Seattle Superhero, Phoenix Jones (via BoingBoing)

Superheros are always a popular Halloween costumes with both kids and adults. I’m guessing there are more options than ever before. I know I’ve seen everything from the standard Batman and Spiderman to the Incredible Hulk and Mr. Incredible. Hmmm… that list seems awfully boy-centered, so let me mention Wonder Woman, Cat Woman, HarleeQuinn, Hit-Girl and the Powder-Puff Girls. Is it me, or do there seem to be more  female villainess’ than superheros?

Not all superheros are of the standard variety. Take Seattle’s Superhero, Phoenix Jones, who tries to fight crime in the real world, the sorta-heroes in Mystery Men, the characters from Heroes (essentially incognito heroes) and Hulu’s Misfits (whose costumes would be orange jumpsuits). I’ve never made a superhero costume, not for myself or anyone else, unless you count my character from the Mystery Men party we had years ago (and I was a super villainess). I guess I don’t have  the superhero mentality.

According to Merriam-Webster, the term “superhero” dates to 1917 but wasn’t popularized until Superman was introduced in 1938. In the 1930s and 40s those of the non-powered variety were “mystery men.” Now you know where the film got its name. Over at the ever excellent How to be a Retronaught, they have a good, but short, gallery of original 1960s and 70s superhero costumes for those of you inclined to the retro superhero image and looking for inspiration.

Batman (via How to be a Retronaught) - look closely at the belt buckle

Enjoy and, if you choose to wear one, wear your capes carefully. Remember Edna’s cautionary tales on the dangers of superheros, capes and large machinery / unnatural vortexes…

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