched “The Super Friends” on Saturday mornings, and even dressed up as him (Clark Kent disguise and all).  I’ve seen every Superman movie- yes, even the “Quest for Peace.” So, when I read that DC Comics was going to reboot the Man of Steel, I was intrigued.

Then I saw this.

I thought, “This isn’t Superman or even Superboy, it’s Emo-boy.”

The sexy word to use when companies or industries want to change something is “reboot.” That’s what DC is trying to do with Superman. I couldn’t be more disappointed.  The comic publisher intimated they patterned the updated “Man of Steel” after “Twilight” star Robert Pattinson.  Here is what DC said about the new Superman:

“We wanted to tell a story that’s hip, sexy and moody,”

When I think of Superman, I don’t think of any of those and why is that a bad thing?  Moody would be Batman because that fits the character. Sexy? That’s Wonder Woman.  Hip? I don’t need my superheroes to be angst-ridden teens that wear hoodies.

I think it’s a marketing mistake to take an iconic character and change his mood and look. Even “CBS Evening News” anchor Katie Couric questioned the move.

To me, this is another example of not respecting the brand.  When Gap changed it’s logo (they’ve since decided against it), I understood what people were saying and thought people would still shop there, regardless.  However, I strongly believe it was a case of executives not understanding or respecting the Gap brand. You don’t change something that works and that means the logo.

DC is trying to sell comic books and I understand this.  But, you don’t need to pattern Superman after someone else to get people to buy it.  A good story will do that.

Is DC disrespecting the Superman brand or is the “reboot” a good idea? Let me know what you think.

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About JasMollica

"It's never too late to have a life and it's never too late to change one." That's something I tell students, friends, and family all the time. After living and working in New York City, I took my own advice in 2004, switched my career from the television/radio industry and got into public relations. Now, I spend my days as a PR/social media marketing consultant and get inspired daily. It's been a good ride, so far. But the car has plenty of gas left. I hope you'll join along in this guy's journey!

Posted on October 27, 2010, in Branding, Hot Topic, Marketing, Media and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Wow! This new guy is creepy looking! I definitely think it’s a bad idea for them to change to this from the orginal Superman look of “tall, dark & handsome.” Superman not only lives in comic books, but also in toys, cartoons, etc. I wouldn’t want my kids bringing home an action figure that looks like he might be a serial killer!

  2. Your post led me immediately to think of the twitter party I was on last night (#dirtywork) which was sponsored by @scrubbingbubble (and others). One tweeter commented that the bubble guys have gotten a tweak and are now better looking. I think she (can only assume this was a she) may be right!!

    http://twitter.com/ScrubbingBubble

    This Superman deal may be a case of the business trying so hard to appeal to a specific demographic that they lost sight of the character’s core. I suppose circulation and sales will tell! Sounds like you have made your decision – their loss.

    Fun, thought provoking post.

  3. Jason,

    As always, great writing and thought-provoking material. I agree with your premise, and also that Superman shouldn’t look like Edward. However…

    I can’t say I agree that Superman DOESN’T need some kind of update in looks or personality. When Clark Kent first made his introduction, it was 1950’s America. A far different place than what we now call home. To keep Superman the same, with the same look and mindset from the 50’s would be tantamount to that awful Brendan Fraser movie. Oh right, there’s been a ton of those…Blast From the Past is the one I have in mind.

    Bottom line, there are no sacred cows. It’s evolve or die. The Superman we remember from our youth simply doesn’t play to the younger generation. Need proof? ANOTHER reboot of the Superman film franchise is up just a few years after the last one (that portrayed Superman as a VERY 1950’s-esque character). If DC comics wants to keep Superman relevant, it is doing the right thing.

    Now, as to the new wardrobe and demeanor of Superman, he needs a friggin’ haircut. #getoffmylawnyoudamnkids

  4. @Matt,
    Very valid points about an update. My problem is making Superman out to look like Edward. Be original. Sure, you want to update him to be on a farm, but he gets made fun of at times. I don’t have a problem with that. The sticking point is that they’ve gone and changed who is really is and made him into a brooding Twilight type character.
    You are right… get a haircut!

    @eplastino,
    Yeah, that action figure would look a little creepy. Thanks for stopping by to comment.

    @biggreenpen
    Superman may need the scrubbing bubbles to clean up! 🙂

  1. Pingback: Revamping the Justice League « One Guy's Journey

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