How does Henry Cavill’s “Man of Steel” outfit compare to other Superman costumes?

How does Henry Cavill’s “Man of Steel” outfit compare to other Superman costumes? (photo)

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Henry Cavill officially owns Superman’s cape in “Man of Steel” now, and the first picture of him in costume shows that he will be wearing muted tones and a scaly texture. The costume marks just one more evolution in the history of Kal-El’s tights, which have been loosened, tightened and reshaped on numerous occasions since the hero first appeared on the cover of “Action Comics” #1 in 1938.

Although Superman has experienced a handful of dramatic makeovers in the pages of DC Comics, most of his animated and live-action adaptation incarnations have played it safe. Nevertheless, producers and costume designers always find little things to tweak. Here’s how Cavill’s costume looks compared to previous Superman suits.

Animated Superman (voiced by Bud Collyer), “Superman” (1941)
The old Max Fleischer-produced Superman cartoons are legendary in the world of animation. Modern-day movie goers would likely do a double-take, however, if Cavill’s “S” emblem showed up in a black-on-red design. “Man of Steel” will instead be sticking with the iconic red-on-yellow shield that should reassure viewers that they haven’t errantly wandered into some bootleg Superman film from Southeast Asia.

George Reeves, “Adventures of Superman” (1952)
During the laidback 1950s, George Reeves actually got to experience a little breathing room between his skin and his Superman costume. His “S” emblem was neither too small nor too large, but his yellow belt was kind of a joke. Cavill’s belt buckle appears to have some shine to it, indicating that his Superman won’t be clad in some non-functional, quickly-cut strip of fabric that looks like his mom crafted it for a Halloween outfit.

Christopher Reeve, “Superman” (1978)
When the late ’70s and ’80s rolled around and Christopher Reeve donned the big red cape, director Richard Donner kept the colors bright and the costume conservatively true to the comics. Reeve did get some more topography on his belt buckle, however. As far as the material used to make the costume went, this incarnation left little of Superman’s anatomy to the imagination, but the bright circus colors made the Last Son of Krypton look inherently more ready to appear at an 8-year-old’s birthday party than the superhero appearing in “Man of Steel.”

Dean Cain, “Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” (1993)
Superman’s colors had to turn it down a notch for nighttime TV audiences when Dean Cain showed up with an “S” on his chest for ABC. The shield stayed large, but this was the beginning of a trend toward less circus-appropriate shades of blue and red. Cavill’s look appears even more faded and looks much less like a giant multicolored piece of pantyhose and more like a thin suit of body armor.

Brandon Routh, “Super Man Returns” (2006)
The costume in director Bryan Singer’s film looked a lot more like rubber or vinyl than it did Spandex. The colors weren’t necessarily as muted as they were darker, and the costume had texture all over the place. Routh got a smaller shield on his chest that let him show off his abs a bit more than his predecessors were allowed to do. He also got a clearly pronounced “S” belt buckle. Cavill’s “S” seems to have grown, and his belt looks like it has reverted back to being a simple oval. We still need to see him standing up straight in the light to tell for sure though!

Which is your favorite Superman costume? Let us know below or on Facebook or Twitter.


New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…


IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. 

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number! 

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time. 

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by. 


IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo. 

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim. 

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t? 

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?” 

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud. 

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.


The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”


Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).



Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.


And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.


Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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GIFs via Giffy

In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.


Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.


Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!



Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.


Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.


If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.