ginbutt replied to your post:I mean it’s worn off right? This fangirling thing…
who is that handsome motherfucker
Yo yo yo
I mean it’s worn off right? This fangirling thing I mean I am the most repressed fangirl and these spurts never last long because
One of the big aesthetic changes that I think took place was not just Blade (which had a huge impact on the way live action heroes were perceived) but the dawn of live-action adaptations as a veritable genre in their own right.
You can really tell in the Golden and Silver ages that there was no real concern about making sure things looked realistic or expensive because there was no frame of reference for them looking cheap.
The thought that these characters might one day be adapted into live-action film or TV shows so nobody really thought “Hey this might look goofy in the real world.” There’s this inherent suspension of disbelief where you just sort of accept that these look intimidating and badass from an in-universe standpoint, and I think ironically it may have been the post-60’s backlash against the Adam West Batman show that did it in.
Because while it was huge at the time and is fondly remembered today, there was a period after the show ended where it was the subject of mockery and derision (hell “Gay Robin” jokes are still really common today), and if you think about it, it might have been the most visually faithful translation of a comic book ever.
I think that might have been the thing to finally break the suspension of disbelief because the show was steeped so heavily in camp and comedy. You weren’t supposed to take the costumes seriously, yet the source material does take them seriously, so it kind of becomes hard to believe criminals viewing Batman as a fearsome force for justice when his outfit looks like something you can buy at a pharmacy for Halloween.
So that’s likely why when they finally moved for the big Batman live-action movie in the 80’s, they redesigned the costume from the ground up and replaced the fabric and spandex with molded plastic, as well as changing all the coloring to black.
For the time, they were really trying hard to make the suit seem grounded or “realistic” (or as realistic as you can get a superhero who dresses up like a bat) and it went over very well with the public.
Until Batman and Robin when Joel Schumacher took it a bit too far with the garish colors and bat-nipples.
The movie effectively killed the superhero genre for several years and once again made the idea of costumes into something met with derisive laughter.
So it’s not a coincidence when Blade stepped on the scene (paving the way for future Marvel movies and eventually the MCU) , the filmmakers did everything possible to make sure his costume was practical and realistic and not something people would make fun of.
And it proved really influential. Like REALLY influential. Suddenly, every superhero making it to the big screen was wearing black leather or black body armor.
And even the ones who didn’t, like Spider-Man and Daredevil, were still tweaked. Once again, the producers shied away from something flimsy lookig and gave the outfits a more padded, three dimensional look, complete with raised webs on Spider-Man’s suit.
That widely continues to this day. It seems like filmmakers have gotten more comfortable with colors, but they still tend to favor more armored or padded looks. There also began a trend of trying to rationalize and justify a lot of costumes by explaining them away as military gear or spy wear. Batman’s suit is stated to be prototype body armor. Captain America wears a padded military outfit. The Falcon wears a prototype military flight suit.
Ironically, the military rationalization has in its own way, become something of a generic stock excuse the same way “nuclear radiation” and “murdered parents” were in the comics back in the Silver Age.
You’ve also seen this trend of actually getting post-modern and meta by mocking or at least providing a gentle dig at the source material outfits. In X-Men: First Class, which probably has the most comic-accurate outfits to date, the writers made sure to throw in a line where one of the heroes says the costumes look dumb and asks why they have to wear them. And even then they again went for a more padded look than a cloth or spandex feel.
And while Captain America’s classic outfit from the comics did cameo in the original movie, it was made to contrast the cooler military suit he wears later, with the director stating they explicitly included a comic-accurate suit to poke fun at how silly it’d look in real life.
What I found most interesting about this trend is that it’s actually influenced the comics in turn. Since the 2000’s, there’s been a greater emphasis on making sure the costumes in the comics look like they could translate well into a live-action movie. Lots of emphasis on pads or leather or lines that look like they’d add detail.
I dunno I’m not sure if this makes a lot of sense but I’ve just found the way the films started off following the comics, then broke away to do their own thing, and then finally began influencing the comics themselves is really interesting.