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Off My Mind: Heroes Fighting...Without Clothes

Does the costume make the hero or does the hero make the costume?


Every great hero needs a great costume. The costume is what defines the hero. The costume becomes their trademark. Where would your favorite hero be today if they had an awful costume? Where would they be (besides locked up for indecent exposure) if they didn't have a costume at all?
 
Let's take Batman for example. What would have happened if instead a bat flying into his den to inspire the design of his costume it was a...pigeon? Would Bruce Wayne still be the same tough crime fighter he is today? We will actually get to see how Bruce does without all his bat-garb in the upcoming Return of Bruce Wayne miniseries. 
 
What about the question of where a hero gets a costume? When Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider, not only did he gain the proportional strength of a spider but also the proportional skills of a talented seamstress. Some heroes will piece their costumes together with items they find at a sporting goods store while others may be luckier and have someone like Reed Richards make a suit out of unstable molecules. I also seem to recall a costume shop owner secretly making costumes and repairs for heroes in the Marvel Universe. Perhaps someone can refresh my memory on that one. For some reason I'm thinking it happened in a Spider-Man comic but that doesn't seem to make sense since Peter is always having to sew his own costume.
 
What happens if a hero is not prepared? A hero has to be ready at all times to fight crime. If their identity is kept secret, they can't fight without any clothes. This is something that Power Girl has tried teaching to Atlee

== TEASER ==  
A hero also has to choose their costume wisely. Once they reach a certain status, it's hard to change their look. Sure Wasp was always changing her costume from issue to issue but other heroes have tried only to be forced back into their old suits. Spider-Man found the symbiote costume and we know how that went. Superman went for a blue/electric look and most of us would rather forget that. Iron Man changed his color scheme to red and white but had to switch back to red and gold.
 
Not all heroes seem to put a lot of thought into their costume. Take the current Superboy and Wonder Girl. I like both characters but they seem to be trying to set their own standards, jeans and a t-shirt. Whenever I see them fighting with the veteran heroes, I wonder if there's any resentment. The older heroes have put a lot of time (and sometimes money) into designing their costume. These kids just throw on a t-shirt and run out the door. At least they're not fighting in sweat pants (no offense to those that wear sweat pants as part of their daily wardrobe).
 
If a hero is caught with...their pants down, where does their loyalty lie? What is more important, protecting their identity or protecting the innocent? I may have asked before but if you were a crimefighter, what kind of costume would you wear? Would you go with the sleek design of spandex for increased movability?  Would you try to get some armor to protect your private bits? Would a cape be a crucial part of your look? Or would you not put a lot of time into it and just fight in whatever you happen to be wearing or can find at the moment?
 
Is a hero still a hero without their costume? With great power, must there also be a great costume?

47 Comments
Posted by G-Man

They also run the risk of this kind of embarrassment:

Staff
Posted by Precise

I believe the costume maker instance was when penance got his penance costume in Civil War?

Posted by mimschkin

What surprises me more is how characters like Wolverine end up losing their clothing so quickly. I just don't understand how that's possible.

Posted by Anthony Robson92

Or in the first issue of the 2007 White Tiger series, Black Widow and Spidey are both there.
Posted by mavfan626
@G-Man said:
"They also run the risk of this kind of embarrassment:

 
"

lol
Edited by Bobby X

I would "Namor" it. I wouldn't want my dazzling fighting techniques to be hindered by anything as trivial as proper surface-dweller attire. 
 
   
Posted by Vortex13
@Bobby X said:
"
I would "Namor" it. I wouldn't want my dazzling fighting techniques to be hindered by anything as trivial as proper surface-dweller attire. 
 
    "
There is seriously no package there.
Posted by Jotham

The costume maker sounds like a character in Invincible.

Edited by Joey Ravn

Now that you mention it, G-Man, in one of the Last Rites titles (Batman #682, "The Butler Did It"), Alfred "imagines" how it would have been if not a bat, but a moth or a... sort of... reptile or green bug... had inspired Batman. Pretty funny :P 
 
Also, it seems that super-sewing comes with all spider-powers too. I remember Jack Black doing something similar some years ago
 
Edit: BTW, there is something that has always amazed me... How come Doc Savage gets his shirts torn apart always at the exact same place? Bad quality clothing, I guess.

Posted by G-Man
@Joey Ravn: I thought about digging up those Alfred images but it was too early in the morning...
Staff
Posted by warlock360
@G-Man said:
" They also run the risk of this kind of embarrassment:

"
still better than bat nipples
 

 
 or what does mad jim say to all this
 
Posted by Jotham

If I got superpowers I would probably just wear a pair of spandex shorts (assuming I also got an Adonis-like body with the powers). That's probably maximum mobility.

Posted by KRYPTON

I agree Heroes need costumes. But, I heard once that it's not the costume that makes the hero, its the heroes mind that makes him a hero. Although heroes need costumes to keep their identity safe except super-man he just pushes his hair forward and boom he's super-man. Pushes it back and he's back to being Clark kent.

Posted by warlock360
@KRYPTON : agreed, running around in supeman PJ's does not make you superman....
Posted by FLStyle

That's a brilliant Spider-man costume, very funny. More characters should be green, not stand-out Green Lantern/Green Arrow green, but a dark sleek stealthy green.

Posted by Adam Michaels

Despite some ridiculous costumes, I think that almost all of our favorite superheroes, whether the big guns like Superman and Spider-Man or some of the lesser known ones like Blue Beetle and Moon Knight, their costumes are great. It's hard to imagine how it would be had their uniforms been initially designed differently. MAYBE we'd be saying the same thing now about those costumes, wondering how it would be if Batman was in any other color besides purple. I think it's more a matter of us being used to seeing them in their current attire all our lives, and we have a tough time picturing them differently.  
 
I always did wonder though, no matter what Bruce Banner wore, whenever he turned into Hulk, he ended up with ripped purple shorts. You suspend your disbelief whenever it happens. But if you sit and think about it, it's pretty dumb, no?

Edited by Joe Venom

I think Iceman is a good example of this remember his origanal costume it was simply a pairs of snow boots!
 


But as he begin to be able to do cooler (no pun intended) things with his power he begin to get cooler costumes,

Posted by Jotham
@Joe Venom said:
"

"
Oh, lord. that is just wrong.
Posted by SUPER-MAN 23

Heroes need costumes. They always ware it under their normal clothes, if a hero does not have their heroic clothes under their regular clothes they will either have to improvise like what Peter parker did. When he was wearing his peter parker clothes with a spider-man mask. 

 Being a super hero made easy. Quick change.
Super-man can change at mach-4.



In the B&W return of Bruce wayne picture. You can see that Bruce is wearing his Batman pants and boots. 


Heroes need their costumes to be heroic, it would look weird if a person wanted to be a hero without a costume.     
 
 

What would have happened if instead a bat flying into his den to inspire the design of his costume it was a...pigeon?  ..... G-Man


Like G-man said "What if a pigeon crashed into Bruce's den instead of a Bat?" This would happen if anything else crashed into Bruce's den instead of a bat. 

 What if, What if we had a snake crash into bruce's den we would have Snake man. A moth crashes through Bruce's den we have Moth Man.

  I don't think its heroic to change in a alley, especially while talking about hero stuff while their is people around.  
 
I think this is the 2nd worst mistake in super heroing.  
I want to give a good example out about batman the brave and the bold, but I don't want to get in trouble so I won't. It's a future episode, but I have not seen it its only pictures I saw.  
 
Revealing secret Identities not cool we saw lots of this in civil war. 

 This is the worst mistake a hero can make.

Costumes are important, it keeps heroes identities safe. Without them we would have only few heroes. 
Edited by Crackdown

Well these days with super hero costumes sold at stores you could just buy then mix and match/color.
 
Though.. haha I already have costumes I came up with
 
Besides! Every good  hero knows about Goodwill and bargain chains, plus some cloth and some scissors and your all set!
 
Examples:






Posted by AirDave817

Okay, I think Namor is pretty cool... In the pages of Roy Thomas' Invaders, and early issues of FF and The Avengers. But I am seriously creeped out by a pointy-eared dude with wings on his heels kickin' @$$ in a speedo! I'm sure Toro's and Bucky's retina's were seared by the image! Master of the Seven Seas - indeed! Get that "Trident" away from me, man!   
 
@Bobby X
said:
I would "Namor" it. I wouldn't want my dazzling fighting techniques to be hindered by anything as trivial as proper surface-dweller attire. 
 
    "

Posted by greenenvy

I agree with FLSTYLE.
Posted by Joey Ravn
@Adam Michaels: What I never understood about the Hulk is how he rips every piece of clothing he is wearing, except a certain area in his trousers. It seems that his body doesn't grow... proportionately.
Posted by Mas
Posted by Primmaster64

I miss Superboy old costume.

Posted by The_Martian
" I also seem to recall a costume shop owner secretly making costumes and repairs for heroes in the Marvel Universe. Perhaps someone can refresh my memory on that one. For some reason I'm thinking it happened in a Spider-Man comic but that doesn't seem to make sense since Peter is always having to sew his own costume. "
 
This happened in Spider-Man: The Other. Spidey had to go fighting shirtless while the guy finished his repairs.
Posted by Bathory1313
@Vortex13: 
 
Funny, but why are you checking out namors package?
Edited by Vortex13
@Bathory1313:
It's kind of center stage in that picture. Also my eyes were drawn too the shiny belt which is adjacent to his non package.
 
Also why does it matter lol?
Posted by Bathory1313
@Vortex13: 
 
It doesn't really matter I just found it funny... kind of like in Mallrats when Brody kept asking Stan Lee about the size and properties of Superheroes junk. 
Posted by speedlgt

i think the answer to this is when rorschach screams "give me back my face!!!!!!!!!!!" yeah that tells you the story right there all heros are somewhat "insane" in that the costume represents them the real them they dont act with out it  for it defines them watchmen did a very good job of describing that  
after all putting on the owl suit solved the owls "little" problem.........so there you go
Posted by scuzz2.0

there was a costume maker in deadpool. he gave pool an altered costume because he wasnt known and he thought titania (copycat was impersonating her i think) was thundra. this was when pool looked like tom cruise
Posted by Aheld92

I think I'd do it superboy style, But I'd never leave the house without a nutcup
Posted by InnerVenom123
@SUPER-MAN 23:
Superman just UNDRESSED BATMAN AT MACH 4....... there..... are no words.... for that....
Posted by Norbit
@InnerVenom123:
they are such good mates that they share an *understanding*.
Posted by DH69

i'd be fightin naked all the time, I HAVE SUPER POWERS! LOOK AT MY JUNK, ITS SUPER JUNK!

Posted by Nerd Of A Hero

First off, capes are lame and useless (unless it's useful for protection and flying). If I were a superhero of course costumes matters as much as saving lives since you'll have that reputation. But there will be times where you won't have time to put on the costume and just have to fight what you wearing. Of course you'll be exposed, but if you use your powers where folks won't notice then it's ok. That's one of the reasons why I like Wolverine, He just fights whatever he has on, costume or not.

Posted by Angol

What about the Flesh?

 
  
Posted by simsey

i hate the og hawkeye costume but love the chacther i think if the chacther is strong u gon like him regardless but then again he is the only one i can think of dat i like costume do put me off sum of the heroes and villians out there

Posted by Dro

Unless I had some sort of invulnerability, I'd want to wear something really large and flowing, like a really big, really light cloak. It'd conceal where my body was, so I'd be a bit safer when up against bullets, since whoever was shooting at me wouldn't know where in the cloak my body was. Of course I'd also want to wear some armor, but the best way to protect yourself from gunshots is to not get hit at all.
 
If I had invulnerability, I might wear spandex, but I'd have on a cup. I don't need my junk showing through, especially if my sailor were to be brought to full attention, if you get my meaning.

Posted by hdorman1
@DH69 said:
"

i'd be fightin naked all the time, I HAVE SUPER POWERS! LOOK AT MY JUNK, ITS SUPER JUNK!

"
i have to agree 
 
they would say: put on clothes, id be like, make me  
then i would put out a flaming building with a 'windmill' or 'helicopter' 
so bazinga to all those who try and force me to fit in 
f**k you ! 
im a goddamn superhero!
Posted by misterz173

This is just weird!

Posted by DH69
@hdorman1 said:
" @DH69 said:
"

i'd be fightin naked all the time, I HAVE SUPER POWERS! LOOK AT MY JUNK, ITS SUPER JUNK!

"
i have to agree  they would say: put on clothes, id be like, make me  then i would put out a flaming building with a 'windmill' or 'helicopter' so bazinga to all those who try and force me to fit in f**k you ! im a goddamn superhero! "

exactly!
Posted by CATMANEXE

no, no, no. sure. it seems like the super is coming off all wild, and trying to psyche out
his opponents into thinking their so hardcore they dont even need clothes to fight.
no, its not about what their opponent sees, they're tough enough to fight them clothes
or not...

 ...its about what "she see's".

and i dont think anyone can argue with what Sue Storms next move was now can they, hmm?
Posted by DMC

  NO CAPES!
Posted by COBRAMORPH

If Dirt Girl doesnt have her costume on, why is she stripping?

Edited by Arkham Lunatic

Fighting without clothes has it's advantage. Which would scare you more, being attacked by some guy wearing a bat costume, or not wearing anything at all?

Posted by GWHH

In civil war series. When Peter Parker tell the world who is REALLY is. Everyone runs to the internet/Google to check on him and crashed the WHOLE internet! Very funny!