• 25th April 2024

Forget the Masks, Our Superheroes Need Shades

young casual caucasian blond woman in gray t-shirt showing Spoke sign isolated on gray

It takes a certain kind of creativity to design a superhero costume. Let’s face it, nobody in the real world dresses that way. A superhero costume has to tell us something about the superhero underneath it, and in some cases provide some sort of protection. Costumes also tend to protect the hero’s human identity. Thus, the prevalence of masks among the superhero set.

The problem with masks is that they are so, well, 1950s and 60s. This is the 21st century. It is time to shed the masks in favor of designer sunglasses. Most of our mask-wearing superheroes would look better in shades anyway. For the record, Salt Lake City’s Olympic Eyewear says their designer sunglasses probably wouldn’t offer any superhero-level protection. That’s okay. Real supers don’t need it.

Batman and Robin

The caped crusaders immediately come to mind here. Let’s start with Batman himself. Whoever designed his costume must have decided he was working for someone who thought very highly of himself. Batman’s costume is one of the most elaborate in the superhero world. As for the mask, it reveals absolutely no skin above the nose. All we see are his eyes.

What makes his mask so bizarre is that there aren’t even any holes for the ears. He could sure use a slick pair of wraparound shades, but there would be no way to rest them on his ears.

As for the Boy Wonder, his flimsy little mask isn’t fooling anyone. If he wants to be treated like the man he thinks he is, he needs to get rid of that piece of fabric and find himself a good pair of mirrored aviators. He would instantly become ‘Rockin’ Robin’ with the right pair of shades.


Spidey is another superhero with a full facial mask. Why? It has got to be super uncomfortable. Even stranger are those things that cover his eyes. They are obviously meant to mimic spider eyes, but how can he see out of those things? The poor guy must suffer from double vision by now. At any rate, he would look better in a pair of circular metal frames with dark lenses. Sort of like John Lennon meets the insect world.


We know Superman doesn’t wear a mask, but Clark Kent’s horn-rimmed spectacles don’t do a whole lot to throw us off. If you can’t recognize his face even without his trademark glasses, there’s no helping you. For all the rest of us, Clark Kent would do well to trade in his prescription lenses for a solid pair of wayfarers when he makes the switch to Superman.

On the other hand, sunglasses may interfere with Superman’s superpowers. Who knows? They might inhibit how his body uses yellow sunlight – the very source of his superpowers here on Earth. So maybe sunnies are not a good idea for him.

Captain America

Given that Captain America has both male and female iterations, he/she is the perfect candidate for sunglasses instead of a mask. Think of the fashion trends one could develop with a more modern outfit. The female version could sport cat eyes or an oversized frame from a major manufacturer. The male version could keep it straight and simple with a more classic design.

This post could obviously go on for a lot longer. There are hundreds of superheroes floating around out in fantasy land. Once we got all of them outfitted, we could start working on the villains. Imagine what we could do with Mr. Freeze, The Penguin, et al. The possibilities are almost too overwhelming to consider.

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