Dennis the minus; Menace moniker axed to clean up cartoon bad boy's image.
Byline: CHARLIE GALL firstname.lastname@example.org
CARTOON anti-hero Dennis the Menace has been forced to clean up his bad-boy image.
He'll now just be called Dennis and move on from his wilder days, terrorising neighbours and targeting Walter the Softy with his peashooter and catapult.
But bosses at the Beano have denied the rebellious comic strip schoolboy has been forced to bow to political correctness.
Dundee publishers DC Thomson, creators of The Beano in 1938, said Dennis had "made mistakes in the past" and the changes are part of his evolution in the modern world.
His changed ways come hand-in-hand with a new television series on CBBC, Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed, which embraces difference and diversity.
Mike Stirling, head of Beano Studios Scotland, insisted Dennis hadn't been a menace for years.
He said: "Today's Dennis is a flawed hero, a 10-year-old boy who fears nothing and sometimes gets into trouble.
"He has moved away from his 'menacing' ways but still dances to the beat of his own drum as a mischief-maker."
However, comics historian Paul Gravett said the softening of Dennis would disappoint some fans.
He said: "The original Dennis the Menace is part of that British tradition of St Trinian's and Just William - kids who are meant to be naughty.
"If it all gets too PC, it risks losing its anarchic appeal.
"Other comic characters can be changed and rebranded over the years. But can Dennis still be Dennis without the Menace?"
FLAWED HERO Dennis