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Changes to Superman’s Costume throughout the Years
In the DC Comics, TV and Movies.



 

The Birth of an Icon: How Superman's Original Costume Became Legendary

When Superman first exploded onto the scene in 1938's Action Comics #1, he wasn't just a new breed of superhero - he was a pioneer of a whole new visual language for heroic icons. Superman's distinctive red, blue, and yellow costume design was boldly outstanding on the newsstands of the day, demanding attention and searing itself into the minds of readers. More than 80 years later, it remains one of the most recognizable and influential superhero costumes ever created.

The men responsible for Superman's classic look were writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster. As struggling youths in the 1930s, they spent years developing the character that would eventually become the Man of Steel. Their initial designs for his appearance went through several iterations before that fateful Action Comics #1 issue. But the core components that made his costume an unforgettable emblem were there from the start.

Siegel Shuster Early Illustration of Superman 1930s with color
Siegel Shuster Early Illustration of Superman with color

Shuster's brilliant costuming concept played on powerful symbols and imagery that tap into something primal in the human mind. The red trunks over blue bodysuit look evoked the old circus strongman of the 1930s aesthetic, inherently suggesting power and might. Although today it’s hard to imagine,  traveling circuses and fairs once held a prominence in the public imagination. They presented the otherworldly, even the freakish imaginings of the abnormal. Superheroes came from such realms. The addition of a billowing cape created a larger-than-life, almost mythic quality befitting a modern demigod.

Illustrator: Siegel Shuster Early Illustration of Superman black & white linear drawing
Illustrator: Siegel Shuster Early Illustration of Superman


But the true stroke of genius was the distinctive "S" emblem blazoned across Superman's chest. Using a uniquely stylized symbol rather than mere initials or letters was an inspired choice. It created an stunningly simple yet powerful identity that immediately captivated readers. Was it meant to be the letter S? A symbol for "Superman"? Its meaning was deliciously ambiguous, allowing the icon to take on deeper significance.

The color scheme brilliantly combined primary hues in an arresting way. While blue and red were common enough in comics of the time, Shuster's addition of the striking yellow background for the "S" shield made it sizzle off the page. It was the perfect accent to the patriotic red and blue color scheme, suggesting heroism, action, and warmth.

From a design theory perspective, Superman's classic suit is remarkably balanced and thoughtfully composed. The predominant blue bodysuit grounds the look, with the yellow emblem providing the eye-catching focal point. The red accents of the cape, boots and trunks add just the right splashes of color around this iconic center. In addition, these colors were chosen for the covers of early comics so they would catch readers' eyes on newsstands. Superman’s blue, red, and gold color palette has stood the test of time.

Superman 1940s comic illustration by Fred Guardineer in color
Superman 1940s comic illustration by Fred Guardineer


Legendary DC Comics artists like Joe Shuster, Fred Guardineer, and Wayne Boring would spend years refining the look. They carefully engineered the drape, textures, and body-hugging sculptural shapes to make the suit seem more tangible and wearable, more powerful in its representation of this alien physique.

Superman comic illustration by Wayne Boring in color
Superman comic illustration by Wayne Boring

Over the years the rendering of Superman’s suit has evolved. Compared to the early years his cape has become more windswept, with carefully rendered folds and ripples for more dynamic movement. The trunks and musculature have been subtly modernized. Even the cut and designs of the boots and belts have been consistently updated over time to keep Superman's costume feeling contemporary and striking despite its vintage origins.
Beyond just the visual craft behind Superman's original comic book look, the costume perfectly complimented the character's narrative and thematic underpinnings too. The bright, primary colors suggested vibrancy, energy, and life - fitting for an alien immigrant reinventing himself as a protector of truth. The bodysuit's skin-tight fit and the cape's empowering silhouette imbued Superman with a mythic aura of power usually only afforded to gods and heroes from ancient legends.
In the end, Superman's iconic costume has endured and inspired countless reinterpretations and redesigns over the 80+ years since its debut precisely because its core concept is so simple, yet brilliant.


Superman the iconic S symbol

While every aspect of Superman's classic suit is meaningful, the centerpiece has always been that iconic "S" emblem on his chest. For many it represents the character's name initial. Hoever serious students of Superman know that the S-Shield is actually the Kryptonian symbol for "hope" which is essential what he stands for - an symbol of hope that has been embraced around the world.
The emblem's memorable design originated from one of Joe Shuster's early concept sketches for a character he called "The Superman." In these primordial drawings, the musclebound hero wore a bodytight union suit with a distinctive logo combining stylized underlines, serifs, and spurs to create an iconic insignia. When DC's publisher suggested changing the name to simply "Superman" to streamline it, the emblem stuck.

Over the years, the "S" emblem went through subtle refinements in its line weights, curve proportions, and coloring to maintain its powerful graphic impact. The yellow backdrop was deepened to a rich golden tone. The central spurs were sharpened into points, making the overall shape more dynamic, angular and purposeful. Such small adjustments solidified the symbol's ability to demand attention on a comic book cover or printed page.

One of the key traits that has allowed Superman's "S" logo to achieve such lasting cultural resonance is its unique design balanced simplicity with distinctiveness. It avoided overly fussy graphic embellishments, instead deriving its power from a boldly straightforward geometry. The extended underlines, spur accents and that subtly italicized slant gave it an unmistakable signature unlike any other existing letter or symbol.

Some postulate that it perfectly complemented the character's role as an embodiment of steadfast heroism elevated to iconic levels of storytelling. Superman's deeds and ethics were meant to be plain and self-evident to represent truth, justice and moral straightforwardness. Yet the way he manifested those ideals was extraordinary, unique, and instantly recognizable - just like his symbolic chest emblem.

Another brilliant aspect of the emblem's design was its incredible versatility and endless ability for reinterpretation. Those simple core graphics could be replicated at any scale, from a miniature symbol on a comic book figure to an emblem spanning an entire chest plate in a live-action movie costume. Subtle changes to its thickness, bevel, texture or material application updated its look for each new creative era. A number of Superman t shirts designs are apt examples of its design versatility potential.

DC Comics 1960 version of the Superman Symbol
DC Comics 1960 version of the Superman Symbol


On the comic book page as well as in the movies, artists and designers have experimented with giving the logo dimensions and dynamism. It could be rendered as a carved eroded symbol on Superman's chest, battered from battles. Or the yellow background might blast away in sunburst patterns, with the iconic "S" periodically obscured by cape sweeps or debris to add drama to each panel. No other superhero symbol possessed that instantly identifiable flexibility. The emblem also allowed for intriguing symbolic reinterpretations and mashups over the decades.. It was a pliable yet profoundly meaningful centerpiece for boundless creative explorations of the character.
See the numerous iterations over the years of the Superman Logo.

From those first trailblazing issues in the late 1930s through Superman's evolution across comics' Golden, Silver and Bronze Ages, his classic costume persisted with relatively cosmetic alterations. That's a testament to the primal visual appeal and narrative resonance of Shuster's original concept. Sure, artists made the cape's movement more dynamic or updated the yellow background to a richer tone. But the core bodysuit look with its iconic insignia remained gospel.
No matter how many reboots, live-action costumes or re-imaginings Superman goes through in the future, the character will forever be tied to the trailblazing symbolism.
The Muscular Marvel TV Years

1952 Superman TV series George Reeves with his costume front & back
1952 Superman TV series George Reeves

When Superman hit the small screen in Adventures of Superman starring George Reeves from 1952-1958, the costume design translated remarkably faithfully. With the limitations of a live-action TV budget, the suit had slightly looser musculature and the cape had less dramatic movement, but the core elements were all there. Reeves even sported the underwear-like trunks on the outside. The iconic red, blue and yellow uniform was made by costume designer Izzy Berne, who worked for Lippert Studio. The studio was a subsidiary of National Publishing that eventually became DC Comics. Made of jersey wool, a somewhat stretchy fabric, but far from the elastic fibers of modern garments, the suit was heavy. George Reeve’s Superman costume is preserved at Smithsonian Institution.

The 1970s Comics Makeover

The Daring Redesign: When Superman Ditched the Trunks for a Sleek New Look

For nearly four decades, Superman's classic red trunks over blue bodysuit look was as iconic to generations of comic book fans as his indestructible strength and unwavering morals. The Man of Steel's traditional costume design had become a visual shorthand for truth, justice, and the American way.

So, when DC Comics decided in the late 1960s that the time had come to overhaul Superman's archaic appearance into something more contemporary and modernized, it was about as ambitious as trying to punch a hole through his invulnerable chest. Getting rid of the character's signature red trunks was a sacrilegious notion to many purists.

But by 1967's landmark Superman #204 issue, the first glimpses of a radically redesigned costume signaled that big changes were on the horizon for the Man of Tomorrow. Let's explore the contentious behind-the-scenes decisions that resulted in Superman receiving a sleek, trunk-less look that would endure for over 30 years of stories.

The late 1960s were a period of massive societal and cultural shifts with the sexual revolution, devastating wars like Vietnam, and major civil rights movements reshaping attitudes toward legacy beliefs and traditions. Comic books were not immune to this generational upheaval, as younger voices began infiltrating the creatives ranks with fresh new takes on classic characters.
Artists like Steve Ditko, Jim Steranko and Neal Adams were pioneering edgier, more psychedelic visual styles and storytelling approaches that reflected the anti-establishment ethos of the era's youth counterculture. Even DC's more conservative editorial vision was starting to embrace bolder experimentation to stay culturally relevant.

According to longtime Superman writer Dennis O'Neil and editor Julius Schwartz, the character's iconic costume had begun to look hopelessly outdated and quaint in the eyes of this new generation. The underwear-like red trunks and basic leotard seemed almost laughable through a modern lens. If Superman was going to remain a credible hero for the changing times, his image needed a head-to-toe overhaul.

Justice League Of America 63 DC 1968 cover Batman
Justice League Of America 63 DC 1968 Cover Batman


The prospect of altering such a sacred character design was highly contentious, especially with DC's leadership which prioritized preserving the lucrative status quo for merchandising and marketing reasons. But the younger creators won the intense internal debates by convincingly arguing that Superman's look was becoming an object of unintentional ridicule, especially compared to Marvel's sleeker, more realistically-designed heroes.

So, in 1968, DC allowed Superman's costume to be redesigned from a simple athletic leotard into a form-fitting, trunk-less bodysuit made from more futuristic materials and textures. Additionally, his signature colors were modernized into richer hues with more vibrancy and visual pop.
It wasn't until the 1980s and 90s that Superman's classic suit was dramatically overhauled in the comics. John Byrne's "Man of Steel" reboot famously slimmed Superman's bulky chest down. Most controversially, the red trunks were removed in favor of a sleeker, trunk-less bodysuit updated for the modern era. While polarizing to some, it set a precedent for streamlined reinterpretations of Superman's visual mythology that is still followed today

While the new costume kept the basic red cape and chest emblem combination, almost every other aspect underwent thoughtful refinement. The yellow background behind the iconic "S" emblem was deepened into a richer golden tone that seemed to crackle with more energy. The red trunks were eliminated completely, replaced by a sleek and seamless muscle-sheath of a bodysuit.
This presented new challenges for the artists tasked with depicting Superman's chiseled alien physique and natural musculature through the skin-tight suit. They pioneered using inking techniques like body-rendered shading and sculptural cross-hatching to define every curve and crevice of his powerful frame in more realistic detail than ever before.

Perhaps the most dramatic change was the textural overhaul of Superman's bodysuit itself. Gone were the rudimentary leotard fabrics and basic blues, replaced by much more sci-fi textures and materials. Artists experimented with depicting the suit as a scuba material in one issue, then an atmospheric containment membrane in another. There was a constant effort to make the costume look more extravagant and extraterrestrial to match Superman's god-like origins.
Visionary artists like Neal Adams and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez were instrumental in refining this new look for Superman throughout the 1970s. They would carefully render the refractive light qualities and nuanced color gradients of his restructured bodysuit materials, making it look simultaneously alien yet anatomically functional.

Garcia-Lopez in particular developed groundbreaking styles for depicting the natural drape, folds and wind-swept qualities of Superman's cape to better accentuate its physics-defying magnificence in mid-flight poses. The trunk-less look gave him much more freedom to streamline Superman's silhouette into more aerodynamic shapes befitting the character's otherworldly powers. 

1970s version of Superman  by Artist: Garcia-Lopez
1970s version of Superman  by Artist: Garcia-Lopez

While Superman's core chest insignia was left intact during these updates, its impact was amplified through starker contrasting techniques and larger sizing across the hero's barreled torso. Artists began using more abstracted styles and panel perspectives to turn the symbol into an almost 3D-rendered icon that leapt off the comic pages.

Of course, not all fans embraced this radical departure from Superman's decades-old classic costume design. Purists grumbled that getting rid of the red trunks neutered the character's timeless appeal and made him look too monochromatic. Others groaned that the redesigned suit was pretentious in its excessive textures and made Superman seem too alien rather than human.
But the majority of readers, especially within the counterculture youth movement of the time, enthusiastically embraced Superman's slicker revamped look. They praised how it brought the character's iconography into the modern era with a bold new take rooted in more scientific realism and an elevated sense of grandeur.

Perhaps just as crucially, the redesign also had the intended effect of infusing Superman with a much-needed sense of renewed relevance and gravitas for new generations just being introduced to the character for the first time. While his classic powers and mythology remained, the sleek trunk-less costume communicated that this was a contemporary upgrade for an advanced era of storytelling.

Superman's popular live-action movies and TV shows throughout the 1970s and 1980s also legitimized the redesign by translating the comics costume approach into faithful adaptations that modernized the look for new mainstream audiences. From the Super Friends animated series to the classic 1978 Superman film, this version of the costume became the definitive interpretation for an entire generation.

It's a testament to the enduring strength of Superman's redesigned costume from this era that it would remain the character's comic book look for over 30 years, adapted by innumerable artists and storylines before another major overhaul in the 2000s. While temporarily losing the red trunks was initially unthinkable, it rejuvenated the Man of Steel's iconic imagery as a sleeker, more contemporary ideal of heroic power and purpose. Sometimes even the mightiest of heroes need the occasional reboot to stay relevant through changing times.

However, for some movie and TV shows, the red trunks remained.

The Christopher Reeve Era

When Superman hit the big screen in 1978's Superman: The Movie, the costume had to be truly functional for stunts and wirework. Designer Yvonne Blake crafted a very faithful adaptation of the comics look, with the sculpted muscles, trunks, and cape all getting an amazing real-world interpretation. Christopher Reeve's suit would inspire many future live-action takes.


Christopher Reeve’s in the 1978 film, Superman flying

Christopher Reeve’s in the 1978 film, Superman.

Lois & Clark's Bright Tights

In the 1990s TV series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Dean Cain's Super suit stuck very closely to the comics look - bright blue bodysuit, red trunks, and a classically draped cape. It may have looked a bit too reminiscent of bright tights and underwear, but it pleased classic fans.

TV series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Dean Cain as Superman
TV series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (Dean Cain)
The series aired on ABC from September 12, 1993, to June 14, 1997.


In the previous live-action Superman movies starring Christopher Reeve (Superman: The Movie in 1978, Superman II in 1980, Superman III in 1983, and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace in 1987), Superman wore a costume that was very faithful to the classic comic book look, including the red trunks over blue bodysuit.

Even when director Bryan Singer rebooted/continued the Superman film franchise with Superman Returns in 2006, starring Brandon Routh as Superman, the costume was updated without much of a notable change.

Brandon Routh as Superman in the 2006 film, Superman Returns
Brandon Routh as Superman in the 2006 film, Superman Returns


Routh's Superman costume featured a seamless, cuff less blue muscle suit/bodysuit with the iconic 'S' emblem on the chest and gold belt, with an almost burgundy red cape, trunks and boots red shorts/trunks over the suit. Did this gave the costume a more modern, streamlined aesthetic compared to previous movie versions. That’s up for debate. Unfortunately, the film bombed and Warner Bros. cancelled the sequel deciding instead reboot the Superman character for another movie, Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel.”

In the Movies: The No Trunks Rebirth, Finally.

The Superman movies began removing the underwear-looking trunks from Superman's suit starting with Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, 2013 movie. Man of Steel features a redesigned Superman costume by James Acheson and Michael Wilkinson. The costume preserved the color scheme and "S" logo, but adopted darker tones. Most notably Superman’s suit no longer features the red trunk. According to Wikipedia Zack Snyder and the producers attempted to devise a suit featuring the red trunks, but could not design one that fit into the tone of the film, leading to their removal from the suit. After the fact, Zack Snyder said the costume was a modern aesthetic take on the familiar suit.

2013 Man of Steel Film - Henry Cavill Superman
2013 Man of Steel Film - Henry Cavill as Superman


The choice to ditch the trunks was carried over into subsequent Superman appearances in the DC Extended Universe movies as well. In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), and other DCEU films, Henry Cavill's Superman also wore a trunk-less suit.

So while the trunks were an integral part of Superman's classic comic book costume for decades, the 2006 film Superman Returns kicked off the trend in live-action movies of removing them for a smoother, more updated look on the big screen. This trunk-less design has remained for Superman's cinematic appearances since then.

Starting with Superman Returns in 2006, live-action movies began removing the underwear-looking trunks from the suit. Brandon Routh's costume had a sleek blue muscle suit with the iconic emblem but no exterior red shorts. This trunkless look was carried through into Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, and subsequent DCEU movies with Henry Cavill. It polarized some die-hard fans but gave the costume a more modern, stripped-down aesthetic.

The newest iteration of Superman's costume design in the movies is the version seen in Zack Snyder's Justice League, released in 2021.
In this recut and expanded version of the 2017 film Justice League, Henry Cavill's Superman suit received some noticeable updates and refinements compared to his previous DCEU appearances in Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

  • The key changes to the suit design in Zack Snyder's Justice League include:
  • Brighter, More Vibrant Colors The blue bodysuit has a richer, more vibrant tone compared to the slightly muted, desaturated shades in the previous films. The reds of the cape and boot colors are also punchier and deeper.
  • Updated Cape Design Superman's cape received some modernization, with a sleeker armor-like pattern woven into the top shoulders/back area. The cape itself appears slightly shorter as well.
  • Alien Muscle Texturing More defined alien muscle textures are sculpted into the suit, giving it an extraterrestrial, almost biomechanical look compared to a simple spandex suit.
  • Tweaked Emblem The iconic 'S' emblem on the chest has been subtly refined, with a more angular geometric shape and darker outline to make it pop more prominently.

Overall, while keeping the core trunk-less bodysuit approach used since Superman Returns in 2006, this version of the suit in Zack Snyder's Justice League aims for a more striking, alien-influenced aesthetic befitting Superman's Kryptonian heritage.

The updates lean further into making the suit feel like an organic extension of Superman's body rather than just apparel. The bolder colors and emblems also help the costume really pop amid the film's heavily color-graded, high-contrast visual style.

Unless the planned future of the DCEU radically changes directions, this sleeker, more textured, and technicolor approach is likely to be the foundation for any new live-action Superman suits moving forward on the big screen. It's an evolution aimed at keeping the character's iconography feeling modern and distinctly powerful.

The Comic Book Reboot / Red Trunk Removal

The New 52 was the 2011 revamp and relaunch by DC Comics of its entire line of ongoing monthly superhero comic books. Following the conclusion of the "Flashpoint" crossover storyline, DC cancelled all its existing titles and debuted 52 new series in September 2011.

It was during this 2011 revamp that DC Comics, itself, finally got rid of Superman's trunks with the New 52 universe. Artists like Jim Lee redesigned the Man of Steel’s outfit as a sleek, trunkless bodysuit with the iconic emblem, subtle muscle texturing, a display of kryptonian tech, and a more regal-looking cape. This look has persisted in the comics for a number of years, now, though alternate storylines occasionally will bring back the briefs.

C Comics  Jim Lee Illustration of Superman for the Reboot
DC Comics  Jim Lee Illustration of Superman for the Reboot

Individual artists introduced new iterations on Superman’s costume. Jim Lee, in Justice League #1 had the Man of Steel sporting an elaborate outfit – sans  trunks- with an armor looking suit, a Mao type collar on the under tunic and gauntlet-like wrist detailing. This look didn’t catch on. Nor did the Action Comics#1 cover that revealed Superman wearing a t shirt and jeans! If you're looking for Classic Superman, jeans and a t shirt is a  look that's not going to have a lot of appeal. It might be enough of a turn off for some folks that they would not even open the comic’s cover let alone even get to page one.

DC Comics Superman Action Comics:  The New 52 Cover  #1 Superman wearing Jeans & T Shirt
DC Comics Superman Action Comics:  The New 52 Cover  #1

The newest major iteration of Superman's costume design in the comics came with the 2016 "Rebirth" relaunch by DC Comics. After the controversial New 52 reboot in 2011 ditched Superman's iconic red trunks for a more armored, trunks-less suit, the 2016 Rebirth aimed to restore some classic elements while keeping a contemporary look.

However, you need to keep in mind that Superman also appears in a number of different DC Comics including Action Comics and Justice League. In Zack Snyder's Justice League,  Superman returns wearing his iconic costume in black! Writers brought back Superman’s black suit in Action Comics #729 during a period where he temporarily lost his ability to draw on the sun’s energy.

1993 Action Comics #689 Superman wearing a black jumpsuit.
1993 Action Comics #689 Superman wearing a black jumpsuit.

 

2021 Zack Synder Justice League Superman - Henry Cavill
2021 Zack Synder Justice League Superman - Henry Cavill

Read Darkening Skies: Explaining Superman's Black Suit if you want to understand this departure from Superman’s traditional red and blue outfit. The Superman has worn black costumes in other media as well:

  • Superman wore a modified black costume when he appeared in Batman Beyond.
  • Clark Kent donned a black costume with a dark trench coat in the ninth season of Tom Welling’s Smallville when Clark was trying to cut himself off from humanity and embrace his Kryptonian heritage.
  • During the Arrowverse’s Else worlds crossover, Tyler Hoechlin as Superman wore a black costume.

Now, there's nothing that upsets a Superman fan more than the feeling of their favorite hero becoming unrecognizable, and as a result, the New 52 Superman's days were numbered.

Did You Know….

Superman can wrap a person or item in his cape, protecting from friction, cold, heat and rigors of the space, with enough air to travel interplanetary distances. The cape will block even radio frequencies. The Super Uniform is very stretchable. It will lose its properties while under a red sun.

The Classic Superman Suit Mostly Returns in Rebirth in 2017

An understated red Belt/Emblem belt offers a subtle reference to the original red trunks

  • A blue bodysuit, though rendered in a sleeker style
  • Updated Kryptonian Muscle Texture The suit had a more organic alien muscle texture giving it a bioengineered feel, similar to the armored New 52 suit but not as pronounced.
  • Tweaked Color Shades The reds were richer with an almost metallic qualities, while the blues took on a predominant navy hue.
  • Silver gauntlet cuffs
  • Boots appear either dark blue- like main suit- boot color with thin red detail

This melded approach by artists like Patrick Gleason and Doug Mahnke attempted to split the difference between the classic and sleeker modern looks. The familiar trunks returned, but as the same color as the rest of the suit so they don’t stand out. The all over look with its various alien textures and tech accents nod­ to Superman's powerful origins.

 

IMAGE: 2017-post-superman-reborn-costume-last-reborn-issue-cover-tomasi-glrason-mahnke.jpg
2017 DC Coms Illustrators: Patrick Gleason and Doug Mahnke Last Rebirth Issue Cover

Since Rebirth, Superman's main costume has remained relatively consistent, though artists continue playing with slight material texture and color variances. The core concept persists of balancing classic underwear-on-the-outside elements with contemporary armor and tech stylings.

While not as drastically overhauled as the New 52 look, Rebirth's Superman suit aims to pay respect to 80 years of iconography while keeping the character's image feeling modern and a bit reinvented for new generations to come. It's a fittingly reverent yet bold new approach for the Man of Tomorrow's endless costume evolution.

Read this 2017 press announcement from DC Comics.
DC Comics Announces An Update for Superman’s Costume Design Post-Superman Reborn
by Antonio Jose Chavez January 13, 2017 0 comment

Yet as the Rebirth series drew to an end, new changes in Superman’s outfit appeared. The main artist Patrick Gleason is moving towards the red, yellow and blue color scheme of old with Superman’s boots now returning to a red and his belt becomes more visible in a sort of metallic red, a gold S insignia is seen on the buckle, and there are no cuffs. 

2023  Red Trunks Are In??

According to DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn who celebrated Superman Day on June 12 2023 by posting an image on Twitter of various Superman costumes the character has worn over 85 years. During this February, 2023 post,  Gunn polled his X followers on whether Superman should wear trunks, and 59.3% voted that he should.

2024 Promo shot for 2025 release of Superman: Legacy film
2024 Promo shot for 2025 release of Superman: Legacy film

Will the “Superman: Legacy” Superman Costume Have Red Trunks?
There appear to be a many disparate influences at work with the new Superman costume that was just revealed in May 2024 for the upcoming 2025 Corenswet’s Superman movie. Although it is not a complete detour from recent live-action Superman costumes, there certain elements do draw upon the classic Superman comics, including the return to the red trunks.

Read these articles to learn more:

Will the “Superman: Legacy” Superman Costume Have Red Trunks?

2024: A Full Circle in the Movies with the new 2025 Gunn’s Superman Movie

Christopher Reeve and Brandon Routh as Superman wore trunks before Henry Cavill and Zack Snyder jettisoned them for their 2013 movie, Man of Steel. Well, they are back, and purists will be delighted. The new costume isn’t designed to appear skin-tight like the spandex-type suit worn in most of the hero’s previous live-action iterations, including the padded and sprayed musculature of Henry Cavill’s recent incarnation as well as in movies such as Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, Zack Snyder’s Justice League, and Black Adam. Other design elements beside the addition of the trunks  that have been tweaked to include a mock neck to the costume and textural elements on the sleeves and pants. Yet, overall, the costume remains in its traditional blue with red trunks, red cape, red boots, yellow belt, and, of course, the iconic red and yellow “S” on the chest. Some articles suggest that it is a mix between an athlete’s uniform for contact sports, and a worker’s protective uniform for a dangerous labor-intensive job. We feel that it looks sturdy and protective, yet form-fitting and streamlined. When the promotion for the movie starts, we’ll have a better idea of Superman’s newest costume iteration for the movies.

Read this 2024 GQ’s article for more information:
Superman Costume Revealed: We Have a Suit, and the Suit Has Trunks
By William Goodman   May 6, 2024

While certain elements like the cape, "S" emblem, and general color scheme have remained, Superman's costume continues to be reinterpreted and modernized by each new creative team in comics, movies, and TV. Nevertheless,  it remains one of the most instantly recognizable superhero looks in the world.


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