Posted by Zak Wojnar On March - 12 - 2013 2 Comments


Superman returns to the big screen this summer. After a long vacation, ol’ Supes has to go pack his things. Due to exposure (or something) his clothes are now several shades darker colored than they used to be, and they have something of a more armored look to them, but they’re still easily identifiable. “Let’s see… Cape? Check. Awesome “S” insignia? Big check. Red boots? Check. Hair gel? Check. Ok, is that everything? I think that’s everything. Yeah, it’s everything.”

Superman is now in his movie, saving the day, punching bad guys in the nose, brushing off barrages of bullets, and making Lois Lane all hot and bothered. All of a sudden…

Oh no, oh man, oh no, oh man, oh no, oh man!

“I, Superman, forgot my underwear!”

This dumb, elaborate introduction is making light of the hotly debated issue of Superman’s Underwear. To be honest, I’d hate to be Michael Wilkinson, Costume Designer for Man of Steel, having to tackle such an iconic outfit. I mean, sure, the trunks are a little silly, but every single version of the character in his 284 years of existence have been adorned by the Red Badge of Courage, as the trunks have come to be known as. And don’t give me any jive about the New 52, because I don’t know what that is.

Perhaps (definitely) sensing this, the publicity photos released thus far have all downplayed the serious lack of underwear worn over the clothing- overwear, if you will.


This is the first publicity photo released for the film. It has sparks and a large round door, which is nice, but more importantly, it showcases all the classic elements of the suit: the boots, the cape, the “S”. Look at it long enough, however, and you might sense something… Missing. Sensing that vocal minorities of the Insane Comic Book Posse would lose their shit if Superman went commando, Henry Cavill poses with a curious lean, like he’s trying to hide an Super-Erection. He’s hiding something, but it’s not, as Ben Affleck playing George Reeves said in Hollywoodland, the “Real Man of Steel”; it’s his lack of underwear.

Ok, maybe the comic community isn’t ready to see Superman’s not-trunks. Not yet. Let’s check out the first poster released for the film.


Those must be some strong handcuffs. I actually can’t wait for the context of this scene, I want to see why Superman would allow himself to be captured. I’m sure he has a plot in place to impress the mere mortals with his awe-inspiring power. More to the point of this article, however, is the placement of the Man of Steel’s hands. Can you see their conspicuous placement? Yup, right in front of the space formerly reserved for The Red Badge of Courage. Ok, I think I see the plan; they want us to not be aware of the lack of red trunks so that we won’t be turned off to the movie when it eventually releases. What if some die hard originalist goes to see the film? Someone who’s like the Justice Anatonin Scalia of Superman, someone who will shrink into a ball and die if something challenges the literal images presented in his sacred text. If someone like that sees Man of Steel without being forewarned by the media, we could have heart attacks in the theaters, mass deaths across the nation! Be responsible, show the crotch.



Ok, now they’re just getting ridiculous. First off, awesome pose, Henry. He looks as wide across as two Amy Adamses. Love it. Have you noticed it? Must I point out the curious positioning of the massive lettering, right in front of the Supercrotch? Coincidence, you say? Maybe. Definitely not. The photographer had a contingency plan in case the letters didn’t hide the secret lack of underwear; if you look closely at Amy Adams’s hand, it is actually covering up Henry’s Cavill, so to speak. Is this the dumbest conspiracy in the world? Yes, son. Yes it is.


So… What does the waist of Superman’s suit actually look like? Is it going to ruin the movie? Is it going to jump-start our innocent daughters into puberty? Let’s check out an on-the-set photo of Henry Cavill going full-frontal.


What?! Sweet (insert Hermes Conrad memetic line of dialogue here), this is… This is… This is no big deal. It’s not bad. Not bad at all. He’s got the little yellow buckle and the fancy frills on his thigh and sides of his torso so it doesn’t look like a unitard. The bulge is noticeable without being vulgar… I think we have a winner. The verdict? Acceptable.

Did Zack Snyder and company really need to hide Superman’s costume redesign behind shadows, hands, and giant magazine letters? If I’ve learned one thing from studying comic book characters and their adoring fans, it’s that the fans are crazy and will throw a fit over the smallest deviance from their precious source material. Yeah, comic book people are crazy, but they pay to see the movies, so it’s better to go out of your way to keep them happy until the movie comes out if you want to make sure they show up opening weekend.

Takeaway: Comic book nerds = Anatonin Scalia

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Categories: Movie News, Personal Takes