Super-hero accessories

When you're building a super-hero costume, it's very tempting to include bits and pieces just because they look cool, and not because they make any sense. Take, for instance, this outfit for Doctor Polaris from "Green Lantern #59":

Polaris knee pads

If your secret identity is as a carpet installer, you probably shouldn't incorporate your knee protectors into your costume. I'm just sayin'.

I also have to say a word about Green Lantern's pseudo-metallic gloves. What kind of metal is hard and shiny while still being able to stretch to accommodate the bending of a wrist? It's been a while since my college geology course, but I'm pretty sure metal isn't what you would call "stretchy". I used to think maybe GL's gloves (and mask and boots) were just poorly rendered, and weren't actually metal. But no, in this issue he deflects a quarrel with one, resulting in a "splang".

Yes, I know, it's super-hero stuff, it doesn't have to make sense. But every single time I see that particular GL uniform, I get brought up short, my brain wondering how in the heck those gloves actually work, and why that metal band connects the forearm piece with the hand piece. And where his nose goes under that mask. And why you would have all that metal protecting the front of your face instead of the back of your head where all of the, you know, valuable squishy bits of brain are. But then again, this particular GL was a comic book artist, so maybe he thought his eyes were more vital than his brains?

Then again, given the high-kneed design of GL's boots, maybe he and Doctor Polaris are going to give up the super-powered game and open a carpet-laying business together, secure in the knowledge that at least they won't have to deal with any OSHA violations for lack of protective knee-wear.

(Characters and images ©1995, DC Comics, Inc.)

6 Responses to Super-hero accessories

  1. Eric says:

    Doctor Polaris looks like a pilgrim with all those buckles.

    That is, if they are buckles…

  2. Jeff Hebert says:

    No kidding, Eric, I was brought up a bit short by whatever it is he has going on with that belt. If there had been a better view of it in the comic, I’d probably have raised the question of just what in the heck that buckle is attaching to as well. Creepy!

  3. Adrian says:

    Well, when he started out Kyle was rather immature, so it made sense for him to design a costume for himself that was “kewl” but not very reasonable. And the gloves are presumably made of Green Lantern energy so they don’t have to emulate the laws of physics of whatever they’re modeled on.

    Dr. Polaris, on the other hand, has no excuse for that costume. The torso looks like it belongs to a completely different costume from teh arms and legs.

  4. Fabien says:

    The earpieces of Dr Polaris are stylised magnet pieces. It make sense because it’s a recall of his powers.

  5. Jeff Hebert says:

    The headpiece I get, and kind of like. A bit impractical, but hey, sometimes you gotta go for the flashy stuff, right? It’s the kneecap holder-uppers and the weird place that belt’s going to that really throw me. And the gloves with the middle two fingers missing, what possible good does that do?

  6. john walter says:

    Sometimes if u love a character of what he does good then costumes and accessories doesn’t matter so in my opinion a super hero should be identified of his work rather than costumes