DC Comics Bringing Superman's Red Trunks Back For 'Action Comics' #1000

Superman's iconic red trunks will return for Action Comics #1000, an issue that celebrates 80 [...]

Superman's iconic red trunks will return for Action Comics #1000, an issue that celebrates 80 years of the Man of Steel with a variety of stories by some of the most notable writers and artists in comics.

DC co-publisher Jim Lee drew one of the covers for Action Comics #1000, which features a return to Superman's classic look, which includes red "modesty briefs" that break up the color scheme of his blue bodysuit as well as providing an extra layer over his nether region.

"Action Comics #1000 represents a watershed moment in the history of not just comic books, but entertainment, literature, and pop culture," Lee said in a statement. "There's no better way to celebrate Superman's enduring popularity than to give him a look that combines some new accents with the most iconic feature of his classic design."

The "new accents" in question are, at this point, just the cuffs on his sleeves, which were introduced when Superman got his Rebirth costume and survived the "Superman Reborn" modifications to that suit. They feel inspired by Henry Cavill's costume in the movies -- although Cavill never got the briefs.

Superman's trunks were removed as part of DC's 2011 reboot "The New 52," in which the Man of Steel got a collared, armored costume that was ironically designed by Lee with input from RED artist Cully Hamner.

The briefs have been a point of contention in the post-New 52 era, appearing occasionally in the background of shots and in flashbacks even as Superman has never officially worn them in a full story.

And lest there be any confusion, a statement from DC describes the trunks look as a "new costume," so this is not just a clever variant to celebrate 80 years.

Over the years, some -- including longtime Superman: The Man of Steel artist Jon Bogdanove -- have suggested that the shorts had been removed as part of then-ongoing litigation between DC and the family of Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel. In the years since then, the words "by special arrangement with the Siegel family" have been added to "created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster" on Superman comics and TV/film projects.

Action Comics #1000 will feature a pair of 15-page stories from Dan Jurgens and Peter J. Tomasi, the current writers of Action Comics and Superman, respectively, as well as Brian Michael Bendis's first DC work, a 10-page story featuring art by Jim Lee (as first reported here).

The issue will also feature previously unpublished art from Curt Swan, whose dynamic, iconic style many consider the definitive look for the Man of Steel throughout comics' Golden and Silver Ages. Acclaimed DC writer Marv Wolfman will script a story based on this never-before-seen content. In addition, the comic will include a collection of memorable bonus stories from some of the most celebrated names in comics and entertainment.

Contributors to this once-in-a-lifetime issue include legendary Superman movie director Richard Donner and New York Times best-selling writer Geoff Johns, with art by Olivier Coipel. Other contributing creative teams will include Paul Dini with José Luis García-López; Tom King with Clay Mann and Jordie Bellaire; Brad Meltzer with John Cassaday and Laura Martin; Louise Simonson with Jerry Ordway; Scott Snyder with Tim Sale and more to be announced. This celebratory comic book is just the beginning; this milestone will be recognized across the DC superhero line for the month of April with a series of Superman-themed variant covers and even more to come.