Since Tyler Hoechlin first stepped into the role of Superman on the small screen in 2016 in the second season of The CW’s “Supergirl” series, Tyler has worn various versions of Superman’s costume, and he is most likely to be the one Superman actor to have donned the most versions of the costume to date. In this article, I will give a detailed analysis of each of the Superman costumes that Tyler has worn from his time on “Supergirl,” through The CW’s annual superhero crossovers, and onward into his own “Superman & Lois” series.
Superman Costume #1 – The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same
Tyler’s first Superman costume consisted of vibrant traditional colors of red and blue – vibrant blues for his suit and solid red for his cape – the colors that Superman’s costume is renowned for. Starting from the heel of his boots, Superman’s boots are of a space age design, bulky yet protective, especially on his shins. Moving up to the belt, the suit has no red trunks, but, in its place, there is a belt of solid red with hints of yellow and burgundy. The hexagonal belt buckle is also a solid red color. Moving further upward to the Superman insignia, Superman’s “House of El” family crest is of a traditional design – an upside down diamond-shaped construct with the traditional red color for the diamond and S shape, and yellow behind the S. At the outside of the diamond are four small notches that, we come to learn, are used to attach an additional plate with wires to cover Superman’s crest to protect him from Kryptonite attacks. From there, moving further up, are cape attachments. Two metal clasps attached to leather straps hold down and secure Superman’s cape, a design that differs from the traditional cape “under tuck” neckline, a neckline that is most likely the lowest of its design. The cape, instead of a cloth material, is made of what appears to be of a kind of soft leather, and its length reaches down to the heels of the his boots.
Superman Costume #2 – Superman in Black
In The CW 2018 winter crossover “Elseworlds” event, Tyler Hoechlin played a supervillain known as “John Deegan” (also played by actor Jeremy Davies) who took the form of Superman and wore a black costume. This costume would carry over to Tyler Hoechlin’s own Superman series “Superman & Lois” for an evil version of the character from another universe. This costume is of a general design similar to his primary red and blue costume from the “Supergirl” series, but with some noticeable differences. First, the color is black with slight hints of white. This includes the boots, which are more of a traditional design instead of the “spaceman” style of his first costume; and they are also black instead of the traditional red color. Moving up to the belt, like his previous costume, the belt buckle is of the same polygonal shape. However, the color is black and the belt cord has hints of white. Past the belt, and up to the “S” crest, we see that there is a mix of both white and black borders for the diamond. As with the previous costume, there are four small notches outside the borders of the diamond. Inside of the diamond is a solid black “S”, with a solid white background. Moving up to the cape, like the earlier costume, there are bulky leather strap cape attachments, with buckles to keep the cape in place. Moving further up to the neck, there is a novel collar added to the costume (this is a first in the design of a live action Superman costume).
Superman Costume #3 – Retro to the Max
On February 23, 2021, “Superman & Lois” premiered with a super surprise for its viewers. For the first couple of minutes into the TV show’s premiere, Tyler’s Superman was shown wearing the classic Max Fleischer Superman costume (from the 1940s Superman serials). Starting at the boots, we see a traditional design departing from the clunky spaceman style that was seen in the “Supergirl” series and in The CW’s “Elseworlds” and “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossovers. The color of the boots is a classic red. Moving up to the costume itself, a solid sky blue is used for the legs, torso, chest, and arms of the costume. However, this costume is the only one so far to incorporate the classic red trunks. Along with the trunks, there is a red belt with a gold or yellow oval belt buckle. On the chest is the inspired cartoon classic Max Fleisher Superman emblem – a yellow bordered diamond with a big red “S” with a black background. The red cape is now attached under the neckline of the costume in a classic style. The fabric cape looks to be made of a cloth material rather than the leather texture from previous costumes. Also, the length of the cape has been raised from the level of the heels to the level of the calves. The neckline, too, is higher than in the previous red and blue costume.
Superman Costume #4 – Another Upgrade
As Tyler’s Superman progressed through the remainder of the first and second season of “Superman & Lois,” he transitioned to a costume that vastly differed from the costume that he had worn on “Supergirl,” in the crossovers, and in the beginning of the “Superman & Lois” series. Like his Fleischer costume, the boots were of the traditional red boot design. Moving up, we see that the primary color of the costume is what can be described as a navy blue or royal blue shade. There are no red trunks, but, instead, a red belt. However, unlike the costume that Tyler had worn in the “Supergirl” series and crossovers, this belt has similarities to the belt that Superman wore in the Rebirth comic books. The contour of the belt has a bit of a “v” curvature to better form itself to Tyler’s waist, a solid red color is used for the belt strap with hints of yellow, and the belt buckle is a red diamond shape with a slight swirl of yellow within its center. Moving up to the “S” insignia, Superman’s logo is now smaller than on his previous costumes. The design of the insignia is the traditional one, but the red diamond with red “S” is of a burgundy color with a yellow background. Unlike his previous costumes, the insignia’s design appears to be part of the stitching of the fabric, rather than a separate pattern that was added on. [A side note about the insignia area: This costume was met with some criticism, due to the appearance of what seems to be a bit of added padded muscle to the chest.] Moving up to the collar, the neckline is higher than all of Tyler’s previous costumes at the base of the neck. As with his Fleischer costume, the red fabric cape appears to be tucked under his neckline.
Superman Costume #5 – How Bizarro
In season two of “Superman & Lois,” Tyler also played the role of his Superman’s counterpart, Bizarro, a being from a parallel universe. Bizarro Superman’s costume is basically the same design as Tyler’s first and second season costume, but with a few modifications. The colors of the entire costume, including the boots and belt, have been muted. The diamond crest is reversed, the colors of the diamond as well as the “S” are toned down, and the yellow background is a faded yellow. The cape is torn in multiple areas. In addition, Bizarro wears a pendant that belongs to his world’s Ally Allston in hopes of preventing her from acquiring it and ultimately becoming Parasite.
Superman Costume #6 – The Man of Tomorrow
The most recent version of Tyler Hoechlin’s Superman costume has some improvements over his previous ones. While the traditional colors of red and blue remain, the costume has less muscle padding, giving Tyler more of a natural muscle silhouette. The boots are relatively the same, but with an “M” formation in the front of the shins. The belt is now a solid red, and the belt buckle (which resembles Superman’s diamond crest) is entirely red. However, looking closely there is a lined tracing of Superman’s “S” insignia hidden within the red colored belt buckle. Moving up to the chest insignia, the design hasn’t changed much except for its size (slightly bigger). Also, instead of it being a rather two dimensional part of the fabric pattern, the insignia is now made of a separate textured material, giving it a 3D design that pops out of the costume. And finally we look at the collar. It is now lowered – not to the extent where it had been in the “Supergirl” series, rather, lowered to a traditional style for Superman. The cape is tucked in, and reaches as low as the back of the calves of the boots.
As we look forward to the fourth and final season of “Superman & Lois,” it is yet to be revealed whether Superman will continue using the same costume as seen in the show’s third season, go back to wearing a previous costume, or wear a new costume entirely. What fans can expect is that Superman will continue to be who he has always been in any costume – a hero who stands for hope and gives hope, and will continue do so for his final adventure.
Author: Michael Moreno