Underwear that’s fun to wear.

§ February 19th, 2018 § Filed under question time, superman § 8 Comments

So last time I was wrapping up my responses to that long-ago call for reader questions, and I ended with a more recent question asked by a certain Mr. Hal Shipman. His question was regarding the recent news of the return of Superman’s red trunks, which had been discarded during the New 52 reboot a few years back. He wondered if that was actually going to be the official costume here on out, or if that was just hype for some covers and pin-ups that would have the red trunks and that was it.

Going by what I’d read about the re-trunkening thus far, it seemed like, yes, Superman’s duds would no longer lack the shorts. If I’d waited just a tad longer, however, I would have had access to an even more complete and official answer to the question via one of the comic news sites:

“…There will be an in-story explanation for why Superman has decided to go back to displaying his red trunks outside of his costume again.”

…which appears to be occurring in new regular Superman writer Brian Michael Bendis’s story in Action Comics #1000. Of course, I can’t wait to hear what that explanation will be…”Oh, they’ve been in the wash.” “These aren’t shorts…on my world they stand for Hope.” “Gah, Batman bought these for me for Christmas, I have to wear ’em or I’ll hurt his feelings.” “Um, the local parents groups have been complaining about me being too, uh, revealing.”

Or, of course, there’s always the scenario I laid out here, which would make Action #1000 a Doomsday Clock tie-in, something we’d all want, I’m sure.

The other thing in that quote is the specific mention of “displaying his red trunks outside of his costume again,” which could imply he’s been wearing them this whole time, just under that blue armor or whatever. Could just be reading too much in the statement, which, honestly, I almost never do on this site.

Anyway, Hal, there’s as complete an answer as I can give you about the current status of Superman’s red trunks, without having the actual issue in front of me so I can describe the event in excruciating panel-by-panel detail: “OKAY, ONE LEG’S IN THE HOLE…what happens in panel TWO, I wonder?”

As a follow-up to a comment I made near the end of the last post, where I said I didn’t see exactly what was “new” about the costume, which I’ll picture here again:

…’twas David G what solved the mystery, as I missed Superman’s new sleeve cuffs. Those little angular things that I suppose are evoking the look of the tops of the boots, but for all the world just remind me of Wonder Woman‘s logo. …I guess I can give ’em that, so long as we never see that terrible collar again, but I give ’em like a year before artists just forget or straight-up stop on purpose drawing those cuffs into every panel that “needs” ’em.

Next step, of course, is getting Henry Cavill into those trunks for the next four or five Justice League movies. Or maybe going back and digitally adding trunks back into various films and cartoons from the last few years. …And as long as I’m on the topic, let’s see Justice League: The Moustache Cut too. I mean, why not.

8 Responses to “Underwear that’s fun to wear.”

  • MrJM says:

    “There will be an in-story explanation for why Superman has decided to go back to displaying his red trunks outside of his costume again.”

    After an unfortunate injury, Clark must now wear the traditional Kryptonian truss.

    — MrJM

  • Chris G says:

    The Jim Lee armor had trunks, too, if you bought that the little lines everywhere were seams. It’s just that the trunks on that suit were blue, not red.

  • Turan, Emissary of the Fly World says:

    MrJM reminds me that super-hero costumes are presumed to be modeled after the outfits worn by circus performers, and that supposedly one of the reasons those performers wore trunks over their leotards was to make their athletic supporters (necessary equipment when you are lifting huge weights or performing gymnastics) less conspicuous.

    So…MrJM may be onto something.

  • JohnJ says:

    I read somewhere ages ago that the trunks were originally to guard against potential printing errors, where a color could drop out and characters appear nude. Since many artists draw the character nude first and then add the costume (maybe moreso on female characters?) the extra lines across the body show that the character is definitely clothed.
    Besides, this whole controversy is because people bought into some idiot comedian coming up with the line “wearing his underwear on the outside” and little kids doing exactly that to play super-heroes, leading to Underoos.

  • Allan Hoffman says:

    Underoos. I sometimes imagine trying to explain some facet of human culture to aliens and I realize that we are a truly weird species.

  • Turan, Emissary of the Fly World says:

    In other Superman news, BLACK PANTHER made more in one weekend than JUSTICE LEAGUE has in three months.

    The Black Panther is more popular than Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and the Flash combined.

    That seems about right.

    (I must, in fairness, note that this is going by U.S. ticket sales only. Internationally, JUSTICE LEAGUE is ahead.)

  • Turan, Emissary of the Fly World says:

    …except, now that international box office numbers have been released, I see that in one weekend BLACK PANTHER made more than half of what JUSTICE LEAGUE has taken three months to earn. So, it will likely pass JL there quickly as well.

  • Andrew Davison says:

    Are they actually trunks or just a pattern on the spandex? For that matter, is the ‘belt’ on the trunks real or just a pattern?

    As proof, I’ll accept a panel showing Supes unlooping the belt before dropping the trunks in a washing basket.