Spandex to Nipple Suits to Kevlar: The Evolution of Superhero Movie Fashion

catwoman nolan 300.jpg

Recently released photos of Anne Hathaway as Catwoman in Warner Bros. upcoming The Dark Knight Rises have kicked up a nerd rage storm, with critics picking on everything from her riding of Batman’s motorcycle, to the impractical length of her hair, to the glaring omission of cat ears. Her response:

"What I am happy to say is, if you didn't like the photo, you only see about a 10th of what that suit can do. And if you did like the photo, you have excellent taste."

“Taste” being the operative word. As renowned and popular as comic book heroes have become, their fashion choices remain an object of ridicule, and apparently, a problem for movie makers trying to sell their premise to adult audiences. As the comic book movie genre progresses, we’ve seen a shedding of traditional superhero garb, with its bright colors and unwieldy appendages for sleeker, darker, almost urban-inspired battle gear. Spandex is out. Kevlar is in.

Some movie makers have left their hero’s costume completely untouched. Others, perhaps uncomfortable with the bare look of skin-tight spandex, have tried to populate that space with additional armor and materials, or just stripped it all together. The results of these experiments have been truly mixed. See for yourself:


Read More

Presented by

Daniel D. Snyder is a writer based in New Mexico.

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis. The only problem? He has to prove it works.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Entertainment

Just In