Tights? Leather? Capes? I don’t think that cuts it anymore.
What I wanted to focus on is the aspect of costumes. For the most part with heroes today, you have seen a change in most where they have moved away from all their tights and on to somewhat of a more modern look. I mean we have all seen what most heroes we know looked like when they were first created, not exactly appealing to this generation. Tights, leather, capes, just don’t cut it for a proper costume or uniform.
Just about every hero starting out probably wore their underwear outside their pants. Sure some of us question how most heroes got away with it up to today, but back then that is the way kids would even dress up when they mimicked heroes. You could even argue that their first appearances made them look more heroic, yet for this generation it would turn off most readers. We are at that point where nothing is that simple anymore, there is no one piece, two piece, or much of anything that looks like a swim suit. When you look at many heroes today they have taken on a modernized look, something that is less uniform and more casual. When you sell a hero to readers now days everything has to make sense, including the costume. If you notice, female heroes have been getting the treatment they deserve in which many are fitted in more appropriate costumes that look comfortable yet maintain their traditional looks.
When the New 52 came around, almost every DC character went through huge changes to their appearances. Whether they wore more armor, lost the underwear, dressed more properly, or ditched the capes, it was all to change their appeal and approach to these characters. For many, like I said, their costumes were modified to make more sense. Superman and Batman now were armor to make Superman look more Kryptonian and Batman look as “prepared” as they write him to be. Wonder Woman even looks more so like an actual warrior now as opposed to her previous costumes.
Many Marvel characters have ditched the traditional hero costumes as of recently. The list can go on, but seeing how Marvel tends to reflect our world more, they have been outfitted to fit into society. Very rare to even see any with capes unless it’s something that really sets them apart from other characters. With the initiation of Marvel NOW!, Marvel took advantage of this as well to make some changes to certain heroes to make their costumes make sense as well. Captain America looking more like a soldier and wearing a thicker armored costume, Hawkeye changing to something that makes him fit the role of an agent better. Thor has been modified to look more like a warrior instead of a hero too. Many X-Men females now wear full body suits that overall look more appropriate for this generation and the book they star in.
Now am I saying that what they wore before was awful or bad? Not at all, that is them at the beginning and something you can’t overwrite. But in this generation and those to come, you see how they have become modernized. To increase appeal, create sense out of them, make them appropriate, and most importantly show progression in their stories. It’s for the best and hopefully those that haven’t been changed in such a way get that treatment in time.