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. Nice to see all the different suits through the years… wait, they’re all pretty much the same. Yeah, I never was a fan of his suit, the S, the cape, it all seems outdated. Superman is one of the most recognizable characters/emblems on the planet, yet… I never like the suit, I love the character, but that suit… ugh. I like the black and silver one. I think Cavill’s is a step in the right direction though, losing the trunks especially.

  2. Sorry,

    But to have Cavill next to Reeves…I am sorry..Reeves has it all the way.

    • I have to agree there.

      After seeing this, I’m not to thrilled anymore with the “re-imagining” of Snyder’s new suit. The new suit should never be side by side with the old, it just makes it look bad.

      • Oh yeah… my eyes…

        … I just saw ’78 Reeves next to present day Cavil and my eyes just can’t handle it!

        NOOOOOOO!!!!!

        Yep, movie is ruined. It’s just like Green Lantern and Superman Returns!

        … am I forgetting something… let’s see here….. OH YEAH!!!!

        SUCKER PUNCH!!!

        – MoS Troll Complete –

        • +1

        • +1

      • Not surprising, you’re like a broken record. For someone so down on this movie you sure comment on it a lot

        • For anyone who wants to go back to 1978 and ride the short bus with their underwear on the outside you’re in luck because I have a time machine to sell you!!

          • ONE POINT TWENTY ONE JIGAWAAAAAAAAAAAATSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!

            • looool

          • Merill

            Stop insulting people from behind a computer screen. It does Zero to elevate you in the standing of other screen ranters, and many may consider you a troll.

            I was 10 years old in 78 so there is a fondness for Christopher Reeve as he is the Superman I grew up with.

            • @ Jeff W

              Same. I was 5 years old when I first got to watch the superman films. You know which was my favorite then? Quest for Peace, because he fights the glowing guy.

              Growing up sucks when you realize just how awful some of your cherished childhood stuff is.

              In a perfect world, we would still have Christopher Reeve saving falling planes out of the sky every other week while he hums the John Williams score to himself.

              • Yeah it does suck, but I would not change it for the world.

                Then again, growing up was a bit of a pain, I grew so fast it hurt at times.

              • I’ll keep the 78 version, thank you. Great writing, acting, tone, humor.

                Hope the new one is good.

            • I’m fond of Reeve(reminds me of comic supes the most)not the suit. If you feel insulted that’s on you its a free country

              • It’s

              • Feel Insulted? By you?

                Sorry, try harder.

            • I guess nostalgia somehow makes a light blue Halloween costume look epic.

              • I guess so

            • To me, Reeves was, still is and always will be THE Superman. He had the look so perfect with the chisled chin, warm smile and those big blue eyes. They couldn’t have picked a better man for the suit.

              • Ooooops! Reeve, not Reeves. Although George wasn’t too bad in the charisma dept.

            • I wasn’t even born yet when the Christopher Reeves movie came out. Neither were this generation of moviegoers. The Superman I grew up watching was from Bruce Timm’s Emmy-award winning animated series. The modern 80s and 90s comics that started from John Byrne’s revamp.

              Needless to say I was dissapointed when Singer pretty much ignored all of these and rehashed the same Donner elements from 1978. I’ve watched Superman 1978 and while a classic it looks very dated today. Can we finally see the MODERN Superman on the big screen, please? No camp, no real estate schemes and mad scientists, no bumbling Clark etc?

            • yes and i grew up 17 when i watch man of steel and then i watch superman I to IV. i see it is cool if the time’s still 70′s or 80′s, but in this era, whew. it’s looks cheap. though i appreciate reeve’s version. he plays his role with awesome.

        • @ Dr. M

          In ’78, it was Christopher Reeve, not “Reeves”. Wrong name, wrong era. Close though.

          So there’s that.

          Oh, and the story/plot, or lack of will determine the movies sucess, not the suit, just say’n.

          @ Merill

          Who’s down on it? It will stand or fall on it’s own. As Ive said many, many, times if you were paying attention, I’m a huge Superman fan, I just have no confidence in WB. I dont want this movie to be a bomb, I’m just taking a wait and see approach.

          Glad we got that all cleared up.

          • So could you ,from the snippets so far, state anything about the movie you like or looks promising

            • Beause we’ve heard the negatives ad nauseum

              • @ Merill

                Merill, buddy, listen to me. I love Superman, and I love DC. WB, that’s another story. I want this flick to do well, as I do ALL CBM’s. The problem you see, is that, WB and their recent efforts have left me, let’s just say, a little chapped. So my faith and trust in WB is at an all time low, even for them.

                I have nothing against MoS, I hope it’s DC’s Iron Man, and kicks the door in on a shared universe, I’m just not counting on it.

                • I hope it beats your expectations. We’ll see in a few days

                • @ Meril

                  It’s Tony Stark. It wouldn’t be right if he was excited for MoS.

                  • looool You are wise doctor!!!

                    • @ Dr. M & Merill

                      Tony is a fan of ALL superheroes.
                      Just an FYI……

                • Fellow longtime fan, can you join me in praying for DC to get their own studio so they can be free of Warner Bros’ bumbling machinations?

                  • @ CG

                    Yes I will.
                    You read my mind!! I’ve been saying that for years!!

                    Can you imagine the potential in the DC properties if they were handled as aggressively as Marvel handles theirs??
                    Wow!

                  • doesn’t time/warner own dc publishing?

                  • yes i really2 agree about that! dc has to stand on its own feet. look at marvel, their avengers are the the greatest movie ever, and that’s without wb help or other studios. not because i hate wb, but what if dc stands alone? could be that awesome?

          • I can understand not having much confidence in Warner Bros. Any studio that orders Brando’s performance pulled from Superman II to save a buck and then fire the original director AND hire A Hard Days Night has got their head up their ass.

      • Man, NOTHING about MOS pleases you so why even bother commenting? Stick to um…Iron Man 3

        • @ Gnarly

          Not true. I’m intrigued by the new take on Zod and his crew, as well as all the Easter Eggs.

          I’m just not rushing out to see it, that’s all. I’ll read the reviews of those I trust, and then decide from there.

          Again, it’s not that nothing pleases me about MoS, not at all, I’m just taking a wait and see approach.

          I saw Green Lantern the day it was released and left half way through, same with Superman returns. I’m not going to do that again. I’m only going to hit my hand with a hammer so many times, before I stop swinging it.

      • @ Jeff & Stark,

        Phew! I thought I was the only one. After seeing the suits displayed side-by-side, I am starting to hate the new version.

  3. I am glad to see that movie adaptations consider the visuals of Superhero films when they make them. I think there is a correlation to efforts to do a live action superhero and failure when they do not update the look. The embarrassing costume of the David Kelly attempt at Wonder Woman is the most egregious example. All one had to do was look at the wardrobe to see that it was never going to be taken seriously…then to have the costume later upstaged by a porn parody was just horrific. The same with Green Lantern. Looking at the Dark Knight Trilogy, Chris Nolan was not afraid to put Batman in a more militaristic version of his iconic suit. The same with removing Thor’s helmet and and adding texture to Spiderman’s suit. Snyder did a great job of making Superman’s suit sensible which is one of the many reason’s I think the movie is going to be huge.

    • +1

    • The main/only part of Green Lantern that I liked were some of the effects on the alien planet, and GL’s uniform. At least the design…I’ve had more than a few CG suggestions for it though. But if they gave it a realism details treatment + twiddled the transparency & overall color palette, it would be great.

  4. Cool photo but where’s Routh? The guy did the best he could, gotta admit that!

    • He was number 17. I guess you didn’t see that?

  5. So far New 52 and Man of Steel are my favourite suits. Really don’t ike Reeves’ suit though, to me it just looks more like tights than an actual suit you can fight in.

    • Agree, the new 52 siute is by far the best. It looks like armour rather than spandex. And that kryptonian bio tech made sense immediatley. The idea of superman and martha designing a siute as in birthright seemed a bit off for me but the biotech idea had me interested in the origin of the siute once again. Still hoping ‘Man of Steel’ would use the biotech siute in the movie but unlikely.

      • Kinda what I like about the new interpretations of characters, they started really thinking about where each aspect of the character and universe comes from and not just place them there for its convenience. The suit in Man of Steel may not be biotech but I find there both sort of in the same realm.

        SPOILERS (If you don’t want to know little details)

        Both suits are from Krypton so you still get that alien / space vibe from them I find.

      • The suit has a specific use in the movie, in -with the bio-tech stuff.

      • Yeah from the past articles I’ve read, the Man of Steel suit IS biotech. it’s linked to their ships sometimes, and their ships are biotech and considered “living”. Given the link between the ships and the suits, Superman’s suit in MoS is definitely both biological and technological.

    • @ColdSc

      Old Costume: its just clothing. looks like circus strongman
      New Costume: its an armor, badged with his Family’s crest. it’s otherworldly crusader’s armor.

  6. The Death of Superman saga of the early 90s is what made me a Superman fan. It would be incredible if that could be translated to the screen.

  7. Page 2 it says “H” instead of “He”, just helpin a brotha out ;D

  8. Reeves suit was the best.
    There’s an old saying, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”

    • The old get worn out. Aha sorry, I’m just a modern man, I love seeing things change as time goes on, no matter how drastic.

      • It’s called “Victorian Era” strongman for a reason…

    • Colors are a bit too dark (hope they fix that in the next movie) but overall, I think the Cavill suit is the best. People have tried to make the suit more “Kryptonian” before (New 52 suit, which I don’t like very much), but this one got it right. It’s instantly recognizable as Superman, but I can still by into it that this is a suit worn by a civilization from another planet.

      And I love the Christopher Reeve suit as much as anybody, classic Superman. But today, it just doesn’t work. I just couldn’t take someone dressed like that seriously. I do find it strange that people complain about them changing Superman’s old suit, but no one is asking for Batman to still where the Adam West suit…

      • I agree with your critique, love the suit but can understand some people wanting it a little brighter. It would be cool if its saturation is affected by sunlight. The origin of the suit has been thoroughly explained and makes sense and if even they dug up Reeves and used him in this movie trolls would still troll.

      • Good points! But it is really interesting that the Catwoman suit worn by Anne Hathaway was such a throwback to the Batman series. In that sense Nolan went in the other direction and was faithful to an earlier interpretation of it . I am not sure if I liked it better than the Burton version worn by Michelle Pfeiffer. Both were – to me – the two best versions of the suit.

        • I agree they were the best two but I rather Nolan’s because it emphasized the “burglar” aspect more

        • Although Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman suit was obviously a throwback to the old one, it was updated. Of course, the old Catwoman suit holds up MUCH better than the old Batman suit.

          My main point was that I find it strange how fans are so forgiving for new versions of the Bat suit, but with Superman, God help whoever decided to change it! Every superhero suit changes over time for the same reason: To keep it modern and update it. But for whatever reason, Superman is the one that some people just can’t let go (and seriously guys, that suit just does NOT hold up well today) and then they seem to forget that the suit went through several changes BEFORE the Superman suit we all know came to be.

          • Agreed, it’s like they don’t want Superman to progress. I thought everyone learned from Superman Returns that the old stuff won’t cut it now, you need to push the material forward a bit.

            • +1

            • I completely agree! I actually find it bizarre. Heck…even cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse look different from how they were originally drawn. I cannot think of any character from the 1950′s or even the 1970′s for that matter that looks or dresses EXACTLY the same who has not gone through some sort of update in how they dress. What is the point of keeping outdated outfits the same?

              • Even the gang from Scooby Doo is dressed differently now! But, there’s just something about Superman that makes people think he should stay EXACTLY the same.

                • exactly the same as what? the very 1st appearance? this new suit looks more in common with that (minus the strong-man briefs) with the dark color.

                  • Exactly the same as the suit from the 1978 film. A lot of people still think they should have never changed the suit at all after that version.

            • @ Merill

              Superman Returns did not bomb because they used the old suit.

              Really?

              • I did not say that, I meant the formula of regurgitating the old stuff like in Superman Returns did not work you have to push the material forward. I meant the formula as a whole

                • @ Merill

                  Gottcha. I couldn’t really tell from your comment.

                  Superman Returns did try to push it forward, to some degree with the kid and all, but missed the mark horrible.
                  Here’s hoping MoS hits the mark.

                  • They better or just stop trying, all genres including cbms have a finite time to be the “in” thing. So if this bombs it’s off to Thor.

      • I think that the only thing that needs to happen is for people to see it on the big screen (in full), and then they’ll associate the new suit with the new film, which I think most will love, and then they’ll grow to love the new suit as well. I didn’t like new TDK suit for Batman, but I…well I still prefer more traditional/fuller/smoother Batman suits, but I got used to it is my point.

      • you read my mind mister robert w.

  9. Regarding Man of Steel’s new suit as the dress of every Kryptonian, Are there no fat Krytonians? I love to a fat Kryptonian in the new suit.

    • oops…I love to see a fat Kryptonian in his suit

      • Pretty sure Russell Crowe has a potbelly in real life. Though they may have covered it up with padding in the movie…

        • He did work out like Cavill and Shannon for the movie. He was initially surprised that he actually had to wear the suit.

    • wait until Comic Con

      • oh lord no

  10. The new Man of Steel suit is the one thing about this movie I’m not excited about.

    I don’t mind the leathery texture, but the blue could have been lighter, and the various striped patterns around the hip and legs look gaudy and unnecessary.

    Snyder should have just taken the classic suit, ‘leatherified’ it and subtracted the red trunks while keeping the yellow belt. That would have been ideal.

    • I’m cool with that

    • I personally really like the new design. However, I do agree the colors should be a little brighter.

    • I heard the suit gets brighter as he uses his powers? Or something like that. I’m a dark-leaning guy but even I wouldn’t mind the new suit being a little more colorful.

  11. You skipped the mid-90′s Superman the animated series version, which stuck to the classic, but removed the S on the cape because it was harder to animate when the cape flapped. Good article, though. :-D

  12. This is my favorite suit. By Jim Lee, of course:
    http://voicesfromkrypton.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Jim_Lee_Superman.jpg

    • Thank God. I thought you were referring to the godawful New 52 suit until I clicked on the link.

      • I agree on the New 52 suit. Just awful.
        It is a contender for the worst of all.

      • I should add what I really meant in suit “by” Jim Lee.
        That was the design where he had full control. It’s his.

        Jim’s work in the New 52 was under design constraints.
        I think Jim tried to do the best within those DC limits,
        but the overall concept is too flawed to make work.

    • Now THAT’S the ultimate classic version of Superman in all aspects of the character.

      • i agree, i don’t like much the new 52. it is too fancy.

  13. June 14th The People of Earth will KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!!!!!!!!!

  14. Shame there isn’t a Red Son image on here, I loved that suit.

    But yeah, I really think the MOS and New 52 suits are the best. Not sure why people complain about the colour of the MOS suit either, I honestly don’t see it as being “too dark” at all. I mean, maybe it’s just a shadow being cast over Cavill while he’s in the suit since a lot of promotional stuff we’ve seen so far is Superman in the desert or in a darkened corridor/room (like that bank vault image we first saw a while back).

    Honestly, if the blue was lighter than what we’ve seen in the promo pics so far, I’d be taken back into those gaudy comic book movies that play for laughs instead of a serious story that makes us think.

    • Hey well said Dazz…

      … I just looked outside, pigs don’t seem to be flying…

      … anyone happen to know the weather in hell at the moment?

      • Sunny

        3,400 Degrees with a wind coming in from the east at 5 mph.

        • Not frozen then huh? Just thought I would check.

    • now that’s what i thought too..! if you watch the movie, the suit is normal blue!(i think). it’s not dark blue or light blue. maybe it’s because low light theme that makes us to think it’s dark blue.

      • i’am indonesian, sorry my english is bad

  15. I will say one thing about the new suit, there’s no padding in it, that’s all Cavill in there. The guy must have really trained hard for this role, he is massive and ripped. Looking at him next to Christopher Reeve is something else. Kudos to Cavill for working so hard at trying to emulate the Superman physique, I respect that, he looks amazing.

    • Well at least we agree on that, and I also agree that we might not see a Justice League film

    • I agree, he is pretty damn huge. Both Shannon and Cavill did their best to be a physical fit for the role just like their acting was a fit, props to them.

      • Russell Crowe also worked out with them for the role

        • Thanks, didn’t know that, props to him too aha. So far, what i’ve seen of him in Man of Steel, he seems like he’ll be one of the standouts from the movie.

          • No doubt

  16. Hmm… Surprisingly Kirk Alyn made his Superman look work even though he was completely devoid of muscles.

    So for a superhero movie, if you’re not ripped, just make sure the costume isn’t skintight(You can see the creases on Kirk’s sleeves) and looks more like a regular suit(shirt+pants or fighter pilot-style flight suit).

  17. Where is the Kandor suit? For all that is I can’t remember the name of the story for it.

  18. the suit they have Dean Cain was only one or two episodes. In the first season of Lois and Clark they changed the suit a few times until finally one was chosen tat lasted the four years. Not an accurate diction of the actual suit worn on the show.

  19. It’s amazing that despite being over 30 years ago how great Christopher Reeve was as Superman.

    He truly was the quintessential embodiment of the character and his costume version is still light years ahead of all other versions.

    As exciting as Man Of Steel looks as a movie – the new costume is really ugly looking. Dark, grey, dirty looking it really goes against all the visual attributes that a Superman costume should bring.

    Reeve’s was full of colour, vibrancy, brightness and really made Superman stand out amongst everything else which is exactly the whole point. The 2013 version just pales in comparison.

    Long live Smallville..

    • Hey, I will always love the Chris Reeve Superman, but I think the new costume looks tough. I picked up Superman Chronicles 1 at the library and it reminds me of the very early look of Superman.

      Now if this movie can be half as well received as the 78 version it will be a huge success.

    • @lebsta

      The Reeve suit was bright and such because that was the tone of the day. It was a family friendly movie and incredibly bright with vivid colours and that’s the same visual style of the Sam Raimi Spiderman movies. Those are my recent examples off the top of my head of nice kid friendly movies but too campy and cheesy and don’t hold up after a few years.

      Like I said before, the MOS suit looks perfect and the best of the bunch. As iconic as the classic look is, it just doesn’t hold up, much like the first two Reeve movies when watching with modern eyes.

      It’d be like expecting the Michael Keaton or Adam West suits to be worn by a modern Batman instead of the ore militarized look that protects as well as intimidates.

      • @Dazz

        Each to their own opinion, but I think you’re excitement and anticipation for Man Of Steel is clouding your judgment here.

        Many of today’s fans and modern critics still view the 1978 original as the benchmark standard of comic book movies. Yes it’s more ‘family friendly’ but it also has an epic gravitas and seriousness to it. In many ways it’s the perfect balance of seriousness and humour. There is nothing cheesy abou these movies at all.

        Superman 2 is widely regarded as one of the best sequels ever. Perhaps with even more humour than the first, yes, but also thrilling and exciting.

        In actual fact the Batman costume in Nolan’s films is not too dissilar from Keaton’s minus the yellow logo. It’s still black body plated amour to a degree.

        Whereas Keatons look still had the essence of what Batman should look like, Man Of Steel’s new look just doesn’t make the hero stand out enough.

        It’s yet another sign of the gritter, darker tone about Man Of Steel, which looks to air on the gritty tone too much, unable to match that perfect blend of action and humour exhibited by Christopher Reeve’s films.

        But we will wait and see later on this month I Suppose

        • can you really imagine Henry Cavill in these trailers with Reeve’s suit though?

  20. One of the reasons for the suit change was the “Superman Lawsuit”. Warner Bros./DC lost a big chunk of Superman’s origins. http://www.entertainmentfuse.com/comics/comic-news/the-superman-lawsuit-the-outcome.html

    • Warner’s won the sit and are and were able to anything they
      wanted in Man Of Steel including any suit design with red trucks.
      Zack is on record he tried several prototypes with the red trucks.

      http://entertainment.time.com/2013/01/11/warner-bros-wins-superman-lawsuit-just-in-time-for-man-of-steel/

      • ^suit and ^”to do”.

        • I wish he’d just ditched the trunks entirely rather than going for that wierd red design around the waist. If he’d kept the yellow belt it would have looked much better.

          • Yeah, the waist and side panels, whatever they are,
            was some kind of nod to the missing trunks but
            something simpler like a belt would be better.

  21. Hmm, all these Superman actors have very well-defined chins. Another part of the uniform I suppose…

    • Didn’t you hear?? Well-defined chins are the embodiment of the American Way!

      Please – no comments about how Cavill’s British. Don’t kill my vibe…

  22. This was a nice little history lesson of Superman throughout the ages.

    Thank you.

  23. The Smallville comic and Superman: Earth One should be in there too.

  24. MoS version should have borrow more from the New 52 one for a number of reasons like creating a relationship thread between the two (and the fact the filigree crap around the torso and down the thighs just looks stupid) Also needed a red belt to break up that dingy blue.

    • Maybe Lois Lane will give him the red belt to pack his lunch in once they start hooking up. And she’ll strip off the dingy silver crap while he’s sleeping to make him more Earth-fashionable.

  25. I have no problem with the costume it looks nice its missing the red shorts but I don’t think that one adjustment will deflate the film. I am a fanboy myself so I can understand how some of the fans are upset but the damn thing hasn’t come out yet lol heres hoping too a good Superman movie and one too shut up all the haters

  26. did anyone else notice in pic #12, the golden age flash in the background looks alot like nic cage!

  27. I have a question about the suit that I wonder if they ever answered. If the material is bullet proof and from Krypton, how did Ma Kent sew it using a needle and thread? How did the needle pierce the suit, and why do the threads not get destroyed?

    • Because the needle’s thinner and can go through the threads. But a bigger bullet would have to tear through the thread itself, which it can’t. Same way you can’t chase a cat through a metal fence if the cat was the needle and your head is the bullet.

  28. I got Clark’s red leather jacket from Smallville on my birthday. I was giddy!

    • udreplicas.com?

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