I was looking at the new costume promos, the Flash in particular:

I'm having real difficulty with the incredible stupidity of this costume design.

We're talking a super speedster with a ton of little crap all over the suit that will cause massive drag and vibration when he moves at speed. Those wires will be screaming and shattering windows when they start vibrating. And unless it's made of some sort of extra-terrestrial compounds, that whole mess is going to start flying apart, generating supersonic shrapnel when he's speeding.

It's not merely an ugly costume, looking far worse than the 90s TV outfit, it's also a brutally stupid one. One that would rapidly have others calling him The Flasher as it tears itself apart. Seriously - it seems so stupid to me that i'm starting a new word to cover it: DCEUpid.

(No, it's not a good word. It's a stupid word, but that feels right, too)

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Flash looked a little better here. Everyone else, not so much.

Everyone wants to change the Atom's costume. I understand why, but they shouldn't. 

I remember sometime in the '70s someone referred to Gil Kane's original Atom outfit as "generic." At the time I agreed. But later I realized that it wasn't generic -- it was subtle. The red parts formed arrows going up, and the blue parts were arrows going down. Shrinking and growing. That's really sort of brilliant.

I was always struck by the similarities between the Atom's costume and that of Menthor (T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents).  Gil Kane (with George Tuska) drew the first Menthor story, although that doesn't mean he designed the costume -- Wally Wood was the creative force behind the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents.

Cap - At least that Justice League could blame their foam rubber outfits on budget. Even if they had money for costume design, most would have gone to the Martian Manhunter's girdle. (David Ogden Stiers was a great choice to voice an animated J'onn, but live action? EEK!)

On the Atom's costume, i'm in complete agreement. Not only the up/down arrow design, but also reducing the costume to the most basic components is emblematic of the Atom concept. Subtle and Brilliant are just the right words to have used for it.



Captain Comics said:

Flash looked a little better here. Everyone else, not so much.

Everyone wants to change the Atom's costume. I understand why, but they shouldn't. 

I remember sometime in the '70s someone referred to Gil Kane's original Atom outfit as "generic." At the time I agreed. But later I realized that it wasn't generic -- it was subtle. The red parts formed arrows going up, and the blue parts were arrows going down. Shrinking and growing. That's really sort of brilliant.

I had to look up Cap's posted picture. It was from the unaired Justice League TV pilot from 1997.

Justice League Pilot

Looks like something you might buy at REI.  Except normally you would carry it on your back.

It's boggled my mind for years that, now that so many Olympic athletes (for a while, even the swimmers) are competing in full-body spandex outfits that are just a mask and the occasional cape away from what super-heroes have been wearing since the 1940s, the movies and TV shows keep telling us that such outfits are "impractical", and replace them with costumes that limit the characters movement as much as possible, while still offering plenty of bits and pieces that would either fall off, add unnecessary drag, and impede their vision & hearing.  Is it just a coincidence that the heroes wind up looking more like plastic action figures than people?

I'm not getting the point of the Flash unless the idea is pieces of his costume will attack the bad guys, which means he'd have to stay faster than light to keep from getting sued. Of course this might be an interesting weapon for Reverse Flash at some point. But yeah, something's wrong with the heroes. Get in the real world and you become strange. Did we really need additions to Ditko's Spidey costume, for instance?

I was thinking about odd costumes and realized there are quite a number of male characters who wore little more than swimsuits. There's Namor, of course, but also The Thing and Ultra the Multi-Alien. You might include He-Man in there.

Some characters, like Martian Manhunter and Silver Age Hawkman, pretty much only dressed from the waist down. 

What other barely dressed male characters are there?

Dave Elyea said:

It's boggled my mind for years that, now that so many Olympic athletes (for a while, even the swimmers) are competing in full-body spandex outfits that are just a mask and the occasional cape away from what super-heroes have been wearing since the 1940s, the movies and TV shows keep telling us that such outfits are "impractical", and replace them with costumes that limit the characters movement as much as possible, while still offering plenty of bits and pieces that would either fall off, add unnecessary drag, and impede their vision & hearing.  Is it just a coincidence that the heroes wind up looking more like plastic action figures than people?

Michael Keaton's costume in the first Batman movie was so stiff, he couldn't turn his head. Watch the fight scenes where he (or his stunt double) has to turn his whole body around to see what's happening beside or behind him.

Come to think of it, that problem didn't get fixed until the Christian Bale Batman movies.

Did it get fixed? All the movie Batmen seem to move awkwardly to me.

It's long been a complaint of actors in superhero movies that they can't see out of the masks. However, then I look at luchadores who seem to have zero issues seeing out of the masks they wear and wonder if that's really the case.

Obviously, Michael Keaton wore the bulky rubber costume because he wasn't ever going to be the spandex body type, and not because it was in any way more "realistic" than anything worn by Adam West.  Unfortunately, that wound up becoming the norm for comic book movies, and things have gotten clunkier from there ever since, until we come to the upcoming Flash debris suit.  Ben Affleck seemed to move a bit better than the previous Batmen, but only because if they hadn't lightened the weight of the rubber on his "everyday" bat-suit, it would have been hard to tell when he upgraded to his bat-armor, altho only Christian Bale seems to have gotten the deluxe head-turning feature in his costume.  Of course, it's completely realistic to go into hand to hand combat situations while wearing something that restricts your range of motion and your field of vision.  And of course, just because you live in a reality where the touch of a button can turn a satin or pleather cape into a fully functional hang glider or a fire proof cocoon doesn't mean there could also be a fabric that moves like spandex but works like kevlar (I know kevlar wouldn't work like that, but neither would hang gliders--if I have to accept one, why can't I get the other?)

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