When Superman makes his return in Man of Steel on June 14, he’ll break radically with tradition: His costume no longer has red underwear. (Gasp!) Some fans grumbled, but character reboots have seen far worse. "One of the keys to a successful rebrand is purpose-fueled changes and being transparent about why you’re making those changes," says Ryan Goodwin, cofounder of the ad agency Struck. That can make all the difference.
Below, a list of reboots listed in order of fan outrage to fan indifference:
- In Michael Bay’s upcoming Ninja Turtles movie (2014), the mutant turtles are now... Aliens!?
- In the movie Inspector Gadget (1999), Dr. Claw’s always-hidden face was revealed.
- Daniel Craig named the first blond Bond (2005). Then he had more fun.
- The Great Superman Underwear Upgrade of 2013.
- Green Lantern comes out as gay (2012) in a comic book. The modern world shrugs.
[Photos courtesy of Invision For Warner Bros. Consumer Products/AP Images (Superman)]
A version of this article appeared in the June 2013 issue of Fast Company magazine.