Why is it as soon as a human gets a super power, they throw on some skin tight clothes with a logo on their chest? One of the main struggles for a lot of characters is that of blending in with a crowd. For the most part they avoid standing out or making a display of themselves. Unfortunately costumes and blending in to average every-day society just don’t mix.
If you had a super power, would you wear spandex? I really doubt it.
Then again, what’s Spidey without his colorful costume, or Batman without the cape? They wouldn’t be as memorable no doubt.
Where did the idea of having a muscle bound savior with a costume come in to play though, and why did it become the norm? Superman was the definitive super hero of course. In recent times his costume is explained away as being somewhat traditional garb from his home planet. Batman’s costume was supposed to induce fear in to the heart of criminals. All the other characters out there most likely have excuses for their costumes, but I believe it all boils down to a psychological response, and an artful way of identifying a character. The grittier, more human characters usual wear street clothes, however if a giant freak comes flying at you it’s easy to identify him as a super hero or villain.
Should I just take this stuff with a grain of salt and write it off as a fun way of passing the time? Sure, and I usually do, but lately it has struck me as odd. I for one know that if a giant brute walked up to me dressed in spandex, I would automatically assume he was passing out advertisements for a fast food company or had just escaped from a mental institution.