Tuesday, May 02, 2006

A Costume Preference

You know what I don't think we see enough of? Costumes inspired by the flag of the country the character is from. It's such a great look...

United States of America...



Britain...



Canada...



China...



Russia...



Germany...



Turkey...



Japan...



Israel...



Syria...



Am I missing anyone (thanks to everyone who has suggested a character I've missed...it's really interesting seeing them all next to each other like this)? No duplicates of flags already represented, please!

Let's see some more flag-inspired costumes, comic book creators!!

Click for some examples

51 Comments:

Blogger C.Brown said...

Actually, you forgot 'bout Alpha Flight.

It's ok. A lot of people do.

5/01/2006 11:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heh, good to see Sabra, Israel's only superhero representing.

Major Mapleleaf
Vindicator
Rocket Red
Jack Staff

I'm thinking there was a Japanese character in DC comics who had a rising sun costume... but can't for the life of me remember anything else.

also, the various "patriotic" characters "inspired" by Cap like Fighting American, Super-Patriot, Uncle Sam, etc.

5/01/2006 11:31:00 PM  
Anonymous stephen cade said...

More people should forget about ALpha FLight--it was a horrible book.

But Guardian's costume was cool.

5/01/2006 11:45:00 PM  
Blogger scott h said...

sheeeiiiittt! alpha flight ruled. puck is my fave all time marvel char. puck is so badass he could whup near anyone in the marvel universe.

5/02/2006 12:05:00 AM  
Blogger Bill Reed said...

I'm thinking there was a Japanese character in DC comics who had a rising sun costume... but can't for the life of me remember anything else.

Yes. I believe that was "Rising Son," a member of the Global Guardians.

5/02/2006 12:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Cove West said...

Hey, you forgot Captain Britain! See if Alan Moore will blog for you now!

5/02/2006 01:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Kelson said...

DC also had The Janissary, whose costume was based on the flag of Turkey.

There may have been more in the "Planet DC" series of annuals (2000).

5/02/2006 02:50:00 AM  
Blogger Axel M. Gruner said...

Actually, as an German, I have to say that the costume, name and idea of a national super-heroe like "Captain Germany" (Marvel) ist totally inane. (I have mocked the whole character at lenght at http://nemedhouse.blogspot.com/2005/10/uebermensch-ueber-alles.html)

5/02/2006 03:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shamrock!

5/02/2006 08:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Jer said...

I wish that I could read German so that I could read the mocking of "Captain Germany" (or whatever his name was - I can't recall). I remember those Captain America issues - when Gruenwald was on, he was dead on, but when he was off, well, sometimes it wasn't pretty.

I do like the costume design though - the German flag has a nice look to it I guess...

5/02/2006 09:06:00 AM  
Anonymous tenzil said...

Wouldn't Captain Nazi fall into this category?

5/02/2006 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

"Shamrock!"

Ireland's flag isn't a big shamrock, silly!

5/02/2006 09:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Captain Canuck!

5/02/2006 10:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Dave (ED) said...

Defensor for Argentina and Collective Man for China (from CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS). Vostok for post-Soviet Russia (from CAPTAIN AMERICA).

Oh, that wacky Gruenwald.

5/02/2006 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger C.Brown said...

didn't Sunfire have a vauguely "rising sun" themed costume?

5/02/2006 10:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Tyler said...

"tenzil said...
Wouldn't Captain Nazi fall into this category?"

Only if the Nazi flag was olive green.

5/02/2006 11:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Diz said...

Only Captain America, Vindicator and Union Jack get away with it (of those seen here at least). The rest look stupid.

As for Hauptmann Deutschland, well it's a step up from Blitzkrieg, but a baby-step at best.

5/02/2006 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger David C said...

Google's translator was pretty much stymied by Axel's Hauptmann Deutschland page. I thought the idea of the character was OK, but the costume? Way too derivative of Captain America's, and obviously so, to the extent he looks like he has an inferiority complex or something.

A "national superhero" needs to project confidence in his identity - whatever the country. Even Captain Luxembourg should look like he's proud of being a Luxembourger, not like he's lamely trying to ride Captain America's coattails.

Another example: If you go by the Fantastic Four movie (and I can see many reasons why you wouldn't want to), scary iron masks are a time-honored Latverian symbol, making Dr. Doom's outfit a "national" look of a sort.

And even in the comics, Doom's such a "L'état, c'est moi" kind of guy that even if he started wearing a pink muumuu, the pink muumuu would instantly become the national dress of Latveria....

5/02/2006 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger Edward Liu said...

No Captain Britain? Or is he grouped in with Union Jack?

5/02/2006 12:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about those 'Batmen of Many Nations'?

5/02/2006 02:37:00 PM  
Anonymous sam said...

Captain Canuck!!

http://www.captaincanuck.com/artwork/images/artwork_08_04.gif

5/02/2006 02:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Patrick said...

Mark Millar has introduced a European Union-themed superteam in Ultimates 2, with a Captain Italy, Captain France, etc. Their costumes all look pretty good, if generic, so maybe you're onto something.

5/02/2006 08:28:00 PM  
Anonymous John said...

Collective Man (http://www.marveldatabase.com/wiki/index.php/Collective_Man) bears a striking resemblance to the chinese flag.

Thank you Contest of Champions! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contest_of_Champions)

5/03/2006 01:53:00 AM  
Blogger Axel M. Gruner said...

>>As for Hauptmann Deutschland, well it's a step up from Blitzkrieg, but a baby-step at best.

Well, the concept of a national heroe always has to fight with national stereotyping. Maybe DC and MArvel should ask people who always live there to create these characters, or help as consultants. Then at least they would get the basics right. (Hear that, Marvel?)

And yeah, a German hero called "Blitzkrieg" is creepy. Like a american heroine called Sandy Creek, or a guy from the south clad like a clansman. (or a french guy called "Captain Frog-Eater"?)

P.S. Sorry for the inconvenience - if I could write English as well as I can read it, I probably would have written that article in English. Google translations always are pretty ... odd.

5/03/2006 02:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think this is always the case.
For Instance.
Captain America is the only 'American Flag' based costumed crimefighter that had a spectacular looking union suit. All the others really sucked.

5/03/2006 09:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having grown up in that country, I want to see a Captain Luxembourg right now. The costume ought to show how he's different from Captain France, Captain Belgium, and Hauptmann Deutschland, and not just Captain America.

5/03/2006 10:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

America is not the name of the country.
The name of the country you want is United States of America.
America is the name of the continent.

farz

5/03/2006 12:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, if you want to be specific and a jackass, you'll need to specify North or South America to discuss a particular continent.

5/03/2006 03:07:00 PM  
Blogger Axel M. Gruner said...

Now, that would be really funny.
Can you imagine Marvel publishing "Captain South America - the World's Most Latino Magazine"?

5/03/2006 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger David C said...

One linguistic oddity is that there really *is* no non-ambiguous short word to substitute for "people from the United States of America."

"American" is indeed ambiguous, but you got anything better to use? I've seen "USAn" used in some particularly pedantic Internet neighborhoods, but to the extent that works, it only works in writing, not speech.

There are slangy terms like "Yank," but that itself is imprecise, as no doubt many residents of Georgia or Alabama would have a similar reaction to that of an Edinburgh native being called "English."

5/03/2006 03:46:00 PM  
Blogger MGK said...

In All Star Squadron, Roy Thomas introduced the KKK-themed supervillain Real American - and if you're looking to find the Confederacy-themed version of Captain America, you're not going to do much better. Stars and bars, white hood, the whole nine yards.

5/03/2006 08:59:00 PM  
Blogger Pól Rua said...

...if you're looking to find the Confederacy-themed version of Captain America, you're not going to do much better.

Well, there's always this guy, from science fiction writer Will Shetterley's superhero series set in a Balkanised North America.
http://www.comiccovers.com/watermark.php?src=comiccovers-280/Captain%20Confederacy%20%5bUNKNOWN%5d%20V1/0003.jpg

5/04/2006 06:11:00 AM  
Blogger Loren said...

There are slangy terms like "Yank," but that itself is imprecise, as no doubt many residents of Georgia or Alabama would have a similar reaction to that of an Edinburgh native being called "English."

Darn tootin'.

5/04/2006 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger David C said...

The last series of "Captain Confederacy" (via a Marvel imprint, maybe the last days of Epic) had a bunch of other "national champion" characters for the various Great Powers of that world, many of which were pretty cool.

5/04/2006 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

USSR, not russia

5/04/2006 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

Thanks to John for finding a good pic of Collective Man!

5/04/2006 12:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Dizzy said...


Well, the concept of a national heroe always has to fight with national stereotyping. Maybe DC and MArvel should ask people who always live there to create these characters, or help as consultants. Then at least they would get the basics right. (Hear that, Marvel?)


Hell, they should have somebody to just correct them whenever a writer gets pretentious and starts to write in languages he doesn't actually speak. I'm willing to do the job for free if we can avoid Claremont's "plus ce change, plus ce meme chose"
or Casey's "Gewehr er runter wie ein hund". Those make me itch in bad places.

5/05/2006 02:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Kevin B. said...

No one's mentioned the USSR-based Tick villain, The Red Scare!

5/05/2006 04:15:00 PM  
Blogger Axel M. Gruner said...

@ Dizzy
You are totally correct. Check the language & check the geography. A few month ago I was howling out loud when Marvel published a Silver Sable-comic that started with a picture of some giant castle on a Alp-like mountain range, captioned: Hamburg, Germany.

Well, I live in Hamburg, and the highest thing here is a 200 m hill. Plus: Hamburg is a city state. No place for mountains & castles.

Again, I had to mock Marvel (http://nemedhouse.blogspot.com/2006/01/marvel-comics-direkt-vor-der-haustr.html)

...and I fear I have to do it again.

5/06/2006 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger simon said...

On the Marvel side, there was the Israeli superheroine Sabra, who later appeared in The New Warriors with her Syrian adversary Batal, and both had flag-costumes.

5/08/2006 12:07:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

Thanks, Simon!

I added Batal!

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Anonymous Generic Cialis said...

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