Have you ever noticed how infrequently superheroes in most superhero TV shows and movies actually wear their superhero costumes? It makes sense when you think about it. Superhero costumes are actually kind of silly: wearing underwear on the outside of spandex bodysuits? They’re based on pop culture tropes from nearly a century ago, which honestly only barely made sense at the time. Now, over 80 years later, the classic idea of a superhero costume is just completely ridiculous. Most cinematic superhero costumes have been redesigned to take more modern design aesthetics into account, but even then they’re “kind of silly”. So most of the time, we just have our superhero characters avoiding them altogether. But why? Are superhero costumes more than just underwear on the outside? On today’s show, Mav and Wayne welcome back returning guest, Hollywood costumer and superhero fashion historian Monica Geraffo to look at the history, future, logic, aesthetics, semiotics, culture behind superhero costumes. And as a bonus, we also discuss Batman and… “if he does that”… because of course we do. Listen and let us know what you think.
Citations and Links:
- This episode’s Call for Comments
- WornOnTV.net – Arrow
- Celebrity Style Guide – Arrow
- The Superhero Costume: Identity and Disguise in Fact and Fiction by Barbara Brownie & Danny Graydon
- Thank you to Maximilian’s thoughtForm Music for our theme
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