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Author Topic: Street Clothes as Costumes?  (Read 85 times)

Offline daglob

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Street Clothes as Costumes?
« on: August 31, 2017, 03:56:49 PM »
Looking at an Avenger's cover where Wanda looks like an escapee from a 1960s gypsy tea room, I started wondering...

We know Jack put the FF in street clothes in the first two issues, but went to costumes in #3. There has been, of course, a long tradition at Marvel of characters operating in street clothes if the situation demanded it (and occasionally at DC). But here is The Scarlet Witch wearing something I'm pretty sure I saw a girl in when I was about 18 (except she was a redhead). This looks like something put together out of a closet. And I know there is a kind of dual personality thinking in some of the movies that some of the costume don't work, but others seem to work if "fixed" a bit (Ant-Man, whose MP costume looks quite good, X-Men's Leatherboy costumes :thumbdown:).

The thing is, I wonder if the shift toward "street clothes as costumes" is to make cosplay easier, or because someone saw a cosplayer interpenetration of a hero and decided they liked it better than the design by Steve or Jack, or Don, or John, or.... maybe a lot of reasons. Maybe the old skintight spandex doesn't work anymore for some people. Maybe the idea is that the street clothes are more realistic (Galactus in pajamas and bunny-slippers: realistic or not?). Maybe contemporary creators want to leave their mark on characters they love.

It's not because it's easier to do the street clothes; we've argued a bit on some of the more complicated designs and that they could stand to be simplified. And I've said that drawing a character with a really busy costume on a monthly page-by page, panel by panel basis will play hob with deadlines (and the artist's sanity). Street clothes are more difficult to do than skintight spandex. But colorful costumes have another reason, the same reason that military uniforms are different country to country: identification. Say The Avengers in street clothes are joined by The X-Men in street clothes to combat a group of street clothes wearing Hydra agents in the middle of Times Square. All of a sudden Peter Parker and "Mike" Murdock join in. With all the combatants and non-combatants dressed in normal clothes, how do you tell the good guys from the bad guys? Other than someone like The Angel.

Anybody got any ideas?
« Last Edit: August 31, 2017, 03:58:45 PM by daglob »

Offline HarryTrotter

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Re: Street Clothes as Costumes?
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2017, 04:51:58 PM »
Well,as mentioned in the polls once or twice,we owe that trend to Milligan and Morrison.Then it took of with DC.
Or maybe Bob Harras did it first with the leather jackets his Avengers wore.No,wait,that was early 90's iirc,so still Milligan and Morrison.
I imagine wearing a costume brings the benefit of a mask,but secret identities are not a big thing at Marvel anymore.
As for the movie,truth is that some thing just dont work on screen.Why black leather?X-men did it,so that set an example for everyone else,I guess.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2017, 04:59:54 PM by HarryTrotter »
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Offline Tomato

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Re: Street Clothes as Costumes?
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2017, 04:58:35 PM »
I think the best response I've seen to the black leather vs spandex debate actually came from the first issue of the Joss Whedon Astonishing X-men run, which was basically a direct response to the Grant Morrison leather look AND the X-men movies. To paraphrase: "The leather is starting to scare people. We're a superhero team, and we need to start looking the part again. We need to Astonish them." The costume is a uniform, a symbol of what they stand for.

That having been said... for someone like the cantankerous Wolverine or the anti-authoritarian Hawkeye, I can see them ditching the costume look depending on the situation. Superboy in the Young Justice cartoon is a perfect example of the decision to wear "normal" clothes AS their costume being character driven: He does it specifically to separate himself from Superman. So there are situations where that works, but it has to be character driven rather than a blanket "this works for everyone in every situation" type deal, which is what the X-men tried to do for awhile.


Offline detourne_me

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Re: Street Clothes as Costumes?
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2017, 12:28:54 PM »
I really think that Daglob hit the nail on the head. The Marvel Universe was trying to be as 'real' as possible back then, and street clothes have always been a way Marvel heroes have stayed closer to their roots than the DC gods. Unstable molecules in business suits, spidey's homemade costumes and paper bags, Patch in Madripoor. Heck, even Jubilee's first costume was a mix of street clothes and old uniforms.

The only problem i see with this trend now is on shows like The Defenders when Daredevil is the only person on the show with a uniform.

Offline HarryTrotter

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Re: Street Clothes as Costumes?
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2017, 04:57:33 PM »
Okay,unstable molecules are a good idea and they still transform into a costume.
Quote
spidey's homemade costumes and paper bags
You know,he was poor,and paper bag only happened once IIRC.
Quote
Patch in Madripoo
The first ongoing tried to distance itself from super-heroics back then and went into more noir feel( pretty successful,If I might add),and due to reasons,Wolverine was presumed dead,so he put on the eye-patch and called himself Patch.Maybe changing the hairdo would have helped,but I guess he didn't thought of that.  :)
''Even our origin stories have gone sour.''
Jon Farmer