Superman’s black suit is definitely one of the most talked-about aspects of Zack Snyder’s Justice League. And even though Snyder does like making some interesting changes that are uniquely his, this is not one of them.
The edgier get-up communicates a darkness that the film hints at but doesn’t fully explore, making the fact that a sequel isn’t happening incredibly frustrating.
Origin of Black Suit Supes
The origin of the suit stretches back decades to Action Comics #689, the post-Death of Superman issue that saw the Man of Steel tearing into the sky with a sleek new costume and a slick perm. The artist behind the character Steel, Jon Bogdanove, sketched what would become the basis for Black Suit Supes. Say what you will about Supes’s new ‘do, but his new costume looked phenomenal and presented a bunch of fun new questions over which fans totally destroyed each other. Here’s a comparison of Superman’s black suit in Justice League and the costume from the comics:
Aaaand here’s comic Supes in his new black suit (and wearing that god-awful hair that should never come back into style):
As you can see, Zack Snyder took some liberties, sure, but he absolutely captured the spirit of Black Suit Superman perfectly. It is a shame we probably won’t get to see it the way Snyder wanted us to see it again.
What The Suit Means In The Comics And In The Movie
In the comics, Superman’s black costume does not hold nearly as much symbolism in its threads as Snyder would like to believe it does. Sure, it has some cool hidden features, such as its ability to absorb sunlight when Supes is weakened. But beyond helping the Man of Steel take Sheryl Crow’s advice and soak up the sun, the people who wrote Black Suit Superman just wanted the new costume to signal his official return visually and to do so in a way that generates more publicity and, of course, more sales.
Ever the bombastic filmmaker, Zack Snyder wanted Superman’s black suit to mark a stage in his personal arc, one that would eventually see the Man of Steel returning to his signature red-and-blue costume. But if Snyder’s previous comments are anything to go by, Clark donning his old colors can only come after he has completed his full transformation into Superman and learned a few things along the way. As much as it may seem like Snyder is reaching for profundity rather having it dawn on him organically, this is actually a cool way to add meaning to a wardrobe change that originally signified little.
But on its surface, Superman wearing the black suit is simply meant to represent his resurrection visually and to give fans something to chew on while they wait for other DC Extended Universe movies. Dive a bit deeper, though, and you will realize that Snyder wanted it to symbolize growth and acceptance, two things Superman needs to feel like a fully realized character. It stinks that Snyder is not directing a Justice League 2 or a Justice League 3, but hey, at least we finally got that Snyder Cut, right?
As a quick side note, Henry Cavill definitely pulls off the black costume, but did he really need to stop by and see Alfred before going to fight against Steppenwolf with the League? That is when he get our first clear look at it, and honestly, it would have been better for Snyder to reveal stuff like that during the final battle. Ya know, for a greater emotional punch.
Will Henry Cavill Wear The Suit Again?
Sadly, Snyder has recently stated that his Justice League is not canon, so we probably will not ever see Henry Cavill in the black suit again. Especially after recent rumors that he is leaving the DC Extended Universe for another franchise. That has not been confirmed, but recent news of a reboot does strengthen the notion that Cavill may not be returning to the role.
So basically, if we do see Black Suit Superman on the big screen again, it likely will be another actor wearing it. Hopefully, whoever dons the new suit will rock it as well as Henry Cavill so effortlessly did.