Newest Superman by John Romita Jr.

We got word a while back that DC was going to let current Superman series artist John Romita, Jr. take a swing at an update on the old supersuit, and it looks like we’ve got it. It’s a lot of minor tweaks, so it feels a little underwhelming, but I can’t say I disagree with either the major choices or the decision to not get too radical so soon after Jim Lee’s New 52 redesign, now appearing across a lot of DCE product lines. The return of the yellow oval is comforting.

For comparison, here are the last update’s design sketch by Jim Lee and clarified model by Cully Hamner:



29 comments to “Newest Superman by John Romita Jr.”
  1. The fingerless gloves are weird. I like the return of the oval belt buckle and the original boots — is it too much to ask to have the shorts back? Now it feels like they’re going out of their way to not include them.

  2. The new 52 suit is ugly as hell…. It even makes the very old one a good one, just like when coca-cola put coca in the market back in the 80s

  3. So he went for piping over plating, which half-way addresses the ugliness of Lee’s design, but it still has a collar, and now there are…built-in finger glove sleeve thingamies? Still feels like they’re trying to fix something that ain’t broke to me!

  4. The new costume is for the most part an improvement over the last one made by Jim Lee. Removing most of the random detail lines really helps and the new belt is so much better. That small addition of yellow on the belt really does wonders to break up the colour.

    I’m really not keen on the fingerless glove things but they might grow on me over time.

    The boots don’t show much since the flying has blurred the detail but from what I can tell they’ve been returned to the v shape they used to have and I personally prefer that.

    All in all I think it’s a good change but I guess time will tell.

  5. Yeah, if this supposed to be the cloth version of his crystal armor then the neckline and sleeves make no sense AT ALL! Clark will have to rock ascots and mittens to cover his supah suit.

  6. I’ve never understood why they always replace Supe’s undies with a weird belt instead of just giving him a pair of pants. Last I checked, both Brooks Brothers and J Press are selling some very nice pairs of red pants, and they’re the most conservative brands on the planet.

  7. Only thing I don’t get is the fingerless gloves. Why?

    Other than that, looks less complicated and a smidgen closer to the classic, so yay?

  8. Have to be honest, Romita’s design doesn’t do anything for me. It looks more generic and inconsistent than Lee’s design. It seems more like Superman meets Kick-Ass.

  9. Bah. Still unnecessarily greebly, bullshit high collar remains, and that sleeve/half-glove situation is absolutely miserable. At least it looks like cloth rather than the ridiculous armoured looked DC initially went with, right down to jettisoning the Gambit boots and replacing them with fabric. None of that makes up for the horrendous mess at the end of those beefy old arms though.

  10. I don’t want to be *that guy* – but the design changes to Supe’s costume don’t seem dramatic enough to me for it to get the amount of fanfare that it’s getting.

  11. I am just not a fan of this art. Kind of looks as if they were using Sylvester Stallone as a source for the face. I do like the design of the suit, however, and I am intrigued by the personality changes they have made compared to the Superman of old.

  12. Hi. I think it’s a better update in the sense that it adds a bit of yellow on the belt, which was, IMO, missing in the Jim Lee design.
    Yet, I think the circle maynot be the best idea. The “V” shape ofthebelt was good.
    In any case I think they should make the belt really thicker. The yellow adds are always a good touch.

  13. this will go down as a very underwhelming era for superman, i believe. i had no real complaints about the jim lee redesign, as it seemed very well thought out. the kryptonian collar, the pentagonal shapes, the sturdy S shield, the more regal attachment of the cape, and the toned down (as opposed to batman) armor-esque panels on the suit gave superman a totally new feel without really changing his visual aesthetic radically (he was a noble alien knight, if you will). although lee’s depiction of supe’s face strikes me as a guy who uses the word “bro” often, and condescendingly. the romita superman feels like a kia compared to lee’s audi. the S shield looks like an iron-on transfer, the subtle suit details lose the shape, and thus the purpose of lee’s pentagonal lines, the emo sleeves make him look too much like a brooding, disposable x-men character, the panels on the suit are there but not really tactical (how on earth – or on krypton – was this suit created to have no seams in the crotch, hips, waist, or knees when seams were apparently needed inside his forearm and on the back of his hand?), the kryptonian collar is ditched in favor of a mock-turtleneck, and the ingress of the cape on the front of the suit is taken to an illogical extreme. to top it off, supe’s face now looks like a constipated, angry slob. this redesign feels more like design by committee given to an artist who was willing to forgo his own style signatures, which is unfortunate because romita’s other work has been chock full of a unique style that makes things not only easy on the eyes but a real treat to dissect, visually.

  14. I like it. It’s like a better version of the New 52 armor, but it also looks distinctly more light-weight. I even like the unusual half-glove thing going on. It makes it looks more alien and that’s cool. I would have liked to see the collar done away with, but this collar doesn’t actually look bad anyway.

    What’s the deal with that face though?

  15. (to self) Don’t keep the stupid collar, don’t keep the stupid collar, don’t keep the stupid collar…


    Well, it’s a bit less stupid at least.

  16. I approve. At least it doesn’t look like armor that Jim Lee drew (no offense to Jim, of course.) Superman IS nigh invulnerable after all.

  17. Not too terribly hot on the encroaching finger-gloves, and Supes’ face/pose is just terrible in the picture (that’s not really a costume design element, just annoying).

    But I like the updates; simplifies the design, includes a bit more color on the belt (which actually does a good job of breaking up blue), removes the “armor” aspect that made the previous design look a bit pointless, and reintroduces the piping that I so loved seeing in PG’s pre-52 design. Good change.

  18. Although JR jr is above average in his artistic ability to draw. I’m not denying he HAS talent. However in the realm of comic book artists today, his artwork is average on his BEST day. Was there really anything wrong with the Jim Lee redesign? This just seems so lazy and uninspired. Is changing a belt/adding fingerless gloves and adding weird piping (a la kick-ass) really worthy of the classification of a redesign?

  19. Definitely not a lot of major changes here, but most are welcome. I still don’t care for the longer sleeves, however. I wish I appreciated JRjr’s style as much as others seem too, but I’ve never really taken a liking to his work.

  20. I like the overall minor redesign. It’s good to get the yellow buckle back on the belt to balance with the yellow of the shield. The way the cape attaches looks interesting and I’m glad to see that played with. The piping is not too distracting or overly complex (in the way I felt the New 52 design was). The only part of the design I have any problem with is the extension of the sleeves into fingerless gloves. That just feels a little 90s gritty to me. But a decent fine tuning otherwise.

  21. The neru collar makes him look like an authoritarian dick (which seems the point of the this version), and don’t compliment the cape as well and the open collar did.

    The fingerless glove-sleeves are just shitty design, that makes him look like an emo disaster victim of Hot Topic.

    The belt is an improvement, but still too predominantly red.

    I think the Smallville Season 11 costume is the best update; two tones of blue help break up the jumper without the classic red shorts, but I’m biased because I directed the design of it.

  22. I guess if John’s had made the pic with Superman stationary it may have look a bit better. I agree with the fingerless gloves or long sleeves with finger holes, it does look a bit odd. I have posted a redesign my son sketched a few years back when Proj Rooftop had a Superman redesign contest. He never send it in, it is based on the Jim Lee’s design but a bit more simple. I inked and color the sketch and gave it a background. You can find it here:
    if you want to see it.

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