Professional Attire, the New 52, and Jim Lee’s Tailoring
So…during the two weeks of fancy training during the summer, Pledge LA’s main spokesperson said, “We expect you to come in professional attire.” I immediately raised my hand, since this confused the daylights out of me. I wasn’t even too sure what that meant? Ties and such? Dresses? Suits?
I live firmly in the t-shirt and jeans crowd, as can be imagined from the look of my nameless protagonist.
At the same time, DC comics was rebooting their entire line of comics to generate sales figures. Jim Lee redesigned the Justice League (most of DC’s characters in fact, but specifically the Justice League) to great interest of the comics industry as a whole. Everyone got a new, Jim Lee redesigned look.
Everyone got the same look.
For some reason, Superman now wears an outfit made of interlocking metal plates (so does most of the Justice League). Why would Superman wear a metal suit? He’s Superman! We are told that it is some kind of ceremonial suit from his planet, Krypton…
Okay, then why does Green Lantern have the same notch collar and interlocking plates? He’s from California, and his suit comes from a different planet! Or Aquaman…he’s from Atlantis! However, the whole team is sporting interlocking metal plates, and notch collars. Ridged piping and such.
They all have the same intergalactic tailor? I don’t think so.
As I said, these books were coming out at the same time that Pledge LA strongly suggested “Professional Attire.” Despite my minor freak out over it, it turns out that jeans and a T-shirt were going to pass muster. Regardless, it set a kind of tone that was a bit troubling.
Since then, our test scores have gone up, but DC comics sales figures, although spiking in September/October, have gone down. I don’t think professional attire is all that it is cracked up to be.
I have yet to see a T-shirt, worn by a human being, of the Justice League in their professional attire. There are many on sale. Go figure.
As a side note…drawing this, yesterday, another teacher commented, “I like the new costume.” Considering that everything that I hate about modern superhero design is consolidated into the Jim Lee inspired professional attire, I was suitably chagrined. Bravo, Mr. Lee. Well played.