Capes and Superheroes.

A lot of superheroes have capes. Long, drooping capes usually matching the color of their costume. But do they have a purpose? After a discussion with my ‘web’ peers, here’s the verdict.

Apparently, the creators of both Batman (Bob Kane) and Superman (Siegel & Shuster) were inspired by the swashbuckling Douglas Fairbanks from the 1920 film “Mask of Zorro”. So, they gave birth to the cape-culture that was previously confined to Spaniards. Also, capes added a new dimension and a dynamism to the superheroes they were about to create.

Batman’s cape is designed to perfection and is primarily utilitarian. Made of bullet-resistant and fire-retardant material, Batman’s cape can mitigate or even negate the potential threats posed by gunfire and flames. It can also help minimize the potential of lacerations and impact injuries. The voluminous material of cape can help him in better navigation when he is air borne and also reduces the speed of descent. It also helps him camouflage his presence in the dark and scary nights of the legendary Gotham. Finally, it gives an insanely dramatic effect. Think of all the pictures where you find Batman partly covering himself in his huge cape. By the way, Robin has a cape just because Batman does!

Unfortunately, there isn’t any purpose or a story behind Superman wearing a cape. Apparently, the Kryponites had capes etched into their dress code.

And finally, capes have downsides too…I’ll let “The Incredibles” do the talking.


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