Unbuttoning the Mystery: Superman’s Shirts

superman shirt rip

Few superheroes are as iconic as Superman; few superheroes can even be mentioned in the same breath. And nothing in the Superman mythos is probably as iconic as Clark Kent ripping open his shirt to reveal the “S” shield logo. The shirt rip has been depicted in one way or another in just about every form of media. It’s a powerful, heroic pose, and that's probably why it's the first thing they teach every Chippendales dancer. I don’t think anything represents the transition from mild-mannered reporter to all-powerful demi-god better. Plus, it’s just a cool visual.

However, there’s one little hitch: buttons don’t unbutton when you pull open your shirt, they catch and pop off. Especially when the person doing the pulling has super human strength and almost zero gauge of how much pressure it takes to break a strand of thread. Meaning every time Superman is off to the rescue, he’s also just ruined one of his nice work shirts. Now, maybe, he uses snaps, but snaps are very easily unsnapped, which doesn’t go well with keeping ones secret identity. You don't want to show up at a meeting with your "S" showing. Of course, maybe, he just collects all these buttons later, and spends his free time sewing and mending in the Fortress of Solitude.

Although, he still has to do something with his street clothes regardless of the button issue. During a disaster is there a trail of clothing leading from Clark’s desk? Does Perry White say, “Great Caesar’s Ghost, Clark’s a streakin’ again!” According to the comics, Clark folds his clothes using Superman’s super origami abilities then compresses them down and slips them into a little pouch in his cape. Which is fine. But, okay, he doesn’t lose his suits but what about his dry cleaning bill? There’s only so much that wrinkle resistance can do. Can a combination of heat vision and arctic breath be used to replace dry cleaning? However, this doesn’t explain his shoes. Perhaps, being nigh invulnerable he swallows his shoes and glasses into his safe-like Kryptonian stomach, and passes them out at a more convenient time. However, I’ve never seen Superman crap out a shoe after being punched by Doomsday.

Superman Farts Shoe
Yes, Superman just sharted a shoe.

Other heroes have different methods: Peter Parker just webs his street clothes someplace out of the way or makes a handy dandy spidey backpack. The Flash keeps his costume in his watch (which makes more sense than it sounds). Because it’s a special watch and a special costume (okay, not that much sense), but this doesn’t explain what he does with his current outfit. Does he just put his costume on over it or does he stash them someplace, too? Green Lantern’s costume is made of will power, so theoretical they’re naked when they lose their will (which is convenient for anyone picking up a Green Lantern at your local super powered watering hole). Iron Man’s suit transforms into a brief case that he carries around, made of metal and the same exact red and yellow color scheme as Iron Man. Very inconspicuous. And Batman puts his bat-pants on one bat-leg at a bat-time.

Sometimes Superman is depicted as spinning around and around and eventually ends up in his costume. I assume the cyclonic force actually disintegrates his suit, but leaves his indestructible Superman outfit unharmed underneath. Which brings us to the question of what is Clark Kent’s clothing bill? Between disintegration and missing buttons, he's ruining a lot of nice Oxford shirts. It should be pretty easy to figure out how many button down shirts Superman has gone through during the course of a year. We can go about this two ways: by the number of comic book issues or by years.

How much Does Superman Spend on Shirts?

First, let’s break down the issues. So, there have been over 900 Action Comics starring Superman since 1938, and over 700 Superman comics. Including mini-series and shorter runs like Man of Steel, all told there’s over 1900 hundred Superman titles in circulation, and that doesn’t count Superboy, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, or Justice League comics. Let’s suppose that Superman goes through .8 shirts per issue (because sometimes he’s already in costume or finds a different way to change), which means Superman has destroyed roughly 1520 shirts over the years. Dress shirts can cost anywhere between $20 - $80, and can cost the Lex Luthors of the world $500 plus depending on the brand (which is probably a little pricey for a beat reporter). For arguments, let’s say he spends on average $50 for shirts. This means Clark Kent has spent $76000 on button down shirts.

Or we can take it from a timeline point of view, DC keeps it’s universe at around 10 years old. So, ever few years they crank back the speedometer, and say that Clark Kent is around 35-years-old and has been active as Superman for 10 years. So, if we use the same formula and say Clark goes through .8 shirts a day then in 10 years Clark would have ripped open 2920 shirts and paid $146000 for them, or that’s $14600 a year on shirts. If the average reporter makes $45000 a year, Clark Kent spends a third of his income on shirts. The other two thirds, of course, spent on patching man-shaped holes in various walls throughout Metropolis.

It’s not cheap being Superman… or a Chippendales dancer.

I Point & Smirk My Way Through C2E2

Not many people appreciated the fine art of the point and smirk. Mrs. Gnards thinks I'm making fun of people and that not everyone wants to be pointed at like Nelson Muntz, but that's not the point at all (the point to the point). It's a smirk of endearment.

Point & Smirk – Point index finger at thing or person that represents awesomeness (gun motion and cocked thumb is optional), smirk with one side of your mouth higher than the other in a slantwise direction (which side is pointers preference). What it means is that this is something you're seeing and maybe it's awesome or maybe it's not awesome to anyone else, but it IS awesome because you're actually seeing it. It's the facial equivalent to "Brooks was Here." It's like a "you had to be there" inside joke.

c2e2

I went to C2E2 (Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo) again this year. You can tell they're growing because this year I had to jump through various hoops to get a press pass. The asked me tough, hard hitting questions like who I was and why do people like me? Which I had a very difficult time answering the second half. Getting this pass was very touch and go.

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Under the Goon: Was Sloth Made or Born?

Baby Sloth

I think often of Sloth Fratelli and wonder what happened? What happened the first night he stayed with Chunk’s family for instance: did he murder everyone right away or wait until the morning? It’s your roommate is a third Menendez brother, but it’s okay because he’s slow witted and lifted a rock for this one time. You can’t judge Sloth by his family, but still I do think about just what happened to make Sloth… well… Sloth.

Sloth from The Goonies is the classic nature vs. nurture debate. Did he get chained up because of bad behavior or did being chained up cause his bad behavior? And what did he do so wrong to warrant being chained up? The only things we know that Sloth was punished for were breaking his chains (a natural reaction to being chained up) and for sitting too close to the TV (a TV that he’s chained next to and had little control in regards to distance to). He was pretty much punished for being punished.

Sloth was not born Sloth, but was created through negligence. He wasn’t even born particularly ugly, but was molded into the Baby Ruth eating monster we know and love. The Fratellis abused him both mentally and physically, which transformed him into a lovable pinhead.

How Sloth Became a Monster

  1. Raised in basement
  2. Left at zoo (possibly raised by wolves or gorillas)
  3. Dropped on head several times as an infant
  4. Didn’t get teeth fixed (Money spent on Francis’s toupee)

His head shape and teeth were simply from untreated bumps and bruises. His constantly shouting was just over compensating for echoes caused by living in a dungeon and an overly loud TV. Is it possible to see the man beneath the Sloth (no, not sexy beast that is John Matuszak, the actor who played Sloth)? What would Sloth have looked like if he were treated with the same tender loving care as Ma Fratelli’s precious Francis?

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Don't Feed the Monster

Analyzing the Bad Eating Habits of Popular Monsters

If movies have taught us anything, it’s not love or music or beauty that soothes the savage beast, but junk food, and mostly sweet, sweet candy. It seems like just about any monster can be tamed with as little as a bar of chocolate. But what is it about candy? Do monsters have low blood sugar? Which could make sense with Frankenstein type monsters or zombies who no longer produce blood (however, they seem to have heartier tastes). Or is it something about the artificial nature of cinematic terror combined with artificial fruit flavors and preservatives?

I've talked before about the heroes who love to eat, but monsters just seem to have junk food on their minds. Just look at how many different monsters, aliens, and supernatural beings have sweet teeth across so many different horror and science fiction genres. Everything from ghosts to circus freaks, but I think there are really two basic types of junk food devouring monsters: those who protect children and those who are childish themselves. Or brawlers and bawlers.

The cynic in me says that the average Hollywood producer sees children as little walking billboards for the 11 and under demographic. If Elliott likes Reese’s Pieces, and Reese’s Pieces got him a special friend with a glowing finger, then perhaps Reese’s Pieces can get me a special friend with a glowing finger (although, I don’t want to know what that special friend would do with that special finger in real life). The optimist in me, however, chalks it up to storytelling. In a movie with a kid and a monster, and the kid has to either defeat or befriend said monster with whatever is handy, then the logical choice is something a child would have access to. And since kids are, in fact, little walking billboards the only thing handy is whatever product is willing to pay the most. However, the researcher in me wants to think that there’s a larger, more unified answer out there in a world of mystery and jujubes. I want to believe.

E.T.


Type: Bawler Junk Food: Reese’s Pieces

E.T. is like lost child, and the best way to lead any child to Lost & Found is, of course, a trail of candy. That’s pretty much the reason I leave trails of candy everywhere I go because I want to help children… and aliens. And ants. It is, also, a good thing though that aliens don’t have peanut allergies. About 1% of the US population has a peanut allergy, yet most aliens are completely immune to a nut outside their native ecosystems.

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Check out the New Gnards!

Here it is the new look of Wolf Gnards. Drink it in, embrace it, really take a hold of it, give it a squeeze, then turn your head and cough.

As you can see, we’ve increased wolves, while decreasing gnards. I know a lot of you think the gnards are the best part of the wolf, but more pants on werewolves may not be a bad thing. With pants they’ll let me buy Slurpees at 7-11 again. Maturity = more Slurpees = more sugar = sugar high = more immature behavior.

The slightly more professional exterior though is really just the thin candy coating. My insides are as damaged as always. I promise you that I will keep making the same low quality, poorly written articles, I will keep making the same bad jokes (only funny to myself), and I will keep posting poorly photoshopped images.

Slime & Suits: When Murray Stopped Being a Ghostbuster

Bill Murray

The news is Bill Murray is definitely out of Ghostbusters 3, but as painful as it is, did anyone not see this coming? I think it’s safe to say that I have a pro-Murray stance. In fact, I’ve made my career thus far off of worshiping Murray and all that he is and ever will be. So, I’m not really one to point out any Murray related wrong doings (Garfield?), but it seems to me the essential problem with Ghostbusters is Bill Murray has become a man who does not get slimed.

What do you need to be a Ghostbuster? A beige jumpsuit, elbow pads, kneepads, a black backpack with blinking lights, goggles (optional), slime (optional). Just the outfit really. It’s not that difficult, yet Ghostbusters II features Bill Murray in a wide array of business suits and sweater vests. And when he does wear the Ghostbusters costume, he wears the slightly more fashionable, slightly less ridiculous, much less iconic blackish gray Ghostbusters costume.

I don’t know the exact history of the Ghostbusters team at the time, but, of course, there are always the rumblings of the Ramis/Murray feud. Whatever the actual issue is I think Ghostbusters II really says a lot about their relationships. Murray’s Peter Venkman won’t stay with the other Ghostbusters at the firehouse (he has his own apartment in this movie), he won’t dress up with the Ghostbusters, he won’t go on wacky hijinks with the Ghostbusters, and he won’t get slimed. It’s difficult to have a Ghostbusters film with one of the Ghostbusters not really into busting ghosts. One of the most memorable scenes of the first film is when Murray got slimed. In the second film, it becomes increasingly clear that he was not getting slimed, he was not getting dirty, and he was not wearing silly outfits. What would he do? He’d wear sweaters, he’d sit around, he'd play with a baby, and he’d go out to dinner.

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