Must Haves of Any Cape Movie: Part 1

I've heard more than one person say all those stupid costumes are ruining superhero movies. I couldn't disagree more. Personally, I feel cheated when a character is given some "updated" duds that bear little resemblance to the best known version of his costume. Thankfully, this hasn't occurred much in the recent Marvel and DC movies- the closest example I can think of is the X-Men trilogy in which black leather replaced yellow and blue spandex.

To me, the costume is a vital element in any superhero movie. Replace the costume with street clothes, and you still have an action adventure character, but not a superhero.

I try to limit my focus to just movies, but I'll make an exception, and mention the TV show Heroes. The lack of any type of costumes is one of my main gripes with the show.

I'd like Heroes a lot more if the characters had some form of costumes (or uniforms, if you prefer) and existed in a universe that completely accepted that fact. Seeing somebody fly while wearing a three piece suit, or a chick in jeans and a t-shirt shooting energy blasts from her hands, just doesn't do it for me. It's like the creators of the show took all of the cool concepts from 70 years of superhero comics, except they rejected the one that immediately identifies a hero as being super.

Besides not being true to the superhero mythos, omitting costumes is a marketing blunder. What 11 or 12 year old wants an action figure, t-shirt, or lunch box featuring a bunch of normal-looking people? Give the heroes some costumes that have some sort of functional use in relation to their power, make them government sponsored operatives, a la "The Initiative", fighting a world-wide terrorist organization, and I'll start watching.


  1. I have to disagree. I think by limiting comic book films/television to costumed characters only you do the concept of super-powered figures an injustice.

    I've often questioned in many comics why a lone figure would just up and put on a costume. I get the whole protect your identity thing, but wouldn't a ski-mask accomplish the same thing.

    Now if you want to get in to uniforms, I can dig what you're saying in a film like X-Men. But even that film put a lot of effort in making the 'costumes' mostly just fashionable leather.

    I think it's the character that makes the superhero, not a silly costume. Unless it's Iron Man, of course.

  2. Yes - and a perfect example is Wolverine in the X films. He wore civies and was still a superhero. But- I ain't gonna concede the point yet. I have to post more on movie costumes and welcome a good debate.


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