Friday, December 31, 2010

FAQ - Superman Returns Costume Recipe

I get asked fairly frequently if I sell items from my blog or website. I do not. Well, Ok, sometimes I do, but I don’t make a habit of it. The truth is, the projects I am working on are for me. I’m not doing it for profit. Because I have so little free time, any I might find is dedicated to working on projects that I want to finish, not to building pieces for other fans and enthusiasts. I have been offered some decent money to sell things I show on my website, but always decline. I’m not in it for the money, and making something for someone else would simply take time away from making something for me.

With that said, I to tend to get asked a few of the same questions over and over again, so I thought it was about time to put together a recipe for how to build your own Superman Returns suit based on what is currently available.

For briefs, body suit chest emblem and cape, I recommend The Bronze Armory. They can be found here.

The body suit they sell is decent. It's not perfect, but it's VERY well made. Whomever their seamstress is, she/he does great work. A really well crafted suit. The colors are not quite perfect. The base blue is a bit off, and the diamonds are the wrong shade. The racing stripes do not quite match what is on screen, but they are still very nice. The diamond pattern is also not quite right. The inner diamonds tend to wander around within the outer diamonds, where on the screen used ones, their positions are fixed toward the top. The inks used for the printing are not the right type. With all that said, it's still a REALLY nice suit, and is the best one on the market that I am aware of. Please don't take my hyper-critical comments as dismissive criticism.

The briefs are sort of the same. The colors are off, and the diamond pattern is not quite right, but they are constructed very well, and are the best on the market. The cut is also a bit off. It looks as if they used a standard pattern for briefs, and didn't account for the low cut on the legs and low rise waist that was seen on the Routh suit.

The chest emblem is a direct descendent of the piece I own. It's the real deal, and it's very nice. For a while, they were selling a different chest emblem which was not right, but I think they have stopped selling those. Buy this chest emblem!

The belt is a fan sculpt, and is decent. It's not quite right in a number of ways, but it's the best one that is commercially available. A pal of mine named JBrown did a sculpt of his own which was more accurate, though he does not offer them.

For the cape, go to Ricky Broussard, of Ricky’s Custom Costumes. His ebay store seems to be closed right now, so contact him directly at I cannot confirm that this addy is current, nor if he is still producing capes.

Ricky is the ONLY person I know of that is producing a Superman Returns cape. As with the Bronze Armory stuff, there are a bunch of things great about it, and a few things that are not right. PLEASE keep in mind that my criticisms come from the perspective of someone who is attempting to recreate in EVERY excruciating detail the production made and screen used costumes. For the casual observer and costumer, and perhaps even the more sophisticated costumer, the pieces I describe here are absolutely wonderful, and even quite pricey.

Ricky's cape is heavy. It's made of what looks like a burgandy pleather or naugahide, lined with a cotton interior. The colors are actually really darn close. The inner lining is almost spot on to the brighter parts of the real deal capes, though he is missing the ombre. The outer skin is a good color, though it does not have the micro-diamond texture. The construction of the cape is also not right. Ricky sews his lining to the inside, and uses an under-arm strap system similar to the Reeve style Superman capes. It's VERY functional, but it's not accurae. There's also some kind of steel rod in the neck to keep the shape of the cape. Also inaccurate. After having dissected one of the real deal capes in person, and realizing how incredibly complicated it is, I have to give Ricky a great deal of credit for devising a creative solution to what is a very difficult look to reproduce.

For the boots, go to I found this place via a friend, and they were just starting to develop a Superman Returns boot. They had made great progress, but there were some details missing. I offered up ALL of the reference material that I had collected over the past few years, and gave them some pointers on how to make the boots better. They totally ran with it, and have produced a boot that exceeded my expectations. They're also working hard on a newer version that will include custom sculpted soles that look really amazing.I'm really impressed with the work they are doing, and I think this will be a huge asset to the small community of dedicated Superman Returns costume fans who are looking to put together a very respectable suit.

My only criticism of the boots they are producing is in the materials. They work with vinyl instead of leather. The good news is that this keeps the price WAY down, and makes them much easier to produce. Their boots do not include the micro S's or the inverse micro-diamond pattern that are found on the real deal boots. BUT, they do use two different types of textured vinyl to simulate the look. Again, to anyone but the most discerning collector, these will come across as very high end, well made boots. Which they are.

I think that about covers it. If you have any questions, or if something requires further explanation, please don't hesitate to ask.

Christopher Reeve Style Superman Costume
If you are looking for this suit, the BEST place to go is here. Hands down, they make the best, most accurate suit ever. A few years ago, fellow Superman enthusiast Chris King collaborated with this company to develop the best Superman replica, using a confirmed screen used suit as reference. Chris painstakingly took measurements and photos of everything, allowing them their replica what it is today. If you order, you'll need to ask for the "CKing Version" of the suit, which is not advertised on their website. It is expensive, but if you want total accuracy, this is the place to go. I own one of their suits, along with the Reeve accurate boots, and it's just great.


Hugues(director) said...

Hi Matt, i am french so don't pay too much attention to my english lol
i am wondering since months about the superman returns suit because i am a movie director and i am preparing THE superman fan film.
Back in 2006 i really love the SR movie and the suit and i really want this suit back in my movie!
I saw your links on the bronze armory, but you also mentionned Ricky for the cape!
Ricky also made a full superman returns suit and it seems really cool!
I know i can't find the perfect replica suit but what can you tell me about his costume?

here's some links:

and videos of his costume :

MattMunson said...

Hugues, in my opinion, the best suit to be made from available parts is a combination of pieces from different makers. I think Ricky's suit is OK if you are looking for a one-stop-shopping solution, but there are better options available for most parts. His best piece is the cape, which I recommend in my write up above. But better body suit, briefs, belt and boots are available elsewhere. Don't get me wrong, Ricky makes some nice stuff. My personal opinion is that there are better options out there for those parts of the SR suit.