A recent e-mail dialog with online buddy and fellow superman enthusiast Brian M. revealed a number of really startling discoveries about the Returns suit. Well, they were startling for me. Brian obviously already knew all about them.
It still surprises me how after studying this suit for a few years now, there are still surprises to be had.
Brian made a trip out to the Madame Toussaude's Wax Museum in NYC a while back, where they were proudly displaying a Superman Returns replica. Being the good samaritan he is, he took a number of good pictures, including of parts that were not readily visible. Below is a selection of those pictures, and some comments on why they are so interesting.
Let's start with a big one. What this picture shows is the seam on the trunks. There is only ONE seam on the trunks, and it goes right down the back side, through the crotch, and up into the front. I had always wondered why there was that little seam visible in front, on the lower part of the crotch. Now I know. There are no side seams. I originally thought the trunks were constructed like traditional speedo type things. One seam on either side, and another at the bottom of the crotch. I was wrong.
This is a closeup picture of the trunks that Brian took of the suit on display at Comicon in 2010. Wish I had been there. I like this picture because it shows the seamwork on the trunks, and also shows how thick the ink is. You can also tell that the diamonds are lighter colored than the fabric they sit on.
This picture shows something I had long suspected, but could not tell with absolutel certainty. The collar uses the same diamond pattern as the briefs, NOT the body suit. It's also on its side, which is interesting.
This picture is just pure gold, and I'm SOO happy that Brian shared it with me. It shows a couple of really interesting things. First, there are NO side seams on the torso. I always figured they just shifted the seams from the side toward the back, but here you can see they eliminated them altogether. This means that the torso is just one big piece of fabric, with the only seam being at the back, on the zipper. That makes construction a lot easier, but makes silk screening the diamond pattern a little more difficult. It means the screen will have to be big enough to cover the area for the entire torso.
But what's even better is that you can see the racing stripes on the back. That's amazing. Heck, I didn't even know there WERE stripes on the back until I saw this picture.
This is a great shot of the back of the arm, which shows how the strip snakes its way around the arm.
This picture is swiped from that french website that I linked to in a previous post. It is interesting not only because it shows the seam on the shoulder again, but also shows the placement of the velcro that was used to keep the cape in place.
Second photo from the french site, clearly showing the seam on the shoulder. I did not know there was a seam there.