We thank the tailors for making these Age of Ultron superheroes look so dapper, but if we look back at the birth of the stretchy suit, we have to thank the tailor’s son and a ‘super fabric’ called nylon
LONDON — Isn’t it time superheroes dressed like men instead of Russian figure skaters from the ’70s? We give full marks to the elegantly tailored Paul Bettany (above) and the ever-dashing Chris Evans for shaking it up at The Avengers: Age of Ultron premiere, but we also realize without all the flashy NASCAR paint, it’s hard to figure out which guy in a suit stopped an evil artificial intelligence from taking over the universe.
When Canada’s own Joe Shuster created the whole, hyper-fitted look of the modern superhero with Superman’s first appearance in Action Comics back in 1938, he not only offered up a protagonist with an identifiable brand and logo, he may have been inspired by the invention of a brand new, manmade fabric called nylon.
The first entirely synthetic fiber ever created, nylon was developed by the DuPont corporation in 1935 and had its formal launch at the 1939 World’s Fair. But it was available in professional circles as early as 1938, and for Shuster, who grew up in the garment trade as the son of a tailor, this would have been something of a landmark event. Nylon was even referred to as the “super fabric,” which could re-frame previous theories about Clark Kent’s six degrees of separation from the Nietzschean Übermensch, and make it more about the threads than the thoughts. Yet, we wonder: Which version his mother would have liked better? The nice boys we see in the pictures here on this nice web page, who could take you out to dinner and a romantic movie without embarrassing you, or the boys in the stretchy outfits who break all the rules of fashion by wearing a belt around skintight clothing and donning the same outfit for every important occasion. Even Captain Kirk switched it up once in a while with that green shirt with the plunging neckline, so why not a little Captain America in grey flannel?
– The Ex-Press Skeletal Staff Writer