July 5, 2016: History of Superman’s Red Briefs

DC Fan Caped-Joel has posted a video on the history behind Superman’s red trunks.

Tell your friends
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
MattComics
Member

Trunks. “briefs” or “underwear” or “speedos” is just troll feed.

jer2
Member

Troll Food, no doubt – Interesting how they replaced “red trunks” and “red boots” with “blue trunks” and “blue boots” (making the look even more long johns) and that (this) is acceptable to DC?

The Logic is indeed very fuzzy here…

Kel
Member
Exactly! Blue footie pajamas/onesie with floating belt buckle is okay, a man in a blue bodysuit with a cape and an “S” on his chest is okay, but god forbid he have the color red on the “trunks area” of his pants, that makes it “unrealistic” and “silly”! It took “innovative genius auteurs” like Snyder and Didio to “fix” the “mistake” of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, thank you for “fixing” Superman, guys! We are not worthy! (sarcasm) Like I said, I don’t they’re concerned so much with what looks good (clearly), but are more preoccupied with “how much can… Read more »
Kel
Member

** Should read:

” I don’t think they’re concerned so much with what looks good (clearly), but are more preoccupied with ‘how much can we get it to not look like ‘Superman’ and still get away with it?’.”

Kel
Member
GREAT video! Very well done, agree with all the points! Here’s another one I strongly recommend checking out that goes into a little more detail, talks about color balance, as well as the subconscious association with core strength, and how without the red trunks the character tends to look too top heavy: https://youtu.be/UwK2EFO0Z6U This part in your video cracked me up: “Timeless union that has been lost” as camera pans to shot of Lois and Superman kissing, that was hilarious. That said, I believe they’re officially called trunks. If nothing else, I know John Byrne agrees with me. And they… Read more »
Kal-Ed
Member

Though the trunks/briefs/underwear/shorts/tightie reddies/overwears are a big part of Superman’s history, I’m one of many probably that accept the change to the costume. As long as he remains Superman, I’m ok with what he wears and it stays blue with a red S shield.

jer2
Member
Kal-Ed Not picking on you but… by you own logic …what if they took away the blue and red along with the shield – it sounds like, you would NOT be okay with that now, would you? The belted trunks simply ARE a major part of the overall Superman costume look, along with the boots and cape etc… The whole “lack of trunks” is predicated on a very ignorant and juvenile idea level – as some who cite their so called “modern day” fashion sense as their support system for the lack of trunks…While others, just tow the party line… Read more »
Kal-Ed
Member

When and if that day comes, then we can all sit down and talk about it. If the trunks return, well and good. But it won’t make my life neither positive nor negative.
Point taken though.

Kel
Member

Right on, Jer!

Kel
Member

It’s not Superman without the red trunks (it’s Clark Kent in some other costume/identity). The proper suit needs to come back. Nothing wrong with Superman looking as his creators intended.

#RedTrunks4Life
#BringTheRealSupermanSuitBack
#SaveDC

:D

Steve Wright
Editor
With all due respect, but this is a ridiculous comment. So, no matter if everything else is 100% perfect with the character. A complete Superman, Golden Age, Silver Age, Byrnes era…whatever…Take away his undewear and he’s not Superman? I’m sorry, but if you truly believe that then you aren’t a Superman fan. Only a fan of his outfit. I prefer the trunks. It’s what I grew up on. It’s what I am used to more often than not, but if I recognize Superman, THE CHARACTER, I don’t care what he wears. I get your love of the classic costume, I… Read more »
Kel
Member
With all due respect, but this is a ridiculous comment. ….I can’t respect that mentality It’s rather pointless to begin by saying “with all due respect”, and then include that you “can’t respect my mentality” later in the same comment. Now I’m just confused. So, no matter if everything else is 100% perfect with the character. A complete Superman, Golden Age, Silver Age, Byrnes era…whatever…Take away his undewear and he’s not Superman? Well first of all it’s not a “complete” Superman without the red trunks. Secondly, that is correct. Take away the red trunks (not “UNDERwear”, underwear go UNDER the… Read more »
JasEl
Member

For all of those complaining about the underoos,The reason that they stopped using them has nothing to do with modernization or making it edgy or any other nonsense like that. The reason they got rid of them is that the Shuster estate won the lawsuit to the rights of the original incarnation of the character(i.e the cover of Action Comics #1). So you will NEVER get them again. That being said, I Don’t mind that they are gone, he looks fine without them, but I would prefer red boots and an actual belt that goes all the way across.

Kal-Ed
Member

Well said and explained. Thank you

Kel
Member
That’s total bullcrap because DC STILL publishes current books with Superman in the red trunks, and as recent as a year or so ago even sued an advertising company for using a mascot of a hero character with a blue shirt and pants with RED TRUNKS, a red cape, and red boots. Superman: American Alien has the red trunks on Superman. Dark Knight Returns 3 has the red trunks on Superman. Neal Adams’ The Coming Of The Superman has the red trunks on Superman. And even the introductory issue to Superman: Rebirth features the red trunks on Superman. Besides, the… Read more »
JasEl
Member
2010 lawsuit the family of Joe Shuster sued DC comics and won you can look it up. Further research into this shows that in appeals court in 2014 overturned that ruling reverting the rights back to DC. As far as the rest of your comment, Capes are not solely a Superman costume trait and the “classic” cape with the yellow “S” shield wasn’t cannon for years after, His “S” shield is completely different than the first issue, the first several incarnations of that symbol, in fact.It was drawn a different way almost every issue for the first few years. Boots… Read more »
jer2
Member

With….The Whole being greater than the Sum of the Parts:

What you are mainly describing here are “works in progress” tinkering going on but the overall basic design blue/red – blue/red of;
RED: Cape/Boots/Trunks and BLUE: Shirt/Pants.

The S was morphed from a simple shield to a symbol and one can argue it was a symbol all along….

Kel
Member

Exactly!

Kel
Member
“ 2010 lawsuit the family of Joe Shuster sued DC comics and won you can look it up. Further research into this shows that in appeals court in 2014 overturned that ruling reverting the rights back to DC. ” Regardless of what happened with the lawsuit, DC/WB is still allowed to publish material that features Superman in his *real* costume, and have done so since and during 2010. The costume changes have nothing to do with it. As far as the rest of your comment, Capes are not solely a Superman costume trait Neither are trunks, belts, or boots…(by themselves)…… Read more »
MattComics
Member
There are ways to design the outfit without the trunks that can look good but even those are usually ones that hue closer to the classic outfit rather than a radical departure loaded with high collars, gobs of seams,excessive darkening or de-saturation, armor plates or a t-shirt. Even so, IMO the level to which the classic costume is “out-dated” or whatever has been blown totally out of proportion to the point where it’s become just another aspect of what DC itself and even some fans do which is to blame the character and his costume for any sales woes instead… Read more »
JPHarrah
Member
If the boots in this new costume design were red… And they added a little yellow in that belt line design like downt he center and in the middle of the red.. The new costume would look really good…. Not quite sure as to why they didn’t go with the “man of steel” movie version of the suit….. For the most part it was well recieved and this suit is basically just like it other then the belt line and the boots… Hopefully sometime in the next year or so they will make those adjustments Although I saw nothing wrong… Read more »
Steve Wright
Editor

When you watch the behind the scenes on the BvS DVD, the suit in real life is GORGEOUS!!! It’s much brighter and more striking. In this case the color correction for the movie really does it a disservice. Wonder Woman’s looks great as well. I’m hoping that with the new lighter tone to the story moving forward that they don’t de-saturate the colors as much and really allow the natural look of the suit to come through.

Kel
Member

I disagree, while I think the colors look better on it and more “Superman” like, the suit itself looks much worse and plastic and fake. The fake plastic muscles on it are almost Schumacher-level bad, and the suit looks even worse without the red trunks in the behind the scenes footage/images than it does in the actual film.

Kal-Ed
Member

In other words, some like it…some Don’t. Like…AT all. I’m ok with it. And to each his own.

Kal L
Member

Interesting video…

I’m one of those fans that loves the iconic look, and the wholeheartedly believes that the iconic look doesn’t need an upgrade, nor is it “dated and silly”, but I can live with the trunk-less look… Simply because the iconic/classic look WILL return one day… This whole “no trunks” rule is just a phase/trend… in time everything will return… Creators and fans alike will want it to…

Steve Wright
Editor
I love the iconic look as well, but I don’t define him by his look. I define him by who he is and what he represents. I would love to see the old look updated and brought to life, but I have no problem with the current costume. Especially the BvS suit which is gorgeous in natural light. I actually think we will be getting an updated look for Justice League. When they gave their set visit of the costumes they very noticeably kept Superman’s hidden. No reason to do this if he is coming back wearing the same outfit.… Read more »
Kal L
Member

I agree that there is a reason they are keeping the costume hidden. maybe they will do a black suit similar to that from the return of Superman story line from the comics.
I hope they do update the suit, very doubtful he will have trunks though. maybe a red and yellow belt, similar to the New 52 Earth 2 Superman did in the early issues. I think it solves the problem that most have with the new look. And it’s close enough to the trunks that you wont miss them so much…

wpDiscuz