Burns: Cleaning Up After Cleaning Out Crime

Superhero Exhibit By James H. Burns: A thought occurred to me just a short while ago, as I was folding some shirts…

How do super heroes do their laundry?

If one’s living at Avengers mansion, presumably there’s no problem.  And elsewhere in the Marvel Universe, Reed Richards, I believe, rather famously created clothing consisting of unstable molecules, which have all sorts of uses (as well as, apparently, keeping an outfit pressed and free from soot!)

One would have to presume that Batman has all of these things taken care of neatly by Alfred, and I seem to recall that, in at least the original renditions, Superman wore a uniform made out of the blanket the Kents found him swaddled in, within his Kryptonian rocket. (Ma Kent, evidently, used sewing needles made from shards of the ship…)

But what if one isn’t as well connected, or doubly blessed?

It’s not as though one of the lesser known super-joes can just walk over to the dry cleaner, or even the local laundromat…

Do some of our favorite crimefighters, and galaxy busters, really have to stand over the sink, bottle of Woolite at hand, as they now fight grime…?

11 thoughts on “Burns: Cleaning Up After Cleaning Out Crime

  1. Does no one but me remember that Ma Kent KNITTED the Superman costume from unraveled blanket threads, and, when a thread needed to be cut, Clark did it by concentrating his heat vision? Knitting is how leotards were made in the 1930’s, and indeed, still are, although of course by machine. The writers of the recent movie seem to have gotten this incorrect, also.

  2. Mad Magazine had a two-page spread, sometime in the early 1960s I think, that were a Superhero Yellow Pages. I remember it being hilarious.

  3. Well, in the current continuity…

    1) Green Lanterns’ rings do work against yellow (retconned as “the color of fear in the emotional spectrum”; there’s now a Lantern Corps for each color in the rainbow as well as white and black Lanterns) although they have to work to overcome an initial problem with it.

    2) In possibly the most tone-deaf costume ever, Superman now wears a suit of armor aka a “Kryptonian battle suit”. As for why of all characters Superman is in armor, and why the iconic bullets bouncing off a cloth-clad chest image is now bullets bouncing off armor, you’ve got me.

    Oh, and while there’s not been a superhero laundry that I recall, there were a pair of brothers in DC, one of whom was the tailor to the super-villain set for their costumes and one of whom tutored Black Lightning and did his costume.

  4. I’ve wondered how the civilians whose cars and other goods and chattels were damaged or destroyed in the battles of superheros and/or monsters like Godzilla or the Rabbits in “Night of the Lepus”…how they explained to their insurance companies what happened to their possessions; and why the superheros or monsters or their representatives were not sued for damages.

  5. Surely some superheroes must have machine-washable uniforms and a washer/dryer in their homes. I don’t have any information as to which ones those would be, though.

  6. Nite Owl in the Watchmen flies something that, viewed from the front, looks like a washer/dryer combo….

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