There has been a lot of new images being released showing what the costumes of comic book characters will look like in their new movies. With so many characters being adapted for the big screen, the trick is making the transition to live action without the character looking completely goofy.
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Unfortunately the brightly colored spandex outfits don't always make sense in the real world. Yet, we've seen some movies where there is a successful transition.
The Spider-Man movies show that Peter Parker can swing around in his red and blue tights without looking like a complete freak.
When X-Men was released in 2000, Bryan Singer and Fox decided not to go with the mutants' flashy costumes. I've always said that Wolverine would look a bit silly running around in a yellow and blue spandex outfit. Instead, pretty much everyone received leather jackets with the X-symbol on them. Interestingly enough, the team then later switched to leather outfits in Grant Morrison's X-Men run.
Christopher Nolan's Batman suits are more armor-like than the normal tight-fitting costumes Bruce Wayne always preferred to wear.
With the upcoming comic book movies, I like the new Spider-Man design. Being a tight-fitting spandex-type costume, it still looks great. Captain America's suit looks a little weird. It doesn't exactly have a WWII feel to it. Where's the chain mail? Seeing it in action might be a different story but it looks too...molded. Thor's costume is convincing. The red cape might be a bit much but fits with the flamboyance of the Asgardians' wardrobe. I really want to like Hal Jordan's look but I'm not fully convinced at this point. Again, seeing it in action more might win me over.
Going back to my original question, should a comic book movie try to recreate the character's original costume? It can be done. In order to make it convincing, the filmmakers will have to ensure that the mood and tone of the movie will sell the costume to audiences. Even Superman can look credible wearing his underpants on top of his spandex.
This isn't saying that all movies have to recreate the costume exactly. As cool as Hugh Jackman makes Wolverine look on the big screen, I really don't want to see him try to pull off wearing a yellow and blue suit.
As a comic book reader, I would like to see the movie characters honor their comic book counterparts' choice of dress but we have to be willing to accept the necessary tweaks. When the The Avengers comes out in 2012, if all the actors were running around wearing spandex, it'd be a harder sell.
Unfortunately for the cows, it appears that leather-type costumes work better than spandex in live action films. Tight fits and bright colors will work, but for most characters, they are better left in the pages of their comic books.