What to Buy to Actually Become a Superhero

Tips from Hyperliterate-Man, ex-crime fighter turned playboy-bookworm-rock star!

Greetings, cadets! Hyperliterate-Man here! Sooo, you're thinking of being a superhero, but don't know what to buy to get started, eh? Hehe. Well, don't let it get you down. You're not the first one with this problem! 

There are lots of people out there who, despite all common sense and a few state laws, decide that they, like the high n' mighty Bruce Wayne, are capable of donning an outfit, adopting a pseudonym, and hitting the pavement to dish out some hooded justice.

Unwise as this all sounds, it is not that hard to get started. That said, my standard legal disclaimer: Please do not actually go out and try to become a superhero. 

But…if you just want to cosplay, let's say, then here’s a few things ya might want to pick up...

Fancy Dumbbells

I have of late--but wherefore I know not--lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercise. - Shakespeare

I’m not going to kid you, cadets. You’re not small, I’m not saying you’re all small. But hey, everybody could use a few extra pounds of rock solid lean muscle mass before attempting to actually go out and intimidate others. 

(Everybody except me, I mean. I just intimidate them with literary quotes they don't understand.)

So these Bowflex adjustable dumbbells are a killer start for your home gym. And don't tell me you don't have a home gym! 

And a Brand New Bench

Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live. Jim Rohn

You should probably clear some extra room in your garage "Batcave" for an adjustable lift bench. Here's one. It's also Bowflex, for that all-important style matching...

Or build your own with wood and nails and stuff. Whatever's in your budget. We aren't all billionaires like "Mister" Wayne! 

Protein Powder to Pump You Up

Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food. Michael Pollan

After pumping some weights, might also be a good idea to chug a protein shake. With Orgain plant based powder, you could go ORGANIC…

Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are. Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Or with Syntha-6 from BSN...not so much on the organic. I'm sure this is the one Cyborg uses...

And a Bottle With a Neat Wire Ball Thingy

Inside my empty bottle I was constructing a lighthouse while all others were making ships. Charles Simic

Look, guys--I’m not going to try and create your whole supplement stack here. We need to move on; you can do your own homework, hero-in-training! 

But, oh yeah…make sure to get a sports bottle. This bad boy Blender Bottle has some top notch reviews… Alright, enough already. Hyperliterate-Man isn't known for his patience!!

Don't Laugh at Joint Sleeves!

Better to die on your feet than live on your knees. Aeschylus

Ok. Knee sleeves. These aren’t so much to keep villains from shredding your kneecaps with a laser sword as they are simply to help prevent injuries. Trust me, I’m old. Don't be like Hyperliterate-Man! 

Your knees can wear down fast. 'Tis no laughing matter. 

Protect them or suffer the consequences!!

No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck. Frederick Douglass

Here’s some ankle compression sleeves to stabilize those feet, too. Am I really going to suggest sleeves for every joint on your body? Yes. Almost. 

Do not question my authority in this matter! 

No man lives without jostling and being jostled; in all ways he has to elbow himself through the world, giving and receiving offence. Thomas Carlyle

And for the elbows! Okay, I’m done with the joint protection stuff. Moving on!

Stock Up on Costume Fabric

I am certain that a Sewing Machine would relieve as much human suffering as a hundred Lunatic Asylums, and possibly a good deal more. Margaret Atwood

You’re going to need some kind of theme. Do you have some specific personality trait which you feel expresses your heroic side? Because I’m assuming you don’t actually have any superpowers; you’re just going to be a guy or gal in a costume, right? (Yes, that was a New 52 reference…).

Okay, then. Make up your mind, then let’s get back to shopping. I'm trying to get some affiliate link revenue here! Hyperliterate-Man isn't working much these days...

You’ll need either fabric to make your outfit, or you can buy off-the-shelf stuff. That’s a lot easier, but of course you’ll be less customized. Or you could buy a few pre-fab items then tweak them. Up to you.

If you’re going straight-up Etsy, and making your own, then pick the fabric you want and order a bolt or two in the color scheme you’re after. 

Clothe Thou Mighty Torso

Be prepared. *smacks chest* John Bytheway

If you’re thinking about a tougher exterior fabric than cotton/polyester blend, try faux leather. You can get a plain jacket and deck it out with your own custom logo…a giant flaming letter “H” or whatever your personal letter or log shall be (mine is a book, of course). 

Even Heroes Wear Pants!

I've always had a thing for Catwoman. Michelle Pfeiffer or Halle Berry in tight leather pants, with the boots - I'm pretty good with either one. Denis Leary

You could do the same with your pants, but be warned—it might be hard to pull off a flying ninja kick in something like this!

For maximum flexibility in the leg department you might want some joggers instead. But it could be a trade-off of flexibility or durability. 

Footwear for Kickin' Azz!!

If the shoe fits, buy it in every color! Jerry Smith

In terms of footwear, you must choose very carefully and consider what you think you’ll be up to. A lot of running? A boatload of kicking? Bit of both? For me, I actually wear these Adidas Terrex Trailmakers on a daily basis; they are durable, comfortable, and not bad for walking. 

They’re also easy to slip on, waterproof, and look pretty dang cool. But if you’re looking for something to go up over the ankle, read on…

Takes more than combat boots to make a man. - Sting

Sting is right, of course. I rarely argue with the guy. But listen, boots are sometimes essential gear, and these Danner boots will give you a lot more protection around the shins yet are still flexible and lightweight enough not to bog you down… So, just because Sting's right doesn't mean it is wrong to buy some comfy combat boots! 

Your Hands Are Lethal Weapons

You cannot make a revolution with silk gloves. Joseph Stalin

Well, Stalin would know. But in general, us hero types would likely not be out to stir revolution. We're more into bank robbers who stupidly leave clues all over town about how to catch them...or clowns who become emotionally obsessed with us because we "complete them." 


Anyways, where was I? Oh yes, gloves! Don’t forget about protecting those hands!

A Dramatic Hood

Anger and hatred, when left unfed, bleed away like air from a punctured tire, over time and days and years. Forgiveness is stealth.Barry Lyga

If you are one of those melodramatic types, you may be hankering for a hood. There is nothing wrong with that, but of course it only obscures your face from the back and sides, unless you are an actual comic book character. Then the opening becomes mysteriously solid black save for your two gleaming white eyes...

Well, whatever. Get this and a pair of wraparound goggles or shades and you'll be set. Or be like Hyperliterate-Man and just wear your normal glasses all day, until it is time to fight crime. Then take 'em off. Simple!

Maybe Skip the Cape

Why does everybody have to wear a stinking cape like Batman? Batman, Batman, Batman...he's sooo cool. Well, I refuse to go along! - Hyperliterate-Man

These days I feel capes are rather passe, but if you do decide to rock one, go big or go home. There's no reason to even wear a cape, in my opinion...but I certainly do respect a hero bold enough to go out in public wearing giant wold emblems and a chain holding their cape together. 

Alright, that's it, folks. No weapons or utility belts shall be promoted here. Instead, I advise training your most prized biological weapon of all--your mind! If that is keen enough, you won't need the other stuff. 

And besides, cadets:

"The best fights are the ones we avoid." - Mr. Han, The Karate Kid
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