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Monday, 14 May 2012

The costumes and characters of The Avengers. Part 3: Steve Rogers, Captain America.

Previously: The costumes and characters of The Avengers. Part 1: SHIELD. and Part 2: Tony Stark, Pepper Potts, and Bruce Banner.


As a person with maybe too many thoughts and feelings about superheroes (cf. all previous Avengers posts) I have no idea what an Avengers viewing experience is like for someone who doesn't know who Steve Rogers is. However, given the fact that Iron Man/Robert Downey Jr is such a big part of the current pop-culture zeitgeist, I assume that he's enough to hold the movie together for the few people in the audience who have no prior experience of Marvel superhero movies. Given the chance to advise one of the aforementioned newbies, though, I'd say that the prequels most likely to improve your Avengers experience are Captain America: The First Avenger, and Thor.

The Thor movie is relevent to The Avengers not as a source of backstory info for Thor, but more as Loki's own origin story. Already an unusually complex and emotionally engaging villain, Loki only becomes more interesting when you know more about his upbringing. As for Captain America, while I don't think that knowledge of Steve's backstory is necessary to understand The Avengers, an appreciation of his character definitely helps. Seeing Steve Rogers before his supersoldier transformation helps us understand the reason why he "is" Captain America rather than just a star-spangled man, and the fact that he's fresh from the '40s has the twofold influence of making him the ultimate fish-out-of-water character (perhaps even moreso than Thor, who has no real need to fit in with human society) and adding a horrendously depressing aspect to every one of his scenes because everyone he ever knew or loved is dead. The fact that Steve Rogers is even remotely functional in day-to-day life is tantamount to a miracle.
Steve's original 1940s uniform from Captain America.
Steve Rogers has the same goofily earnest attitude as Clark Kent/Superman, something that's rather hard to pull off in a movie aimed at the cynical bastards of 2012. It makes me worry that people who haven't seen the Captain America prequel might misunderstand the charm of the Steve Rogers we see in Avengers. I saw several reviews that commented that Cap seemed clunky or cheesy compared to the rest of the Avengers, and each time I got this ridiculous protective urge to be like, No! Watch his own movie! It's heartbreaking and inspiring and there's a musical number where he punches Hitler in front of a chorus line of girls in spangly stars-and-stripes minidresses! Man, I'm Scottish and a pacifist and barely have any patriotic spirit for my own country (unless you include gallows humour about rain and alcoholism), but if you don't like Captain America then I don't even know what to do with you. He's even better now than he was fifty years go because as a person he's really the exact opposite of the kind of jingoistic sentiment the 1940s propoganda "Captain America" was originally intended to be. Seriously, all I want for his sequel (aside from a scene where someone explains to Steve that Ronald Reagan became President of the United States) is for him to be a feminist, gay-friendly human rights advocate. Look, I can dream, OK!!
He just poses like that naturally. Because he's CAPTAIN AMERICA!!!
I feel like Avengers managed to make a little go a very long way with Steve Rogers, character-wise. While the lack of explicit backstory for characters like Hawkeye, Black Widow and Bruce Banner was most likely a timing issue, the lack of Cap-based exposition was necessary in order to avoid muddying the waters for the writers of the Captain America sequel. Steve Rogers' characterisation had to rely on in-the-moment reactions and visual details like costuming or Chris Evans' remarkable ability to have the facial expressions of a Disney prince. Joss Whedon did do some work on the script of Captain America: The First Avenger, and I have to wonder how much of that was stuff about his sense of humour/speech habits that carried over to The Avengers the next year.

There's very strong line of continuity between Steve's costumes in Captain America and The Avengers. When we first see him in the gym with Fury, the whole aesthetic is very retro -- the old-fashioned gym; the dusty sepia-tone colour scheme; the fact that Fury gives him an actual paper file. The detail of the paper file prop jumped out at me at once because it's so clearly something that Fury has tailored to Steve's comfort level -- or what he perceives Steve's comfort level to be. It made me think that Fury/SHIELD is making a conscious effort Steve feel more at home, and I'd hazard a guess that those attempts are doing more harm than good. At the end of The First Avenger when Steve wakes up in the 21st century, SHIELD has constructed a special 1940s bedroom for him in an attempt to slowly acclimatise him to the "future" -- which, of course, backfires. Although Fury mentions in the gym scene that Steve has his own apartment, I suspect that it's closely monitored by SHIELD, as is every aspect of Steve's life. And I suspect that Steve knows it. The mysteriously deserted 1940s-friendly gym is the first clue; the subtle weirdness of his casual clues are the next.

Steve's casual clothes are just really old-school. I don't believe for a second that he bought these himself because a) I doubt that SHIELD would allow him out into the chaotic environment of a 21st century shopping mall, and b) finding this type of outfit would actually be quite hard. His main casual clothes (see the first picture in this post) are high-waisted pleat-front suit trousers -- which aren't typically available in anything other than "70-year-old grandfather" dimensions, decidedly not the Adonis-like frame of Steve Rogers -- checked shirts, and an old-fashioned brown leather jacket with epaulettes. That jacket is way too specific in terms of quality, fit, and style for Steve to have been able to find it himself a few weeks after being defrosted. I'm very interested to see how his costumes evolve over the course of the next movie, because continuing to wear 1940s-esque clothing walks a fine line between comforting homesickness, and denial. Once he's truly autonomous from SHIELD and able to do everyday things like go shopping, will he stick with what's familiar or head straight for the future? I actually think it'd be a great characterisation decision if they had him leaping headfirst into 21st-century styles while retaining more retro tastes in things like music and movies.
Steve Rogers in the 21st Century. (The final scene of Captain America.)
The direct continuity crossover between the two movies is Steve's white t-shirt/khaki trousers outfit. When he emerges from the magical hot-body steroid machine in the Captain America movie the first things he puts on are the white t-shirt and khakis, which are then mirrored in the final scene when he escapes out into 21st century New York while dressed in a SHIELD t-shirt. At the beginning of Avengers we see the same outfit, this time with khaki workout pants -- which, don't tell me SHIELD didn't personally provide him with those because when was the last time you saw someone wearing khaki workout pants? And it's a great outfit for reasons other than continuity: it implicitly resembles military-issue clothing, the plain white t-shirt is the archetypal wholesome American staple item, and the colour scheme neatly slots into Steve Rogers' sepia/brown/beige palette.
This may seem like a stupid statement coming from someone who writes about both costume design and superheroes, but... I find it hard to write about superhero costumes. Comicbook costumes look cartoonish and ridiculous in real life, but the "realer" you make a live-action adaptation of a superhero comic, the less fun it is -- and the less likely you are to retain the core fanbase. Characters like Batman and Iron Man get a pass because their costumes are functional and double as body-armour, but Superman and Spider-Man? Sorry bro. I can watch it, I can enjoy the hell out of it, but I'm not going to waste time trying to legitimise how and why someone would make a perfectly-fitted spandex outfit for themself and then wear it in public. Especially in the context of urban crime-fighting as opposed to, say, lucha libre wrestling.

Captain America kind of falls into this category because his costume is, fundamentally, a 1940s Americana cheerleader uniform with extra pockets around the waist for bubblegum and hair gel (or whatever the hell it is that superheroes keep in their utility belts). That scene where Agent Coulson tells Steve that "the world needs a little old-fashioned" is enough for me, really. The body-armour and boots they've incorporated into the basic blue body-suit are feasibly practical-looking, and although the cowl isn't exactly great I'd like to see how you would go about designing a winged blue helmet that looks serious and manly. Cap is a cultural icon, a guy whose photo appears on trading cards, a symbol of a naiive, nostalgic idealism that never really existed even in the 1940s. He doesn't need to look cool. And the fact that he willingly puts on a stars-and-stripes catsuit and a helmet with a giant "A" on the forehead is proof enough of his beautifully earnest dedication to his job.
Source: mercmouth @ Tumblr. (Of course from Tumblr.)
I saw Avengers with two guy friends of mine, both of whom are well aware of my love of overanalysing movies and, more specifically, my sensitivity about the sexism present in most geek/superhero franchises. When we were coming out of the cinema, one of them asked if I'd been bothered by the way the film had displayed Black Widow and her catsuit. To which my reply was, basically, "???" because not only was The Avengers unusually equal-opportunities with regards to eye candy, but most of its prequel movies were as well. Both Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger featured sensibly-dressed, awesome female characters checking out the shirtless male heroes in what was pretty much a textbook reversal of the typical male-gaze "pan the camera up and down her body before she gets to say a line" shit you see in most blockbusters. I mean, I don't pretend to be an expert in cinematography, but Steve's first appearance in Avengers is a lingering shot of his ass flexing while he pummels the crap out of a punch-bag.
We know that Black Widow's pockets are full of weapons, but I still say that Cap's are full of bubblegum.
Black Widow may be wearing a catsuit, but so, more or less, are Captain America and Hawkeye, and no one of those costumes or characters is shot in a way that seems any more gratuitous than the others. Joss Whedon isn't perfect, but I feel that his policy regarding eyecandy visuals is indicative of his attitude towards his audience in general. ie, that his thought process is more like, "Who is my audience, and what would they like?" rather than the more typical Hollywood filmmaking attitude of, "This is the audience we think we're writing for, and this is what we've decided they enjoy". Which is how movies like Battleship and Catwoman get made.

Next up:  Black Widow, Hawkeye, Thor, and Loki

Links
If there's no such thing as a vintage Captain America venereal disease PSA then I'm going to be so disappointed.
The real contents of Batman's utility belt.

54 comments:

  1. I love your articles. I can't wait for the next one. I totally agree with you about the bubble gum.

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  2. SO MANY LINGERING ASS SHOTS ON EVERYONE, it's so great. Seriously. Joss is the King of Lingering Ass Shots.

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  3. Another great article. I kept thinking as I watched the movie that Stevie was basically wearing what my Grandfather wore everyday, nice touch. The paper file was too.

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  4. You've just compared Captain America to Disney Princes. You are my favourite person!

    Also, Steve Rogers and Eames need a high-waisted-front-pleated-suit-trousers-off. Who carries it better?

    If Coulson has input into Cap's star spangled gear, then he WOULD be in charge of picking out casual clothes for Steve, right? Seeing that he is SHIELD's in-house Captain America specialist.

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  5. thank you!

    man, i am so curious about those utility belts. i mean you generally get to see batman's Shark Repellent Bat Spray or black widow's throwing-knives or whatever, but captain america...? i mean, it's probably band-aids or something, isn't it. or boot-polish.

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  6. chris evans' face is LEGIT a disney animation. look at those eyebrows! plus his perfect hair (wig) is beauteous.

    EAMES VS STEVE ROGERS: AN IMPOSSIBLE DECISION. steve's fit way better BUT eames has got the swagger, you know? it's more eames' ~style, whereas steve is just wearing what he's used to, i think.

    OMG COULSON TOTALLY WENT CLOTHES SHOPPING FOR CAP. what a creeper. i love him.

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  7. Jeremy Mesiano-Crookston15 May 2012 at 07:47

    You should know that Cap's boxing drills are actually unbelievably terrible boxing. You'd think they'd at least give him a couple of classes in real life.

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  8. hah, really? TBH this doesn't surprise me very much since hawkeye's archery is apparently TERRIBLE in this movie.

    certainly not much worse than the many films where women only get to do "sexy" fight moves, anyway.

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  9. I'm so glad you're going to cover Loki -- loved the opera-going outfit.

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  10. Jeremy Mesiano-Crookston15 May 2012 at 11:03

    I also heard that about Hawkeye. The article was on... Io9 maybe? Either way yeah, it's hilariously abysmal. Fighting in general in every media is woefully, woefully terrible. Movies, tv, books. You could spend days writing about it.

    And personally, I don't know what you mean about sexy fighting. The cartwheel-to-sitting on someone's face-to-flipping them over with your thighs just always seemed really PRACTICAL. I don't know about you, but I'm using that next time someone pushes me on the subway.

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  11. Haha, I noticed and was bugged by this, and my only experience with boxing is my brother's short-lived attempt to teach me how to punch properly.

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  12. Hi! I absolutely love all of your posts- I've lurked for a while and I think you've singlehandedly tuned me in on costume design. I seriously notice things I never noticed before! Anyway, every time you make another post about the Avengers you make my day. I'll try to actually add to the conversation next time I comment, but just wanted to let you know that your blog is really great :)

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  13. thank you! :)) it's always awesome to hear about it when people start paying more attention to costuming after reading something i've written!

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  14. SAME, DUDE. the scene where loki is at the opera house = one of my favourite parts of the movie.

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  15. http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2012/05/avengers-hawkeye-archer-rewind-2/ The bad archery article was apparently revised.

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  16. COULSON IS LIKE THE CRAZY GIRLFRIEND THAT WOULD BUY CLOTHES FOR HER BOYFRIEND.. EVEN IF THE BOYFRIEND TELLS HER NOT TO.

    And Coulson knows Cap's sizes....down to his ring size. No, I am not that crude to even suggest that Coulson would know Cap's girth. AHEM COUGH

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  17. "Man, I'm Scottish and a pacifist and barely have any patriotic spirit for my own country (unless you include gallows humour about rain and alcoholism), but if you don't like Captain America then I don't even know what to do with you. He's even better now than he was fifty years go because as a person he's really the exact opposite of the kind of jingoistic sentiment the 1940s propoganda "Captain America" was originally intended to be."

    Yeah, so much. It's weird how likeable the movies (and Chris Evans) have managed to make him, even to our cynical British eyes. They've drawn out the core of the character, which is his basic decency and old-fashioned heroism. I didn't even mind the line where he said "There's only one God, and he doesn't look like that," since it fits the character that he'd be a Christian of some sort.

    That doesn't mean he can't also be a 'feminist, gay-friendly human rights advocate', although as a man from the 1940s, you might expect the opposite (as this comic pointed out: http://www.shortpacked.com/2007/comic/book-4/08-the-gospel-of-faz/cap/). But Steve Rogers is such a good-hearted character it would feel wrong to have him expressing prejudice of any sort. In the movie, he certainly doesn't have any problems fighting alongside a woman and taking orders from a black guy.

    What it comes down to is that Captain America is not meant to be a realistic portrayal of a WWII soldier brought to the modern day. Rather, like Superman, he's an icon of everything a hero (and an American) is supposed to be. If that means he's tolerant than someone from his time really would, so what? He's not a real person, he's an ideal.

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  18. Oh, also: ComicsAlliance recently suggested that Marvel should have Steve Rogers come out as gay, mainly for the message it would send: http://www.comicsalliance.com/2012/05/11/spandex-closet-gay-superheroes-need-come-out/
    On the one hand, it would be a shame to spoil that almost-romance he had with the girl in his movie, but on the other hand it would be extremely lulzy simply for how many bigoted people it would piss off. So maybe they should.

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  19. while i do agree that it might be... unrealistic?... to actually have steve rogers as a feminist gay rights advocate, i think it's closer to what we'll get than a "real" 1940s character would be. and, of course, there have been people throughout history who had what we would think of as very modern views about cultural acceptance.

    in the captain america comics the army was desegregated in WWII, and captain america headed up a desegrated unit. which is a great example of a historical fantasy story that goes, "this is fantasy; we can do what we want" rather than the more typical habit of retaining strict historical ~accuracy alongside plainly fantastical things like superpowered soldiers or magic.

    re: the comics alliance thing, i think someone showed that to me before and it's v interesting! i find it highly unlikely that steve rogers would ever be written as gay or bi (which wouldn't necessarily make any difference to the steve/peggy relationship), but something i would like to see is really... any queer character at all, in the Marvel movie universe? and i think that the captain america sequel would actually be a really great place for that character to show up because it'd be a more organic way to introduce his flexibility as a person, and highlight his culture shock outside of (presumably) pop-culture jokes and scenes where Modern Women glower at him when he opens doors for them.

    the difficulty with superhero stories is that no matter how much you modernise them, all of the most successful comicbook heroes are white men in their 20s-40s because they were first written in the mid-20th century. there's considerable pressure against any major changes to such established characters, and i suspect that it's impossible to create (nowadays) a new "classic" superhero that would reach the same audience. scott pilgrim is an awesome movie with a diverse cast of characters, but it's not a superhero film in the same way that spider-man etc are.

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  20. When we were coming out of the cinema, one of them asked if I'd been bothered by the way the film had displayed Black Widow and her catsuit. To which my reply was, basically, "???"

    I just put up a post about Black Widow and how many viewers (and critics) don't seem able to perceive what is actually happening onscreen. I would love for you to ask your friends what they perceived, and why they think -- when you tactfully point it out to them -- they saw what wasn't there, and didn't see what *was* there.

    For instance, were they not actually paying attention to her, and then "pasting in" her appearence from comics?

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  21. I've read the Grey Matters article linked to in your blog and found it very interesting!

    Regarding the friends I mentioned, I don't mean to imply that they undervalued Black Widow the way many of the male reviewers did in that Grey Matters article. I meant more that they had simply not noticed the fact that there was a whole bunch of male eyecandy onscreen alongside Black Widow. ;) As far as I know they thought Black Widow was as awesome a character as I did.

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  22. From what I've read of the comics at least, he's been pretty much a feminist, gay-friendly human rights advocate; old-fashioned sometimes but not stuck or bigoted. (In part as a contrast with Tony/Iron Man, who's much more old school - they sort of set them up as the Conservative and the Liberal, for certain qualities of same.)

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  23. I bet it's Bazooka Joe and HE STILL LAUGHS AT THE COMICS.

    My pipe dream for Captain America 2 is that Steve gets a day job as an illustrator for an ad company and is perplexed, and then enthralled, by scanners and tablets and art stuff they didn't have in the 40s, like Japanese brush pens and all-lead watercolour pencils. And all his art would look like this: http://todaysinspiration.blogspot.com/

    And then he would go thrift shopping with his graphic designer buddies and buy all the old-man clothes at Goodwill or Beal's or something and they'd be horrified.

    Basically my idea of Captain America 2 is more like a Japanese TV drama.

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  24. This is great. I saw Avengers recently and was honestly fairly underwhelmed, but I think part of that stems from a) the fact that I'm just more into X-Men, and b) I haven't seen Thor or Captain America (rectifying that last right now!). But this series is helping me understand why people like this franchise, and it's getting me on board, slowly but surely :)

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  25. Everything Is Magic20 May 2012 at 16:07

    Er well, in the comics he's actually presented as a pretty liberal guy, so that comic is terribly off. He represented the more 'liberal' side in the Civil War arc, he was partners with one of the first black superheroes EVER, he's openly expressed approval for homosexuality, etc. etc. And I highly doubt they'd change that in the film. And as for women, seeing how much he respected Peggy Carter, I don't think he's a 'make me a sandwich' type.

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  26. Everything Is Magic20 May 2012 at 16:08

    He could always be bi though? Wouldn't spoil any romance, and he could still like dudes.

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  27. Yeah, I know, and to be clear, I wasn't suggesting he *should* be written as a bigoted character. I like the fact that he isn't, and was musing on how this may or may not be plausible, but it doesn't really matter.

    Which reminds me of one of the few Captain America comics I have read, that I think got that wrong: Mark Millar's Ultimates, which memorably had him responding to a demand for surrender with "Surrender? You think this 'A' on my head stands for France!?" *PUNCH!*
    Yeah, it made me laugh at the time, but in hindsight it's a really bad line: Steve Rodgers is not the type to express anti-French prejudices (or anti-anything else). Especially since it isn't that long ago to him that he was fighting alongside them.

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  28. sob. that's delightful. I HOPE STEVE ROGERS GETS A TUMBLR. an illustration tumblr. (JARVIS scans in his pictures for him and/or teaches him how to use tablets, scanners etc.)

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  29. i love x-men as well! i think the reason why i got more fannish about the avengers is because i found the characters (especially the supporting cast) to be more appealing/better written than in the x-men movies. although the conflict in x-men makes far more sense and is generally way more compelling than any of the Avengers franchise antagonists (except loki, perhaps).

    it's odd that while X-Men has the potential scope for some very complex and adult storylines about human rights issues, Nolan's Batman movies are the current superhero movies we're supposed to think of as the "serious" ones, and Avengers has proven more successful all round even though technically the main conflict in that film is "aliens attack and then the heroes smash them".

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  30. oh man, i think i've actually seen that panel floating around on tumblr somewhere? i assumed it was a warren ellis parody or something because it was just so hilariously bloodthirsty and jingoistic.

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  31. Everything Is Magic20 May 2012 at 21:11

    Ah okay, thanks for clarifying!

    Yeah Ultimates has totally weird and off characterization, and Steve gets it among the worst. He's really just a much harsher, much less likable guy in that universe. NOT A FAN.

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  32. One of the things I found inteersting was that Black Widow actually wore a body-suit with long sleeves while Hawkeye had the one that showed off his arms and showed a lot more skin than her's does. Usually in action/SF-movies when the whole crew is wearing body-suits, the men are coverwed from the very tips of their nose all the way to their littles toes while the women have at least bare arms. It was a nice reversal of the usual image.

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  33. With regards to the eye candy, for the most part, I thought it was very well handled. As a long time comic fan, I'm fine with fanservice, provided it's equally for the boys and the girls. But, I swear, during the scene where the Black Widow plays Loki while SHIELD has him imprisoned, I had a moment where I went "They are totally have lighting just for her butt."

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  34. I have to point out that there are a couple of guys at my gym who actually do work out in slacks. NO idea why. They even have dress shoes on. So bizzare.

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  35. Heyyyy, what was that about Cap being a gay-friendly hero? :D

    http://archiveofourown.org/works/410223/chapters/708164

    Also, "someone telling Cap that Reagan became president" is now number one on my wishlist for Captain America 2.

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  36. yessss. it's in several fics and i love them all!

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  37. yup, that's weird. but i never go to the gym so i guess i wouldn't know.

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  38. He would probably think it was just another smart alecky joke from Tony trying to punk him...

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  39. Great series of articles. Re: his "retro" outfits. New York City doesn't have shopping malls. The Macy's Department store in Herald Square has been around in some form or another since the turn of the last century. I venture he would have no trouble purchasing suitable clothing in his size there, as they seem to carry everything, but if he couldn't find it at Macy's, there are plenty of other men's clothing stores to choose from. Plaid shirts are an everyday item where I live in Los Angeles, as are leather jackets in every conceivable style. And for the record, grandfathers come in all shapes and sizes, just like regular people.

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  40. yes! totally true. i actually wrote a little abuot her and hawkeye's costumes here! http://hellotailor.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/costumes-and-characters-of-avengers_31.html

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  41. thanks! and, yes, i am aware that NYC doesn't really have malls. :) i meant in the general sense that 21st century shopping and/or urban life might be pretty overwhelming for him. of course these items would be AVAILABLE -- particularly in NYC -- but i was speaking more of my doubts that steve rogers would be able to navigate 21st century life, finances, etc.

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  42. "While the lack of explicit backstory for characters like Hawkeye, Black Widow and Bruce Banner was most likely a timing issue..." Bruce Banner's backstory was in the Incredible Hulk movies, more specifically the Ed Norton movie, which rebooted the previous Hulk movie since very few liked that one. That's actually why some fans are upset by the Hulk's rampage through the base since the ending of the Hulk movie implied that Banner had control of the Hulk and also the rampage didn't mesh well w/Banner's control of the Hulk during the battle scene. I just figured that that Banner lost control of the Hulk due to the pain/unexpectedness/surprise of the injury scene w/Natasha and that's why the rampage; the control that Banner exhibits during the battle is b/c the transformation is under his control and it's not unexpected, due to pain, etc.

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  44. i just...i'm just so in love with your blog.

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  46. I've heard speculation that Steve's belt pouches are full of snacks, which would make sense given his metabolism is supposedly 4x faster than an average person's.

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  47. Hi! I found your blog while working on some research for my Black Widow costume this Halloween, and it's AWESOME. I'm a costumer and newbie Superhero fan, and adored The Avengers, so these posts in particular have been delightful to read. As far as Captain's costumes, I'd still see him retaining some of his old school roots in his streetwear, but I think modern menswear still holds enough to bring him up to the 21st century in a classic fashion.

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  48. You may already know this, but fun fact: almost every movie/series about WWII that proved promising in the last twenty years-Schindler's List, Band of Brothers, Inglorious Bastards, the Pianist- were costumed by Anna Sheppard. Captain America: The First Avenger is no exception , and she really seemed to be in her element on this project. One of the reasons I love Sheppard as a designer is the fact that she pays tribute to period accuracy and doesn't stint on the details. With Captain America, you can't be a total slave to period, but she manages to include the classic costume (during Roger's performances to sell war bonds) and then come up with a realistic (if highly patriotic) field attire that creates a strong sense of alteration and growth for the character. If you haven't seen all of Anna Sheppard's work, I highly recommend watching more and looking for what she does next.

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  49. Steve's wardrobe actually looks quite a bit like mine does, and I get most of my clothing from thriftstores, of which NYC has many. If he didn't go shopping himself (as you posit) it probably wouldn't have been too hard for someone from SHIELD to hit up a few thriftstores with his measurements and a list of things that might confuse him, like zip-fly trousers. Or there needs to be a scene where Steve learns about zip-fly trousers.

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  50. Some truly interesting observations in regards to not only the character of Captain America/Steve Rogers, but also his attire, both regular civilian as well as his superhero garb! However, although much is being said about his utility belt and their contents, I'm more interested in the unique leather boots he sported in "The Avengers!" Where in hell can I get a pair of those? Can't find'em anywhere! They'd be perfect for some of the work I do (construction type hobby stuff I do on the weekends!) Size 14 wide! Could sure use a pair! LOL! Let me know ASAP! Thanks! Great article!

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  51. I found your site when I was Googling to find out if Cap's costume was padded in The Winter Soldier and ended up staying to read some of your articles. I just wanted to shoot some praise your way and say that I love your cerebral approach to these movies and their costumes. I love analyzing these movies and looking for visual metaphors myself, so it's great to see someone doing it so deftly!

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  52. I can see it now:
    "what are these little pouches on my belt for, exactly? they're so small..."
    "well, we based the design on your old costume, and it had pouches on your belt, so, what did you put in those?"
    "...bullets, mostly."
    "huh...."

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