High Resolution Photo Reference Archive: “Original Superman III Christopher Reeve Costume”

As a preface, I thought it appropriate to summarize the objectives of my ongoing series of articles about costumes in the marketplace attributed to use by Christopher Reeve in the Superman films of the 70s and 80s.

My intent is to both collect and share information, ask questions, and facilitate dialogue and discussion about Superman costumes in an attempt to help bring more clarity to the marketplace. In this regard, the Original Prop Blog is intended to benefit the hobby at large (collectors, dealers, auction houses, etc.) by sharing and examining information about what has been offered for sale publicly in the marketplace to date.

If something has been sold or offered for sale in the public marketplace, then I feel that public discussion, analysis, and scrutiny of such pieces is appropriate.

I have not stated in any article that I have published to date that any specific Superman costume is “fake” or inauthentic. A founding principle and philosophy of the Original Prop Blog (as explained in the “About the OPB” link at the top of every page) is that every prop or costume is “inconclusive” until proven authentic or proven inauthentic.

I have been respectful to all and published no personal determinations of “authentic” apart from the few costumes with paperwork from Warner Bros., due to the state of the marketplace in regards to this property.

My position is that an open, honest, on topic, and respectful collective discourse and exchange of information and ideas between all interested parties benefits everyone, and that this is an important and substantive topic of public interest and significance.

Building a Photographic Reference Archive

Last week a collector sent me a costume he acquired about 10 years ago that was described to him, at the time he purchased it, as an “Original Superman III Costume Worn By Christopher Reeve”. He has since acquired another Superman costume that he claims differs from this suit in very specific and significant ways.

This costume will be assigned the designation as the “Superman III Reference Costume”.

I noted a few personal observations about the costume itself from my own examination… The costume appears as if it is newly made. There are no wardrobe/asset tags, labels, or markings of any kind. There are absolutely no visible signs of use or wear or stretching. In fact, during the photo shoot, I pinned the cape on the wall using a push pin, and in pulling the pin out, it slightly snagged the material, making it seem very prone to damage and that much more remarkable that it is in perfect condition.

I thought it would be helpful to other hobbyists to catalog this piece by sharing and archiving a series of high resolution photos, to serve as a point of comparison with other suits and further discussion. Some of the full front photos are redundant, but styled in a few different ways to show how the same costume can appear different based on how it is dressed on a mannequin, using some poses/configurations as seen in photos in various auctions/offerings.

PLEASE NOTE: I make no personal statement, at the time of publication of this article, as to the authenticity of this specific costume.

01 Direct-Comp-Guernseys-Full-Front-Vertical x425

02 Direct-Comp-Guernseys-Half-Front x425

03 Direct-Comp-Today-Show-Full-Front-Vertical x425

04 Direct-Comp-Today-Show-Medium-Shot-Cape-Drape x425

05 Direct-Comp-Today-Show-Close-Up-Chest-Emblem-Cape-Drape x425

06 Direct-Comp-American-Memorabilia-Full-Front-Vertical x425

07 Mannequin-Superman-Costume-With-Cape-Full-Rear-Vertical x425

08 Mannequin-Superman-Costume-No-Cape-Full-Rear-Vertical x425

09 Mannequin-Superman-Costume-No-Cape-Top-Half-Rear-Vertical x425

10 Mannequin-Superman-Costume-Close-Up-Back-Collar x425

11 Mannequin-Superman-Costume-Close-Up-Chest-Emblem x425

12 Mannequin-Superman-Costume-Close-Up-Arm-Rear x425

13 Mannequin-Superman-Costume-Close-Up-Wrist x425

14 Mannequin-Superman-Costume-Close-Up-Feet x425

15 Superman-Costume-Cape-Full-Pinned-Veritcal x425

16 Superman-Costume-Cape-Full-Pinned-Taped-Veritcal x425

17 Superman-Costume-Cape-Back-Top-Half x425

19 Superman-Costume-Cape-Full-Emblem-Inside x425

20 Superman-Costume-Cape-Close-Up-Partial-Emblem-Inside x425

21 Superman-Costume-Cape-Inside-Top-Half x425

22 Superman-Costume-Cape-Inside-Top-Half-Padding x425

23 Superman-Costume-Cape-Close-Up-Corner x425

24 Superman-Costume-Bodysuit-Front-Vertical x425

25 Superman-Costume-Bodysuit-Front-Insideout-Vertical x425

26 Superman-Costume-Bodysuit-Front-Insideout-Top-Half x425

27 Superman-Costume-Bodysuit-Back-Insideout-Vertical x425

28 Superman-Costume-Insideout-Back-Shorts x425

29 Superman-Costume-Inside-Close-Up-Zipper-Back-Waist x425

30 Superman-Costume-Zipper-Detail x425

31 Mannequin-Superman-Costume-Close-Up-Belt-Loops x425

32 Superman-Costume-Close-Up-Inside-Collar-Rear-Detail x425

33 Superman-Costume-Close-Up-Inside-Collar-Front-Detail x425

34 Superman-Costume-Neckline-and-Chest-Symbol-and-Collar x425

35 Superman-Costume-Inner-Waist x425

36 Superman-Costume-Tights-Front-Vertical x425

37 Superman-Costume-Tights-Back-Vertical x425

38 Superman-Costume-Close-Up-Foot x425

39 Superman-Costume-Bodysuit-Flat-Taped-at-Waist x425

40 Superman-Costume-Tights-Flat-Waist-Taped x425

41 Superman-Costume-Belt-Loop-Taped x425

42 Superman-Costume-Wrist-Taped x425

43 Superman-Costume-Chest-Emblem-Front x425

44 Superman-Costume-Chest-Emblem-Insideout-Full x425

45 Superman-Costume-Chest-Emblem-Front-Taped-01 x425

46 Superman-Costume-Chest-Emblem-Front-Taped-02 x425

47 Superman-Costume-Chest-Emblem-Front-Taped-03 x425

48 Superman-Costume-Cape-Full-Emblem-Close-Up x425

49 Superman-Costume-Cape-Full-Emblem-Taped-01 x425

50 Superman-Costume-Cape-Full-Emblem-Taped-03 x425

51 Superman-Costume-Cape-Full-Emblem-Taped-02 x425

52 Superman-Costume-Emblem-Side-by-Side x425

A future article in this series will feature a comprehensive archive of notable and historical public offerings of Superman costumes from auction house events and other venues.

Please get in touch with me if anyone has 1) any auction house catalogs/information with Superman costume offerings and/or 2) high resolution photos/screen captures of Christopher Reeve from the Superman films, and/or 3) any other interesting information about original Superman costumes.

Jason De Bord

Additional Related Articles:  Market Watch | Superman


  1. cking says


    Thanks for taking the time to document this costume so thoroughly.
    I can understand why the owner had some “queries” about it. Interesting to see that the red fabric is modern spandex and the blue fabric is a different weave texture. On the real costumes, the red, blue and yellow were all made with the same fabric. This costume quite clearly has a different type for the blue.

  2. patrick says

    HI,I’m sure I am not alone in saying ,if,in dreamworld,I could wear that costume,with the thick blue spandex tigths,which seem to have moulded feet (even more comfy!),forgive my frankness,but I would wank until my sperm ducts were bone dry- I would proabably have the biggest hard-on in male history beforehand!

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