History of the Superman Costume

Superman costume

Superman costume. Picture source: Phantom Leap

The now famous Superman costume has not always been the same. Over the years, it has gone through various minds and changes. Different artists have created different suits, and this change continues to this day. This applies to every form of Superman, as well. From his original days to him in alternate universes to his television shows and movies, you can see just how much Superman’s costume has changed. It has evolved with style and it has continued to become modern. This change will continue and Superman will look different from how he does today, something that has already taken place in movies.


The history of the Superman costume is going to start at the comics, of course. You might be surprised to learn that the shield and S were very different at first. The shield was a plain yellow and had a much different shape while the S was simple, red, and centered in the shield. This was basic, but it did not take long to change. In fact, it changed right away, to something a little closer to what we know today. A small, upside down triangle with a yellow fill and red border, red S in the center and touching the edges, was what early readers associated with Superman. As the years went on, the shield grew fatter and began to look like what we know today. It changed colors at times and its shape was not always the same, but it retained the same basic appearance.


When talking about the comics, you cannot forget alternate universes. Comics have them, and the characters are often very different from what you know. While these changes never stuck, obviously, they are fun variations of what we know. One example would be the Red Son, a comic where Superman grew up in Russia instead of America. His costume is changed to have the hammer and sickle to represent his home. There are other comics where Superman is altered quite a bit, but these are only alternate universes.


For the television series and movies, there is one suit that we all know well. The big shield with the S in the middle is what many of us grew up loving, and even wearing on pajamas, shirts, and Halloween costumes. For the most part, the movies and shows have remained the same with a few small alterations over time. In the newest movie, Man of Steel, you have a dark blue suit and no red underwear to make it more modern and futuristic, which might be one of the biggest changes for the television and movie outfits.


The changes are not stopping here. We are likely going to see bigger changes as time goes on, and even more with alternate universes. While we are still going to have the shield that we all know and love, along with the basic outfit, time will only tell what changes happen. No matter what, Superman is still the amazing hero that we all grew up watching and enjoying, and even trying to copy.