The world got its first look at Henry Cavill as Superman today, thanks to a new image released by Warner Bros.
Our first peek at the Man of Steel as he'll appear in Zack Snyder's upcoming reboot is a nice one, with lots of information for mainstream and hardcore fans alike to absorb, discuss, and debate. The new costume offers up more than a few departures from recent incarnations of the DC Comics character, but also features a nice mash-up of nods to the Man of Steel's visual history.
After studying the photo for a while, here are the first five things that caught my eye about the new Superman...
As with every incarnation of Superman's costume, the iconic symbol on his chest is likely to garner the most attention — and rightly so, as it's gone through a lot of changes over the years in comics, film, and television. In the new Man of Steel image, the “S” shield appears to be significantly larger than it was in Superman Returns, and raised higher on the chest of the costume. This would seem to fall in line with the recent redesign of the character in the comics world, which also involved enlarging the shield and moving it closer to Superman's neckline. The new costume also continues the trend of having a raised shield rather than a symbol in the fabric of the costume, which was one of the major changes made to Superman's suit in the last film.
Maybe I'm mistaken, but I don't see anything resembling a spit-curl on this incarnation of Superman. While this wouldn't be the first time Superman has gone sans-curl (neither George Reeves nor Dean Cain sported the familiar curl), some recent photos from the set of the film that surfaced online would seem to indicate that Snyder and the Man of Steel creative team are flipping the script on us, and Clark Kent is the one with the spit-curl. Could this be yet another way the reboot is redefining the character's big-screen style?
Sure, it's just a cape — but it's Superman's cape, and that means we're allowed to obsess over it. In this case, there are a few items of note we can ponder in the new image. First off, the new suit's cape appears to favor the more modern, floor-length style that developed later in the character's history. There also seems to be a lot more of it than we've seen in previous films. The cape worn by Brandon Routh in Superman Returns was long, but almost felt like an afterthought due to how little fabric there was in it. In some of the more modern Superman comics — especially during the late '90s and early 2000s — the cape took on a more regal look, and billowed around the Man of Steel like it does in this new photo. One question this photo doesn't answer, though, is whether the cape will feature its own “S” logo as it did in many of the comics and television versions of the costume.
The Trunks (or lack thereof)
In DC's most recent redesign of Superman's costume in the comics (see below), one of the big conversation points was the removal of the character's trademark red trunks. While we don't get a clear look at that area of the Man of Steel in the new movie image, there doesn't appear to be any trace of trunks (though a future image could prove otherwise). Could this be part of DC and parent company Warner Bros.' efforts to bring the comic book and movie universes in line?
The Mesh Effect
Remember when everyone was buzzing about the mesh-like fabric of Spider-Man's costume when it was first revealed for the 2002 film? It looks like Warner Bros. has taken a page from Sony's playbook when it comes to the design of Cavill's redesigned Superman costume. In another departure from the norm, the new suit diverges from the standard spandex-style uniform for the Man of Steel, and dons something that looks,well... a little more alien. Given what we know of Snyder's plans for the film, that's probably appropriate, but it's still a bold move considering the character's nostalgia-friendly fanbase and long history.
Other Questions That Bother Me So...
I know I've seen that pose echoed in a number of splash pages from Superman comics. Can you track any of them down, Superman fans? Also, how many times have we seen Superman juxtaposed against a busted bank vault? It feels like a lot, but it's still a pretty impressive shot every time.
Let me know what you think (and send me some examples of similar poses and bank-vault images) in the comment section.