I have long believed that it is utter madness to try and justify super-hero costumes in a real-world context.  Superman wears tights to emulate a circus strongman,  Spider-Man has web-pits for effect, Cable has pouches akimbo because his creator isn’t very skilled.  That said, I sometimes wonder why more American super-types don’t avail themselves of a helmet, like their Super Sentai or Kamen Rider counterparts in the Pacific.  The Punisher, for one, would be even scarier with a shiny faceplate, leading to today’s motocross query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) thinks Batman could use some head protection, even with the dumb “graphite helm” thing from the Nolan movies, asking: Hero With A Helmet: Awesome or Awkward?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. I’m probably heavily biased as a fan of many Japanese superheroes, but I do lean toward liking helmets, particularly those that have a cool design. It doesn’t work for every hero, but when it does work it works well.

    I also think in some cases it accents the point that the character is supposed to be armored rather than just wearing something to hide their identity. It gives a feel that they are more formidable and not as easy to take down.

  2. Daniel Langsdale on

    Helmets can be cool, even awesome. Doctor Fate’s is a classic, and Nova and Aztek’s aren’t half bad. Magneto’s is a little questionable. Turning Speedball into Penance with a BDSM helmet was just abominable.

    Dark Hawk, Night Thrasher, Iron Man… I suppose it comes down to how much of the character’s identity is tied up in the helmet. Dredd is 100% helmet 100% of the time, but if I couldn’t see the cold determination on Frank Castle’s face, it just wouldn’t be the same.

    Wolverine in a helmet would be ridonculous.

    Oh, and I don’t think “akimbo” means what you think it means.

  3. Helmets are cool! Although they definitely don’t fit every superhero.
    I understand why they do it, but I hate that the hero loses their helmet on every freakin movie and even in some anime! (I’m looking at you Saint Seiya)

  4. I’m all for head protection. From the Super Sentai full head helm to Luke Cage’s tiara to Black Lightning’s armored afro, I think headgear helps establish an iconic look. From a practical standpoint it prevents you from getting taken out by a potted plant to the back of the head.

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