Geraffo, Monica: "No tights, no flights. Constructing the wardrobe of television superheroes." In: Film, Fashion & Consumption 10.1 (2021), S. 233–250.
Added by: joachim (2021-10-07 16:13) Last edited by: joachim (2021-10-07 16:17)
|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Geraffo2021
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Keywords: "Green Arrow", "Runaways", Adaptation, Superhero, TV, USA
Collection: Film, Fashion & Consumption
Superheroes have always been defined by their dual lives, but analysis of the ways dress has informed characterization is often limited to just their superhero costumes, despite qualitative evidence that comic book heroes are depicted in civilian clothes at least half as often. Contemporary depictions of superheroes on television spend an even greater percentage of time dressed in civilian garments. This article combines both adaptation studies and industry studies approaches to discuss the overlooked influence of civilian clothing in conceiving the television superhero ‐ examining both comic book source materials and the process of costume design through the intrinsic constraints of industry television production. Through case studies into the DC comics Arrowverse, a series of interconnected programmes aired on the CW Network, and Marvel’s Runaways, the Hulu adaptation about teenage superheroes without costumes, as well as interviews with costume designers and actors, this article recognizes strong visual similarities across programmes between pseudo-character archetypes, and presents a de facto formula for analysing civilian superhero costume design. The resulting narrative reveals a struggle within superhero civilian costume design: finding the balance between serving semiotics or characterization, and building a sense of realism and individual choice within costuming choices from within hegemonic structures.
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