Just one last hurdle remains before I can declare the New New Justice League complete and ready to fight crime… or cause it, whichever the case may be. And that is the selection of an outfit and a catchphrase. To be fair, some of you have already done this, specifying that you want to fight in high-heels or erotic dress (wink, wink). However, the majority of us who have created characters still need to stress how we are going to appear in public and what they plan to say when busting up their enemies.
Keep in mind, the costume is absolutely key. It is the visual personification of your superhero ethos, your motivation and modus operandi encapsulated in a few feet of tight leather, spandex, or super-resistant high-tech fabric. So choose carefully, and keep in mind the following options:
- Mask – this is especially important since it hides your true identity. For some, its enough to simply remove their glasses and add a cowlick to their hair (who you fooling Superman?). For others, a full mask that not only covers but protects is key (Batman), and others still get by with a simple eye-covering addition. And let’s not forget the bad guys who turn masks into deadly and scary appendages (hello Bane!). Just make sure your opponents can actually hear you and understand what you’re saying.
- Cape – a classic when it comes to fighting crime or being a flamboyant villain. Sometimes, its even used as a a tool of weapon (you again, Batman). But even if its strictly decorative, its an important part of the ensemble, and can hold your logo or just carry your colors.
- Skin-tight suit – men and women enjoy this option! Composed of leather, indestructible fibers, or molded plastic, having a suit that fits your form and enhances all the right things (i.e. pecs, shoulders and boobs), the suit can be intimidating and distracting to the enemy. Just remember, sacrificing form to function only goes so far! Looking good is important, but not as important as being able to comfortably, run, jump, and kick ass!
- Armor – There’s no rule that says you can’t look good and afford ample protection. But for those who don’t want to be seen wandering in around in skin-tight skivvies, a suit of body armor is a safe and effective option. Not only that, but it can be shaped to enhance your natural physique and make criminals and your personal enemies think you’re a lot bulkier (or bucksome) than you actually are.
- Mits/Boots – you may not think so, but what you wear on your hands and feet can be just as important as what you have covering your face. For example, rough and tumble superheroes tend to wear armored gloves so they can bash in their enemies faces, while your crime-fighting lady superheroes of the past tended to wear arm-length gloves to give them that demure look. Much the same is true of feet apparel, with the men sporting heavy boots and the ladies using high-heeled shoes or something else completely impractical. In modern times, things have gotten a bit more sensible, with female superheros wearing more combat-friendly, sensible shoes and hand gear. Though some ladies (such as Catwoman) still seem to prefer high-heeled boots to flats because, let’s face it, they look kick-ass!
- Distinguishing Marks/Disfigurement – in some cases, the superhero/villain are themselves their costume! This is the case with the Hulk, the Toxic Avenger, and guys like the Joker. Beyond the occasional article of clothing (like Joker’s purple suit) there really is no costume. The makeup and the scars are what identify him. And in the case of the Hulk, transformation into a giant green beast is what identifies him. Oh, and speaking of beasts, there’s Beast! Like Mystique and Nightcrawler, the outfit is a permanent part of their person.
Catchphrase time! I can’t specify any rules or parameters here, since there really are none. The only thing that matters is that it be appropriate to your characters motivation and/or persona. Keep it short, sweet, and direct. Intimidation factor is a must, but then again, so is comedic value. And remember, you get bonus points for play-on-words and puns, provided they are clever! Go to town!