Well, I can see that you understand what we talked about last time.
You were confident. Even if your powers failed, nothing was going to get passed your defenses. You thought of everything: Heat, cold, guns, knives, staves, axes, hammers, lasers, magic (Light and dark), radiation, gravity, sonic weapons, on and on and on.
With all of that in mind, you constructed nothing short of an impenetrable fortress around your fleshy super body. No moving parts, no structural weaknesses. Come Hell or Hiroshima, you were ready for anything. Granted, it doesn’t move much, or at all really, but you could survive anything.
See, here comes a super strong super villain around the bend with eyes on your home city. So you have some friends roll you up on the scene to stop him. But not only is his strong, but he’s pretty fast. He makes his way over to you, picks you up and hurls you into the outer atmospheres. Oh don’t worry, you can survive the vacuum, even the re-entry, but you’re not doing much when you can barely move to fight back.
Not much of a battle, is it?
Now we come to our first real conundrum of making a super suit. Like life, everything needs to be in balance, and it’s not the same for everyone. If you want to fight crime and save the day from danger, you need to be able to defend yourself, sure, but more importantly than preserving your life, you need to preserve others. That’s the whole idea of being a superhero, right? You can go where people can’t go, but also take actions that other people can’t.
If you’re perfectly defended, there’s not a lot of acting you can do. But for everything bit of maneuverability you allow, you open yourself up to a little more danger and expose some structural flaw in your armor.
So what should you do? Where do you fall on the spectrum between attack and defense? Well you’re in luck, we’re going to cover that too. Here we will cover the second essential aspect of a super suit, flexibility. Let’s examine a few non-examples and maybe redeem a few heroes afterward.
Exhibit A – Juggernaut
One of the things you’ll have to consider when constructing your suit is what kind of powers you have. In the last section, it didn’t really matter what kind of powers you had. The stronger you are, the more important it might be to have some strong armor, because you might be in deeper situations that would require more protection in case something should go wrong. But if you end up a little far on either side, you might start having some issues.
Juggernaut’s armor fits the kinds of things he needs to do, and that’s something we’ll go into on a future part, but for now I want to focus on the flexibility of his outfit. From what I’ve seen, when Juggernaut shows up on the scene, people tend to get out of the way. Things are about to be destroyed, and you need to give I’m a wide berth. But more than anything, what seems to be the downfall of Juggernaut’s design, there isn’t a lot of options when he starts moving. His suit is designed to make sure he can take a beating, but it doesn’t really allow for a lot of complex maneuvers or different strategies. Just start running and don’t stop until there’s nothing left to hit.
So when something happens during one of Juggernaut’s destructive jogs, there isn’t a lot he can do about it. The idea is that he can’t stop once he starts, so it really doesn’t matter what happens, but redirection and misdirection are some top notch powers, and as long as you can steer him where you want to go, he doesn’t stand much of a chance. If, perhaps, he was able to change tactics or adapt more to a situation, he might be more successful. Instead, although he’s very intimidating and can be destructive, he falls a little short of the most affective villains.
Exhibit B – Spider-Man
I did say we would come back to Peter. I would like to take a moment for a special mention here, and perhaps a half-redemption of the drag I did on him in the last part.
I maintain what I said, Spidey isn’t protected well enough for what he does. But like we said last time, he’s just a kid growing up in New York. He’s not an heir to a fortune or a weapons engineer with a bunch of money or a super scientist with a bunch of resources. He has to do the best with what he has, and he also has an understanding of his powers.
And what cool powers they are. Simple, but so effective. He can bend and stretch with the likes of the best contortionists, and he has his own style of martial arts in order to supplement his abilities. His suit reflects his abilities and focuses more on his ability to miss incoming threats rather than take the hits and keep swinging. Hopefully with his Spider Sense, he doesn’t need to be too scared about things maybe he can’t even see. His suit is light and breathable, which allows him to dodge and fight effectively, especially in close quarters.
That being said, it’s well understood that there are some things that can get passed his Spider Sense. And there remains the problem of whether or not there’s an unknown limit or stipulation on his powers. So here we see the other side of the spectrum, and although he manages to not die most of the time, he’s also taken his fair share of beatings; ones that might have been mitigated with a little more padding.
At least a helmet dude.
Exhibit C – Batman
Here we are again, and sadly, it’s a place we might have to keep coming back to. Bruce is nothing if not paranoid, but he’s also arguably the best martial artist in the DC universe. Thus, his suit supports his mixed martial arts with fibers that are not only strong, but easily manipulated. He has full range of motion, and in most cases, a helmet that separates from the shoulder piece to allow him full range with his head. He can manipulate small objects with ease, adapt to changing surroundings, fit into tight spaces, and is a nightmare to fight in closed spaces.
We’re going to take a small aside here.
“So… Having girls show a lot of skin allows them to move around and give them better flexibility They’re just further on the spectrum and don’t want prot-”
Shut the fuck up, all right? There’s a huge difference. Spider-Man doesn’t have a lot of d-fence, but there’s at least something between his birthday suit and the outside world. Repeat after me.
No self respecting warrior or heroine is going to be running around with a bunch of skin showing unless they specifically choose to do so. And if they choose to, there better be a good reason. And perhaps, even, a consequence for the risk they take. If you want to expose your shoulders and some chest, turns out they might get damaged. And after something painful like that, you might change your outfit a little bit in order to protect yourself the next time.
Now as we’ve seen, protection is almost as important as flexibility. But there are still two more things that every super suit needs in order to maximize its effectiveness. Make sure to check back, we’re about halfway done.
You’re almost ready to hit the streets and change the world.