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When I was a kid it was easier. No one even held out the hope you could be a super hero for Halloween, no matter how badly you wanted it. The costume companies of that time were nice enough to pre-crush your dreams for you by making the horrible costumes they sold NOTHING like the actual heroes they were supposed to represent. I really liked Dr. Strange, Master of the Mystic Arts, and it would have been very cool to be him for Halloween, especially because he's not one of the half dozen superheroes your soul crushing parents recognize

But, see, the real Dr, Strange? Did not have a picture of himself on his chest. Ditto the words Dr. Strange. You will never, ever strike fear into any evildoer's heart with your whole name on your chest. You might as well put the words "Hello, my name is…" in front of it. No tough guy ever wore a nametag.

Didn't understand they were doing us a favor. Nowadays kids can get some fairly happening costumes. They might hold out hope that for one mythic night of their miserable childhoods they could actually live the dream, actually become heroes and get candy. That's just cruel. Because it can't be done.

Heroes are for 2 dimensional comic books. Even if you had a movie studio come out and you sat in a make up chair for eight hours and then they followed you door to door with special lighting on wheels, you'd still look like a friggin' idiot. It would never look right and sadly to say, you are just not that guy. Ask George Clooney.

The whole idea of dressing up as a superhero for Halloween is empowerment. Instead of trying to up your self esteem by scaring people or being all cute like a girl or your friend Darren who you promised yourself you would never go trick or treating with after last year, and yet here you are, your going too show the might time world your inner coolness and mystery. It won't work. Deep down you don't have the stones. No one does. It's one of the main reasons that people don't put on spandex and fight crime in real life.

Allow me to demonstrate with a quick tour of what's available. And before you start crying, remember, I'm only trying to help.


This is a good place to start. Not only is The Batman a huge cultural icon, there are many variations and price ranges out there in which you can look sad, pathetic and lonely.

Here's a good one if you're a kid and your Mom's on a budget. There's just enough wrong here to make any comic loving kid cringe. The version of the symbol on the chest hasn't been used in almost a decade. You hands are exposed leaving your Bruce Wayne fingerprints on every damn thing you touch and no groovy-ass fins either. The mask was carefully designed so the eye wholes will never, ever line up with your eyes. Imagine Michael Keaton saying "I'm Batman" and then adjusting his cowl so he could SEE THE DAMN JOKER! The less said about crotch fit the better. Even a little kid knows the Dark Knight Detective needs at least a little package. The way the shorts come to a point here screams "I will become a eunuch of the night!"

If you had a paper route you could upgrade to this model:

See? It's 'deluxe'. Not only does it have neato arm fins, it's got fake muscles built right in. Personally, I think it's sadder, and not just because each person who opens the door will know you paid more for it than the last two Batmen who stopped by for fun size three musketeers. When you move, so do the muscles, just not in sync with your scrawny little body. You look re-animated zombie Batman, and it chafes. Plus, isn't it a little like writing 'I have no muscles of my own' on your chest? For grown-ups, here's a nice ego-deflating model.

I think outlining your muscles in blue is a nice touch, if by nice you mean not even remotely authentic and inspired by nothing. I guess it's a little less sob inducing than fake muscles in the self awareness department, and it's black, like in the movies. It makes it harder for people to see what a dork you look like and easier for cars to put you out of your misery.


Are you seriously considering this? Robin? The boy wonder? Didn't you ever ask yourself just what a guy who dressed in black leather and hung around in alleys waiting to rough up punks wanted with a Boy Wonder? If you're determined to make everyone in your neighborhood think less of you (and that's some assignment) why not go all the way with historical accuracy? Until about ten years ago, The Batman didn't let his ward wear pants.


A few years ago I spent a memorable autumn evening as The Flash. It wasn't Halloween, though. And I'm not sure you could say I was wearing a costume. That's okay though, because this is what the costume looks like.

Wear are the damn gloves? What, were costume makers all frightened by glove merchants as children? Is there some safety rule that says kids can't wear gloves? It's autumn, it's cold out, let the kids wear gloves, you costume making bastards! They won't. Know why? Because you'd stand half a chance of looking like the Flash. And that could only lead to disappointment because you couldn't carry it off. Wouldn't you rather have the grandma handing you Blow Pops think. "This kid don't look like no Flash on accounta he ain't got no gloves" instead of "I just can't put my finger on why this kid don't look like The Flash. Must be some kinda deep personal inadequacy."


If you've got a daughter and more than anything in the world she wants to be Wonder Woman for Halloween, don't let her. Why? Here's why.

No matter how much fun she might seem to have that night, she'd remember. She won't thank you for it. She might even kill you for it. And for any grown up women out there thinking a Wonder Woman costume might be… kinda… sexy?

There is no man out there who thinks this is sexy you want to be thinking that way about you. Not one. It's not even safe. That's a promise.


Oh, shut up! Why not just buy yourself a few candy bars and have bullies come and kick you ass in that morning and bullies beat you up that morning in the convenience of your own driveway? What kind of homo wanted to be a damn Power Ranger, even when that show was popular? Why is it still on? Can't someone pull that show's feeding tube? What kind of ultra mega hyper weenie would wear a Power ranger Costume now? Does the current version come with a color matched colostomy bag? Can you get a drag along IV drip? Jesus fucking Christ! What's WRONG with you?! No! No! You know what? I'm changing my mind here. GO as a fucking power ranger! It's the only costume out there that can actually add a teaspoon of despair to the desperately sad state you're obviously in! Just for that, no picture!


This is a great, great costume if the main thing you want to remember is that long ago Halloween night you went out dressed up as an Orange Lump of Dog Shit. Seriously though, this is my most favorite costume for a really weird reason. It's a terrible rendition of The Thing, but it's a wonderful version of one of the Stone Men From Saturn.

See, they were villains from the Thor comic, and if memory serves they only appeared twice, so it's almost guaranteed absolutely no one will have any idea that you are not in fact a really crappy, you are a totally excellent STONE MAN FROM SATURN. That's the kind of private laugh fest that can sustain you through a horrible childhood, criminally insane adolescence, doomed marriage and crippling divorce. If only they had this costume when I was a pup.


And now we come to the crème de la crème of embarrassing superhero costumes. Seriously, you'd be better off dressed as a Power Ranger. This is so wrong in so many ways. Let's count, shall we?

  1. When they made the X-men movies, they dressed them all in black leather and the main reason they did it was Wolverine. Wolverine's the ultimate bad-ass crazy eyed killer. He's holding that berserker rage on a leash, he's a loose cannon, he'll cutcha. And none of that, not one iota, can be carried off in sky blue and canary yellow. How they get away with it in the comic books is one of the seven modern wonders of the world, and in real life it simply cannot be done. Blue and yellow? Fag colors. Blue and yellow with claws? There isn't even a word for that, but Village People-esque comes sort of close.

  2. Puffy, flesh tone muscled sleeves say 'My real arms have dangly bags on the underside that dance spastically and give even my dog nightmares.' And they say it loud.

  3. The built in six pack abs will only ride over your actual abdomen about one fifteenth of the time, and then by accident. Depending on your actual height and posture they'll spend most of their time looking like extra boobs or neatly regimented stomach tumors.

  4. Nice package. Have you met Batman?


  6. Nothing says Lethal Mutant Vigilante like spats.

  7. For sheer overestimation of what you can get away with, nothing beats Wolverine. Even Batman is more like you, in that he all moody and shit. A Wolverine costume is just a blaring neon blue and yellow claw flashin' advertisement of all the things you'll never ever be and how foolhardy you were to try. It's like having your own seventeen hundred's town crier walking right next to you all night long ringing a bell yelling "NO CANDY FOR ME GOVNA; I'M JUST 'ERE TO POINT OUT WHAT A FEROCIOUS NANCY BOY ME OLD PAL WOLVERINE IS! IF YOUY 'ANG ON A SEC, I THINK 'E'S GOING TO CRY!!"

  8. What if you're fat?

So, that's it. To summarize, the more you want to be a superhero for Halloween, that more of a sure bet it is you're just the kind of guy who shouldn't do it. I know it hurts, but somebody had to say it. And if you're at a loss for something to be less humiliating, might I suggest this?

Remember, deciding to wear it now is way better than being told you have to wear it by your dominant partner years from now.

Until next Halloween, don't forget your safe word, kids!

-Max Burbank

Wanna see more Halloween crap we've reviewed?
Try these:

The Dollar Masks of 2005!

The One-Dollar Pirate!

The Jason-X Costume!