New Superman T-Shirts from Junk Food: Fun or Fail?

June 06, 2013|Elliott Serrano, for Redeye

With the new Superman movie - "Man of Steel" - due in theaters next week, the marketing blitz surrounding it has reached a crescendo. They just released the final teaser trailer. You can find the toys based on the new film at Target. Wal-Mart had a promotion going where you could have purchased tickets in advance of the film's premiere. And T-shirt company Junk Food is debuting a new line of fashion tees that celebrate the Last Son of Krypton.

Check out the shirts in my gallery (above) and tell me: Are they fun? Or fail?

Looking at them myself I'm struck by a few things. First, Junk Food decided to go with Superman's classic look and not the "re-imagined" version being used in "Man of Steel." In some cases, they lifted images that I've seen in previous Superman comic book appearances. I can spot a Howard Porter rendering, and another by Superman co-creaor Joe Shuster. I'm not sure, but I think that one is by perrenial artist Ross Andru. (I grew up on Andru Superman comics, BTW, so he is always a favorite of mine.) Are there any other comic nerds out there who can tell me who the other artists are?

I also wonder if the use of the original "The Man of Steel" logo - from John Byrne's mini-series in 1986 - was done as a nod to the last time Supes was "rebooted" or simply a coincidence?

May I also ask why the shirts designed for females only has the logo and not Superman himself? Is the idea that women won't wear a shirt with a male character on it? And why do they always add extra embellishment to the logo whenever it's rendered for a woman's shirt?

The use of contemporary catch phrases with the character is a mixed bag for me. I know they're going for a contemporary feel, but I don't know any Superman fans who could picture him saying "come at me bro'".  Is this meant to be more of a funny caption/meme deal? At least the "I can see your underwear" bit can be seen as a nod to the 1978 film starring Christopher Reeve.

Don't get me wrong, I think anything that gets people interested in comic books and their colorful characters is a good thing. So I don't want to seem overly critical.

And I'm sure that there are plenty of folks who are going to get a kick out of these shirts. Junk Food makes a lot of fun tees, and I have more than a few of them in my own closet.

Sometimes I just wonder if the people who create the toys, accessories and fashions that surround superheroes really "get" them.

Do you agree with me? Or am I wrong to think so?

Is this another case of me being a nerd nitpicker?

You can let me know in the comments section below, on my Facebook Page or hit me up on Twitter!

Elliott Serrano is a Redeye Special Contributor and Chicago's Top Geek. His weakness is Kryptonite. And redheads.

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