Examining the Superman Costume for “Superman & Lois”

Tyler Hoechlin as Superman

By Steve Younis

Date: December 10, 2020

In this article I’m going to be examining, in detail, the updated Superman costume for The CW’s “Superman & Lois” TV series. I previously wrote a similar article when the costume for Superman was revealed for his first appearance on The CW’s “Supergirl” TV series back in August 2016. In this review I’ll not only give my thoughts on this new costume, but also make comparison’s to that older costume.

Initial Reaction: The first thing I noticed was the removal of the horrible “buckle” attachment design for the cape. That alone makes this costume design so much better. But just in general, my initial reaction was “very cool”. I like it!

THE CAPE

Cape

I really like the look of the material being used for this cape. It as a nice cloth look it that evokes the Christopher Reeve Superman cape for some reason. It’s definitely better than the pleather look his previous cape had.

I also like the longer length. I’ve always felt that Superman’s cape should come down to somewhere between his calf and his ankle.

Once again we don’t know if there’s a yellow version of the “S” emblem on the back of the cape… But, as I’ve said before on previous costume reviews, I’m not too worried either way. I’d prefer to see it there, but it’s not essential.

As with any cape for a Super-family member, the most controversy seems to be about how the cape attaches to the costume. The weakest design element of Tyler’s previous costume was the gold “clasps” that attached the cape to the front of Superman’s shoulders. Thank fully, as I said above, these have been removed from the new costume. The fabric of the cape now tucks in to the neckline as it should.

Speaking of the neckline, I would have preferred a lower neckline, but this doesn’t look bad. It does remind me of the Brandon Routh costume for “Superman Returns,” which had a similarly high neckline.

THE BODY

Body

It doesn’t appear that too much has changed with the fabric or design of the bulk of the costume’s main body area. The blue looks the same color, and the fabric has that same mesh look about it made popular by “Man of Steel”.

The seem pattern is similar to his previous costume, but they do appear to start lower down his chest in this costume, but that may have more to do with the size of the “S” shield (which I’ll get to below). All in all, I like the fabric and the design of this area. It just seems to be more streamlined and less “armored” than the previous costume.

Again, this design feature of having seems on the main body area may be inspired by the New 52 costume, which had similar design elements, but, once again, it does break up the blue fabric and gives form to the bodice of the costume without being distracting. The sleeves do seem to have a more pointed ending on the cuff, but it’s minimal and hardly worth mentioning. It may just be the way they’re cut to allow Tyler better wrist movement.

THE “S” SHIELD

S Shield

Once again, the shape and design of the “S” shield is the best thing about the costume, although I wonder why they reduced the size? It’s the same “S” shield design shape as previous, but it’s obviously smaller and now looks to be made out of the same fabric as the rest of his costume, where the previous costume’s shield appeared to be more solid. It could just be the lighting, but the yellow also appears to be less vibrant than his previous costume, but that’s not a complaint, just an observation.

I don’t mind the size of the “S”, it’s just that the size difference is quite noticeable. The smaller size is exacerbated by the fact that there’s now more blue fabric above the top of the “S” due to the higher neckline design and the removal of the cape clasps. The four little yellow “notches” around the “S” shield, which were a strange addition to his previous costume, are thankfully missing here.

Trunks

Trunks

There are no trunks once again in this costume design. Which, as I said in 2016’s costume review, will likely be the standard for many years to come when it comes to live-action portrayals of the Man of Steel. If they were designing this from scratch, without Superman having been on any show on The CW before this, they may have gone for the red trunks seeing as how they’re back in the comic books. But seeing as how this version of Superman has never had red trunks, it would have been odd for them to suddenly be included.

THE BELT

Belt

Superman gets a totally new belt design for this costume. Where the previous belt had a straight “hoop” design to it, this one dips at the stomach area.

While the belt serves no practical function without trunks, the costume as a whole does need something in this area to break up the solid blue.

Once again the belt has a mostly red design, but the gold elements from the previous belt are reduced somewhat in favor of a diamond shaped “buckle”. The belt also seems to be more metallic in appearance than before, which does make it stand out a bit more, considering there are no other elements of the costume that have this shiny appearance.

THE BOOTS

Boots

We can’t really see the boots in the photo released of the new costume, but the shape does seem to be the same when it comes to the way they sit on his shin. They do seem lower though, in that they don’t come up his leg as high as the old ones used to.

I’ve always preferred that Superman’s boots be of a similar material to the rest of his costume. His old costume’s boots appeared to be a leather boot, which didn’t look that good to me. It’s unclear what material these new boots are made of.

Interestingly, costume designer Laura Jean Shannon did state that they’re “athletic inspired” boots, so I guess we’ll just have to wait to get a better look at them down the track.

TYLER HOECHLIN

Tyler Heochlin

Now for the man wearing the costume…

From his time playing the role on “Supergirl” and the various crossover episodes on The CW, I like Tyler Hoechlin in the role. I prefer his Clark Kent, which he seems more comfortable playing, but I think he makes a very competent Superman… as long as the writers give him good material to work with. On “Supergirl” he was a supporting character, and therefore written as such. On “Superman & Lois” he’s the show’s leading man… a Super man. He needs to be portrayed in that light.

I do like what Tyler said about being tasked with playing the icon role. “I appreciate the opportunity to wear the suit and the responsibility that comes with it. But it’s always interesting when I’m asked how I feel about “my new suit,” because I’ve always felt that the suit doesn’t belong to me; it belongs to everyone that finds some kind of meaning in that suit, in the symbol on the chest. I just happen to be the one wearing it. I come from the world of baseball and a line of coaches that always preached that the name on the front of the jersey is more important than the one on the back. Because when you wear that jersey, it represents not only you, but your entire team, and everyone that has ever worn that jersey that came before you. So when I wear the suit, that’s what it means to me. It represents everything that Superman stands for and has stood for, for almost a century now. And I look forward to carrying on that tradition.”

I look forward to seeing him being given the chance to own the role on a TV series of his own.

IN CONCLUSION

The new Superman suit, designed by Laura Jean Shannon and built by her L.A.–based Supersuits team in conjunction with Creative Character Engineering, does (as the press release stated) have a “classic, timeless vibe” while “grounding him and elevating the suit in a modern arena”.

Looking at online reactions, it appears as though most Superman fans like this new costume a lot more than Tyler’s previous costume. Once again, I think it comes down to the fact that they haven’t strayed too far from what makes the Superman costume “classic” and iconic.

This time around I’m a lot more impressed with this costume design than I was with what they came up with for Superman’s debut on “Supergirl”. Tyler just looks more like Superman in this photo than he did in the one they released in August 2016.

I’m happy with this costume design. Relieved even. This is a costume that I’d be happy to watch on a weekly TV series about “Superman & Lois”.

Steve Younis

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10 Comments
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Superman2878
December 10, 2020 1:15 am

Awesome review Steve! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Tyler’s new Superman suit.
🙂

Anthony_Mage
December 10, 2020 3:04 am

Like I said elsewhere, I think Superman’s redesigned hella dope af new look pays loving homage to both his more traditional comic book one, as well as manages to mix in elements from DC Comics’ later New 52 era in the process (e.g, the cuffs, the belt, boots and cape length). 😀

I can’t wait to watch the first official teaser trailer for “Superman & Lois” when Warner is able to post one.

kal-bert
December 10, 2020 12:24 pm

Like many others said the suit is not perfect but it’s certainly great (or at least very good). I’d say that I even like it much more than the Snyderversion, which for me was an already good one. It fixes the color palette and finally we have a more standard version of the shield (in fact it’s not exactly the standard but John Byrne’s version) even though it gets back 2 of the things that made Brandon Routh’s suit bad: the neckline and tiny shield, even though Tyler’s shield isn’t as tiny as Brandon’s one. Of course for me a… Read more »

MattComics
December 10, 2020 2:57 pm

From what I can see it looks to me like the boots have the shape of the New 52 but leatherish instead of being actual armor boots that look like he raided Tony Stark’s shoebox. On the \S/ I don’t like it being that small either. I think Reeve size is about as small as you should ever go and Byrne size is max for having it big. The SR and Alex Ross shields are examples of going too far in either extreme IMO. I just think it looks better when it tends to fill the space in the upper… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by MattComics
RobertAnthony
December 10, 2020 9:38 pm

Steve I agree with what you said on the costume and the man wearing it.

“I prefer his Clark Kent, which he seems more comfortable playing, but I think he makes a very competent Superman.”


From that I get a for sure Christopher Reeve vibe from the acting as Kent.  Looks…I think I said in a post about him, I get a Kirk Alyn feeling about this.


The more these things come in, the more we all should be hopeful for Superman & Lois to be an “up, up, and away” hit.

MattComics
December 11, 2020 10:13 am
Reply to  RobertAnthony

I feel like we really haven’t seen what he can do yet as Superman just because the Supergirl seemed to deem it necessary to nerf him. Though I thought he did a good job during his initial appearance.

Last edited 2 months ago by MattComics
svillar13
December 10, 2020 10:26 pm

I love the new suit, just a few nitpicks… I would have preferred lower neckline, a bigger S, and a different material for the S. (Not the same as the suit) Other than that I really like the new suit. It evokes a Man of Steel vibe with a mix of Christopher Reeve Superman costume.

kenkraly2004
December 11, 2020 2:08 am

 I love Tyler Hoechlin’s new Superman suit for Superman & Lois !!! It’s a lot better and great 10 times better than his original suit from Supergirl Season 2 and The CW Arrowverse crossovers. So all in all the new Superman suit for Tyler looks great for Superman & Lois and super can’t wait for this series hopefully it is as great as the other CW DCTV Arrowverse shows and even better. I really don’t understand why some fans don’t like Tyler Hoechlin as Superman / Clark Kent for me his great in the role in the limited screen time… Read more »

Superman2878
December 11, 2020 8:44 am

I really like his version of Superman too. 🙂 His Superman has the basic superhero qualities that make for a good Superman series. To answer your question on why some people haven’t been happy with Tyler’s Superman, I think it is because some Superman fans aren’t happy that his version of Superman had played second fiddle to other superheroes at his own expense. He would mainly show up to support Supergirl whenever he would be there to help, but then her greatness would outshine Superman’s making him look less important than Supergirl. Sometimes making Supergirl look stronger than him or… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Superman2878
NeoRanger
December 11, 2020 12:49 pm

I find Tyler quite good, personally. I just find his Superman entirely anemic, though that’s entirely on the writing. That and knowing these CW shows, I expect a disaster meant to appeal to the lowest common denominator in the 16-24 age group.