Supergirl survived its freshman season, as the show was dropped from CBS but rescued by The CW where it arguably belonged, aside its “cousins,” Arrow, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow. The CW showrunners aren’t shying away from getting some big guns behind the titular heroine, as Supergirl season 2 will (finally) feature the debut of a new TV Superman, played by Teen Wolf actor, Tyler Hoechlin.
Today we got our first look at Hoechlin in comstume as Superman, and the internet is buzzing about this latest addition to the DC TV Mulitverse. For the sake of comparison, we’re doing a rundown of how the TV Superman costume compares to its movie counterpart, as well the comic book influences that inspired it.
As you can see, Hoechlin and Cavill’s Superman costumes have distinct differences – at least, as distinct as any variations in the Superman costume can be. Just upon initial survey, we see that:
- The design aesthetics are very different. Cavill’s suit is more “alien skin” with its fit and the way details like the boots and sleeve cuffs are incorporated smoothly into the suit. Hoechlin’s suit is more of a suit than a skin, and in general there’s a bulkier design to the costume’s accessories, padding and body contours that have an almost NASA astronaut aesthetic to them.
- Hoechlin’s costume opts for the red “utility belt” design, pulled from the New 52 Comic book reboot of Superman (more on that later). Cavill’s costume famously skipped over having a pronounced belt or red underwear worn over pants (classic Supes), in order to achieve its “alien skin” look.
- The logos on the costume are very different: Cavill’s Kryptonian “hope” insignia was made with the same “alien” aesthetic as the rest of his costume, while Hoechlin’s insignia is much more of the classic Dan Jurgens design.
- The cape clasps are very different: Cavill’s, again, runs seamlessly into his shoulders, like a hair extension, while Hoechlin clearly has clasps to hold his cape in place. Cavill’s cape is a CGI creation; Hoechlin’s is clearly leather (or some sort of similar material).
Now that we’ve compared the two actors, let’s take a look at the comic book influences behind both of their respective suits:
Neither of these costumes for Superman on the TV and movie screens borrows very heavily from the classic version of the character; both seem to borrow elements primarily from the New 52 version of Superman – albeit with a few tweaks. Nobody seems to want to copy that high-collar look.
Hoechlin’s costume comes by far the closest, adopting the same “space man suit” look and aesthetic, with the boots, belt, and shoulder padding pretty much sealing the comparison. As stated, the DCEU movies went a different direction under Zack Snyder, with Cavill’s costume echoing themes of the New 52 outfit, but with that whole “alien skin” aesthetic layered on top.
Of course, with DC Comics’ new “Rebirth” storyline, Superman has yet another new costume. How long before the TV and movie universes start aping it? (Maybe when Cavill’s Superman comes back from the dead in Justice League?)
Supergirl season 2 will premiere on The CW this fall.