How to Be a Superhero Part 2

drawing of LIGHTNING BOLTS Being a superhero involves a series of choices.  In our first article on How to Be a Superhero, we addressed the question of whether or not to be evil.  Whatever you decided, that’s your personal business.  But we will proceed as though you chose to be good.

Other Decisions You Must Make as a Superhero

Cape or no cape?

Everyone who has watched the movie The Incredibles has heard the diatribe of superhero suit designer Edna Mode on the danger of capes for superheroes.  Edna’s famous conclusion, “No capes” must be heeded.

Yes, there is some danger attendant to wearing a cape.  And if your powers include flying, pitfalls include being sucked into a jet aircraft engine intake cowling.  Then again, if your powers include flying, you may well be invulnerable, in which case it’s, alas, the plane’s problem.

But even if you are not invulnerable — and if you’re reading this, chances are good you aren’t — the dangers of capes must be offset by a very important factor.

Capes Bring Respect

Imagine Dracula without a cape.  A pale skinny guy with long funny-looking teeth who looks like you could kick his ass.  How much respect is this guy going to get? 

But with a cape, Dracula is much scarier.  A cape cloaks both his fangs and anorexic physique as he approaches his unwitting victims.

In the DC universe the top superheroes wear capes.  Superman and Batman not only wear capes but also use them as 1) respect getters, 2) an invulnerable shield in the case of Superman, and 3) a general means of striking fear into the hearts of evildoers.

Non-cape Wearing Superheroes

Respected superheroes such as Spiderman and The Flash admittedly don’t wear capes. We can only imagine how much additional respect and fear-generating awe they might have garnered through cape wearing.

Wearing a Cape Is a Personal Decision

If you look like Spiderman or The Flash, you may safely dispense with a cape.  

But if your physique is especially frail or husky, a cape may be an excellent choice.  Let’s put it this way, if you’re reading this you probably need a cape. 

Cape Selection

Get one that doesn’t drag on the ground or hang above your belt.  A cape that doesn’t reach your belt may save a little money but looks ridiculous.  Get a cape that reaches about mid calf. 

Keep your cape width within the bounds of good taste.  You don’t want to look like you are swaddled in a gigantic tarpaulin.  Remember we are talking respect.  

When selecting a cape, keep in mind the phrase, “Big hat, no cattle.”  An oversized cape may suggest compensation for some sort of inadequacy.  You don’t want to come off like the pencil-necked geek in the giant pickup truck with the giant tires.


If you are a superhero you basically are wearing underwear already.  If you feel more comfortable wearing underwear underneath your suit, please select a color that does not bleed through. 

A definite no-no: an underwear waistband that sticks out above your pants.  Remember you are a superhero not some kind of gangsta wannabe.  

Boxers or briefs?  Again a personal decision.  Usually.  But underneath typical superhero tights, boxers really are not going to work.  Think it through.

If you are a beautiful lady superhero, you can wear boxers, briefs, small cape — pretty much whatever.  If you are not particularly athletic, please go with boxers.

Today’s article has spent far too much time on two basic superhero wardrobe choices.  But for superheroes who rely on blog posts for clues, this advice no doubt has inestimable value in your quest to understand the basics of how to be a superhero.