Posted May 2, 2010 in Fashion | 0 Comments

Fashiontastic!

Where would Batman be without the billowing cape and fearsome cowl? How about Superman? How heroic would he look whizzing through the Metropolis skyline without his crimson cape, or worse yet, if his tights were gray or brown? The superhero is seldom seen staring in a mirror before heading out to fight crime. Yet looking good and fashion are more important to superheroes than anyone commonly acknowledges. I would argue that fashion is an integral component to any worthy superhero.

It is as vital to their being as their abilities, be they fantastic or at the peak of human limitations. Heroes as iconic as Superman and Spiderman have had several costume changes. Though a clever story is always written to explain the change, the motivation is to attract attention and to make the heroes look stylish. Sometimes the new duds can be popular (as with Spiderman’s black tights). Yet inevitably, the iconic hero always returns to his original garb. Perhaps that is the purpose of these costume changes – to make us appreciate the first and best look. In comics as in fashion, no one likes a knock-off.

In New X-Men, Grant Morrison scrapped all of his X-Men’s iconic costumes in favour of a team uniform, which consisted of black leather, a team jacket, and the branding of the teammates’ attire with the X logo. While rejecting the traditional superhero look, in a wonderful paradox Morrison embraces the fashion of these characters, especially for the bitchy Emma Frost. The often morally ambiguous ice queen of the X-Men hides behind her fashion, always looking wonderful, while acting deplorably. She gains a secondary mutation, literally becoming a living diamond, as cold and untouchable as she imagines herself. How wonderful is that for comics’ most fashionable mutant?


For Emma Frost and for any superhero, looking invincible and inspiring is very important. That is one of the superhero’s true powers, and that simply can’t be accomplished without fashion.

Check out this site for an interesting read on the influence of superheroes in fashion.

And for more on one of comics’ greatest writers, check out this website.

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