Nobel Prize winning author Isaac Bashevis Singer once said “What a strange power there is in clothing”. Yet we often neglect to give thought to the clothes that make a superhero. Especially with all the rah-rah focused on stuff like saving the world and rescuing gorgeous maidens in various states of distress.
After all, where would the legendary Superman be without his illustrious speedos-over-pants look? Our friendly neighbourhood Spiderman would also not be half as awesome sans his sleek red-blue ensemble.
Of course while there are superhero style maestros, there are also plenty of fashion victims—ridiculed via countless YouTube parodies and at inane costume parties.
From chrome-framed disasters to tight, purple suits, we assemble a few of the most glaring faux pas that would make even Princess Beatrice’s awful Royal Wedding outfit/head-piece seem like haute couture.
Superhero Fashion Victim #1: Batman/Robin/Batgirl (it’s a tie!)
Everyone credited the awfulness behind Joel Schumacher’s Batman and Robin to a hammy script (and Arnold Schwarzenegger), but it was really the tacky outfits that elevated the film to undisputed laughing stock status. Those cheap-looking breast plates and tawdry silver-finishings were truly a nightmare materialized. And the world will always remember the infamous “bat nipples” – a benchmark for all dreadful superhero costumes forever more.
Superhero Fashion Victim #2: The Phantom
Sure, the movie was made more than a decade ago so we could cut this one a bit of slack. Although there’s no excuse for allowing that shade of purple on any superhero get-up. Barney-coloured, stretchy fabric accompanied by strange swirly designs on the suit made the generally charismatic Billy Zane appear like some psychotic escapee from a Cirque du Soleil act. Hardly appropriate for a superhero tasked with assisting people in grave peril.
Superhero Fashion Victim #3: Catwoman
Despite Halle Berry’s acting pedigree and gentle beauty, she too couldn’t make this bawdy costume work. More suited for a burlesque show than energetic crime-fighting, with all that ripped leather and midriff-baring, Frank Miller would probably love it but we’re certain no one else does. Sadly, the film’s dismal critical and box-office success has been used to justify studios’ reluctance to produce more female superhero-centric projects. We think hiring a better costume designer will solve the problem.
Superhero Fashion Victim#4: Daredevil
As far as comic book costumes go, Daredevil has possibly one of the easiest to adapt. You’d think it would be hard to mess up something so simple like a red suit with a pair of devil horns. It could have turned out rather cool, yet the good folks behind the costume department still managed to make his outfit reek of sadomasochism. Bottom line: shiny, red leather is never a good look.
Superhero Fashion Victim#5: Captain America
When Marvel gave a first look at the Captain America ensemble, legions were relieved that they decided to dispense with those horrendous rubber ears. Unfortunately, he also ends up clad in a baggy, ill-fitting uniform which looks 2 sizes too big even on Chris Evans’ mega-buff physique. And what are the chances of our Captain actually using any of those pouches gleefully strapped to his waist? Does he need them to store lip balm? Maybe breath mints in case of an unexpected damsel kiss? Perhaps we’ll find out when the movie hits our shores in July.
What’s a valiant superhero without an equally disreputable villain? Next week we discover some of the hottest baddies who have unwittingly stolen our hearts. Same time, same space!
Don’t miss checking out our homage to all things Superhero on inSing!
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