A few things are becoming clear as we head toward the release of the all new Action Comics #1 this coming week.
1. Newsarama either doesn't understand what the world "cynical" means
2. or they're still sweetly young and naive enough that they've mistaken the gregarious energy of Superman's over exuberance and naive idealism for cool cynicism
3. 85% of comics "journalists" and 95% of commenters have absolutely no familiarity with Superman's earliest phase in the Golden Age, or any other age
Today I looked at the article from Newsarama entitled "DC's New Superman is a Modern, Cynical Hero". There's a lot of speculation here based upon the 7 page preview released by DC today to Newsarama. From looking at the pages, this is pretty clearly NOT the Superman we know from the Silver Age onward, the Superman we think of as a sort of jolly, invulnerable pal or uncle.
I'm expecting a lot of comics fans are looking at these pages and saying to themselves "this isn't Superman!". Sure, they can name the Superman creators and tut-tut about the Siegel lawsuit, and they know Superman kicked off the concept of superheroes in earnest with Action Comics #1 (1938), but they've not done their homework.
Superman, for the first few years of his existence, was written and drawn by exuberant young men who created a character who was designed pretty specifically to do right that other people couldn't do on their own. That's why he was designed to be strong and bullet proof. The entire idea was "what would happen if you had an idealist who wasn't hampered by the sort of thing that would slow down a guy like me?".
The first issue features Superman finding someone beating their wife and he walks in and, ahem, sets the dude straight. He forces the governor to listen to evidence to pardon a woman headed for the gas chamber (and at the time, of course, the governor had no idea who this guy in the cape was), and when crooks did bad, he picked up their car and made sure they weren't going anywhere.
Faced with a slumlord, he knocks down the slums and rebuilds the buildings. The issue that most blew my mind was the one where he finds two war profiteers making sure a war happening overseas keeps going so they can keep making money, so he grabs them and forces them into the infantry on opposites sides of the conflict. Its absolutely mindboggling by the standards that you'd see once Superman became a household name and had to get sanitized.
You see it all the time. Mickey Mouse in his first appearances isn't just a friendly fellow with some wacky friends. He's the underdog on a steamboat who outsmarts and outwits Pegleg Pete. Bugs Bunny is routinely a smart ass thumbing his nose at authority. Both until they became corporate icons more than characters.
None of this is "cynical". As one comment I read online suggested, Superman isn't going Marvel. If anything, he's going National.
I don't want to oversell it, but the pages I see look a lot more like Golden Age Superman, and I think you have to understand: Grant Morrison generally understands how this stuff works better than you do, journalist, commenter and bloggers (including me). We've been through this before when he relaunched All Star Superman and the fans were upset by a Silver Age-y Superman then. And in a few months, I expect we'll all be saying "oh, THAT'S what he was doing...".
People, you have to have patience. And if you don't know Superman aside from what you and your pals say to each other, you have to be ready to leave all that at the door. I want to point out that early in the day, Vaneta Rogers posted her article quoting Morrison on Superman and dropped her odd "Cynical, Modern Superhero" bit, which she then backtracks on when actually talking to Morrison in an article later on. But, frankly, I expect someone with Rogers' reach and clout to know her Superman, not make goofy, uninformed headlines to appeal to the Deadpool fans who've never read a Superman comic.