Dennis the Menace, the troubled schoolboy who terrorised his family and neighbours for more than 70 years, is getting a makeover.
From now, the infamous UK comic anti-hero will simply be known as Dennis.
DC Thomson, publisher of The Beano, Britain’s longest running children comics, said Dennis had “made mistakes in the past” but has now “moved away from his ‘menacing’ ways”, The Mirror reported.
The transformation comes as British children’s television station CBBC launches its new show, Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed, which embraces diversity.
In the new series, Dennis swaps his ‘scruffy’ friends for JJ, a rock drummer, and Rubi, who is in a wheelchair.
The changes are supposedly part of the continued evolution of Dennis, since his first appearance in Beano in 1951.
Mike Stirling, head of Beano Studios Scotland, said it’s been a long time since Dennis terrorised the streets and that he was moving with the times to become a good influence for young children.
While the famous cartoon often ended with Dennis copping a whalloping from his angry dad, it’s likely the new Dennis will be subjected to nothing of the sort. Perhaps he will be sent to the meditation corner to reflect on his naughty behaviour, or presented with a calming herbal tea to quell his mischievous ways.
Stirling added that the comic was “reflective” of the world we all live in today and that Dennis is a flawed hero, who fears nothing and sometimes gets into trouble as a result.
The comic-strip first appeared in 1951, and is the longest-running strip in Beano. The idea of the character emerged when the comic’s editor heard a British song with the chorus, “I’m Dennis the Menace from Venice.”