Superman’s Black Suit Change Explained By Designer

In an interview with Screen Rant, Zack Snyder’s Justice League costume designer Michael Wilkinson discussed Superman’s new all-black bodysuit.

The costume designer for Zack Snyder’s Justice League explained the design behind Superman’s black suit. After years of intense lobbying by fans, the Snyder cut of Justice League was finally released on HBO Max last week, and it is being praised as a refreshing departure from the maligned Joss Whedon version from 2017. One noticeable change in the Snyder cut is Superman’s new look. Though Snyder teased Superman’s new costume as early as July 2020, fans finally got to see his all-black bodysuit in action when the Snyder Cut premiered on HBO Max last Thursday.

In the 2017 cut of Justice League, Superman returns to action in his iconic red and blue bodysuit. However in Snyder’s version, Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) is resurrected by the team of superheroes with the help of the Mother Box. After regaining his memories, Superman returns to the Kryptonian ship that crashed in Metropolis and retrieves a new all-black suit. While the color black generally symbolizes evil in fantasy, Snyder says the choice represents Superman’s personal journey and his relationship with his family since everyone from his home planet Krypton wore black suits.

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Related: Zack Snyder Trailer Moments Cut From His Justice League

Snyder Cut costume designer, Michael Wilkinson, spoke to Screen Rant about Justice League from a costume design perspective, and shed some light on Superman’s new black suit. While costumes can certainly be color-corrected in post-production, Superman’s new suit had to be designed and created from scratch. During the interview, Wilkinson discussed the unique challenges and creative decisions that were involved in creating the all-black bodysuit:

For Justice League I found a new fabric for the mesh oversuit of the regular Superman suit that made the undersuit really gleam in a beautiful way. I was excited about the idea of the black Superman suit because I knew it would look incredible if we really pushed some elements that we had already created with the regular suit – we made the undersuit even more metallic than previously, and it gleamed dramatically through the mesh. The dimensional chainmail print on the mesh done using silvery graphite metallic paints. All of these tweaks ensured that a monochromatic Supersuit was anything but boring!

Superman’s black suit as seen in the Snyder Cut was not a novel idea since it first appeared in DC’s comics in 1993 during the “Reign of the Superman!” storyline which saw the Man of Steel resurrected after meeting his demise against Doomsday in “The Death of Superman.” His black suit in the Snyder Cut does not seem to be lifted directly from the comics, but there are certainly some parallels. One major difference in the comics is his black suit was meant to help him regain his powers, while Superman returns at full power in Justice League.

With the release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, fans have gotten to see many of Snyder’s original creative decisions come to fruition, such as Superman’s black suit, which was axed from the original 2017 cut by Joss Whedon. Since Warner Bros. does not currently have any plans for Snyder to continue DC’s extended universe, it is unclear whether or not will we see Superman don the daunting black suit again.

Next: Justice League: Why Superman Still Wears His Black Suit In Snyder’s Ending

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