Thursday, March 31, 2016

Dressed for Success... Fashion Accessories


Martinex1:  A good tailor is hard to come by.   A good spandex-sewing, color-coordinating, underwear-on-the-outside fashion designer is impossible to find.     What is the worst super-hero fashion accessory?  What makes you scratch your head and say, “Who the heck thought that looked good”?  Help the heroes so they don’t stumble on the red carpet.  

Why does Dum Dum wear a bowler?   Do you know why Cap has tiny wings on his head?   Should the Dazzler ditch the disco ball?   And does Ms. Marvel have a sore throat; what’s with the scarf?   All that and more today as we look at four color fashion faux pas!




42 comments:

Edo Bosnar said...

Yep, that scarf Ms. Marvel wore with her original outfit was just an invitation for super-baddies to try to strangle her with it.

Generally, since you mentioned stumbling on the red carpet, I suppose some long-hanging fruit in this discussion is one of the mainstays of super-hero fashion: the cape. Nothing beats Edna Mode's explanation of why super-heroes should not, in fact, wear capes.

I find the giant collars worn by any number of super-folks a tad gauche, and especially the ones worn by both Iron Fist and Karate Kid. It looks like it would not only be a pain to wear, but also hinder peripheral vision - not something I would think a street-level, martial arts guy would want blocked.

Anonymous said...

Dazzler's fab - no, she should not ditch the disco ball. Or the rollerskates, for that matter.

I think you might be hitting a faultline in sensibilities here, Martinex; I often find theres a sharp difference of opinion on these matters.
Like, I believe there are people who don't like the Black Racer's skis.

Always assumed Dum Dum's bowler along with his gingerness was some sort of Marvel Oirish thing, so I object on principle. Its a cultural identity thing.
This may also account for my dislike of Captain Britain's dress sense (I guess covering yourself in a flag is standard superhero gear, so I guess I shouldn't complain - but that first costume made him look like Captain National Front)

I find Ms Marvel's taste in scarves less questionable than the later thighboots, but I believe I may be in a minority there.

-sean

J.A. Morris said...

What's with the scarf? Well, it gave Grotesk something to grab hold of when he fought Ms. Marvel:
http://marvelperil.tumblr.com/post/80004983632/taibhsearachd-from-ms-marvel-8-carol-this

Doug said...

We've discussed it before, but Yellowjacket's "wings" (whatever) gave no peripheral vision.

Speaking of vision, and high collars, the Vision rocks that high collar. I couldn't take him any other way.

Overall suit comfort? The Grizzly and the Gibbon have got to be roasting in those suits! Hey... you think it's the same suit?

Doug

Colin Jones said...

Like Edo I thought of capes - they are bad enough on humans but DC had the Legion of Super-Pets...animals in capes ??

Doug said...

OK, Colin - I'll meet you there: Fin Fang Foom in shorts?

Doug

dbutler16 said...

All good examples, Martinex1. I've always wondered why on earth Cap has those little wings. Ten again, Namor has little wings on his ankles (though they actually serve a purpose) so maybe the Golden Age Marvel, uh, Atlas folks had a tiny wing fetish.

How about Galactus' headgear? For that matter, Hela's lid is pretty good looking, too. I thin Kirby was a big fan of ridiculously elaborate and unecessary headgear.

Redartz said...

Good call on Fin Fang Foom, Doug; although I'll turn it around: do we want to see Fin Fang Foom without his pants (suppressing a shudder)?

Here's a common situation- high heels on female heroes. Not really practical for maneuverability or combat. Of course it gives one a greater appreciation for their abilities. As it has been said, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, except she did it backwards and in heels...

Anonymous said...

Kirby could easily have been a top fashion designer in another life.
Fin Fang Fooms shorts were cool.

-sean

david_b said...

D'oh Doug.., my busy morning didn't enable me to give a pre-emptive warning about Yellowjacket wing nay-sayers...., there's always one mention of it.

Yessss, it's a foopah, but I dare say (as mentioned before), that Shellhead's 'head-essentially-in-a-bucket-with-two-eye-slits' didn't exactly allow him maximum awareness either.

I'll wager the outfit's coolness factor easily outweighs practicality here.

Although, I cant' help but agree with Redartz on the high-heel thing (unless they were secret compartments..), and add short skirts as well. Hello, Mary Marvel.

Edo Bosnar said...

Oh, I don't know, Redartz, reptiles in general seem pretty good about being discreet with their, erm, stuff. However, I tend to agree with Sean: Fin Fang Foom really made those giant trunks work.
Also agree with David about Yellowjacket. Yes, those wing fixtures would be really impractical, but man that's just a cool-looking suit overall.

Doug said...

So all these "odd" fashion accessories aside, maybe we need to separate "how does that work?" and "that's weird" from "but it's really a cool look!".

I do like YJ's costume -- one of the best of the late Silver Age, along with perhaps my favorite from that era: Havok.

However, what's that strange-looking headdress deal young Mr. Summers wears?

Stegron = no trunks. Discuss...

Doug

Anonymous said...

Doug, My line on Stegron is that he was just a second-rate Sauron wannabe - and Sauron wasn't all that in the first place - so who cares.

Yes, Havok was cool; the cool concentric circle and black thing makes up for the headgear easily. Neal Adams designed cool looks too.

-sean

Anonymous said...

PS Oops - too many cools there. But he did look good. Going beyond immediate appearances though... hmmm, dunno.

-sean

Martinex1 said...

Havok and YJ also fall into my best dressed classifications. They just looked cool. No other words to describe it... Right Sean?

But their partners sometimes had flaws....Polaris sometimes looked gaudy; I liked her green look but the purple jumpsuit with black designs and headdress was a bit over the top. And the Wasp had some clunkers over the years. Personally I like the one arm on one arm off look but others hate it. Her original costume with the pointy head was crazy.

Like Doug I like Vision's collar, when I first saw him he looked gaunt and creepy and had a Dracula vibe despite his colorful appearance. I think that collar also works for Dr Strange.

J.A. Morris said...

Say what you want about Havok's original costume. It's a million times better than the other costumes worn by Havok:
http://www.audioshocker.com/2012/09/27/the-top-9-havok-costumes

Doug said...

Did anyone see the latest X-Men Apocalypse trailer? If so, are you like me and think you saw an energy blast with those concentric circles? Still not fired up for that movie, though.

Dr. Strange may win the collar category running away. That is some collar.

Any truth to the rumor that Elvis designed his Vegas-era costumes' collars based on Captain Marvel, Jr.?

How about the belt-clip purse Batgirl carried?

Doug

Anonymous said...

Doug, all Batgirl's accessories were stylish by definition.
And I say Warlock wins in the high collar category - its the weird skull clasp thingy that clinches it (errm, so to speak)

-sean (ok, need to stop putting off doing stuff now)

david_b said...

Ok.., for the jury.., I'll give you Bronze Age Robin..

1) The yellow cape. For palling 'round with the Dark Knight Detective, dunno, I got nothing.

2) The red chest. Shouting 'chick magnet' here for the BMOC (big-man-on-campus, for you non-college types..).

3) The bare legs, re: Rationale for 2) above.

4) Ability to pull out all the Bat-shields, Bat-this, Bat-that.., lest we not undermine the common day shark repellent needs.

Where-did-he-hide-it-all..?

Jury..? Your verdict.

david_b said...

Sorry, I know today's column is for 'Worst foopahs' in costuming.., but his style has gotta verge on the 'Bizarro world' some kinda way here.

Doug said...

Why did Ben Grimm almost always only wear shorts? Granted, that's a fashion accessory I'd rather he have than not have. But why the barbarian look?

Shang chi -- always barefoot. At least Danny Rand wore those little yellow slippers.

I liked when the Sandman wore his "super-villain" costume and had the various sand-additives in his belt, like oil. What a mess that could create.

Doug

pfgavigan said...

Hiya,

If we're talking about what costumes have that seem without purpose or could even be dangerous we have to mention, in passing, what is often missing but would seem essential. Certainly the various actors who have played these characters have dealt with the absence of zippers, so much so that they have demanded that they be added to future versions of the costumes.

Which must bring up the most common power that all heroes must have, the ability to 'hold it in' while on those all night missions.

Seeya,

pfgavigan

William said...

The accessories that most perplexed me were all the leg pouches from the 90's! What was someone like Cyclops carrying around in those?

But when it comes right down to it, I'm of the mind that no superhero costume accessory is unnecessary, because when you think about it, almost none of them are really "necessary". (Except for something like Caps shield, or Batman's utility belt, etc.)

For instance: Why does Spider-Man have a web pattern all over his costume? Why does Batman have pointy ears on his mask? Why does Powerman wear a metal headband and chain for a belt? Why does DD have horns? Why does Superman wear a cape? Because. That's why. Most superhero costumes are basically nothing more than a fashion statement. Very few of them are actually very practical. But they are colorful, eye-catching, and fun to look at, so I find it hard to judge one silly accessory over another. Except for all those stupid leg pouches of course.

Doug said...

Bomber jackets.

Doug

pfgavigan said...

Hiya,

Stubble.

B**b windows.

Seeya,

pfgavigan

david_b said...

Ok, Doug Wins...

BOMBER JACKETS.

I will present to our tight-knit clan a lowly 2nd place nominee...: The 'Late '80s/Early '90s costume Armoring-up genre.

Who had it..? Glad you asked, but I submit the list is indeed as exhausting as it was regretful. Batman, Captain America, Spidey, Hawkeye, so on and so on..

Hard to swing around the cityscape with iron duds on, dudes.

Ok, I'll even throw in Sue Richard's terrible 'peekaboo' cut-away FF uniform, it the armor wasn't enough. :)

Doug said...

Along with the aforementioned pouches, zippers, and ironing up... Shoulder pads.

Doug

PS: Even the FF wore tech vests in that bomber jacket era in some book whose name I forget but that featured a "dynamic new art style" by Herb Trimpe. Herb Trimpe aping Rob Liefeld. And I paid to see it. Ugh...

Anonymous said...

What about Luke Cage's "tiara"? I mean, Wonder Woman could pull that look off, but Luke? Not so much.

Then there's the proliferation of pouches and belts and holsters and such in the 90s, but I guess that post-Bronze Age.

Mike Wilson

Edo Bosnar said...

William, re: "Why does Spider-Man have a web pattern all over his costume? Why does Batman have pointy ears on his mask? Why does Powerman wear a metal headband and chain for a belt? Why does DD have horns?" How could you even ask that?! Criminals are a superstitious lot...

Martinex1 said...

Great comments everybody. Hilarious.

Speaking of criminals, Whirlwind is one of my all time favorites, but his helmet is even worse than Iron Man's. I am pretty sure old Whirly cannot even turn his head, and I like the Galactus homage with the protrusions but I still want to see Thor grab him by one of those handles and ring him like a bell.

And let's not forget Paste Pot Pete; I know he is the go-to loser but surely somebody could just knock a bucket out of his hand. And the beret had to go. Perhaps changing to the Trapster was entirely a fashion move.

But for me the worst is the Porcupine's quill coat. Yeah.. That thing looks about as comfortable as a ... well a... porcupine.

pfgavigan said...

Hiya,

Any costume from the Nineties.

Any. Costume.

Seeya,

pfgavigan

Anonymous said...

Whats wrong with pouches and belts and stuff? They all strike me as eminently useful. The problem with the 90s was bad artists - no one complains about Steranko doing all that stuff way back.
Steranko was the first artist to throw plausibility and even story sense out of the window, and in many ways pioneered the approach that dominated the 90s. But he had style; Rob Liefeld didn't.

(I know, I know, poor old Rob Liefeld - he wasn't the only offender, but he's the one who always gets the stick)

-sean

Martinex1 said...

Sean, that is absolutely true. I always did like Nick Fury's belts and pouches and gun holster. But I always felt it was part of having every possible SHIELD gadget on hand. Just as it made sense (in the grand scheme of it) for Batman to have a utility belt.

But somehow for Scott Summers or the Black Knight or the Invisible Woman to be all jacketed and pocketed and pouched up, seemed crazy. What were they carrying? I always imagined Cyclops pulling out his wallet or his Radio Shack battery card out of one of those pouches.

And david_b and his mention of armor...ohhhh, how I hated that. They should have just put Iron Man out to pasture at that point. Cap and DD were the worst. I'm surprised Iron Man didn't start wearing a jacket. (By the way I really dislike Iron Man's silver centurion armor. Thought it was awful).

But all of that is probably better than the X-Men's more recent leather motorcycle suits. I know the goal was to make them more realistic...but if I ever get superpowers I'm all spandex all the way. And nobody wants to see that, but who's gonna stop me.

By the way, I will just point out that Martinex from GOTG has no accessories, even though he himself could probably be a disco ball.

Humanbelly said...

I KNEW someone would get to the bomber jackets sooner or later, but. . .

Et tu, Dougus-?

Nope. Not gonna cave. I liked 'em. I'm th' ONLY GUY ON THIS PLANET that did, I do realize that. But I'm-a stickin' with 'em. I never saw them as "formal" Avengers apparel, but as the kind of Tour Jackets that a road company wears. We had 'em ourselves for the single one that I did in my youth. An easy, casual team-spirit bit of wardrobe.

Man. . . I wonder if I could find one on ebay, even?

HB

pfgavigan said...

Hiya,

To Humanbelly . . .

So, you're the one.

Dude, the only people who should be wearing a bomber jacket are flying the bomber.

Yeah, I've got one too.

Seeya,

pfgavigan

Humanbelly said...

*sigh*
Nothin' on ebay OR Amazon, PFG. I guess the Gatherers-era hit juuuuuust before Marvel undertook its big, mega-everything's-collectible-and-marketable explosion. (Well, by a couple of years, actually. . . ) Man, if one of those showed up for even one scene (in a non-ironic, non-derisive manner)in a Marvel film, you KNOW they'd be on the racks at Hot Topic in about 30 seconds. . .

Has anyone here ever worn enormous-topped buccaneer boots like the ones Cap has on? They're kind of a common stock item for a lot of heroes, aren't they? Imagine, if you will, an oversized pair of old, buckle-style snowboots-- completely unbuckled and completely flared out at the top. Now imagine running and doing acrobatics in them. It's sort of like that.

Oh! And regarding "armoring up"-- does anyone here remember War Machine-? Iron Man's armor injected with WMD Growth Hormone?

Doom's face plate. The jaw and mouth are articulated, and move when he speaks. In Kirby's hands especially, though, when the mouth was agape in fury, the "inside" was still fully plated and (yikes!) circuited. As if the mask extended all the way back inside Doom's mouth as well-- which simply could not be the case. (He couldn't speak at all, for just one small thing. . . )

I love. . . and I mean, I TRULY LOVE. . . Jay Garrick's Mercury helmet as GA Flash. But every 4-year-old out there since his first appearance surely had to realize that that blamed thing could NEVER stay on for even 5 seconds of activity, super-speedy or otherwise. Heck, it always LOOKS like it's sliding around on his head, about to fall off! (Still, I think the elder Jay's look in recent years of the JSA is just about as cool/classy as a superhero can get---!)
(Heh--- all he needs is a bomber jacke--***GRNRGHH! Leggo my face, you guys! Leggo!!)

HB

Redartz said...

HB- if I ever come across such a jacket, I'll save it for you. Just trying vainly to replace my old trench coat...
Oh, and Jay Garrick's helmet is sweet. You're right about it's likelihood to depart his head, though. Think of Willie Mays rounding the bases, running all out, cap flying away into the dust...

Anonymous said...

On the Marvel side, I'm with Doug - Havok had a cool all black costume, the only drawback was those three weird bands on his head. Not a fan of Ms Marvel's scarf, and while I loved her new black outfit, I could have done without that unnecessary waist sash. Come to think of it, Phoenix had that sash too, but I guess Dave Cockrum had a thing for waist sashes...

On the DC side, the Creeper has always struck me as having an impossibly impractical costume - visually striking, but that red collar mane must surely obscure his vision!


- Mike 'fashion accessory? More like fashion disaster!' from Trinidad & Tobago.

B Smith said...

Martinex 1, Nick Fury obviously had all those pockets and pouches because he had to carry all of Vals' stuff as well as his own...you didn't see any pockets or pouches on her outfit (in fact, when drawn by Steranko, you'd be straining to see *any* outfit*...)

Edo Bosnar said...

Oh, man, Mike from T&T, good call on that mane/furry cape/painted dusty-bunny (?) the Creeper wears. I could never figure out what that thing is supposed to be and what it's supposed to do (besides, of course, striking terror into the hearts of that superstitious and cowardly lot, criminals...)

Anonymous said...

Edo - I love Edna Mole’s cape synopsis, but in fairness, Cap got to capes first.

Pfgavigan…boob windows? You must give me the name of your glazier.

Humanbelly – yes, I always wondered about the buccaneer boots. I mean, I like them, but somewhere in New York there is a cobbler who was out of work for 200 years and suddenly couldn’t cobble fast enough to meet the astounding, super-hero-only renaissance in big leather flappy bits.

I love Ant Man’s Perspex helmet as drawn by NA and zipatoned into shaded perfection by TP.

Can we add a special section for heroes who had great costumes and ditched them for atrocities? I loved Wonder Man’s costume with the crazy 8’s and then suddenly he turned into a traffic light. Hawkeye – great, if elaborate purple outfit, then he slipped into a little skirt for some reason. Valkyrie – went from her Wagneresque outfit to dressing in tin foil. Doc Strange’s masked period. And I can only agree with Martinex about Lorna (I actually painted an entire wall green to frame my poster of Xmen 50).

Just for balance: I liked Mohawk Storm and Symbiote Spidey. I loved Hit Girl (I’m willing to wait). Rorsarsch’s mask. Nuff said.

And (I can’t believe no one else has said this)….but….bat nipples. There. I said it.

Richard

Humanbelly said...

Ooh, can I jump back on this one for a minute? 'Cause I was reading my Teen Titans TPB last night, and there (thanks to fine Curt Swan fill-in issue) was the demonic Trigon in, well, TOO MUCH of his glory, as it were-! But, for a Universe-conquering, reality-destroying uber-baddie, this guy was one of the most visually hopeless yahoos to come down the pike. So many unfortunate visual statements, but the two top ones would have to be-

a) The avoid-a-sewer-grating, wildly-flailing loin. . . ribbon. . . with a very angry little face embroidered right in the ol' demonic personal-regions (which, sadly, can never be un-seen again. . . )

b) The baby-reindeer forehead antlers. I mean, this is a literal embodiment of evil, and yet I'm waiting for him to exclaim, "She thinks I'm CUUUUUUTE!!!". (Well, and technically his nose IS red. . . )

HB

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