Give or take the shape of the "S," the style of the shield, or the precise shade of blue and red in his costume, fewer costumes are as iconic as Superman's. When you see that costume, whether you're from America, the UK, China, or the Philippines, whether you're 7 or 70, you know exactly who it is. Superman is one of those heroes who transcends time, even more than Captain America. Superman isn't just an American hero; he's a global protector. So when the first images and trailers dropped for Man of Steel, opinions soared about Superman's "new and improved" costume. His iconic red underwear was missing, the "S" looked strange, he had a textured suit with strange markings on the forearms and sides.
|The "ta-da!" moment in Man of Steel (2013)|
|Man of Steel suit vs. Batman v Superman suit.|
From the end of MoS, it's obvious that Clark's battle with Zod didn't rip or tear his suit. If two Kryptonians cutting down Metropolis like a hot knife through butter couldn't so much as cause a pit stain, it's not like he could just take it to a seamstress to get it altered or dye the suit a new shade of blue and red. So what's the deal? I've got three possibilities as to what could account for these variations in the suit.
- It actually is a different suit. Just like we have multiple wardrobes in our closets, the Fortress of Solitude contained more than one suit from the House of El. Now, I guess one could argue "Why not just wear the suit he wore in Man of Steel anyway?" Well, do you wear the same clothes each and every day? Oh, you do? Well, uh, moving on then…
- The costume department for the film didn't care. Now, that's not to say they don't care about continuity. Remember though, some fans were really butt-hurt over the changes presented in Man of Steel. With that in mind, were they just supposed to ignore those complaints and say "No, if we change anything, it'll screw up continuity"? I'm sure some higher ups were listening to fan complaints and decided to make some tweaks to the design, such as the biggest complaint I heard: the colors. More fans were upset about the dull colors than they were about the missing tighty-whiteys (tighty-reddies?). A little reshaping of the belt buckle, lowering the shield down his chest a tad, they probably figured no one would care enough to complain and write an entire article devoted to it. Wait…shit…
- Money. money. money. So, you've decided to make a cinematic universe around the DC comics superheroes. You've also decided to give the public something they've been awaiting for decades: Batman fighting Superman. Let me say that again: Batman. Fighting. Superman. The two most iconic superheroes of all time FIGHTING! YES! HELL YES! You want to make as much money as possible, right? So what do you do? You want kids to buy your toys, right? You want them to wear your t-shirts, carry your backpacks, run around as these characters during Halloween, etc. What's the best way to do this? Change the costume ever so slightly so that little Jimmy and Susie can look at these toys and see that WHOA! They're like, so totally different than the old toys! Jimmy already has his action figures, t-shirts, and pillow cases from Man of Steel, and Susie still has her backpack, blankets, and pajamas from Man of Steel, so what's going to make them buy new shit? Change that shit. Boom, you just made a ton of money, my friend. Look at Iron Man 1-3 or Captain America 1 and 2. The Amazing Spider-Man, Thor, X-Men. The list goes on and on. I think the last notable superhero films that didn't change the costume from the previous film was The Dark Knight Rises or the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy. New costumes means new merchandise means more money.
So there you have it, folks. Are they going to mention that Superman has a new look in Batman v Superman? Probably not. Would it be nice to get a small throw-away line about him having more than one suit? Definitely. If I were a betting man, however, I'd wager that we won't get an explanation, at least in the film. Batman though? Shit, it looks like he'll already have two different suits in the film anyway, not to mention the fact that he's loaded. Bruce Wayne could afford to make thousands of different costumes for any imaginable scenario. I'm sure we'll see his suit change throughout the course of the DCCU, along with the other heroes.
What do you think the reason is behind the change? Was it a continuity fail? Is it perhaps a totally different suit? Or, was it all about the money? Maybe you have a different idea? Let us know in the comments section! Thanks for reading, everyone! My name is Sam Lascio, and I am a Fanboy!