These Were All Of Superman's Suits In Zack Snyder's Justice League

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Contains major spoilers for Zack Snyder's Justice League

After years of waiting, the Snyder Cut of Justice League has finally dropped, debuting on HBO Max on Thursday, March 18. As tends to happen with big Hollywood event movies, the conversation has now turned from, "What have you added to the cultural dialogue?" to "So, who are you wearing?" Nobody had a more intriguing collection of outfits in Zack Snyder's Justice League than Kal-El, aka Superman, aka Clark Kent (but don't tell anyone that last part). Throughout Zack Snyder's Justice League, Superman has at his disposal a series of suits, displayed during an emotional sequence in which he takes a walk through his ship after returning to the land of the living and is reminded of why he's a hero in the first place. 

As with all things comic-book-related, there's a story behind all of Clark's suits, even the ones he only looks at but doesn't wear. Here's a definitive breakdown of the Man of Steel's wardrobe in the Justice League Snyder Cut.

The Man of Steel suit

Let's get one look out of the way first: the "no shirt, just pants" get-up, seen during Clark's resurrection. This outfit is best remembered for its place in the ancient Kryptonian rites of going for a swim, having just gotten out of the shower, and rollerblading on the pier. It's been almost a decade now, but if you head to your local comic book shop and hold a short box up to your ear, you can still make out the echoes of the nerds of the past, complaining that Superman wasn't sporting briefs anymore. Alright, let's move on.

One suit Clark wears in Zack Snyder's Justice League is the Man of Steel Superman suit. The hero is shown wearing it in only a few moments in the new movie, mostly during holographic flashbacks and a post-apocalyptic, Injustice-ish dream sequence. But the suit still brings back memories. 2013 — the year Man of Steel was released — was a strange time in cinema, and the success of the Dark Knight trilogy that had wrapped up the year prior seemed to paint Warner Bros. into a corner, aesthetically speaking. The days of goofiness and strongman imagery were over, it seemed, and Superman needed a new look befitting an era of self-seriousness and high-fantasy science fiction.

There's still plenty to say about the Man of Steel look. This Superman outfit is designed around practicality, in as much as a superhero onesie can be, utilizing chainmail patterns, metallic hues, and a family crest to evoke a sense of feudal chivalry. As costume designer Michael Wilkinson described it to Clothes On Film in 2013, the Man of Steel suit is a "steely, more textural [one] than previous incarnations."

Kryptonian armor

It's been a staple of the Zack Snyder vision since day one: bulletproof, nigh-unkillable aliens need armor, too. In the halls of Superman's ship in Zack Snyder's Justice League, we see plenty of callbacks to the folks he's crossed paths with before. There's what looks like set of women's Kryptonian armor, as seen on military commander Faora-Ul (Antje Traue) in Man of Steel. Her boss, General Zod (Michael Shannon), had his own thick, coiled duds in Man of Steel — and those, too, appear to be on display during Superman's thoughtful walk through his own personal museum of alien fashion. A set of what looks like armor belonging to Superman's biological father Jor-El (Russell Crowe) can be seen when the other Justice League members carry Clark's body to the goo pool that brings him back to life.

Kryptonian battle armor was one of the more visually radical elements from Man of Steel, with costume designer Wilkinson recalling the process of their creation by telling Clothes on Film, "We burnt, spattered, beaded, and encrusted the fabrics to create the sense of ancient, heavy ceremonial materials that are falling apart." If the Snyder-Verse were to continue with a possible Zack Snyder's Justice League sequel, it would be surprising if these costume pieces didn't come into play.

Kryptonian outpost armor

Of all the alternate Superman suits that we see in the Snyder Cut of Justice League, arguably the most eye-catching one is a light-up rig that Clark strolls past. If it looks familiar, it's probably not for the reason you think.

You might recall that Man of Steel introduced Superman's ship as a scout ship, sent in Earth's general direction several thousand years ago. The movie left plenty of questions unanswered — some of which Zack Snyder's Justice League references, like "Why is one of the pods empty" and "How did everyone on board die?" The good news: You can actually find the answers to these questions. The bad news: You'll have to read to do it, like some sort of nerd.

Specifically, you'll want to check out Man of Steel Prequel, the tie-in comic with a story that Snyder himself co-wrote. In the comic, we learn that Superman's Fortress of Solitude was once Kryptonian Scout Ship 0344, captained by none other than Kara Zor-El, better known as Supergirl. Sent to explore and populate the universe as a part of Krypton's Great Age of Expansion, Supergirl was outfitted with a ship, a crew, and, most presciently, a suit of outpost armor — the same stuff we see on display in the Justice League Snyder Cut.

The ins and outs of Krypton's space suits aren't as potentially important as their similarity to other significant styles DC characters have rocked. Two in particular come to mind: The outpost armor looks awfully similar to what the occasionally Kryptonian villain Brainiac wears, and also to the suit Lex Luthor frequently utilizies. It might be a hint at what Snyder had planned for the future, or it might just be a rad set piece.

Superman's black suit

This is the big one, folks, and it's something that Snyder had clearly been itching to work in from the very beginning: the black suit, previously seen briefly during Man of Steel's bleary, skull-drowning dream sequence. 

Superman's black suit has a history. It all goes back to the pages of DC Comics, when the Last Son of Krypton found himself at the business end of Doomsday's mitts. Superman died, and with him, the comic book market bubble.

But dying in comics is less of a permanent issue and more of a reason to take a half day at work. Superman was in the ground for less than a calendar year before he made his return in Action Comics #689, published in July 1993. The comics didn't lead off with much information about the hero's new outfit, but ancillary material defined it as a costume designed to help a weakened Superman recover from his injuries, drawing in extra doses of the yellow solar radiation that the hero uses to fuel his remarkable abilities. This was Superman's black suit, a long overdue overhaul of the character's day-to-day walking-around clothes.

That said, the Superman of the Snyder-verse gets his powers from Earth's atmosphere, so he probably just switched to a black suit because it looks cool, or to really stick it to Batman for hitting him with a sink a while back.