Lights…Camera…Action Comics #1!

Hey, look! It’s the first public image of Henry Cavill as Superman from the upcoming Man of Steel movie. First impression from this Supermaniac? That’s a lot of hair. Second impression? The textured rubber kinda looks like sequins, which gives Superman a distinctly disco shimmer. I can get behind that. Third impression? The pleats give the cape the effect of looking like movie house curtains.

Frankly, the costume is too busy. Whenever I see superhero costumes full of pockets, piping, or panels I get depressed. Superman’s costume is the way it is for some very practical reasons. The red, blue and yellow made the best use of the four-colour printing techniques of the 1930s. The cape gave the artist a visual shorthand for conveying a sense of motion, which Superman was almost always in a state of during his early appearances in Action Comics. Luckily, Cavill’s Man-of-Steely gaze is convincing enough to draw your attention away from the overdone costume. Here’s some words from Cavill on fitting inside the suit (Dark Horizons).

Author: Emmet Matheson

Saskatchewan Diaspora

11 thoughts on “Lights…Camera…Action Comics #1!”

  1. Although it makes sense that the “red, blue and yellow made the best use of the four-colour printing techniques of the 1930s”, those colours are so ICONIC.

    Changing things in the name of “modernization” isn’t always the best, kids…

  2. Yeah, they’re primary colours and Superman is THE primary superhero.
    It looks like they’ve taken most of the yellow out of New Look Superman in the comics, and they’re getting rid of the trunks in both comics and the movie (from the looks of it, at least. Cavill’s groin is too shadowy here to be certain). That’s too bad, too. The trunks certainly served a visual purpose back in the days when comics art & reproduction techniques were both relatively crude. And anyone who claims that the underwear-on-the-outside look keeps superheroes from being taken seriously is missing the whole point of superheroes.

  3. And the cape’s eight feet long and has Thor pleats, and they changed the Superman logo, and I don’t know why I bother. This is the watered-down result of mediocre talent fiddle-diddling with a classic costume.

  4. Studios need to learn that ACTUAL COMIC BOOK READERS need to be involved in the pre-production and even production stages of these COMIC BOOK movies.

    You can’t convince me that they get actual input from comic experts. So don’t even try.

  5. ANP, the only input the movie makers want from the actual comic book reader is the money inputting the movie makers’ pockets.

  6. Comic readers often complain that COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS don’t bother to get input from comic experts. Why would movies be different?

    I like Superman and all, but I’m much happier reading indie comics like Eightball, Acme Novelty Libary, Love and Rockets, etc., with the occasional guilty-pleasure slumming (such as Grant Morrison’s All-Star Superman a few years back, or Warren Ellis’ Planetary).

  7. I would actually argue that previous WB joints Watchmen and Green Lantern (haven’t seen GL) had TOO much input from comics readers. Where Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies have succeeded isn’t in being faithful to the comics version, but in tapping into the primal elements of Batman. He’s a millionaire who dresses up like a bat to strike terror into the hearts of criminals.
    I mean, Superman here has the S, has the cape, who cares what his belt looks like? (okay, I do a little bit) Unlike Batman, Superman’s costume is, well, window dressing (especially with that drapey cape). Cavill looks pretty super, there are some serious actors attached to supporting roles (Furious Styles as Perry White!) and they’ve picked a good Lois Lane (Amy Adams). Whether or not this will all be enough to overcome the direction from mastermind behind Sucker Punch remains to be seen. I’m

  8. Nolan’s Batman movies aren’t comic book movies at all, really; they are just awesome movies (first and foremost) that happen to involve a kick-ass superhero (Batman).

    With that said, I guess if Snyder takes that same approach here it might work. I just don’t have as much faith in Snyder as a director as I do Christopher Nolan, which will most likely be the fundamental difference.

    But back to the costume: I think Nolan’s Batman is generally accepted as a great suit — but I don’t think people will feel the same about this updated Superman costume.

  9. oops!
    cautiously optimistic?
    Yeah, I’m committed to being cautiously optimistic on Superman, if only because I bailed so quickly on the Green Lantern movie. Because, well, a really good Green Lantern movie will only ever be a really good Green Lantern movie, but a great Superman movie could reallly make the world a better place.

  10. Why can’t they all just look like V ?
    Except the Superchicks Jessica Alba and Jennifer Garner played.

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