Earlier today, Jeremy Renner took to Facebook to reveal his new costume for Captain America: Civil War, and it is looking goooood.
Gone is the simpler black leather with dark red accents, in favor of this bolder, brighter, and all-together much more purple outfit. While fans of the movies may be wondering what possessed Clint to switch colors, comic book fans are rejoicing because this is really starting to look like the archer we know and love.
While the original suit was inspired by the Ultimate incarnation of the character, who did wear the dark red V-shape on his chest, classic Hawkeye wears a purple suit (usually blue and purple, although sometimes looking more black and purple). While he's still missing the mask from the source material, Clint Barton appears to be looking a lot more like his comic book inspiration, and fans absolutely love it.
Stephen Amell wowed fans at San Diego Comic Con by revealing that Oliver Queen will also be getting a newer, more brightly colored costume for Season Four of the TV series Arrow.
Here, too, the new suit is changing to look much more like the Green Arrow's comic book costume, with short sleeves, a leather hood, a similar pattern on the chest, and greaves over the forearms. It also looks like they may have made it just a little more green, to go with the name change from "Arrow" to "Green Arrow". (Note: This is the change of the character in the series, not of the series itself.)
Arrow sister-series The Flash is also debuting a new super-suit for the title character.
Barry Allen's new suit is also just a little brighter, and features the classic white and gold insignia on the chest, rather than the deep red and gold that we saw throughout the first season. It's a small change, but a striking one, and it makes the character much more like the Barry Allen of the DC comics.
So what's with all the wardrobe changes?
The really fantastic thing about these new costumes is that it reveals a general shift in the way that comics are being adapted to live-action. Creators and producers are realizing that fans are looking for their childhood (and adulthood!) heroes to appear in all their brightly-colored glory, and that toning down costumes isn't just unnecessary, but possibly doing more harm than good.
We first saw this shift in approach with the X-Men franchise, in X-Men: First Class. While the original films borrowed characters and some elements of famous storylines from the comic books, they were heavily altered and the fans were less than thrilled about it. Fox soon realized that they would be better off not taking too many liberties with fan favorites, and launched the two-part soft reboot that was First Class and Days of Future Past. As well as making sure that these films were far more faithful to the source material, there was a very visible change in costuming. Gone were the more "realistic" black leathers, and the cast strapped in to suits that nodded to to the blue and yellow outfits of the animated series.
Now, as Marvel is taking more risks and finding huge success with more out-there properties like Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man, studios and networks are starting to realize that while some stories work as realistic tales of crime and justice, others work just as well with all the vivid colors and escapism of comic books.
Upcoming series Supergirl is a great example. The new show features Kara Zor-El as she becomes a superhero, and features Melissa Benoist in a red-and-blue ensemble that looks like it stepped straight from the pages of Action Comics. She even gets to wear a cape! While the creation of the costume is covered in the pilot episode of the show, it's wonderful to see such a classic outfit explained and brought to life.
I'm thrilled to see characters like Hawkeye and the Flash sporting the vivid super-suits that they wear in the books. Partially because, yes, I want to see them the way that I knew them as a kid. However, it's also because I'm thrilled to see studios embracing the more flamboyant elements of comics. With storylines based around time travel, superpowers and billionaire archers, who says that realism is the name of the game? Why would every modern day super inevitably wind up wearing a suit of black leather?
Obviously there still needs to be a balance, as many of the original costumes are bordering on ridiculous - whether it's because they are hideously skimpy, generally impractical, or just a bit outdated. However, I definitely feel that more costumes like the new Hawkeye suit would look phenomenal - a perfect compromise between the vivid colors and over-the-top capes and masks of the comic book costumes and the dull and boring plain black that we've seen before.