Thursday, 18 August 2011

Movie Costumes & Weird Textures

I'm not sure what the reasoning is, but Hollywood is tending to add weird textures to superhero costumes.  I don't know why and I certainly don't know how, but it just strikes me as unnecessary.  Case in point, check out the new Superman costume from the upcoming reboot.

Aquaman's tailor is branching out.

 The first thing I noticed when I first saw this costume was the scaly texture to it.  Give it a click and look at full size, it looks like Superman is doing his best fish impression.

I actually like other elements of the costume, such as the prominence of the S-Shield, but the texture really bugs me.  Plus the S curl in the hair is missing; negative cool points for that.

Spider-Cleats activate!
 Here is a promotional image that just came out recently (the website that published it first put that stamp on it) of the costume for the Amazing Spider-Man reboot. 

I hate this costume.  The only reason they changed the classic look, in my speculation, is to differentiate this film from the Sam Raimi trilogy.  This is why studios should have to wait awhile before rebooting a franchise, but Sony can't wait that long or they lose the movie rights so I guess we're stuck.  This costume just screams "I'm different just to be different!"

Two things jumped out at me about this image when I first laid eyes upon it.  The first was that it looks like Bounty paper towels (the Quicker Picker UpperTM) is sponsoring this outfit, since the suit has a kind of quilted texture to it.  I also noticed that Spidey must not have made it onto his high school soccer team since his cleats don't extend to his heel (Aunt May must not have been able to afford a whole shoe).  The sad things is I actually hope that really is the case and those aren't suction cups on the bottom of his feet...

So far Marvel Studios has done the best job adapting their characters costumes to the big screen.  Thor looked spot on, Captain America was pretty good, and Iron Man was absolutely perfect.  And I guess the Hulk's pants were alright too, kind of hard to screw that up.  While I normally hate when characters are put in full leather suits (hello X-Men), that is pretty much the standard operating procedure for the Black Widow and she looked picture perfect in her debut in Iron Man 2.  I want the characters to have more than a passing resemblance to their four colour inspirations, so I hope other studios get on the Marvel costuming train.

It's a fake but it's awesome.


  1. I've been looking into the methodology behind all of these scale-textures used in film superheroes, from Spider-Man to the First Class X-Men to Thor (at least on the armpits). After researching it, it doesn't seem like such a bad decision. In addition to offering protection, scaled fabrics also reduce drag friction and retain moisture, protecting against dehydration.

    Since most comic book superhero costumes have no texture and are basically colored body paint, finely woven scaled textiles seem like a good approximation.

    (Oh, and welcome to blogging!)

  2. The thing is though, we're dealing with people who can throw cars and shoot optic blasts from their eyes, the aesthetic is more important than the function (hence why Batman wasn't able to turn his head until the Dark Knight, going all the way back to Keaton). And do we really think have Aquaman scales is going to afford Superman extra protection?

    Thanks for commenting!