First Commandment of Costuming

The First Commandment of Super Hero Costuming has been violated by one of the characters in this classic Marvel cover, see if you can spot it:

That's right, the Invisible Woman is wearing white after Easter. For shame.

Of course I am actually talking about "The Asbestos Man", who breaks the First Commandment of "Thou Shalt Not Make Thy Costume From Materials Which Will Kill Thee". Also the slightly less well-known Twelfth Commandment of "Thy Mask Shalt Not Look Like Thou Hast Been Smited By a Sledgehammer" and the Eighty-Sixth "Thou Shalt Not Grab Thy Crotch In Combat Even If It Is Hidden By a Shield".

See how many other violations you can spot!

(Image and characters © Marvel Entertainment Group.)

16 Responses to First Commandment of Costuming

  1. Well, in all fairness; how old is this comic? It’s possible the asbestos man came around before they realized that asbestos causes cancer. On the other hand; I believe they do still use actual asbestos suits in filmmaking when they set someone on fire for stunts. However, that desn’t excuse the use of wielding a metal shield (look, it has rivets) while facing a heat-generating foe.

  2. By the way, may we also comment on the fact that the Human Torch is wearing ribbed longjohns all over his body? I mean, couldn’t the artists have done a better job showing “this guy is FLAMING”, than by putting him in thermal underwear?

  3. Yes, clearly this was before they knew how bad asbestos can be for you, but I never let logic, anachronism concerns, or fair play get in the way of a good joke.

    Possibly my favorite part of his outfit is the giant net. Because nothing inspires terror like “Rabid Butterfly Collector”.

    I never quite understood the “ribbed longjohns” look they had for the Torch. Granted, it’s really hard to draw good fire using pen and ink, and you have to do something in the rapid-paced world of comic book production that doesn’t take too long, but it never made a lot of sense to me. But I guess it’s one of those visual shortcuts that we all just sort of came to accept over time without thinking about it too much.

    I will note that the original WWII era Torch (the android) was just a human-shaped set of flames without a set of visible panty lines. I always thought he was kind of neat.

  4. Torch’s lines do sort of remind one of drawing underwear on the natives in National Geographic.

    I think Asbestos Man should come back. With a lawsuit against the FF for giving him cancer. Because, obviously, he never would have had to wear asbestos if they hadn’t fought him. Throw in a young daughter that will soon be without her father, and penniless to boot if the lawsuit doesn’t produce….it’s exactly the sort of petty, ridiculous arguement that Reed angsts over and takes to heart, when he’s depicted as having a heart.

  5. Not to bring science into this whole thing, but wouldn’t Johnny still be able to cook the guy? I mean, a certain amount of heat is going to get through Asbestos Man’s carcinogenic costume, right? Or else maybe he’ll drown in sweat inside his gas mask.

    Also: ‘smitten’, Jeff.

  6. Asbestos Man pretty much renders himself a one trick pony. He’s not a brilliant planner given that his clear target is the Human Torch … part of the Fantastic *Four* and that leaves him three others including Ben Grimm to deal with.

    I’m pretty sure rock beats both scissors and moron in an asbestos suit.

  7. Kingmonkey, I know, but “Smited” was funnier.

  8. I seem to remember “Thou Shalt Not Wear Purple” as a commandment, but I can’t recall which one that is.

  9. I think these are going to be like the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition, constantly added to and not really understood in their totality. Largely because I am making them up as I go and not keeping track.

  10. Man, who sponsored this issue? R.J. Reynolds?

  11. Me, Myself & I

    It just goes to show how the audiences standards and expectations have changed.

  12. Number two hundred ten, ” Thou shall not have a fin on thy head unless it is needed to steer ye in flight.”

  13. So how exactly is that net going to do anything? Is it covered in asbestos too? Because if it’s just a regular net, it’ll just burn up when it touches him…

  14. Surprisingly, the Asbestos Man died of Asbestos Cancer.

    To this day, nobody has the faintest idea why.

  15. spidercow2010

    No, look, you guys, the Asbestos man was just that: he was made of asbestos. He’d been bitten by radioactive 1950s insulation. The purple suit was to protect OTHERS from his carcinogenic miasma. And the fin on his head was a heat sink.
    The amazing part of this picture? 12 cent comics.

  16. William A. Peterson

    Wearing purple is one of thing, but wearing Purple AND Green in the same outfit? Even I know better than that!
    (Too bad the purple isn’t plaid, and the green done in Checks…)