The Man of Steel: History of the Superman Suit

Published 1 year ago by This is a list post.

Superman Suit History In the world of Hollywood blockbusters, the grand unveiling of a brand new Superman suit is an occasion like no other. With Man of Steel, director Zack Snyder will be dressing Henry Cavill in a cutting-edge concept for Superman's suit and cape - but how did the transformation from Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's circus strongman to a soldier from another world take place? We've gathered up the evidence to take a look at how the suit started, how it made its way onto film, and which versions almost became realities (but thankfully didn't). Let's all take a closer look at The Man of Steel: History of the Superman Suit.

Action Comics #1 (1938)

Superman Suit History First Appearance Without question one of the most iconic images of Superman was his first appearance on the cover of "Action Comics" #1 (pictured), but his suit was a far cry from the one fans would come to know. From the police badge-shaped crest on Superman's chest to the strange boot webbing on his shins (look closely), this version of the character was bound for some fine-tuning. Even so, there's no question that the blue tights and red underpants - based on those worn by Victorian-era 'strongmen' over flesh-colored bodysuits to resemble nude, classical heroes - were a hit, as the basic design remains unchanged seventy years later. Granted, if a man in tights was throwing a car next to us we probably wouldn't be paying much attention to how high his boots were, either.

Action Comics #7 (1938)

Superman Suit History Early Superman wasn't the only star of "Action Comics," meaning he had some time to perfect his look. H next appeared on the cover of Issue #7 (pictured), with higher boots, and the second incarnation of his symbol: a bold red 'S' placed within a yellow triangle. The new logo is certainly sharper than its predecessor, but it's the boots that most stand out. With their tapered ankles and scalloped top seam, artist Joe Shuster drew a pair of boots in 1938 that would be called classic, old-fashioned, groovy, retro, hip and 'futuristic' by fashion-lovers over the next seven decades - without ever changing. 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it,' we suppose. But now that the costume had been all but nailed down, the matter of the logo and cape became the main priority. And as anyone who has ever tried to design a strong logo (or worn a cape) knows, the devil is in the details.

Paul Cassidy's New 'S' (1940)

Superman Suit History Cassidy While Shuster got the most important parts of Superman's look set in stone, the rise in the character's popularity meant that more artists were soon hired to help handle the workload. It was these early artists - like Fred Wray, John Sikela, and others - who helped flesh out the rest of the costume by committee. Few of the lesser-known artists were more influential than Paul Cassidy, who in 1940 blessed Superman with a new logo on both his chest and cape on the cover of "Action Comic" #26. With a bigger, more graceful 'S' inside of a diamond-shaped triangle, the logo took another step towards the one we know today. Although the colors of the cape's emblem changed from the first appearance to "Action Comics" #29 (pictured), Cassidy had made his mark, also adding movement to the cape, making it look significantly less like a heavily-starched bed sheet.

Fleischer & Famous Superman (1941)

Superman Suit History Fleischer Cartoons It's impossible to talk about the early days of Superman without paying special attention to the animated serials produced by the Fleischer Studios in the early 1940s. Mainly, because the cartoons are some of the most incredibly animated and highly-polished in existence; due in no small part to Max and Dave Flesicher's lack of interest in producing them. Let us explain: to scare off Paramount Pictures, the Fleischers claimed that producing the serials would cost $100,000 per ten-minute episode (over $1.6 million today). Shockingly, Paramount agreed to half that price, and the studio set to work, changing Superman's logo yet again. Placing the 'S' onto a black background made it a bit harder on the eyes, but would resurface in the comic books decades later. Although the logo didn't last, the use of rotoscoping (animating over footage of actual actors) gave Superman fans their first idea of how the hero would move - and fly - on screen.

The Finishing Touches (1944)

Superman Suit History DC Copyright By 1945, Siegel and Shuster had nailed down the design of Superman's costume - the bottom of the 'S' badge would be pointed, not squared - and was able to copyright the symbol that what would one day become the second most recognized on Earth. In testament to how quickly the artists had ironed out the kinks: as Superman was set to make his debut in live-action, his costume in the comics would follow this exact design for the next forty years. The muscles that pushed the fabric to its breaking point would fluctuate with the times (as would Superman's hair), but the basic design would not. Superman was set to make the leap to TV and film, and would never leave.

Superman (1948)

Superman Suit History Kirk Alyn In the serial Superman (1948) and its sequel Atom Man vs. Superman (1950), Kirk Alyn became the first actor to know what it felt like to wear the costume of the Kryptonian orphan, even if the times mandated a higher rise in his underpants than the comics allowed. The costume was actually light grey and brown instead of Superman's trademark red and blue, since those colors photographed better in black and white; and color wasn't the only compromise. Since the special effects required to make a man fly were still years away (suspending Alyn from wires was attempted, and abandoned completely after deemed a painful waste of time), the live-action Alyn was replaced by an animated version when performing super-heroics or flying. The serials became a massive hit for Columbia Pictures, bringing about the sequel and making a live-action TV series inevitable.

Adventures of Superman (1952)

Superman Suit History George Reeves For an entire generation of TV viewers, George Reeves was synonymous with Superman. Originally starring in the feature-film Superman and the Mole Men (1951), Reeves' initial outing as the titular hero became the pitch for the TV series Adventures of Superman (1952), which would run for six seasons. Unfortunately, the suit worn in both the feature-film and the first two seasons was still grey and brown. The producers made the shift from shooting in monochrome to color in 1953, even though color television had yet to be widely adopted. So although the suit was red and blue on set, it was broadcast in black and white - fans wouldn't actually see Reeves in color until the series hit syndication in 1965.

Superman: The Movie (1979)

Superman Suit History Christopher Reeve "You'll believe a man can fly"; it was the promise made by the producers of Superman: The Movie (1979), and one on which they delivered. But while the special effects team proved that showing Superman in flight was possible, Christopher Reeve and director Richard Donner proved the Superman suit could still silence crowds. Staying with the comic book fiction and explaining that the fabric of Superman's suit came from the Kryptonian blanket he was wrapped in, it also added to the story behind the logo. Previously explained away as a symbol chosen by a young Clark, Martha or Jonathan Kent (depending on which comic you read), Donner's film made the 'S' a sigil of the House of El, and Kal-El's family crest. In many ways the four appearances of Reeve's Super-suit is still the most iconic in film, due largely to the fact that it was a perfect adaptation of the comic book's costume up to that time; short red underpants, a boldly drawn symbol, and colors you could see coming a mile away. But we're still not sure about the 'throwable 'S'' thing.

John Byrne's 'Man of Steel' (1986)

Superman Suit History John Byrne We'll spare anyone who isn't a big fan of DC's "Crisis on Infinite Earths" storyline, and simply say that in 1986, the comic book publisher needed a fresh start for Superman. Comic book writer/artist John Byrne was called upon to craft a new origin story for their biggest superhero, and he wasted no time in choosing what would stay from the original stories, and what would go. While the 'S' logo was once again chosen by Clark and Martha Kent, and the suit was crafted from regular fabric, it was the visual style of Byrne that was most influential. Artists of the previous decades (special nod to Curt Swan in particular) had drawn Superman as an imposing figure, but Byrne took things much farther. Hulking shoulders and arms, slim waist and musculature visible through his suit likened Superman to action movie stars of the 1980s - and ever since, the navy blue and crisp symbol have remained the status quo.

The Return of Superman (1992)

Superman Suit History Return Black The 1990s were an interesting time for Superman, as storylines and style choices divided fans like never before - not least of which was the "Death of Superman" arc - considered by some to be one of the best ever written, while being decried as an abomination by others. Ushering in the "Reign of the Supermen," Superman's death brought the unforgettable (for different reasons) costumes of Superboy, Steel, Cyborg Superman and the Eradicator. But it was Superman's return from the grave that had the most impact. "The Return of Superman" had the superhero emerging into the world with shoulder-length hair, and a jet-black bodysuit sporting a chromed logo. Superman had gone metal. Eventually Kal-El returned to his flashier outfit, but this black suit would remain influential, playing a large role in more than one attempted reboot of the hero on film.

Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993)

Superman Suit History Lois and Clark

Like we said, the 1990s were an interesting time. Superman made his triumphant return to television in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (the rare double-allusion title), a new focus placed on Clark Kent's personal life, inspired by much of Byrne's reboot. The suit was once again created by Clark (Dean Cain) and his mother, although the 'S' badge was sent to Earth along with baby Kal-El. The darker blue material and larger chest emblem may have been a nod to the art style of the comics, but there's no denying that this suit is a bit of an oddity among the other live action incarnations. The plunging neckline, emblem and cape all embody the lighter tone of the TV series, but it's no surprise that the style choices were never adopted elsewhere.

Kingdom Come (1996)

Superman Suit History Kingdom Come While Superman's mythology got a lighter take on television, he was taken to a much darker place in the comic books. Specifically, in Mark Waid and Alex Ross' "Kingdom Come." Set in a reality apart from the canonical comics of the time, "Kingdom Come" follows an aging, retired Superman, called back into action when the world stands on the brink of metahuman war. Since he is no longer a crusader for hope and optimism, but an elected leader in a dark time, Superman replaces his 'S' emblem with a simpler, less elegant, black logo. As proof that even a variation of the Superman emblem can be powerful, the "Kingdom Come" logo has become nearly as iconic as the original among DC fans, with Alex Ross' more realistic art style making the connections to Superman's earliest days even more haunting.

Superman Lives (1997)

Superman Suit History Tim Burton Comic book fans have come to universally agree that the world is better off without Tim Burton's planned Superman Lives, starring Nicolas Cage as the titular hero. Images of Burton's... innovative take(s) on Superman's classic suit have ranged from controversial to obscene, even making the "Return of Superman" suit seem tame by comparison. With a chrome 'S' logo that looked more like folded blades than a family crest, the version of the suit pictured here is actually the most faithful of the bunch. The similarities between this Super-suit and those worn by Michael Keaton in Batman (1989) and its sequel are hard to miss, so Burton certainly had a vision. We wouldn't say the design is completely without merit - the suit cropped along the collarbone is an interesting change, and exaggerated muscles are present in Man of Steel as well - but we're still not sorry the film failed to get off the ground.

Superman Blue (1998)

Superman Suit History Electric Blue Superman has seen some strange and memorable costume changes in "Elseworld" stories or standalone re-imaginings, but few are as confusing as what has come to be known as 'Electric Blue Superman.' For reasons far too foolish to explain, suffice to say that the approach of the year 2000 led even the most level-headed of DC's creators to go a little too far off the beaten path. When Superman was no longer able to rely on his standard powers (granted by Earth's yellow sun), he turned to electricity, receiveing a new suit to help contain his energy. No cape, white eyes, and the ability to turn his powers 'on' and 'off' went over about as well as could be expected with fans, and the costume has since been shoved away into the dark recess of DC's history. It's a fact already known to anyone who read the comics as they were published, but is worth repeating: no matter how 'wrong' a movie or TV show might get Superman, comic book writers can be just as misguided.

Superman: Flyby (2002)

Superman Suit History Flyby Contained in the long line of failed attempts to get Superman back onto movie screens - including but not limited to Burton's Superman Lives -  was another film from a future blockbuster team. J.J. Abrams didn't just have an idea for a Superman movie, but a script following the personal and troubled story of Clark Kent in Superman: Flyby. It was during the development of Flyby that Man of Steel star Henry Cavill was first considered for the role by director McG, and would actually have ended up sporting a Superman suit as sleek and otherworldly as Snyder's current version. The Flyby costume never made it beyond a few varying concept images, but the similarities between what almost was and what soon will be are telling. Neither director is apparently too fond of the red underwear, but we'd pick Snyder's look over the Flyby contenders in a heartbeat.

Smallville (2001-2011)

Superman Suit History Smallville Given their initial promise of showing 'no tights and no flights' it was assumed that the Clark Kent featured in Smallville wouldn't be the costume 'type.' But as the years passed, and Clark Kent began acting rather... 'super,' his regular blue and red clothing would no longer suffice. We wouldn't exactly call a red leather jacket or floor-length black trenchcoat a 'uniform' in keeping with the Superman tradition - and neither would Man of Steel director Zack Snyder - but the show did finally allow fans to bear witness to Clark's early attempts at costumed super-heroics. The official Superman suit did end up making an appearance in the final season of Smallville, proving once and for all that there really is no substitute for the real thing.

Superman Returns (2006)

Superman Suit History Returns Routh Finally we arrive at the previous adaptation of the Super-suit, seen in Bryan Singer's Superman Returns (2006). In hindsight, this version of the suit may be seen as somewhere between the costume of the classic comics and films, and the futuristic, alien outfit constructed for Man of Steel. This piece gave a modern take by utilizing performance fabrics that look right at home on an Olympic athlete (covered in miniature versions of the trademark 'S') and sporting a chest emblem that seems to believe that less, really is, more. The suit was controversial among fans when first revealed,  with an added logo on Superman's belt buckle (because why not?) and swapping his signature red to a more muted maroon. In the end the costume wasn't the film's biggest problem, and if we're honest, would likely have grown on audiences over time. But Bryan Singer never got the chance to test that theory.

The New 52 (2011)

Superman Suit History New 52 For everyone who hasn't kept up with DC's New 52 reboot, allow us to confirm that the times are, once again, a-changing. And not just where origin stories are concerned, since "Superman: Birthright" and "Secret Origin" both introduced new elements to the current Superman canon, while keeping the iconic costume intact. But that's no longer the case. With the brand new Superman introduced in 2011, it was immediately clear that Man of Steel and the New 52 had plenty in common. The removal of the red underpants and brand new style from the cuffs to collar polarized fans who felt that messing with the costume was tantamount to heresy, regardless of the reasons for doing so. As is the case with Man of Steel, the costume is no longer a homemade invention of the Kents, but Kryptonian clothing; specifically, bio-tech battle armor that spreads outward when activated. No word on how long this current suit will last, but it's certainly easier on the eyes than many of its predecessors.

Man of Steel (2013)

Superman Suit History Man of Steel Zack Snyder, Davd S. Goyer and Christopher Nolan have made it clear from the start that Man of Steel's main priority was introducing a new Superman that audiences could relate to; meaning every aspect of the story had to be grounded, including the suit. So the task became not only creating a new reason for Superman to done his blue tights and red cape, but changing the suit itself to reflect the film's fiction. Making a brand new suit that would still be instantly recognizable was the main challenge, so while the Kryptonian undergarment may imply deeper functionality, the 'S' remains as large as ever, and the hint of a belt remains (and Zack Snyder really did try to make the underpants work). Adopting the notion of the 'S' representing 'hope' back on Krypton - first introduced in "Birthright" - the new suit is woven even more directly into the history of Superman's home planet, shown to be the dress of every Kryptonian; minus the battle armor, of course.

Conclusion

Superman Suit History It was a long road to get from the roots of Superman to the modern interpretation, and not all of the stops were ones we'd like to remember. Time will tell if Zack Snyder and Henry Cavill can silence skeptics and deliver a new icon for another generation of moviegoers. Which of these takes on the uniform do you most remember - for good or bad? Are there any we've left out that you think deserve special mention? If you haven't already, be sure to check out: ______ Man of Steel hits theaters on June 14, 2013. Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.
TAGS: man of steel, superman, superman man of steel

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  1. I am a huge fan of the new suit. I’ve never really been on board with Superman until recently. I’m a Batman fan through and through when it comes to DC. But I have always respected Superman as a character. My age on the other hand doesn’t understand the spandex though. I was 3 when Burton’s Batman came out therefore an armored look has always been my draw for the costumes. Even if he is the man of steel, a God amongst men, he wouldn’t wear biker shorts over his entire body nor underwear on the outside of his pants IMO. I understand the complaints against change. I hold the same grudges for a lot on the topic of change. But really, think about it, why would a God like figure, a symbol of hope, wear spandex and underwear outside his pants?

    • Your comment is my childhood… +1

    • Because why not?

    • i agree with you about why would a god like figure wearing underwear in the outside. because kal-el is a kryptonian, an alien (no offense) it is impossible if kryptonians as an civilization with more advanced technologies than us wearing their underwear outside their pants. and because the modern audience always looking for something that more logical. i still like chritopher reeve superman though. both are awesome

    • They are called,” Crimestoppers ” every superhero wears them

  2. Wow, I’m just amazed Tim Burton almost had the chance do Superman. Even as a kid I always thought I was watching a stage play when I watched Burton’s Batman…absolutely no testosterone in Burtons interpretation so thank goodness he didn’t get to butcher Superman.
    I think the suit looked ridiculous on every man up until Christopher Reeve because he was able to fill the suit out with his musculature. Routh also looks fantastic in the suit due to the modern physique. In the end, without a conditioned body these suits are going to look very average.
    I think in the case of Cavill both the suit and his conditioning have come together to look fantastic whereas for Reeve and Routh they bring more to the look of Superman than the suit. Well done to Snyder and Co for presenting a look that goes beyond the standard of a fancy dress party.

  3. never wouldve noticed the S buckle on SR costume had you not pointed it out until now.

  4. you should also include the videogame costumes of Superman (notably the recent Injustice Gods Among Us /DCU Online suits)

    • abner was right.the suit is kinda like combination of christopher reeve’s superman in colours and henry cavill’s superman in style. i actually like the latest superman but i still like the original superman with underpants too. sorry my bad english, i am an indonesian.

  5. I’ve never dipped that deep into the Superman lore but was wondering whether him looking so human (for an alien) has ever being covered in the comics.. It would be quite cool to see a Superman who is so obviously non-human but who manages to disguise himself as a human during his everyday existance and then in someway reveal his entirely non-humandoid self during a story arc… Its just a thought.

    • In Superman: Red Son (an alternate universe), Krypton was just Earth in the future, and when it was falling apart, Jor-L, descendant of Lex Luthor, sent his son Kal-L back in time, to a better place. Interesting twist, I loved it.

      Also, a non-human-looking superman that disguises himself as a human is Martian Manhunter. He’s awesome. His true form is a green, really-alien looking monster, but he can shapeshift.

    • Yeah, his name is Martian Manhunter

  6. MAN OF STEEL will make Over $1 BiLLiON Dollars Worldwide, Henry Cavill is a Great Actor & Amy Adams is a Multi-Oscar-Nominated-Actress & Very Beautiful Plus Multi-Oscar-Nominated: C-NOLAN is The Writer & Producer, i think The New Suit Looks Great & Much Better than The Old Light Blue Suit that Looked Like a SMURF & with The OutSide UnderWear was Real Bad, i Will See MAN OF STEEL in 3D.

    • I’m gonna stop you there and say that Amy Adams is not what I would call “beautiful”.

  7. I would have preferred the suit to be of a bit more lighter tone of blue…
    but this works too.
    So excited for this movie

  8. The new suit is AMAZING! If he’s an alien, this is how the suit should look. Not like a ballet leotard. Man…did these people get it right, or what?

  9. I prefer a modernized costume version of Christopher Reeve’s as i see his costume was most iconic in live-action. I know they could of modernize it for this generation. His cape also had the yellow S crest which i miss. Cavill’s costume is too dark imo. Like Bizarro colored blue dark. This Ain’t Batman, It’s Superman!

    • i know how you think mr west. but talking about modern superman, the producers of man of steel want to take him into the real world. because the previous costume is more nonsense, like what leathercheerio said how could that a godlike being that can fly, indestructible, wearing his underwear outside his pants.? it looks like he’s going to join a circus. in the other hand, the new superman suit is more logical if we think. because the suit is Kryptonian tradition, look at his father suit without armor, its dark blue too. i’m saying this not because i want to provoke you mr west. but this is modern age, people tend to see something that more logical than nonsense. i personaly love christopher reeve too. but he is superman in his age, and he will be remembered for tht. and henry cavill, well maybe superman’ loyal fans will grow over time to accept him as one of the Men Of Steel.

  10. I enjoyed reading the history of the Superman suit. As a long time fan of Superman, cutting my teeth on the George Reeves television version in the 1950s, loved Christopher Reeve’s Superman 1 & 2 movies, enjoyed Dean Cain’s Lois & Clark: The Adventures of Superman and reading the various incarnations of Superman in the comics over the past 60 years, I definitely hate the new Superman suit.

    It looks too militaristic, almost like it was designed by Nazi scientists during World War II, and it takes away from iconic view of Superman’s suit over the years. It’s too dark and does not give me a feeling of hope that the brighter red, yellow and blue suit does. Unfortunately, the new suit is reflecting the dark, depressing and hopeless mood that is prevailing in today’s society.

    If there are sequels to this Superman movie arc, I hope that Nolan and Synder have sense enough to revert back to the classic feel good suit that Christopher Reeve wore to make us think that a man can fly.

    • @ Harold

      I agree with your comment,especially your last paragraph. I too think the new costume is dark & depressing, somthing more to what Bizarro would wear on film. Even Routh’s costume wasn’t that dark. My 4 year old nephew seen the picture on here & seen Reeve’s Superman films & pictures of Cavill’s Superman costume. I asked him which costume he liked and he pointed to Christopher Reeve’s cause it brighter colored.

    • I agree with you Harold , these films are well made , they are in the hands of very good technical directors and writers. I’m glad superhero movies now get the respect they deserve. However the problem with these reboots is that the subject matter is dissected , the good bits are extracted mixed with market friendly ingreidients – Dark, Technology, Military, etc. The result is often impressive i cant deny that and it looks like Man of Steel might be a success … But what is lost?

      I really liked the Spiderman reboot but Peter Parker is no longer a poor kid dealing with everyday problems – he now comes from a scientific elite . Ok it worked in that movie but that original idea that made spierman/parker so appealing and iconic has been jettisond.

    • i totally agree with you sir. i have seen henry cavill’s new costume. it’s blue is brighter and he got his belt, but smaller than superman’s belt from the golden age. but i don’s like the idea about his underwear outside anymore. because he looks like a gay
      sorry my bad english, i am an indonesian

  11. Harold Stevens, I have to disagree with you. I like the new suit. It shows how much it has evolved over the last 75 years. I know the old suit is a classic but it will not hold up now. So it had to change to keep up with the times.
    WallyWest, I ad the exact same view as your nephew when i was his age. Now as an adult I see how dated the old suit. I understand your complaint, but why should Superman a god like figure and a symbol of hope be stuck with a tight spandex and trucks over the top of his pants?

    • @ Phil

      I can understand some people want change. But there’s just as many people like myself who believe why fix or change something that isn’t broken? Superman stood & past the test of time with kind of costume. Now I could see them modernize Reeve’s Superman costume design with same costume material as Cavill’s . Even Brandon Routh’s costume was less dark & still brighter colored as Superman’s costume should be.

      I feel as if they’re matching the tone of Superman to that of Nolan’s Batman. Not to mention I seen better artist costume designs for a modern Superman costume. Especially one that matched Reeve’s costume.

      • because it is broken.. &needed to be fixed
        this faux nostalgic idea that bright campy colours somehow AUTOMATICALLY stand for hope &light are so cliched and tired now frankly i get pissed off everytime i hear some fanboy use it s a crutch/excuse for being closed minded conservative

        aswell as usingthe vaunted “its not batman its superman” right because superman equals gay pride clothing inc?
        these creatorrs are trying to make a film where the audience can if only for a moment truly BELIEVE this man is real.. ppl arent as dumb as the older generation. so hyper-realism is key for suspension of belief

        aslong as Supes isnt wearing breaking ppls legs for info &hanging them off buildings .. im happy. the suit is fine ppl. get with the times

      • @phil

        i agree with you sir, but the old model will always be remembered.

        @wally west

        then don’t think about batman. this is superman suit not batman suit. superman’s suit is not an earth material like the old ones because it is nonsense if his mother created it and it cant be burned, or torned apart. the designer said it’s kryptonian chainmail, that their people (i mean the kryptonians) usually use it and combined it with dress, or armor, or cape. i am indonesian, pardon my english.

  12. its funny how the evil superman costume in superman III is now the standard colours ?? how style and perspectives change
    that lois and clark costume … yuuuchh. the pilot costume was decent but then they went for the silk curtains look. Pity , i thought dean cain was an interesting superman ( one of the most believable clark kents ) but that regular series costume did him no justice

    • @ geej

      More like Superman’s costume is Bizarro’s colors by how dark it is. If they use Bizarro, not sure how darker his costume can possibly be unless his costume is all black or bright opposite of Superman of-course.

      • im not sure bizarro was the inspiration for this costume . i think its a combination of what worked before ( batman ) and the current audience love affair with military / technological / utilitarian superheroes .

      • maybe bizzaro’s costume will not use blue color, maybe purple like what i see in “superman returns the game”. but i don’t think there will be bizarro in modern superman storyline because i feel it’s weird if superman meets his opposite version in the same world. because what technologies could separate his good side with his dark side into physical form?

  13. I loved the death of superman series. Best superman comics ever.

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  17. If the red trunks worked up till now. Why didn’t they work now

    • @ Ben…..

      The Red Trunks should have stayed man. We need to get a petition going to tell Hollywood how the REAL FANS FEEL. If it aint broke,dont fix it!! We want SUPERMAN BACK! Give him back his dignity, his full vibrant costume, not a Batmanesque, we can do what we like to make bucks ,costume! I enjoyed the Movie, but too many needless changes to a much loved character. They had no right to change the costume…..now they must change it back or our view of Superman will forever be changed,because they say so! Very,very Peed off!!!!!!

      • than go back to 70′ or 80′ you blind people…! this is modern age, the blue boy scout still lives! he just want to change his outfit that fits with the modern audience eyes.!!

  18. Originally,Kal-L was a shapeshifter to a certain degree rather like J’onn J’onz and Icon. Later,there was a suggestion that Kryptonians used low level telepathy (subconciously or no) to subliminally manipulate people’s perceptions so drawing the alien or looking at its image would still cause the human to see the image the alien wanted to project.

  19. Good list, but you missed quite a few looks. Superboy, while its not “Superman” was another portrayal of the Man of Steel. Plus all the animated versions, which all change the look and the Smallville comic is an altered version of the New 52 version

  20. Batman challenges all the other superheroes in a head to head contest. You decide if he emerges as the ultimate winner!

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  21. Now that the movie’s over, anyone’s thoughts change?

    I grew up with CR wearing the suit, then DC, then Routh, and now Cavill. I’ve even watched GR in the 50′s in the suit, and I can say there’s still absolutely nothing wrong with the ‘classic’ suit. The newer suit I don’t believe had anything to do with being dated, it was just a selling point. “Look what we can do.”

    I have nothing against the armor/suit in the comics, but the suit (if it’s a nanotech design) then, hypothetically it can be manipulated. Why not brighten the colors?

    Do I wish they’d reference the ‘original’ more? Yes. Should see go back to it? Sure, why not show a flashback where Ma K sews the suit for him for Halloween and have him smile and ‘zoom’ around the room. Why not wear the shirt as he does in the books, and reveal it as the comics used to? A happier time, then show his grim/gritter self just like every other hero that exists now.

    Why not wear the suit, then when the events in MoS happen, it gets destroyed and he finds the armored suit as in the movie, so the events follow as they did on screen.

    Besides, as some of the folks here have said, the attitude of an actor wearing the suit made audiences believe ‘a man could fly!’ Was CR ripped? No. Dean Cain? Not really. Did he look heroic? Yes.

    Kal-el is an alien, so why not think of it like this..he’s ‘average’ on Krypton, but here on Earth, he’s a metahuman. Can he not be heroic if he was depicted as CR was? He’s constantly feeding off solar energy, it doesn’t mean he needs to be bulked up like the Rock, or Jackman’s Wolverine.

    Just my two cents.

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