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Say Jack, That is One Bad Outfit!
by The Alpha Craig

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I see pretty flowers.

I see pretty flowers.
Greetings superheroes and welcome to another awesome, astronomical, amazingly-attired archive of academia. Last bat-time I ranted about how much I was over some of the poor attempts at portraying my heroes/villains in what can only be described as "one step above a plastic mask/apron costume" you can get at your local drug store. Having something come off an illustration that is geared towards children and putting it on a real living, breathing person can be problematic at best. You can either nail it and give amazing credibility to the character or you can permanently mark them as "goofier than clown shoes" for the rest of their existence. I will give you a short list of the top four costumes that come to mind in the win column (and for the record, before I start, I have yet to see a living person wear a really good Batman costume - Calling-it-as-I-see-it Craig). Without further ado, I give you my list.

This is one that would have been difficult to deviate from without upsetting a lot of
- Your friendly neighborhood Spiderman

- Your friendly neighborhood Spiderman
people. It's a trench coat, fedora and an ink blot mask. This sounds like it would be easy to reproduce right? Actually, it would be quite easy to mess up and look like Inspector Gadget with a dirty sock on his head. There are subtle nuances that need to be copied. The dirty/dinginess of his coat, the missing button and the dried oil and blood staining it. The scarf, gloves, mask and hat concealing his identity completely. The most important part was the mask. It had to be perfect and present a different inkblot in every scene. The solution they came up with was to have it ever-changing which gave a whole new dimension to the character. This was one of the best adaptations of a costume ever.

A full head-to-toe body suit covered in a spider web pattern and colored with bright red and blue? How could that look ridiculous? Well, the blessed miracle is that it did not. It looked extremely cool and was still accurate to the comic book. This costume is proof that you let the actions of the person
Statistically speaking, it's still the safest way to travel.

Statistically speaking, it's still the safest way to travel.
wearing the costume determine how silly it does or does not look. It was able to maintain the look of the comic book while still being realistic due to the fact that it was introduced as a wrestling costume. Some may not have been fans of Toby Maguire as Spiderman, but it cannot be argued that he wore the suit well and, from an aesthetic, he looked that part. This goes into the win column for costumes.

I could pretty much copy and paste the last paragraph. Here is a guy in a one piece blue spandex body suit, matching red boots/gloves/shorts/cape, yellow belt and a bright yellow "S" on his chest. There was no way this should have worked on the big screen. People should have thought it was about as serious as seeing Ronald McDonald hopping tall burgers in a single bound. There was one thing that made it work, Christopher Reeve. He had the charisma and charm to pull off being a force to be reckoned with and a figure of authority in what should have been a target for mad rampaging bulls
By Odin's beard!

By Odin's beard!
everywhere. This is quite firmly placed in the win column.

This had to be one of the most difficult translations to make. How does one make a costume of a Norse God without it looking like some loser at a medieval arts festival with too much disposable income and zero social life? Whatever the case, they accomplished it wonderfully. Chris Hemsworth already looked the part, but add that heavy metal costume they gave him and he was unquestionably Thor. Basically you have a chain mail shirt, a stout leather vest, a red cape and a warrior helmet. It looked like it should have been cheesier than a New York-style pizza, but it wasn't. It looked amazing and hammered a spot on the win column.

There are so many ways to go wrong with characters like these that it is always nice to see them go right. Let me know which characters you thought were reproduced properly (please no Blade, that just didn't work at all - Artistic Alpha.) Thanks again for reading true believers, EXCELSIOR!

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Mike Thomas
Oct 10, 2011 12:13 PM
[X] delete
I see you just skipped over all the re-fits of our costumed heroes, the ones that went straight black leather. I never understood that if an iconic character has an iconic costume, why "New Coke" them?

Good Column, as usual, Craig.

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Other Columns
Other columns by The Alpha Craig:

The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend

When I'm Good, I 'm Bad.......

Hey Bub, I'm Not Through With You

With Friends Like These....

She Works For Fudge!

All Columns

The Alpha Craig
I am the first and the last, maybe not. I'm 31 years old and still spend my disposable income on comic books. Might as well put it to good use.

If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to The Alpha Craig by clicking here.

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