Superheroes Agree to Ditch ‘Silly Costumes’

stGOTHAM CITY—Several of America’s greatest superheroes, including Superman and Spider-Man, say they “feel dumb” wearing tights and other “design affectations” like capes and masks and have agreed among themselves to stop doing it.

“I’ve never been comfortable flying in my tights,” says Superman, also known as the man of steel. “I started wearing the costume in the late 1930s because I needed to protect my identity. But I also needed to convey a sense of separateness, otherwise people would constantly come to me and say they want to stop trains and out-run bullets. But the world has changed. Today, we have smartphones and tablets. People have moved on. What’s important today is authenticity.”

That sense of authenticity was the theme of the gathering at the Drake Hotel here. “If you notice, businesses are doing away with the whole notion of uniforms,” says Peter Parker, the science graduate student who became Spider-Man in 1962 when he was bit by a radioactive spider. He created his distinctive red and blue costume to shield his identity while he dispatched criminals like Dr. Octopus and the Green Goblin. spider“Many of the most successful new businesses like Whole Foods Market and Starbucks have done away with employees wearing standardized clothing. At those places, although team members wear identical aprons, they nevertheless wear their own choice of clothing, which not only preserves their individuality, it conveys authenticity.”

“Even the business tie is going away,” says Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four whose ability to stretch enables him to defeat such foes as Dr. Doom. “Anything that tries to mask who you are is quickly becoming a thing of the past, which is why it’s important that we, as superheroes, show leadership by fighting crime as ourselves and not as some fantasy figure whose otherness creates a barrier between us and ordinary people. Even the term ‘ordinary’ is demeaning to people. We should just say ‘people.'”

Meeting done

Meeting done

The one hold-out at the meeting was Wonder Woman, also known as Princess Diana of Themyscira, who argued forcefully that their costumes were integral to their identity. “Yes, sometimes you just want to fight crime in your sweats, but of course you don’t because you know you represent a standard, an ideal. The costumes we wear are integral to that ideal, a personification of it, if you will. I continue to think we’re making a mistake fighting crime as ourselves and not as our ideal.”

As a compromise, the group agreed that Wonder Woman could continue to wear some form of distinctive touch to her outfit if she chose, to account for her royal background as a princess.

“She really does bring a different perspective, because she stems from Amazonian royalty,” says Daredevil, whose real name is Matt Murdock.

Another compromise lets superheroes who possess no super powers, such as Batman and Green Arrow, to continue to wear distinctive clothing, because as crime fighters who can’t draw on extraordinary capabilities, their costume is integral to their ability to cow enemies. “Bruce Wayne didn’t stay for the entire meeting, because he had a dinner, but he did make clear while he was here that he would be put at a disadvantage against the Joker and the Penguin, among other enemies, if he couldn’t draw on the mysteriousness of his costume,” says Daredevil. “And we agreed that his point makes a lot of sense. So, unless he gets hit with a dose of radiation or something and develops a super power as a result, he can run around in his tights all he wants. We get it.”

The other key compromise concerns superheroes who rely on elements of their costume for their super power. Among these superheroes are Thor, who needs his hammer to manipulate the weather in extreme ways, and Captain America, who relies on his shield as both an indestructible source of protection and as a weapon.

The group of superheroes stopped for a drink at the Drake lobby bar to toast their agreement. Bar patrons didn’t bother them because the superheroes were all dressed as themselves and not as their alter egos. There was one confusing moment when Clark Kent heard a cry of distress about a mile away and announced, “This is a job for Clark Kent,” in his commanding baritone before flying off to see if he could be of assistance. But things quickly returned to normal, because it was clear among the patrons at the bar that he was just a man doing his job, which is exactly the kind of reaction the superheroes had hoped their policy change would bring about. “Now we can just live our lives and be ordinary people,” says Peter Parker. “Plus, we don’t have to run around in tights, which has always been an embarrassment for me.”

This is a work of satire. It is fictional news article not meant to be taken seriously. Photos: st, ga, and sh (Creative Commons). Not necessarily an endorsed use of images.

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