Well, here we go again, kids. This time it comes from a movie based on a comic, but the blogs are talking about super suits again. Last time it was Wonder Woman, but now Entertainment Weekly has a cover featuring the suit from the upcoming live-action movie version of Green Lantern.

Nobody’s really up in arms over it like they were Wonder Woman’s or the way I have about the Alex Ross version of the Phantom, but I’m not getting a positive vibe from the crowd. Crisis on Earth Prime and Trusty Plinko Stick are the only blogs in my menagerie that really offered an opinion. Comics Alliance has an article on it, but the opinions come from the readers and their pretty negative. Yahoo movies discusses the suit, but I find this part rather odd.

For filming, Reynolds’ actual costume that he wears on set is full of sensors, much like the suits that athletes wear when lending their on-field moves to video games. After the scenes are shot, the sensors allow for the costume to be added via post-production technology. The reveal of Reynolds’ computer-created costume has garnered reactions that range from praise to saying the thing makes Reynolds look a little “silly.”

Why are they adding the suit later in CG? Why go through the extra trouble? In Iron Man this made sense, because the armors have to move like the Iron Man armor more than a real suit of armor, have weapons that deploy from various spots, and have to be ready to repulsor blast and fly at a moment’s notice. A Green Lantern’s uniform is just worn. It does nothing. Why not save the budget for the ring constructs?

Hollywood has yet to capture the true awesomeness that is the Batcape!

Is it a bad costume? I don’t think so. The look gives it an alien feel which would be important to non-comic fans, the mask isn’t really that bad (although it was obviously designed with “badass factor” in mind) and let’s be honest. Ever since Tim Burton’s Batman every superhero movie, whether targeting kids or adults, and even shows like fellow DCer the Flash or original character MANTIS had to feature this foam rubber outfit that looks like a guy in a foam rubber suit. Spider-Man tried something a little closer to reality, although I don’t see Peter being able to afford whatever material that suit was supposed to be made out of. I found it more jarring than the genetic webshooters.

At least the movie versions get to wear costumes. Smallville and Birds of Prey never showed the main superheroes (except for Green Arrow in Smallville) wearing costumes. And I still have trouble believing that with all the character in Heroes gaining superpowers, some of them with mental issues just on the good guys side, that nobody ever came along who would even consider putting on a costume to battle some kind of evil, even if they ended up sucking at it (because that’s just how things are done in the TV branch of Hollywood, which is why The Cape surprises the hell out of me just by being greenlit).

I'm sorry, but I can't get over how stupid this looks.

Costumes seem to be important discussion topics these days. With the Wonder Woman flap and Alex Ross’ decision with the Phantom costume warpaint (not to mention the foam rubber hoodie of the SyFy series), the role of the superhero costume is getting notice. I can’t think of a single Punisher movie that can even put the dang skull on Frank Castle’s outfit and get it right, but I haven’t bothered with the more recent movie because I couldn’t care less about the Punisher.

Remember that scene in the first X-Men movie that I can’t find where Cyclops jokes to Wolverine about “you were expecting yellow spandex”? I would have like to have seen it, although at least the X-Men movie suits were pretty darn good. But do you know what’s really under fire right now? The capes.

An ad from the back of the Rice Krispies box

If you’ve seen the end to The Incredibles (and if you haven’t, get a move on!), you know that capes are also key to the villain’s downfall. I can’t think of a superhero in the past few years (outside of Superman analogs like the Sentry or the Plutonian or are “retro”) who have capes. When we think of superheroes, the first thing we think of are the capes. But now capes are a dying breed. They look so darn cool! Even the vampires are trading in their capes for long leather jackets (or sparkles :P). Boring! A recent Rice Krispies promotion had Snap Crackle and Pop wearing costumes, including capes and masks (speaking of things going away, but putting up a better fight). Then there’s this ad campaign.

Sure, nobody told them supervillains wear capes, too, but still…

The costume is part of what makes a superhero. Otherwise, he’s just a guy with super powers, and those are a dime a dozen these days. I wish there was something outside of cartoons that recognize this, and even the few that are left (Silver Sentry and Nobody in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoons along with their non-Turtle comrades are the only new characters with costumes, and they’re Superman and Batman analogs respectively–and characters I would love to see get their own series) don’t wear costumes. (Ben 10 and Generator Rex are costume-free as cartoon characters go.) I miss the classic costume concepts.

About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

4 responses »

  1. Jan says:

    Glad you brought this up.

    This “anti-costume” trend is something I rest squarely on the shoulders of the 90s: so many heroes either wore form-fitting uniform jumpsuits, A collection of shoulder pads and pouches, or a trench coat (and of course all black or leather like they were Batman breaking into the hideout of a Bondage-motif villain).

    What a sad trend it is.

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  2. Kory says:

    Speaking of TV, you left out Dina Meyer wearing the Batgirl costume (aka the modified version the dreadful Alicia Silverstone suit from B&R) in both the aired/un-aired BoP pilots and the Lady Shiva episode.

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    • ShadowWing Tronix says:

      I remembered her wearing it briefly in the pilot, but I did forget about the Lady Shiva episode. (Once I have a DVD budget, I’m planning to get the BOP DVD.) As I recall, they did add some more comic flair to it (full cowl, yellow Batgirl symbols). As for dreadful, on it’s own maybe, not when Silverstone was wearing it. 😉

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  3. […] Solely from a superhero fan perspective, its trashing of capes. […]

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