The Cosplayer Super Suit

Super suit

The Super Suit Changes How We All Think About Superheroes

Not all superheroes have superpowers. Not all supervillains have powers. Some built their powers. Through a combination of engineering or inventiveness, they constructed tools, suits, or chemicals that give them abilities. And I think the reason this is so appealing to fans is that it further works to the power fantasy of the medium. You, the fan, could wear this suit and learn to be a hero. Powers, magic, serums, gauntlets, or full-body armor: it’s a heart willing to help that matters.

And, though I don’t think this was planned, super suit users are perfect characters for cosplayers. Not only because it lets the wearer of the outfit feel very connected to the character—they also had to invent a version of the suit—but because it gives a crafting challenge. Have you seen an Iron Man cosplay at a convention? It may be plastic, but it’s still a full suit. A cosplay like that was probably handmade, over hours and hours.

It also gives a secondary avenue of creativity: special effects. Most super suits have distinct lighting or little pop-out spots. Iron Man has an arm-mounted rocket launcher, and his suit’s eyes glow. You get to work with LEDs—safely and carefully—and bring a level of life to your cosplay. I’d consider you super for all the hard work it takes to do stuff like that.

So, if your cosplay sensibilities lean toward tinkering, making little gadgets, or figuring out the logistics of how to make a suit both comfortable and easy to move in, then consider the super suit for your next project. Be it the villainous Vulture or the prodigious Ironheart, there’s a suit for you.