Have You Ever Wondered Why Superheroes Wear Capes?

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The other day a random thought popped into my head: Why do superheroes so often wear capes?? I wondered if there was any literature on the purpose of capes in these superhero myths.

One thread suggested that there was a link from Zorro and/or The Three Musketeers. Those swashbucklers being the original “super heroes” of literature and, given the time periods, natural cape wearers. This then held over to Superman and beyond.

Others discussed the utility purposes of capes such as it’s assistance with aerodynamics, but at least according to one study on the phyiscs of Batman’s Cape (yes…an actual study) that seems incorrect. Other purposes include making it easy to hide or confuse enemies, being a protective shield, and acting as a symbol.

My favorite blog is this one that asks Do Superheroes Really Need Capes? The author basically decides the purpose of a cape is purely for the sake of fashion. It even goes so far as to depict some of our well-known cape-wearers looking rather silly without their capes.

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I was disappointed to find that there was no deeper symbolism to be read into it. Something like “the fluid movement of capes create a sense of the ephemeral, and as such give human shapes an otherworldly form.”

So, I guess without that I’m with Edna from Pixar’s The Incredibles. As she puts it:

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26 thoughts on “Have You Ever Wondered Why Superheroes Wear Capes?”

          1. I am an observer. I write about what I feel about for certain time lapses that occured in my life. True stories, literaturely adopted. Maybe it’s the audience, that I reckon, wouldn’t be the right one. Or maybe it’s the stories that are not finished, yet. Or maybe it’s the let-me-wait-for-a-little-more mode takes over me. Or maybe, it’s the complexity of the stories that I hesitate won’t be enough.

          2. I am an observer. I write about what I feel about for certain time lapses that occured in my life. True stories, literaturely adopted.

          3. Abf about the obstacles, Maybe it’s the audience, that I reckon, wouldn’t be the right one. Or maybe it’s the stories that are not finished, yet. Or maybe it’s the let-me-wait-for-a-little-more mode takes over me. Or maybe, it’s the complexity of the stories that I hesitate won’t be enough.

          1. I am an observer. I write about what I feel about for certain time lapses that occured in my life. True stories, literaturely adopted. Maybe it’s the audience, that I reckon, wouldn’t be the right one. Or maybe it’s the stories that are not finished, yet. Or maybe it’s the let-me-wait-for-a-little-more mode takes over me. Or maybe, it’s the complexity of the stories that I hesitate won’t be enough.

          2. I am an observer. I write about what I feel about for certain time lapses that occured in my life. True stories, literaturely adopted.

          3. Abf about the obstacles, Maybe it’s the audience, that I reckon, wouldn’t be the right one. Or maybe it’s the stories that are not finished, yet. Or maybe it’s the let-me-wait-for-a-little-more mode takes over me. Or maybe, it’s the complexity of the stories that I hesitate won’t be enough.

    1. All good, no worries. First off – I totally get you on all your points. Seriously – every writer knows what you’re talking about. If they say otherwise, they’re bullshitting you. I’ve read a lot of books on writing lately and my favorite parts are when the writer talks about what they do to convince themselves NOT to write that day. If you’re curious, I’d recommend a book called The War of Art by Steven Pressfield (http://www.amazon.com/The-War-Art-Through-Creative/dp/1936891026). It’s VERY easy to read and discusses the different ways that resistance shows up in our lives and some mind-hacks for how to break through it.

    1. All good, no worries. First off – I totally get you on all your points. Seriously – every writer knows what you’re talking about. If they say otherwise, they’re bullshitting you. I’ve read a lot of books on writing lately and my favorite parts are when the writer talks about what they do to convince themselves NOT to write that day. If you’re curious, I’d recommend a book called The War of Art by Steven Pressfield (http://www.amazon.com/The-War-Art-Through-Creative/dp/1936891026). It’s VERY easy to read and discusses the different ways that resistance shows up in our lives and some mind-hacks for how to break through it.

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