Superman's fashions over the years -- We track the hero's wardrobe changes

By Tim Stack and Jeff Jensen
Updated July 07, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT
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Superman isn’t a style icon who updates his wardrobe with each passing season (though we will say that alter ego Clark Kent sure nabbed an A-1 tailor). But Superman Returns co-writer Dan Harris and costumer Louise Mingenbach — who made almost 90 suits! — still took plenty of visual cues from the superhero’s 68-year pop-culture reign, which has seen him as a comic-book staple, a cartoon creation, and a TV and movie star. We checked in with them to see how they paid homage to the Man of Steel’s many faces.

THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN (1952-57)
”You could never wear trunks above your belly button today,” notes Mingenbach. ”We tried to make [our suit] timeless instead of looking like we were from a specific period.”

MAX & DAVE FLEISCHER’S WWII-ERA CARTOONS
The ”graceful movement” in their moody drawings ”is exactly how we wanted our Superman to fly,” says Harris. ”There has never been such beauty in animated flight since.”

SUPERMAN (1978)
Says Mingenbach: ”[Director Bryan Singer] didn’t want that giant ’70s ‘S’ in the front. That look wouldn’t fly now. We have a very sophisticated eye about superhero suits.”

ALEX ROSS’ COMIC BOOKS (1993-PRESENT)
According to Harris, the artist’s vivid creations ”hung on our walls for every minute of prep and principal photography. If any scenes capture the emotion of one great Ross still, we have succeeded.”

SMALLVILLE (2001-PRESENT)
”If you’re younger than 25,” says Harris, ”you probably know Smallville more than the [1978] movie. We tried to integrate both so they fit together as one saga.”

Superman Returns

type
  • Movie
genre
mpaa
  • PG-13
runtime
  • 157 minutes
director
  • Bryan Singer

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