You don't pull on Superman's boots

>> Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Facebook friends may be aware that the other night I commented on a realization that shattered my fragile sanity. To wit:

I just noticed something for the first time in forty years. Superman wears his uniform under his Clark Kent clothes, right? We all know that. INCLUDING HIS BOOTS. That's the part I never noticed before. HOW THE FUCK DOES HE WEAR HIS BOOTS UNDERNEATH HIS LOAFERS? Or does he just carry them around somewhere, WHICH SOMEHOW MAKES EVEN LESS SENSE. What the fuck? Solar-powered humanoid super-alien who can fly and shoot heat rays out of his eyes? Okay, you haven't lost me. I can roll with that. WHERE THE FUCK DOES HE KEEP HIS BOOTS WHEN HE'S DRESSED LIKE CLARK KENT? Suddenly, all suspension of disbelief is lost.

This is totally going to keep me awake all night from now on.

This provoked a surprising amount of discussion. A surprisingly common theme was that several people didn't really have a big problem with the boots, but they did want to know what the hell he does with his cape when he isn't wearing it. James came up with this:

...maybe he rolls it up and wraps it around his waist and gives himself a belly? "No, Clark can't be Superman. Clark had a beer gut, and a very wrinkly one at that."

The only thing wrong with this solution, actually, is that it fills me with a sort of regret or bitterness at the thought of seven decades of missed opportunity: of course this has to be it, doesn't it? Clark Kent ought to be a paunchy guy who uses a fake belly to (a) carry his cape and boots and (b) further disguise his identity. This would have been perfect. One of the biggest plotholes in Superman's long run has been the fact that Clark Kent looks like Superman wearing glasses; if he was a fat dude, nobody would make that mistake. And it solves that old cape problem.

What got me onto this was that I was watching some of the old Fleischer Superman cartoons the other night. They're beautiful pieces of animation, especially the first several in the series, just gorgeous stuff. I covered a lot of this in a post three years ago, so I'm not going to belabor the point. But, anyway, I noticed the boots. Those big, heavy, red boots. They're not socks, they're not floopy or foldable: they are big-ass shitstompers, is what they are, and there's no way they fit under Clark Kent's loafers like socks. I can sort of see how most of the rest of the skintight Superman underwear might fit beneath the suit like long underwear (d'ya think Superman is a space-Mormon, like everybody on the original Battlestar Galactica?), but those clodhoppers?

This is the first and in many ways the best of the Fleischer Supermans, presented mostly for your enjoyment and also so you can get a good look at Superman's boots:

Of course, you may have noticed the cape and boots thing isn't much of a problem in this one: Clark goes into a stockroom to change, so maybe he has some or all of his Superman duds stowed away in there behind the staples or something. Granted, it might be a little awkward if someone went in there looking for paperclips and stumbled onto the costume, but at least Clark could point the finger at a coworker or maybe tell Lois she needs to start searching the skies for a naked Superman.

Speaking of which, Naked Superman is another awesome concept DC Comics has been missing out on for seven decades. Okay, maybe not. But it's not as bad an idea as you might think: I mean, Marvel Comics has lots of naked and semi-naked superheroes; The Silver Surfer, I'm pretty sure, is naked, and The Incredible Hulk is almost naked; and, actually, tons and tons of superheroines from lots of different comics publishers might as well be naked--in fact, I have to imagine that some of those superheroines would be more comfortable if they just shed the criss-cross spaghetti straps, thongs and thigh-high boots and flew around in a pair of comfy cotton panties and a sports bra, but I guess that's not really the point of a superheroine's quasi-fetish-wear.

Which mentally segues, I'm afraid, into asking the question, "What if male superhumans in comic books had to wear costumes similar to what the female characters end up wearing?" And the answer of course, is Superman dressed as Sean Connery in Zardoz:

Oh dear. I'm sorry, I really didn't need to see that again.

By the way, I've never actually seen Zardoz. Heard a lot about it, yes, and I've seen... that. And I have to assume or at least hope that there's some reason Sean Connery's costume makes sense within the context of the movie. He isn't, in other words, playing James Bond in that picture, though I'll concede that would be kind of awesome. Goldfinger would have been really uncomfortable spread-eagling James Bond on a laser table if Bond had been wearing that outfit, let's just put it that way. Most evil geniuses would have, really. "Do you expect me to talk?" "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to put on a pair of pants and a shirt, for God's sake."

Hrm. What was this post about again? Ah, yes: Superman's boots. Would not fit under Clark Kent's shoes. Just thought I'd point that out.


Megan Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 9:08:00 PM EST  

I like the fake-belly idea. Hey, it worked for She Who Must Not Be Named!


timb111 Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 9:41:00 PM EST  

"I have to assume or at least hope that there's some reason Sean Connery's costume makes sense within the context of the movie". Nope.

Micky-T Wednesday, December 14, 2011 at 8:26:00 AM EST  

Transforming loafers. Just because we mere mortals only found out about transformers later, don't think for a minute that Krypton hadn't developed them yet.

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