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Posted at 1:20 PM ET, 07/16/2010

Friday List: The 'Green Lantern' costume and other superhero ensemble mistakes

By Paul Williams

Posted by Paul Williams


Ryan Reynolds in Green Lantern mode. (Courtesy of Entertainment Weekly)

The first pictures of Ryan Reynolds in costume for the upcoming "Green Lantern" movie were revealed yesterday, to mixed reviews from fans. (I tend to agree with the commenter who wrote "it looks like he has been skinned and his muscles are green.")

Comic book costumes have been notoriously hard to translate to film. What works on a printed page can look ridiculous. Some films -- "X-Men" and "Dark Knight" -- forgo the underwear-on-the-outside look altogether. But too many changes also run the risk of alienating a character's fans.

In light of the "Lantern" revelation -- and the fact that Comic-Con gets underway next week -- let us consider some of the odder decisions in comic book-to-film translation.

General Zod ("Superman II"): General Zod was Krypton's greatest military leader, though historians are unsure how much of the credit for his success should go to the "lounge wear made from skinning a black pleather couch he found on Craigslist" uniforms he favored.

Spider-Man has organic webbing ("Spider-Man"): Spider-Man does not just shoot webs. He invented and uses mechanical shooters that spray a chemical webbing of his own design. The fact that he should be able to make himself rich by filing a patent on them is just something you should not think about.

Catwoman ("Catwoman"): I know what you're thinking -- "What are you talking about? Michelle Pfeiffer's costume was perfect in 'Batman Returns.' " And you would be correct. But did you know they made a "Catwoman" movie? Starring Halle Berry? Oh, you refused to acknowledge that ever happened? Given that the costume demonstrates how the best way to stay safe while fighting crime is to appear 2/3 naked, I can't blame you.

Nipples on the Batsuit. ("Batman Forever"): 'Nuff said.

Are these the worst? Or are others even more egregious superhero offenders? Let us know in the comments section.

Paul Williams is a (superheroic) online interactivity producer at The Washington Post.

By Paul Williams  | July 16, 2010; 1:20 PM ET
Categories:  Friday Lists, Movies, Pop Culture  
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Comments

While I can't wait to see the movie, I'm not impressed by the new GL suit. I understand the need to throw in texture, especially in these days of HD movies and all, but by changing the overall design, it just seems to cheapen the whole aspect of the character from a mental based power to one of "Oh look at me, I have muscles."

And another thing, he looks like a special edition DC comics Trojan. He's ribbed for your pleasure.


I really didn't have a problem with the organic web shooters. it seems to be if you get every other ability of a spider you should also be able to make webbing. Of course if they wanted to be really accurate, the webbing would've come out his butt.

And Peter Parker did try to patent and sell his webbing fluid, but no one wanted to by and adhesive that only lasted an hour.

Ok, feel free to yell nerd in my direction.

Posted by: DorkusMaximus1 | July 16, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

how can you complain about a partially naked halle berry without feeling obligated to mention dr manhattan's glowing blue junk...

cut hollywood a little slack there - it took a while to get around the idea of lynda carter in spandex... (i still havent gotten around it to be completely honest)

but to your point - and while i agree that there has been a lot of 'fail' in live action translation of superhero costumes over the years - there has also been some remarkably successful stuff. Spawn was all about the suit - and they did a pretty good job bringing that to the screen and Greg Kinnear's Captain Amazing costume was perfect. Honestly, IMO, there's more fail in a lot of the CGI work (like Hulk) than some of the campy costumes like Raul Julia's General Bison in Street Fighter.

Posted by: quintiliusvarus | July 16, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I forget to mention all the littles 'S' on Superman's costume in Superman Returns. Well that and making his cape freaking maroon.

Posted by: DorkusMaximus1 | July 16, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Dorkus, you're killing me with the visual of Spiderman spinning webbing out of his butt. I'll be laughing about that the rest of the day.

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | July 16, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

No, no! Dr. Manhanttan's Giant Blue Dong was not only canon but actually kinda worked on screen. It illustrated both how distant he is from the rest of humanity and how it is possible to remake yourself into an "ideal" rather than realistic figure. After all, he doesn't actually have a body. If you're going to remake yourself form nearby atoms, wouldn't you make yourself well hung?

Totally realistic. Such as it is. You know, within the confines of the Watchman universe. I'm just going to stop here.

Posted by: DCCubefarm | July 16, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Donovan, in "Sunshine Superman":

"Superman or Green Lantern ain't got nothin' on me..."

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | July 16, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Daredevil. Stupid costume, stupid special effects, stupid acting.

Posted by: DrRP1 | July 17, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Okay, so Peter patents the web-fluid. Now the patent [of a product that is ONLY in the hands of a masked super-hero previously] is publicly registered to ONE guy.

Even if it doesn't directly give away his secret identity, it surely makes the trail to it much shorter and easier to follow.

Also at that point you might as well just print out t-shirts that say "Potential Valuable Hostage" on them for all his friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers.

Besides [nerd alert], the way to do it and keep Peter's secret is to sell the patent to noted scientist and inventor Reed Richards, leader of the Fantastic Four.

They're constantly being attacked anyway...so they're used to it.

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