London: Superman has undergone a huge makeover – the once squeaky clean and muscled superhero now looks more like Robert Pattinson than Christopher Reeves – dark, brooding and lanky.
Superman now has angry smouldering eyes, straggly hair, low-slung baggy jeans and, according to his creators at DC Comics, “realises he doesn’t belong anywhere and doesn’t fit in”.
The character is now aged 21 and physically far less imposing than the lantern-jawed, muscle-bound hero created 78 years ago.
“We wanted to tell a story that’s hip, sexy and moody,” The Daily Mail quoted Dan DiDio, DC Comics’ co-publisher, as saying.
Raised by honest Kansas’s farmers to have a strong moral compass, the original Superman was so squeaky-clean that fellow superheroes sneeringly dubbed him the ``big blue Boy Scout``.
The modern Clark Kent, Superman’s alter ego, is still a Daily Planet journalist, albeit working in an age of hand-held devices and instant gratification.
“We wanted to show a younger Superman at the early stages of his career, struggling with his identity and his place,” said DiDio.
Transforming that most clean-cut and all-American of superheroes into a moody, misunderstood urban youth is the latest example of comic book creators attempting to update classic characters for a new generation of readers.