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Rockin' that spandex
Writer: Thomas Ng Jun Tong
Now I'm never gonna know the secret to becoming a superhero.
You wanna know the secret? Come close.
Make a costume, sh*thead!
Superpower is no longer the sole requirement to be a superhero, costume is too. There are superheroes that use their powers to overcome their enemies such as Batman and the Phantom, but costume is the way to show their identities and invoke fear. People recognize superheroes through their costumes especially with tons of them having their own movies on the silver screen. This year alone there are "The Green Hornet", "Thor", "The Green Lantern", "X-Men: First Class", "Captain America: The First Avenger", "Immortals", "Conan" and more awaiting for release or already showing. Some costumes get modified and some remains the same as the comics. However, not every superhero costume drawn from the comics will translate to awesome on screen, as there are a few costumes that leave us with an eyesore of an abomination thanks to their ludicrous designs. Here are 10 Goofy superhero costumes for our cringing and mocking pleasure.
Steel is indestructibly remarkable looking as one of the characters in the popular DC Comics. Steel is considered as the other version of 'Superman' after Superman's death in the comic universe. In the 1997 film, Shaquille O'Neal was selected to play Steel because he was deemed as a perfect fit with his big frame and height. However the design of Steel's costume in the movie is totally different with the Steel seen in the comics. In the comic, Steel dons a red cape and a hammer much like Thor and has the letter "S" emblazoned across his chest much like Superman, but the Steel from the movie however, has opted out on the cape and the "S" on its chest leaving it cloaked with what seems to look like rusted steel salvaged from a car junkyard. Although Steel's suit looks so ordinary and function-wise bland, the suit manages to reflect a laser fired by the bad guys right back at them killing them in the process. Well thankfully the ordinary looking suit is good for something at least, Man of Steel indeed.
"Nacho Libre" (2006)
Nacho Libre (Ignacio) is a priest by day, and a 'luchador' (Mexican pro-wrestler) by night that fights to make life better for the orphans of his monastery. Calling himself Nacho Libre, which is Mexican for 'Free Nachos', he thinks he is able to be a famous wrestler in all of Mexico. The luchadors who are popular with their colourful costumes and unusual names is taken up a notch by Nacho who dons a baby blue spandex with red underwear, a cape and also a mask to hide his identity. He neither has an overwhelming strength nor special abilities, but he has a big tummy bulging out of his topless costume. His short and chubby frame complimented with his head of curls make people laugh when he intends to be a serious luchador contender, but when he puts his costume on and steps into the ring that's when he gets to proof them wrong.
"Superhero Movie" (2008)
Dragonfly is a direct spoof on Spiderman. Rick (Drake Bell), who is bitten by a mutated dragonfly gains superpowers after falling violently ill thus becomes the superhero Dragonfly. As he struggles to gain control of his newfound powers, he immediately sets up for work to design his costume. After a scene featuring Bell designing ridiculous costumes for himself, he settles for the least absurd looking one; a green spiderman-esque costume. The goofy suit has a black dragonfly logo on the chest, similar to the Spider logo on Spiderman's chest, and two non-functioning antennas on his ears. Unlike Spiderman though, the mask seems very hard to be loosened off unless he tears off the whole thing which results him in having to make a new one each time!
This film starts with the story of Dave Lizewski (Adam Johnson) who asks, "why do thousands of people want to be Paris Hilton and no one wants to be Spider-Man?" So out of nowhere he decides to be a real life superhero combating crime, with a costume of course. Unlike Batman who professionally engineers his multimillion dollar suit, Dave buys a plain bodysuit online and after some modifications only a comic book nerd on a budget would know how, he becomes Kick-Ass. The design of the costume is very simple; green in colour with some yellow tape streaks. He uses yellow dishwashing rubber protectant as gloves. The ridiculously goofy costume is further brought to another level as his 'mighty' weapon of choice are two green batons bought from the hardware store. Even if the kid wins in the end, Kick-Ass' suit is full of blood and most of it is his, but still, we admire him for his strong threshold of pain and justice seeking determination.
The Hulk, a.k.a the green unstoppable giant, is one of the greatest Marvel Comics character with a temper you wouldn't want to mess with. When Banner has his emotions high to the peak, the Hulk will surface. After the gruesome gamma mutation, Hulk will destroy anything in his path except for his ladylove Betty Ross. In this film, Hulk's muscular body formation is not the main concern, however, there's one thing we can't quite put our finger on. The moment Banner transforms into the Hulk, every shred of clothing on his body rips off him into pieces except for his boxer-shorts? Speedos? How come that stays on? Sure we understand the importance of maintaining the decency of the Hulk's nether regions, but there is no way that normal pants can expand from human size to the Hulk's bulky megaton frame! That is so illogical.
"Superman Returns" (2006)
After 17 years of waiting, the Man Of Steel appears on screen again with the 2006 film "Superman Returns". Brandon Routh donned the blue body suit, red cape, red boots and also the infamous red underwear, but the colour scheme is darker than previous costumes. Also his suit looks too tight, almost clingy like an overstretched spandex. Besides, the 'S' emblem on Superman's chest is the sign of his grandeur, but it's reduced in size for Brandon's costume. That's weird, a Man of Steel with a cute tiny 'S' shield? Actually, there is another question that's on everyone's mind, but alas the answer is left only for us to ponder on. Why is Superman wearing red underwear? After a long day of fighting crime he can loose the blue suit and leave the red speedos on for a swim perhaps?
"Batman and Robin" (1997)
The various types of Batman costumes are seen in the comics since the 1940s, but let's talk about George Clooney's Batman costume in "Batman and Robin" instead. The Batman suit is designed in dark colours with a dark cape and hidden weapons. It's supposedly a cool costume but somehow we're distracted. Why? One word: Nipples. The annoying in-your-face Bat-nipples destroy the suit and the whole vibe of macho seriousness that forms a supreme caped idol; Batman. Maybe director Joel Schumacher just wanted to do something different with the suit but it appears that Schumacher's idea was best kept to his personal fantasies. This film reminds people not of George Clooney's role as the superhero vigilante Batman, but of the Bat-nipples. Period.
"The Phantom" (1996)
Next on the list is the seemingly immortal hero, The Phantom. The Phantom's costume is considered the easiest to design and is also the first ever superhero to don and popularise the bodysuit almost all superheroes wear today. In this film, Billy Zane's character wears a purple suit with a black eye-mask and skull ring making him look like a purple racoon. The Phantom on the big screen is less muscular and some tattooed designs have been added on the purple costume to make it complex but it does little for the Phantom and makes it look even tackier. The Phantom is portrayed as a clever and fearsome crime fighter in the comic, but he looks like a scrawny purple masked killer with pistols in the film.
Due to an accident involving a nuclear physics experiment, Dr. Osterman was taken outside the physical realm and returned with god-like powers, including superhuman strength, telekinesis, the ability to teleport himself or others over planetary, and interplanetary distances, as well as having control over matter at a subatomic level as Dr. Manhattan. His unlimited abilities shock people, and so does the costume (or rather the lack of it). In this film, Dr. Manhattan is bald with sclera eyes, has an atomic symbol on his forehead, which looks like he has a third eye and is utterly and totally naked. He is probably the only superhero who is fully nude. All in all, Dr. Manhattan is an iridescent superhero that spends much of his screen time showing off his glowing blue genitals that earned the film, get this, 'glowing' reviews. Pun intended.
"Judge Dredd" (1995)
Everyone knows Sylvester Stallone as the Street Judge in 1995's "Judge Dredd". His costume is slightly different with the one in the comics. Judge Dredd's creators say that you never see underneath the visor of his helmet because he represents the impartiality and facelessness of justice. The movie however angered some purists because he took his helmet off. Also in the film, Judge Dredd wears a black spandex suit with a massive golden eagle armour on his shoulder and a helmet, which covers half of his face. Tacky much? Instead of being the cool and fearsome law enforcer that he is, Dredd looks more like a walking plastic action figure with a rather uncomfortable-looking cod piece to protect his nether regions when trying to apprehend the crime-doers.
Cinema Online, 04 May 2011
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