Saturday 16 June 2012

Steve Fights Crime! Getting it off your chest.

Captain America #109, Cap burst out of a newspaper front page, in readiness for the retelling of his origin, Jack Kirby cover
If there's one thing in life a Bronze-Age super-hero needs, it's a shirt.


To hide the fact he has no nipples.

It's not just the male Bronze and Silver-Agers who have this affliction. When Mary Jane Watson saunters into Peter Parker's living room in Amazing Spider-Man #55, she's clearly wearing a see-through dress and yet there's not a nipple in sight.

From this we can conclude that comic book people are not mammals at all and must reproduce by means of laying eggs.

But, if one's constructing one's ideal super-hero costume, just what shirt should one wear? My quest to assemble such an outfit has already seen me plump for Ant-Man's helmet and Batman's cape but what shirt could possibly do them justice?

Iron Man has a metal, bullet-proof chest-plate. I think we can all agree that bullet-proof chest-plates are a good thing in the fight against crime - unless the bullets ricochet off your chest-plate and shoot up your nose.

The Valkyrie has metal hubcaps to hide her boobal appendages of Valhalla. Sadly while such a feature might be eye-catching, I fear such adornments might prove uncomfortably cold in winter.

Killraven has that strange chain-mail thing that only covers one side of his chest; and Spider-Man has a large spider on his shirt, which is rarely the best way to make friends and influence people.

No, wonderful as all these items are, I can't get round it. If I'm to have a shirt, there can be only one choice.

And that's Captain America's.

Captain America's shirt might be corny and not at all appropriate, bearing in mind I'm not American, but I still remember how striking his outfit seemed to me when I first clapped eyes on it as an eight-year-old. When it comes to dealing with wrong-doers, you simply can't beat a combination of red, white and blue.

But that's not enough.

If I'm not to be arrested for indecent exposure before I've even punched my first super-villain in the hooter, I'm going to have to acquire something to cover my heroic nether-regions.

And that's the problem my next post'll be tackling.

In the meantime, feel free to discuss your favourite super-hero shirts of all time.


Dougie said...

The best-dressed heroes in comics tend to wear a unitard or "onesie": Union Jack; Havok; Green Lantern; Deadman and Neal Adams' Angel.

The smartest shirt has to be the one one worn by Ultra Boy with its stylised green bird-emblem. It's served him well for very nearly fifty years.

Kid said...

Captain America's shirt? Well, I suppose it has 'star' quality.

Doug said...

I don't think you'd be able to sneak up on anyone with the clanking of the chain mail on Cap's shirt.

How about Dr. Strange's shirt -- sort of reminds me of the pirate shirt Jerry wore in that Seinfeld episode...


Anonymous said...

A shirt like Union Jack or Captain Britain would have that same appealing color scheme, and would be nationality-appropriate. But those bright primary colors are easy to see and make you an easy target. If I were a costumed crime-fighter, I would wear black and/or gray. Then I would adopt a teen-age sidekick, and his costume would be red, green, and yellow. He could draw their fire. Uh, I mean, assist me. His nickname could be the Human Target. Oops! I mean, Boy Wonder. Yes...yes, that's it, Boy Wonder.

Boston Bill said...

PLEASE, Steve, post that picture of Mary Jane!

Boston Bill said...

Oh, and it's not a real shirt, but you gotta be impressed with Arnim Zola's torso, since it also serves as his head!

Steve W. said...

Bill, it's not a revealing picture. She just appears at Peter Parker's door and you can see her outline through the dress but there's no details visible. Erotic it isn't.

Anonymous said...

Any superhero shirt has to have a picture on the front large enough to provide a target for bad-guys to try and shoot at. We know they'll miss anyway so it's only fair to give them a bit of an advantage!