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Off My Mind: What Do Superheroes Do With Torn Costumes?

There has to be a proper way to dispose or repair them.

Most superheroes have a look. A costume is an essential part of the superhero ensemble. Often heroes will choose a symbol and look and stick with it. Other times heroes will change their costumes whenever it suits them. The costume serves the purpose of letting the villains and public know they are on the scene to save the day.

When people get a new jacket or pair of shoes, they do their best to keep them nice and clean for as long as possible. Superheroes don't have this luxury. When duty calls and they're dressed for action, they have to dive in head first. Some heroes might have a force field or some way to keep their outfits in pristine condition but what usually happens is the costume is ripped or damaged.

Because it's not proper for a hero to go out and fight crime in a shredded costume, they often have to get a new one to replace a damaged outfit. With all the ripped and damaged costumes, the question remains, what do superheroes do with the remains of their old costumes?

== TEASER ==

Normally people might simply throw away a ripped t-shirt or worn pair of shoes. This isn't really an option for superheroes, especially if they have a secret identity. These days, you never know who might go rooting through your trash and the last thing a hero needs is someone finding their old ripped costume.

This would be a quick way for someone to discover where the superhero lived. If an evil super-genius didn't try to use the knowledge, chances are a tabloid would be willing to pay top dollar for any discarded superhero wardrobe.

Another option might be to incinerate the tattered remains. Depending on the material, this could result in toxic emissions. I've never tried to burn spandex so I can't say with certainty what the results would be. What about unstable molecules? What's the proper way to dispose of a suit made of those?

Some heroes' costumes, while not indestructible, might have some elements of being fire-resistant. There would also be the matter of where would they burn it? Not everyone has an incinerator in their building or home. Trying to burn it in their grill in the backyard probably wouldn't be a good idea either.

Some people try to patch up their ripped clothing. This would certainly save on some cost and the hassle of trying to find the right way to get rid of a ripped costume. The problem is, not everyone is a master tailor like Peter Parker is.

Depending on who is in on the hero's secret, they can't ask just anyone to repair it. With the way some costumes are constantly getting torn, they'd soon look like a patchwork quilt. If the villains begin laughing at the way costume a hero is wearing, they begin to lose some of their edge over them.

Throw away or sell on ebay?

It would be a shame if heroes just threw their old costumes away. There are many homeless individuals that could use any bit of clothing they could get, especially in the colder times.

Usually around the holidays, organizations will hold clothing drives and accept donations to go to the needy. Would it be possible for those in need to wear portions of superheroes' costumes?

Provided they weren't damaged beyond repair, it could provide another layer of clothing, even if worn underneath other layers. There's also the fact that D-Man, an actual homeless superhero, looks like he wears a costume made up of discarded Daredevil and Wolverine costumes (he claims it was out of inspiration). It brings a new meaning to the word recycling.

Superheroes need to be responsible and conscious of the environment. They can't just throw away old costumes and have them fill up the landfills. They shouldn't burn them and add more air pollution, especially if the suits are made of strange material. With great power comes great responsibility and with great garbage...superheroes should be especially responsible.

Posted by InnerVenom123

JMS already answered this in his Spider-man run with the super-tailor.

Posted by Deadcool
Posted by Daveyo520

Ya, Spidey likes to sew most of his back together.

Posted by InnerVenom123

@Deadcool said:

@InnerVenom123: Leo Zelinsky

Yup, that's the one.

Posted by NightFang

@Deadcool said:

@InnerVenom123: Leo Zelinsky

Every major superhero should have a personal tailor.

Posted by Grim

it seems like there are taylors for most heroes. Every now and again they also seem to just... throw them in the trash. Unless someone is looking for it (or just toss it on top of a trashcan in public) it wont be found.

Posted by Eyz

Sell 'em on ebay! It will finance your further adventures against crime and oppression :P

(and make some fanboys happy!)

Posted by fury714

Wolverine keeps a lot of spare costumes in boxes in his room as from what i've seen in schism.

Posted by Paracelsus

Hmm-assuming they can't sew them up again, they can just destroy them or put them up( as Iron Man does with outmoded versions of his armor or the late Janet Van Dyne did with her old Wasp costumes- here's a thought- Ms Van Dyne being a n "out" superheroine could easily raffle them off for charity as she has no "secret identity " to protect). Wolverine has at least three versions of his costume(not counting the current). Unstable molecules( for X-Men like Storm or Colossus , or the Fantastic Four) may reduce wear and tear, but given the rough and tumble of the superhero life, I'd advise heroes to have at least one or maybe two spare costumes - after all you don't want to risk catching hypothermia or being arrested for indecent exposure-pace the Invisible Woman or Scarlet Witch- when you set out to fight supervillains by wearing a costume that, ahem reveals things that should be decently covered up!)


Posted by kfhrfdu_89_76k

Unstable molecules-suits are probably disposed by using some futuristic destroyer machine.

Edited by ravisher

what batman did with jason todds robin costume

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
Posted by RazzaTazz

I think spandex more melts than burns. The bat family can just keep them in the bat cave and Alfred will get around to them at some point (though you would need a pretty strong needle for kevlar). As for Superman, Ma Kent I think takes care of that. Flash can pretty much just use the Speed Force to do everything these days and Martian Manhunter's costume is just a psychically bonded material that changes with him. Green Lantern's ring takes care of that as well by making the costume for him and I pretty sure Wonder Woman just keeps hers. Seems like a problem only Marvel heroes would have actually. Anwyay if it was me I was just keep the things in a closet.

Posted by Xenozoic Shaman

You know, I'm kinda glad that we know that Peter Parker repairs his own costumes. Otherwise I might suspect that he kept his Aunt May locked in the basement, sewing and cooking for him 24/7. That would be kinda creepy.

Posted by onan

By definition costumes made of unstable molecules won't get torn or damaged. If they did, the superhero underneath would be dead so it would be a moot point. If they can extend the length of a football field along with Mr. Fantastic and and survive the heat of a supernova with the Human Torch, then there's really no need to worry about tearing.

The FF seem to dole out costumes pretty readily for other heroes too. Spidey probably should have a suit made out of unstable molecules, but I'm guessing since the whole symbiotic suit thing, he's a little wary of miracle fabrics. That, or he realizes how cool torn costumes look.

Marvel should be fine, DC characters are screwed, though. Off to the Super Tailor!

Posted by Coluber

I think Mad magazine already answered that question. And besides, the costumes made out of the more simpler materials could easily be sold as costumes in rancid thrift stores.

Posted by pspin

Well Spider-Man is the only person who gets bad costume damage because he is one of the only character who still has a secret identity. He probably burns them or throws them in a closet with the rest of his old clothes.

Posted by MetropolisKid41

They should sell them on ebay, everybody would want an authentic hero worn battle damaged suit, plus that'd be a good way to fund their superhero activities and equipment. :P

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

This topic reminds me of this particular scene in The Incredibles. The fact remains is that there are many ways and fashions in which a superhero suit can be discarded, and I would suppose that the difficulty of that manner is the result of what the superhero suit consists of. Most normal fabrics can just be incinerated yes, but if you start to include nylon or polyester or spandex into the picture you'd have to consider alternative methods. And for suits of different materials, well then, that just adds to the mystery of how it can be tossed, doesn't it? Oh, and I'm most certain Edna would take issue with D-Man's suit, don't you think?

Posted by -Vigil-

Spider-Man probably just incinerates them by throwing them down a smokestack, that always works. Oh, wait...

Posted by venomoushatred1001
Posted by Lvenger

They should sell torn costumes to fancy dress shops. They'd get a lotta money for them lol and I imagine dressing like superheroes is as popular in comic books as it is in real life.

Posted by HombreMan

Wel, in my own opinion a superhero costume must be tretaed in the same way as a flag. In my country, Mexico, when a flag is torn she is given a proper and solemn ceremony, after military cadets took her out, she is draped and properly incinerated. If I were a superhero I would do that, except with my first costume, the very first one with strains of smoke, gunpowder, rust and my very sweat and blood, this I would put in a niche just like Batman does.

See it? It's between the giant penny and the first batmobile

I know that burning costumes is wrong for the environment but even if you torn it to poieces and put it in the garbage or you bury it, it contains parts of you: blood and sweat stains, hair, skin samples, and other body fluids. these can be used for:

A) Put you into a crime, like rape, molestation, arson, battery, or murder

B) Make a clon/duplicate of you

All of this by a single hair and mad science

C) Use Voodoo or Santeria rictuals to control you

D) Blackmailing

Another option is to donate them, after a thorougly cleaning, of course, to a museum, a city or someone who really appreciates you.

Thank you!
Keep the mask, kiddo, is all for you.

The clothes don't make the wo/man, but certainly make the reputation

It's simple I'M BATMAN!
Edited by nonfiction91

most heroes now adays, in marvel anyways, are endorsed by a big hero group/organization(?) like avengers,FF,x-men,etc. so I'm sure the minors always have somebody to turn to for repairs, disposal, and additions, kind of like spidey getting that chameleon skin suit from the FF. also, in a few issues back of ASM spidey met a tailor that works exclusively on the suits and clothes of super powered people, both Herot and Villian alike. And deadpool issue from more than a few years back ow, had DP go to some guy who I think may have been one in the same as the previous stated tailor, which made him a new suit. speaking of DP, the fact that a chubby shrink could get a hold of his body parts makes you wonder what somebody with half a brain and twice as sae, could do with enough peices of wolverine

Posted by sora_thekey

@HombreMan: Wow you really thought this through but using your torn costume as a shrine, the same you would with a Mexican patriotic symbol doesn't seem the right thing to do.

Edited by The Impersonator

I would like to buy their costumes on ebay. :P

Edited by RedOwl_1

@RedheadedAtrocitus: when I saw that scene at first time I thought "Why anything of that happens to Superman?!? or Batman with his awesomely large cape? Yeah he don't fly but isn't exactly comfortable walk through the streets at night with that thing

@HombreMan: I agree that, especially the donate thing

Usually all the superheros are like Batman, in the battle the suit gets all shredded, letting he almost unclothed, looking pretty bad like a tramp; but in a few panels next wears a perfectly torn-less costume.

When he changed? We don't know,

How he does that? Dunno either

Why they don't show us when he change it? Is not exactly very interesting and I don't want to see that

Or when he does something to the old one? Comic writers don't care about that, well just when they want to say that somebody finds xxx superhero's costume in the trash, there is when they put some care in the aspect

Posted by ScareySpice

Superheroes costume, maybe. supervillians, on the other hand....I would go broke if i went down that road because, quite frankly, everyone needs a torn up Joker suit in their parlor as a talking piece

Posted by Jake Fury

This is really an article?

Posted by christopherwalken

They keep them in their attics, with their old photo albums and all their childhood dreams of normal lives with unenhanced bodyparts and superpowerlessness.

I think.

Posted by ssejllenrad

Supes is so full of unexpected powers... :D

Posted by pinkm00n

give it to the bad guys

Posted by drunkbear

in the jsa 80 page giant power girl tells cyclone that have a machine in there lab that can splice in new fibers patching any hole

Posted by Superguy1591

@RedOwl_1: Are you aware that Superman is, well, super? None of those things can happen to him because he's powerful enough that his cape won't ever be a weakness. Batman, on the other hand, is much harder to explain. He moves around in places that are too tight for me to believe that he's not ever had to deal with that.

Posted by LordRequiem

Keep them for the times they want that rugged look. Or a decent burst of plasma enegery could do the trick. If not, get hands on the ultimate nulifier, I'm sure that weapon could oblige.

Posted by Druid

What do super heroes do with torn costumes? You are sooo bored.

Posted by nonfiction91

Well, G-man must be psychic because daredevil #6 proves his point greatly

Posted by VioletPhoenix

How to discard a costume made of unstable molecules: make them stable and then incinerate. Duh.

Posted by funkyfiction

"Superhero Costume Tailor and Repair" now that's a occupation you can get very rich by. Though you have to prove your discretion to the superhero community first.

Posted by FireFlare153

Ebay! Use the Money to buy more materials!

Posted by ScarecowAA

i have always wondered this my self 

Posted by Paracelsus

In "Giant Size X-Men", Professor Xavier tells his new team that Reed Richards designed the new costumes for several of them(Storm, Thunderbird, Colossus) whereas others such as Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Sunfire and Banshee already had their own outfits.


Posted by Watcherg6

When Sam Raimi Made Spider-man in 2002, I noticed for the first time, how fast Peter was able to Make a spidey costume, so i made the comment then, that one of his powers is Sewing, I mean I know the kid is smart, but theres no way he got up graded his suit so fast.