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How did capes get started?

Old 03-07-08, 08:02 AM
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How did capes get started?

So, you don't really see capes that much these days, but they certainly are a trademark characteristic when the average person thinks of a super hero. My question is: what was the point of the cape originally? Just for show? To help flying?

I just wonder what was going on in the minds some of the early super heroes that made them decide on adding a cape. Maybe they were embarassed about wearing their underwear on the outside.
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Old 03-07-08, 12:37 PM
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I have no clue, but I guess it was used as a shortcut by artists to create motion on the page. Or maybe they just thought it looked cool.
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Old 03-07-08, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by boredsilly
Or maybe they just thought it looked cool.
Capes on superheroes are cool.
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Old 03-07-08, 01:23 PM
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Batman without a cape would be a very different character.
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Old 03-07-08, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Chew
Batman without a cape would be a very different character.
Yeah, like an extra from Cruising....
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Old 03-07-08, 05:11 PM
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Comic Book hero costumes were often based on Circus performer outfits. The Capes, the tights, the males panties.
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Old 03-09-08, 06:19 PM
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Phantom of the Opera.
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Old 03-10-08, 12:07 PM
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I was always under the impression that when superhero comics first appeared the artists were really low paid, and the quality of the art didn't really matter. The reason for the "Tights" was that it's much easier to draw a nude figure than a clothed one I would imagine drawing a cape in front or behind a figure just made it even easier and faster for the artist to finish the piece.
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Old 03-11-08, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by dadaluholla
So, you don't really see capes that much these days, but they certainly are a trademark characteristic when the average person thinks of a super hero. My question is: what was the point of the cape originally? Just for show? To help flying?

I just wonder what was going on in the minds some of the early super heroes that made them decide on adding a cape. Maybe they were embarassed about wearing their underwear on the outside.


Capes would really not be a good idea if you're fighting a supervillian. It would get caught on thing and villians could grab hold of it when fighting you, etc. Remember what happened to the one hero in The Incredibles.

Although the same goes for the women superheroes in high heeled boots and tigh low cut tops with no bras underneath.
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Old 03-12-08, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by movieguru
Capes would really not be a good idea if you're fighting a supervillian. It would get caught on thing and villians could grab hold of it when fighting you, etc. Remember what happened to the one hero in The Incredibles.

Although the same goes for the women superheroes in high heeled boots and tigh low cut tops with no bras underneath.
They try to explain the latter with the whole "distraction" aspect, but that's generally tacked on way after it was used as a way to get teenaged boys to read comics...

Capes are probably just as impractical as wearing spandex, not carrying weapons, swinging from rooftops as a mode of transportation, and wearing masks that can easily obscure your vision, and other superhero conventions. Or for that matter, masks that at least partially reveal your face.
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Old 03-12-08, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by fujishig
They try to explain the latter with the whole "distraction" aspect, but that's generally tacked on way after it was used as a way to get teenaged boys to read comics...

Capes are probably just as impractical as wearing spandex, not carrying weapons, swinging from rooftops as a mode of transportation, and wearing masks that can easily obscure your vision, and other superhero conventions. Or for that matter, masks that at least partially reveal your face.
Or riding Motorcycles. I always cringe when thinking of Batman riding with a long cape.

But still, since he has no powers a lot of Bat's costume can be rewritten to makes sense. For instance, I remember reading that Batman wears the Bat symbol on his chest to draw gunfire towards his chest armor. But then again, I've also read that most of his costume is "bullet resistant" thanks to kevlar anyway.

Either way, he still needs to lose the Man panties. That's one thing I always appreciated in Bat costume designs for the films. Hell, even Bat-nipples look cooler than Bat-panties.

...and don't get me started on the original Robin costume design. The current Robin costume is awesome.
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Old 03-13-08, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Giantrobo
Or riding Motorcycles. I always cringe when thinking of Batman riding with a long cape.

But still, since he has no powers a lot of Bat's costume can be rewritten to makes sense. For instance, I remember reading that Batman wears the Bat symbol on his chest to draw gunfire towards his chest armor. But then again, I've also read that most of his costume is "bullet resistant" thanks to kevlar anyway.

Either way, he still needs to lose the Man panties. That's one thing I always appreciated in Bat costume designs for the films. Hell, even Bat-nipples look cooler than Bat-panties.

...and don't get me started on the original Robin costume design. The current Robin costume is awesome.
Did Miller use that whole "yellow bat symbol to draw fire" thing first in Dark Knight Returns, or was that established before? Either way, you'd think kevlar or whatever would restrict his movement and still incapacitate him after a few shots.

The new mostly red Robin design hasn't really grown on me, though I've only really seen it in Teen Titans. I guess the original costume design with the pixy feet would've also served as a... distraction... for certain kinds of foes.
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